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Before/After-Kitchen Remodel

3.22.2009
While 1992 had thrown up all over our entire "new" house, the kitchen was by far the worse so it has the honor of starting the before/after pictures. Behold the ugliness.

Pink must have been their favorite color as we had pink laminate counter tops, pink baskets, pink mini blinds and of course more glossy honey oak, wallpaper and brass going on.   Bleh.

KITCHEN BEFORE



Unused empty space by door

Nothing like a florescent light surrounded by oak

The original plan: the kitchen was ugly but functional so we were going to wait a year or two, plan, save money, be smart and not bite off more than we could handle.

The revised plan: one weekend Derek was out of town and I decided (with the help of some wine) that I was ready to start the kitchen. No time like the present.  I had 4 weeks of vacation coming up so that it would be perfect timing. So I got a spray bottle, a ladder and a putty knife and started stripping wallpaper. Derek came home and SURPRISE!  He was so thrilled.

KITCHEN DURING

Overall we had a very low budget for our kitchen remodel and planned on doing it DIY. We priced new cabinets and knew that it was not going to be in the budget cards.  And I wanted some solid surface counters….again after the pricing of a solid slab we decided to go with granite tile.  How much did we spend?  Well this DIY remodel was back in the pre-blog era so I was not keeping meticulous records.  We estimate under $3000.  Which in the world of kitchen remodels is nothing.

After the wallpaper was scraped, I realized that light blue lines were visible.  I first thought it must have been the adhesive of the wallpaper.  And then I realized it was a second layer of wallpaper that they had painted over and then applied the newest layer that had already been scraped.  And the first layer was attached directly to the drywall.  So that when you futility tried to to remove it, chunks of drywall came with it.  After cursing and sleeping on our option of re-drywalling the entire space, we went with painting over the first layer of wallpaper.  Hey they had already done it.  I will say three years later, i have never regretted this decision.

The wallpaper was not the only only issue.  We also had a giant hole in the ceiling.  This was the result of water running into the kitchen the first week we owned the house as I settled in to enjoy my new whirlpool bath.  Double lovely.

We scraped the old greasy popcorn, removed the florescent monstrosity and added can lights as well as pendants.
 

And then the cabinet painting started.   The grey primer brought out the pink countertops even more.   For the complete how-to click here.  I will say it totally changed the look of the kitchen, but it was a very.long.project. 

kitchen remodel
   Good thing we had some empty rooms to paint doors and drawers in…
kitchen remodel
kitchen remodel

The brass cabinet hinges were also replaced to concealed hinges.  Does not sound like a huge detail, but it made such a difference in updating the look of the cabinets.  It required some re-drilling and the how-to is part of this post.

We also added some features during the construction process.  One was a second tier to the peninsula for barstools. kitchen remodelAnother was a bar/wine area (on the left) to fill the empty awkward space.  And give us a bar.

Derek also added over cabinet and under-cabinet lighting.

kitchen remodel The old stained sink was replaced with a single bowl black granite one.

And then we resprayed the ceiling. 

After that was more painting.  Since we went black with the cabinets, I knew we needed something super light on the walls.  I got some inspiration from the backsplash tile and went with Sherwin WIlliams Sea Salt.  Oh and we can’t forget the trim.  The beautiful honey oak trim.  There are six windows in the kitchen alone and they all have mullions in them.  Which take forever to paint.  But I had started this project and we were getting closer to the home stretch.  At least that is what I tried to repeat to myself as I spent hour upon hour painting them. 

For the counters and the backsplash, we had help with the install by Derek’s stepdad.  He installed the granite tiles on the old pink countertops with the help of cement board in between.  He then used a grinder to smooth the edges of the corners to make them round.  Here is what the layering looked like:

fridge

We added new hardware to the cabinets and inserted glass into some of the doors (tutorial coming soon).   Outlets and covers were also replaced.

The appliances are/were ugly but they were not in the original kitchen budget.  The dishwasher was replaced first with stainless and the refrigerator followed.  Hopefully the completely functional but incredibly ugly bisque stove and microwave be bye-bye soon as well.

KITCHEN AFTER
 
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In addition to the white stove, curtains also need to be added before this space is considered really an “after.”  We are only two and a half years removed from the start of the remodel, so we would not want to rush anything though.

I am linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick Show Us Your House!

