Images: Anna Crofford //


Where: Richmond, Virginia.

Residents: Anna, her husband Sean and their two daughters- Mae & Josephine. 

Image: Studio Sea Photography

After purchasing their home in 2015, Anna knew that it was just a matter of time until she’d take up the gauntlet and update their kitchen.

“We put the kitchen on the back burner though and tackled a few updates, including our main bathroom. We love the charm of our 1952 Cape Cod, but it definitely had/has it’s “problems”.

So here’s what it used to look like:Which, if we may add, is not shabby at all, though we can totally relate to their need to redecorate and add some colorful punch to it.


Step 1: Flooring

The first thing they did was to remove the vinyl flooring and replace it with a hardwood floor.

It’s a hardwood that is produced to match older hardwoods. We used the prefinished in Natural White Oak.”

Having a hardwood floor that can elegantly match itself to an existing hardwood floor is priceless when it comes to partial renovation projects.

As some of you may remember from Sandra Baker’s house, renovating your home using a room-by-room strategy can create numerous challenges, and most notably the struggle to keeping everything united and coherent with the current design.

“We had a local Richmond company install. They look great and match (except for wear) almost perfectly to the original hardwoods we have throughout the main floor.” 


Step 2: Lighting

“The next phase of the update was lighting. We replaced the pendant light over the sink with one I found on Wayfair.”

“We also replaced the overhead (dated builder-grade) light with a track light. Our kitchen is dark, with only one window, so I needed bright task lighting. It’s not my favorite, but it was very hard to find a brass track light within our budget! I got that at”

Lighting is one of the most important things when it comes to decorating and creating an atmosphere in your space. It’s literally a game changer so don’t ever cut corners.

If you’re having a hard time with power point installments, you can always buy a floor lamp or a table lamp.


Step 3: The Cabinets

Replacing the cabinets is probably the most expensive part of this project, but Anna came up with a great idea that saved them a lot of money.

“We contemplated doing a whole new IKEA kitchen, but the thought of doing all that work ourselves, especially when we don’t even have square walls, made me want to cry. So we decided this summer to finally complete the update using the existing original 1950s cabinets.” 

“The cabinets are wood and in decent shape, so we painted them using Valspar’s cabinet paint in “Ultra White” semigloss. We changed the hinges from white to antiqued brass from The knobs are also from Wayfair”

Changing the hinges was the game changer in the case of the cabinets, while not being the least bit expensive. It’s like when replacing the legs of your sofa or chair. You think it’s just going to be nice, but then you realize that it turned it into a completely different and upgraded furniture. Oh hail small renovation- after


Step 4: Ceiling

While being the least noticeable thing, a fresh looking ceiling creates a great impact, even if we’re unaware of it.

“We repainted the ceiling bright white and the walls in Sherwin Williams’ “Glacial Stream” in eggshell.”

“We then hired a company out of Maryland to replace the countertops and backsplash. I picked out the backsplash at Floor and Decor: “Antique Blue” , the countertops are quartz.

They chose to use white grout. It’s amazing how two similar backsplashes can look so different with different grout colors. Choose your grout wisely! 



Step 5: Appliances and Backsplash

When it comes to appliances, the sky is the limit. And in many cases, getting new appliances will suffice to make you feel like Bobby Berk just renovated your space.

This is what Anna had in mind when she chose her kitchen appliances:

“We had very old black appliances, so we updated them with some white appliances. My goal was to keep the kitchen bright and airy because it gets very little natural light. It’s also small, so keeping things white helps it feel bigger.”

“I almost went white with the backsplash as well, but wanted to break up the space a little with color. This also brought in the blue from other rooms in our home to the space.”

kitchen renovation before and after
The backsplash before.

And we are so glad you didn’t go white and chose this awesome color for your backsplash because it looks amazing!

kitchen renovation before and after
The new backsplash.

kitchn renovation before and after

“I love the combination of white+wood+blue so this kitchen is very much me. It’s not perfect (still need to finish some trim work), but it is just perfect for our home and family!”

It’s cute perfect and fun. We absolutely love it!

kitchen renovation before and after

Finally, we asked Anna to provide us with five tips for people who want to renovate their house without hiring professionals:

1. Decide what “big impact” changes you want to make for the space. For us, it was the flooring and counters. We spent the bulk of our budget on these items and made sure they were quality products as we will likely never need to update them. (Hence we went with timeless/neutral products).

2. You can usually find good deals on lighting and that makes a huge impact on updating a space! 

3. Hardware is another place you can make a big change in a space. If you have the money to spend, nice wood hardware will really upgrade your space. But we went with fairly cheap hardware, and you can usually find hardware at ReStore by Habitat for Humanity.  

4. Paint!! I know this is a given, but a fresh coat of paint on ceilings, walls, and cabinetry makes any space look clean and fresh. I would recommend neutral colors that won’t be “dated” in a few years. 

5. Lastly, trim. Bulking up trim or adding trim/molding to the tops of cabinets can take any kitchen from plain/basic to upgraded/expensive-looking without too much $$. 


Thank you, Anna, for sharing your story and tips!


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