TOUR MY

Kitchen

Our most complex, expensive renovation in the house, and worth every penny

The big Kahuna. When we first moved in 25 years ago I knew I was going to have to replace the kitchen sometime soon. Well, this is the year we finally got around to it :).

We estimate the kitchen was last updated circa 1960. The guy who measured for the new cabinets told us that our house’s charm sort of ended in the kitchen.

Not any more!

We took this room from a dark, not very functional kitchento a pretty, bright, sunny, incredibly functional one and I could not be happier with the transformation. It was worth the wait.

Here’s what we did…

PROJECT overview

JUST THE FACTS, MAM

house projects

tour my kitchen

WALLS: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Distant Land N260-5 Matte
TRIM: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Timid White PR-W12 Semi-Gloss
CEILING: Glidden Ceiling Paint Goes on Pink, Dries White

Clearly, the most expensive renovation in the house, but worth every penny!

Doing all the work ourselves, except tiling the floor (that was a matter of time) saved us a lot of money. We also bought a lower-priced tier kitchen cabinet model (which was still made really well), and we had already purchased the refrigerator, stove and microwave a few years earlier. But everything else added up.

COST BREAKDOWN

Cabinets, countertop: $11,432

Lighting Fixture: $349

Appliances: $1,005

Pantry organization: $965

Tile & labor: $950

Plumbing supplies: $200

Window Treatment: $54

Wall art: $298

Paint Supplies: $150

TOTAL: $15,553

Money doesn’t grow on trees. So how did we pay for this? Check out my post 6 Ways You Can Finance Your Renovation and I’ll fill you in!

 Time to complete: 5 months spread out over almost 1 year Because we could only work on the cabinet installation on the weekends, that stretched out over a couple of months.  Then we had to put the installation of the floor on hold for several months while the work on the bathroom and breakfast nook was going on. So there was a lag from the time we finished the bulk of the work until we came back and finished the rest. And there are still a few small items left to finish!

Jun – Jul ’17  Ordered the cabinets; demo’d the old floor and cabinets

Aug – Oct ’17 Installed the new cabinets and backsplash

Nov ’17 – Apr ’18 Hiatus in this room while we finished work on the breakfast nook & bathroom

Apr ’18 Installed floor tile

The challenges in this room were many. I’m not sure I can remember them all but I’ll try!

  • We knew the floor was going to be a challenge and we weren’t wrong. Read all about it here.
  • The kitchen sink I had my heart set on didn’t fit in the cabinet we ordered and I had to go with the standard stainless. See this post for details.
  • The walls were full of surprises (like old paneling). No worries, we painted over all of it. See how we did that here.
  • I painted the room 3 times (3’s a charm?) before I found the paint color I liked (Behr Distant Land).
  • Because we had to work on the weekends installing the cabinets we were basically without a kitchen for months, but we extended things as long as we could and lived without a sink and stove for extended lengths of time. We made it work!
  • We had just plywood for a floor in the kitchen for almost 10 months, because we had to put that installation on hold while the downstairs bathroom was being completed.

For (non-affiliate) links to my purchases, see Shopping Links further down this page.

As many challenges as this room presented, renovating it created a lengthy list of life improvements.

When you vastly improve the kitchen, it can’t help but improve your quality of life since it’s a room everyone uses all the time. There were so many improvements, big and small. Here are the most prominent:

  • The kitchen counters are level (they never were before). You can place something on the counter and it won’t roll off. Priceless!
  • With two new cabinets and top cabinets that reach to the ceiling, there is a lot more space for all the necessary supplies and tools. Things are better organized and closer at hand when I need them.
  • The layout didn’t change a lot but we did add a number of space-saving and function-enhancing features that made working in the kitchen a lot more efficient: the silverware drawers, pots and pan drawers, a cabinet just for my glass storage jars, spice cabinet, lazy susans in the base corner cabinets, a cabinet just for bakeware.
  • The new coffee/tea bar is practically life changing.
  • With the new pantry cabinet, I completely organized that space with new containers and custom labels. I can find anything in there now and putting supplies away after grocery shopping is a breeze – for anyone.
  • The kitchen counter is amazing. I can put a hot pan on it, I could almost take a blowtorch to it and it will still clean up like a dream.
  • The sink may not be the exact one I wanted but it’s roomy and shiny new (and the stainless matches all the appliances). The new faucet pulls down and converts to a sprayer and makes it so easy to clean up.
  • We combined our recycling/trash into one basket and it’s a pleasure to throw things away now!
  • I used to have to stuff my glass containers in a corner base cabinet where they never fit and I could never find what I wanted. The new pull-out storage drawers in the coffee bar cabinet have completely solved that problem.
  • I created some very cool custom art for the walls and absolutely love what they add to the room.

paint colors

Paint

tour my kitchen

WALLS: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Distant Land N260-5 Matte
TRIM: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Timid White PR-W12 Semi-Gloss
CEILING: Glidden Ceiling Paint Goes on Pink, Dries White
project costs

Cost

Clearly, the most expensive renovation in the house, but worth every penny!

