Embracing The Wood {And A Mini Kitchen Makeover}

Happy new year everyone!  The new year around here is bringing some much needed de-cluttering and organizing and it feels so good.  I am determined to get rid of a lot of stuff that I am no longer using, accessorize less, and just enjoy simplicity.  I still will have accessories, but hopefully in a less cluttery way.  We’ll see how that goes. :)

When I asked you all if I should paint our kitchen cabinets white in this post, it looks like the majority vote is about half in half.  And thank you all for chiming in on that post and giving me your 2 cents and advice.  I really appreciate it.  And for now, I am going with the half of you who said not to paint them.  As my title says, I am embracing the wood which I do love, and will just admire other people’s white kitchens from afar. :)  I don’t want to deal with chippy paint and don’t want to have to wipe them down everyday.  That just wouldn’t happen around here.

So in order to get my white craving fix, I did make a few changes by simply bringing in white through my accessories.  And I had everything already, so it was free.  I did splurge on one thing, and I love it!  Will show you later in the post.

So here is the kitchen before…

Too much going on, yes?  Having stuff all over the bar was driving me nutty too.  And look at the side of the fridge and on top of the fridge?  Just a big clutter zone.

And here it is after de-cluttering and adding white accessories already on hand.

Much better right?  I moved my coffee filter wreath above the pantry door and love it there.  And I love everything off of the bar, and less things on the countertops.  And no more refrigerator clutter!

Here are a few more pics.

And my splurge was…

That beautiful fruit bowl.  It was exactly what I was looking for, and it’s the Emma Footed Fruit Bowl from Pottery Barn.  Leave it to Pottery Barn to have what I was looking for. :)

It’s very simple changes like this that will completely change the feeling of a room. It feels like a new kitchen to me, hence the reason I called it a mini makeover.  And now my white kitchen cravings have been satisfied without breaking the bank, and that makes me happy.  I still think a new creamy white backsplash will finish off this look, along with a new sink and fixture.  In time, my friends. :)

I love the changes to our kitchen.  What do you think?  Have you been de-cluttering too?  It’s always in the air this time of year. :)

P.S.- the paint color in the kitchen is Tobacco Road.  It’s probably the #1 question asked, and you can read about it here. :)

I’ll be sharing this post at Nester’s paint party and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party,



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  1. adding white to the room did lighten up the place! I would definitely consider painting them some more. I don’t know what people were saying about chippy paint and wiping them everyday. If you’re gonna have chippy paint, then you probably have chippy wood. Because that means you’re hard on your cabinets! Also, Idon’t have to wipe mine down every day. I do wipe them down at least once or twice a week but I did that before I painted them. If you love the look, get they look!

    • Nope, don’t have chippy wood. But if they were painted, then yes, that would occur as well as fingerprints, scuff marks, toddler prints, etc. And since the kitchen is used a minimum of 3 times a day, yes, we are hard on our cabinets.

      But like I said, I do love the wood cabinets still so they will be staying. Glad you love your white cabinets though!

  2. I like all of the white you added, it really does look brighter and fresher. I have white cabinets, and while I love them they do get dirty. I had to move the hardware so hands wouldn’t touch the actual cabinet, and that helped a lot. I personally say, do what makes you happiest!

  3. I love your kitchen. Your cabinets look great. I wish mine were like yours instead of me having to acctually paint them.

  4. Looks great! I think staying with the wood is a very smart decision… we can all have our dreams… but sometimes we just have to make the decision that allows for simplicity and ease.

    I’ve really been loving white accessories lately too!

  5. Oh I love your cabinets and I am so happy you decided to not paint them. They are gorgeous. The white accessories totally change the look and feel. It is so much light and inviting. Great job. Hugs, Marty

  6. I’ve been dying to know what is under your chalkboard? did you fancy up the area of your trash can? C’mon, spill ;) No seriously, I’d love to know what that is :)

  7. Looks SO great, just adding the white really takes the wood down a few notches. Although I have a white kitchen and wouldn’t trade it for the gross cabinets we were *blessed* with, it is a lot of work to clean it. And with two small kids, most days my cabinets look gross.

