House Tour: Our Galley Kitchen

We have been working on updating the kitchen in our old 1928 home in Toronto. Though we have been living here since 2006, we opted to leave it untouched until now. The kitchen was originally installed by the previous owners back in 1988. While we could not possibly love our home any more than we already do, the only space we wanted to update was the small (8′ x 12′) galley kitchen. Honey oak cabinets no longer have the appeal that they once held.

If you ever want to kick start a home project, I have learned the best way to get motivated is to call someone in for a quote on the job. Then you can decide if to let professionals take care of it, or turn it into a DIY project. So after receiving a quote of $1500 only to paint the cabinets, we decided to do it ourselves. After a final tally, we spent around $400 (including taxes) for this transformation. That includes all primer, paint and supplies for the ceilings, walls and cabinets, the light fixtures and bamboo roman blind window treatments on the window and door. We are very happy with the results.

Have a look at the before and after shots…

Committing to a white kitchen is no easy task. Luckily my husband did not resist (too much) the urge to keep the solid oak cabinets with a stain versus painting them.Β  In the end, we decided to use a specialty cabinet paint by a company called Insl-x, Cabinet Coat. It is a latex paint in a satin finish that was very easy to work with. The cabinets took 3 coats with a 6 hour drying time between recoats. Wanting the job to be done right the first time, we took all the steps to prep as best as we could – TSP to clean grease and dirt, lightly sanded them, removed dust with tack cloths and then alternated using a high density foam roller with a good quality paint brush to achieve a hand painted finish. I am not a fan of the stipple effect that foam rollers leave on painted surfaces.

Juggling 20 doors and 15 drawers on our dining table was the reason the job took longer than we thought. In just three weeks, my husband and I took our tiny galley kitchen from drab and dated to fresh and fab. The colour we tinted the paint was Benjamin Moore’s – Simply White. On the walls we went with Benjamin Moore Aura latex paint in an eggshell finish tinted with November Rain. It had more of a green undertone than I would have liked but the effect has grown on us. By selecting such a white colour for the cabinets, although it matched the floor tiles, it made the Corian glacier white counters look rather dirty. So in the end, the wall colour helped to balance it out quite well.

What would a kitchen of today be without a little accessorizing to display an array of collections… from shells, to marbles, to paper cranes to my grandmother’s old thread. We also updated the ceiling light fixture which previously was a large oak box to house the two florescent strips. As a huge supporter of florescent lighting to save on energy, we opted to go for a retro style schoolhouse light fixture which had a milk glass. That we you cannot see that the is still a florescent light in use.

Can you find the elephants? These little friends remind me each time I am at the sink of my three kids that continually stomp through the house. In August I will have to add a fourth.


6 Replies to “House Tour: Our Galley Kitchen”

  1. Rachel it’s wonderful !!!
    So fresh and springlike , and yet you’ve maintaned that all important ” family feeling ” with the memento jars .
    What I like best about your new kitchen is how much joy it’s given you .Whenever we’ve discussed it in the last few weeks , your face lights up and your enthusiasim is contageous . What an absolute joy to have you all living so close-by .
    Besides all that we’re anticipating the greatist gift of all at the end of summer …( we’d already started the countdown ) .
    Stay well
    Josie and Joan Elise ( the two old aunties ) .


  2. I actually consider this particular post ,
    β€œgalley kitchen facelift | loopylocks”, quite interesting and the blog post was indeed a wonderful read.
    Thanks for the post-Amber


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