Monday, June 4, 2012

Inexpensive Kitchen Remodel, Part I

...with, I'm sure, many more parts to come!

Here at the Weiland household we are undergoing a (hopefully) quick and inexpensive (as much as possible anyway) kitchen cosmetic renovation. The house we live in was my husband's grandfathers, Alfred Nussbaum, who had it built in 1953. Alfred was born in 1921 and was a product of the Great Depression so he lived his life by the motto, "If it ain't broke don't fix it. If it is broke, fix it as cheaply as possible".

59 years later, we are trying to bring this quaint cottage into the 21st century without breaking our budget. And my mother always said I had champagne tastes with a beer budget. ;)

My lower cabinets are as cheap and particle-board-y as you can get. Alfred had replaced the original ones about 20 years ago. We plan on replacing all the lower cabinets one day but for now I just want a quick fix to brighten up my dated kitchen (and inspire me to cook more often in there!). The upper cabinets are the original 1953 cabinets and we plan on keeping them. They need a little TLC and some bright white paint and should be as good as new.

So my plan for cheaply updating my kitchen is the following:

            1. Paint the lower cabinets Poppy Seed Blue
            2. Paint the upper cabinets bright white
            3. Paint the walls a light blue
            4. Get rid of curtain above the sink and install wooden blinds
            5. Install butcher block counter tops
            6. Install subway tile back splash
            7. Install new molding around doors
            8. Install a curtain-French style ooh lala- instead of doors where the cabinets door are on one cabinet.

Not so cheap updates:
            1. Get a new refrigerator
            2. Get a new stove
I'm sure this list will grow as all home remodeling projects are wont to do.

Since we moved into this house about 4 years ago we have laid ceramic tile down on the floor. I will write a post about that at a later date-it was a HUGE improvement over the existing floor, you won't believe it.

This is my 'before' kitchen. Yes, the kitchen is a teeny, tiny galley style kitchen. The countertops I had were a laminate 'butcher block'. It is chipped, falling a part, and it's fake! Time for some REAL wood butcher block. (Excuse the clutter and un-tidy-ness. Everything's a work in progress around here.)

This last week I began painting the walls. I cannot remember what the old color on the wall is called but it is a dark mocha color from Valspar. I have decided to go with Behr's Light French Gray in semi gloss which I had lightened 25%. Here is my inspiration kitchen.

The Light French Gray really brightened everything up. I can't wait to decorate the kitchen with the new color.

This color looks so much better than the mocha color.  For such a small space, the lighter colors seem to open up the room. We plan on pushing the stove all the way over towards the wall to the right and extending the counter top to cover the gap so I have a larger work space. We plan on installing white subway tile as a backsplash and a matching molding above the heat guard around the stove.

Over the weekend, my husband, Kevin, began installing the Lagan butcher block countertops that we purchased at Ikea for only $59 for each 96 7/8" section (we needed to buy 2 of them.)

Kevin had no problem installing them. His main complaint: that they were heavy! And he had no one to help him lift them. What can I say? I have a big, strong husband ;). Other than that it was fairly strait forward. The countertops even come with brackets to attach the countertop to the existing cabinets.

Once again here is the before:

And here is the after:

 See how the counter top now extends all the way to the stove? It creates a perfect little cubby now for the recycle bins. I still have A LOT of work to do to make this look the way I want but it's progress. :)

This area above the washer is a little awkward and we wanted to make it feel like it actually was a part of the kitchen to improve the flow of the small room. So we installed the same Lagan butcher block countertop above the washer/dryer.

And here is the 'progress':

*excuse the saw dust on the left side of the counter.

The butcher block counter top really warms up the area and once I finish painting the walls and organizing, it will look like a new, cozy kitchen rather than a cluttery mess.

I am so in love them with the countertops! I used Old English Lemon Oil as a water barrier (no, I do not plan on doing any food prep on the counters.)

We did not get all the countertops installed so hopefully we will get to that next week. We have a lot more work to do and with a little paint and creativity this kitchen will be a place that I can't wait to cook in. :)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Jeny! We still have a ton of work to do but it's a good start. :)

  2. I love it, too! I admire your tase and bravery in tackling these projects. The house has become a warm and cozy home.

    1. Thanks! It can get very overwhelming but the end result is ALWAYS worth the, um, stress. :)