Home of Kate and Andy Spade About a week ago, I asked BluLabel Bungalow readers via facebook about some of their decorating dilemmas. One of the questions asked was “How do I update an old kitchen without spending a ton of money?”

The above kitchen belongs to New York City-based celebrity designers Kate and Andy Spade. This kitchen appears to be a older kitchen with modern updates. Most celebrity homes we see featured on TV, more specifically kitchens, are new, grandiose in nature, and have an assortment of high end materials and finishes–Italian marble countertops and floors, cabinets made of exotic woods, yadda, yadda, yadda yet this one is both modest and beautiful.

NEED IDEAS ON CREATING A LOOK FOR LESS? Here are options to explore in updating your kitchen and making the most of what you already have.

The most impactful element in the Spade’s kitchen has to be the checkered floor. It’s possible that the floor is made of marble, but you can achieve the same feeling with a more cost effective material. Have you considered installing laminate in the kitchen? This checkered tile has a slate design that can be used in both kitchens and baths–an easy option if you are considering installing it yourself.

Have the audacity to paint your ceiling an invigorating hue. I practiced what I preach and had my ceiling painted last Spring. It was a suggestion that my husband had to warm up to, but now it’s one of his favorite rooms in the house.

If the above color is too warm for your home’s color palette, try a cool blue like this…


Painted Kitchen Cabinets

3.| REVAMP YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS – Cabinetry in older homes are commonly made from real wood as opposed to the wood composites you see in some builder grade homes.

Have the existing cabinets stripped and re-stained or painted to any color of your choice. Remove a couple of the doors and leave open shelving to display a collection or replace the front of the doors with glass. This will help to visually open up the space and break up some of the heavy wood tones.

4.| REPLACE CABINET HARDWARE – You can find a wide range of hardware options just about anywhere. Choose a kitchen design from your inspiration folder, take notice of the hardware used, then scour local hardware stores and online retailers for the best deals on the knobs and pulls of your choice.

5.| SEE YOUR KITCHEN IN A NEW LIGHT – Have fun browsing through the abundant lighting options available for your kitchen. You may spend a little more in electrical costs if you have to replace that funky old fluorescent light, but trust me it’s worth it. Your new light fixture can help you establish a new design direction, i.e. choose a moroccan pendant for a global look

Tia Zolden Kitchen with Glossy Black Floors
6.| CHAIRS – Use painted chairs and/or barstools to introduce a new color direction. The photo below speaks for itself. Repeat the color at least three times in the kitchen through accessories, artwork, or window treatments.
 7.| INSTALL A BACKSPLASH THAT’LL CAUSE WHIPLASH – Admit, this green tiled backsplash made you take a double or triple take. Against bright white cabinets, the generous dose of color makes the entire kitchen shine like new. The same effect works with paint.White painted cabinets with green backsplash

While this is not an exhaustive list, it will surely help to get your creative juices flowing.

How have you reinvented your kitchen on a budget? Which of these 7 suggestions would you mostly likely use in your home?

image courtesy: The Selby | Cutler Design | House to Home | Tina Zoldan | David Livingston Photography | Unknown | BluLabel Bungalow/Erika Ward Interiors |

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About Erika Ward

Multi-passionate entrepreneur, spokesperson, speaker, and philanthropist, Erika Hollinshead Ward worked in the design-build industry as an accountant before turning her passion for interior design into a successful business. Named by Atlanta Tribune as having one of the top design firms for two consecutive years, Erika is a highly sought after expert whose work has appeared in several media outlets such as House Beautiful Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Fox 5 (Atlanta Affiliate), Huffington Post, HGTV.com and many others. Her influential voice in the home improvement sector has lead to marketing collaborations with leading home and lifestyle brands including Home Depot, S.C. Johnson, and Home Decorators Collection. Erika holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and resides in Atlanta with her husband and five children. With her sharp business acumen and design prowess, you can rest assured that she is one to watch as a voice for working mothers, women entrepreneurs, and interior design enthusiasts.

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  1. Ruthie Staalsen Says:

    Great post. Love the orange ceiling!


  2. Jae Says:

    Great suggestions. I love the idea of painting your ceiling a color other than white. Unfortunately, my ceiling is not smooth like the ones pictured. So that would be step 1. Hah.


    • Erika Ward Says:

      Jae, I hear that smoothing out spackled ceilings can be a doozy. Consider contracting that job out to someone else. Better yet, move on to the next kitchen project :)


  3. Marcia Says:

    Love the orange ceiling! I’m trying to convince my husband to let me go orange with the walls but he keeps thinking “playroom.” What color/brand is your orange ceiling? This might be our great compromise.


  4. Sadi Says:

    Loving the Moroccan lighting!! OMG!


  5. Maria Killam Says:

    Orange ceiling is fab! Hey I used the green tile photo as my inspiration pic for my ‘fix your colours’ series on Facebook today! Great post Erika! x Maria


  6. Jenifer Says:

    Does anyone know what color and brand of paint was used on the revamp your kitchen cabinets section. I am wanting to do the 2 color cabinets and love the look of this one


  7. Karen Says:

    I am wondering the same. What is the blue color on the bottom cabinets?


  8. Taylor Says:

    I would LOVE LOVE to know where y’all got the hardware in the picture above the caption “revamp your kitchen cabinets.” These would be exactly what I want in my new kitchen! Thanks!


  9. Blthach@yahoo.com Says:

    Any idea what color the base cabinets are in the white uppers and blue/gray bottoms???


    • Erika Ward Says:

      That photo was from House and Home magazine. I listed it below in the image credits. Perhaps you can email the magazine. They will be more than happy to provide the information.



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