I promised “after” pictures eons ago. They have finally arrived!
Last summer we worked our butts off to re-do our kitchen. Here’s what it looked like before:
Here’s what it looks like now:
We are so incredibly happy with how it turned out. After the wallpaper was down and the new floors were in, we couldn’t stop talking about how much bigger the room felt.
I already loved the size and layout of the kitchen so we were happy that our renovations were mostly surface level.
No more green! Even the green ceiling fan pull got a few coats of spray paint.
Here’s everything we did:
- Removed wallpaper (plus the evil backing behind it)
- Repaired and painted the walls
- Painted the wainscotting
- Removed the carpet and replaced with laminate flooring
- Replaced the cupboard/drawer knobs
- Replaced the countertops
- Replaced the dishwasher
- Replaced the sink and faucet
- Painted the light fixture
Surprises during the process:
- My decisiveness
David’s parents helped us get started with the project by going to Lowe’s and looking at options for flooring, paint, and countertops.
I’m usually terrible about second-guessing what I want and delaying decision-making, but I kept us on track by being decisive.
I think I already knew that the project was going to be intense and a lot of work — I didn’t need to add any frustration.
I chose the flooring pretty quickly — a reasonably affordable laminate by allen+roth that looks like hardwood floor. I liked the rich, dark color (Toasted Chestnut) and knew it would contrast with the real hardwood in the rest of the level.
Colors were next and then countertops. We always tested out options, but I was given the final say. I went with my gut and ended up pretty happy with most decisions.
- New dishwasher
We didn’t plan to get a new dishwasher but it stopped working partway through renovations. We got a Bosch dishwasher in white (affiliate link) to match the rest of our appliances. It’s a nice simple design, is really reliable and so very quiet. You can hardly tell when it’s running. We love it!
- The amount of time needed to remove wallpaper
This is the picture of our very first step of redoing the kitchen. This was one of the biggest pieces we removed through the whole room; many of the other pieces we picked off the wall were tiny shreds.
We have a steamer but we used that a few times and realized that even a little steam was damaging the wall behind the paper. We decided to spend our time carefully removing the wallpaper instead of patching and sanding everywhere.
You can tell this picture was taken early in the process before the whining and wallpaper-fury started.
- You can keep cooking in kitchen chaos if you keep the meals simple
- You should never put up wallpaper in any house ever
- It doesn’t take long to get burned out on Lowe’s trips
- Always double the amount of time you think something is going to take
We also learned that David and I are not a home renovation power couple.
We can team up pretty well for most things, but our mindsets for working on the house are not the most compatible. David’s method is to jump into a project, see how it goes, and then go back to make changes if necessary (refer to directions only if something goes wrong).
I’m much more of planner — plan it out, read the directions, gather supplies, re-read directions, research online, then make a slow and steady start.
We started the kitchen project with a pretty big disagreement about how to plan out the whole thing. I think it was partly due to our different mindsets and partly me being overwhelmed with everything we needed to do.
We used the disagreement to get on the same page. We realized that we were both willing to work really hard to get the kitchen done but it would take a lot of communication and patience. It wasn’t perfect from there out, but we just focused on one project at a time and our end goal.
Why I love my new kitchen:
I have to admit there was a slight “cozy” factor to the old kitchen (like being wrapped in a old plaid blanket), but I much prefer the open, cheeriness we have now.
To decorate, I got a few things that make me happy and fit the new space.
I like that we were able to save money by making small changes to existing features. This light fixture was several boring shades of beige and looked so much better after a few coats of brushed nickel spray paint.
Same with the cupboards — changing out the knobs was a small change but a big visual upgrade.
I really like the floors because they are so much easier to clean. As you can imagine, the forest green carpet would show every single crumb so I would have to vacuum all the time.
I also love the fact that we got so much help from family. David’s family helped with the floors, my parents helped with the painting, and my sister Becky supplied the curtains.
It makes me happy to look around the room and be reminded of family.
One thing I’ll miss from the old kitchen:
This conversation starter.
Apparently the previous owners dropped an iron on the floor and left this mark. Kind of a charming imperfection.
Here are some more before and after shots.
Here’s a bonus picture. I tried to use the manual setting on my camera and failed big time.
All in all, we are happy to be done working on the kitchen, and I am happy to be cooking in it.
Have a great week, everyone!