Mini Kitchen Remodel – New lighting makes a WORLD of difference!

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In addition to all the other changes around here in the past month (you know, like new babies and starting Kindergarten), we’ve been in the midst of some home improvement projects! As a Lowe’s Creative Ideas Blogger, I was given the challenge to upgrade the kitchen. There was MUCH that could have been improved upon, but two things we’ve been dying to do is get a new sink & redo the lighting! We did both and we are SOOOOoooo loving the results!! mini kitchen remodelAnd, oh my, how new kitchen lighting makes a world of difference! We LOVE the new changes! Now, this might not look like anything spectacular you, but it is so, SO much better than what it looked like before. When we bought our house a little over two years ago, it needed work. No crazy major fixes, just lots of aesthetic things as just about every single thing in the house was the most basic builder-grade. We’ve slowly been making updates. So, here’s what the kitchen looked like when we bought it: After some paint, some appliances (rather important 😉 ), new tile flooring, an island, and removal of that awful swag light, here is what the kitchen looked like earlier this month: I don’t love our cabinets at all, but haven’t decided what color would be best for refinishing them. Plus, I knew that with a new baby, a complete cabinet refinish project would have been too big for us right now. We also toyed with the idea of getting new counters, but that would have eaten up our entire budget and there were other, more functional changes to be made. It might be hard to tell from the pictures, but one MAJOR issue in the kitchen was the lighting at the counters. Because the only real light source was the large fluorescent box in the middle, I was always casting a shadow over the counters when working/cooking. It made everything seem so dark, especially in the winter. Bleh! And, trying to photograph stuff for the blog? Super difficult. We desperately need some work space lighting. Plus, I didn’t care for our big light box at all. In addition to that, both Mr. Mom Endeavors and I loathed our sink. The sink was so rounded on the bottom of each side that every single thing you put in the sink would slide right to the middle over the drain. SUPER annoying! Plus, it wasn’t very nice to look at. It was the white-ceramic style which over the years had become all scratched up and stained. Even after a good tough cleaning it still looked so dingy in places. Combine that with quite possibly the hardest water on Earth (seriously, the calcium & minerals in the water here is insane), the faucet looked crusty & awful.

So, we decided to redo the lighting (and add more), get a new sink & faucet, and add hardware to all the cabinets for at least a little bit of a cabinet makeover! There were lots of shopping trips to Lowe’s to browse & make decisions (there were like 200 different hardware options alone). Then, we finally got to work last week.

Up first was installing the new sink. And, I LOVE it! It’s amazing how just that updated things so much. The right side is so big that we can fit a handled pan flat on the bottom. So much nicer for washing! And so much prettier!

Here’s the side by side comparison: Next up was the lighting. There was one recessed light installed above the sink. But, we wanted more; basically one over each work station. Things were a lot easier since that one already existed (so the electrical was already installed–wire just had to be added & run from it to the other new lights). We had to cut circles out of the ceiling, which was really nerve wracking. I thought for sure we were going to end up having to patch dry wall. But, nope–everything went well.

Once the canned lighting was in, next up was the overhead lighting. Again, I was super nervous that we were going to have tons of patching to do once we took off the big fluorescent lighting unit with the wooden frame, but it came off well too. We had to patch a few small holes and do a bit of painting. So, it worked out well that we did the canned lights first, as we took one of the ceiling circles we had cut out into Lowe’s for paint color matching. It came out great! Then, up went the track lighting. Last, but not least was the cabinet hardware & then we had a completed mini kitchen remodel! It not only looks nice, but functions much better! The lighting above the counters made a HUGE difference. Even without the new track lighting on, I can work at the counters with just the recessed lights on. We put them on a dimmer switch, which is really nice too! Amazing what just a rather small makeover can do! And, the transformation of the kitchen since moving in is pretty crazy! So, what do YOU think?

If you’re interested, here’s the list of the larger items we installed (click on any of the links for more details):

For more great ideas, check out Lowe’s Cre­ative Ideas on FB and Lowe’s on Pin­ter­est. And, did you know that you can sign up to receive the Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine on your i-pad or i-phone?  A great way to have a lot of good ideas right at your fingertips & perfect when shopping at the store!

Dis­clo­sure:  I am a mem­ber of the Lowe’s Cre­ative Ideas Cre­ators & Influ­encers Net­work and receive a Lowe’s gift card to com­plete my projects.  All opin­ions & expe­ri­ences are entirely my own.

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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42 Responses

    1. I completely understand that!! I seriously hated ours before and was practically giddy to get a new one. You know it was bad when even your husband is super excited about a sink of all things! 🙂

  1. You guys are just super awesome..look at the homely kitchen before and the super stylish one now.. even the cabinets look really good in that lighting

    1. Thanks, Vasudha! 🙂 That was such a pleasant surprise with the lighting as I think the cabinets look better now too! 🙂

  2. I love your mini makeover. I have the same cabinets as you and my kitchen needs a desperate makeover. I like seeing what you were able to do with yours – it looks very nice. So maybe there is hope for my kitchen 🙂

    1. Thanks, Summer! So funny we have the same cabinets! 🙂 I’m still too scared to tackle those though!

  3. Oh, I love it!!!! We are doing ours in the next few weeks too! We’re lucky because my BFF and neighbor’s husband is an electrician and is going to do the work! YIPEE!!!

    I love how your kitchen looks now! Great job!!

  4. This looks great. Love the lighting and you willl LOVE the stainless steel sink. Have a fun weekend, hugs….

  5. Its amazing how much different your kitchen looks with the new lighting!! Not only does it give your kitchen an updated look it will also be great for your recipe posts pics! We need to get new lighting in our kitchen, I currently have to take my recipe pictures in my office or outside. haha I want to come cook in your kitchen now!

  6. It looks amazing!! I really love the lighting!! Now that you have a stainless sink you could do stainless cabinet pulls, and maybe re-stain your cabinets a darker cherry color. Or even do a simple back splash of tiles. Both smaller projects!! Seriously awesome though!!

  7. OMG the lighting made an awesome difference. We couldn’t redo some of the things we wanted to but just by replacing the lights and the sink made a huge difference in our kitchen.

  8. I see a small island has been added. Was it custom made to fit the kitchen or was it purchased ready to install?

  9. Stumbled across your blog while looking for track lighting to replace our flu­o­res­cent lighting as well. I love the light that you put in there, but was looking at reviews on Lowe’s and they don’t seem very favorable, something about a ring coming loose and the shade coming down. Have you had any of those problems?

    1. Hi Tarynn,
      Funny you should ask that…I actually didn’t check the reviews at all when we bought it. I just bought something we liked saw the reviews after the post went up. You sure are right that many of them are not favorable. But, it’s been a little over a year and we haven’t had any trouble at all. In fact, we haven’t even had a light bulb go out yet (knock on wood). So, I don’t know if others just didn’t install them properly or the company updated the models after seeing the reviews maybe. But, so far, so good! 🙂
      Good luck!

  10. This is beautiful! We’re set to begin remodeling our kitchen in 2 weeks, and we’re still trying to figure out the lighting situation. I really want to replace our ugly fluorescent, but we need to make sure we will have plenty of light as that baby gives out so much. The track light I’m thinking of is the same one you choose, but I had the same question as the above comment. (I started writing it, and then read that someone had already asked you!) So, just curious how it is doing now that we are more than a year out from that comment. Thanks for your input!

    1. Hi Annie,
      So, we’ve now had two light bulbs go out, but other than that, we still have had no issues. Nothing like what the unfavorable reviews have said. So, I’m not sure if we got lucky or maybe they corrected some of the issues or what. But so far, we’re still good!! 🙂

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