My Kitchen Makeover – Progress & Lighting Updates

I know most people think it’s crazy to undertake a kitchen makeover over during the holidays, but what can I say, I’m crazy I guess! Actually I have a method to my madness that cuts down on the mess.

You can go to this post about My Plans For My Budget Kitchen Makeover if you want to see my ideas for this space.

walls painted BM Simply White

So I’ve painted two walls! I paint one wall at a time. That’s my method for handling painting chaos. Instead of trying to do the whole room at one time, I  take everything down from one wall, spackle & sand the holes, wipe down the wall and paint. When that one wall is done I put everything back and move on to the next wall and then the next until I’m done. That’s how I did my living room this year. That’s what works for me!

testing colors on kitchen wall

In an effort to make my kitchen brighter I’m painted my walls Benjamin Moore Simply White. They’re going from pear green to white! Quite a change and I’m not sure I’m going to like it when it’s done but as my husband says “at least it’ll be primed for the next color”. Oh he’s soooo funny isn’t he!

soup tureens above cabinets

I’m adding some new lighting. So far we added some rope lights at the top of the cabinets behind the soup tureens. Love, love, love them! Already that little inexpensive addition helps it to not feel so cave like. We got the rope lights at Cosco because they were a bit larger than the ones at Home Depot.

hole for cord

My husband made a hole at the top of this cabinet so I could plug the lights in and have them controlled with the switch next to the coffee maker (there’s an outlet in that cabinet).

wireless task light

I also added this wireless task light from Home Depot over the sink. You can adjust where you want the light to shine. Best part is you can put it wherever you want. No wiring or plugging in!

rooster tray

I’ve always wanted a kitchen sink that had a window that looked out over a back yard. One day.  In the mean time I change out the art work behind the sink frequently so I can have a change of  “scenery”.

So that’s  my kitchen update so far.

tole tray in kitchen

On to this wall and some more lighting changes.  I know…the white is not as fun a color as the pear green! But hopefully when it’s all done it’ll be a good backdrop to some fun accessories.


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  1. Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers says

    The house we just bought has rope lighting above the kitchen cabinets and I just love it too. I think you are going to like the light white paint. Though I always did love that pear green you had. We are in the middle of painting our whole house, so I know exactly what you are going through.

  2. says

    You’ve given some great tips, Manuela. I need some lights on top of my cabinets to highlight the McCoy Pottery I have up there. And I need a task light! Thanks so much. It’s looking great, by the way.


  3. says

    I’m eager to see if you end up liking the white walls. I’m like you–haven’t painted a wall white in so many years! But this leads me to my next question. . . are you going to paint your cabinets??

    I love REAL budget kitchen makeovers. I was watching a show on the DIY channel (not sure why it’s called that, given the way this show was made!) about a kitchen makeover. The people budgeted $30,000 for the makeover and ended up spending just over $34,000 on it. I couldn’t believe it!

    • Manuela says

      Well if I even had 10,000 to spend on my kitchen I would be in heaven!!

      I’m trying to avoid painting my cabinets because I’m still traumatized from the last time it did it :)

      But I think white cabinets are in my future. That will have to wait for spring/summer since I need to use my garage to spread out the doors and it has to be warm enough for the paint to dry.

      I really won’t know until the whole kitchen is painted etc.

  4. Vee says

    I like the idea of taking it one wall at a time. Less mess and fuss. That’s how my grandmother always did her wallpapering. Suddenly it would be all done and people would wonder how she’d done it all so fast. (Let us not discuss if I think you are crazy or not. ☺ )

  5. says

    I don’t have a window over my sink either. But I like your idea of the art hanging there. (I always wanted to see what my back splash would look like with the stamped tiles too, and I like it) Actually, your idea of changing the scene is maybe better (except for the light) than a window..that scene won’t change too often!

  6. says

    I like the new color, Manuela! I’m sure it will be a change for you, but in a good way! Love your tureens and that lighting you put on top of the cabinets. I’d like to do that on top of our cabinets. One side has a plug that is controlled by a switch but the other side doesn’t even have an outlet. After Christmas I’ll have to ask my husband if it would be possible to put an outlet up there {maybe off the outlet that is underneath those same cabinets}.

  7. says

    I love the change you’re making in your kitchen – I love the white! Oh, I wish the tops of my cabinets were open so I could add rope lights! I have soffits so my sweetheart has wired for under-cabinet lights that haven’t been installed yet. Some of the cabinets need to be purchased and installed on one wall that never had any cabinets when we bought the house. Our kitchen remodel has been years in the making – and it’s still not finished! Next year is the year to finish our projects and we already have plans for the kitchen ‘finish’! Love the way you created a ‘window’ over your sink. And I think your way of painting one wall at a time is a great idea!

  8. says

    I am totally going to get those rope lights. We talked about it once or twice but now you are spurring me on. Our new house is dark at night and those would be nice. The wireless task light that you put above your sink – does it give off much light? I need more light over my desk.

