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Give your Kitchen Cabinets a Custom Look

Modern kitchen makeover on a budget
A simple update to the cabinets can be all that is needed to give your kitchen an airy, open feel!

Our rooms keep on evolving and this little kitchen of mine is a good example of it. It's been through a long journey from the dark honey oak space that I started with. 

This time I wanted to concentrate my efforts on the wall of cabinets on that back wall you see in the above picture.

Well, that's an old picture of how the kitchen looked at the end of the main kitchen makeover. The look I was going for was of a modern kitchen with lots of white and dark tones. The cabinets were painted white and I kept all the cabinet doors in place.

Then, in order to open up the kitchen a bit more and to keep those cabinets organized, one of the cabinet doors was removed and a plate rack was installed there in the cabinet.

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Oh, I loved that little change!
removing a kitchen cabinet door to open up cabinet

However, when looking at it upfront and closer, it looked weird. No symmetry with only one cabinet on one side of the range opened and the other still closed.

Even my husband told me to get rid of that door. He's learning :D

My reason for not removing that door, you can see it below.

I didn't want to relocate my measuring cups and spoons again. :/

how to install cabinet door measuring cups and spoons organized

However, after painting the kitchen island I just had to go and fix that issue.

The contents inside that cabinet were switched with the ones in the corner cabinet.
Hey, that's my daughter cleaning her eyeglasses.

Kitchen makeover on a budget - Samantha Garay
| Pendant Light | Curtains - similar | Roman Shade |

Removing both doors on those cabinets opened up the kitchen a LOT, buuuuuuut....  

They still looked like two door-less cabinets! 

That's when I thought of giving those two cabinets a custom look. ;)

I went and dug out from my scrap wood pile, two pieces of 1 x 3's. They were cut to the size of each cabinet opening.

Then, I transferred this round design onto the wood.

How to give kitchen cabinets a custom look

The design was then cut out with my trusty BladeRunner, though you can also use a Jig Saw.

After sanding them smooth, painting them, and...

giving a custom look to kitchen cabinets with BladeRunner
| Rockwell BladeRunner Tabletop Saw |

Drilling pocket holes, they were attached to the upper frames of the cabinets.
How to open up kitchen cabinets

After caulking and giving the entire frame another coat of paint, this is how they look.

I think is way better, not perfect. 

The width of the cabinets drives me nuts, but I can live with it.
RLC Kitchen makeover
| Kitchen Island Makeover | Range Hood Makeover | Backsplash Install |

Anyhow, I'm love how fresh and open my kitchen now looks! 
How to give your kitchen cabinets a custom look

It was a very simply makeover to the cabinets that didn't break the bank!


  1. I really like the look. I understand what you mean about wanting them to be symmetrical, but they look good just as they are. It's not as if the cabinets themselves are the same size :)

    1. Hi Mel, It's so nice to hear from you again! :)
      Thanks, I'm getting use to it.

  2. I really, really like this! It totally makes the open shelving look intentional! Your kitchen is so pretty!

    1. Oh, it's so nice to hear that, Thanks Samantha!

  3. Your kitchen looks great! I am still crushing on your island.

  4. Your kitchen transformation is spectacular. Your island looks like a custom one, not a builder's grade island. It is amazing what paint and some details can make.


  5. It looks amazing! The entire transformation is so inspiring. I would have never noticed those two cabinets with the arches are different sizes until you pointed it out, but even so it's definitely no big deal. I love those arches, too! It makes it look like it should have always been that way. That's when you know it's a great update.

  6. Cristina, you never cease to amaze me. That is lovely!

  7. I LOVE IT! You have come such a long way with your kitchen. Such a talented lady you are!

  8. Cristina, everything looks lovely! Your kitchen makeover is absolutely gorgeous! I love how open it looks. I like the island the dark color and also the blue color. I know that had to be a difficult decision to paint it! I'm glad I found your blog. Look forward to reading more! Have a great day!

  9. I love the arch you added! Perfect Cristina! I still have one kitchen to update, the one in the basement and I will surely be keeping all your tips in mind when I do especially the painting, since mine are currently oak!

  10. Great touches to make your space look fabulous!

  11. Love the new addition to your cabinets!! Looks great!! xo Anna

  12. Cristina, you are seriously my hero! I think it looks amazing! You kitchen is just awesome!! And so are you! :)

  13. Would it be weird to block off the front of the left portion of the left cabinet so that the open portion matches in width with the right cabinet? I'd be tempted to try it if it were my kitchen. I'm gonna do the same thing you did with the arches on my open cabinets -- they always but me that they look unfinished. Thanks for the tip!

    1. I don't think it would be weird, it would be a nice solution to make both of them the same width. In my case it would cover part of the plate rack so, I'm just going to leave it like that.

  14. I love it! Such a small change as removing the two doors made a huge difference. Love your lights over the island, too.

  15. The arches are a fabulous idea and completely change the look of your open shelves! Did you consider arching the end of your island?

    1. Thanks Julie! Yep, I did consider arching the end of the island but in the end I decided against it because I didn't want to have that matchy-matchy-look.

  16. Hi Cristina,
    Your kitchen looks fabulous. Love the new open cabinets with all your whiteware, gorgeous, and thought the cabinets looked great but
    adding that arch, well, that was perfection to me.............looks great. You did a great enjoy that lovely like new kitchen.
    Blessings, Nellie

  17. Cristina - Your kitchen remake is fantastic! Thanks for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. I will be featuring you on my Tuesday Treasures tonight! I invite you to stop by and take a look!

  18. Cristina, you are my Hero also!
    I honestly wish if I could do physical work again, that I could be 1/4th as good as you!!! I'm making progress! So, until then, I'll keep watching you and seriously crushing on your kitchen!!!
    I agree with most of the other comments...the arches are perfect the way they are. The only way you could change them would be to change one of the cabinets. Aaaand that would mean opening a whole new can of worms!
    What is the color of the island? Or, did you put that in another post?
    Ooops! I guess that means I'll have to read some more. Right??
    Of course it does! Just like I wanted to anyway!
    Thank you for sharing your awesomeness!

  19. Hi Christina,
    I am moving to a house built in 1997 with cabinets, trim, and windows all oak. I want to paint the cabinets but not all the trim. Any suggestions on how to update the color of the cabinets only? I love the look of your kitchen.

  20. I love your kitchen. It is so beautiful. We are currently remodeling ours and I like the size of you island! Can you tell me the size?

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