This is an exciting week here on the blog!!! Our kitchen is finished, and I’m thrilled to finally share the details our DIY kitchen remodel! When we purchased our 1927 crafstman style home in Sanford’s Historic District, the kitchen was the first room I wanted to get my hands on. We did a lot of the work during the weeks leading up to our move, and put the finishing touches on it once we got settled into our new digs.
Our house is full of beauty: original trim, pulley windows, and hardwood floors. The kitchen, however, was remodeled sometime in the early 1990’s and was just downright ugly. The dark wood cabinets sucked all the light out of the room, the beige tile countertops were dull and dingy, and the flooring left much to be desired. Not to mention that the stark contrast between the dark cabinets and white appliances (which we’re keeping at least for now by the way) drove me crazy. Years from now, we plan to completely gut and fully remodel the kitchen, but I wanted to give the current space a little face lift in the meantime. The space itself is huge, and I could see its potential since the moment I saw it. Once I started to research creative ways to brighten and update the room without spending a ton of money, everything fell into place.
Here are some before photos of our kitchen:
Do your eyes hurt yet? YIKES!
After reading a bunch of DIY articles, I decided to paint the kitchen cabinets and refinish the countertops. Neither of which I had ever done before (insert anxiety here). The entire process of buying our first home has been one big adventure, so why should remodeling it be any different? Now, I didn’t have perfect counters or cabinets when I started this project, and I didn’t wind up with perfect ones when I finished either. If you start with an old kitchen, you’ll still have an old kitchen, but don’t let that discourage you from putting in the hard work to give it a fresh update. One of the most important things to remember about any DIY project is to approach it with realistic expectations. When looking at the counters or cabinets really, really closely, you can see imperfections. But people don’t often meticulously examine kitchen cabinets, and if they do, the conversation must be pretty boring. After a few weeks of use, I still stand by my decision to update the cabinets and counters using the methods that I did. So if you’re considering it, but are afraid of the results, just go for it! It is such an affordable way to dramatically change the look and feel of your kitchen.
If you’re interested in painting your cabinets using chalk paint, click here.
You can also click here to check out my post about how I refinished our countertops using epoxy paint.
Here are some after photos of our kitchen:
In the “before” photos, every light in the kitchen was on and it still felt like a cave. The “after” photos were taken around the same time of day, and the difference is unbelievable! What a difference some paint can make in a room. In addition to painting the cabinets and countertops, we had the walls painted Navajo White by Benjamin Moore. The previous wall color was a tired lavender/grey tone, and the fresh, new paint made a huge difference in the brightness of the room.
We considered replacing the floors, but the price tag was way too steep for us to do right away. The tile is in good condition; I just hate the way it looks. For now, we opted for a giant, colorful rug until we eventually renovate the entire kitchen. At $212, the Wayfair rug (which is now on sale…grrrr) was our biggest splurge, but it adds major coziness to the kitchen and really ties everything together.
The other major update we made was the hardware. Changing the hardware on cabinets or furniture is like changing your jewelry to really set off an outfit. The old handles were so ugly that repainting them wasn’t even an option. I found a gorgeous modern style set on Amazon for $1.99 a piece for the pulls and $1.20 for the knobs. The available sizes range, so I was able to order pulls with 3″ spacing to fit into the same holes as the previous hardware. For 10 cabinet handles and 20 cabinet knobs, the total cost for the hardware was $43.97. An upscale look for an affordable price.
When I look at the “before” pictures of the kitchen, I remember how much the space didn’t feel like me. Now, it’s my favorite room in the house and suits my style to a T. This project was definitely a labor of love. No blood was spared (thank heavens), but a lot of sweat and a few tears were shed during the process. Knowing how much we energy we put into the kitchen renovation makes it easy to love and care for. Every time I walk into my beautiful kitchen, I light up with pride. If you’d like to change up your kitchen, but are nervous about the outcome, I hope this post encourages you to get started!
Tub & Tile Kit for Refinishing Counters:
Iris Pink Area Rug 7X10 from Wayfair.com:
Hardware from Amazon.com: