Kitchen Renovations for less

Before I started blogging and sharing our crazy home DIY’s with the internet world… we took our kitchen from 1970’s scary to, well… better.  I’ve been debating painting the walls a new color as we’ve been done with our kitchen for about three years (so clearly I’m ready for some updating).

Painting a room is such a great and inexpensive way to give a little facelift without breaking the bank.  As I start mulling over new color ideas, I thought I’d share a bit of our kitchen journey with you all.

High End kitchen renovation, low end price -

Welcome to a new mini series I’m calling:
How to get a high end (looking) kitchen 
look for a low end price!

A little back story:
Rewind, three years ago… the hubs and I were expecting our first baby and as any normal couple who are preparing to take on that huge responsibility of parenthood and make major life changes would do… we decided it would be an ideal time to completely gut and renovate our kitchen.

This was our kitchen for many years (5+ years).  This picture was taken shortly after we moved in.  Sometimes I wonder why we bought this house when I look back at the early pictures.

We saw potential but now all I see is lots of dark original to the house cabinetry, fake butcher block counter tops, odd textured stripe wall paper, and a single large florescent light overhead.  Oy.

Not a lot of sunshine going on in this room.

Step one for getting a high end look involves a lot of do it yourself work.  Let me repeat, DO A LOT OF THE WORK YOURSELF.  I think the hubs was gone for a few days on travel and I grabbed a paint scrapper and decided to go to town on our awful wallpaper.  Once I removed the wall paper, there was quite a bit of nastiness going on.  Sadly, we left it this way for quite some time.  We even hosted my family for Thanksgiving while the entire kitchen was scraped down to bare dry wall.  Part of getting a high end look for less, is being okay with getting your end product in time and not all at once.  (I was clearly not preg when we started this lovely update.)

Our second step and a step that lasted for some time (years) was simply removing the wallpaper and painting the walls.  I painted them in a soft green color.  The “lovely” florescent light gave the walls a much more intense green look than they really were.
I love adding a bit of color to the room, but with the lighting and the dark cabinetry, it still felt like a dungeon.  A happier place, but a dungeon none the less.
Step three for getting that high end look is patience.  It always is so great to start a project and two simple weekends later, presto a completed product.  In DIY and especially in kitchen remodeling, that is rarely the case!
Next week I will be sharing the process of redesigning our kitchen, removing our cabinets and opening the space up into our dining room.  All quite do-able and amazingly inexpensively.

Have you done a kitchen remodel yourself?  Was it a multi-year process like ours?  I’d love to hear your kitchen stories.

Update: I’ve posted here and here and here about the first seven steps in transforming your kitchen to have a high end look at a low end price.


34 thoughts on “Kitchen Renovations for less

  1. It looks SOOOO GOOD Amy, seriously amazing transformation. I love seeing the pictures and progress you guys have done and am excited to find out how you opened it up. So many people would love to know how to do that, I am one of them!
    Sonnet @ Sohosonnet

  2. Funny! Our cabinets are a light oak, only 7 years old and I find myself saying “why did we choose that”?! I hope you share how you refinished yours, I’m planning to paint ours this Spring!

  3. I LOVE the paint color! Your kitchen is gorgeous and it’s such a huge improvement overall. I haven’t done any renovating of any kind ever, but I already learned just from apartment living NOT to rush the designing process. Ever.

  4. We are remodeling a bathroom now and then the kitchen. It seems like it can take forever during the process. lol I can’t wait to hear more.Theresa @DearCreatives

  5. This is so true – we have done many transformations…..on the “cheap”…….and oh, what a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment comes from all of the hard work! Yours looks GREAT! Thank you for sharing it. Gentle Joy

  6. Great before and afters following your progress steps! I look forward to seeing more! Yes, we have done a complete kitchen gut — not on our current home, but the previous one. We were “all in” on ours and did the entire thing at once. It took about three months from start to finish. Hubby (and his trusty but weak-armed assistant, ME) did most of the work ourselves, but we had new cabinetry and hardwood floors installed by professionals. We’ve done some slightly major things on our current kitchen & may do a cabinet redo in the future.

  7. We are going to do our kitchen this year (at least that’s the plan…) so I look forward to reading more about your process- it turned out beautifully. We had EXACTLY those dark panelled cabinets in our previous house- we painted ours white but seeing yours gives me major flashbacks!!

  8. Great before and after! We’re thinking about buying a new (to us) home in the next year or so, and as we’ve been looking at homes we’ve been saying things like, “Of course, we will have to completely re-do this kitchen” like its no big deal. Haha… Too bad it doesn’t just work like that because I struggle with that patience thing a bit.

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