Gold cabinet pulls: c/o Hardware Hut // Striped turtleneck tee: J.Crew // High-waisted jeans: Old, but similar here, here, here and here (budget-friendly!)// Cookbook: Ina’s Barefoot in Paris, obviously 😉 // Marble pastry slab: Crate & Barrel (only $50!)// Kilim Kitchen Rug: Craigslist, but the similar one in our bedroom is on sale right now for $127! (You can also find my favorite online shops to buy Kilim rugs in this post!)
I was talking to a friend the other day about the process of buying a house. Being at the beginning of her house-hunting journey, like anyone, she rattled off her list of must-haves–big walk-in closets, a white kitchen with marble countertops and subway tile, a neighborhood that was bustling with restaurants, shops, and bars and convenient to downtown, and the like.
“Hmmm” I thought, “this sounds familiar!”
Neal and I too, had a long list of qualifications we thought were “essential” in our first home. (An all-white kitchen with marble and subway tile? That sounded like the exact kitchen I wanted!)
And walk-in closets? A must!
A garage, all hardwood floors–add that to the list!
I was also dreaming of a rehabbed vintage spot with tons of natural light. Neal was looking for a no-fuss newer construction that would be free of the headaches that come along with vintage homes. (He was right on that one–he won!)
On one hand, it’s nice to be a little bit picky and to know what you want in your home. But then…there’s, you know, reality.
What I quickly learned is this–those dream kitchens you see on Pinterest? You’ve gotta make those yourself. They ain’t standard, that’s for sure.
So, of course, like everyone learns, we had to compromise in some areas when we bought our place, and I’m really proud of how far we’ve come so far in making it our own. (Honestly, you wouldn’t even recognize it if you saw it before!)
But the kitchen? A beast that is yet to be tackled.
Honestly, with a wedding happening this year–we just don’t have a new kitchen in the budget right now! (Side note, I feel the need to say that yes, I am FULLY aware these are first world problems. This kitchen is relatively new, functional, and just fine as it is!)
Despite these facts, this kitchen just does not suit our taste. With a remodel very far on the horizon, I was determined that a few small changes in the near-term could go a long way design-wise for the time-being.
See the “before” photos below. (Warning–brown paint color and cheap pendant lights may be offensive to some viewers.)
(Don’t mind the lovely paper towels!)
Immediate changes: 1. Replace ugly generic cabinet pulls with gold pulls and 2. Rip out those heinous pendant lights above the island that look like they’re ice cube trays from the dollar store. (I mean, REALLY. Who made that design decision?)
So, in today’s post, we’re focusing on #1, in particular. (We succeeded in ripping out the pendant lights, but haven’t replaced them yet. Yes, there are currently holes in my ceiling. Oh well. More on that later.)
Gold cabinet pulls for the win!
Ahhh gold cabinet pulls. How many hours I spent googling and Pinteresting them. After lot’s of searching, I finally came upon a website called Hardware Hut, and pulled the trigger on these gold pulls! Yes!!
They’re called a “brushed brass” finish and bonus: they’re actually affordable at $11.60 a piece. They have a really huge selection of brass cabinet pulls of all sizes (it was tricky for me to find the right measurement–3″ center-to-center) and really cute knobs too! (I want to do a makeover with some IKEA shoe cabinets with these cute gold knobs–which are $6.21!)
Sooo much better, right?! Isn’t it crazy what a little hardware update can do? In all honesty, I don’t even want those white kitchen cabinets anymore. I actually love the way the gold contrasts with the dark wood, and I think we’ll keep them that color! (That travertine backsplash though is another story. Your days are numbered, devil travertine!)
If you’re also looking to update your cabinet hardware, a couple tips to keep in mind:
- Measure the “center to center” size: cabinet pulls (aka “handles”) come in a lot of different sizes, but it’s important to measure the distance in between the top and bottom holes. This is referred to as the “center to center” measurement. I tell you this to ensure you don’t order the wrong size, like I almost did!
- Buy or borrow a drill–it didn’t take us long to unscrew the old handles and screw in the new ones, but if we hadn’t had an electric drill, this would’ve taken us HOURS (and we probably would’ve killed each other in the process, haha!) The drill made it a snap. We actually made it a date night–got burgers at Small Cheval, had a few beers, and came home to swap out the cabinet hardware. (We’re so good at adulting.)
- Look outside of Home Depot or Lowes: Not knowing the first thing about hardware, the first place I went was Home Depot. Not a great choice. Specialty online suppliers (like Hardware Hut!) have a much better selection and much better prices than the big box guys. (Plus, it’s always nicer to give your money to smaller businesses, right?)
What do you think? Are you as amazed as I am at the impact a simple hardware swap can make?
Photos by Jules Kennedy