Friday, October 4, 2013

"31 Days of Moving" Day 3: Our Kitchen Reveal!

I know!  I actually have a finished kitchen to show you!  It's ok.  You can say it...you were beginning to doubt that we were actually doing a kitchen reno.  Or maybe that we even had a kitchen at all.  I would too.

But I do have a kitchen, and she's looking pretty dang snazzy!

Even though we're about to start packing, the kitchen update we just wrapped up at the end of September began long before a moving box was ever on the horizon.  This was actually the 2nd phase in our 3-phase kitchen reno.  The 3rd phase was supposed to address counter tops and flooring, but we'll just have to leave that for the new home owners.

And because we weren't updating the kitchen with neutral/resale tastes in mind, everything we did in this space was for us.  In fact, I had just recently been able to let go of that crippling "what if a buyer doesn't like this someday" fear, and actually did what I really wanted.  Hopefully, there's a buyer out there that loves it as much as we do!
Grey and white kitchen reveal

Before we get into the nitty gritty, let's jog the memory with the hideous "before", eh?  This is actually after the 1st phase where we replaced the ancient appliances, pealed the tooty fruity wall paper border, and redid the breakfast nook area.
Ok so it wasn't totally hideous, but it was definitely drab.  And dirty.  And really, really blah-brown.

The light box was also enormous and made the ceiling feel like it was grazing the top of your head.  Especially for the 6' 4" hubs.


The plan for this second phase? 

-Ditch the light monstrosity
-Replace the back splash
-Paint the cabinets
-Swap out the hardware
-Replace the range hood
-Address the sink/faucet
-Organize a coffee station 

Here's where we last left you - half-done and begging for doors....
 

 And now we can finally stick a fork in her.
Grey and white kitchen reveal
Even without the 3rd phase of this makeover, I am still head over heels in love with our kitchen!

Here's how it went down...

I knew without a doubt, the best way to freshen up this kitchen on our teeny budget was by painting the cabinets.  I've always loved a fresh white kitchen, but dang Pinterest got my mind wondering to other colors.  I really loved the two-tone cabinet look with light uppers and dark lowers, but I was a chicken.  What if I hated it in a few months?  I knew sticking with a neutral would help fend off painters regret and I kept being drawn back to grey cabinets.  

The white upper cabinets sat pretty and painted for months while I wavered.  (I googled "painting cabinets" and after reading several how to's finally just went for it with brush in hand.  I found Jen's tutorial to be the most helpful.)  I was so close to playing it safe with all white, but showed James some Pins of two-toned cabinets.  "Tell me your honest opinion....". 

And darn if that man doesn't surprise me.  "If you're going to do it, don't go half way.  Go darker.  Even if it's a color."  Say whaaat?  No wait, don't say anything else.  One gallon of dark grey paint was purchased the next day (Ocean Storm by Valspar in semi-gloss).  

Grey and white kitchen reveal
Since we painted the cabinets by hand, it was still several weeks before they were finally finished. 

I don't even know how to describe how happy I am with the grey choice.  It completely makes the kitchen, and is perfect for our family with 3 kids under 6 years old.  The dirt and fingerprints are much less noticeable.
Grey and white kitchen reveal

Having both a dark and light cabinet to consider did make the hardware choice a little more difficult.  The appliances are stainless and the faucet a darker slate, so I wanted something that would relate to both.  I brought home all sorts of samples....nickel, brass, iron, bronze, polished, brushed....and in the end landed on the very first one I picked up from Lowes in a polished pewter. 
polished pewter hardware

Since the old hardware on the doors was a pull with two holes, we simply put the knobs in the top hole and filled the bottom one with wood putty.   Once it was dry, a little sanding and paint, and the hole disappeared.  You can also glue a wood dowel in the hole to avoid the amount of putty you need to use and the shrinking that can happen when it dries.  If you find the putty receded further into the hole when it dried, then just apply a little more and sand it down to level with the door surface once it's dry.

 It reads lighter on the grey cabinets and darker on the white. 

Next up was the back splash.  We saw these tiles at Costco about 6 months ago.  We knew we weren't ready to install them yet, but at $18 for 5 square feet in a color we couldn't resist, they came home with us.

