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kitchen

6 In DIY

Simple Stylings’ Bright & Renovated DIY Kitchen

kitchen-2

I recently caught up with the lovely Summer Hogan, brains behind lifestyle site, Simple Stylings, and she was kind enough to share her stunning DIY kitchen remodel with me, along with insight into her design goals & the challenges she encountered amidst the process. What began as a need to replace some 15+ year old buckling linoleum, morphed into a full-blown gut remodel (as many home projects do!), and the result is equal parts beautiful and functional with a side of bright & happy. If you’re considering tackling a DIY kitchen remodel or just plain love a good BEFORE & AFTER, read on for loads of insight and inspiration.

Let’s start with a look at the BEFORE & the fully gutted space…

The Before & After of Simple Stylings' Bright & Renovated DIY kitchen. The Before & After of Simple Stylings' Bright & Renovated DIY kitchen.

And now for the AFTER: The Before & After of Simple Stylings' Bright & Renovated DIY kitchen. The Before & After of Simple Stylings' Bright & Renovated DIY kitchen.

 What were your main goals for the new kitchen design? My main goals were to create a beautiful space that is also functional for our family. A place where we talk, hang out and cook together. The bar and stools definitely help make the space conducive for that.

What was your biggest design challenge and how did you solve the issue? The biggest challenge for us was cabinets. Brand new custom cabinets were not in the budget and it didn’t make sense to put new countertops, appliances, etc in and leave or just paint the old cabinets. So we compromised and went with the off-the-shelf cabinets from Lowe’s and I stained them myself. I think they turned out great for a fraction of the cost and so far we’ve been happy with them.

What is your most favorite part about your new kitchen? My favorite element is the counter to ceiling subway tile with open shelving but the overall best part is how bright and happy it feels now.

The Before & After of Simple Stylings' Bright & Renovated DIY kitchen. The Before & After of Simple Stylings' Bright & Renovated DIY kitchen.

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Such a gorgeous end result, right?! I can just imagine many a delicious weekend brunch taking place in here! Check out Summer’s blog, Simple Stylings, for the full DIY diary and thought process behind her design plan & material selections.

Photo Credit: Laura Sumrak (@laurasumrak)

The Before & After of Simple Stylings' Bright & Renovated DIY kitchen.

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3 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: 2016 Home Projects (Before & After!)

A look back through the 2016 home projects we tackled this year. Click for the before & afters!

With a full year of home projects under our belts (and because I’m pregnant and unapologetically sentimental right now), I decided to take a look back through everything we’ve tackled in this house so far. Seeing it all rounded up in one place, I almost couldn’t believe how far we’ve come since closing in July of 2015. Though much of the main kitchen and the upstairs apartment kitchen renovations (we have an upstairs apartment that we rent out) were tackled at the end of 2015, finishing touches and the actual blog posts went up in 2016, so I decided to include these spaces as well. I’ve linked each before/after pairing back to the original post in case you want to see more or are looking for a product source. I hope you enjoy the walk back through this year’s home projects as much as I did!

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4 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover

Happy Hump Day! Today I want to share a little backstory on the window makeover in our kitchen. Since we didn’t have the budget to replace the windows with historic-quality glazing (that the house really should have), we decided to keep the existing ones and give them a facelift.

To be honest though, I feel torn about replacing original windows in the first place. In our scenario, the windows are 90 years old, and we’d be lucky to have new windows last half as long. New windows would definitely be more energy efficient, but if their lifespan is shorter, are they really more environmentally friendly? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have an opinion on the topic because I keep going back and forth!

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

Alright, so here was a before shot of the windows (and kitchen). Caramel goodness galore with aged brass hardware on the windows. One thing that was interesting is the kitchen’s woodwork was completely different than the rest of the home’s dark cocoa wood stain. (Before photo courtesy of Zillow.)

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

The window update consisted of fresh paint, refinishing the original window hardware to match the cabinet hardware, and adding window treatments.

With the kitchen’s wood tone being different from the rest of the home, it didn’t matter if we kept the window’s caramel wood tone for consistency’s sake, so we decided to bring on the paint. The window color is Behr Poppy Seed and the trim color is Behr Whisper White. Both paints were satin finish to help with durability and cleanability without being too shiny.

Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi

The hardware makeover just required a bit of elbow grease and some Brasso. (This is not sponsored, I’m just sharing what worked for me.) I unscrewed the handles and window locks from the windows, washed them with soap and water, and scrubbed everything with Brasso to remove the aged look. As long as the hardware is unlacquered the aged metal will clean up in a snap. Seriously like 10 minutes a pop. I picked up pretty brass screws from the hardware store to attach everything back to the windows and dressed the windows with natural woven shades…which were also from the hardware store!

Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi) Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi

Giving Our Windows a Fresh Look on a Budget

PIN-IT-later4 Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi Tips for giving your old windows a new look!

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series here.

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In DIY

Dancing Mannequin Magnets

After a bit of radio silence during a non-stop busy week, I’m back today to #1) wish you a Happy Friday! YAY! And #2) share a fun interactive mannequin magnet project using mini artist’s mannequins from the art store Continue Reading →


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