51 comments on "Before/After-Kitchen Remodel"
  1. WOW WOW WOW!! Your before and afters are amazing! I esp. am in love w/ your new kitchen. The black cabs, the mini tiles, the granite--SWOON.

    And I adore your glass chandie!

    (Stumbled onto your blog from the Nest =)

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  2. Okay,I was so excited to see that you may have the same granite that I do...does it have a kind of reddish brown along with grey, black, and white? When I looked at the black bean color you used in the foyer and powder room, I thought it was an almost perfect match to my granite...and I wanted to use it on my kitchen island... but now that Ive painted my test board and put it up against the island...I realize that I had much more black in there than I realized...I thought I had it figured out and now I am rethinking it AGAIN...anyway, you inspired me with your great work and the excellent instruction on painting cabinets...you have a really great eye for colors...I'm still going to use that color in my one of my powder rooms...

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  3. Pretty! What color did you paint the kitchen walls, please?

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  4. We used Sherwin Williams Sea Salt as the paint color!

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  5. That does not even look like the same kitchen! I am going to have to stare at these pictures for awhile... I love it all! That glass chandelier is amazing!!

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  6. Your light fixture is great, where did you find it? I love everything.

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  7. I love that you kept the white appliances... I did too.

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  8. Beautiful!! :D I really like this...came over from DIY Day and I'm going to have to explore more!! :D

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  9. Hi Jenny, It's me again!

    I love your black cabinets. I thought about doing black before and now I'm really going to! Also, I'm going to post about this on my blog tomorrow! Make sure you stop by!

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  10. Jenny,
    I'm so impressed with your DIY skills. Your home is beautiful! We've got a similarly aged house as yours (honey oak), and I especially love the ideas you've given me for glazing/painting.

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  11. Found your blog through a Knock Off Wood Facebook post today, and I am sooo impressed! Your house has really transformed from an ugly duckling into a swan.

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  12. Oh, my gosh... that looks AMAZING... I will have to peruse your blog to see if I can find more info on exactly how you got rid of your old lighting - we have one similar... just imagine (if you dare!), one that is 2x the size of yours. It. Is. Hideous!

    Great job - a friend was raving over your bathroom cabinet glazing post, and that's how I found your blog! :-)

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  13. So I'm dying to know... how did you get rid of the big light box monstrosity?? I've been wanting to do this to our mid-90's kitchen too, and I have no idea where to begin. Did you do this yourself or hire someone?

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  14. I really want to paint our cabinets black as well! Yours turned out great!!

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  15. That's amazing transformation. I love pink but that before was just hideous...To not had have a lot of money it looks expensive!

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  16. I really like the Kitchen backsplash. Where did you get it? I think it would work great with my Silestone countertops.

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  17. It looks amazing! I love the tiles!

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  18. Rick-

    We got it on closeout at a local tile store. We barely had enough and I was worried the entire time we were going to run out and not have enough with no way to find more. Sorry I am not more helpful!

    Jenny

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  19. Jenny- Can I ask where you got your sink? Its beautiful? What is it made out of?

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  20. @Jessssbaby-
    I can't remember....it was either Home Depot or Lowe's....and I want to say Home Depot. It is a granite composite. I love it and it still looks great after a year with a little help from a magic eraser. I believe the brand name was Franke.

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  21. I can't tell you how happy I am to have found your blog! I have the same 90s style honey oak problem in my house. We've lived with it for nearly 3 years, but I have reached my breaking point! I am starting in our master bedroom and bathroom and then tackling the kitchen. Your ideas are going to be VERY helpful and have inspired me. Thank you!!!

    I am getting ready to prime my honey oak trim right now. Fingers crossed!

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  22. I am SO happy to have found your blog. I have the same honey oak problem in my 90s built suburban home. We've lived with it for nearly 3 years, and I've reached my breaking point. We are starting with our master bedroom and bathroom, and then on to tackling the kitchen. My master bathroom could be a twin of your guest bath, so I'm hoping my ugly vanity turns out as nice as yours did. Thank you for sharing your ideas and style. I'm hooked!

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  23. Gorgeous! I love it. I justfound your blog last week and cannot stop looking at your remodels. Very inspired. I would love to update my kitchen cabinets, paint the walls and add backsplash. What is the paint color for the breakfast area? Any tips on painting the cabinets while they are still hung without dripping? Thanks so much.