*Ironic side note - months later when we finally busted open those boxes of tile, I turned to James and said, "Watch.  As soon as we get this up, we're going to move".  Sure enough a few weeks later.....

As timing would have it, we ended up having to start our master bedroom update at the same time, so we enlisted the help of a friend-of-a-friend contractor to do the tile work for us.  After seeing Tim work his magic, I realized that was one DIY task I was glad to have in the hands of a professional.  With all those intricate cuts, it would have taken me weeks...months....maybe years.

Grey and white kitchen reveal

And man, were they a game changer for this space.  So much lighter and brighter!
Grey and white kitchen reveal
We also painted that small section of wall above the cabinets the same white as the uppers (but in an eggshell finish).  It used to be the gray of the darkest stripe of our ombre wall in the nook but it was making the space look sectioned off.  Taking the white on the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling, visually extended the cabinets giving the room some extra visual height.

Living without cabinet doors for so long (while I procrasti-painted), gave us the chance to experiment with open shelving.  I love the look of open shelves, but I don't love the dust.  Especially, when it comes to things you'll be putting in your mouth.  But one open shelf in the right spot, I could handle.
Grey and white kitchen reveal

We ended up leaving off three doors - the two small ones above the microwave and the large cabinet door next to it.  I adore this little spot.  Maybe because it's all about easy access to one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world....
coffee station

We painted the insets the same dark grey as the lower cabinets.  There was actually more of the old back splash behind the microwave and since it would be mostly covered up, I just painted right over it.
open shelving painted insets

The gold striped baskets (spray painted over their original orange and green) hold our tea.  The large coffee jar houses our grounds and the bowl next to it has our filters and scoop.  Mugs and yummy goodness live on the bottom shelf.
coffee station on open shelving
Having all our coffee making/drinking necessities in one accessible spot makes things so easy and that much more enjoyable.  It's also right between the sink and the fridge so we don't have to run all over the kitchen for water to start the pot and creamer to fill our cups. 

By the way, best. coffee. treat. ever.  Just sayin.
Grey and white kitchen reveal


The area behind the stove was another chance for some fun. We had just enough tile to do this area, but it was all the scrap bits and pieces.  We feared we might be short (or die a slow death of piecing together the tile jigsaw puzzle) and after checking for more tile with all three Costco's with no luck, we decided to do something different...
chalkboard back splash
I wanted to prime this with a magnetic paint first...a place to pin up a recipe card, etc. But the reviews on it weren't so great (anyone with magnetic paint experience?).  I decided a chalkboard section would work just as well.  We make this recipe often and it's so nice to be able to read the ingredients from across the kitchen instead of squinting and fumbling with a recipe card.  I can also jot down reminders for when to start the crock pot for dinner, or our family can leave notes for each other. I followed the step-by-step here.

This Pasadena faucet by Pfister is still one of my favorite parts of the new space. Easy to install, works like a dream, never smudges, and it's just so darn pretty. You can find all the details on the install here.
Grey and white kitchen reveal

Especially given what we had before...

Grey and white kitchen reveal

 Speaking of pretty little things...
Grey and white kitchen reveal
All these accessories make me enjoy being in this space that much more.  And you can't beat accessories that do double duty.  A pie dish corrals my everyday cooking supplies.  So you know, if I ever need to make a pie crust from scratch, I can.  Because I totally do that...well, it's a great extra serving dish when we have company anyway.  As is the small cake plate that holds our soap and sponge.  The red mug and candy bowls are the perfect size for a small snack or for holding pre-measured spices when we're cooking.

The floral mugs are from Anthro...almost all the other accessories and dishes are from Home Goods or TJMaxx.  The rug is from Marshall's and the towels are a Target steal with a little DIY paint treatment.

So, how about a final before and after?
before and after

before and after

As an added bonus, the breakfast nook no longer looks out of place..
ombre striped breakfast nook

The cost breakdown for this kitchen update looks like this (with the exception of the backsplash tile everything home improvement related came from Lowe's - with an extra 10% off with our military discount)...

