Kitchen Make-Under

What's a "Make-Under"? Well, I didn't want to say I'd done a make-over since my cabinets, counters and flooring remain the same. But I'm changing the colors, textures, and feel of the kitchen.

We bought a pre-foreclosure house after returning from missionary work in Budapest, and we feel very blessed to have it.

The kitchen was new but plain--in neutral browns and tans. I'd always had a colorful kitchen--bright reds or classic blue and white. I knew I wanted to give this kitchen some personality, and I decided to add bright splashes of turquoise.

 Before Above, After Below.
Read about the Cart Make-Over.
I added other shades of blue because my dishware is an eclectic blend of blues and I still enjoy it. In addition, I like the blend of the different shades of turquoise and classic blue. These two little shoes are painted stones.
Before Above, After Below.

This is a mixture of old and new items. The small bottle ($3 at Hobby Lobby, but I got it for half that). The hand-made mug from a Christmas market in Budapest...I love it's shape and color. The planter from Ross. The non-symmetrical plate purchased years ago. It's my son's favorite when he eats at our house.

I bought this oak cabinet at a German flea market many years ago. 
I love the key.
For about 10 years, my sister bought me a Longenberger basket every Christmas and birthday. 
I love them. I added a new turquoise towel to cover all my vitamin bottles in this basket.
And I added a string of turquoise beads because I love beads. These are not genuine turquoise but dyed Howlite. Since I do beading, I had these on hand, but they would cost about $5-7 at a craft store. I think they add an unusual color and texture to the kitchen.
Howlite is "a naturally opaque white stone with a dark, spiderweb matrix appearance, similar to that of turquoise and therefore commonly dyed to imitate the more expensive stone."
Before Above, After Below.
I chose the curtain fabric because it incorporates several colors of turquoise plus brown to tie in the brown cabinets.
The metal bike above the window is from Hobby Lobby ($20/but I got it for $10). I wanted to add color, so I painted it with craft paint and buffed it with fine sand paper to make it look vintage.
Before Above, After Below
Another Longenberger with lid, 3 of the Hobby Lobby bottles, and 2 large bottles.

Again I used some of my beads to add texture and color to this grouping. These are inexpensive Howlite chips in various shades of turquoise and blue. I wrapped them around the neck of the two larger bottles.

Before Above, After Below
See the details for this turquoise "extra cream" tray.
I starched the curtain fabric to the bottom of this tray.
Before Above, After Below
A burst of turquoise by the stove.
I used ceramic paint to paint my red heart turquoise, purposely leaving a border of red around the edges to make it look distinct. I couldn't get rid of this little plate because everytime I bake with my granddaughters (and they love to bake), I remind them to "put in the love"--the most important ingredient. They put the love in with the cutest facial expressions (and usually with their hands in the batter!) This square bowl cost $3 at Ross and the stand from Hobby Lobby was about $2 on half-price sale.
I love these two little cream pitchers. The one that says "Hotel Papageno" is from my 35th anniversary. We were living in Budapest at the time and had gone to Vienna, Austria for the weekend. I asked the server if I could buy one of the little creamers as a souvenir and she said it wasn't possible. But the next morning she served us breakfast with this little pitcher wrapped up for us. She'd found out it was our anniversary and she'd persuaded her boss to give it to us. Sweet!
My kitchen desk Before Above, After below
I added a turquoise bandanna to a basket, a few tins in shades of blue, and one of my vintage suitcases. I also stacked old blue books to hide the phone cording. By the way, the "70" on the wall in vintage number tiles is the year I was married.
If you like decorating with vintage books, you'll want to read about my Christmas Mantle and if you have books that are falling apart, you'll want to read how to make Vintage Bookmarks and Book Boxes. Did I mention that I love old books? On top of the books I put a pair of antique spectacles.
Before Above, After Below

Well, that's how I turned my vanilla kitchen vivid. What do you think? 
I'm still working on adding a few touches. Any ideas?

P.S.--since writing this post, I've done two other things: 
1. Added new knobs to my upper cabinets:

 these cabinets look different colors, but they're all the same. The knobs, however, are different. I bought these at Hobby Lobby on a half price sale so the most I paid was $2.50 per knob.
I know it's a little quirky to choose knobs that don't match, but I like it. My dishes are actually like this...I buy a plate or two and add it to my long as it's blue and white it fits. : ) Then when I serve a group, I give everyone a different patterned plate or bowl. It's also practical...if one breaks, it doesn't ruin my set and I don't have to worry about the pattern being discontinued.

2. I Added stacking dolls
I think these are the coolest set of stacking doll measuring cups. You open them and the bottom and top are each a different size.

 Since I have an extensive stacking doll collection (see it HERE), I loved these. But their features were not really visible because they were white. You can see the features in this close up, but from a distance they just looked like curvy pieces of plastic. So I got out the acrylic paints and made them into likenesses of my 3 oldest granddaughters while maintaining the turquoise highlights.

Well that's it...for now. I suppose I'll add a few more touches when something strikes me.

Thanks for visiting my decor pages. I include them on my blog because I love doing creative things, and I know that's because I am made in the image of a creative God. 

The main focus of my blog is my creative Lord, so I'd love to have you check out my Home Page that contains one-minute devotions...yes, each devotion only takes 60 seconds to read. And you can sign up for a free subscription and have them delivered to your email box.
Thanks!  Gail


  1. Absolutely lovely!

  2. If you could find some turquoise door knobs, or turquoise paint on cheaper door knobs it would bring that pop of color up and down. Oh, and a turquoise or blue rug by the sink.
    But it all looks so lovely!! I love it.

  3. Thanks, Becky, for those ideas. I actually have put turquoise knobs on the upper cabinets since posting this article. Maybe I should add a post script. And they help tie it all in. And a turquoise rug is also a good idea. I just bought that new mat for the sink area because it is easy on the feet/legs, but I do think a turquoise area rug would help. Thanks!

    1. I did it...added a few pictures of the extra things I've done.

  4. Wow! What a change. I especially like the knobs!
    I found you through Teach Me Tuesday's link-up! Here is my craftiness of the week:

  5. Wow! Never would have thought just addding color accessories could change the look so well! Great job!

  6. love the brightness! especially the tray next to the coffeemaker!

  7. Great changes - I love turquoise and blues too. That little creamer that the waiter gave you in Vienna is such a sweet momento. What a lovely gesture to give it to you.

  8. oh my gosh, i'm loving the turquoise! and how you made things turquoise like the bike. so great!

  9. I love the combination of turquoise and blues. Hobby Lobby always has a great selection of knobs, don't they?

  10. Wow, you've worked hard on this kitchen!! I love the blue accents. Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  11. Wow GORGEOUS! I love the color turquoise in your kitchen to pop with the browns. Nice work!

  12. I love the turquoise you added to your kitchen!! Looks great and adds so much life, lightness! Great job. I'm so glad you linked up at Romance on a Dime!!

  13. Thank you so much, Gail, for sharing not one, not two, but THREE fabulous posts at Create With Joy - Inspire Me Monday this week! Congratulations - you are one of my featured guests this week!

    I look forward to more inspiration from you - your blog rocks! :-)

    Create With Joy

  14. Wow.. love all the touch ups and and the color inspiration!!

    Thanks for linking up at C&I!


  15. Hi - just to let you know that you were featured this week at Empty Your Archive - thanks so much for linking up, Alice x


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