March 28, 2012

the hutch gets a makeover

It's been awhile since I've posted about our home renovations. Let me tell you, it has been quite an experience. Michael and I bought our home about 8 months ago, 6 months before our wedding. So we had 6 months to try to make it "liveable" before we moved in together.

The most challenging room was the kitchen, for obvious reasons. We had to basically gut the old kitchen and replace the floor, cabinets, countertop, appliances, backsplash, doors, lighting, trim... everything.

We did manage to salvage the top cabinets (we painted them and replaced the doors) and this hutch. I loved the idea of having more storage, and also being able to display some things on the open shelves. But... it needed a facelift.

I should mention that during the "cleaning" stage of our renovation, the hutch was not used to display beautiful vases and glasses. It was the home for Lysol and toilet paper. So classy, right?

So the first thing I did was take off the old doors and hardware. Then I cleaned it. I wiped every surface down with an all-purpose cleaner and when it was dry, Michael used an electric sander to get the previous finish off. Then I coated it with 2 coats of oil based primer.

By the way... I say all this like it's the easiest thing on the planet. It was not easy! Nothing about our renovation was easy. I'm sure I hated this hutch most of the time. But what matters is that I loved it in the end, and I get to enjoy it every day.

After that, I painted the whole thing in white semi-gloss. I kept thinking about what I wanted to display in the shelves, and most things were white or clear. I thought to make those items pop, I could paint just the back of the hutch a dark grey color.

I used a mini roller and edger to get the job done. It took quite a bit of patience, but I think it was worth it.

I also painted the doors for the storage underneath, and replaced the hinges and knobs. Even that small change made a huge difference.

After the paint dried, the fun part was to arrange everything. I thought about this for awhile and planned it out, because I wanted to display things I would really use and have them be in a practical place. In terms of design, it's important to think about balance when you're putting together a large display like this. Notice how the "heaviest" or largest pieces are on both ends, with a few small and medium pieces mixed in the middle. If you put all the large pieces on one side, it would make the whole hutch look unbalanced and strange.

I knew I wanted an area devoted to my favorite beverage on the planet, tea. I was given the white tea set and large glass jar at my bridal shower. I put the glass jar on the end, since it is pretty big. And the white set by itself was a little too bland, so I found that tea jar to bring a pop of color to that arrangement.

Several people have asked me if I actually use what I keep in these canisters. The answer is yes! This is like an extension of my pantry. I love glass canisters for sugar, pasta, beans and chocolate chips because it keeps them dry. Glass is great because it doesn't retain stains or odors, and is chemical free.

So here is the big BEFORE and AFTER of the hutch:

Not bad, huh? I think it looks so clean and I love having the storage space.

Now for some BEFORE and AFTER shots of that whole side of the kitchen:

It was a huge project, but so completely worth it. I adore my kitchen, and having loved ones over to enjoy it with us. There is nothing I love more than cooking up a storm while friends and family sit at our dining room table, laughing and talking. I can't wait for many more years of memories in this kitchen!


  1. Do you know where the glass canisters are from? I've been looking for storage for noodles, rice, etc. and don't like the plastic your glass ones! And they look great on your beautiful hutch!

    1. Yes! They're from Target:

  2. I love this post! It is hard to believe but it is even more beautiful in person! You did an awesome job in that kitchen and I know that hutch is your pride and joy! :)

  3. What an awesome update! It has Nate Berkus written all over it :)

  4. Just found your blog and had to say congrats - you did a beautiful job!
    Thanks for sharing!