Paint & brushes - $68
Hardware - $64
Tile & Grout -  $122
Labor for back splash (demo/tile/grout) - $120
Switch plates -$12
Range hood - $97
Rug - $39 
Sink - $99
Faucet - c/o Pfister
Accessories & miscellaneous supplies - $42

Total: $663

I truly hope the blood, sweat and tears that went into this kitchen update adds to the value of our home and blesses the next family to live here.  In between now and then, I'm going to soak up every minute I can in this happy space.
Grey and white kitchen reveal

P.S.  Is it wrong to rip out a faucet and take it with you when you move?  How about a back splash?

P.P.S.  You can catch all the posts in this 31 day series here!


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

39 comments:

  1. What a difference! I love that kitchen - I've always had a soft spot for grey. Cute little details, too! :-)

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  2. It turned out beautifully Deme. I love the gray and white cabinets. I think that was a smart choice. The hardware and all the details make it look really welcoming. Great job!

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  3. What a transformation! I marvel at how similar our kitchen "befores" look... it must just be the ABQ look. The cabinets look so stunning and cheerful bright! And I laughed when I read your PS comment... I'd totally want to take the faucet and backsplash with me!

    Amy

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  4. This looks AMAZING! I too am in love with the two-tone look in a kitchen, but we're renters, so that'll have to wait for a future kitchen! You did a beautiful job with everything here - just enough to make it unique, but I'm SURE it will still appeal to many buyers. Love it!

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  5. It is beautiful! I know how you feel to finally be (almost) done and have to leave it. I felt the same when we had to leave our last kitchen for what we have now. But you never know--your next kitchen might be even better without any blood, sweat, and tears! Oh and banana toffee scones!! I made them the other day, yum!

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    1. They have become a breakfast staple around here thanks to you :)

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  6. Deme this is an amazing transformation! Any buyer will love this kitchen!

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  7. This is beautiful!! I love the idea of the chalkboard paint behind the backsplash!

    Congratulations on your move! :) I'm excited to follow you!

    ~Amber

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    1. Thanks, Amber! It's been one of the most fun parts of the kitchen makeover :)

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  8. Beautiful before and after, and for a great price! Visiting from Remodelaholic.
    Yvonne @ Sunnyside Up-stairs

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  9. I am stopping by from IHeart Organizing. Congrats on being featured -- and well deserved! I am head over heels in love with your kitchen! The paint choice for the lower cabinets is a perfect balance to the crisp white top cabinets. I also can't believe the great deal you got on your tile. The space looks so light and modern. Quite an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kristin! We love actually living in it!

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  10. Everything looks so fabulous and fresh! I love it! Found your blog through IHeart Organizing!

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  11. This is really beautiful! I recently moved into a home that has a very nice builder grade kitchen with similar wood cabinets and all the builder grade fixings...but it's just not me. I've been secretly wanting to do a two-tone kitchen but whenever I bring it up to my husband he dismisses it. I just showed him your kitchen and he was like "oh wow I actually really like that!". SCORE! Chipping away slowly...

    I have a small kitchen and my appliances are white- washer, dryer, stove, fridge...all lined up with cabinets in between. Do you think it would look funny to have the upper cabinets white, lower cabinets dk grey and then the white appliances breaking up the dk grey paint? Any suggestions on what I can do to make the appliances blend in better?

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    1. Hi, Diane - I have to "chip away" at the hubs when it comes to selling my ideas too :)

      I think white appliances could definitely work with darker cabinets depending on where they are in the mix of cabinetry....something like this:

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/94364554665161698/

      or this (but with white uppers):

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/164592561351559206/

      If you are worried the high contract might be too much or too busy, you can still go for a two-toned look. Just stick with a mid-tone color for your lower cabinets so the appliances don't stand out as much. Similar to these..

      http://www.thegoldensycamore.com/2013/09/kitchen-update-on-a-budget.html

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/201606520791260358/

      Hope that helps!

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  12. I may have missed this but where did you get the rug? I need this ... really lol. Beautiful by the way, outstanding job!!!

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    1. I had such a hard time finding the right rug for this space and when I saw this one at Marshall's I may or may not have mowed down a row of shoppers to get to it. They had a ton of great options!

