My kitchen makeunder

Lately, my kitchen became a source of angst. I didn’t like being there.
Even my ceiling made me say “Ick.”

Check out that pendant lamp. Eeesh.
That flowery wallpaper border screams “bathroom” to me.
There’s just too much STUFF in here. It’s too crowded and frilly.

No wonder I don’t like cooking.
I had to do something, fast. And cheap.
I started by taking down the wallpaper border:

I discovered that wallpaper is the devil’s handmaiden.
No matter how much I scrubbed, a wallpaper residue remained.
Eventually, I just painted over it with leftover paint. It worked like a charm!
Then I sorted through my cookbooks. Many of them I don’t use, so I gave them away.
I put the ones I like into the pantry and moved the scrolled iron bookcase out of the kitchen.

Room to breathe.

My husband installed a new light fixture that I got from a big box store.
I got rid of the old lace valances and sewed up some new ones.
Then I did something really controversial…

I used a silk fern for the kitchen centerpiece.
Decorating experts say that silk flowers are gauche,
but silk ferns don’t shed and they require very little water.

I admit it. I like silk flowers. Do you?

Instead of the flowery border, I called the nice gals at Willow Creek Signs
and special ordered a vinyl border that says it all:

and …

I’m hoping people will be too busy reading that they won’t notice our ancient microwave.
That thing will never EVER die, so we’re holding onto it until forever.

I discovered that taking things OUT of my house feels good.
Let’s hear it for simplicity!


Here’s what it cost:

Painting, wallpaper removal, scrubbing, organizing, throwing out stuff – FREE!
Fun vinyl border for the soffit above the cabinets – about $55
New hanging lamp from hardware store – about $100
Fabric for valence – $30


The whole “back to school” vibe has gotten me on an organizing kick.
How ’bout you? Have you performed a make-under lately?


This post was linked up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party.
We also linked up to The Inspired Room’s Fall Nesting Party.

Amy K September 1, 2010 at 6:33 am

Your makeover is beautiful. My kiddos start back to school today, so within the next week I will be completing closet purges.

Elizabeth September 1, 2010 at 6:57 am

My kitchen desperately needs a make over/under! It still has the original avacado green laminate countertops that came with the house when it was built. Plus an avacado green oven and ugly laminate flooring. You can see a picture of it here –

I love your saying on the soffit!!!! That is sooooo much better than the usual “family is love” or some other common, boring phrase.
Elizabeth´s last blog post ..Product Review – Child Emergency ID kits and more

Christine September 1, 2010 at 7:34 am

“Makeunder” nice! It just goes to show…sometimes less really is more. I love the vinyl saying-very original. Between you and me, I am a huge fan of silk flowers, etc. There’s no possible way I can kill them!
Christine´s last blog post ..Can she do it

Kate September 1, 2010 at 9:15 am

Ah! I love it! The saying is so you, and your kitchen looks great. I have a secret too….I have 2 silk ferns in my kitchen! Lol!

Suzanne September 1, 2010 at 9:17 am

Way to go, Lynn! Your kitchen has been transformed and I must say, I really like your choices. I adore vinyl wall sayings and yours is absolutely perfect; it’s your humor to a T. 🙂
Suzanne´s last blog post ..TCOY Lessons From My Favorite Bloggers Aug10

joy September 1, 2010 at 10:03 am

Bye Bye Border Bye Bye! It looks great. I love the make-under. Your wall words are fabulous. Oh, and I also have silk plants hanging around. They work for me as they don’t die from lack of water, but they might suffocate with dust….
♥ Joy

Valerene Matthews September 1, 2010 at 10:42 am

Ohyes, this is much better. I especially like the new lamp! I just bought one and am doing a dining room makeover myself. Imma tellin’ you it’s reading all that centsational girl that’s doing it. I blame it all on her.
Valerene Matthews´s last blog post ..My Boss- Madam Cruella deVille

Valerene Matthews September 1, 2010 at 10:45 am

I wouldn’t mind silk ferns and flowers if I can find any around here that look real enough. But this is my opinion now only because my African Violetted. sob.
Valerene Matthews´s last blog post ..My Boss- Madam Cruella deVille

