…living well: what to do about your kitchen

Let’s take a quick peek into our kitchen. I realize that this is a big one. The kitchen requires more money, more time, more imagination to change and update.

What little things could we do to improve our kitchens if we cannot renovate right now?

1. Ikea is such a great option. When DH and I renovated literally every room in our first home the kitchen was easily changed thanks to Ikea. Their kitchen products were a great alternative to expensive brands and are meant to be installed by the home owner. My favorite item was the farmhouse sink that we purchased and installed. You never would have known it was from Ikea. It looked very high-end.


2. Paint. You know I will always push painting. If you hate your dated cabinets, please consider painting. You can use any furniture paint, including Chalk Paint. You will transform the room. Go lighter. White is always a great option as it goes with most countertops.


3. Furniture. Think about replacing any dated tables and stools. There are some amazing sales going on right now. I have had such luck at Overstock with dining and kitchen chairs.

Can’t do any of the above? You can still organize & accessorize.

1. Declutter. Nothing looks more chaotic an messy than a bunch of stuff on your countertops. Even if you need everything (as we do in our kitchens) you can still put things away after every use. Clean off everything on your countertops. Make piles of what you hate, what you need and what you can store.

2. Storage. Pretty, graduated canisters always work to store you K Cups, sugar, flour, etc. Hide every little electronic appliance that you can. There is not need to leave out a blender all year round. Hide it.


3. Decor. Think about buying a beautiful fruit bowl or basket that you can leave in the middle of your countertop. Fill it with fruit or at Christmas fill with pinecones. In the fall you can fill with pumpkins. You will get so much use from it. I have a huge urn in the middle of my island that I continually play with and never move.



Simple fixes will really help you to feel like you are living well. Even just organizing your space and your things will bring about a lighter feel. I always sa I can think better when my house is organized.



  1. Rose Beckhurst says:

    My hubby and i just bought our first home 8 months ago and we also purchase the farmhouse sink from ikea we also changed the worktops to oak ones from ikea and i painted the cabinets ascp cream. We had hardly any money but it has made it look 100% better, everyone thinks weve had bespoke hand painted units when in actual fact they are cheap maple effect laminate ones! Great post Christen

  2. Do you happen to know the source or paint color of the cabinets, breakfront, etc. in the second photo above. Looking for a putty like color for my kitchen. Great post.

  3. Barbara A Ryan says:

    Christen, I love this post about kitchens! I have just finished a redo of my kitchen …to help enable us to sell our home quickly…we hope! I did put in all new stainless steel appliances…and we did invest in new dark granite countertops. Whenit came to the kitchen cabinets, I was convinced that these were ok as is….even though I had always disliked the builder oak color of them. After we put in new overhead island pendant lights…I said NO! You are going to have to paint these cabinets, they just looked so dated! I chose to use Anne Sloan Chalk Paint in the color cream, after watching several of your tutorials! This really made the kitchen look great! I painted the island in ASCP in coco…..and put new knobs on everything,……..What a difference! The paint is pricey, but its nothing compared to the cost of new cabinetry! Thanks for those helpful tutorials……….I wouldnt have started this without having seen them,…got so many ideas! I just love your style!

  4. Jerri – in ASCP, I would guess your closest match would be country gray. French linen – more gray than putty, but an earthy gray – would be another color to consider.

  5. Tami Montgomery says:

    I’ve been watching your tutorial’s on chalk painting through you tube. I am so excited to get started thanks to you. you make it look so easy. I was just wondering where’s the best place to purchase Annie Sloan’s chalk paint & her other products.

    Thank you so much, keep up the great tutorials .

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