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  13. I love, love, love everything about this!! I am getting ready to do the kitchen the house we just moved into with the exact same colors and wondering if you put any type of coat over top of the semi gloss paint and did you sand before painting? Thank you for sharing!! Sherry

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    1. Hi Sherry! I did sand before I painted and used a super fine grit to lightly sand in between coats. And no top coat over the paint. Good luck with your kitchen!

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  14. Oh my gosh girl!!! You are so talented! I completely forgot about your blog (even though it's marked in my favorites) until Jen at IheartOrganizing posted about your kitchen! IT LOOKS INCREDIBLE!!!! WOW!

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  15. Oh my goodness. This is *almost* exactly how my kitchen is set up. I am just startibg to get in on the DIY life and so I have to get all my ideas from other people. I've been at a loss with what to do with our kitchen the entire two years we've lived in our house, but I LOVE this kitchen. I think you've inspired me!! Thank you!! Can you post the name of the grey paint you used I love it! (Hope I didn't miss it somewhere!) Thank you!!

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    1. You are too sweet, Kim - thank you! The grey paint was Ocean Storm by Valspar in a semi-gloss finish. Hope that helps and good luck with your own kitchen!

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  16. Wow I can't believe the difference. It looks so inviting now!

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  17. Wow seeing your kitchen is like walking into my own! It looks almost exactly the same, right down to the backsplash. We found ours at Costco too and waited for months for it to go on sale. I may be a bit biased here, but I think your kitchen looks awesome;) I was also worried about resale when I made my design choices but in the end I think perspective buyers will like that it looks fresh and updated.

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    1. We lived in an older neighborhood, so I think buyers were just happy to see an updated kitchen! No regrets on doing exactly what we wanted.....ALTHOUGH, I saw your beautiful kitchen (congrats on the BHG feature!!) and love the bold color on the walls! Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. I am so glad I stumbled upon your makeover on Pinterest, this is exactly the direction I want to go in my blah-brown kitchen! I do have a question about how you tackled the backsplash...I know you had a friend-of-a-friend do it and I would love to know how you approached the dry wall behind the existing backsplash. Did you tile right over the existing backsplash? Take it down? And if so, did the tile go right over the damaged drywall or was backerboard applied first?
    Thanks for any reply, can't wait to see what you tackle in the new house!

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    1. Hi Whitney! We demoed/removed the old tile backsplash first. It came off clean in some areas and left some damage in others. Once it was all down, Tim patched the areas where the drywall was damaged and sanded it until he had a clean even surface to mount the new tile. No backerboard. Hope that helps and good luck with your kitchen!

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  19. I love how your kitchen turned out. We are also, smack-dab in the middle of a kitchen re-do.

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    1. Thanks Bette! Good luck on your own! Would love to see the results :)

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  20. Such a beautiful transformation! I have been hanging onto paint for fear of starting a kitchen redo of my own, but your photos may be the spark I need to get started! Did you need to apply a cabinet primer first before painting?

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    1. Thanks, Maureen! I've been guilty of hanging onto paint for ages too and nothing feels better than finally going for it and seeing the change! I did prime the upper cabinets first with Kilz but for the lower cabinets I used a paint with built-in primer and it covered just as well. Hope that helps!

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  21. I love your new kitchen and I LOVE the price. My husband and I want to do something with our kitchen but we've never been able to figure out what. I think we've finally gotten the inspiration we needed.

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    1. Thanks so much! It was tempting to just spend more for what we wanted (i.e. countertops) but in the end staying on budget and still getting a fresh space was totally worth it. Good luck on your kitchen!!

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  22. I love this!!! It is my inspiration to redo my old looking kitchen and I can't wait! Could you tell me what color the white was?

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    1. Thanks! It was Swiss Coffee by Valspar - have fun tackling your own kitchen!

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  23. WOW what a transformation. It's really wonderful, from the old kitchen. I love all that you did, and you really got it done so cheap. Here in California it is very expensive to have things done. I hope that you next home is a beautiful as you've made this one. We also have white walls but traditional Oak (I know dated) cabinets, but they go to the ceiling (we are tall). No backsplash - Boo Hoo - next remodel will have it for sure. I love, love subway tile, and the glass tile you used.

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