Adding Color + Openness in the Kitchen

Like I said the other day, I am slow going so far this year, so bear with me on projects.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with me – I really need to get my butt into action.  For the first time this year, I FINALLY got my DIY groove on in the last 2 days, got my paints out, and started my first project of the year.  Give me a big YAHOO!

For my Lowe’s challenge this month, the focus is on creating creative storage solutions.  Great topic, but organizing + storage really isn’t my forte.  I’m good at designing rooms and coming up with outside-the-box ideas, but organizing isn’t really my strong suit.  Hey, I guess you can’t be great at everything.

Anyway, since my focus the end of last year was on the kitchen, I decided to continue with the space in attempting some sort of organization.  After adding cork board (and a few other details) to the inside of the interior cabinet doors, I decided to move things around a bit and at the same time decided to add a bit more color. You know me + color!

Take a look and I’ll share the 411 on the other side.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

My kitchen has had quite the transformation over the years and somehow the changes never end.  I guess that’s a good thing, right?!

The big change – painting of the cabinets and counters – happened over 2 years ago, but there have been other updates since then like taking the mouldings from wood to white, adding new bamboo shades @ the windows, changing the hi-hat to a recessed light, and creating an eclectic photo wall (which is continuously growing).

Most recently after the interior organization of the cabinets was complete (well kind of, since my organizational skills are 100%) I decided to change the look of the cabinet-turned-open-shelf.  The baskets that have been there for some time held the kids plates, cups, etc.  Now that they’re getting older and pretty much using/eating form the same stuff as us, the baskets weren’t needed as much.  In turn, I decided to move our everyday dinner plates, ‘salad’ plates, and bowls to the open shelves.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

After living with it for a few weeks, the space was calling for color.

No more plain taupe!

> before <Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

Apple green would do!

It’s a color that’s in many other areas of my home (like the front door, powder room, and other decor accents) and it would be the perfect tie in.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.netAdding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.netAdding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.netThe color is actually a mix because I didn’t have enough of my loved Valspar Olive Tree and I was too lazy to go out and get more. It’s pretty much though the same color as the other greens.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.netAdding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

I gave the interior of the cabinet 2 thorough coats using a brush.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

The only area that I decided to leave the gray / taupe cabinet color was the face of the shelves.  I went to paint them, but thought the contrast to the green would make them stand out more.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

In not too long of a time, this spot of the kitchen looked totally different.  And a day later (time is needed for the paint to dry and it really takes paint a few weeks to totally cure) it was ready to fill.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

The green background really brings a nice, but not overly powerful, pop to the kitchen.  I love how the white dishes (which are from Crate & Barrel bought for our wedding over 10 years ago) are set off from the brighter / darker background.

Along with the plates, I decided to add a picture to the back of the cabinet.  It’s a unique, unexpected element.

Art in the kitchen – why not??

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

Beneath the open cabinet is the perfect spot for cookbooks and my adorable new elephant salt + pepper shakers that I just got on clearance from Pottery Barn.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

If you’ve seen my eclectic family wall before, you may have noticed it’s grown.  I love how this wall truly reflects us; our family.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

And of course, while I was photographing the space, there was a photobomb.  This time it wasn’t the kids, but instead our cute all-white siamese kitty, Samson.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

Lastly, I have you know, are kitchen never looks as neat (and organized) as I’m showing you in the pictures.  SOooo  to keep it real, here’s a “reality” shot of how the space looked before the “shoot” began.

Reality Kitchen

Please tell me I’m not the only one with a kitchen and ‘real’ home that looks like this…

I hope I inspired you to love your kitchen and even if you have a low or no budget, some easy, inexpensive, and quick updates can be done.  In all, our total kitchen transformation to date (minus the appliances because they were all bought new 2 years ago) has been about $400.  Not too bad to get a before and after like this…

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

Pretty crazy how this space has changed and by the way the color on the walls is still the same.

Adding color + openness in the kitchen by @Jenna_Burger,

As my DIY projects start rolling out for the year ahead, I plan on making a few changes around here that I hope you’ll understand. I’ve heard of a lot of bloggers choosing ‘one word’ for the year.  I’m not really following along, but instead have a goal of ‘keeping it real’ more.  Along with the blog and my personal home projects, my design business keeps me very busy and I can’t always get to personal projects everyday.  As of late, it seems only on the weekends or between when dinner is put into the oven + when it’s done = not much time.  Anyway, my focus for the year is to let go of the anxiety of getting a post up just for the sake of it and instead showing you real projects in real time. I have some wow announcements coming up + some fun projects planned to accompany.  As always, my main goal for blogging is to document my progress and inspire YOU.  Thanks, as always, for following along on this crazy, but exciting adventure!!

O, more thing…

If you’re interested in more ideas for open shelves in the kitchen, this post is a must-read…

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Lowes Winter 2014 badge

To gather even more unique, fun, and creative ideas for your indoor and outdoor Winter spaces, I would definitely suggest downloading the Lowe’s Creative Ideas app on your iphone and/or ipad.  I’m always checking out the FREE app for great seasonal + do-it-yourself inspiration. And even better, this Pallet Christmas Countdown creation will be featured in the upcoming Winter guide – how cool, right?!


Also consider following Lowe’s on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram as well.

 Disclosure: I am part of the Lowe’s Creative Team and was provided with a Lowe’s gift card to purchase items for my project.  I was also compensated for my time to use the products.  No one told me what to create, what to buy, how to use the product, or what to write.  All opinions are 100% mine!

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  1. Donna says

    Love all of your ideas. Very real and most changes are definitely affordable.

    Thanks and keep us posted on more changes you’ll be doing.


  2. Ann says

    I recently found your blog via BHG magazine and enjoy your projects. I noticed your kitchen valance today but couldn’t find a post about it. Will you be writing about it soon?

    • Jenna says

      Hi Ann, Thanks for your kind thoughts! I haven’t shared anything about the valance in the recent kitchen update because it was brought in for a magazine photoshoot and since it hasn’t been published yet, details have to stay quiet. That being said though, I will say, it’s from Smith and Noble.
      xo Jenna

  3. says

    I’m a little slow at getting going on projects post-Christmas too. Must kick into gear! Your kitchen changes look fantastic. One of my goals for this year is to inject freshness and function into our kitchen. I think a bit of open shelving is the way to go.

  4. says

    Although open shelves would spell disaster for me (hardly a tidy person), I really like what you did here. By removing a door and just changing paint colors, you went from traditional to modern and creating visual interest using your everyday kitchen items!

    • Jenna says

      That’s very much appreciated – thanks Ellen! It’s amazing how one spot can truly add in lots of color and interest. xo Jenna

  5. Andrea says

    I like the dash of color. I like the look of open shelves but I don’t think I could keep the shelves clean. I also like your gallery on the wall. I have an akward wall in our kitchen and you may have given me an idea to do my own.

  6. Cassandra says

    Jenna, I’ve been reading and following your blog for a while and love your ideas! Thanks for also showing the “not so perfect” side of things, I need to know I’m not the only Mom with a messy kitchen sometimes!

    Anyway…my question is, did you just do this one cabinet open and painted? How does it look with the other cabinets closed? Does it look out of place?

    • Jenna says

      Yes Cassandra, the only open cabinet is this side cabinet and it made the most sense since it’s towards the side of the kitchen. It doesn’t stand out at all or look out of place. I feel it just enhances the interest of the space. When choosing a cabinet to “open up”, it is important to think how it will relate to the rest of the kitchen. Sometimes it can be one cabinet or maybe a symmetrical pairing on the sides of an oven.