By CATHI AYCOCK

Golden oak cabinets, recessed can lighting and a too-small island and workspace and tiny stainless steel sink were a few of the things that bothered homeowners Karyn and Jim Hoppe about their kitchen.

While the bones of the kitchen were good — open floorplan and lots of natural light — the space seemed boring and dated.

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Dated cabinetry made the kitchen, here in the before shot, seem dark and boring.

They wanted to update the look of the kitchen, but they wanted to spend money wisely. So instead of opting for all new cabinets, the couple decided to paint their existing cabinets to create the fresh look they wanted for much less.

“The floorplan of the kitchen didn’t need changing. We just wanted a more current looking kitchen and a few tweaks for function. We priced new cabinets and it was going to cost thousands more than having our existing cabinets repainted. I did some research and looked at cabinets that Bella Tucker had painted for other clients and decided to go with painting,” says homeowner Karyn Hoppe.

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The kitchen makeover included building a large, more functional island.

An instant refresher, Dana Tucker with Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes says often her clients often can’t believe they are actually the same cabinetry once they have been painted, glazed and refreshed with updated hardware.

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Nearly the same kitchen, but with painted cabinets, glass fronts and new lighting and sink, it seems bigger and more modern.

“They had oak cabinets with a really heavy grain. Very typical of homes built 15 years ago, and almost no one wants these orangey based cabinets today. Today,the look is about a clean, fresh feel in the kitchen. And painting the cabinets gives you that look for a fraction of what new cabinets will cost,” explains Tucker, who, along with husband Brooks, has owned the design firm for 11 years.

To create the look the Hoppes’ wanted, Tucker used a special primer to keep the grain from showing through the paint to give a matte, muted creamy white color on the cabinets.  She glazed the cabinets lightly with a taupe paint for dimension and to tie the cabinets to the granite color chosen for the countertops.

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The new island is much bigger than the previous one, but because the kitchen cabinets are so much lighter, the space actually feels bigger.

The homeowners routed existing wooden front cabinet doors and inserted vintage-style seeded glass for a more open feel in the kitchen. They also updated the cabinet hardware and added modern pendant lighting.

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Removing the wood panels on a few upper cabinets and replacing them with vintage-looking seeded glass adds more brightness to the kitchen.

To create a more functional island, the family uses it as a central gathering place for dining, homework and conversation, a custom oversized island was built and painted black to add a grounding element to the kitchen.

A large farm sink, built into the island, gave more function to the space and added style points too.

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A large, deep, farmhouse sink adds function and beauty to the newly redone kitchen.

“We absolutely love everything about the kitchen. It seems so much bigger, even though we actually took up more space with the island,” says Karyn Hoppe of the kitchen makeover.