    I have a wood/white trim struggle going on in my house (and head) right now and I think I’ll be taking a cue from this post. Thanks! Happy 2011 to you. :)

  8. It looks great!

  9. Looks great! I LOVE the new location of your coffee filter wreath! =)

  10. Looks great! It’s amazing what a few small changes can do for a room.

  11. I love it Emily! I especially love that you accomplished it with what you have, and only added one new special piece (which I think you will appreciate more by doing so). It really opened up the space! I am right there with ya. When I redesigned our kitchen last summer (new countertops and backsplash) I wanted simple and uncluttered. Now I feel like there is too much stuff on the counters. I will be simplifying this week!

  12. Although I do love a white kitchen, it isn’t for me in the real world. We use our kitchen a lot and the kids are a bit messy. I love wood cabinets and I think the look is here to stay. Don’t get me wrong, white is nice too but not everyone wants something that high maintenance. I would have to wipe mine down several times a day, for sure.

  13. it really works for ya! it definitely does seem brighter, but i really wanted to tell you that the groupings you did above the cabinets look great. i think that’s super smart, instead of spreading all those plates out, which would definitely look more cluttered.

  14. I’m so glad that you decided not to paint your cabinets! The new white accessories make the room look nice and sharp and look great against the tobacco road paint. Your de-cluttering has inspired me to do the same with my fridge and counter tops! How many cook books on the counter is too many? :) FYI…I got a sample of T.B. and it was way too yellow for my house; it doesn’t get a ton of natural light, so it would be super dark. However, it is an awesome color.

    • Thanks Beth! I’m sorry TR didn’t work out for you. Did you use the formula I posted or another one?

      • Yes, I used your formula and took it over to Lowe’s. I put it on my wall with colors such as S.W. Macadamia, S.W. Kilim Beige, S.W. Pavilion Beige, S.W. Favorite Tan, and Behr Gobi Desert. It looked SUPER yellow/gold compared to those colors! :) I knew it had gold tones, but I didn’t see much neutral color in it. Maybe I should have gotten it mixed at Sherwin Williams instead?

  15. I don’t think that I commented on the white cabinets, but my vote would’ve been to leave them. I think that they are so pretty! I love what you did w/ all the white accesories, its amazing how much that can change the look! I just wonder how long the “white kitchen” look will stay around, ya know?
    Yep I’m on the de-cluttering war path now!! :)

    • Thanks so much Denissa! Well white kitchens are very popular right now, but they are also timeless as well and shouldn’t go out of style. Let’s bring the wood back, yes? :)

  16. I really like the contrast the Tobacco Road gives the white decorations. Very nice! I think starting with smaller changes is wise and if in the future you are still dreaming of the painted cabinets, you’ll be able to make a more confident decision. I think your kitchen looks lovely!

  17. Love your blog BTW! I think it is ok. I personally think that the color you had in the kitchen added some warmth up in there.
    Love the lamp, the fruit bowl and the chalkboard. What is a coffee filter wreath??

  18. I love the white with the natural wood!…So Pretty!
    I have white cabinets and I HATE trying to keep them clean with four kids!
    I am actually painting my cabinets blue…Keep following me for parts to my kitchen re-do this week and next!


  19. That bowl! It was worth it for that alone :) It looks so clean and fresh and think of all the hours you saved by not painting!!

  20. I think it looks great! Love all of the accents of white that you used! Especially love the fruit bowl! I recently just painted my cabinets a cream color and so far have no regrets, its only been a little over a month, but so far, no problems with chipping. You can find the post on my site if your interested. My cabinets prior to painting were not nearly as beautiful as yours though….would definitely have to think hard about painting those beauties!

    • Oh great I’ll check it out on your blog! I’m glad you are having good luck with yours though. If mine weren’t real wood or some other builder-grade material, I wouldn’t really hesitate. I’d probably just procrastinate that hard project! :)

  21. Wow, I love the “simple” changes you made that really made a difference. I also have dark cherry cabinets and can see how doing something similar in my kitchen would work well to brighten it up a bit. I love the idea of a creamy backsplash — do you have any picture ideas of what you had in mind? We still need to do a backsplash, so I’m open to ideas. Thanks for all the great inspiring ideas!

    • Thanks Heidi! I would really love to get a creamy white subway tiled backsplash. It’s not trendy, still looks hip though, and never goes out of style. Would love to get a creamy white farmhouse sink as well. :)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Looks great! We have people coming over on Sat for one last holiday hurrah and then it’s away with counter clutter for me too! Can’t hardly wait!

  23. Looks like a brand new kitchen…nice job!

  24. I love the kitchen! I have also been thinking about painting my cabinets white, and have decided to absolutely NOT do it. The wood is just too pretty – your cabinets are gorgeous!


