a kitchen refresh





Hello everyone.  This is my friend Judie's kitchen, or what it looked like just a few weeks ago.  She had turned the house into a rental several years ago and when she decided to move back in, her tenants had vandalized the house.  It's hard to see in this photo but they had stomped on the island and it destroyed the structure so the sink was actually sinking.  Many of the cabinets were ruined as were the countertops.  There was extensive damage throughout the house and Judie was pretty distraught as to how to fix it all. Luckily her insurance came through and she could make all the repairs but she was still a bit lost as to how and where to start and remain on budget.






That's when she invited me into her home to help.  We started with the kitchen.  The decision was made to save the existing cabinets and have them repaired or replaced.






We had them painted in Benjamin Moore's Simply White because I think it's the most beautiful white paint on the market.





The island was rebuilt and it begged to be painted Benjamin Moore's Old Navy.  So we did.







I took this photo yesterday and even though the cabinet pulls are not on yet, you get the gist.








Gorgeous, right?!









I'll do another post soon listing all the finishes, product details and more pictures of the rest of the house as progress is made.  It is going to be so beautiful!  What do you think? xo



72 comments

  1. Not finished, it's already a blessing.

    XO T

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  2. Beautiful friendship, beautiful kindness, beautiful kitchen!

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  3. Wow it looks beautiful! Very open, bright and airy. On a side note, ugh it annoys me how some people treat their rentals. Up until several months ago, I'd always been a renter but took care of all my rentals the same as I would my own home! I just don't understand some people! Anyway, great job on the kitchen:)

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  4. Wow oh wow Janet! What an incredible makeover...magazine worthy! I hope to have the same subway tile someday when I have a new kitchen. And I love, love the island! How nice of you to help out.

    Linda
    xo

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  5. Ugh there was a time where I could have scooped up some rental property but fear of renters and landlording kept me away. How distressing to have this happen! It's good in a roundabout way that the damage was enough for insurance to come through and that this beautiful Phoenix could rise from the ashes! It looks beautiful! Do you already have pulls? I love mine so much and they were about $6/each on Amazon!

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    1. the pulls have been ordered. they are similar to yours but a brushed stainless. thanks! x

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  6. You nailed it!

    So sorry your friend had to deal with horrible renters..ugh.

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  7. Looks wonderful! Glad you were able to turn a negative to a very pretty positive. The island is great. Friendships are a blessing through thick and thin.

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  8. The miracle of paint and "Simply White" is simply the best. (Also, the navy contrast) It looks fantastic!

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  9. I think it is spectacular! Well done! And as always, I appreciate seeing people re-use what they have - easier on the environment and the wallet.

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  10. What a difference you've made! It doesn't look like the same space. The combination of white and navy is a favorite of mine in kitchens.

    NancyO.

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  11. You've been busy! Stunning transformation.

    In the (many) years of my life now, I've heard or seen one story after another about not just tenants but also homeowners who let a house 'go' (to ruin) or also further destroy it - - out of what negative emotions I can't even fathom. I had someone in my own extended family, I'm embarrassed to say, who lost their home (in this case, due to their own extravagant fault) in The Recession, about 7 or 8 years ago, and I was appalled (distressed!) to learn later about the condition they left the house in for the bank. I talked to a guy once who, during that time, was a locksmith who had to go into those types of homes and secure them once the bank took possession, and he said he'd run into places where anything that could have been ripped out/ripped off was done...and the worst was when he'd find a dog or cat left behind. A friend of mine bought a modest condo for investment in the 90s and when one renter left, they'd punched a big hole in the wall. I mean, HUGE. There hadn't even been any bad blood between them, so she was shocked. She felt personally violated although of course it's a business relationship.

