We don't have real "before" pictures to show you, so instead I'm calling this the "old" versus "new" kitchen. A real before would have a hideous brass and (broken!) amber glass fixture left behind by the previous owners. It would show a kitchen begging to be cleaned. It just wouldn't look good, though the bones were all there.
As soon as we moved in, we replaced the light fixture with a relatively inexpensive one ($39 from Home Depot) that we thought would ultimately fit with the airy space we envisioned. That was well over a year ago. It didn't fit with the "old" kitchen but we love it with the "new" one -- which we'll show you just as soon as everything is all put away and I snap some pics.
Anyway, aside from the light, we also hung up some art, set out our accessories (using only things we owned already), turned an Ikea billy bookcase into a china cabinet to add some more storage, outfitted the space by the window with more old shelves for cookbooks and such, and bought an inexpensive white pedestal table and chairs from Ikea. We also later added more creative storage inside our little pantry and in our cupboards, but I'll save that for another post...
And that pretty much sums up our old kitchen. And here is what we wanted to do:
1. Replace light - done.
2. Create more storage - done.
3. Paint the cabinets (we so hated the orangey wood -- it looks better in photos than in person, it is very early 90s)
4. Paint the walls (it is hard to tell, but they are actually light pink)
5. Replace the appliances - especially the range vent - with sleek stainless steel ones.
6. Update the faucet.
7. Replace the microwave with a smaller, stainless steel one.
8. Possibly extend the cabinets (and say goodbye to our billy bookcase cabinet)
We have only tackled # 1-4 so far. But seriously, paint is amazing. Can't wait to show you!