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Recently Lowe’s Home Improvement and I partnered together to brighten up my kitchen! This is the first post to tell you about our kitchen DIY project: My work with Lowe’s, my shopping experience in our Medford, Oregon store, and my plan for putting together a mini kitchen re-do, to make my kitchen a happier and a brighter place.

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I love their Kitchen & Dining page which gives great ideas. And all of their creative ideas, according to the season. Plus, you can sign up for a My Lowe’s account which is very helpful and basically does this for you:

My Lowe's Acount

The story behind my kitchen is that we tore down walls and remodeled it a few years back, and I still love the design to this day. But the darker colors and countertops made the kitchen a little dreary, especially in the winter months and rainy seasons. With all the entertaining that we do, and very few windows in my kitchen, I needed bright and cheery, especially as a food blogger and photographer of a lot of food! I also wanted a style that would go with my 1978 home here in southern Oregon, keeping in mind the wood beams, knotty pine ceiling in the living room, and the modern/rustic feel of the home.

Lowe's Home Improvement Kitchen Re-Do | Reluctant

After months of research and lots of views on Pinterest of beautiful kitchens, I learned a couple of things:

1. Leave the beautiful wood cabinets. I knew right away that I didn’t want to follow the trend of painting my cabinets, but wanted to enjoy the natural integrity of wood.
2. White kitchens are overdone. They are beautiful, but also very trendy. Again, don’t follow the trend but keep the style of my home in mind.

I’m not a designer by any means, but I do love to design, and I have a quick eye for what goes together and for choosing colors. And I am very excited to keep our wood cabinets. This was never an option to change out, and I wouldn’t have done that, but painting them was a little tempting. I’m over that now. :) (DARK kitchen, below)

Lowe's Home Improvement Brightening Kitchen Project

Not only did we decide to paint our kitchen, we needed new lighting (can you believe we still have some of the 1978 original lighting?), and wanted to look in to a backsplash that we never pursued a few years ago.

And then I learned from Lowe’s that they’d be willing to really brighten the kitchen with a partnership with LG for new countertops from LG HI-MACS Solid Surface Countertops! That was the ultimate surprise, and here’s a peek at what we’re getting … I’m so excited!

Lowe's Home Improvement Brightening Kitchen Project

I set out on my shopping spree at our local Lowe’s store to focus on these 4 things:

1. PAINT: Bright cheery paint in the kitchen and a freshening up of our RED front door (last time painted in 2005).

2. New LIGHTING in kitchen (3 pendants) and dining room. New lighting in the entry way and up the stairway, which still had the original lighting from 1978!

3. BACKSPLASH. Something different, classy, and that would tie together the kitchen colors, countertops, and wood cabinets.

4. COUNTERTOPS: White! I wanted light and bright and white!

Since fall is in the air, our local Lowe’s Home Improvement store had a really fun, festive vibe to it. You could just feel the people bustling around with their to-do lists, honey-do notes, and home improvement ideas.

DIY Lowe's Home Improvement Kitchen Project

I started in the paint department, where I picked out 3 different paints. Speedy Stephanie assisted me, and she whipped out those gallons of paint!

DIY Lowe's Home Improvement Kitchen Project


1. Heirloom RED Valspar paint for the front door.

2. Olympic ONE paint for the kitchen: Weeping Willow C11-3 and Babbling Brook D61-2

DIY Lowe's Home Improvement Kitchen Project

Then we headed over to the lighting. A lighting department can become very overwhelming unless you know exactly what you are looking for. Those cool blue pendants caught my eye for above our center island!

DIY Lowe's Home Improvement Kitchen Project

Steve was my guy there, as he not only had a design sense, he answered every question I had, and gave me great suggestions (and we went with this beautiful yellow light for the dining space)!

DIY Lowe's Home Improvement Kitchen Project


1. 3 new pendants for the kitchen. We went with our new kitchen colors, a bought (3) teal blue pendants.

2. New dining hanging light. We went with a tannish/yellow that had light green and blue in it, tying in the kitchen colors.

3. 2 entry and hallway matching lights. I chose 2 barrel lights with slats that matched our staircase wood.

DIY Lowe's Home Improvement Kitchen Project

I’ll save the backsplash for another post, because that comes last after our countertops are in. But here’s a sneak peek:

Lowe's Home Improvement Brightening Kitchen Project

Our friend Jack came to help install, paint, and do some extra jobs for us. He’s not only our retired friend, we find Jack so enjoyable to be around. We decided after a few days of working and helping us that we’d actually let Jack move in with us! :)

Here’s John, one of Medford’s store managers, who gave me excellent service, and even helped me out and loaded up the car for me. Thank you, John!

Lowe's Home Improvement Brightening Kitchen Project

Next post: Installing light fixtures, painting, and what it feels like to update the kitchen. And the excitement that I have for the holidays to come!

If you could paint your kitchen 2 colors, what would you choose?

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement, as they are paying for the supplies.