July 10, 2012

Vibrant Kitchen Update

I have had visions of the project I’m sharing today dancing in my head ever since the very day we moved into our home a year and a half ago, and I am so excited to finally be sharing it with you today!

Our kitchen is absolutely, positively the beating heart of our home. We eat our meals here, gathered around a table brimming with food and conversation that nourish our souls as well as our bodies. My children do their homework here. We play board games together, assemble Legos, and draw innumerable pictures. The majority of my sewing projects happen on this table.

With all of its functionality, our kitchen is very near to my heart! The only problem was that until about a month ago, our dining area looked like this:
Uninspired. Blah. And dare I say fairly ugly? 😉
Armed with a vision of the cozy, vibrant space I wanted this little corner to become, I set to work turning it into something special. Here it is today!

My jumping off point for this space were my black and white striped drapes. The moment I first saw these DIY striped drapes over at The Yellow Cape Cod, I knew I had to have some in my kitchen. Instead of using her no-sew option for constructing them, I made these in much the same fashion as the drapes I made for George’s nursery earlier this year. Full details for exactly how I did it are coming up soon, so stay tuned!
I opted to treat the doorway just like I would any other window and flank it with the drapes to give the illusion that it is a window instead of sliding glass doors.
Another big change came in the form of a fantastic new area rug from Flor. I cannot say enough how much I love this rug! It is so easy to clean, so durable, and with Flor’s innovative system that allows you to configure your rug precisely to fit your space, it turned out to be just exactly what I was looking for. I love how the checkerboard pattern of the rug gives the illusion of the checkerboard tile floors that are so current, and it does an absolutely bang-up job of masking the vinyl flooring underneath! (By the way…if you love this rug, stop back in Friday, because I might just have a big surprise in store!)
Next up? Time to give that big, blank wall some TLC! And what better way to do so than with a healthy dose of my beloved polka dots.
Creating the polka dot wall was as easy as can be, using the Large Polka Dot stencil sent to me to try out from Cutting Edge Stencils. This was my first wall stenciling project, and I have to say that I absolutely love this technique! For the background, I used the same blue from my Hallway Command Center project (Paridiso from Benjamin Moore), and I then cut the paint by about 50% with white paint before stenciling on my polka dots. I love how doing the dots in this monochromatic motif makes the polka dots more subtle and sophisticated.
Once the wall stenciling was complete, I applied a faux board and batten treatment to the wall. The helpful folks at Lowe’s once again came through for me in making my board and batten efforts a piece of cake. I walked into the store with a list of specs in hand, and they did the hard work of cutting all of my trim pieces to size. Love that! In my opinion, there is nothing that can be done to a space that will instantly impart more of a homey, intimate feel than adding molding and trim like this. The difference is remarkable!
With the heavy lifting complete, it was time to accessorize! I opted to incorporate the same framed chalkboard (which I made from an ugly old mass-produced painting) and shelving that I had previously used in the space. I also hung my brand-new Romantic Ruffled Wreath and my Ceiling Medallion Wall Clock.
I found these gorgeous vintage botanical prints for free online, so I printed out four onto cardstock and placed them in cheap Walmart frames which I spray-painted white. Not too shabby for $5 a pop!
On the table, the pitcher was a Target purchase from a few months back. I love filling white pitchers with flowers in bold, bright colors for an abundance of inexpensive impact!

The basket and rooster were purchases I snagged on clearance at Home Goods. (They even knocked off an additional 10% from the rooster since he was particularly scuffed up. They are always so great there about doing things like that!)

On the shelf, I framed a poem written by my late grandmother that my mom and I stumbled upon as we were sorting through some of her old things a couple of summers ago. I cherish it!

Last but not least: flowers! Oodles and oodles of flowers. Gerbera daisies were the stars of the floral show here, but I have to say that I firmly believe good ol’ carnations are sorely under-appreciated. They instantly add so much vibrant color to a space, and they are so affordable!

Nearly without fail, each time I embark on a major decorating project like this one, I find myself with a serious case of Gotta-Have-It-Itis. Unfortunately, this project was no exception. Suddenly, when looking at gorgeous spaces in my favorite magazines and catalogs to inspire my efforts, my old, wood-grain-formica-topped kitchen table (which we inherited from my husband’s grandmother when we married) and our less-than-showroom-worthy vinyl floors left me feeling a bit decor deflated. Not to mention, heavy sliding glass doors leading into our back yard aren’t nearly as attractive a dining backdrop as a nice, airy picture window would be.
I learned something so important in this project, friends: Satisfaction in one’s home can only be achieved when you stop focusing on what you don’t have and start appreciating what you do.
I love the natural light in this room. The long, blank wall that houses so much decorating potential. The vintage look of our dining chairs, some of which I sat on at my family’s kitchen table when I was a little girl.
As I embarked on this project, I determined myself to focus on what I liked instead of dwelling on the not-so-stellar elements. The end result is one of my most gratifying decor projects to date!