  25. Oh, how pretty! What a difference that made!

  26. I’m all about white kitchens, but I love yours as is. Your cabinets have such nice detail that I’d hesitate to paint them too! I just came across your blog from Thrifty Decor Chick, and I’m your newest follower!

  27. Your kitchen is beautiful but if you constantly dream of a white kitchen then go for it. I’ve painted my cabinets in 2 houses now. Even after swearing I would never do it again after the first time! Just use a good primer and paint. And definitely do the prep work, like sanding and washing down everything. I put a sealer over mine too and after 6 years it still looks great.

  28. Your kitchen looks so beautiful! I adore the stain on your cabinets. Mine are blonde and in the right light take on a rather unappealing yellow tint. Re-staining them similar to yours would be wonderful, though.

    p.s. Isn’t it crazy how much better it feels just to get rid of stuff?!

  29. WOW!! It looks great. Such a difference. It really brightened up your whole kitchen!

  30. love how the white accessories brighten up your space! great idea.

  31. It always amazes me how removing the clutter can visually change the space. It seems much more peaceful and calm and with the white accent pieces has a whole new look. Shopping the house can be so great when you need that decorating fix! Great job!

  32. Happy New Year! Love the ‘new’ look and gave you a shout out for one of your ideas!!


  33. Wow! Amazing what those white accessories can do to lighten up your space! Love how it looks and love the coffee filter wreath. One of these days I need to make one. I love how full they are!!

  34. Love Tobacco Road; it’s the BEST color. I really like the simple changes you made. By the way, my kitchen is white and I’m DYING to paint some of the cabinetry black. Isn’t that funny? I am just SO OVER all the white. It is a PIA to keep clean in a house full of kids, a hunter, and real cooks.

  35. Kitchen: Love! Footed Fruit Bowl: Adore!
    Price to come visit you, and enjoy your awesome photos: Priceless!
    hugs from the High Street Cottage, xoxo tami

  36. I was so glad to see your post. Your kitchen looks lovely with the addition of the white accessories and the de-cluttering. I have stained oak cabinets in my kitchen as well and have been debating about painting them white. I think I will give your idea a try first and see if that satisfies the ‘white’ craving in me. Thanks for sharing.

  37. I absolutely love the changes you made with the touches of white in your kitchen. It’s perfect. It feels really calm and inviting too. Great job!

  38. I’m so happy to see a beautiful kitchen with unpainted cabinets! I would love to paint my golden honey oak cabinets but that is one thing my sweet hubby DOES NOT want me to do. He graciously let me get white quartz countertops and he made me a white ceramic tile back splash, but he won’t give in on the cabinet painting issue. But after seeing pics of your lovely unpainted cabinets, I realize natural CAN be beautiful too!

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

  39. You did it your way and it works!

  40. Love, love, love the changes! The white accessories definitely standout more as a result of the wood tone offset. Decluttering always helps too. It feels so much fresher! I think you made a smart choice.

    Now if you get a hankering again in the future to rethink the white cabinet approach, my rec is save some of the wood tone by keeping your lower cabinets as they are & paint out the top ones. It’ll keep the grime & wear factor much lower & still visually brighten the space tons, especially in your open spaces.

  41. Obviously, I’m a little late chiming in on this one, but I thought you might appreciate another opinion on whether or not to paint your cabinets. First off, you should know that I painted my solid oak cabinets an off white and I LOVE them. I don’t have a lot of chipping problems, and its been 3 years. I’ve only retouched 2 or 3 times and it was portions of the cabinets that aren’t seen on the outside. It took a weekend to do, with the help of a rented paint gun, and the paint was a cabinet paint from Benjamin Moore. Love it! Nevertheless, I would advise you to keep yours wood! Why? I had oak floors and oak cabinets. Way too much wood! It was cheaper and faster to change the cabinets than the floor. I love the look of a dark floor and light cabinets…or in your case, the opposite! You made a good choice!

  42. I love your kitchen. I too have honey oak cabinets and also honey oak flooring. What color did you use on the walls in your kitchen. I want to repaint my kitchen too and liven it up a bit. Thanks JC


  1. […] bought that to add to my Emma collection (from Pottery Barn) because I love it so much. I have the fruit bowl that you’ve all seen many times too. I hope to get the dinnerware one […]

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