Kitchen Reno Reveal

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Soooooo.....ummm this is awkward....it's been a while hasn't it? Not to worry I didn't give up completely on design and just crawl under an unembellished rock to die. I'm not going to list my boring excuses...work, finally exercising again, finally cooking again....blah, blah, blah. The point is we've been busy and finally have something to show for it. Guys, we finished our mini kitchen overhaul! All the exclamation points (did you miss all my exclamation points?)!!!!! 


I am completely in love with our new space! It feels a million times better in here and I'm just so darn excited that my vision for the space came to life thanks to our hard work. Mostly Chad's hard work but I did paint every single cabinet myself-totally worth it! The kitchen finally came out of the 90s and now feels modern, classic and clean. The only downside is that it's making some of the other spaces feel very dated (I'm looking at you bathrooms). 

Many months ago I did a post on the kitchen in our new house and what we had done for the time being to spruce it up. I had thrown around idea of painting the cabinets dark green and redoing the floor with a graphic pattern. How closely did I follow my original plan? Pretty close considering we had a tight budget. After testing some paint samples the green was just not working for me. I love the contrast of the black cabinets with the wood and brass knobs. Also a huge thank you to Chad's mom who, while visiting in September, suggested removing the upper cabinets on the back wall to visually lighten the space. It totally changed the space and having the open shelving back there is one of my favourite bits-thanks Paulette! I'll go into more detail on the process because of course I took a million pictures. Here is the before, the during and the AFTER:


Hello fresh new kitchen! Let me tell you, I do not miss that special splatter paint backsplash tile or the chipped laminate countertop. In pictures the floor didn't look that bad but it was scratched and kind of a strange greige colour.  


Ok, now on to the process. Below is where we started when one night I magically convinced Chad that we should just start ripping shit out. Luckily the tile wasn't incredibly secure so didn't damage the drywall too badly when we pulled off the old tile. The kitchen felt more open the minute we pulled those upper cabinets down!


We took off all the cabinet doors, set them up in the garage and used paper cups to support them. I mostly followed the steps outlined in the Young House Love tutorial. I can't recommend the Benjamin Moore Advanced paint enough. It's definitely more expensive but a gallon covered our entire kitchen. It went on beautifully and didn't leave any brush marks. It seems to be holding up quite well.


The butcher block countertop installation was a whole other story. The issue "we" had was trying to cut the corner seam with an uneven back wall. After much swearing and threats of "just having no countertop" we decided to not do an angled seam and simply have two pieces meet at a straight seam as you can see in the picture below. It's not perfect but I think since it's in a hidden corner it's not as noticeable.


In the middle of all of this we also had our windows replaced because they were rotting out and birds had made a home inside the sills. It's nice to have windows that we can actually open now.


Chad's officially a tiling pro now so this was one of the more straightforward parts of the project. We used white subway tile mainly for cost but you also just can't beat the look of clean, classic subway- especially when you have lots of other patterned elements.


For our flooring we went with Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT). We chose this option mainly for its low cost and ease of installation. My dream tile would be a patterned cement tile but we don't exactly have an extra million dollars hanging around. We easily glued this flooring right over our old greige plastic tiles. It allowed us to still create an interesting design and is easily maintained. Lying VCT is also fairly straightforward as long as you don't do it on an angle or make any type of pattern. Obviously, I chose the most complicated option. You can see in the photo below (on the left near the wall) where the floor hadn't been continued and we had to fill with cement to level out the floors. Again I say "we" which means I stood there with a glass of wine and watched. Laying out the majority of the pattern was "easy" it was more difficult to get the corner areas once you had to cut things on irregular angles.


Whew, that makes me tired just remembering...I think that's enough of the process photos. It took us a few months of slowly working on projects during the weekends and weeknights but it was totally worth it.





I re-purposed our old bar cart/table by using up some of the leftover cabinet paint and tucking it in the corner that had been previously unusable due to the french doors taking up all that space. 



We sealed our Ikea wood counters with the sealer that they have at Ikea. We debated using a varnish but in the end I liked the idea of easily being able to touch up the wood with a quick sanding and keeping the natural finish. I love the black sink we got from Costco, it blends in nicely with the cabinets and is easy to care for-no worrying about scratches or marks like I did with stainless steel. 


The opening shelving is made from brackets from good old Ikea and the wood was just planks we picked up from Lowe's. I used a light natural stain on them to match the counters. I wasn't sure about mixing all the metal finishes in the kitchen. Would our silver faucet and stainless steel dishwasher go with the brass knobs I had found at a salvage store? In the end I love how the brass warms up the black. I think it's key to repeat the metals in a few areas so I brought in brass accessories throughout.




Much to Chad's delight I found this cool light fixture at Lowe's and knew I had to change out the multiple black pendants we had for something sleeker and modern.

If you've browsed my Pinterest then you know I was obsessed with having shelving in the dining room. We'd kept the old cabinet there because there was no flooring underneath (thanks old owners). With new flooring in place I could finally have my wall-to-wall shelf. I bought four of these simple Ikea units to create one giant bookcase/shelving unit. I have a lot of stuff, a minimalist I am not, and with no other real bookcase in the house I am thrilled to have a designated place for all my tchotchkes.








I'm loving how the metal legs of the Ikea shelving mirror the metal dining table legs. I also love that I can now constantly rearrange this space. Nothing better then a Friday night with some wine and styling!


So that's it-our new kitchen. I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse inside our improved space and seeing what some budget friendly updates can do. I've been re-arranging a few of our other spaces so hopefully I'll have time to share these with you soon. 





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