I hope you’ve been inspired to take a fresh, positive look at some of the spaces in your home, too!


Linking this to…
Serenity Now
Tidy Mom
Tatertots and Jello
Skip to My Lou

Disclosure: I received free product to incorporate into this project. All opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.

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58 Responses to Vibrant Kitchen Update

  1. Jill @ Create.Craft.Love. July 10, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    That is beautiful and inspiring! I love the polkadot wall! I want to do that to our guest bath. And those curtains really make the whole thing POP! Wonderful job!!

  2. Heidi @ Decor & More July 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Wonderful inspiring post, Amy! Love your “new” space and your fresh perspective. You’ve hit all the right notes on all counts. 🙂
    xo Heidi

  3. I love everything about this! It looks like such a happy space. The drapes are my favorite!!!

  4. The Yellow Cape Cod July 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow! Your dining room looks awesome. Love the color combo, the polka dot wall and the poem is so sweet. Love it all! Thanks for mentioning my drapes. ~Sarah

  5. southernscraps July 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Amazing transformation! Your space is beautiful!

  6. Carolyn July 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Spectacular! I love the orange and yellow together. Very nice.

  7. Bonnie @ Uncommon July 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Amy…this looks amazing! LOVE the polkadot wall!! And that floor rug….wow!!! The colors are perfect as welll! Great job!

  8. Finding Home July 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Wow. Magazine worthy. Every detail is beautiful. Take care, laura

  9. nest of posies July 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm #


    what an incredible change. it’s so YOU! bright, vibrant & fabulous. love the wall & the curtains.



  10. Jenni Swenson July 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    It is beautiful. And I love people who use what they have. The striped drapes are perfect!

  11. Tracy - {CraftJunkieToo} July 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Absolutely stunning Amy — you defintiely have an eye for decor and your blog writing is superb! 🙂

  12. Twigs and Twirls July 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL !!! Seriously I am in awe over this. Great inspiration and thanks for the link to the prints they are amazing.

  13. Missy Anne @ Wonder Lane Art July 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Drop dead gorgeous makeover! I love the polka dot touch, the bright color choices but still how airy and open your kitchen feels! Love, love, love!

  14. Jen @ My Own Road July 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Oh wow, such a beautiful space! I love the mixture of colors and pattern, simply gorgeous

  15. Grammy Goodwill July 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    I love it!!!! Your wall looks great. I can’t believe the difference your accessories made. I also really like the curtains. They give the room such a finished look.

  16. GirlRural.com July 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I absolutely love everything you’ve done in your space. From the adorable tabletop accessories to that stunning focal wall this is such an inspiring space. Our dining room is equally important in our home. I’ve even added a bookshelf since it’s often a place to read as well!

  17. Shelly @A Creative Space July 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful transformation!! Definitely comes through just as you were imagining. Your grandmother’s poem is a very sweet touch. 🙂

  18. Sue July 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    You definitely accomplished your goal! It looks lovely , warm, cheery and inviting!

  19. Raquel Úria July 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    It’s so absolutely beautiful it made me wish I could start painting my own kitchen walls right away! It’s energizing indeed!

    Hugs from Europe! 🙂

  20. Just My Type Transcription July 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    I absolutely love this, definitely great inspiration. Our kitchen eating area has two long walls such as pictured, which have been empty because I can’t figure out what to do. One side is cluttered and rivals with school paperwork and the other is bare as can be. This is great and thanks for sharing!

  21. Amanda @ Serenity Now July 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Bravo, Amy! I just love your style and your use of color. 🙂 I also love how you share your heart on your blog…I feel like we’d hit it off in “real life.” 🙂 I think it looks like a completely new space. You styled it all so nicely!

    I live in an older home and we don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on decor stuff lately…it IS hard to work on sprucing up your space and feeling like it might not be up to par when you compare it to bloggers who are able to redo everything.

  22. Cherished Bliss July 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Beautiful Kitchen Update!! I love your chalkboard Menu and all the lovely details! : ) I Pinned it!

