Because we don’t have enough to do around here, my husband and I decided to undertake a kitchen renovation. We’ve been talking about it for a year, but our best-laid plans never seemed to materialize. Until the other day when he took a hammer and bashed a hole in the wall so that we had no choice but to get off our butts and get moving.
I loathe these cabinets. Which I realize is the very definition of a first-world problem, but I’ll admit it: I like pretty things. These orangey-golden oak 80’s ladies almost prevented me from consenting to buy our house altogether. I thought I could use my feminine wiles to convince my husband to get rid of them after we moved in, but, four years later, every time I broached the subject he’d start muttering about “real wood” and “they don’t make ’em like they used to.” Ugh. Have you ever seen an orange tree? Yeah, me neither.
But my moment has come. I have convinced him to paint the cabinets. We won’t be replacing them because it’s too expensive and I will grudgingly admit they are nice cabinets in function if not in style. We’ll also be knocking down several walls in the interior of our home to create an open concept, in addition to tearing out the kitchen tile and replacing it to match the rest of our interior flooring.
The flooring was actually the first hurdle (aside from motivation and the lure of laziness) we had to jump in this process. Some time during the last four years, the manufacturers discontinued our flooring, as manufacturers are wont to do presumably so you have to buy more. We needed 490 square feet for this project, and, after some intensive Googling, I found a mom n’ pop carpet store in Georgia that happened to have a pallet of it they’d purchased through some kind of liquidation sale. They had 497 square feet. Bingo! The shipping cost more than the flooring did, but I was happy we didn’t have to rip out the flooring throughout the house and start from scratch. Also, southern people are SUPER nice on the phone.
I’m lucky because my husband is very
handsy handy (well, both actually…), and he’ll be doing a lot of the work himself, including building a new kitchen island. He recently built a huge dining room table out of barn wood that I’m in love with, so I know he’ll make something incredible.
Here is some inspiration I’ve compiled to help guide our design choices. This is NOT some 20 thousand dollar renovation. We are literally doing all the work ourselves on a tight budget, but with some intentional choices and lots of help from the Internet, I am confident it’s going to look great.
First, we’d like to raise the cabinets. Our house has very low ceilings, and I thought raising the cabinets to ceiling height would create the illusion of higher ceilings. To compensate, we’ll be adding an open shelving situation below the cabinets, like this.
How clever is that? We’ll also be installing butcher block countertop and an undermount sink similar to this image. Though I really like the two-tone cabinets, I think we’re going to stick with all white. What can I say? I’m a basic b!@ch. We live in a berm home, which means there are only a smattering of very small windows on the backside of the house, and we struggle with it feeling cave-like. White and bright feels like the way to go to combat this problem.
I’m also kicking around ideas for a kitchen island, backsplash, and lighting. My husband is an electrician, so I’m hoping we can do something a little more creative than the boob lights we have now. (Fun Fact: Once you hear them called boob lights, you can never see them any other way!)
Here are some more kitchen inspiration photos I’ve saved to help guide us on this journey.
You get the idea. Light, bright, airy. I’m looking forward to photo-documenting our renovation journey and adding new posts about this mother-of-all DIY projects. (I’ll leave out the bits where we bicker like mad and threaten divorce.) Please let me know if you have questions, suggestions, or cautionary tales. I’d love to hear them!