January 06, 2010

Kitchen Upgrade Renovation

This summer, we worked on a big backyard makeover by installing a fence and adding a DIY patio.  It was a ton of work, but after a few months of rest we’re ready to take on our next big home project…a kitchen renovation!

Since we moved into our house about a year ago, we haven’t made any updates to our kitchen other than some small design touches (like these framed postcards and a new lighting fixture).  But even with our personal touches to the kitchen, the room still looks pretty plain.


The kitchen has some good bones to it, but needs some upgrades to add some life and personality to the room.  The U-shaped design and the placement of the sink and appliances make it very easy to work in.  And the kitchen island/peninsula provide plenty of work space and a cute place to dine and serve food during parties.

But there are several things we don’t like about our kitchen.  We have plain oak kitchen cabinets, boring laminate countertops, dull beige paint, and no wall backsplash.  Boring all-around!

Here’s our plan to renovate this space from a boring generic kitchen to an upgraded richer looking kitchen that I can be proud to cook in.  And of course, we’ll do everything on a budget!

Since we have a limited kitchen-upgrade budget, we have to spend wisely.  This means the cabinets, floor, and appliances will stay as they are.  While it would be exciting to totally renovate the kitchen and replace the cabinets and upgrade to stainless steel appliances, we don’t have the budget to make such big changes.  Instead, we’re focusing on making a few other changes that will provide a big impact but will be less costly:

Counters: Upgrade from the plain laminate countertops to shiny new granite counters!  This will be the costliest part of our renovation, but will provide the biggest visual impact.

Sink: The existing metal sink and faucet is one of my most-hated parts of the kitchen.  No matter how much I scrub, it never looks clean and the sink is so shallow I end up splashing water everywhere when washing dishes.  The sink and faucet will be replaced!

Backsplash:  Add a tile backsplash to compliment the new counters and add some style to the kitchen.

Walls:  Paint the walls to make the kitchen look more finished and less boring beige.

Cabinets:  Since replacing the cabinets is too costly, we considered painting or staining them another color.  I know painting oak cabinets white is very popular these days, but we ultimately decided against it for ourselves.  I like the look of real wood in the kitchen so we are relying on some of the other updates (granite counters, tile backsplash, painted walls) in the kitchen to give the cabinets a new life.  We’d also like to upgrade the cabinets by adding some new trim to make them look more interesting and upscale.


Check back soon to see how our renovation is going!

This project is shared on Diy Day., Show Off Your Stuff, Transformation Thursday, and Strut Your Stuff.


- Sarah :-) said...

What a great idea!! And I'll DEFinitly be following this one, as my hubby and I want to re-do our kitchen with our tax return (if it exists, that is) and his last half of the re-enlistment bonus.

I have learned that adding hardware to the cabinets (handles and/or knobs) can make a HUGE difference in adding style and defining the space. So, that's always an option!

DIY Newlyweds said...

Great point! We haven't decided yet if we will be adding any handles or knobs or what types would look good. I think I'll try to bring a few samples home to see how they might look.

Angie Holden said...

I think new hardware on those cabinets would really make em pop!!

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans said...

I agree with the others about the hardware! It should be fun to watch this project.

we painted out cabnets a gray blue and love them! But I know painting is not for everyone! : ) just wanted you to know that there are more options than white!

Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

I want hardware on my cabinets!

saraiwithani said...

I just found your blog and I'm totally intrigued by your kitchen makeover! We have oak cabinets as well and I LOATHE THEM. My hubby's opposed to painting them, and I refuse to have white cabinets, so we're stuck. I can't wait to see what you do!!

Jenny @ DIY Newlyweds said...

Sara, it's been months and we're still debating on what to do! Love the look of white cabinets, but I'm not sure how high-quality they'll look if we paint them.