  23. Kara July 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Love, love, love it Amy! The light blue polka dot wall with all the pops of red is just gorgeous! And I love how you framed your door with curtains. I think I’m gonna have to copy that idea. 🙂

  24. jaime ♥ raising up rubies July 10, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    girl this is just the cutest thing!!!
    I love everything about it…so sweet & cheerful, the gallery wall is gorgeous with just the right amount of color…and love the chalkboard with the wreath!!
    ♥ much love
    (and that poem from your grandma is so precious!)

  25. Jordi July 10, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous. Wish i could come up with ideas like this!! Can’t wait for your drapes tutorial!!

  26. casadeberry July 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Amy, this looks wonderful!!! I love the dining room and how truly colorful and vibrant it is!

  27. Leigh Anne July 11, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    Awesome job! Love the colors and curtains….they all work so well together. I especially love your comments at the end….so TRUE!

  28. The Pennington Point July 11, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    Love, love, love! The curtains are my favorite, but I love the flor too. Wait no…the wall…Oh I can’t decide. I’ll bet you just love going in there now. Lisa~

  29. Kristin July 11, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Those curtains are AmmAzInggg:) Love Love. Thanks for sharing this with us. I also like how you did those red tones and black with the dark wood. Such a beautiful job..Kristin

  30. KQD July 11, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    “I learned something so important in this project, friends: Satisfaction in one’s home can only be achieved when you stop focusing on what you don’t have and start appreciating what you do.” I really have to remember and focus on this. I am also totally stealing the red frame idea!

  31. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} July 11, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Absolutely stunning, Amy!! A total transformation. I love all of the color and patterns! Fabulosity!

  32. Virginia Celoria July 11, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    Wow, I’m pretty much in love with those curtains – they’d look amazing in any room, but they are gorgeous here. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Britni@Hubby Made Me July 11, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    I love all the color!! All your hard work definitely paid off. It makes me happy just looking at the room, I can’t imagine actually sitting in it! Gorgeous!

  34. Sewing-Chick July 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Your eating area is beautiful! I love the red framed chalk board!

  35. Kathryn Ferguson Griffin July 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    This is such a lovely, fresh, and bright space! I adore it. Visiting from Look What I Made. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2012/07/make-it-pretty-monday-week-5.html Wishing you a grand week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  36. The Cottage Mama July 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Absolutely stunning! You did an amazing job. I love your use of bright color. Your home must feel so happy!!

  37. Netties Expressions July 12, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    There’s so many things I love about your kitchen update! The rug is adorable! I love the board and batten treatment that you did! I’m still waiting to try this sometime… 🙂 Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

  38. Allie July 13, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Love this, Amy! So beautiful! The colors are so great. Definitely vibrant. I’d be totally fine with you coming to decorate my kitchen, too. 🙂 I featured this post on my blog today! Hope you have a great weekend. http://missloviecreations.blogspot.com/2012/07/my-favorite-things-thursday-coming-to.html

  39. Pam Marchitti July 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm #


  40. thefinestkind July 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Clap Clap Clap!!! LOVE it!!!!

  41. Mary Beth July 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    You have an amazing talent…..EVERYTHING is absolutely perfect…wow! Blessings, mb

  42. Gina July 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    This is really beautiful! I love every little perfect detail. You did an excellent job!

  43. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper July 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    what a gorgeous and happy space! love the red!

  44. So...Look What I Made July 16, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    I really love your kitchen makeover! The colors are great and the curtain is perfect!

  45. Tanya July 17, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Beautiful makeover. Love, love, love your colours!

  46. Kim July 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Wow! So bright and cheery. Love the new look! Did you ever think about painting the chairs? I think they would rock out in red!

  47. Life With Lucy July 19, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    You did such an amazing job- it’s so bright & unique, reflecting you so well! love everything you do, but this is one of my new favorites! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Jenn Brown August 1, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    I would have never thought of a polka dot wall! It looks amazing with the red and black

  49. Karad December 25, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Using this for inspiration in our kitchen. I have to ask where do you find the time? Very lovely.

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid December 31, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      I do most of my creating while my children are sleeping. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  50. evaelisa December 30, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    love that table and chairs!

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid December 31, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      Thank you very much!

  51. Kelsey March 13, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Absolutely gorgeous! So cheerful and bright, it’s inviting! Where on earth did you find that adorable clock? I love it!

  52. ellen May 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    This is beautiful!! LOVE the polka dot wall and love the color combos!! such an inspiration but thinking for my living room actually! 🙂 Question: what’s the color yellow you used on the curtain wall?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid May 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      Thanks so much, Ellen! That is actually a yellowy-taupe color by Porter Paints called Sienna Sand.

  53. CeeCee October 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Beautiful transformation.ci feel warm and fuzzy when I look at this dining room.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid October 22, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      Thank you, CeeCee!

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