My Big Plans for a Small Kitchen Makeover

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  January 6, 2014 — 5 Comments

Besides being as old as my grandfather, our house has a bit of an interesting history. We bought it from a house flipper. I’m told that the folks who owned it before him had taken out a second mortgage to remodel the place and foreclosed before they could finish. So this guy bought it at an auction, completed the remodel and sold it to us for a TIDY profit (after we’d completed all the paperwork for the sale I found a document showing that he’d bought it for 100k less than he’d sold it for). We are so lucky to live in an old house that has been mostly updated, but there are a few quirks owing to the fact that the renovations were completed by two different owners. And besides that, there are a few cosmetic issues that I’m sure would come up even if the house hadn’t been flipped–everyone has different tastes and there’s no way to predict what the next owner will like. All that is to say that our kitchen is cute and nice but could use a few changes. I’ve been thinking about it for years, but when I found myself feeling jealous that Jack’s new kitchen was nicer than mine I decided the time had come to finally do something.

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The photo above illustrates one of the “quirks.” The cabinets on the left are new, but the cabinets on the right are not. That doesn’t really bother me, actually, except for two small issues with the drawers. 1) The old drawers are starting to show their age. I don’t know if it’s dry rot or what, but the silverware drawer makes this awful grinding sound when you open it and we’re treated to a steady flow of sawdust in the cabinet below. 2) I want to replace the drawer pulls with something more my style but the new cabinets/drawers are laminate and so drilling new holes for the pulls is not so simple. I actually bought some black bin pulls for them ages ago but the holes don’t line up.

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So I’m not sure how to go about replacing the drawers, but I’m going to figure it out.

I used this old photo to illustrate some of my other concerns. The wall color and backsplash are just not my style (the countertop isn’t really either but that’s staying). I like the cover over the range hood but the fan itself is really, really bad. I’m trying to work up the courage to disassemble it so that I can see how/if it’s vented and assess whether it will be a simple matter to replace it with a new one. And also, for the love of storage, why are there no shelves or cabinets on this wall?

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I had to use an old photo above because I’ve already made some progress by knocking out the backsplash! More on that tomorrow.

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Here’s the other side of the kitchen before I finished demoing the backsplash. There’s not much I plan on changing here, other than the new drawers, backsplash, and fresh paint previously mentioned. Please excuse the cluttered counters and dirty dishes. These are “before” pictures. I’d love to someday open up that pass-through and convert the ledge into a breakfast bar but that would require the expertise of a structural engineer and contractor and thus will probably never happen.

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And this is not a big deal but I feel like the pantry could be improved. The door is a pain to open and close and so it stays open most of the time, leaving Jack free to rifle through whatever’s within his reach. There’s also a lot of wasted space, especially in the lower portion.

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So here’s my plan:

  • demo the tile backsplash and replace it with white beadboard
  • paint the walls the same creamy off-white that’s in our downstairs bath and master bedroom (Quail Egg by Valspar. One choice made by the previous owners that I love).
  • install open shelves flanking the stove
  • replace the range hood
  • replace the drawers and add new pulls
  • possible replace the pantry door
  • add a new shelf in the lower portion of the pantry.

I’m taking this one step at a time and giving myself the whole year to get it done. I have a bad habit of diving headfirst into a project, buying all the supplies, and then never finishing. So I’m not letting myself buy a single supply for the new beadboard backsplash until I’ve got the old one demo’d (check!) and fresh paint on the walls (halfway done!). But if you have advice or tips on any of the projects I’ve got planned please do feel free to chime in. Do you know a good source for buying individual bits of cabinetry (like five drawers?)? Or have experience replacing a range hood inside of an existing cover like that?

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


5 responses to My Big Plans for a Small Kitchen Makeover

  1. I bought some nylon tape from amazon for my kitchen drawers that were also
    doing the sawdust thing. It comes from rockler, but I bought from amazon:

    It worked well for me, the drawers slide perfectly now.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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