I always knew I wanted to redo our kitchen. It is the space people first see when they walk into our home because the front door leads right into it. I love this about my home because the kitchen is most often the heartbeat of a house. Still, I disliked almost everything about it from the color schema to the counter tops. In my “lookbook”, I had a grand scale design, but knew it would cost thousands to execute. Not something that is in our budget at this ime as we prepare to become foster parents. However, one day I had had enough of looking at something I didn’t like.
I remember the day we started our renovation clearly. Andy was in a different room as I prepped the space for painting. I grabbed a brush and a can of blue paint we had purchased for a different project and started painting. As chance would have it, Andy walked into the kitchen after the first few strokes of blue paint had been applied to the cabinets. “What are you doing?” he asked hesitantly. “I’m renovating the kitchen! Trust me, it will look great.” I responded with a smile. And so, he did.
We started the first weekend of the project focusing on the cabinets. We decided to paint the lower cabinets blue and remove the upper cabinets. A lot of people ask why we went this route. Well, I love open shelving. I think it gives a clean and simple look. It also forces one to be more tidy and organized, honestly. For any additional space we needed, I purchased a hutch from Target to house other dishes, the crock-pot, and cooking pots and pans that wouldn’t hang. With gusto, we accomplished a ton of work the first weekend. We were pleased with how it was looking and I started designing the layout for what I wanted the main wall of our renovation to look like.
Weekend number two presented some new challenges, though. We inspected the soffit by drilling holes into the sides of the “L” shaped structure and peering in to see if there was any duct work that might make it’s removal challenging. We didn’t see any! So, off to the home improvement store we went to purchase a
reciprocating saw. With a borrowed sledgehammer and our new tool, Andy went to work on the demo. It didn’t last very long, though, as our dog went into a seizure and had to be taken to the emergency animal hospital. With her recovering, all other work on the soffit removal was halted.
Weekend number three went much better with only one or two hitches. Andy’s parents came for the weekend to help with the work, which was such a blessing. They went straight to work on that Saturday morning with the demo while I took the dogs for a walk. Upon my return, I was told Andy had cut his hand in the demo process and was at the Urgent Care getting stitches. No, project is complete unless you have blood, sweat, and tears, right?! With the soffit removed, we found there was a bit of duct work in the corner that we missed in our initial analysis. To my dismay, it would need a creative solution that we had yet to come with. Still, Andy’s dad and I worked away at installing the dry wall. On Sunday, I worked on the replacing the outlets and Andy and his dad worked on mudding the wall. It was all starting to come together!
Weekend number four started early on Thursday with Andy’s dad returning to help with the sanding and painting of the walls. Earlier in the week, we had added two additional layers of mudding to the drywall and had done some painting to the other walls in the kitchen. By Saturday, the space was ready for it’s second coat of paint. Andy was working the weekend; so, I was left on my own. With that time, I worked on more of the outlets and hung the new light fixtures we had purchased and spray painted to our desired color. By the end of that weekend, the checklist of things to do was getting smaller and smaller and we were falling more and more in love with our transforming kitchen space.
Weekend number five rolled around much quicker than expected and started on the next steps of the project eagerly. We decided to hang our pots and pans early on; so, I purchased rods and hooks from IKEA. We measured out the space and decided where we wanted them to sit. Then, Andy started their installation. Meanwhile, I worked on our floating shelves. Originally, I planned to do a shelf with brackets, but was then inspired by a DIY blog post to do floating shelves.We used this blog post as a guide for how to build and install our own. I worked on cutting the wood with our circular saw, drilling holes, and gluing pieces together. With our nail gun, I attached the top and bottom bits of high quality plywood and started to see the real formation of not only the shelves, but also the whole wall come together.
Weekend number six brought the final installation of the rods, outlets and covers, and completion of the floating shelves. To our floating shelves we added two coats of stain and a coat of gloss. We attached the doors and drawers to our lower cabinets, as well. All that was left was our hood vent which was ordered and on it’s way.
Weekend number seven was a slight disappointment in our renovation process. We scheduled the installers to come that Saturday morning to install the hood vent we had received early that week. One person came instead of two. Instantly, they knew they couldn’t install it alone and we had to reschedule for the following weekend. My heart broke a little because I was so hoping to have the wall finished! With them gone, I decided to work on organizing the dishes on the floating shelves and the items in the cabinet below.
Finally, weekend number eight was here! We had a few additional hiccups with the installation company on Saturday morning. We decided after some debate to do the install ourselves because of it. Being a person who is overly confident in my abilities to do things, I was pumped. We read through the directions twice, measured and marked three times, and started our install. It took a few hours, but we finally got it done. The wall was complete! We had worked so hard for eight weeks and finally we were able to see the finished product. IT LOOKED GREAT!
Additional plans are in place to redo the flooring with the bamboo wood we have worked throughout the rest of the house, but that will be Phase 2. Along with that, I would like to purchase a love seat to replace the individual chairs in our reading nook and three counter high chairs or stools to sit at the counter. I hope to see that done within a year.
So, for less than $1300 and 8 weeks, we designed and installed a whole new kitchen.