Thursday, August 01, 2013



As so many of you must surely do, I dream of my house looking different.
My kitchen especially.

I love the white, open cabinet pictures I see all over Pinterest.

I want to just pull out the upper cabinets and chalk paint everything white.

But I worry that it will make the house un sale able....

Do you feel free to do stuff to your house and yard without considering resale?
It actually stops me dead in my dreamy tracks.


Not Martha.


  1. Better than my method...change things and THEN worry. But usually I just use wild paint colors...and those are pretty easy to change back to socially acceptable (-:

    But I plan to live here forever (that is the only way I can stave off panic attacks at the thought of moving. I Hate Moving.)

    My kitchen is the opposite of white. Tuscan gold, blue, brown, black, red...the only thing white are the appliances. But I love the kitchen you pinned!


    1. Di, your kitchen sounds amazing - all my favorite colors, especially Tuscan gold and red. yes!

  2. Funny you should talk about this today. We have been in our house for 26 years. My husband has never talked about moving other than the "when we retire and move to a cabin in the woods" fantasy talks. Last night, he showed me a house (not too far from us now) and asked me to see if we could get a showing. Like Di, I am having a panic attack at the thought of moving. Specifically, packing. :-(

    1. We've been in our house for 21 years. My sister and her family moved 14 times in 15 years. She can pack up a house and move it in no time. She also has nothing not needed. I wish I could move out of my house, get rid of the clutter and move back in with a fresh slate. I panic at the thought, though. ;)

  3. Hi Donna, I was looking at the finalists over at "Hooked on Houses" for best kitchen. I found myself drawn to Kay's kitchen (I think that was her name, it was the 4th shown) - and then read more about it. Apparently they were influenced by "Something's Gotta Give" and the kitchen that Diane Keaton had.

    I LOVE that kitchen and voted for Kay's.

    Living in an apartment removes the temptation to think about change-making. I do look forward to someday being able to have color on the walls again :-)

  4. I think I'm missing a photo - I only see your two gorgeous fence/flower photos. I admit, I never give thought to resale. Only to what we want/what works for us. Of course, with the current house, we plan to stay there until they force us out. And by then everything will be "vintage", right? I too am a lover of white cabinets...although not open/glass front. Because my family is messy and I don't need more stress. Unfortunately right now my house is full of red oak stained cabinetry. With dark oak wood floors and wood trim. It gets to be a bit much for me, but fits the character we like (old farmhouse). In another 5 years I'll convince my husband to "freshen" the cabinets with paint.

  5. Anonymous12:31 PM

    I share your kitchen dreaminess, but it's probably the cost/work factors that keep me from doing anything about making changes. I do love the white, clean look of a kitchen, with lots of windows for light!

    Also -- beautiful photographs!!

    Krista W.

  6. Anonymous12:45 PM

    We used to have darkly stained kitchen cabinets and my husband and I would debate over painting them or not. He definitely leaned toward not painting. Then one week he had to be gone and while he was gone I started painting the cabinets white. It is the only bold, somewhat noncompliant thing I have done in our married life. He came home and was shocked to see the cabinets but admitted he really liked them. He also has told the story to people many times over the years because he couldn't believe I made the decision to paint while he was gone. He actually got a kick out of it. I would never go back. I LOVE my white cabinets. The older I get, the more I need light and airiness. I don't have open shelves on top because I need the storage space and also wouldn't want to have to keep things dusted!!
    Debbie Z.

  7. Anonymous12:57 PM

    Don't usually comment here, but just had to is too short! If you love it, and can do it, then do it! Especially something as easy as painting!

  8. I dream of a new kitchen, too. I have a huge galley kitchen that needs updating. Even changing out the cabinet and drawer pulls would be expensive with 43 pulls to buy. Maybe ripping them out and having shelves would be easier!

  9. Love the white airy kitchen look, Donna! I drool over those pictures on Pinterest, too. I am sooo not an interior decorator so I just do a lot of drooling and little action. We remodeled and enlarged our kitchen nine years ago and I really do love it even if it isn't white and airy. :-)

    We've lived in our house over 33 years and I cannot even begin to imagine what it would take to move OR what a realtor would tell me that would need to be changed to make our home saleable. YIKES!

    Tammy ~@~

  10. white paint = a neutral palette! So it's fine :)
    Now, if you thought of painting your kitchen bright pink - that may be an issue (not that I don't love bright pink - barbie dreamhouse type kitchens!)

  11. we just withdrew an offer on a house that was charming and full of character and across the street from the park...because of possible resale issues. part of me wants to just say I don't want to live my everyday life under the threat of some future person's approval....and part of me says that I don't want to see my husband losing sleep with worry over the investment in a house that others may not love, should we have to move one day......aye aye aye.... :) I say, paint your kitchen, open up your cabinets...those things are very fixable. you can't change flood zones or bad neighbors...but anyone could re-do a kitchen. :)

  12. Anonymous5:11 PM

    We're the house with the Beatles painted on our shed, so not too worried about re-sale! As everyone is saying, paint colors can be changed! If you fixed your kitchen to look as pretty and airy as the picture you pinned, I think it would be a winner for most people. AND you would get to enjoy it now!

    Mary Z

  13. My interior decorator sister (who lives in Mequon and Cedarburg for awhile) keeps telling me that paint is the CHEAPEST way to brighten a house ... she's right!! It makes you feel SO good and isn't permanent. We just retired and moved to Northern Michigan from Pittsburgh. We spent two months painting and "fixing" up a house that was perfectly lovely because the HGTV "customers" out there want something that is move in ready and "perfect" ... made us CRAZY!! The house WE purchased in Michigan was a short sale with lots of damage and missing things (lights, appliances, etc.) but we LOVED it and put "our mark on it" ... do what you love and you will love what you do ....

