Updating an Oak & Laminate Kitchen


Many buyers find that their wish list features aren’t always in their price range when house hunting. “Updated kitchen” is high on the desirable list, but what happens when a buyer finds the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood at the perfect price–without an updated kitchen?



The “before” picture above shows a South Richland home with features typically found in nearby homes built in the 1990’s:  honey-oak cabinets, 12″ space above cabinets, almond appliances, small 2 person breakfast bar/island cramped with 3 stools, cream colored laminate counter tops, and thin oak baseboards/trim. The checkered floor may look interesting at first glance, but those are individual adhesive vinyl squares stuck down on the floor! The answer in this case was to purchase the home, which has great features such as skylights, bay windows, a large deck, a good sized yard, and a great neighborhood–then update the home on a reasonable budget. To keeps costs down, the existing layout was kept to avoid replacing cabinets and much of work was DIY. The renovation began by removing the appliances, island, counter tops, flooring, cabinet doors, and the oak cabinet faces.



The update included new engineered Acacia wood flooring, new stainless appliances, 6″ white baseboards, flat craftsman style trim, and our favorite white subway tile back splash with pale gray grout. The cabinet door style didn’t fit the new design, so the existing cabinets were refaced with white shaker style doors, and a new larger island was designed and installed. Personal touches include the glass-front bookcase for cookbooks, a staggered hood cabinet over the microwave (that lifts on hinges for extra storage), and thoughtfully designed extensions with small glass cabinet doors to fill in the previous 12″ empty space to the ceiling.

The new cabinet color and trim is “Creamy” colored (SW 7012). The open wall was already painted with pale green “Grassland” (SW 6163).  It had originally been a quick fix for the flat white wall, with leftover paint from the powder bathroom.  The plan originally included repainting the walls a gray or greige color, but the green added a touch of unexpected color to the otherwise white kitchen, so for now it’s going to stay.


Venetian Gold granite counter tops and white subway tile with gray grout

The counter tops are called New Venetian Gold. It’s a common/standard granite, but the pattern was perfect– it’s peppered with a beautiful rust color that ties in the color of the flooring, and a large rust & black streak runs diagonally through the island. The color adds warmth to the overall appearance, and crumbs, chocolate chips, or raisins can be spilled on the counter tops without being noticed–they never look dirty!  🙂


Glass door cabinets lined with bead board.

The glass-door cabinets with the heavy duty drawer slides to the right of the sink are a favorite addition–they look great lined with white bead board and filled with cream colored stoneware. Brushed nickel hardware was chosen to complete the look–round knobs on cabinet doors, traditional  pulls on the drawers, and hanging tassel pulls on the island bookcase. The look was capped off with a unique faucet that fits perfectly with the traditional/craftsman style.


Of course this is not quite the final product…the pantry door is getting a chalkboard paint overhaul, the perfect new stools have not materialized yet (maybe a fun color or silver industrial style?), and perhaps someday there will be an Edison-style pendant light over the island, but it’s come a long way baby!

We’d love to assist in your home search by finding a home in your price range and helping you visualize affordable updates that will make it your own! Call Nick or Valerie (509)845-4570 to get started!



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