It’s pretty easy to recognize a 90s kitchen - just look for bright orange oak cupboards paired with laminate counter tops and something beige. In this case, we really lucked out with the beige on the floor and the laminate in a colour we could work with. As for the orange, paint is a magical thing.
Sure, new cupboards would be incredible but in this case, timing and budget were priorities. Instead we opted to paint the cupboards and update the hardware. I used the same colour as the walls (Mushroom Mousse by Sico) on the upper cabinets and went for a darker grey/black on the lower cabinets (Black Beauty by Benjamin Moore). We used a kitchen/bathroom Velvet paint from Rona - no sanding, just a good cleaning. So far they’ve held up really well. As for hardware, I chose a simple black knob for the uppers and a modern brass pull for the lowers. The lighter colour up top makes the room feel taller (our ceilings are only 8ft) while the black really grounds everything. Plus, there’s no way white lower cabinets are staying clean around here.
Keep scrolling for a few more before photos and (more importantly) all the afters.
It’s amazing how getting rid of the orange wood made everything else seem current. The beige floor tiles are barely noticeable after cleaning the grout. The white backsplash with decorative tile strip now adds texture and detail to an otherwise simple space. Upgrading the appliances also made a huge difference. We went for the Frigidaire Professional line and tied it all together with a new stainless steel faucet.
The layout of the kitchen included space for a breakfast table. Both the table itself and the two black chairs are Facebook Marketplace finds - highly recommend for finding quality furniture pieces at a good price. Along the back wall to the right was a closet-style pantry with sliding doors. We removed those but kept the closet for an open shelving look. To complete the space to the left of the closet, we needed some closed storage for things like smaller appliances and serve-ware. These two Ikea cabinets fit so perfectly. We cut and glued on sections of wall panelling to cover the glass and I absolutely love how they turned out.
Finally, the star of the show has to be this industrial hanging bulb light fixture. Even though it’s fully functional as a light, it’s really more of a suspended art piece. If we hung a flush mount light where an ugly ceiling fan was originally located, the table would interrupt the flow of the room so instead I opted for a swag light. This allowed the breakfast table to sit further in the corner so we can move much more freely in the space. This last photo is the view walking up the stairs into the kitchen - obsessed.