Rosey the Riveter

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kitchen Update

As I mentioned earlier, the new kitchen counters are all installed and I am thrilled with the results.  When we first saw the house, I was underwhelmed by the kitchen.  The laminate was fake pink marble, the backsplash was plain white tiles, and the wallpaper was just plain bad.  We knew this would be the room requiring the most work.  Thankfully, it's also the room that returns the most bang-for-the-buck when it comes time for resale!

This is what the kitchen looked like the day we first toured the house (you can click on the pictures to get a better view):
This is that same view today:

I knew immediately that I was going to need to add and island... I just do too much cooking from scratch and needed more counter space and storage.  We were in the house about a month or two when I found this one on Craigslist.  We already had the bar stools.  It was the first change we made to the room and it really makes it much more functional.  I'm in the market for a new light fixture over the island, but that will wait until I find the perfect one.
The island and the stools perfectly matched the jelly cupboard, which I've owned for years.  So I knew I was going to have to tie in the black.  I hated the fact that the cabinets and drawers didn't have any pulls on them, so that was the second change we made.  It was a pretty cheap project but really made a big difference and tied everything together.

The third change was painting.  The grape wallpaper and border were horrible, and the red chair-rail was even worse.
It's hard to tell from the pictures, as the lighting is wonky, but pulling down the paper really brightened up the room.  And calmed it down a lot!  Also hard to notice is that the new hood over the stove is no longer beige.  It's white.  Like the rest of the appliances!
We knew that the white tiles needed to go, as well, so hubby undertook the not-so-pleasant task of tearing them down.  He finally decided to just cut them off, and for awhile we were down to the studs.  He did a great job of replacing the dry wall.  Originally, we thought we'd just tile over it so he figured this would be a great time to learn how to drywall.  However, it looked so nice we decided not to add a tile backsplash... one reason is that I can't find anything I love, the second is that we know this isn't our forever home.  So if the next owners want it, they can do it!
The thing I hated the most about the old kitchen was the shallow sink.  It was only 6.5" deep, and I felt like I was constantly washing dishes because I couldn't stack them real high to dry!

The new sink is 9.5" deep plus it's an undermount, so I can fit a ton of dishes in there.  It almost makes doing dishes fun!  I love the new faucet with the pull out hose, and I also love that we can switch between a regular stream and a spray stream. You can also see the difference in the chandelier... I painted both the kitchen and the dining room fixtures black and it really made a huge difference.  What you can't see in this picture (well, may be if you're looking and you click to enlarge) is that in order to keep from hitting his head, hubby used a black carabeener (sp?) to adjust the height!  Extra points for noticing the naughty kitty perching where he isn't supposed to!

I wanted to add some color to the kitchen, since everything is white, tan, brown, or black.  I found some WWII Propaganda posters online and printed them out.  I went to Michaels, Bed Bath and Beyond, the Dollar store, and several other places before I found frames I liked at a good price.  $3 from Target fit the budget.

Of course I needed a Seabee poster, and the "Harvest Honey" is actually a modern take on the WWII "Keep Calm and Carry On."  The blue LeCreuset soup pot that I scored at a thrift store for $9 is actually my compost container.
I so rarely have clean counters, I just love this picture.  I snagged the Longaberger basket at a thrift store in Minnesota.  My mother-in-law bought it for me.  It was like $2.  I was thrilled!  Here are the images up close:
Hubby installed under-counter lights where I usually do all my work, so here's a night picture of that area:
These are my two favorite posters, so I put them where I would see them most often.

I love the sign I ordered from Etsy.  Originally, I wanted to do it in vinyl lettering on the soffit, but there was no good place to put it, so this worked fine!

Well, this was a longer post than I thought it would be, but that ends the tour of the kitchen.  Including the tear out, the counter install, the plumbing, the upgraded sink package, the counters, the drywall, paint, new hood, and the island, it cost us less than $4,000.  I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing most of that when we eventually sell the house.  But in the mean time, I get to enjoy it and no longer have to suffer with the pink 'marble'.  Well worth it!


  1. Well done, Lanette! Love that you kept everything neutral. I've been called Nelly Neutral more than once, but it just makes sense to me. The LeCreuset soup pot was an amazing find!!

  2. Yeah, Stephen was all "You complain about having white walls in every place we've ever lived, so you're choosing BEIGE?" (We did a light blue in the downstairs bath... I'm thinking yellow for the master bath!)