Our Kitchen Renovation

Friends, I know I have been promising you a reveal of our kitchen renovation for MONTHS!! I just couldn’t seem to get all the accessorizing done and curtains made and blah blah blah. But it’s as done now as it’s going to get for a while, so I’m ready to show it off. I thank you in advance for not thinking I’m being boastful about it. We’ve been in our house five years now, and while our other kitchen was functional and we were grateful to have it, it needed a little (ahem – a lot!!) of updating.

Let’s review what we started with…

Our home was built in 1981. (I believe the decorating is more from the 70’s than the 80’s however, hence the 1978 reference above!) We purchased it five years ago with the intent of renovating every nook and cranny. We have done a TON of work, but the kitchen had remained untouched until a few months ago. It’s a big, expensive project and we knew we needed to save our pennies and PLAN, PLAN, PLAN so that we didn’t make design mistakes. We only get one shot at this so we wanted to do it right the first time.

Functionally, it was a great space. The open concept was actually ahead of it’s time in 1981, and the abundance of cabinet space was, too. The black appliances are actually new. When we moved in, the appliances were a lovely shade of harvest gold. They all gave way during the first year we lived here, so they were all switched out.

This little desk area works well as a storage spot for purses, bills, mail, invitations, etc. But it had this weird overhang that we didn’t really know what to do with. And while we loved the storage above it, it was always a mess. No amount of organizing seemed to keep it tidy.

And the materials used in our space, while I’m sure were avant garde in 1981, are definitely NOT in 2012.

We kept the functionality pretty much the same. As I said, it worked well for a bustling family who spends as much time in the kitchen as we do.

Are you ready to see how it turned out?

Close your eyes.

1-2-3 OPEN!!!!!

Of course, the most dramatic change was the color of the cabinets. I looked at so many options, but I kept coming back to white upper cabs with a turquoise color on the bottoms. I have to admit, I fall in love with this room all over again every time I walk into it. It is the most cheerful and happy room in our home – as well it should be. We spend lots of happy hours in here.

We took out the soffits around the top of the cabinets and raised them to the ceiling. This not only gave us a ton of extra storage space, but it made our ceilings look higher!

New lighting was a huge part of this project. We removed the overhead fluorescent fixture and added recessed lighting in the ceiling. The outdated track lighting was removed and we installed two lovely pendants. Under-cabinet lighting went all around to serve as task lighting. It has made a world of difference, as I can see what I’m doing!!

The desk space stays much neater now that we closed in the cabinets and added the baskets. That odd space became a handy shelf for my cookbooks.

Our contractor even had the bright idea to put our plugs up high under the cabinets so that they didn’t interrupt the look of the subway tile. It looks so crisp and clean without a plug every two feet, even though they are really there.

I opened up these cabinets because I adore the look of open shelves in a kitchen. I store my dishes here because they usually stay pretty tidy. The white dishes are the everyday dinnerware we got when we married. I added the colorful bowls from Anthropologie. The green Emile Henry baker came from Williams-Sonoma and it was also a wedding gift.

The shelf flanking the other side of the sink holds more of our casual dinnerware, as well as our glasses and more cookbooks. They green mixing bowl is a treasured gift from my mom. It was my grandmother’s mixing bowl, so it holds a very special place in my heart and in my kitchen.

My big girl made this print in VBS this year, and I loved it so much I framed it and put it on my desk. It’s a wonderful reminder that even the young ones can be an example to us adults when they have Christ-like character. And we older folks should show them the respect they deserve for it!

We chose oil-rubbed bronze as the finish on the faucet, cabinet knobs, and drawer pulls. I like how they look against the colorful cabinets, and they do not show fingerprints. Yay!

And we opted for an over-sized, single bowl, undermount sink. I don’t miss the shallow double bowl sink at all. This sink can hold a dishwasher load of dishes and you can never even see them. Not that I would know, of course, because my dishes always go right into the dishwasher and are NEVER stacked in the sink. Ahem.

