we had so much fun (sometimes, not) doing this renovation for our little house, it will forever be one of my favorite projects! but alas, with no further ado. here she blows.
you’ll notice mixed metals and wood as a theme. i wasn’t scared to mix it up! not everything has to be matchee matchee. if you include several of the different metals around the room and not just in one concentrated space, then you win.
the brass talks to the brass. the stainless talks to the stainless, the black talks to the black elements. it’s a big conversation!
we did consider taking out that wall where the oven and fridge are, but it presented a lot of problems as far as mapping out the space. it also cost a crazy amount more to do. and we were on a budget. we did take out the awkward and narrow closet and pantry to give us three more feet which made a world of difference.
let’s look at the pictures!
we’ll start with that far back corner.
the eat in nook.
we had benches built in and wanted them open for baskets. of course i haven’t filled them all. one has dog food in it, so basically i feel like we’re pretty amazing. i hated going into the cold garage to get dog food!
you’re wondering where the decorative pillows are? wellllllll. my kids are messy. so no cushions ( i find them annoying) and no pillows. maybe when they are grown up. a mother can dream!
by the way, the green small ladder gets fought over everyday. it’s like shotgun. i almost want to hide it, but i find it too useful for the high up places in the kitchen.
above the nook are 2 shelves that store art supplies that i don’t want the kids getting into. we keep the spare change up there as well…you never know when you’re going to need to make an ice cream run.
this light fixture is actually an industrial mixer whisk that we found at an antique mall here in KC. it already had the light fitted in it and everything. we had to support it with the chain, but c’mon! how can you say no to a whisk light in.a.kitchen.?!
to the right of the nook, we have our original to the house built ins. when we moved into this house, i was immediately sold when i saw these. all we did was repaint them, add new brass hardware and tile the back splash. and who doesn’t need a pencil sharpener if you have children in elementary school?
i love that the wire basket is ginormous and leaves plenty of air to circulate. but most of all, i love that it came from my grandpas junkyard in Texas.
inside the cabinets to the right are all my specialty gluten free flours and mixes.
and to the left is our everyday kitchenware. i actually don’t have china, as we are not fancy people.
the cake plates are from minted. i wanted to use accents of jadeite. i know that one of these days the color mint will be a thing of the past…but jadeite is such a classic. i remember seeing it in Martha Stewart’s kitchen 20 years ago when i was horseback riding on her estate… wait. or in a magazine.
anyway, even then, i thought it was so beautiful against her cream shelves.
there’s just something calming about monochromatic-ness. i have a busy brain and a busy life, so sure…i like my kitchen to be somewhat visually unstimulating. sue me.
i love this little cabinet feature next to the fridge. i kept all my spices and canned goods in them. each item had it’s own space so there’s no blind spots. no digging around looking for the cumin! it was literally right in front of my face like my mom always yelled.
moving over a bit. we kept our original oven. it’s a gas stove and works great. the fridge makes ice and water. what a glorious invention! you just put your glass up to it and BAM. we got a deal on it at Lowes because it was scratched somewhere that we never found. so, because of that, it’s not counter depth. but it saved us a grand. yes, please.
if you get to redo your kitchen, get these slatted cabinet separators. they are a dream as far as organization.
across from the oven is the sink and dishwasher. again, we kept the dishwasher since it worked fine and we were on a budget. our trash can was tucked neatly to the right in one of those drawers. so magical.
i love love love this faucet. i could spray the stove if i needed too.
the apron sink under mounted is also the jam and made cleaning up so easy. just swipe all the yucky things in the sink with no annoying ridge to stop you.
we went with classic white subway tile because, well, i know it’s in style…but this was also in our original to the house bathroom. it just went with our 1920’s house.
here’s the angle from the other side of the room. this island is gigantic! but i bake a lot and cook, so it made a lot of sense. and yes, that’s a skinny little chalkboard but you know i need my chalkboard!
we went with butcher block to warm up the space and hello! so functional for avid kitchen users. the other countertops are a play on marble…but not marble because i’m just not that careful. so i chose a quartz that can handle any spill and most rough use.
it’s called Frosty Carrera. there was a more grey option called London Grey, but it read a little too green for me in warmer lighting. i really wanted to keep it fresh and simple so we stuck with lots of whites.
below was a pretty creative and inexpensive fix to having a double oven. usually they are stacked and take up a good amount of space. but a great electric oven fits nicely in that island space and doesn’t scream, look! i have 2 ovens!
even though, glory of glories, i have two freaking ovens! cupcakes all baked at once. imagine it!
i have pan drawers now instead of stuffing them under a cabinet. stacking them and making a clatter when i need to get the bottom pan. this is so much easier.
and when you shut the cabinets, they don’t slam. the gently go back into place.
heavenly when you have children…
the lights above the island are just simple school house looking lights. i fell in love with them immediately.