Doing all the work ourselves, except tiling the floor (that was a matter of time) saved us a lot of money. We also bought a lower-priced tier kitchen cabinet model (which was still made really well), and we had already purchased the refrigerator, stove and microwave a few years earlier. But everything else added up.

COST BREAKDOWN

Cabinets, countertop: $11,432

Lighting Fixture: $349

Appliances: $1,005

Pantry organization: $965

Tile & labor: $950

Plumbing supplies: $200

Window Treatment: $54

Wall art: $298

Paint Supplies: $150

TOTAL: $15,553

Money doesn’t grow on trees. So how did we pay for this? Check out my post 6 Ways You Can Finance Your Renovation and I’ll fill you in!

project costs

Timing

Time to complete: 5 months spread out over almost 1 year

Because we could only work on the cabinet installation on the weekends, that stretched out over a couple of months. Then we had to put the installation of the floor on hold for several months while the work on the bathroom and breakfast nook was going on. So there was a lag from the time we finished the bulk of the work until we came back and finished the rest. And there are still a few small items left to finish!

Jun – Jul ’17 Ordered the cabinets; demo’d the old floor and cabinets

Aug – Oct ’17 Installed the new cabinets and backsplash

Nov ’17 – Apr ’18 Hiatus in this room while we finished work on the breakfast nook & bathroom

Apr ’18 Installed floor tile

project costs

Problems

The challenges in this room were many. I’m not sure I can remember them all but I’ll try!

  • We knew the floor was going to be a challenge and we weren’t wrong. Read all about it here.
  • The kitchen sink I had my heart set on didn’t fit in the cabinet we ordered and I had to go with the standard stainless. See this post for details.
  • The walls were full of surprises (like old paneling). No worries, we painted over all of it. See how we did that here.
  • I painted the room 3 times (3’s a charm?) before I found the paint color I liked (Behr Distant Land).
  • Because we had to work on the weekends installing the cabinets we were basically without a kitchen for months, but we extended things as long as we could and lived without a sink and stove for extended lengths of time. We made it work!
  • We had just plywood for a floor in the kitchen for almost 10 months, because we had to put that installation on hold while the downstairs bathroom was being completed.

shopping links

Shopping

For (non-affiliate) links to my purchases, see Shopping Links further down this page.

project costs

Improvements

As many challenges as this room presented, renovating it created a lengthy list of life improvements.

When you vastly improve the kitchen, it can’t help but improve your quality of life since it’s a room everyone uses all the time. There were so many improvements, big and small. Here are the most prominent:

  • The kitchen counters are level (they never were before). You can place something on the counter and it won’t roll off. Priceless!
  • With two new cabinets and top cabinets that reach to the ceiling, there is a lot more space for all the necessary supplies and tools. Things are better organized and closer at hand when I need them.
  • The layout didn’t change a lot but we did add a number of space-saving and function-enhancing features that made working in the kitchen a lot more efficient: the silverware drawers, pots and pan drawers, a cabinet just for my glass storage jars, spice cabinet, lazy susans in the base corner cabinets, a cabinet just for bakeware.
  • The new coffee/tea bar is practically life changing.
  • With the new pantry cabinet, I completely organized that space with new containers and custom labels. I can find anything in there now and putting supplies away after grocery shopping is a breeze – for anyone.
  • The kitchen counter is amazing. I can put a hot pan on it, I could almost take a blowtorch to it and it will still clean up like a dream.
  • The sink may not be the exact one I wanted but it’s roomy and shiny new (and the stainless matches all the appliances). The new faucet pulls down and converts to a sprayer and makes it so easy to clean up.
  • We combined our recycling/trash into one basket and it’s a pleasure to throw things away now!
  • I used to have to stuff my glass containers in a corner base cabinet where they never fit and I could never find what I wanted. The new pull-out storage drawers in the coffee bar cabinet have completely solved that problem.
  • I created some very cool custom art for the walls and absolutely love what they add to the room.

house projects

before & AFTERS

What a remarkable difference!

All pictures were taken from the same viewpoint to give you an idea of how each particular area changed. Amazing!

