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6 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen Without Starting from Scratch

Working your way towards a dream kitchen doesn’t have to mean a full blown demolish and rebuild of your existing space. Sometimes it’s as easy as reworking what you’ve got, adding a new countertop and accessorizing accordingly. Kendall Simmons is a mastermind of stunning interiors and her latest kitchen is proving you don’t have to start from scratch. Read up on her 6 tips for crafting a gorgeous kitchen on a less than total rebuild budget. Plus tour even more of this pretty kitchen shot by Alyssa Rosenheck here.

Sometimes there’s no other option than to totally tear out your kitchen and start fresh. But more often than not the bones are great, they just need to be reimagined in a different way! As little as one small change can make the difference between hating your kitchen and loving it. By adopting some of the following ideas, you can breath new life into your kitchen!

 Change Out Your Countertops

This home is only about 8 years old, but because it was originally built as a spec house the Kitchen finishes were basic builder grade (read: speckled brown granite and tumbled travertine tile). Our first order of business was to pull out all of the old countertops and backsplash. Habitat for Humanity was thrilled to receive the donation of all of this pristine granite! I replaced the brown granite countertops and travertine backsplash with a combination of polished Calacutta Lincoln marble and solid white quartz.

Instead of using tile for the backsplash, I used full slabs of the same marble as the island countertop for a continuous look. Think outside the box with your countertops! You can add an interesting edge detail, or even a waterfall island like this one! Designer Tip: If you’re nervous about fully committing to marble countertops throughout your entire kitchen, consider using it on your island only. Then you can use a more durable quartz or granite near your range where the wear and tear is heavier.

Add New Decorative Lighting

If your kitchen doesn’t have any decorative lighting, add some! Especially over an island. In most cases, it’s easier than you think for your electrician to add them onto an existing switch. Designer Tip: When in doubt, scale your kitchen lighting up! Bigger is almost always better over a kitchen island, just keep the fixtures relatively ‘open’ so that they don’t obstruct your line of site through the room.

Swap Your Standard Counter Stools for Something Cozier

Replace your hard, uncomfortable counter stools with ones that feel like real furniture. Swap out hard wood or metal for comfy upholstered seats with backs. If you’re concerned about stains, consider your most durable options. For this kitchen, the bench counter stool has a washable velvet slipcover that can be laundered as needed or replaced if anything horrible happens to it! The individual stools are upholstered in hair-on cowhide which is inherently stain resistant. Leather is another great option.

Refinish Your Existing Cabinetry

If you love the existing layout of your kitchen, and especially if you’re keeping your existing appliances, I recommend repainting or refinishing the cabinetry that you have. It’s the change that will give you the most bang for your buck. But, unless you’re a seriously good painter, I wouldn’t recommend doing it yourself. Hire a professional who can spray the doors and drawers to get a perfect finish. I promise it’s worth every penny! The existing cabinetry in this Kitchen was cream with a brown glaze that was seriously dating the room. I had the cabinets painted Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray and it completely reinvented the room!

Exchange Your Cabinet Hardware For Some Bling

Think of your cabinet hardware like jewelry. Replace your boring old knobs and pulls with a more sophisticated style. Consider something colorful or with an interesting inlay. Or, glass knobs are a great way to incorporate some sparkle without going too far over the top.

Paint a Chalkboard Wall

Do something fun! Consider adding a chalkboard or magnetic wall. Your kids and guests can leave messages for you, or you can do what I did and bring in a chalk artist to design artwork for special occasions! Either way, it adds a fun and interactive element to your room!

30 Dream Kitchen Moments that'll Make You Want to Renovate
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30 Dream Kitchen Moments that'll Make You Want to Renovate
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Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck Photography | Cabinetry Paint Color : Sherwin Williams "Nomadic Desert" | Counter Bench: Lee Industries | Counter Stools: Jessica Charles | Custom Chalk Mural: The Perfect Little Life | Interior Design: Kendall Simmons | Island Countertop & Backsplash: Kendall Simmons | Kitchen Pendants: Robert Abbey | Leather Pouf: Wayfair | Perimeter Countertop: Caesarstone Pure White | Seating Area Chairs + Pillows: West Elm | Seating Area Chairs + Pillows: West Elm | Vintage Rug: Kendall Simmons

A Modern Way of Accessorizing a Nursery for Baby Boy

Just as important as the crib and other nursery staples, are the cute accessories that really make it shine. This one has the best decor. From cactuses and adventure, to bold, geometric prints and a fun, modern way of decorating with black and white. See how baby boy Axel is going to be spending his first few years with imagery captured by Caught You On Camera and even more in the VAULT.

This is my son Axel’s nursery- he is due anyway now and we are anxiously awaiting his arrival! We have one other son Grayson, whom is 6. We went through infertility and many surgeries and losses before our son Grayson was born and never thought we would have to endure that again.

All these years later our journey and struggle only got harder. We have 3 angel babies, but are so excited to welcome this angel baby – another boy, named Axel!

This nursery is very special to us because it signifies so much more than a room. It is a safe sanctuary our friends and family have all poured love into to bring this miracle home. I tried to do something different with a small footprint that will grow with him as he does.

51 Reasons Black and White is Having a Moment
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51 Reasons Black and White is Having a Moment
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Photography: Caught You On Camera | Design: Christina Waldron

We’re Crowning this Party the Queen of Insanely Cute Baby Showers

We can’t think of better inspiration for a baby shower than a favorite children’s book. It always makes for an adorable theme. But taking that story, in this case, Where the Wild Things Are, and turning it into a knockout celebration complete with gold crowns deserves a standing ovation. Take a peek at this Queen of Bebe Showers captured by Heather Rowland with even more in the VAULT.

Fresh flowers, bright mixed berry assortments, and marble-painted balloons were just some of the details that made this shower so unique special for “Little Lackey”.

With cacti around every corner and puppy portraits hanging on the wall, Amanda Lackey and her dearest friends gathered in Lauren Essl’s living room to open gifts and celebrate mama and babe.

Handmade gold crowns, warm pastries, warm crown-shaped sugar cookies were a few of the details that came together to create this Where the Wild Things Are baby shower that was one for the books! This sweet celebration with sweet family and friends was intimate enough for a small gathering but large enough to provide an enormous amount of support for Amanda and her family.

22 Off-the-Registry Baby Shower Gifts the Parents-to-be Will Love
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22 Off-the-Registry Baby Shower Gifts the Parents-to-be Will Love
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Photography: Heather Rowland Photography | Calligraphy and Invitations: Blue Eye Brown Eye | Home of: Blue Eye Brown Eye