Looking back at the before photos of the kitchen when we bought our house, I'm happy with every change we were able to make that resulted in what I call the "Oh No-ing to Glowing" kitchen renovation. We knew that the kitchen needed change and luckily we accomplished the remodel before a new baby completely zapped my ability to make a decision, let alone finish a project for quite a few months.
Here is a photo of the kitchen when we bought the house:
Source: MLS 2010
Our first step was to replace the outdated appliances and then address the cabinet situation.
Here is what we considered:
* Replace cabinets: We quickly realized that wasn't a wise choice both because the cost was outrageous for what we wanted and because our cabinets were in good condition.
* Replace cabinet doors: Again, the cost was quite high to replace doors that had nothing wrong with them other than my dislike for their color and rough texture.
* Stain the cabinets a darker wood tone: I was not in love with the idea of darkening anything in a kitchen that more than anything needed to be brightened.
* Paint them: Ding, ding, ding! We had a winner! My husband used his magic and turned our rough, builder grade cabinets into smooth white beauties. They are smooth.
After sanding the doors to remove the old finish, he covered them with a brushing putty from Fine Paints of Europe in order to fill in the grain. This extra step before priming and painting helped completely cover the heavy grain and running your hands over the cabinets now, you wouldn't have a clue how rough they were originally. He used a Zinsser oil based primer followed by two coats of Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo in White Dove for the finish and I couldn't be any happier with it. To finish the cabinets off, he added beadboard trim on the sides facing out and crown molding to the top all the way around.
With the money that we saved refinishing the cabinets ourselves, we were able to upgrade the teeny tiny island to a larger one with tons of storage. My husband built a bump up off the front of the island in order to make a bar area that we use every time we host a dinner to serve snacks or set up cocktails. I take away the barstools and it makes a perfect standing-height snack and drink area. People end up standing around the island no matter where we set up seating.
Here is a closer look at the bump up he built on to the end of our kitchen island:
I was pregnant when we chose and ordered our countertops. The reason I mention this is that I blame all clouded thinking and judgement on my pregnant brain. The day that they were installed I was at work and came home to find that they had installed the WRONG countertops. This could really be another post but in short, there were two similar quartz color choices at Lowes called Abyss Black and Abyss. When we placed the order, we failed to notice our order listed the wrong color and that wrong color was dark green. It would have been a crisis and an extremely expensive mistake but the manager of our Lowes came to the rescue and allowed us to replace the countertops they had just installed with the ones we wanted even though it was largely our fault. We were very lucky. Here is a close up (with a baby photo bomb) of the black counters we wanted.
After the appliances, cabinets, and counters were updated, our final job was to replace the worn vinyl flooring with new tile. There were nailheads showing through the floor so there wasn't any way we could make it work or cover it with enough rugs to be able to live with it. A large part of the budget for this remodel was spent on the flooring which we hired out rather than do ourselves. At the time, I pregnantly thought (yes that's a way of thinking) that tile was the most practical for a kitchen. I'm not sure I was right but the light tile brightens the kitchen so much more than the old brown vinyl.
After two tries, some tears, and good advice from a friend, we got the gray wall color right with Benjamin Moore Platinum Gray. It is exactly what we wanted- never looks blue or lilac in any light. I added some DIY pelmet boxes done in a bold black and white fabric to the window above the kitchen sink and the sliding door to polish off the room. The mirror was a clearance find at Homegoods spray painted white and the big fork from Hobby Lobby was brown until it also tangled with a can of spray paint. The kitchen and happy signs are also from Hobby Lobby and they were just fine the way they were!
One last look at the before and after photos:
Being in our kitchen makes me very, very,