DIY kitchen cabinet installation
After - 2018
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
Before - 2017
View from the dining room entrance
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
After - 2018
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
Before - 1992
View from the stairway entrance
After
Before
Kitchen view, straight on
After
Before
Coffee Bar Cabinet Area
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
After
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
Before
View of the pantry
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
After
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
Before
View of the kitchen island
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
After
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
Before
View of the right side
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
After
DIY kitchen cabinet installation
Before
View of the stove
house projects

all the DETAILS

WHAT WE DID AND HOW WE DID IT

STEP 1: Demo’d the old floor and cabinets

The very first thing we did was to demo the kitchen floor and the old cabinets. This was hard, complicated work so I created an entirely separate post on all the details. Read all about it here.

kitchen floor demo

STEP 2: Prepared & painted the walls

We checked under the (very) old wallpaper and found that the walls weren’t in great shape AND in quite a few sections what was under the wallpaper was paneling. We decided that we were going to paint over the whole thing, especially given that the cabinets were going to cover most of the wall.

Painting over wallpaper and paneling is a little involved and a whole lot of work, so I created a separate post about that. Read all about it here.

house projects

STEP 3: Installed new electrical outlets and ceiling light

Dom installed new outlets both in the existing walls (there weren’t enough in the old kitchen), by the new coffee bar cabinet and under the sink cabinet (for the dishwasher and garbage disposal). He also had to completely rewire the light switches for the cellar lights, and they were a little complicated.

He also installed a new kitchen light. Luckily this one wasn’t as difficult to install as the one in the dining room. And it sure gives off a lot of light!

Ceiling light

See shopping link below

New light switches

These switches were a bear to get installed, they control the cellar lights

STEP 4: Installed new kitchen cabinets

This was the bulk of the work in remodeling the kitchen, so I created a separate post about it. Read all about our cabinet installation here.

DIY kitchen cabinet installation

STEP 5: Installed tile floor

This was work that we just could not seem to get to. It had been delayed over 6 months with the work that was going on in the downstairs bath and breakfast nook, so we hired this work out.

Below are pictures from the installation, but if you’re interested in more information on how we tiled other areas, read all about tile installation here.

Tile layout

Tile after grout

STEP 6: Hung new door and window trim

Once the tile floor had been installed in the kitchen we were able to hang the new door and window trim. Still outstanding while we wait for a break in other action is the installation of the baseboard.

Left to be done

We are 99% done with this renovation. All that’s left to do is a little finish work on the bottom stairs and the door to the broom closet.

Roomview

Here’s the finished room, from each of its 4 corners.

features I LOVE

Hover over the images for details (unless you’re on mobile, then tap on the image).

Kitchen cabinets

Thomasville Darien cabinets in color cotton with toasted almond glaze

Countertop

Danae Dekton Countertop from Home Depot - love!

Pantry Cabinet

I didn't know I could love a cabinet, but I do. See shopping links below for containers and pantry labels.

New cabinet storage

This is the storage in the base cabinet of the coffee bar, where I now keep my glass storage containers. Love!

Silverware drawer

The double built-in dividers are so handy.

Pots and pans drawers

Pull out drawers are roomy and so handy for more than just the pots and pans.

Spice Cabinet

This became REALLY useful when I purchased spice bottles with labels on the lids.

Corner cabinets

Built in Lazy Susans make this incredibly handy.

Appliance garage

Just enough space to hide away a few things.

Rack cabinet

I can put all my tall skinny kitchen supplies here

Coffee & tea bar

Adding this to the kitchen was almost life-changing!

Cabinet doors

Doors and drawers are soft close - awesome feature!

Kitchen sink

It may not be copper but it's roomy and the faucet has a built-in sprayer.

Kitchen floor

I totally love this floor. It's pretty, durable, matches everything else and hides the dirt!

Wall art

I either hand created or hand picked all the art on my walls, and some of it is available for you to download for free - see shopping & other links!

Extra storage

The landing on the other side of the kitchen's cellar door became a great place for extra storage with some shelves and the right containers.

Outside microwave vent

Everything vents directly outside now. It's helpful and it's to code.

Utensil caddy

I found this one at my local Home Goods. It fit my decor and was the right size.

Window molding

Beautiful corner pieces to match the rest of the house

Decor

It wouldn't be my kitchen without some added decor - see shopping & other links for more info.

Some of my favorite parts of the room follow, with (non-affiliate) shopping links. Click or tap on the image to navigate to the link.

DIY kitchen cabinet installation
stainless steel sink
DIY kitchen installation
DIY kitchen installation
pantry labels

How about you?

Do you have a favorite area or room in your house that you’ve renovated? I’d love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below!

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