Friday, February 1, 2008

$545 Kitchen Makeover? Oh, yeah baby.

When we were house hunting, the real estate market was booming and every house we put an offer on already had about four or five offers ahead of us. It was very frustrating.

One afternoon we looked at the house we ended up purchasing. I hated, hated, hated everything about it. It had the wallpaper from hell. The kitchen made me want to curl up in a ball and cry like a baby. There was no separation between the living room and the dining room. The space didn't flow. At all.

After I spent a few minutes looking around I was ready to leave. Tom asked me to open my mind to the possibilities that this place had. So I tried. And I couldn't see any. We left, but Tom kept talking about this house and how great he thought it was. I thought he was smoking crack, because I promise you when I say there was not one charming thing about the place.

Because I love my husband (and wanted him to please shut up already), I agreed to look at it one more time. I am nothing if not (begrudgingly) fair.

We walked in and Tom immediately started describing the different things we could do to make it beautiful. I seem to have no vision when it comes to home decor. (Which is why I am in desperate need of help from The Nester. Go there. You'll thank me.) because I wasn't able to see what Tom saw.

I did appreciate a few of its qualities though. The neighborhood was one we really liked and this particular house was located in a cul-de-sac. The yard was nice and big and surrounded by beautiful trees. So, we bought it.

Since we didn't have a bazillion dollars (or $25,000) to have someone come in and help transform the place we did it all ourselves. And by "we", I mean "Tom". Well, I did help with some stuff. Like cleaning. And choosing paint colors. And handing Tom the whatcha-macallits when he asked for them.

We put knotty pine paneling in our family room along with gorgeous built-in bookcases (because books are my friend). We installed a wood burning stove to make us all nice and cozy on movie nights. And Super Bowl Sundays.

We pulled up the nasty carpet and put down wood floors. We replaced the hideous gold toilet and sink in the bathroom. And that was just plain gross.

Tom also put up wainscoting to show my much-desired definition between the living and dining rooms. Because he worships the ground upon which I walk. Doesn't it look great?

When the time came to remodel our kitchen, I felt like it was my wedding day. Except I wasn't pregnant.

We (and again, by we, I mean Tom) pulled off the HIDEOUS faux wood-grain countertop. We removed the nasty, dirty, chipped ceramic tiles from the floor and got rid of the sink.

While I was cleaning up his big, fat mess (he is a very messy home remodel-er), Tom painted our cabinets and installed new knobs. I just have to call your attention to my knobs. Are they not adorable? They're twigs!
They make me happy every single solitary day. It's the little things, you know.

We also put in a new countertop. It is faux granite, (and lovely), new flooring and a new (to us) sink. All for $545.00.

Here are some Before and After pictures to inspire your own Kitchen Makeover on a Budget.

Ok. First, ick. Look at those NASTY brown cabinets. I Know! I hate them too. And what about the faux wood-grain countertop? Could anything be more wrong than that? And what is with the weird counter arrangement? Don't worry. I came home one night to my Tommy with a power tool in his hand. He took care of that bad boy.
Here is another view of those hideous cabinets. Ugh. Look at the dirty looking grout on the tiles. Gross, no?
Ok, for fun, let's just take a peek through the door here at check out the wallpaper I told you about. I had to steam that nastiness off. It took about a month. Or maybe it just felt like a month. I don't know.
Now we will check out the fabulousness that is my new kitchen. Hi pretty painted cabinets! We are so thrilled to have you here.

Aren't my floors so warm and inviting? And my cabinets (again)! And my countertops? And my knobs! (You're wishing you were married to my Tommy, aren't you? Yeah, I don't mind picking up his socks off the floor. Look what he does for me. Plus, he's cute.)

Here is my new sink. Well, new to me, anyway. Apparently, it has some fancy schmancy garbage disposal unit that everyone raves about. I'm not sure how it is so much greater than your average garbage disposal, but I feel pretty darn special all the same. I heart Tom's brother for giving it to us. (Hey Nester!What should I do with my naked window?)

My coral/salmon/orangey colored walls make me smile. You know what else makes me smile? My lightened grout. I still need to tidy it up, but it looks so much better.

This green bin here to the left? That's Tom's catch-all. When he comes in the house, he throws random "stuff" in there. Let's take a peek and see what's in there today, mmm-k?

A gift receipt from Christmas. (He's a bit of a saver.) Chewing gum, razor blades (in case some type of razor-blading emergency comes up, maybe?), sun glasses, an itunes gift card (also from Christmas. Maybe I'll just use it.), his phone charger, a cell phone, bills to be mailed, and boat keys. For a boat that is in storage. Because it's February in Northern Michigan.
What's that?
Oh, and look what else. A picture of me and my dad when I was thirteen. Now, that's just the sweetest thing ever.

