but a kitchen ain’t one – uh, yea.
That’s right. You’re not imagining things. We’re finally posting pictures of our kitchen facelift – and doing so with the help of Jay-Z circa 2003. Now how many times do you read that?
Before we explore the after shots. Let’s rewind to where our cocina started from. Clean and easy but not cozy and not very Chad and Amy.
We didn’t have the budget to gut the cabinets or knock out walls, but we do feel like the changes we were able to make have really warmed things up and made our kitchen feel more like a room in our home and not just the room with the food in it.
Lucy seems to approve. What do you guys think? Here’s a quick run down of all the projects we tackled – all of them DIY. If you’re interested in doing any of these things in your own home check out our How-To page for details on each project.
Project 1: Butcher Block Countertops and Subway Tile Backsplash. We carefully ripped out the old laminate countertops, which were really 1″ x 6″ boards with laminate glued on. A contractor’s quote just for removing the old countertops was $250. A little time and elbow grease took care of this for free – and Chad only bled a little. No stitches were necessary. Plus we didn’t have to pay for hauling services, the City of Durham picked them up on heavy trash day.
Our new butcher block beauties came from IKEA and we paid less than $350 for two 8 foot pieces. Four coats of Waterlox sealer keep them shiny and wipe-able.
We also added new drawer pulls to our lower cabinets for a little extra vintage flair.
Project 2: New Faucet and Under Mount Sink. Our new faucet came from Lowes and our sink from Overstock. The sink is by far Amy’s favorite part of the kitchen because of its low center divide. Well, maybe the sink is tied with the new stove. We were lucky to be able to hold on to our old disposal, but did have to replace all of the piping underneath.
Project 3: Stainless Steel Appliances (that’s right we’re fancy). These were by far our greatest expense in the whole upgrade. We were able to stick to a budget for everything which included a new refrigerator, range, microwave and dishwasher all from the Frigidaire Professional line. We also had to fork out some extra beans for the gas company to come run the line to our new range. Gas ranges seem to be rare in Durham homes, but we are really happy we made the switch.
Project 4: Lighting. One of the first projects we completed was hanging two new pendant lights over our sink area in place of the horrid fluorescent light that was there. I felt like I was in a hospital every time I washed the dishes – no bueno. That was so early in our plans that you can already see them in the before shots. We later switched out our dorm room like track lighting for more modern track lights with halogen bulbs that give the space a little bit of a gallery feel. We’ve focused the six lights on our workspaces, shiny new appliances and open shelving. Our cabinets also have new LED lights underneath them, read more about that here.
Project 5: Bamboo Window Coverings. You guys voted and helped us out and boy were you right. We love the warmth that our four new bamboo roman shades add. Plus we can close them in the evening for added privacy when hitting up the midnight snacks.
Project 6: Open Shelving – as a result of our refrigerator mishap. For a couple of months our plan was to create a custom wine rack in the space above the refrigerator. But after staring at the hole for a few weeks we decided a. above the fridge is probably not the best place to store wine and b. that could be pretty tricky to do right and well, let’s be honest we are amateurs. So for about $6 we just recreated the shelf and filled it with brightly colored serving dishes and other items that we don’t use on a daily basis.
Project 7: Create an Entry. Our old dish cabinet was great. We love its new home in our living room. But it just wasn’t doing it for us in the kitchen anymore. So we pulled a switcheroo with an IKEA desk, lamp from Carolina Pottery and garage sale mirror. We already had the chair and decorative items on hand, including the blue rimmed glass we’re using as a candle holder. It was used during communion at our wedding.
Project 8: Storage. We scored some new canisters with Bed Bath and Beyond gift cards and coupons that were just lying around and filled them with our go-to snacks. We also got creative with a little wooden box we’ve had on hand for years to make a little nook for holding oils and measuring spoons near the stove. A handy lower shelf became the perfect place to store my mixer, since it was now too tall for our countertops.
Project 9: Add some color. We did this with dishes and accessories we already had, like these measuring spoons from Anthropologie. The only new items brought in was the desk lamp and these plants picked up at Lowes a couple of days ago.
Project 10: Add some artwork. We used cheapo frames from IKEA and Michaels to frame everyday items that were all free like our restaurant post cards, printed family recipes and tear sheets from magazines. If you look closely on our new shelf above the refrigerator you’ll also see a framed photo booth strip of Amy’s sweet grandma – taken at our wedding. She keeps an eye on the cooking.
Projects 11-13: Paint and Crown Molding. A lot of time, a little frustration, but a beautiful finished product. We didn’t agree on hanging the molding in the beginning but are now both really happy it’s up. We also painted the walls with Gentle Tide by Glidden and added a chalk board to our built-in spice rack. Barton approves.
Anyone else kitchen-proud? Got a great home project to share? We’d love to hear about it, see pics and even share it with our other readers right here on the bloggity blog. Got a late 90’s early 2000’s rap reference to go with it? Even better.
P.S. We also just posted our new addition on HGTV Rate My Space just for fun. You know to see what total strangers thing. Check it out!