Gloria Graham, AKBD
Brendan Donovan Furniture & Cabinet Co.
3685 Investment Lane, West Palm Beach, Florida
Phone (561)254-7736,

Friday, July 22, 2011


You’ve heard of Snakes on a Plane.  Well yesterday we had snakes in a Kitchen Design Studio.  Ok I exaggerate.  It was one snake, a juvenile black snake (according to Trevor’s iphone Googling).  I think he slithered in to tell me it’s high time I write a blog post so here I am with a topic that is especially near and dear to our hearts nowadays, saving money.

If you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in a new kitchen, there are some small tricks that can make a big difference.   Whether you just seek to make your tired dysfunctional kitchen great looking and user friendly, or you want to up the appeal for a potential buyer, these smaller upgrades fit the bill.

Consumer Reports’ latest tests offers the home owner a variety of low investment ideas to freshen up the kitchen.    Here's my twist on what they had to say.


“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”- Henry Ward Beecher (Love the quote and was going to find a way to work it in here no matter what) SO, how about painting your nature in your kitchen?  Paint is the most inexpesive low-risk investment you can undertake to make a dramatic difference.  Most of us can even tackle the walls ourselves.  You can be bold as there typically isn't a whole lot of wall exposed in a kitchen (except this one!).  Don't forget to consider adjoining rooms and how colors will work together.  I prefer a satin or even a semi-gloss finish that is easy to wipe clean in the kitchen.  If you’re more ambitious and want to paint your cabinets, do it right.  Remove the doors, drawers and hardware, clean all surfaces, sand or de-gloss, use a primer and take your time!

This person's nature is PINK!! Photo from

 Make it work! (As Tim would say)

You know what I’m talking about.  Are you tired of falling spice containers? Do you yearn for a convenient trash  receptacle?  If you’ve lived in your kitchen for a while you will probably have a few functional pet peeves.  Many of them can be addressed without breaking the budget.  There are all kinds of ways to store those unruly spices. Check out my previous post Spaces for Spices.     If you have a 15” to 21” wide cabinet to spare you can install a pull out trash container.  I’d say this is the number one accessory for a kitchen and every kitchen needs one!  How about roll out trays?  You can also purchase these and install them yourself if you’re handy.

A 50 quart pull out trash can you can install yourself from

Counter solution

One of the most visible elements in your kitchen is the counter top and a new one can make a world of difference.  Unless you’re going with a laminate, and there are some really nice selections out there,  you’re going to spend more than $1,000.  If that’s the case make sure your cabinets are worthy.  Check for damage, especially for water damage in and around the sink cabinet.  If the integrity of your cabinetry is compromised you certainly don’t want to set a butt load of money on top!  Did you know that once granite or quartz are installed no one will gurantee it can be removed without breakage?

Yes, it's a laminate counter top! Photo from

Create a splash

The back splash is another visible element with a lot of impact.  Here you can get even more creative than with the counter top because it’s purely decorative!  Other than being cleaner- friendly it doesn’t have to do anything but look pretty.  Tile, tin panels, or even wine bottle corks can make a unique statement on your back splash.

Glass is hot but these backsplash tiles will look cool :)

Cork your backsplash. Talk about character and conversation potential! Photo courtesy of sunnyvmd2b over at

Floor it

Wood flooring is hot at the moment and that’s because it’s a great look and it goes with almost everything but here’s the best kept secret in kitchen flooring.        Traffic Master Allure Ultra Resilient Flooring.

Trafficmaster Allure is available at Home Depot

It looks great, it’s pet proof, kid proof and water proof.  It’s really easy to install.  I know, my hubs installed it for us and it still looks great after five years!

No excuses.  I find that even the smallest project completed yields such a sense of accomplishment.  These are even things you can do to tide you over until you have saved enough for the full Monty!  (At which time you will call me) In the meantime, send me pix.  I want to see what you can do.


  1. Great ideas! We were fortunate enough to get a new floor and over the stove microwave installed in our tiny rental kitchen. And a paint job. It inspired us to reorganize and add more organizer thingys to our cabinets. And to declutter. All that can make such a difference and we feel like we have a new kitchen.

  2. You definitely don't have to spend a fortune to create a whole new kitchen. A couple of years ago, we did just about everything you listed here in our kitchen - the transformation was amazing, and the amount of money we spent was quite reasonable for what we accomplished. We painted all the cabinetry (sent out the doors & drawers to be sprayed), replaced the counter, backsplash, sink, and faucet, added some new cabinetry (good thing hubby is handy!) and painted the walls. If you'd like to see the transformation, I blogged about it here:

  3. I loved you ideas a lot, and specially the Trafficmaster Allure, even though you were mostly mentioning the Floor there but I liked the whole thing ... Thanks for your post!

  4. I was impressed with your ideas but i want to know the reason behind discussing about the snake which entered into your studio???
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  5. Wearing glasses with an out of date prescription and squinting non-stop makes you look unintelligent. (((cough::Glorid::cough))

  6. good ideas...iam wondering how snake entered into your studio??..
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  7. nice post.thanks for sharing info..and u want more info modular-kitchens pls visit my site
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  8. Well written blog ..your tips will help me to make my kitchen great since my kitchen wall tiles are awesome will surely use them in my home thanks.

  9. Thank you very much for providing the valuable information.