SPICE IT UP: Global Glam Kitchen (For Under $650)

What a difference a few key accents can make

Our tract home kitchen has always bothered us — the white raised-front cabinets, basic white appliances, not-so-special sink and faucet. These are the things we won’t change unless we want to take on a major remodel (which seems silly since it’s only 4 years old). When we moved in, we upgraded the countertops to Zodiac, and floors to walnut plank. Now that we’re just about done with our living room redo, I figured it might be time to pay a little more attention to this central space. With just a few added pieces, we were able to update our boring white tract home kitchen into something that’s perhaps a little more sophisticated and unique. I hope so anyway…


[ pulls | lantern | chandelier | runner ]


[ view from the dining room ]

[ Vinyl “paned” windows also bug us. A lot. ]

[ Seems this sketch likes to move around. You’ll see it again. ]

[ Set aside a good 1 hr.+ย  to get the crystals up, but they sure are purdy. ]

We suspect the pulls are meant to be horizontal, at the corners of side-by-side doors. But by turning them down vertically, we were able to use them on all the doors and drawers without having to drill any new holes. Bonus!

The wall paint color — Ralph Lauren’s Mombasa Mist — extends from the dining room, providing a nice contrast to the white cabinets. The roller shades were from The Shade Store, and the brushed aluminum bent plywood barstools were our first “real furniture” purchase from DWR many years ago. (One day I will replace them with some fabulous 1970’s brass barrel-back stools, mark my words!)

I’m loving the new look so far. Of course my husband is hoping this love inspires me to cook more. He may be in luck.

Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Creative Director

Desiring an online space to explore well-rounded, inspired content in all topics she loves most, Erika created 'The E List' (formerly the Small Shop blog) in 2010. When not enjoying an โ€œoccasional" glass of wine and wanderlusting for even warmer climates, Erika can be found sharing laughs with friends and family, and trying her very best to keep up with her 6-year old daughter (yet failing miserably).

  1. Erica I adore this, what an amazing job and for such a great price! I might need that runner, I love it!

  2. wow! it looks fantastic. dying over the hardware & the rug really gives the room that global feel. so pretty!

  3. wait. WHAT?!?!??!??!! INCREDIBLE!!!!!! love love love the pulls. and the runner is a great grounding touch – gives it so much warmth. AMAZING job.

    i mean, of course i’m freaking out. we have the same taste ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Okay, love everything so much I just linked to each and every source. I was just starting to look for brass pulls for a client’s dresser, you may have just saved me some time!

    Looks awesome.


  5. See ! I told you that you were my go-to for all things interior related! This is amazing…love the brass pulls and that crystal light fixture ! Makes such a big difference.


  6. Erika! Omigosh I love it. So fresh and modern juxtaposed with antique and glassy. I really need those brass pulls. Have to infuse brass into my kitchen to repeat my new brass lighting. Thx for sharing. You are awesome

  7. I wasn’t expecting to see your kitchen today. What a great surprise. I thought maybe ‘The New Pieces’ section was gonna be you teasing us. : ) You take great photos too.

    I cannot wait until we get rid of the knotty pine that lives in my kitchen. Murder to my eyes.

  8. It’s a wonderfully styled space. I really love the hardware and you chandelier adds just the right amount of bling. Much more bang than buck.

    Now show me the living room! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Understated cool chicness! Love it. Hopefully it gets you cooking. I’m still trying to figure out what will get me cooking…Just noticed you live in Laguna!! Lucky you – I was just there this weekend and fell in love. Everyday is a vacation there!

  10. Nice work! It looks great. Simple changes that make a big pop. I installed two of those light fixtures for a client a few years back, hours- yes. And patience! It looks beautiful. The pulls are rad!

  11. I love everything about your house and style so of course I love your kitchen too! Amazing chandelier – so bright and clean!
    -e (modern24seven.blogspot.com)