Monday, October 20, 2014

Quick Fix: Budget Kitchen Facelift

I have big plans for the kitchen - BIG plans.  But BIG plans cost BIG money, and when facing a whole house renovation, we want to be careful with how we spend our money, especially early on.  Fortunately, the kitchen has solid oak cabinets that are in decent shape, mostly newer appliances, and new (although not my taste) tile. Unfortunately, the kitchen has a serious case of the uglies.... 

We are working on coming up with a good game plan for the house based on the funds we have on hand right now and what order of tackling things makes the most sense.  We know that we want to open up and expand the staircase (the stairs up and down are those two doors right behind the refrigerator) and in doing so, we may push them back into the dining room a bit and stack them so the stairs to the basement are under the stairs going upward.  Kind of like this:

This would free up an additional 3-5 ft in the kitchen, depending on how far back we pushed them into the dining room.  Right now the kitchen is 12'x12' and the dining room is 12'x17'.  Long term, I would not mind trading less space in the dining room for more in the kitchen.  
Short story made long (I'm really good at doing that) there are a few pieces that need to fall into place before the layout of the kitchen can be determined.  Also, the renovation would eat up almost all of the renovation cash that we have on hand and I would rather focus that money towards broader, more impactful changes, such as the aforementioned stair reconfiguration, renovating a bathroom or two, as well as painting and other less costly fixes.  However, this kitchen makes me sad and it just can't stay this way.  Hence the budget face lift plan!

Here are some inspiration pics for what I am envisioning for our temporary, or phase one, kitchen renovation.

Because this is a very temporary fix and we only plan to live with this kitchen for a year or two, I want to allocate less than $500.00 towards improvements.  Yes, I realize that is a VERY tight budget when it comes to a kitchen, but here is my plan.
  • Remove the drop ceiling - 'nuff said.  I hate, hate, hate, HATE drop ceilings!  Who knows what we will find under there.  I already know there is another layer of ceiling tiles.  Underneath that, cracked plaster? More anaglypta wall paper?  Who knows...  If the plaster is not salvageable, then we will have to just hang some drywall.  Maybe some bead board would look nice? I am not really counting this towards the kitchen upgrade budget as we would have to do that anyway for the permanent kitchen.    
  • Paint the cabinets.  I am really digging the trendy green/gray color for cabinetry.  While I would never commit to anything trendy when investing in new cabinets, since these cabinets are not staying, why not have some fun?
  • New, basic cabinet hardware - nothing fancy or expensive.  The 70's style hardware just can't stay.
  • Paint the walls.  I am thinking either a cream color or maybe a warm, silvery gray color?
  • Install an inexpensive white subway tile back splash.  It will give the kitchen a more finished, polished look.
  • Debating on replacing the countertops.  Right now, they are white laminate and in decent shape.  But, we are talking about less than 20 sq. ft. of counter space.  Why not throw in some butcher block?
  • New ceiling light fixture.  This will more than likely stay with the permanent kitchen, so we want to make sure that we get something that we like.  I am currently digging the schoolhouse light fixture look.  
This will definitely be a priority project once we move in.  Stay tuned to see how everything turns out!

J + M


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