Our 6k Kitchen Makeover

Updated: Sep 2, 2018

I call this a "kitchen makeover" and not a "kitchen renovation" because we kept our existing cabinets and layout - and just spruced the rest up. But man, did it make a difference. It feels all brand spankin' new - although our cabinets are 20+ years old. Here's what we started with...

Our kitchen wasn't necessarily falling a part - but it was not in great shape. Not to mention, there was a layer of grease on top of the cabinets that only sanding could remove... and the sheet linoleum flooring was peeling up at the edges... And most of all, I didn't think it was pretty. Ha!

We scored a pretty great deal on our home, which was a foreclosure, so we had a little extra set aside for some "face lifting." We actually gave our entire house a facelift (well, 90%) all while staying within a budget of 15k total. I'll break that all down for ya soon - that's worth a post of it's own - for now, back to the kitchen...

We first removed the upper cabinets on the range wall, along with the soffit. Then we (our handy friend Tim) repaired the drywall and the ceiling. This really made the room feel taller & more open... and gave me a place for some open shelving.

Next, we removed the countertops, sink, and cabinet doors to prep for paint. We used 1 coat of Ace brand primer and 3 coats of Sherwin Williams Alabaster in Pro Classic Cabinet and Trim Paint in Satin (because I wanted a matte finish) - totaling in $250 in paint, sand paper, and brushes.

My mom & Brad after painting up a storm.

Everything was going fairly smooth until it came to countertops and backsplash...

I was determined to have a natural stone countertop that was similar to marble in feel, but a tad more durable. None of the marble quartz designs felt quite right to me and the nice ones were over budget. So I scoured every slab until I found my "superwhite quartzite" and even though it was a major splurge (considering our overall budget), I still think we scored a deal. We ended up spending 2k on these counters. Worth. Every. Penny.

I originally picked out a marble subway tile for the backsplash with a white grout. However, when my mom and I went to see how it looked (at 10pm the night before thanksgiving) I hated it! The marble stone color turned blue when paired next to the grey hue of the countertop. Luckily, the tile hadn't fully set and was still wet... so we actually took each tile off the wall, scraped them, cleaned them, put them back in the box, and returned them to the store... it only took us until the wee hours of the morning... thanks mom!

That's when I decided on a simple white subway tile. It didn't compete with the counters and was super cheap ($100 for tile and grout/materials), win-win.

As badly as we wanted a farmhouse sink, we decided to go with the free large basin sink that came with our counter tops. We purchased our appliances at a discount from Sears Outlet. Most of them have hidden or small dings and scratches - but we managed to get a fridge, dishwasher, oven/range, small convection oven (we don't use a microwave), and our range hood for 3k.

My dad installed the light fixtures - converting the can light about the sink with a light adapter from Amazon and helping us say bye bye to that fluorescent light above the peninsula. I scoured Wayfair for some deals and spent $300 total on all 3 fixtures.

I found our cabinet hardware on Amazon. I love how it looks. I love how inexpensive they were (30 for $50) but I did not love installing them. We measured the holes precisely and evenly... and then when we screwed in the hardware, everything was crooked. Turns out, the holes in the hardware itself were not drilled at the same level. So we had to adjust almost every single one by a fraction of an inch... it was a labor of love. I would have spent $50 more to not have to do that again...

We removed the small connecting piece of trim that went over the sink for a cleaner look. I scored another great deal on the faucet - it was only $50 from Home Depot, on sale (now discontinued).

Look at how heavy that wood grain is on the cabinets... coats on coats on coats of paint to cover it...

Instead of going with the cheapest hardwood or engineered hardwood we could find - we ended up going with a little nicer of a composite laminate material (Providence Hickory by Pergo from Lowe's) and have no complaints - plus, its water resistant. We replaced the floors on our main level, stairs, and lower level (1000 sqft) and spent approx 3k in materials total.

The finishing touch was the open shelving. I didn't have any more energy left in me at the end for another DIY, nor did I have the means to cut metal pipe, so we ordered our shelves from Delirious by Design. I needed them to be 12'' wide to fit all of our plates, cups, and serving dishes - but also be short in length. If I could do it again, I would have gone with a flat metal bracket option instead of the pipe - but it wasn't an option at the time.

We may eventually switch them out and even wrap the vent hood in wood... we shall see. Nothing is every truly finished around here! But we do not know how long we will be in this house before we move onto the next... so only time will tell!

In total, we spent 6k on our kitchen makeover (that's the total of everything I listed above - I divided the flooring cost to account for just the kitchen sqft). To us, it feels like a whole new kitchen!

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