Updated: 1/2/2022

This post reveals an Elegant White Kitchen Makeover with a Splash of Chinoiserie.

Have you ever wished you could look into the future a couple of years and see how the kitchen makeover (or any other room refresh) we are planning is working out?

I get you!

Lucky for you, today, you can benefit from a look back on my kitchen makeover and know what’s working and what I’d do differently.

You’ll find the 2 year review after each of the sections, preceded by the word UPDATE.

Elegant Kitchen Makeover – The Beginning

We purchased our home new . . . . in 1996, that is. We love our home, and are very thankful for the years and the memories we’ve made here. Several rooms have received updates throughout the years; however, until this makeover the kitchen has remained untouched. Golden oak cabinets and white laminate countertops have completed their call of duty with honor, and have even gone that extra mile or two for our family home.

So it’s with love and appreciation that we demolish the white laminate and update the fading golden oak cabinets. Refinishing with a new stain is a great option. But, we chose to have our cabinets professionally painted.

We added a touch of my favorite design style, Chinoiserie, to help tie this room to the rest of the main floor.

Elegant White Kitchen Countertops and Cabinets
Elegant White Kitchen Makeover

After you check out the kitchen makeover, you might like view these room makeovers: Chinoiserie Master Bedroom Makeover Powder Room Makeover, Chinoiserie Dining Room Makeover

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my entire Disclosure HERE.

The makeover began with an assessment of the current kitchen. The solid oak cabinets were still in great shape, although the finish was long gone in several places. The kitchen layout is adequate for a kitchen this size, so we decided a complete gut job was not necessary or exciting for us at this stage of our lives.

Our appliances were replaced several years back, and are in great shape. So, for less than half the cost of most kitchen renovations of this size, we were able to create an Elegant White Kitchen Makeover that we are loving.

White Kitchen Cabinets with Stainless Steel Refridgerator
Elegant White Kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances

As with most makeovers, there remains a couple of items still to be addressed. We will talk about those at the end of this post.

UPDATE: Oh, well! You will find the list at the end of this post is still on the to do list!!

Elegant White Kitchen Makeover – Before and After Photos

I had to search high and low to find before photos of the kitchen. Somehow, it has avoided the camera throughout the past four blogging years. I do wonder why.

Elegant White Kitchen Makeover : The List

  1. Paint Cabinets
  2. New Counter Tops
  3. Replace Cabinet Hardware
  4. New Sink
  5. New Faucet

Step One for Elegant White Kitchen Makeover — Paint the Cabinets

There are tons of “how to paint your kitchen cabinets” tutorials out there. I reviewed many, and even purchased some recycled golden oak cabinet doors, and several types of recommended paints to practice.

In the end, though, we decided the extensive process professional cabinet painters offered was the best option for long term durablity. They do a filler step that hides almost all the wood grain far beyond what I could do even as a seasoned DIYer. So, we let the professionals handle the job.

White Kitchen cabinets and stainless steal oven and microwave
Elegant White Painted Kitchen Cabinets

We did our due diligence, researching the company and their process before deciding on which company to go with. They were among the most expensive bids, but they also had great reviews and a long history.

Along with the painting process, they recommended purchasing the soft close, hidden hinges. Again, an increased cost over the standard hinges but are well worth the extra money. Not only are they quiet, the clean lines along the cabinet edges is such an elegant look.

White Kitchen Cabinets with glass doors and stainless steal dishwasher
Soft-close Kitchen Cabinet Hinges

UPDATE: The paint on the cabinets is holding up great. We have done the touch up one time in the past two years, following the process the professionals recommended. It works beautifully, just as they said.

Step Two for Elegant White Kitchen Makeover — New Countertops

We are over the moon pleased with these new counter tops. I had done lots of research and shopping over the past few years, and had decided we’d be installing Quartz (stay tuned). Although I love and even prefer the shiny finish of Granite, Quartz was where I’d find the color I wanted.

So, after I’d done a lot of the initial leg work, and knew what I wanted to present to Tom, we headed out to find white quartz with a little gray veining. (Again, stay tuned.)

