How we took our kitchen from breaking down and boring to white, bright and brand new with tips on how we saved money too!
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This is probably one of my favorite posts to date! Finally, the kitchen reveal!
If you’ve seen any before pictures of our house, you know it was in pretty bad shape when we bought it. Everything was old, filthy and broken and it showed obvious signs of neglect and also some inflicted damage by the previous tenants.
But beneath all the rubble and the mess, there were some good bones we could work with and a good opportunity to buy a first home in an area we really loved but would normally have been out of our price range.
One of the places that we had to tackle first was the kitchen.
In some ways, it was kind of nice because of course I would love to design a kitchen the way I want it and here was an opportunity to do just that! And boy did it need it. You can see the before here:
I love cooking. I mean, I have a food blog, right? There’s something about being in the kitchen that for me is so relaxing (…most of the time). I love making new recipes, coming up with new ideas, looking inside an organized fridge, the smell of something slow cooking all day. One of the ways I show love is by feeding people.
So it was really important for me to have a kitchen conducive to cooking delicious food for whomever would come sit at my table. The kitchen in this house is small. Like, really small. Although I would have loved to take down a wall to open up the space to living area, it just wasn’t the right move. It would’ve been too expensive, especially for a house that we know won’t be “forever”.
So with that in mind, we did a few things to get our kitchen back in shape:
- painted the existing cabinets white (they were actually still in good shape)
- added new hardware to the cabinets
- got rid of the old lights and added recessed lighting
- replaced countertops with quartz
- all new appliances (fridge, range, microwave, dishwasher)
The kitchen was pretty outdated and old school. Because it was so small but had a lot of natural light, we decided to paint it white to really brighten up the space.
Originally, we were going to paint the cabinets ourselves using the Rustoleum Transformations kit but our painter offered to do it for $400 while he painted the rest of our house and since we had so much going on at the same time, we decided to save ourselves the time and let him do it.
Sometimes, especially in a big house renovation like this, it’s worth it to spend money to save time.
We decided to go with Quartz countertops instead of Granite for ease of care and also because we just loved the way it looked. It’s a beautiful white with flecks of grayish blue, almost like marble. We’ll see how it holds up!
We bought the appliances on Black Friday which allowed us to save almost $3000, an awesome savings considering how much money we had to put into the house.
Our fridge has a separate beverage door which makes it easy to pull out drinks and even serve them at a party. We got a full size fridge instead of cabinet depth (even though it sticks out) because I wanted all the space. Having a food blog means having lots of food in the house so it helps.
I love the sink we chose, a big stainless steel under mount sink with no divider. I was pretty adamant about not wanting a divider and I love it. It makes it so much easier to clean long pans and it looks great too. The faucet is exactly what I wanted and I love how tall it is. It’s also really easy to use.
The people who installed our countertops actually mistakenly put in a sink with a divider originally and it was a total pain to get replaced. If I’m being honest, the people who did our countertops weren’t great to work with and we wouldn’t use them again.
One of my favorite parts of the kitchen is the window behind the sink, a bay window with shelves that looks out to the backyard. It’s a great spot for herbs, air plants, etc. I love to be able to look outside while I do dishes.
Overall, we like the way it turned out. Although it’s definitely small and not what I’d call my dream kitchen, it’s so much brighter, it’s more sleek, modern and the perfect place for me to go and make meals for the people that I love.
How we saved money on our kitchen renovation
One thing that we really had to keep in mind during this entire renovation is where we were spending money. We were renovating pretty much the entire house so money went quick and it was important to stay within our budget. We were able to save money a few different ways:
- We bought all of our appliances during a holiday weekend when the store was having a big sale which saved us $3000
- We continued laminate throughout the house (so as not to bring the space in an already small house) which saved money over something like tile
- We bought our cabinet handles and kitchen sink faucet on Amazon which easily saved us over $100
- We looked at multiple companies for the countertops and found one that offered a free sink with countertop install
- We got an over the range microwave instead of having to pay for a microwave and a hood
- We painted our cabinets instead of replacing them
- We omitted a backsplash and just ran the countertop up a little higher
One more before & after!
Paint Color: Dunn Edwards Porpoise