$100 Kitchen Makeover

Show me the Benjamin! While we have grand plans to gut and remodel the kitchen, we are running low on funds and time. When I approached Mike about my desire, no need, to paint the kitchen, he said absolutely no! When I told him I would only give myself $100 to spend on everything, he still said no, but I could tell I was wearing him down, and eventually he conceded. Although he couldn't understand why I would want to spend anytime on "something that we're just going to tear out." I knew I couldn't live, let alone cook, in the state of the kitchen of present.

Remember this beauty?

So the challenge was to improve functionality, modernize, and visually open up the kitchen with only $100. Easy Peazy. So me and my new friend Benjamin Franklin put our heads together and thought of the completely necessary tasks that needed to be done, (and some of the not so necessary, but oh-so-pretty things too). First, the dark "wood grain" laminate cabinets had to change. Not only are they nauseating, no matter how much I cleaned them, they still had a layer of grime that would not leave (and boy did I clean). What is a girl to do? Paint of course! A nice crisp white really cleaned them up and instantly made the kitchen seem 3 times larger. To be honest, simply painting the cabinets would have made the kitchen bearable for the next year or so while we saved up for our total kitchen remodel, but you know I couldn't stop there.

Next in the path of my paint brush was the dingy yellow painted embossed wallpaper. Removing and remediating whatever mess I found underneath wasn't in the budget or schedule so it was paint to the rescue once more. I chose a bluish-gray that worked with the color palette of the rest of the house and would set off the white cabinets.

The next color change were the counters. After seeing ads for laminate countertop paints I was excited to find out more. During a recent trip to Lowes I joyfully skipped to the paint isle looking for the countertop paint and almost cried when I saw the $250 price tag! Not only was it out of my budget (I could probably buy new laminate for that price!) it was way too involved and required more than 4 coats of various primers and polys. As I slowly retreated back to find Mike (and knowingly receive a "I told you so") a small can of Rust-Oleum Specialty Countertop Coating caught my eye, and for only $20 I almost let out a little burst of excitement. I skipped back to Mike with my own "I told you so!"

The next improvement was almost the sole reason Mike let me even entertain my idea. All the hardware was actually quite nice and must have been updated recently, but was placed in the center of doors. It probably doesn't sound that bad, but even the lower cabinets were in the center. This made it awkward to lean down and open the doors. It also made the point of pulling too close to the hinge, making it actually harder to open everything. By removing the hardware, filling the holes and redrilling them in the corners, this was a free improvement to the overall functionality of the kitchen. With some new hinges the cabinets were better than new.

And now for our most dramatic after to date (drumroll please)...

And for those wondering if I came under budget, let's do a quick breakdown:

Primer: Free (left over from other projects)
White Cabinet Paint: $25
"SW Gray Clouds" Wall Paint: $11
Cabinet Hardware: Free (inherited from previous owners)
Countertop Paint: $20
Hinges: $33

For a grand total of $89!

That leaves me $11 to buy accessories! Now to get my shop on!

Please stay tuned...

Dear Enduring Fans (Hi Mom!),

Please except my deepest apologies for my lack of blog activity. Although my absence can very simply be explained by our MOVING IN(!), I understand this is no excuse. Please let me make it up to you. How about pictures of our newly painted kitchen? Perhaps some slightly decorated rooms? I know you guys would love to know about our rug hunt and IKEA expeditions. In due time, in due time.

So until next week, my dear friends, have a nice Memorial Day weekend!

Yours truly,


Get Your 3D Glasses Ready!

While everyone patiently waits for our big kitchen reveal, I thought I'd share a layout for our house for those who haven't been able to make a visit and can't quite picture the set-up. I've also added (similar) colors to each room to show the overall flow and tentative furniture layouts. I've even added some 3D, not completely necessary, but everyone loves cool special effects, right?
Here's the ground floor. Don't be fooled by the roomy kitchen, there is definitely not that much floor space.

Here's the upstairs with similar colors and some basic furniture layouts:

Here's the basement that definitely needs some more TLC:

So it's like you're really there, without the dust and boxes in the way!

Note: If you want to make your own layouts and floor plans check out floorplanner.com!