White Cabinets and Countertops with brushed gold cup and saucer
Elegant White Kitchen Makeoer

Quartzite Countertops– We Have a “New Leader in the Clubhouse”

When, we walked into the show room we both were inticed, even memorized, by a slab displayed in the window; aptly placed by a master marketer, no doubt. The sun was shining through the window and the slab, showcasing the “lit from within” quality of the beautiful piece of nature.

It glittered like freshly fallen snow and ice. It’s beauty caught the eye of both Tom the Great and me.

White Kitchen Countertops with clean glass candlestick and milkglass cake stand
Icy White Countertops

Still, we proceeded to the desk area to get a few questions answered and be pointed in the right direction, toward what we came in to see, Quartz. The dutiful employee reiterated the differences between Quartz and Granite, and showed us where they both were located, and invited us to look around.

Quartzite Countertop – Winning

Like a powerful magnet, our future slab pulled us both toward “the light”. I still had no idea that Quartzite existed, but I was certain I loved what I was seeing, and so did Tom.

For the first time in home decorating decision making history, we were 100% on the same design choice page. Now, to discover if this magnificient phenomena of nature is anywhere near our countertop budget. We’d also need to know durablity and upkeep information. (When he pulled out his measuring tape, I knew it was a done deal!)

Man measuring Quartzite Countertops
Tom the Great Measuring the Quartzite Slab

Well, of course, it was indeed the most costly option. We both have a way of finding the most expensive options, or they have a way of finding us. The owner educated us on Quartzite: durability, upkeep, and it’s origin. We learned: “Natural-quartz crystals are mined, then ground into a dust or an aggregate that’s fused with resin binders under intense heat and pressure to form a solid slab. Pigments added during the process impart color to the countertop.

QUARTZITE, however, is a naturally occuring stone, just as Granite.

Following the lesson, we decided to purchase the Quartzite slab for the countertop AND backsplash. Well done Mr. Shop Owner.

FYI: If possible you should go to the warehouse to choose your slab, whether you purchasing Granite or Quartzite. Because they are from the earth, they can have great variations. The owner invited us to choose our slab, and we we’re even allowed to lay out the templates for our kitchen.

UPDATE: Tom the Great and I have no regrets on the choice! We love the bright, lit from within glow the countertop shares with us every day. What a WIN!!!

Step Three for the Elegant White Kitchen Makeover – Replace the Hardware

Brushed gold and acrylic pulls and knobs were also on the initial planning board for the kitchen, and they would look great in the room. This, however, was a point of compromise. Tom the Great wasn’t a fan of the brushed gold.

So we went with the stainless steel and acrylic option. In the end, however, they look equally beautiful as the gold option and it doesn’t feel much like a compromise at all. (Incidentally, I found places to mix in some brushed gold, and will do another post on how to blend the two metals ((and rattan) in one space.)

You’ll notice we used larger sized handles on our corner pantry cabinet doors. The larger pulls are more to scale with the larger cabinet door making them more aesthetically pleasing.

UPDATE: The cabinet pulls have no down side. They have held up wonderfully, and the clear acrylic is beautiful but unassuming.

Step Four for the Elegant White Kitchen Makeover: New Sink and Faucet

The counter top is the focal point in our kitchen. That guided our choice for a stainless steel undermount sink. We considered the popular farmhouse sink with the large apron, and they are stunningly beautiful, but decided the sleek clean lines of the undermount flowed better with the countertop.

These sinks are 10 inches deep, allowing ample room for large pots. The stainless is so easy to care for, as well.

We are enjoying the new faucet as well. It is both practical and pretty. We loved the stream lined design. The pulldown faucet handle acts as both a regular stream faucet and a sprayer.

UPDATE: The first thing I would likely change in this makeover, is the deep sinks. We’ve grown accustomed to them for the most part, but for a relatively tall family, we have to bend over to do the dishes. The trade of is how beautifully the big pots fit. It’s also hides a few dirty dishes with ease.