    My parents had a neighbor who lost her house (again, hard to understand, because when she was widowed, mortgage insurance paid off the home), and I went into it when a guy hired by the bank was brought in with the sole purpose of just removing trash and items left behind. I didn't intend to, but he'd set out a lot of plants on the driveway and I said, "If you're putting these in that dumpster, can I take them?" (I still have them; it's been 19 years and they all survived, mostly succulents.) He said, "There's more inside; c'mon in, take anything you want, it'll make my job easier." Well, I didn't take anything more, it just didn't feel right...but I was astounded; the homeowner (a softspoken, gentle-seeming person) had left a pile of trash about four feet high in the living room alone. It made me feel badly, for the whole situation. Recently, a deteriorated, long-foreclosed home in our neighborhood was completely, beautifully rehabbed by a flipper...he truly did a first-rate job; he brought in all the right people and made it a full-time endeavor over three months...and he told me that from what he could determine, renters had clearly chopped wood for the fireplace in the living room on the hardwood floor; actual ax dents in that lovely 60-year-old floor. I was a renter for many, many years...like, aggregate, 23 years in adult life...and tried really hard to respect, for my own pride and wellbeing, where I lived. Bad tenants give all the rest of us a bad name.

    You've done something so positive here to help someone, Janet! It's absolutely beautiful.

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    1. I've studied and studied these photos since you posted them. The lighting in the ceiling is also a really nice touch. Our last remodeling project is the kitchen in June, so you've given me a lot of ideas. Janet, what is the material for the counter tops? To me, it is great to see something other than the requisite (patterned) granite. I find it overused. May I ask also, because I'm a novice and not a painter, what grade of 'gloss' are those paint colors? More details!!

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    2. vicki i wanted to answer quick in case i can't actually write the post for a few days. the countertops are NGY stone in Ajax White. If you google it you'll see up close images. It's an artificial stone and v reasonable. The cabinets are 1 step below high gloss (can't think of the BM finish right now) and the walls are their version of satin. hope this helps.

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    3. Yes, it helps; it helps! I copied this off (your post) for my husband to read and view. We installed white subway style in our master bath when I had the little cottage (house before this one); bathroom had to be gutted (from 1930s). I'd stolen some ideas from Rachel Ashwell! I love it. I love tile in general, especially antique tile. I read later here that more than one reader wanted to know about your countertops; they're awesome! As it stands right now, we have to repaint our exterior house doors because my husband used a not-high-enough gloss; it's too flat and shows too many wear marks. We're still learning, always learning...

      Thanks for the answer...really looking forward to more of this house remodel, Janet. As others have said, it's your calling...

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  13. Lovely. What a transformation! It's so sad when rental homes take such abuse. Our 1922 bungalow had been a rental for so many years and it showed when we first bought it. We've done a lot of repairs over the years. I heard from a former neighbor that the kids who lived in our house once were little hellions!
    Claudia

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  14. One of the richest treasures in life is to have a friend come along side us, and help turn overwhelming messes into something beautiful. Kimberly

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  15. That is really beautiful! I need to refresh our kitchen and I LOVE your ideas and colors!!! Well done! What are the counter tops?

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    1. they are artificial stone by NGY Stone in Ajax white.

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  16. You have such a great eye for classic beautiful design Janet. Great job!

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  17. It's amazing what a beautiful white paint can do. Gorgeous change. Good color choice on the island as well.

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  18. Love it! Perfection!

    Laura

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  19. The change is unreal ! Absolutely beautiful - great job !

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  20. Janet,
    What a beautiful kitchen you've helped your friend create for herself. I find it sad that there are people too blind to realize that doing that kind of vandalism are truly damaging themselves at the same time. Karma can be a tough grader. I'll look forward to seeing the magic you always manage on your friends house in the other rooms.
    xo,
    karen

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  21. Absolutely love this. Last year I did kitchen overhaul with an all-white color scheme and had the lower cabinets painted in bright navy, so I'm already sold on this scheme.

    Truly criminal the total disregard some people have for others and their properties. It's a sign of the coarse times we live in. So sad.

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  22. Looking so fresh and beautiful. Love it. Kay

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  23. Thanks for sharing this project. Very nice job. It looks just great.

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  24. What a stunning transformation! She's lucky to have your help. Doesn't even look like the same space.

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  25. What a fabulous makeover. Well done Janet. A pox on bad tenants!!

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  26. Yes! I could move into that kitchen with never-ending delight! That blue is perfection. Please tell what the countertops are.

