Bring Back Sweet Memories with a Kitchen Redesign

Think back to your childhood, to all those times you wrapped yourself around your grandmother’s ankles, begging her to let you lick the spoon she baked cookies with. You couldn’t resist her homemade dough, and even now the smell of cookies brings back warm memories of her kitchen, where wonderful things would happen. You can still recall the color of her walls, kitchen backsplash tile, where she kept the bowls, and how many cabinets she had.

You, too, can have a kitchen like hers, one that is homey and quaint. There are a few easy things you can do when designing your kitchen to make it feel more like the place from your memories. Then, you can work on making cookies as delicious as Grandma’s.

The key is to mix and match everything. This is easier said than done, and you should know a few basics before attempting this makeover.

Color is Key

To get the old-fashioned look and feel of a lived-in and well-loved kitchen, warm and soft colors work best. They brighten up a small kitchen, make a larger one feel more comfortable, and bring smiles to anyone’s face.

For a warmer look, choose colors like light yellow, coral, or even a cherry red. These will wake up your cooking space, bringing light and cheer into your kitchen. Just imagine a spicy meal on the stove, the smells mingling with your bright walls. Yum!

You could also go with a softer color, like turquoise, mint green, or lavender. This makes the kitchen feel calmer and more relaxing. The whole family will want to sit down and talk all night in a nice, cool kitchen atmosphere.

Mixed Up Cabinets

Part of the homey feel of Grandma’s kitchen was her old cabinets. They looked used, like someone loved them and opened them all the time for delicious treats. Maybe they didn’t all match, but she didn’t care. The kitchen was for cooking for her grandbabies, not style.

Get the best of both worlds by mixing up your cabinets. As a general rule, keep darker cabinets on the bottom, like under your sink, and lighter on top. Try mixing black cabinets or dark wood with frosted glass on top. Or white kitchen cabinets on top, mixed with a lovely cherry wood on the bottom.

This will make your kitchen look quaint, like it belongs in a country home. That eclectic look will make you feel right at home again.

Distressed Furniture

Another very easy way to make your kitchen look older is to get distressed furniture, or to do it yourself.
“Distressed” in this case means furniture with faded paint, tables and chairs that look like you found them at a flea market, or that your grandma left to you.

Weathered tables and chairs work quite well for this. You could also go for a chest of drawers to keep silverware and things in. If you have a piece of furniture you love, and want to antique it, you can easily do that.

To antique a piece of furniture, take some sandpaper, and randomly roughhouse the item. Really sand down some areas, lightly scratch others. That’s it! If you want an even older look, you can take a belt and whack at it, to create some “natural” scratches.

After doing these things, you’ll feel right at home in your “new” kitchen. Make some cookies from scratch, sit back, and enjoy the warmth you’ve brought to your home.

Sara Stricker is part of a team of dedicated writers who contribute hundreds of quality articles to blogs and sites. She has written about home improvement several times before. Follow her @StrickerSara for more articles.