So that’s where we spend the majority of our days. We had happy days in our old kitchen, and we’ve had even more happy ones in the new kitchen. The most special thing about this space is the people who I share it with. It serves as a space to prepare food with love for my littles and their daddy and our dear family and friends. Old or new, if your kitchen can do that, then it’s a glorious place!

Linking up to:
Home Stories A to Z
Cheerios and Latte
Uncommonly Yours
Collage Friday
Tuesday Time Out
Savvy Southern Style


  1. BEAUTIFUL! It looks like a completely different kitchen, I love everything! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Awesome and amazing.. Great job.. Beautiful work..

  3. Woah!!!! I love love love it!!!! I really like what you did with the desk hang area!!! Colors, doors, lighting, fixtures…. Everything…. Sooo beautiful!!!

  4. Love it! Great job Ashley. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love, love, love a useful kitchen…. a beautiful one at that! Looks great!

  6. Yaaaayyyyyy!!! I’m so excited to see it besides just in the banner! It looks beautiful. The cookbook shelf is my fave, but I would love a reference on your roman shade fabric. It is the perfect little pop of color!! Great job.

  7. Wow! You did a lovely job! Your new kitchen looks absolutely amazing! You did a fantastic job of updating it and making it fabulous! You must be so happy working in that beautiful space now! Have a lovely week! Angie xo

  8. Cynthia Moss says

    Looks fabulous! I would never have been brave enough to do the turquoise myself but I LOVE it! Also love the simplicity of the subway tile backsplash.

  9. Kelly - TheNODramaMama says

    Your kitchen looks INCREDIBLE! I want to cook in it! Great job!

  10. Beautiful job!! I love it. You DO have a fabulously open kitchen – I’m glad you have it how you like it now!

  11. This is such a beautiful transformation! I just love your cabinets down to the tiniest detail! Thanks for sharing with us this week! Enjoy your weekend!

    Take care,


  12. Looks great Ashley! If we still lived right down the street I would have stollen your contractor to redo ours!

  13. Jennifer Wood says

    Ashley, Your kitchen looks beautiful!! We are making plans to do ours, but saving our pennies too(: What contractor did you use?? Thanks for the pics! And I have fallen in love with the anthro bowls also!!

  14. I love this! It’s beautiful… I especially adore the turquoise cabinets on the bottom. That’s a very happy touch to the whole kitchen!

    I’m so glad to have “met” you online this week, and it’s great you linked with Collage Friday. I’m off to poke around your blog a bit more!!

    The place we stayed was at Lake Rabun — the Lake Rabun Hotel. It was really lovely. I highly recommend going there – and the vineyard was the Tiger Mountain Vineyard.

  15. Your kitchen looks amazing! Well done!

  16. Nif @ Call Me Nif says

    Wow! I’m in love with your “new” kitchen! All of your details, from extending the cabinets, to the sink and cabinet hardware, to the turquoise, to the lighting, to the bookcase…. it’s all perfect! You all did a great job planning and executing this makeover. Congrats, and thanks for sharing!

  17. This is so beautiful! Great job. I would like to feature this on the CSI Project next week as part of kitchen makeover week.
    email if you are interested, [email protected]


    WOW! What a amazing transformation! I am absolutely taken by it and I really like the turquoise cabinets. It all turned out beautifully!


  19. Fabulous transformation. Love the turquoise, so pretty. Amazing job. Hugs, Marty

  20. amazing!!! love the cabinets and the side shelf idea…and everything else!!!

  21. Simply beautiful. Love the idea of putting the plus up high under the cabinets. Never thought of that.

  22. It looks AMAZING! It really doesn’t even look like the same room. And the turquoise is to die for!

  23. Wow, beautiful makeover! We are in the process of getting cabinet refacing done, and still have to pick out new countertops and back-splash to go with it. So many options to choose from, I don’t even know where to start! This is just lovely!