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  24. Amazing job! I so want to do this in my kitchen but am afraid I'll mess it up. Love your kitchen!

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  25. O.K. So you, my dear, need to become an interior designer. I wish I had your vision and creativity. Your house, as we say in Boston, looks wicked awesome!

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  26. Beautiful!! Such a fantastic transformation! We are (slowly!) remodeling our kitchen and have chosen those same pendant lights, but with oil-rubbed bronze finish vs. the chrome - l.o.v.e. them! Again, wonderful job!

    Mara @ Super Savings

    p.s. I love your line "with the help of some wine", lol!

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  27. Your kitchen turned out amazing!!! I Love, Love, LOVE it!

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  28. Wanting to make sure my email was added.

    I think you received this but just in case....

    What paint color did you use on your kitchen cabinets? As well as the brand?

    Thank you so much! It turned out fabulous!

    Stephanie

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  29. Un...be...liev..able.... I die.....

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  30. I just came across your blog via another blog and I LOOOVVVEEE how your kitchen turned out! I wish I lived by you so I can have a look at that granite top. They did a superb job there. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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  31. what was your process for painting your cabinets black? I have med. stained oak cabinets and have been wanting to paint mine black!

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  32. I just found your blog (now I can't remember where, but it was the abacus post that brought me over from one of the ladies doing the snap! conference).... I LOVE THIS! Amazing transformation!!! Thank you for sharing!

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  33. Wow, amazing! I just moved into a house with all of the same honey stuff everywhere. The kitchen is such a big job but I must tackle it soon before I drown in honey!

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  34. Beautiful! I am considering painting black over my honey oak, but am a little afraid of making the room too dark. I'm going to start with the island the the crown at the top of the cabinets and then put glass in the upper cabinet doors. I'm about half way through my kitchen makeover as well, plenty of projects for the future. I had the same experience with the wallpaper - just ripping the drywall APART. I primered over it and textured, painted and glazed - 4 layers on top of the paper that I SWEAR was installed with Gorilla Glue! You can check out my work in progress on my blog, LifeBeginsAtFortySomething

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  35. kitchen after is gorgeous! love the glass cabinets doors and the tile!

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  36. OMG-this is truly inspiring-I'm your newest follower-stop by for a visit!

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  37. An absolutely amazing transformation! Does not even look like the same kitchen/house.

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  38. Love love love this. Waiting on a short sale to gothrough and one of my hesitations was all the honey oak! uck! but this gives me hope:) how did you do the glass inserts in the cabinets? new doors or did you cut them out? love how they lighten the room up!

    Great job!
    ~Becky

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  39. Love it!!! I am so happy to see a redo that is not a white kitchen! I redid our cabinets a few years ago to a really dark almost black stain, and I love it. I also painted the walls Sea Salt.. Too funny!!

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  40. Holy snikeys that is a serious renovation. Its like a radio station the best of the 80's made into today.

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  41. truly inspiring!! i have been holding out on doing my kitchen for YEARS because its just to small.. the storage is NOT practical, and ive been wanting to completely redo the cabinetry.... but this has put new ideas in my head

    LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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  42. Your kitchen looks awesome! I do have one question. Did you all pull off the old tile backsplash before putting the new one up? Or, did you just tile over the existing? Thanks!

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  43. Hi. you say you used granite tiles instead of solid surface. what size tiles did you use? you can't see your seams.

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  44. Looks terrific...can you give a basic cost for this? Also, tips on replacing the fluorescent light.

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  45. Great job!! I really appreciate your work because you did this work own.Your project inspire me to
    do remodeling of my kitchen also.Thanks for sharing.

    kitchen remodeling Birmingham, AL

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  46. I don't even know what to say that does this remodel justice. You have given us such courage, and hope. Beautiful and very professional results.

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  47. Way to go the do-it-yourself route! I've been debating whether to try doing our upcoming remodel myself or hiring someone to do it. I was leaning towards the business route but this blog post made me change my outlook. Maybe my wife and I will give it a shot!

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  48. I can't believe how great this kitchen turned out, I didn't even recognize the kitchen afterwards. I love how the cabinets turned out, they are probably my favorite part about the entire kitchen. I like how the counter tops go with the cabinets and match so nicely. My wife has been wanting new cabinets for a while now, but after seeing this post, maybe I will just paint the ones that we already have. http://www.encorecabinetsdesign.com

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