Design Consult · Home Decor · Home Update · Home-Room Design · interior design · interiors · kitchen remodel

Let’s freshen up that bachelor pad

At my age, friends are married, divorced, remarried and all the above. We have lived half our lives already (isn’t that so crazy to think about?!!!!) and are established in our ways. Through experiences, we have accumulated a lot of things in our lives, including the furnishings of past homes.


I had heard about the Mikes. Melanie, a sorority sister of mine married Mike, but not her party-friend Mike, and not her good friend Vivecka’s Mike. There are a lot of Mikes in this group of friends, apparently! I had only met Melanie’s Mike (at their wedding!) and Melanie’s party friend Mike (at celebrations through the years). I hadn’t met Vivecka’s Mike, until I visited Vivecka’s house to help them with their kitchen design.

Viv and Mike got married and she moved into his established home. They have slowly been updating the spaces, including the primary bath, the guest bath and the laundry room. It was now time to update the kitchen so that the bachelor home feels more like a home they have built together!

Initial Meeting

For our first meeting, we met at the house so I could see the space. My first impressions were that it was dark, heavy and very masculine. The counters were really cool but the texture and pattern was too busy for their space (not to mention the wrong color) and the rounded, bullnose edge was a huge trend in the 80’s–not so much in 2022.

Our second meeting was at CFM to look at tile and countertop options. Vivicka wanted a classic style, with white cabinets, clean black accents and a textured but modern take on a subway tile–maybe herringbone, maybe classic format. We ordered “more than the allotted sample amount”* of backsplash tiles to truly narrow down the color, texture and shape that was going to work for the space and style of the home.

*I opened my CFM account at the Beaverton location. I LOVE the team at the Beaverton location! Kind, helpful, no snootiness what so ever. Vivecka lives closer to another location which is where we met. There seemed to be a lot more “rules” at that location. LOL! Fortunately they “bent” the rules just that one time for us and we were able to get all the samples ordered to make the perfect selection for the space. 😉


To break up the vast open floorplan, we decided to paint the island and the separate wall pantry hutch in a darker gray/blue (BM Cheating Heart) which we absolutely LOVE! It’s gray but not too gray. It has a touch of blue that doesn’t come off in person as much as it does in photos. In the adjoining space, there is a lot of shades of gray and this ties together the tones of the dining and living space visually with the kitchen.

To add a different texture and warmth to a space that can come off as being quite sterile, we found these barstools at Pottery Barn. The leather brings a warmth and richness to the space and the black iron legs coordinate nicely with the cabinet hardware and light fixtures in the kitchen.


Fortunately, Viv and Mike were able to keep the original appliances and because the cabinets didn’t change, the flooring also stayed the same*. The cabinets are the original cabinets from the first renovation Mike made years ago. With a fresh coat of paint, these once dark cabinets have a whole new life!

*Often when you move cabinetry, it exposes the flooring from under the cabinets which can be a totally different color and then requires refinishing of the floors, adding another big expense to a remodel.

What White Did You Use?

Mike’s background is in the paint industry! For a long time he was a professional painter. So he is very knowledgable in that area. Before this remodel, he changed out all the window trim and painted all of them throughout the whole house. For the kitchen remodel, he knew he wanted the cabinets to match the trim.

I asked him, “What white did you use?” He replied, “White.” I responded, “No, like did you use Benjamin Moore White Dove, or Chantilly Lace? What white did you paint?” Mike looks at me deadpan and says, “White.” He went out to the garage, got the can of paint and showed me, there was no formula. He had gone into the paint store, bought a can of white base paint, nothing added, and painted all the trim in his house the paint right out of the can. No complicated gray-white, cream-white, … just white! Ha! I was in hysterics! How many blog posts and magazine articles have you read about what white to choose?!!! Take it from Mike…just use the base color. I am in awe of such a simple and brilliant design choice!

A Rich Cabinet

One of my favorite design choices we made in this space is painting the island and pantry in a dark color to separate it from the rest of the white cabinetry. By doing this, it adds an interest and a sense of separation from the rest of the space. It makes the pantry feel like a historic piece that has been there forever. I also love how the glass front doors draw you in. Because the background is dark, the items inside really pop off the dark background and casing.

This kitchen facelift is a good example of using the same footprint and making a few changes like a fresh coat of paint, new bright countertops and updating hardware, you can really make a space feel new again!

The details:

I’m pretty pleased with it all! What do you think?!

xo, Melis

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