One Year Later: How has the kitchen held up?

It’s been just over one year since I finished up our kitchen renovation so today I wanted to chat a little bit about how everything has held up, where I need some touch-ups, and what small detail I still need to address.

The kitchen is truly the heart of our home, but when we first moved in, it didn’t really reflect our family well. I still dream of a full kitchen remodel, complete with a different layout, but a relatively inexpensive Phase One renovation (coming in right around $1000, not counting the new fridge we had to buy when our old one died) has made a HUGE difference in the meantime.

I still absolutely love so many things about this kitchen. I love the barstools – the wood brings in warmth to the space, they’re comfortable, and easy for the kids to climb up and down. I love the light fixture above the island – it’s about 100x better than the fluorescent light that was there previously! I recently took all the globes off and cleaned the whole fixture since it does collect some dust and it’s looking particularly shiny and new again.

I still love the color of the cabinets and how the blue-green-gray chameleon color plays off the warm tones in the black quartz countertops (which I didn’t originally like but now I think they work well with the other changes in the space!) I love the repurposed bead board backsplash, the warm white walls, the updated can lighting – this room still makes me smile everyday! Even though I know a different layout will work better for our family and we will change things up in the future, this kitchen fits us right now and I know I’ll even be a bit sad to eventually see it go.

So now that it’s been over a year, how has this renovation held up? Let’s chat!

Cabinets

You might notice that every photo makes the cabinet color look slightly different – that’s not an editing trick! This is a true chameleon color and it changes depending on lighting, time of day, and angle of your view. I still love the color (SW Link Gray) and it has mostly held up well on the cabinets. I think choosing a higher-quality paint really made a big difference in this space that gets a ton of traffic and use.

That being said, there are a few cabinets that need touching up around the knobs. These are the most-frequently used cabinets (trash can, silverware, plates and bowls) and over time, the constant friction of fingers and/or nails around the knobs has worn away the paint. Our trash can and silverware drawers (pictured below) are particularly bad because our kids also use these two cabinets and they’re not especially gentle users, ha!

Luckily, this is a super easy fix. Today, I’m going to go through and quick touch up these spots with a roller and they’ll look good as new! The rest of the cabinets have held up well and still look great.

Backsplash

One of my favorite updates to this space was removing the old tile backsplash and replacing it with the bead board paneling that we ripped out of our office. We painted it SW Agreeable Gray and it looks so great in its new home. Bonus that it was free! 😉

There are just a few little spots that need touching up, and again, it’s in the most frequently used space: behind the sink and drying rack. Since this spot is a major player in our daily kitchen use, it obviously gets a ton of use and over time, small nicks in the paint have occurred. Again, it’s an easy fix and today I’ll be going over those spots with a roller and get it back to looking fresh.

Also with the backsplash, I’m going to run another bead of clear acrylic latex caulk along the seam between the bead board and the counter to reinforce the waterproofing behind the sink. We have had no issues over the past year, but I want to keep it that way so I plan to just re-caulk once a year or so in this spot to keep things waterproof.

The Vent

This kitchen may look finished, but it’s actually part of the 95% club. In other words, I got 95% of the way done, hit a point of exhaustion, and didn’t finish the last thing I needed to do to actually make it finished. And that thing is…the vent.

Above the kids’ craft area is a vent that had been painted the same brown color as the walls. I meant to paint this the same color as the white walls (SW Alabaster) but it just . . . never happened. And now it’s been over a year and I am sick and tired of staring at it and thinking “I really need to get that painted” so today is the day! I am going to check this off the list and get this kitchen DONE!

A few other small things I’m going to do in the kitchen today:

  1. Paint a second coat underneath the cabinet in the kids’ craft area. I was running low on paint when I first did the cabinets, and this was the very last one I painted. I went sparingly on the underside to conserve paint but I have a small sample jar now and I’m going to give it a good second coat so it looks nicer.
  2. Do some thrifting for a different utensil crock. The orange has been fun, but it’s time for something that works better in the space. I might not find one today, but if not it’s going to be on my list of top things to look for in future thrifting trips.
  3. Remove the bits of black paint that got on the window while painting. Another small detail that I didn’t take time to address the first time – when I painted the window sashes black, a small bit got on the sides of the window. Since it’s latex paint, it’s easy to take a baby wipe and just scrape it off but I haven’t taken the time to do it. Today is the day to get it done!
  4. Tighten up the screws on the barstools. These counter stools were a great find and overall I’ve been pleased with them. They clean easily, still look great, and were a really great price point. That being said, over time, the screws do loosen a bit and the chairs can get wobbly. Probably once every 2-3 months I go through and just re-tighten any loose screws and they’re sturdy once again. It’s not ideal, but it only takes 10-15 minutes and it was honestly worth it to have no other complaints about the chairs and be happy with the price point.

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Trim + Backsplash Color: Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray

Window Color: Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black

Cabinet Color: Sherwin Williams Link Gray

Light Fixture

Counter Stools 

LED Recessed Lights 

Kitchen Rug (similar here)

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