As for the faucet, we love it. The black button you see on the side is a toggle switch that allows you to have a steady stream or wide spray similar to the sprayer that used to be on the side of the faucet in our former kitchen.

Elegant White Kitchen Makeover with a Splash of Chinoiserie — Part Two

We’re planning on refinishing the wood floor, but after several weeks with the mess from this project, we decided that refresh could wait until Spring. We will also convert the two can lights over the kitchen sink to pendants. The walls above the cabinets will be painted in a creamy white to blend with the cabinets. By the way, this is not the order that I would recommend. It’s just the way it worked for us. Painting the walls would likely be the starting place for a kitchen makeover, followed by finishing the floors before the cabinets.

Kitchen Makeover – Part Two – The List

  1. Refinish Wood Floors
  2. Install Light Fixtures
  3. Paint Walls

UPDATE: Yeah, well, none of the above has been completed, and I’m not even anxious for any of it. Well, maybe pendants?

Splash of Chinoiserie in Kitchen Makeover

You may be asking, where’s the Splash of Chinoiserie. The touches are subtle in the kitchen. The vintage rattan bar stools with cheetah cushions is the only splash so far. I thought about new barstools, but I love these vintage rattan ones.

The new ones I found were very similar, so I could not getting new for the heck of it, when these are so great. If you can find a vintage set, grab them as they are hard to come by. Otherwise, I did link the new options I found while shopping.

Rattan Kitchen Stool with Cheetah Print Cushion
Vintage Rattan Chinoiserie Style Kitchen Stool with Cheetah Print Cushion

I’m on the hunt for Chinoiserie style pendants as well. Otherwise, a couple of accessories to this point: cheetah print kitchen towels, and a ginger jar. I’m sure a few more accents pieces will find me.

Rattan Kitchen Stool in Elegant White Kitchen Makeover
Rattan Kitchen Stool with Cheetah Print Cushion add touch of Chinoiserie to Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Makeover – The Quartzite Peninsula

Another area of compromise was on our peninsula. As is the current trend, I wanted to remove the higher portion of our peninsula and have one level instead of two. TtG wasn’t on board, and I don’t mind the two levels after all.

White Countertops with Fuschia Orchid and rattan desk
We Kept the two-level Peninsula.

UPDATE: Here is the second area that I regret just a little. I wish I had pushed a little harder for the one level peninsula instead of the two levels.

You can Shop my Home here. If the exact item is linked I mark it as such. Otherwise, I do my best to find you very similar items. Thank you for taking a look.

Enjoy Today.

Love y’all,

Lori Nell

Sharing is Caring ~ Would Love if You Could Add this to Your Pinterest Board

Here’s the post that contains information on several of these kitchen decor items.

Comments (16)

  1. Lisa


    Lori Nell, I love your kitchen! It is bright, crisp and elegant!! I know you will enjoy it!!

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Thank you so much! We are loving it ourselves. I’m actually excited to clean the kitchen after meals.

  2. acraftymix


    It’s sooooooooooooo dreamy Lori. I’m not much of a cook, but I don’t think I’d ever want to leave that gorgeous kitchen of yours. I can’t believe how luminous the quartz looks. Great choice I’m glad the salesman won you over. WOW!!!

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Thank you, Maria. I will say I don’t mind the clean up these days!

  3. Lynn Spencer


    I will be doing a very similar thing! Not familiar with quartzite, but adding it to my list! Beautiful!

  4. Reply

    I can’t beleive the change in your kitchen just by painting your cabinets! I also love, love the fixtures. Everything looks fabulous!

  5. Pingback: Kitchen Decor Ideas - Colorful Accessories - Southern Nell

  6. Pingback: Five Quick Ways to Add Fall Decor to Your Kitchen - Southern Nell's

  7. Pingback: DIY - Small Bathroom Makeover - The Reveal - Southern Nell's

  8. Pingback: Budget-Friendly Office Refresh with Spray Paint and Vintage Furniture Finds - Southern Nell's

  9. Pingback: Ideas for Creating a Grandparent's Nursery - Southern Nell's

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.