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Kitchen Renovation: Stained Wood to Beautiful White

01 February 2011

Kitchen Renovation: 
Stained Wood to Beautiful White
contributed by Simple.Beautiful.Home

With the recent house crashing post, it got me thinking about my own kitchen renovation.  And although I kept you updated on the steps throughout the process, I noticed that I had never done a full start-to-finish post; a true before and after.  [GASP]  I know, I know.  I'm a slacker.  I guess I'm still new at this whole blogging thing.  Rookie mistake....
So without further ado, here is a quick recap of the full kitchen transformation:

February: Here is what our kitchen looked like on move-in day.  Purdy, huh?

March/April: It wasn't long before we were tearing out the floor, ripping out the faux ceiling beams, pulling up countertops, and knocking down walls (between the kitchen and dining room).  We also removed all of the cabinet doors in anticipation of painting (which we decided to do after weeks of pricing out brand-new cabinets at several different stores.....but ultimately, we didn't want to give up perfectly good all-wood cabinets if we didn't have to).  In lieu of spending $10,000+ on cabinets, we splurged and spent $1,500 to have someone come and professionally paint the cabinets (since they were pine and I was worried that the white wouldn't cover well).  Best decision I ever made.  Yes, I could have done it myself, but it saved me SO MUCH time.  
Note: the painting package didn't include the INSIDE of the cabinets, so I decided to paint them myself since I didn't want to see the yellow walls every time I opened up a cabinet.  

May/June: It was already looking SO much better, but we still had a long way to go.  We decided to install recessed lighting since our ultimate goal was to brighten up the space.  We brought in an electrician for this job, but it was pretty inexpensive considering we installed a total of 7 recessed lights, had them re-wire the lighting over the future island for two pendants and put in place wiring for undercabinet lighting (which we still haven't done yet....oops).  I can't remember the total cost of this update, but I remember it being very reasonable.  Also, during this time, B (and our dads) built the island.  I included some of the during shots, but I should really have B do a separate post on how he did this exactly. I was honestly gone for a few hours that day and when I came back it was done.  TA-DA!  We also decided to have some cabinets built along the entry way wall for extra storage and a future mudroom.  In hindsight, I would have definitely had B install them rather than paying a carpenter to do it, but ultimately we wanted to make sure they they would be able to hold a lot of pantry items since we are big Costco people!!  Better safe than sorry!

May/June cont'd: Another big project during this time was to build a sink base that could accomodate a 300 lb. farm sink (YAY)!!  I definitely need to have B do a post on how to build one of these, since we googled it for quite some time and couldn't really find any awe-inspiring tutorials.  Most people probably buy new cabinets when they are doing this sort of renovation which already come equipped to handle the weight of a huge sink, but ours certainly didn't.  B pretty much took the whole cabinet apart and started from scratch.  See the photos below for a quick step-by-step on the process (and click here for more information on choosing a farm sink).   

July/August:  5 months into this project and we still don't have a working sink, actual floors, or a stove....but we are getting there!!!  Our next step is to cut a whole in the side of the house and install a slider.



July/August cont'd: As you can see in the photos above, we had to bring our new fridge into the house through the rough opening in the wall.  It wouldn't fit through any of the other doors, so this was the only way in.....even with the doors off!!  This baby is never leaving!!  And you can also see in the photos above that the painting process had begun and our cabinets were transforming before our very eyes!!  Once the painting was finished, everything seemed to fall into place.  The granite was installed the next day and the floors came in a few days after that.  Things were really starting to move along (see herefor more details)....

July/August cont'd: And as soon as the floors were dry, we installed the appliances and light fixtures.  It was a FUNCTIONING KITCHEN!!!  YAY!

August/September: Our next steps were to add the cabinet knobs and handles, paint the walls, and install the vent hood...

October/November: This probably could have been done a lot sooner, but as soon as the kitchen was functioning I lost all motivation to tile the backsplash.  It was just such a daunting task for me that I waited and waited until it was almost too cold to use the wet saw outside.  On one nice weekend, I tackled it (see here and here for more details).....

December: After all was said and done, there was still one lingering project that I wanted to complete.  So on one Saturday morning, I decided to buy some materials to finish up the mudroom.  I brought them home and begged B to install it.  Without expecting him to jump right on it, I ran out for a few more errands and came back to this.....

YAY!!  The kitchen was officially done.  8 months later, but EXACTLY the way we wanted it (and in the price range we wanted as well)!!!  If I had to do it over, I wouldn't change a thing.....well, except for maybe choosing to get pizza most nights rather than salads when we were ordering takeout.  Ugh....maybe we worked off the extra pounds with all the work we did though....haha.

So there you have it, a full recap of the biggest transformation in our new house.  And just to satisfy some before and after cravings, I will throw some in before I go.  Enjoy!!

