First up: the kitchen. About 5 or so years ago, we took down the wallpaper put up by previous owners and painted the kitchen orange...and I loved it. Now I don't anymore, so it was time for a change.
First, I cleaned out all the cabinets and got rid of a bunch of stuff, mostly from the "junk drawers." It was kind of nice that I didn't have a lot of pots and pans to get rid of--I have a lot, but I actually do use the vast majority of them on a regular basis. Others I keep because they are specialized, like the clay pot or the roasting pan. Didn't have too much food that had to go, either, because I had already done that before we left for Quito.
Next, that orange had to go--here is the "just before" (in process of deciding on the new color):
(the boxes were donations for the library; nothing to do with the kitchen)
Then, after couple of days of painting, getting a few new things, and putting together, it was done:
I really, really love it. It's so much brighter, and the open shelving makes it easy to grab anything I want. It's also a lot more open--and the small kitchen table will get us to use the dining room every night, which is kind of nice. I'm hoping that will get us to keep the dining room table clean too, but we'll see if that happens.
Some things just don't change with this kitchen, though. Eg: one whole side of the room remains all dark cabinets and appliances (and the laminate back splash does not allow me to paint under the cabinets). So, we have the "light side" and the "dark side"--but they do okay co-mingling. Someday, maybe, we can take the plunge and have a complete re-do of the kitchen, but not now.
This, I think--actually, I know--is just the beginning...