Making the Most of Small Spaces: A Kitchen Renovation

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

For as long as I've lived in our home, I've pretty much hated our kitchen. It was always something ugly, small, and bothersome to me. The rest of our home is lovely and boasts charming character, but the kitchen was something different altogether; like a flaw on a painting or a fuzz in my wet nail polish.

Because I hated it, I never showed it much love and I didn't know if I wanted to go through all the bother of 'completely' remodeling it. So it sat. It sat for about 6 years, ugly and half done. Then one day, partially due to the thought of moving and half because I was sick of it, we resolved to make the kitchen pretty. Yes, it's small, but that doesn't mean it can't be functional and cute! I thought back to our time in Italy, how small yet appropriately designed the kitchen and living spaces are. "I can do this" became my mantra for the end of 2015 as we endeavored to make sense of the ugly.

So here, at last, I'm sharing our little kitchen transformation. I love it! It's my dream kitchen on a very small scale. And through the process of remodeling it, God taught me a big lesson on being content right where I'm at and learning to abide in Him 'and' in my home. And let me tell you, that's made a huge difference in how I view things nowadays.

So here it is- our sweet little kitchen, all shiny and new:
Kitchen Update 1
And here is our kitchen BEFORE:
P7160160P7160164 P7160163 
Slight transformation, huh? ;) It's just amazing to me what can be done when the creative juices start flowing. I guess one nice thing about waiting so many years to remodel is that I knew exactly what I wanted when the time came! I had pinned my little heart out on Pinterest and browsed more kitchen books than I care to admit.

Ben and I remodeled this entire kitchen on a shoestring. I'm going to take you through each updated element and give you an idea of what everything cost (approximately).

I spent more time deciding on this than anything else. I really liked the looks of butcher block but everything I read said that it was a lot of work in upkeep. SO, in my curiosity I began looking for substitutes and I learned that Formica makes a 'killer' alternative to real wood- and it looks amazing! It even has grooves in the material which makes it feel like real wood. The cost of butcher block would have been outrageous, but by going with Formica, we only spent $350 for everything! Installation, product, etc. Not to mention, you can clean Formica with pretty much whatever and it's super resilient. We're so satisfied with how our countertops turned out. This is our 'exact' Wilsonart countertop: (click here)
Kitchen Update 3 Kitchen Update 2
The one thing I knew for 'sure' I wanted to splurge on was a farmhouse sink. I just LOVE them. I figured if I can't have a dishwasher, then I might as well have a killer sink, right? However, most of them aren't cheap. The best price I was finding was near $500 dollars... Until I discovered that Ikea (Praise Him) has farmhouse sinks for a fraction of the price, and they're nice too! We scored this baby for $179 on sale at Ikea. Cha ching.

Our cabinets we did not change. However, we did spackle, sand, and repaint them a nice satin white. It's crazy what a huge difference that made for me. I went from hating to loving my cabinets. And the scalloping above the window & stove are just darling. I'm glad we kept them.

All Ikea. We literally did a massive sweep at Ikea and it was so worth it. The faucet is Glittran ($119.00) in stainless steel, the light is the Ranarp pendant lamp ($24.99), and the pot holder rail is Fintorp ($8.99). *Click on any name for actual product.

I'm so proud of my backsplash. My dad and I conquered this all by ourselves and it was a great lesson for me to learn how to tile. My dad knows how to do everything, I swear. He's awesome. And by the way, if you're considering going with a subway tile backsplash, I would totally recommend these tiles from Home Depot. They come on a mesh backing in 1 foot squares. SO EASY to install. I mean, sure, you still have to cut them to fit tricky areas, but you don't need 'any' spacers and you won't need to worry about them falling off the wall. Just apply the mortar, put them up, and grout. That's it! If I can do it, you can too. Total for tile, grout, mortar, & accessories: $98.00

Our walls were the biggest job we faced, HANDS DOWN. This home was built in the 1920's and we had layers upon layers of wallpaper to strip and Kilz over. It was a mess. We did the best we could to even out the surface of the walls but in the end the only thing that worked well to cover them was paintable wallpaper from Sherwin Williams. I'm talking- heavy duty wallpaper. We had to paste it before we applied it, there was glue everywhere... yeah, it was a messy job. BUT- it totally worked and we've had lots of compliments on our walls. I chose an antique pattern that really pops when you paint over it. The gray paint is also Sherwin Williams and it's the mother of all paints. We only needed one coat and it covered awesome! The total for paint and wallpaper was 'roughly' $150.00
Kitchen Update 4 Kitchen Update 5
This butcher block storage unit was a gift from my friend Kim. Love you, Kim! I just swapped out the old knobs for new ones from World Market. Admit it, you droll over their knob selection too.
Kitchen Update 10 Kitchen Update 11
Fintorp pot & pan rail:
Bella electric kettle, Target ($49.99):
Ranarp pendant lamp:
Kitchen Update 8
Glittran faucet & Domsjo sink:
Kitchen Update 6

Total estimated cost of kitchen renovation: $1,000! 

If you're thinking about updating your kitchen then I hope you've found this inspiring! I love looking at other people's ideas and that's one of the ways I was able to update ours so reasonably. Sometimes creativity is key, and we definitely needed to get creative with our kitchen.

I hope everyone is having a good week. We got a foot of fresh snow yesterday here in Michigan. It was absolutely CRAZY out. And to top it off, yours truly was out grocery shopping in it. HA. We're hardcore in the north. But hey- if you ever want the WHOLE grocery store to yourself, go shopping in a blizzard! It's great.

Thanks for stopping by today. I'll be back with you this Friday with a fun post in collaboration with Meijer!

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