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  27. Really amazing Janet, well done. This has your style all over it: classic, fresh, simple but with gorgeous finishes and beautiful colour choices.
    You've taken something distressing, nightmare renters, and turned it around, I can't wait to see the rest of the house. xx

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  28. Its stunning...I love the use of white with navy and can imagine a few pieces of blue and white porcelain in the mix!
    You are such a great friend Janet...and how unfortunate that the tenants had trashed your friends' home. Great news that her insurance covered the repairs...

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  29. YES!
    A BEAUTIFUL NEW KITCHEN with YOUR STAMP the roses!!!!!!!!!!!XX

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  30. This is so inspiring! I thank you, my S.O. maybe not so much!

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  31. It does look wonderful! Your choice of the navy is perfect. Glad your friend is able to come back from such a mess.

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  32. 1. And that's why Charlie stayed in NJ while the house was on the market. We didn't want to rent it for that very reason.
    2. You had me at Simply White and Old Navy. That kitchen is stunning.
    xoxo

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  33. WOW- that is one gorgeous makeover. I don't know how you do it but everything you touch seems to just sparkle. I cannot wait to see the rest of this gorgeous home transformation. As a single mom on a very limited budget, I greatly admire how you use what you have to make an elegant and beautiful space. You have truly been an inspiration and I want you to know how much I appreciate your blog.

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    1. thank you so much dana. what a lovely comment. :) x

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  34. Gorgeous indeed. I think you missed your calling!

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  35. I think is this spectacular, in so few changes, a complete transformation. And, should you ever want to do this as a living, I imagine you'd be spectacularly successful.

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  36. It looks fantastic. What a great space and you certainly maximized it's charm.

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  37. Wonderfull! What vision you have! So happy Judie had team Janet on her side. Cannot wait to see the rest of the house.

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  38. An amazing transformation, Janet. Something beautiful came out of a terrible experience. Lucky for your friend that she had you by her side, I'm sure you chivvied her along through the inspiring makeover.

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  39. There is nothing like a blue/white combination that says fresh & clean! I love transformations like this...with a positive story to go along with it. Great job!!

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

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  40. Simply beautiful. The subway tile backsplash is particularly spectacular, in my opinion. I can't wait to see the pulls/hardware you selected...

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  41. This is lovely and simple- I love it so much! Great job! Can't wait to see the finished results.

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  42. I am always struck by the gentleness you approach all your projects with. Less is more and kindness to the environment is always a consideration. Thank you for those reminders!
    Jeane

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  43. I'm loving navy blue these days. It's so great! Love the new floors too. Looking forward to seeing the rest of her place!

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  44. Builder is coming tomorrow to discuss changes to kitchen. Now I have pictures to show him. Yours.

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  45. What a transformation! BM simply white and navy ( and the sunray on the island, gorgeous! ) paint makes the kitchen look classic. I'm waiting to see the end results. Beautiful job, Kathleen in Az

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  46. What a great post! Well done! ☺️

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  47. Oh my! What a beautiful transformation! Love the navy island. So fresh and just gorgeous!

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  48. I can't wait to see the rest, especially the drawer pulls. It will be a peaceful and light filled "heart of the home". The navy blue island balances and grounds the white cupboards and beautiful tall ceiling. I just love what you've done.
    Melanie

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  49. Oh, I meant to ask what kind of stove is it? It looks like a really nice stove top to work on.
    Melanie

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  50. stunning!!!

    how awful that the tenants vandalised the house!!! xxx

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  51. What a huge transformation. The kitchen is a stunner now. So glad Judy's insurance came through. Because our property manager did not file a police report when our Henderson house was trashed, our insurance would not pay out. I look forward to seeing more of your magic!

    Bravo!

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  52. Awesome job and awesome friend you are for helping out! It's just beautiful.

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  53. Really wonderful, Janet, great choices!!

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  54. Simply, wow! Wonderful vision and simplicity!

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  55. Gorgeous!!!! Who makes the stove?

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  56. I wish I had a friend like you! It looks gorgeous, so fresh and the dark blus island really grounds the whole room. Great job! (And I am appaled that the previous renters trashed the place, what a horrbible experience for the owner.)

    /Bea

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  57. Fresh, inviting, and happily affordably accomplished. Congratulations. Eager to see the rest of this home returning to its full potential.

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  58. Looks. Fabulous. Love. Love. Love.

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kindness is never out of style.

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