Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Kitchen Remodel

Okay, I'm a little timid to share because there are some really beautiful kitchens out there... but we did ours with lots of hard work (from scratch) and are still in the process of decorating it (our budget can only handle so much!).

We bought our house in September 2010, and worked on the house for about 2 months before moving in!

We are Dave Ramsey fans and found ourselves buying a house under $80,000 and put 20% down on a 20 year mortgage. For our first home, we knew we were going to put in a ton of work!

Whew! It was tough work--not only did we finish all of our hardwood floors (in living room, hallway, and 2 bedrooms), we also remodeled our kitchen!

Let's take a look at the before pictures...

This is the view when you walk in (from the side door)

Look at those lights! Whoa!

And look at that flooring! Yuck!

We decided to get new appliances that matched.... plus, my hubby promised a dish washer! ;)

Lots of 'wood'--and bead-board.

Another lovely view of our kitchen before
Now, we knew that it was going to be a lot of work. What we didn't know is how EXPENSIVE cabinets can be. We went to the store and priced out cabinets and counters for our SMALL kitchen--it was going to be $2000-3000 for the "cheap" ones.

So we put on our thinking caps, and thought How can we do this for less money?

My amazing husband is such a handy man (and perfectionist) and suggested buying the oak unfinished cabinets at Lowes/Menards. I thought, why not?! The cabinets were $500-1000 altogether which was wonderful then we had money to spend on our appliances.

Little did I know how much WORK it was all going to be...

First we ripped out the cabinets & sink...
I must admit that even though this was tough, it was a good stress reliever! :)
Hubby taking out the sink!

Ew, good thing he's willing to do all the dirty work (I was kind of a wimp...).
 So after doing all that we had to take down the lovely light fixture and bulkheads.

Goodbye lights and bulkhead!

It was so DUSTY-this was the giant bulkhead in the middle

Still getting the side bulkheads down...

Then we were left with some huge gaps...
Drywall is not my hubby's thing. He can do it but hates it. Since we had so much and really big gaps that needed to be dry walled in, we called someone to do it.

Everywhere the bead-board was, it had to be patched too (which was the whole dining room/kitchen!)

All patched up, waiting for it to dry!
In the mean time, as we were waiting for it to dry, we started looking for lights....

We also bought all our cabinets that were unfinished.

We sanded. A LOT.

Now do this equation in your mind:
a lot (what you think) x 10 = our project
Seriously. I wish I had a picture but I don't. I guess we were focusing on... sanding.

Starting to put the stain on them (in our home's original floor now NEWLY sanded and finished)!
I thought I better throw in a picture of myself so I could prove I was actually helping (yes, it was late, very late)!

After another coat.

We decided this was too light so we added another darker stain on top. It worked out really well.
Don't be fooled--this took a really long time.

Next, we did my husband's favorite thing--we painted! (After we went searching for some lights... again)

Primer and then our paint color
I also decided to paint the trim white
We (okay, the hubby) finally hung them up!

Lookin' good! (do you see my spot for a dishwasher?!)
Yes, the lights came next. Did I mention that we searched a long time for lights? I think we spent close to 5 hours (different days) just looking at lights. Yes, you read that right 5 hours (think about how much that takes a toll on the neck)! We could not decide. Lights are EXPENSIVE--we were looking for something that was affordable. We wanted a chandler for the dining room that matched the light in the kitchen. We also needed a light for over the sink (that's another story, it's still not done...). We FINALLY found a package of 3 (vanity, chandler, and ceiling) all on clearance for $39.99! Whew! I was worried we'd have to spend $200+!

simple but works.

The tape is where I need to repaint the ceiling... the light works great.

Then it came time to pick out the counter tops.  Oh man. I never want to do that again. Well, maybe if we had lots of money to spend, I'd pick granite but laminate counters is what we went with...

What a difficult process!
Then the hubby finally put the floors in. Once again, we went with the more affordable price and went with laminate flooring.

Who knew you were supposed to start in the middle--not me!
After the floors were finished (really late at night) we got to pick up our new appliances later that week!

Anyone who is buying appliances--do your research! We really wanted stainless steel but found out the leave a lot of finger prints. We also did not like the sides because they were gray (not stainless). When we found out there were some really great looking appliances that looked like stainless steel but were not, we got excited. They didn't leave fingerprints. However, all the stainless steel appliances (fingerprint/non fingerprint kind) all came with a hefty price tag! Did we really want to spend $3000-4000 on appliances? No WAY!

That's when we decided to compromise and get white appliances. We fell in love with Samsung's white appliances. On top of being cheaper than stainless steel, Sears price matches appliances and also takes off a percentage if another store has them cheaper. The kind lady found 3 out of 4 appliances were cheaper somewhere else and we saved a couple hundred dollars! Score! We like our appliances because they are sleek, smooth, pretty, and had good reviews. Finally, we got to pick them up and bring them home...

It was a task getting this sucker (fridge) in!

And since then, our kitchen looks more like this...

I'd love to post some more clean more recent pictures of our kitchen but my SD slot isn't working... boo. 

Are we completely done with our kitchen? Nope.

But, we've come a long way from what it used to be like. I will definitely have to post some updates when I get more decorations up and more projects done. :)

In the meantime, I'm linking up with....


I'm just glad we've come so far--still more to do, but we'll get there!!


  1. Wow! This looks awesome Erin! Hard work, but it certainly paid off :)

  2. We just did our kitchen (and we bought our cabinets pre-finished from Ikea) so I can appreciate the hard work. My husband talked me into tiling the kitchen floor and I think he regretted it when he had to try to get the cabinets to be level on top of it. (oh well, it's a learning experience right?)

    There are a lot of great laminate flooring patterns out there so I think you were wise to go the economical route. (the lights look great too)


  3. Choosing the decent bar sink for your domicile should not be done vintage sinks carelessly depending on what you experience like. You should make surely that it matches your bar design manner and has only the properly functionality.

  4. Thanks Melissa! :)

    Gina--we would have LOVED to buy cabinets from IKEA (We love that store!!) but we couldn't get it to work financially. When remodeling... it's always a learning experience, right? ;)

  5. I am SO impressed with this makeover. I'm with you - - there is a lot of beautiful inspiration out there, but we don't have the budget for it either. Unfortunately, the hubs & I are not as motivated as you two were. I shudder just thinking about doing my own cabinets and counter. Eek!

    Truly wonderful - - love the original floors!