So what do you think?  Have any of you done a big kitchen renovation as well and lived to tell the tale?  I would love to see or hear all about it.  Any thoughts, advice or wisdom to those considering a kitchen renovation would also be wonderful!! 


Shelley February 1, 2011 at 7:04 AM  

Holy Cow! That is amazing. The subway tile, the mud room... oh I'm in love :D

Tara Smith February 1, 2011 at 7:10 AM  

Love it all! I am wanting to tile my backsplash, but I'm a DIY'er wannabe! Scared to death to start and screw it up ;)

Love the mudroom, too......I'd kill for one! What do you keep in the baskets under the bench seat? I can see it as a great place for hats, gloves, scarves, etc.

Lacey February 1, 2011 at 7:49 AM  

Wow! That's gorgeous!! That might be the most amazing kitchen transformation ever. Before compared to After = are you serious??? Way to go!

Dixie Sargent Redmond February 1, 2011 at 8:29 AM  

Beautiful kitchen! You did great. I understand about paying someone to paint. Sometimes it's more about "getting it done" than "doing it yourself". $1500 is a good amount to not have to deal with the mayhem, in my opinion. I just paid someone to paint the trim in my house. Because it took them half the time and I could work on my own business projects.

I really do like to do things myself but life doesn't always allow the inevitable learning time it involves. Kudos!

orange sugar February 1, 2011 at 10:49 AM  

Gorgeous! Is the microwave in the island? Wnat an awesome idea! We did a rush kitchen makeover that you can see here: http://orange-sugar.blogspot.com/2011/01/house-kitchen.html. But there are so many things I would have done differently after living with it for awhile.

The German Girl February 1, 2011 at 1:30 PM  

I love it! I just put backsplash in our kitchen and know how much work that already is! great job!!

Celeste Lux February 1, 2011 at 2:16 PM  

What a beautiful renovation, talk about bringing a very dated kitchen into the 21st century! You have excellent taste---would you do my kitchen?

Anonymous,  February 1, 2011 at 3:11 PM  

WOW, Shocking and gorgeous! It doesnt even look like the same place! BEAUTIFUL!

Donna @ pintedfresh.blogspot.com February 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM  

love it!!! my kitchen needs a remodel-aholic like you!!
hope you visit me, am new to this blogging thing, and hope to one day have a site 1/4 as good as yours!

Sue February 1, 2011 at 7:15 PM  

Oh my gosh! What an incredible difference! it's stunning! I've lived in my house 20 years and I'm still waiting:) I did paint all the cabinets though, and we opened one wall, which made a huge, positive difference, and it was very inexpensive!

Lori@KitchenFunk February 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM  

This is terrific. We are currently working on our kitchen but were stuck in "design mode" for a while. It was so hard to make those decisions! Yours came out awesome. ~Lori

BirchModern February 1, 2011 at 9:19 PM  

I absolutely love the sink! And the kitchen is now so bright and fun!

I would also love to have that mudroom! A must in our next house - or a big addition!


Cherie February 2, 2011 at 10:19 AM  

Please do a post on how to make the island. I have been begging my husband to make me one! Also can you tell us about your countertops. Were you able to get a deal.

Heather February 2, 2011 at 1:58 PM  

Thanks everyone for your super sweet comments. I really appreciate it and whole-heartedly encourage you all to go for it if you are thinking about doing a renovation like this. It can seem overwhelming at first, but it is TOTALLY worth it in the end!

And for those of you that posed a questions in your comments, here are some answers:

Tara - You are absolutely right, we keep hats, glove, mittens and some extra shoes in the mudroom baskets. It is so convenient!! And we will probably store flip-flops and beach towels in them during the summer months!

Orange Sugar - I checked out your kitchen makeover and it is wonderful! And you are not alone, either. I think everyone looks back and wishes they had done something differently during a renovation...hindsight is 20/20! Oh, and yes, the microwave is the the island. Best thing we ever did!! Saved sooo much counter space!

Celeste - I would love to do your kitchen. Are you in the New England area??? :)

Cherie - I am definitely planning to do a post on building an island, and also one on building a sink base. I just need to find the time to pick my husband's brain about the process (since he did the majority of the work). Come back and visit from time to time to check it out. Also, I did a post earlier in the summer about my countertop choices. If you'd like to read about that process, you can check it out here: (http://simplebeautifulhome.blogspot.com/2010/08/kitchen-planning-countertops.html)

Thanks again everyone for checking out my renovation and a special thanks to Cassity for featuring me!!

Heather February 3, 2011 at 11:12 AM  

Hi Orange Sugar -

Yes, I'm a New Englander. I live on the South Shore in Massachusetts! I feel like there aren't a lot of NE bloggers out there, so its nice to meet a fellow "snowbird"!

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