    You’ll probably love the white kitchen once you get used to it. Just think of how you can do whatever you want now and you have a blank slate to work with! Can’t wait to see more.

    • Manuela says

      Actually, I do think it gives off quite a bit of light. I do have puck lights under my cabinets but I swear it’s like they are barely on. The good thing about the wireless task light is that it’s from Home Depot so it’s not what you want you can always return it. They had quite a few options for wireless lighting. I’m sure Lowe’s has them as well.

  9. says

    I like the idea of doing it one wall at a time, instead of tearing up the whole kitchen. The rope lighting is a good idea for small areas. I need to think about getting some for my kitchen.

  10. says

    I like that wireless task light. I need one over my sink at the Country House.

    Everything is looking good. I’m interested to see how long you last, with just white walls.

    • Manuela says

      LOL! Me too! Although, I’m encouraged that people seem to like the white walls. Can’t say white walls are very “me”. But then maybe this is a new me! :)

  11. says

    I love your rope lights above the cabinets. I love how it look brighter up there without screaming that there are lights.

    I’ve wondered how much light those wireless task lights put out. I am not happy with all the wires under my cabinets.

  12. says

    I like your rope lighting above the cabinets! Great idea. Your white kitchen is looking good. I am thinking about going from red in my kitchen to white or cream. It’s a bit scary to do something so drastic but I think I will. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. says

    isn’t it funny? I have NEVER had a white wall in my house in 30 years and suddenly that is all I want! The husband and children are shocked. I have always loved the colors you decorate with but I really love how the whites look with your backsplash and dark counters. I have found that I can still add my bright colors in accessories and it isn’t so overwhelming. I love the fresh brightness of the white. I really like the rope light idea too, I may have to try it for the dark space above my cabinets. Thank you for sharing that:>)

  14. says

    oh I do really love how it is turning out. I placed some Christmas lights on top of my cabinet area but I would love some kind of rope light permanently. May be Lowes (which is near me) has some! I do painting like you. I do just a bit at a time. That way I don’t get to tired and achy and it does not make chaos in our living!

  15. says

    Well Dear Manuela, you are crazy! LOL but it seems to be in a very good way. The kitchen is looking fabulous. I know you have been a color lover for years, so maybe you will enjoy the simple background to display and change your look anytime you want without even having to consider wall color.

    I have just finished enjoying your Christmas decorating. So pretty! It was so much fun coming by for a visit.

  16. says

    Love the lighting! Love the backsplash…shows nicely with the cabinets and walls. The lighting is great! I am totally stealing the “one wall at a time” idea next month when I start my painting. Hope it works for me too.

  17. says

    This is chock FULL of good tips Manuela! I am absolutely going to borrow your one wall at a time technique…soo smart and works for those of us who must use the rooms we are painting and it’ also psychologically rewarding as it allows a sense of accomplishment sooner…actually several! 😉

    Also, those runner lights atop the cabinets…brilliant! I just saw the ones you used from Costco yesterday and am so happy you let us know they are brighter than HomeDepot…good stuff to know.

    I love the white a lot…I don’t think you’ll see the full affect of the change until all of the room is painted…it doesn’t show as fast a colors do…at least that’s been my experience. Then you’ll be able to see the gestalt of the different shades if the color along with the other textures. Your husband is so funny…and he’s right in a way…if you don’t like it you’re ready for a fairly easy change…as opposed to if you were painting the walls red! 😉

    I am soo looking forward to seeing more of this project! I can’t believe you have the energy to tackle it right before Christmas…you are always such an inspiration!


    P.S. also, thanks for the idea for the under counter light…another GREAT tip!

  18. says

    I like the idea of the rope lighting on top of the cabinets. My cabinets have soffits above them (yuck – unfortunately). I have those stick-on lights underneath my cabinets to shine on the counter, too. Really helps.

    I think you’ll like your white kitchen. You’ll then be able to decorate with any colors you choose!

  19. says

    The design shows always make everything so easy with the “magic” of TV. You are showing the reality, and the suggestion of one wall at a time…is great. Paint is “cheap” and an easy fix for most decor, and doing it one wall at a time, perfect. The rope light is great for the top of your cupboards, another cheap fix. I will be looking into the wireless task lighting. I have the bottoms of cupboards that could do with a little light, that we didn’t forsee when we redid the kitchen…Those are perfect for those little areas! Thanks

  20. says

    I like the white. Of course, I KNEW you’d have to change accessories and such afterwards. The paint is just the starting Every time I change something in a room, John says “What’s next?” as he looks about. He’s learned well…

  21. says

    There’s nothing like paint to make you feel like you have a new kitchen! I know everyone thought I was insane when I started painting two weeks ago, but really, Christmas is when you want your house to look its best. I love your white kitchen!

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