Spring Cleaning: Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change

We did a few things while spring cleaning to update our kitchen with big changes to how the space feels. You can enter for a chance to win $500 of Legrand adorne products by showing them a picture of your space.
Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change ($500 Legrand Giveaway) via FoodforMyFamily.com
Fresh out of grad school with a job secured, in the middle of winter, we start house hunting. We were looking specifically in a very small collection of blocks that feeds to the kids’ school. We walked through house after house of outdated kitchens, DIYers gone wrong, sloping floors and cracking foundations in our small neighborhood until one afternoon we ended up here.

It had just hit the market, a recent flip. Within a minute of stepping through the door, Ole looked at me, eyes bright. Our list of “must-haves” was incredibly short: dishwasher, hardwood, three bedrooms, dining room. The house filled them all.

All of our dreams were wrapped up in 1100-square-feet of midcentury rambler. The biggest bonuses of all, of course, were updated cabinets in the kitchen and a breezeway that had been converted into a dining room. It wasn’t until later that we took note of budget appliances (our stove retails for $180), cheap cupboards, lack of insulation or heating vents in the breezeway cum dining room (concrete slab under a thin layer of linoleum), and a host of other things throughout the home. Still, it was our house, and now it was time to make it our home.
Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change ($500 Legrand Giveaway) via FoodforMyFamily.com
As it turns out, I’m not too great at the “making it my own” piece of this equation. I tend to drag my feet, trying to hold out for bigger and better when I simply don’t have the ability to afford or do what I want at the moment. A fresh coat of paint and a table in the corner to hold props became the setup for years. The walls remained blank even after I purchased frames. I searched Craigslist for storage solutions for years (no closets), disappointed by people selling them while I was on my way to pay for them.

I reached a breaking point this winter. We ended up with an Ikea cabinet, which is not perfect like the one I’d been stalking, but it is so much nicer than the old kitchen table pushed up under the windows. A ladder bookshelf moved at least a portion of my cookbook collection into the dining room and out of the garage where they’d been sitting for years, and a window from an old door I found on the side of the road now hangs over our dining room table waiting for me to decide what to display on the other side of the glass.
Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change ($500 Legrand Giveaway) via FoodforMyFamily.com
Legrand recently sent us a whole line of adorne products to update our old ’50s switches, crusted from years of use, even after my attempts to clean them with a toothbrush. The wood and metal plate frames and clean lines fit right into my personal – ahem – style, and the nightlights, USB outlets, and network options were made for my tech-minded husband who aspires to turning our home into a smart home as we continue to work to update and upgrade our interior.
Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change ($500 Legrand Giveaway) via FoodforMyFamily.com
The most exciting pieces for me have been the illumination accessories available with the line. We were able to add locator status lights and accent nightlights to hard-to-find switches that make it so much easier to traverse the house in the middle of the night. No more stumbling into the kitchen with my hands outstretched, trying to avoid running into something as I try to get a glass of water or a bucket for a sick kid. Ole geeked out over those, but then he also had fun getting rid of our wall warts when he upgraded several outlets to USBs, making plugging electronics in a breeze.
Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change ($500 Legrand Giveaway) via FoodforMyFamily.com
Like I said, it’s a work in progress, just like me (heh). Slowly, painstakingly, we’re updating doors and doorknobs, painting (and repainting walls), looking at new flooring (adios linoleum) and lighting options (goodbye boob lights), dreaming about new trim and crown molding and updated windows that don’t ice through in the winter, and maybe even printing and hanging photos.
Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change ($500 Legrand Giveaway) via FoodforMyFamily.com
You could win $500 in Legrand adorne product to give your house a bit of a style upgrade, too! All you need to do is tweet or pin a photo of a wall in your home to @legrandna #adorneyourhome to enter. Get all the giveaway details on the Legrand website, and be sure to visit the other participating bloggers’ sites to see their wall transformations!
Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change ($500 Legrand Giveaway) via FoodforMyFamily.com
And that’s it. You’ve seen most of my house. Imagine three small bedrooms and a closet-sized bathroom and we’re done. Ignore my kids’ dirty socks there by the door, take off your shoes (this is Minnesota), and come in and stay a while.


  1. I would love to have USBs around the house to keep charged 🙂 And our light switches always seem to be in the wrong place, so I can see how illumination on them could be useful. I love your living room shelves, and the penguin art 🙂

    • Yes! Ours are all opposite the wall where you enter, which is definitely inconvenient when it’s dark. Those shelves are Ole originals. I’m quite fond of them, too.

  2. you’re house is darling Shaina! and I love the switches. The usb’s are a great idea

  3. I’m a big fan of those illuminated switches! I think I’d switch kids’ artwork in and out behind that glass door.

    • That’s what I thought, too! I’ve put a few things back there from time to time, but there’s no good way to secure it temporarily, so I usually just take it down after a week or so or whenever it falls out from under the glass. Maybe that’s enough.

  4. Love your house, Shaina. I’m so happy with their product. It was a good DIY project for sure! Looks great!

  5. Your house is so pretty!! I love all the light switches and the USBs are genius!

  6. My husband would love it if we had usb outlets!

  7. looks fabulous! Happy spring

  8. What a fun post! Love your home Shaina!

  9. Love taking a peek into your house! The green color is awesome and it matches your blog 🙂 We are working on several house projects right now too. Can’t wait to finish them up!

    • Ha. I am actually a bit tired of the green (it casts in photos), but I won’t be changing it until we remodel the kitchen. I really would like to paint both kitchen and the main living space with a light grey.

  10. Love the changes that you made. Those night lights are so clever, I could really use some things like that for our house. Love seeing your home!

  11. Shaina, I love your home. It’s crazy but I do a lot of the things you mentioned. Holding off hoping for better when I can’t afford and I have SO many empty frames… eesh. It’s neat to see how simple things can turn a house into a home. I love it! Thanks for sharing your intimate space. It’s really lovely!

  12. Shaina – your house is beautiful – thanks so much for showing us! Love the idea of USB outlets – that would be so helpful with all the electronics these days.

  13. Those light switches are gorgeous. My husband would totally geek out over the USB outlets too.

    (I didn’t realize the shoes were a Minnesota thing – I just like to be barefoot!)

  14. You know what I love about you? You make the best of what you have and you make your space so beautiful, yet still family centric and approachable. I love that!

  15. I love your sweet house! The USB and switches are genius!

  16. What great ideas and what a cute kitchen. Will have to think about revamping my kitchen this way as well 🙂

  17. It’s going to be finish of mine day, however before finish I am
    reading this fantastic piece of writing to increase my experience.

  18. Your kitchen is very cool, Shaina. I love green color. It make your kitchen looks clean and glossy.

  19. I love your sweet house! Especially I like The USB and switches they are genius!


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    Spring Cleaning: Small Kitchen Updates for a Big Change | Food for My Family

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