  24. Nice remodel. Could you do domething similar with the background for your website. It’s so busy, I can’t read the text because of eye strain.

    • thehillhangout says

      Thanks for the compliment on the remodel. It will probably be a while before I change the design of the blog, as we just had this done a few months ago. However, I would suggest that you either subscribe by RSS or email. That way, you can see the content of my posts, but on a background of your choice. Thanks for reading!

  25. I am loving the roman shade. Did you make this and if so what fabric, or did you buy this & where?

  26. Your kitchen looks so fabulous! I am having a little bit of a hard time seeing the flooring. Is it hardwood? If so, has it been difficult to care for?

    • thehillhangout says

      It is a dark hardwood. We went with hardwoods in the kitchen because our house is very open, and the flooring needed to be the same in the kitchen, breakfast room, and den. The den has a vaulted ceiling with dark beams, so we wanted to balance it with the floors. I LOVE the way the floors turned out. The dark color does, of course, mean I sweep several times a day because everything shows. But they look so good I haven’t minded it πŸ™‚ They provide a nice anchor for the rest of the kitchen and tie in well with the darkness of the oil-rubbed bronze fixtures. Thanks for stopping by.

  27. Beautiful kitchen!!!! I just found you, so maybe I am asking a question you have already answered on previous posts (haven’t had time to read your archives yet…but I will!)…..

    Are your cabinets new or did you paint the old ones? If you did…..can you briefly explain the process. I am about to begin painting and I have heard a lot of different ways from a lot of different people. Your’s are gorgeous, so thought I’d ask you!

    Enjoy that kitchen!!!!

  28. Can you please tell me what paint colors you used on the upper and lower cabinets. I absolutely love them!

  29. Wendy Taylor says

    Hi there. I LOVE your kitchen remodel. I am in the process of working on my kitchen as well. Unfortunately, we aren’t spending the money to replace our countertops, or do any type of construction, so I have to work around the existing cabinets and countertop color. I think I’ve tried about a million different paint samples on my cabinets so far, and I’m having a really hard time picking one that I love. I absolutely love the turquoise color you chose. Can you please tell me what color it is? I’m hoping it will go with our countertops enough to pull it off, and that my husband won’t kill me for it. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much!!

  30. Jessy Wilkins says

    Hi Ashley! I saw a couple of others comment about the shade of turquoise you chose for your lower cabinets, but didn’t ever see the exact name. Could you email it to me! Looks great.

  31. What color did you use for the upper cabinets. I have the same granite and am looking to paint my cabinets. Also, what color is the back splash tile? I love what you did!!!

    • Ashley Mills Hill says

      Thank you! Backsplash tile is white with white grout. If I had it to do over, the grout color is the only change I might make. The white grout absorbs Windex and turns blue, so I might go with a gray grout. And I love the way gray grout looks with white tile. I don’t remember the paint color, but it was a very light slate gray from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot (or maybe her line is at Lowe’s).

  32. Love the window treatment! The colors are great! Did you have it made or was is bought? I’ve been looking for something for awhile. Thanks for sharing your remodel, it looks amazing.

    • Ashley Mills Hill says

      I made it myself from a piece of fabric I found at a fabric store. It was super-easy, as I used spring curtain rods to do the folds.

  33. Alisha Cody says

    Hi, I know this post was from several years ago but I am currently planning my own kitchen remodel and love yours so much! Can you email me the shade of paint you used for the upper and lower cabinets? And are the counter tops granite?

    Thank you so much!

    • Ashley Mills Hill says

      Thanks for stopping by. The top cabinets are Gull MSL256 and the bottoms are Aegean Blue MSL118, both in the Martha Stewart Living line of paints. I’m not sure if they make that line anymore, but we got it at either Lowe’s or Home Depot. The countertops are granite, but I don’t know a color on those. Good luck on your reno!

  34. Looks so nice! What is the color of the backsplash? Where can I order it from? I’m doing a kitchen reno also, and I’m stuck on the backsplash. This works really well

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