  14. I am not a very good decorator.
    Or cook,
    Or, well, lots of things.
    I kind of think you should try the cabinet thing : ). Go for it. Life is short. I am pretty sure your husband might have a heart attack if he came home from work and you had ripped them all down though. Mine would.

    Tonight I saw this house: I completely fell in love! And you know what is hilarious? I am not a very modern architect lover. What I loved about this house was the view. To-die-for. Also, I loved that it was only 5 minutes from my parents house. I don't like being 30 minutes from them. I hate being far in case they need me. They say they never do. I just get worried.

    I like you better than Martha : )

  15. Well sweetie, I think you have about as much encouragement as you might need!! Now, will you do it? xo

  16. I have been in my house for almost 15 years. This house is 35 years old and the kitchen needs to be redone badly. The cabinets have been falling apart for years and they are very dark. I would love to be bold and paint them all white, but since they are falling apart, I leave them for now. I too love light and open spaces. I like the idea of not having cabinets above, but need the storage space.

    Happy weekend everyone!

  17. You are so creative and crafty, I think you'd be surprised how well you can copy cat an inspiration photo! I started doing that years ago when my kids were napping (now in high school and college.) I enjoy decorating on a dime and would not worry about resale unless you plan to move in next few years. We moved from a home of 18 years last year, and while it was a production (and I lost 5 lbs in the process, hauling, discarding, up and down stairs, etc,) so far it's been a good experience. Be clever, maybe don't take out all upper cabinets but focus on a section you remove. Resale, shmesale is what I say. Anything you come up with I expect will be beautiful. Think of all the staging opportunities, small vignettes, etc. Heck, you can put the upper cabinets in the attic if anyone ever wants them back! Could be a great back to school project and of course, fabulous blog fodder. Or keep dreaming, that's ok too! One more thing, you can bring elements of that inspiration photo to your kitchen slowly...butcher block counters, white painted cabinets, open windows without coverings, topiaries, cabinet pulls, similar rug, etc. Or take off the front of a couple of cabinets and display some pretty cookware, dishes, props, and then while you're at it, get a farmhouse sink, lol. And of course keep us posted!

  18. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Nope - don't really consider resale. Everyone has different tastes. I want to live in a place that I like and enjoy. When I sell it they can decorate it to suit them. Living is sure not all about the money, when you die you leave all the money and stuff behind and there are no guarantees that you have tomorrow!

  19. Anonymous10:25 AM

    I agree! Why not start with baby steps and start changing one little thing at a time. Go for it! : )

    Sarah P. from Iowa

  20. I need to find more blogs that take a 1960's ranch-style, architecturally blah house and do something with it. I find myself drawn to the 1920 cottages or bungalows that had twice as many windows as my house has.

    So in the picture you pinned, there are two banks of windows and that makes all the difference. [Well, what do I know? IMHO]

    We made some minor changes in our living room in February and I kept campaigning for adding a large window to the room. The only light comes from sliding glass doors. In my dreams, I'd make the doors French doors and add two windows. Perhaps I should take up that campaign...again!

    Go for it, Donna!

  21. My family moved to a house in a rainy/gray part of the country last winter, it was just 15 years old, but the builder grade oak cabinets already looked very outdated. A friend convinced me to paint them with Annie Sloan and I'm so happy we did! The kitchen is so much more updated with this change and our realtor thinks they improve resale value. Just do good, careful work and finish them well. Painting correctly is tedious, but it's like labor. Once the hard work is done, you don't remember the pain.

  22. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Oh NO I think adding such beauty helps resale, if you love it and it IS beautiful others will feel the same. Plus you could save the cabinets to reinstall if needed.

    Personally I look for a warm stylish house that is not cookie cutter ordinary. Go for it, it will make you Happy!

    1. That is genius to save the cabinets.

  23. Anonymous8:31 PM

    Adding my vote for doing whatever you want to in your kitchen and making it yours. We had a friend who lived with wood paneling for ten years before they put their house on the market. She always wanted to paint the wood and finally when the house did not sell right away she did it and loved how it looked. The house sold the next week. She told us that she so wished she had painted the wood earlier, so that their family could have enjoyed the house more. Hope you do the remodel and tell us all about it.
    love and prayers, jep

  24. Donna

    We know our house will be a teardown so it gives us the freedom to only do exactly what WE want to our house.
    I had a white kitchen. let me tell ya, it's a nightmare. Every speck of juice that spills is magnified times ten on those white cabinets.
    Every dog print every THING shows in a white kitchen where folks actually LIVE. Oh and Spaghetti sauce...forget about it

    1. I have white cabinets and woodwork and I kind of agree, while I think it was a huge update from the SUPER dark dark cabinets we had, I worked so hard to repaint them a year ago January and I already see wear even though I spent the big$$ on supposedly the perfect cabinet paint. Combine that with how often I have to scrub the inset panel edges and I don't think I'd purposely ever pick white cabinets again .... conversely when we remodeled our bathroom we put in a gorgeous dark wood cabinet (its dark brown stain)... but it also has its "issues" in that I also have to dust it regularly for water spots. I still love the look and probably would go that route again, but it sure makes me think I might not like it on a larger kitchen scale strictly based on cleaning.. but then again maybe I am just a lazy housekeeper...perhaps you are supposed to wipe down cabinets weekly! lol

  25. Anonymous5:51 PM

    Donna, this is a project I will help you with on weekends, we'll do it together when I'm a Madisonian!!!! My friend helped me redo my Kitchen, so now I'll pay it forward and help you., you are a great seamstress, so we can pick out cute fabric for some curtain material etc........I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

    Karen F.


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