Ramblings of a Woman September 1, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Your kitchen looks great! I love your quote, sounds like it suits you to a T! Getting rid of stuff and clearing out is good for the soul and mind. I am on a bookshelf clearing binge this week. Currently posting 2 whole boxes on Amazon to see if I can rid myself of them. If not, off to goodwill!
Ramblings of a Woman´s last blog post ..The Cure for the American Dream

MammaNette September 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Love reading your blog. I would love to have the exact same saying – but smaller. Hope you don’t mind if I copy you. (It is a form of flattery, you know )

The Mrs. September 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Wow, Lynn! That room looks a thousand times cleaner, calmer, more balanced, and up to date. Beautiful work! Those little wreaths on your cabinetry are a nice touch, too… interesting but not fussy. Are you excited to dive into another room, or are you wiped out after doing your daughter’s bedroom and the kitchen?

Annette green September 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm

As soon as I stop laughing about the silk plant needing “very little water” I’ll agree that your simple improvements made a big impact!

The Retired One September 1, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I LOVE it….we have also pared down quite a bit in our “decorating”…we used to live in a Victorian so it was all about the lace, the frills, the antiques, etc…now we are in a log home so I went with cleaner lines…except in our basement , where we did the walls with old barnwood and it is FILLED with fishing memorabilia, hunting decorations, etc…but that doesn’t count, right????
The Retired One´s last blog post ..Here they ARE!!Augusts Photo Contest Entries!!

J.J. September 2, 2010 at 12:26 am

I love the yellow walls and the view out your kitchen windows!

And love the border! In my house it wouldn’t include ‘normal lives’. Only because we’re not normal.
J.J.´s last blog post ..Do you like feeling good- and making others feel better

Diana September 2, 2010 at 12:38 am

We received a wonderful gift of a make-above… new roof!

LOVE how your kitchen was transformed into such a lovely new look. Awesome! Great job, Lynn!
Diana´s last blog post ..hummingbirds

Amber September 2, 2010 at 1:20 am

I love the decal! Sweet. I’m still not afraid to invite myself over for dinner…
Amber´s last blog post ..Amdizzle

Maureen September 2, 2010 at 10:35 am

No make-under here; a complete and total make-OVER with a kitchen renovation. The old kitchen – gutted; new kitchen – almost done. Almost. It has been almost done all summer. Almost. This renovation has taken a very long time. The contractor knows each of my housecoats from my morning pass through the space. He’s seen every variety of bed-head. I am loving everything “new”, but also got a huge charge out of tossing out many old (apparently) “treasures”.

I enjoy the vinyl wall sayings. We have put some up on the hallway walls of our nursing home. They are meaningful and poignant and serve as a good reminder to live life well, no matter the stage of life you’re in.

Sue at Beach Bungalow September 7, 2010 at 7:40 am

Wicked; love it!


Heather September 7, 2010 at 4:17 pm

It looks great! Congrats!

Tracy Deupree September 8, 2010 at 12:11 am

What a change. I love me some faux flowers/greenery. Real plants are for outside! I had fun touring your new space.

suzanne September 8, 2010 at 9:39 am

Oh, it looks much better…I did a kitchen makeover of sorts after an encounter with a hurricane, but guess what………I have that SAME kitchen fixture still in place…it REALLY needs to go after seeing yours. GREAT job…and no, I don’t mind silk flowers until they get dusty. I have some and they get dusty. But they can look nice. Like what you’ve done!

good call on removing the wallpaper border! 😀
suzanne´s last blog post ..Fall Nesting PARTEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurel September 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

That quote makes me laugh! How funny!

Ellie September 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I love how clean and simple your dining area looks now. And that quote is hilarious!

pamela September 9, 2010 at 11:01 am

I am visiting via Inspired Room and I agree and did a similarly themed post about wanting to bring in a fresher, cleaner, edited version of fall this year.
Those yellow walls are stunning and changing up the window valences took ten years off this room. You have to be so happy with it. I love it.

Karen B September 20, 2010 at 12:59 am

It look great! What a big difference.

Sarah September 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Great job!! Love the quote! 🙂

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