In the dining room we also had our cabinet maker build matching buffets. the counter space is amazing when we’re hosting!
the backsplash is just a mirror. i didn’t want tile, that seemed awkward in the dining space and i didn’t want it to be left naked, so a mirror seemed fitting.
for someone to come out and measure, cut and apply, it was $30 a mirror! cheap-o. and much more reliable than trying to cut a mirror yourself.
it looks like one piece.
liquor cabinet and pretty serving dishes buffet.
underneath the cabinets is where i kept tablecloths and napkins and anything i want to hide.
i tried to put the before and afters close to each other so it would help you see the change. i think it won’t be a ginormous change for most people who hadn’t used the kitchen. but for me, the cabinets were cheap, wouldn’t shut all the way, chipped paint everywhere, and not enough counter space.
it worked well for a bit. but you know when you jimmy rig a project and use all the cheapest stuff, paint improperly and don’t lay out the space thoughtfully? ha. ok that was my experience…but it all added up to be a bit of a mess. it was totally workable and served it’s function. but having a cabinet maker make the cabinets custom to your kitchen with real wood, makes an incredible difference! and honestly you’re not going to pay that much more. it’s almost comparable.
i just love this renovation. after not having a kitchen for almost 3 months, i’d take anything. but i’d say this was worth the wait.
so budget, we spent $20,000. geez, that’s a giant number. and that was with pinching pennies but still getting a higher end look. that includes all the demo, decor, appliances, cabinetry (even in the dining room…), electrical, plumbing, painting, and redoing the floors on the whole first floor. you might be able to tell that they are a little lighter. can you believe i didn’t go super dark? me either, but who wants to see every speck of dirt anyway? plus, we didn’t have to add any stain, it’s just pine with a poly coat on top. i love letting the wood talk here.
we were able to do that by being our own contractor, basically. a super annoying job-but i’m saving $15,000-25,000 by having a little bit longer of a construction time and little bit more annoyance and headache (ugh! it really is annoying trying to get people to show up!). sure you go crazy a bit and loose sanity. sometimes you might melt down and throw a frozen dinner across the room, but that’s neither here nor there now.
butcher block: boos
cabinets: custom built
school house lights: home depot online
brass hardware: home depot online
fridge: lowes– scratch and dent section in store
undermount oven: lowes
gas oven: sears
microwave: lowes in store
cake plates: minted
mint colored tins: Ikea
wood clock: target
green ladder: someone’s trash
whisk light: flea market
nook table: flea market
baskets under bench: target
barclay sink: lowes online
faucet: joss and main
wall paint: dover white, sherwin williams
cabinet paint- (we matched it to the existing color, so not sure. but it’s a bit warmer. go for a slight contrast)
tips for self contracting:
1) if you’re going to be your own contractor, have everything written down, item by item that that particular hire needs to do. then have them sign it.
we had lots of our people try and double the bid in the middle of the project and towards the end. sometimes there really is more work or something hidden they didn’t know about. however, on the front end, tell them that right when they see an extra expense, to go ahead and let you know. then, not at the end! and even then, you can negotiate that price.
2) people were right when they said that everything will take so much longer than you think. take your reasonable timeline…and then double it.
3) people were right when they said everything will cost more than you think. take your erasable budget and add 30%. especially if you live in an old house. you think you’re not going to be those people that blow the budget, but you are. you really are. add more to that budget!
4) check the scratch and dent section at any appliance store if you’re looking for a deal. it’s so crazy what you’ll find. and for so much cheaper.
5) hire people who you’ve seen work from. don’t let anyone off the street come in and sell you something they can’t do. we paid so much more for electrical because we wanted a deal, but in the end, had to have a trusted electrician come in and fix all the shoddy work. it was painful for everyone…and so much more expensive than doing it right the first time.
6) don’t get too crazy with design elements.
there are so many cool things out there for kitchens. but when it all comes together, it can get super busy and be a visually stressful environment. i went way way way simple, and know that’s not everyone’s taste. however, i really do believe you can do any style tastefully, without exhausting a trend or “style”.
if you want to see some of our other renovations you can find our attic here:
and our cheap and easy entry way makeover for under $100 here
the living room renovation is here.