Kitchen Before & After

I love seeing before and afters and a kitchen makeover is so inspiring to me. You may have noticed that you’ve never seen my kitchen. Why? It’s a disaster and huge embarrassment. It’s on the list to be renovated but being DIY’ers on a budget…it’s going to take a while for savings to cover what needs done. We need more time in that dept. ANYWAY, I’m so in love with Jill’s process (phase I) of her kitchen remodel. I love being inspired by blog friends. She has me thinking, can work on my kitchen in phases rather than living with it’s ugliness until we have enough savings to do it all at once?

You can find see more at her blog, The Good Life for Less, but here is her post:

my kitchen re-do!

Many rooms in our house are in the process of getting a little make-over. Of which, I hope to show many of them to you over the coming weeks! The kitchen is the one most exhilarating for me right now! If you’ve ever heard me talk about our house here on the blog you will know that we bought it for one reason and one reason only: location, well two, and the lot. It’s a great lot. The interior left MUCH to be desired when we first moved in (almost three years ago now!).

Case in point:

The kitchen. There are reasons you’ve never seen pictures of my kitchen (until now) on the blog.

Yes, I am sorry to burn your eye-balls with the ugliness. And lucky us, these lovely cabinets are featured not only in the kitchen, but two of our bathrooms and the laundry area (formerly). There is no doubt the cabinets were ugly. Ugly is the first, but not last thing they are. They also have (had) very weak shelving inside them, all which bowed under the weight of our dishes and they were a bad set up… they made the kitchen look so small.

We knew the minute we even looked at this house that the kitchen would need to be re-done. But our main concern was still being able to use the kitchen (we don’t have family near by where we could eat at in the meantime and doing dishes in the bathtub was NOT on my to-do list) and we didn’t have the money to do one big huge makeover (which can cost upwards of $20,000).

In “good life for less” form we finally came up with a plan that would be easy on the wallet and can be done in stages so that we can still use our kitchen (in a modified form) while work goes on and so we can pay all cash for the re-do. We don’t want to go in debt for home improvements when housing prices are falling in this area (still).

So today I can show you phase one! Yeah! We removed the upper cabinets, painted and fixed the holes in the walls and hung IKEA Lack shelves instead of cabinets.

The OLD cabinets still are on the bottom… here they peek out.

But it is amazing how the whole feel of the room (and the main floor, since we have a very open floor plan) feels completely different.

The Paris artwork is all from an old calendar I saved… my husband and I honeymooned there, so Paris always has a special place in our heart.

We especially love the framed Metro map… we spent hours studying it (and hours making fun of the silly names in an english accent).

This basket I found at Target is meant to hold CD’s – FYI, it is also the perfect size for my Every Day Food mags which I LOVE. And I’m obsessed with gumballs lately. Don’t they make the perfect accent?

Total cost for this phase…
Shelves $120
Picture Frames $25

Basket $10
Paint $0 (had it left over from when we originally painted the kitchen)
Artwork $0 (cut out of an old wall hanging calendar)
= Best $150 bucks ever spent. Period.

Phase Two will be ripping out the bottom cabinets and the island (it is useful but just doesn’t fit the floorplan of this house) and new sink/faucet/cabinets.

Phase Three will be subway tile up to the shelves (!!!!).
Phase Four will be new cabinets across the way (far right in the original photos) by the fridge with hopefully a fancy pantry cabinet.
Phase Five will be new appliances.


So, do you work on your projects in phases or all at once? In other areas of my home, I’m working in phases but when it comes to the kitchen, I never even considered it before. And I’ve never really seen open shelving that I admire, but she has me re-thinking it. I love it in her kitchen. It looks amazing. Thanks for the inspiration, Jill!

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