Finally, after much
nagging pleading my husband has completed phase one of our kitchen makeover. For the past four years I have been cooking and eating in a kitchen straight out of a 1970s horror movie. Or at least that’s what it felt like. Previously, our kitchen was a nightmarish blend of harvest gold appliances, forest green and white wannabe tile sheet linoleum, and fake butcher block countertops and backsplash. As an artistically minded person, every morning entering my kitchen was like waking up to hell.
So a couple weekends ago we finally decided we’d better finish the kitchen once I gave my husband another reason to get it done: the Mother Trucker was on her way over and I didn’t want to hear her complain about how we have a messy house, because let’s face it–everything that was supposed to be in the kitchen had been sitting in our dining room and living room for two months.
My favorite things about our renovation:
The countertop. Before we had badly worn formica butcher block countertops original to our 1974 home. What we really wanted to replace them with were granite countertops, but since we had a very limited budget we opted to go with a diamond cut edge faux granite formica countertops that we had to cut ourselves from a local surplus store. Since there really isn’t a significant difference between homes sold in our neighborhood with and without real stone vs formica we figured it was a good deal–and a steal at just $280 for everything we’d need to install them! Mind we still have to put end caps on.
Baking center. Before my husband built me this custom baking center pictured above, we had a cheap booth style yellow pine table that my boys had severely scratched and dented since we bought it from a neighbor four years ago. I thought it took up too much space, so with the help of a friend we moved it outside and put it under our covered porch instead. We bought the cabinets and stained them red mahogany, then my husband built custom shelves and a wooden countertop large enough for me to roll cookies and place hot canning jars on. I now have plenty of storage space and we plan on purchasing chairs so we can also sit and eat there in the morning. I made curtains to hide the storage area under the countertop where I put big bags of flour, sugar, and other baking supplies at using a curtain from Walmart and self-adhesive velcro. Next, maybe I’ll look for a deal on a new Kitchen Aid.
The spice storage area. I bought four sets of IKEA spice holders that attach to the wall or the inside of a cabinet. Now most of my spices are all in once easy to access location.
The new fan. When we put up the baking center our ceiling fan no longer fit in the spot that it was in, and although we could have moved the fan we opted to buy a new light fixture ($14.99 at IKEA) and buy a new table top fan (Walmart ~$38) instead. The fan is all metal which matches our other stainless steel accents such as the cabinet handles, sink, and faucet. As any Texan knows, a fan is mandatory in Texas summers especially when you set your thermostat to 80 because you think that’s a lot cooler than what it is outside.
The flooring. The one thing that made a HUGE difference in our kitchen was when we finally laid the flooring. Our kitchen went from okay to awesome in about an hour. I think choosing the flooring was the hardest part. We both really wanted bamboo and found a great deal on some, but then we were concerned with both placing a wood product in the kitchen and whether it would clash with our other laminate flooring in the rest of the house. We both hate tile because it can crack in dry weather because of our slab foundation, is hard, and the grout can be too hard to clean even after sealing. So we opted for a nice faux tile linoleum (Home Depot). I could not be more pleased! Not only has it warmed up our kitchen, made dirt on the floor almost impossible to see, but more than once we’ve had people mistake it for real tile! A win/win for me.
The blinds. One sentence: Our perv neighbor can no longer see us through the window. ($25 at Walmart)
The thing I hate most about our kitchen makeover:
The original cabinets that we painted. I really, really wish it had been in our budget to purchase new cabinets, but alas we had to work with what we had. Which means that my husband still has some drawer hardware to replace and he still needs to make a new drawer for a missing one by the stove. We found a product called Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations ($75-150) and decided to go with it. It’s basically a paint kit in a box and I thought a little over-priced once I opened the box and saw what the contents were (deglosser, scouring pads, cheesecloth, latex paint, water-based stain, and water-based urethane). We thought we had picked the right color based on the box and what we saw online, but once we began painting the cabinets we laughed for at least a month later about how we had painted poop brown all over them. Hint: save your money and just buy the above named products and choose your own paint color. We’ll be eventually replacing the cabinets should we ever move, but this will get us by for now.
In the end I am happy to be finally finished with the kitchen! I am inspired to cook more and feel much happier with everything clean and organized. No longer are my countertops covered in small appliances with no where to chop, roll, and serve. We’ll be finishing up a few small projects such as a back splash that needs to be installed, end caps that need to be put on, as well as molding that needs to be nailed on and painted. Now to invite some people over!
PS: I have a “before” image that I took before we started on the makeover, but I can’t seem to find it. When I do, I’ll be sure to post.
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