Decorating for the Next Ten Years

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Christy’s Kitchen Re-do

First off, I am by no means an expert, or even a professional decorator, but recently I find myself more frequently having discussions with friends about ways to update their homes (especially their kitchen and bathrooms) and not:

  • hurt their resale value
  • do something they won’t like in a few years
  • not have to spend a fortune on a complete overhaul.

Many people I know purchased a new home (or new to them home) during the real estate boom in the early 2000’s. At that time, I was selling homes for a high-end builder, so I was involved in the kitchen decor selections for literally hundreds of homes. What I recall is at that time everyone wanted the same thing–some combination of cherry or maple cabinets with a beautiful wood stain and granite countertops. Stainless appliances were still an upgrade some buyers weren’t willing to pay a premium for, but double ovens with a separate cooktop were already an essential.

So, I am guessing many readers are thinking, “Yep, that is my kitchen!”

This is my kitchen, and we built the house in 2004. As you can see, we didn’t have the budget for stainless or granite, or even double ovens then.

My former kitchen

If we hadn’t moved last year, no doubt I would have done a revamp on this kitchen, probably on a smaller scale than Christy’s amazing kitchen re-do but an update nonetheless.

The obvious way to update your kitchen nowadays is painting the cabinets and adding new countertops. If by some chance you haven’t seen the update Christy did to her kitchen, here is Part 1 and here is Part 2. It was a huge project for her with a big pay-off, she went from a nice kitchen to an AMAZING kitchen, and made it truly hers.

After designing a new kitchen this year and staring at hundreds of kitchens online, I can safely say the trend is white cabinets with granite counters, a combination I love. Like this kitchen in Christy’s former home that inspired much of my current kitchen decor picks.

But, a friend asked me last week, “Will that be the next “dated” look? And, if it is what will be next?” And, that is what I have been pondering.

As I mentioned in my kitchen post, I knew I wanted white cabinets in my new home. I really love clean, light “white” but not everyone does, I know that. However painted/colored cabinets are really growing on me, especially light gray like these.

The beautiful kitchen from Life in Grace

What about black cabinets? {I foresee something similar in Terry’s future kitchen re-do, No?} Leave it to Tori Spelling, I thought the cabinets in one of her homes, which they had painted black, were just fabulous.

Black cabinets in Tori Spelling’s Kitchen via Decor Pad

I also like the look of “mixed” finishes quite a bit, and expect this trend will continue to grow in popularity. And what it means is that you can re-do only one of your main kitchen elements like the island and not the entire kitchen, which is a great time and money saver.

I love the green cabinet with the dark island

This picture (above via Decorpad) exemplifies so many current trends. The contrasting dark island brings in furniture details and of course there is exposed shelving but how about that gorgeous glassed-in cabinet? I. Love. it.

Another trend that is also a reasonably easy update is to bring furniture elements into your kitchen. Kitchens with character often look like the elements were acquired over time, and not only do furniture-style cabinets add interest but they also obviously add great storage. Now if I could just find one like this for my home…


Granite cabinets still remain the gold standard, but as with anything that becomes wildly popular it’s possible they will become the hallmark of this decorating era. We went with the carrara marble in our home as I have mentioned, but I also love seeing stainless steel and butcher block/wood counters which can be less costly alternatives.


How many great ideas does this picture encompass? The wood countertop, the furniture island and that fabulous paneled ceiling?

Aside from the beauty shots I used above to exemplified what I see as trends, what I really want to talk about are real, everyday updates to standard builder kitchens.  If you have spent anytime in “blogland” you are familiar with some of them, but they all show such creative ways the average person can make their home truly theirs. And that is really what its about at the end of the day, right?

Jones Design Co

This is such a creative remake of a builder kitchen, with beadboard, removing the upper cabinets to make open shelving, and adding a banquette. I love that most of it they did themselves and were fearless with their choices.

At the Picket Fence Kitchen Re-do

And how about At the Picket Fence? They even gave us a nice compilation pic that shows the before. I love her kitchen island re-do, it has SO much more character and interest now and she did it herself!

If all else fails, this re-do shows a great simple way to add character. Creatively Living took off her cabinet doors, painted chalkboard paint on the backs of her cabinets and added some beautiful styling. What a fresh change.

Creatively Living at Home

I saw this kitchen makeover recently at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and couldn’t pin it to my Kitchen Inspiration Board on Pinterest fast enough.

I plan in the future to copy her vent hood cover, and I love how she went at her standard builder kitchen and made it look like a professional designer, contractor and a whole crew of tradesman were involved. I am pretty sure if she and Christy got together, there wouldn’t be much “ugly” decor left in the world anywhere!

These are just a few ideas and inspirations. We plan to continue this series with a few more posts. Christy will be talking about ways to add value to your home, as a military wife who moves constantly she knows her stuff. I will be back with a final post on getting over that fear of “messing up” your home, something I think we all deal with.

In the meantime, what did I miss? Let me know what other fabulous kitchen makeovers are out there that I didn’t cover.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. So many many different tastes when it comes to kitchens (in decor, not food :)). You have so many beautiful inspiration pictures!

  2. Just stopping by from the Linky Party Hop. I hope you will visit and follow back.


  3. i have major kitchen envy right now. MAJOR. ‘specially because mine, although fine, feels about 2 inches big around dinnertime with me, my husband, 3 kids, and a large dog. dah well. i can still look at these lovely things and dream!
    -brittney (my random-style blog; come on by if you’d like!)

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