You're probably just dying to know how we were able to achieve all of this fabulousness for so cheap? Would you like me to break it down for you?
Flooring: $200.00
Countertop: $225.00
Mini Tiles: $ 25.00
Paint: $ 50.00
Knobs: $ 45.00
Sink: $ 0.00
Happy Honey Bunch: Priceless. Because, really. If I'm happy, everybody will be happy. Am I right?

Have you done a Home Makeover on a budget? Please share your tips in our comments, or post a link to your blog with your own story.

You want to comment? Just click on tty-bitty words below that say "Gimme Some Sugar". Can you see them? Good. We can't wait to chat with you.


Highhopes1 said...

Wow does your kitchen look great! I am going to check out that website nester. I am where you are, I would love to re-do everything, but I haven't got a clue. The dh and I are so far apart on color schemes I like them warm and wonderful. He likes them plain and boring.

I can never sort any of this out so we just don't do anything. But that is about to change, going to redo the kitchen.

PS your handles are cute in the kitchen.

PSS thanks for coming to the cool chicks mind meld bloggio!

Daddy Forever said...

A $545 kitchen makeover? That's impressive. Looks nice too. Good job.

Sister Sassy said...

Your kitchen really does look great! I will need your help if I end up buying the house on Briarcliff that looks like Barbie barfed all over it.

And...I get SOME credit. Jimmy Eat World and I spent a good day taping baseboard and priming it...then watching the tape sit there for the whole next year lol! I just told Ms. Chic about how when you have kids it's so hard to do major remodels -why I don't want to buy the barbie dream house and instead buy something that doesn't need the pepto bismoth removed from the walls.

Honey Bunch Is My Hero said...

This is my new, favorite blog and it even got a bookmark on my new Mac. That takes a pretty amazing site!

I want Sister Honey Bunch's life. You know how you envy all the skinny bitches at Logan's school? I envy you! I want your job, your house...your life in general. You are one of the most fabulous people I know!

Keep writing...I think my husband is even addicted to your site! :)

Martha said...

OH, Mrs. Bunch!!

I love your house!! I love your kitchen, your dining room, your dining room table and chairs! LOVE IT!

And I love your writing :) I agree with your biggest fan up there :)


Lisa xo said...

that is gorgeous - what an amazing makeover - looks soooooo good! It is a nice view from that window? Not sure I'd put anything up?

Janet said...

Tension rod between the two cabinets and pine garland or winter, autumn leaf garland for fall and napkins on the diagonal the rest of the year. That's what I do on my similar window.

Anonymous said...

With a view like THAT? Absolutely Nothing ever never ever no way no how Naaaa nahhhhh!
A PW Refugee cause I have extra time today becasue her story is not ready.

The Nester said...

Girl, you are so funny. For Shizzel.

You did an great job with that budget! You are rich compared to me. I would have tried to do it all for like $46.

The window, I hate to tell you this but, I think it looks good naked. Don't you just hate those kind of windows? Showing off to all the other windows how great they look all undressed and all. So prideful. If you really need some fabric because it feels cold {not temperature but no soft sptots} then, I like the tension rod idea with something on it: exactly like Janet said: that way you can mix it up!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Your kitchen is wonderful! We had faux brick linoleum on our kitchen floors - icko!

Jen said...

Whoa--that's so inspiring! My poor DH is in for it...

Ashlee said...

I love your new kitchen. Congrats! And for so cheap! Can he come to my house and help?

The Romantic Portuguese Daughter said...

Seriously...can you husband come over to my house and transform my kitchen? LOL! I have asked my husband to paint our cabinets...or just do something with them. Alas, my husband is no handy-man. One thing I will say, your cabinets are of better quality than mine. Mine are thin particle board with, like a wood laminate on top. All I have to say is...Good Job and WooHoo...for you! It really looks wonderful!!!

Lizalou222 said...

It looks absolutely awesome! I'm loving the twig knobs, too! :)


RachieRoo said...

Your house makes me want to curl up and watch a good movie and read a good book. It's just so cozy.

amanda said...

oooh! the kitchen is gorgeous. I like the direction the hardwood is laid. My husband and I flip houses, and we've done a few on a tight budget. Our tips and tricks vary depending on if it's a house we plan on living in or if we plan on selling it. The one piece of universal advice I have does not pertain to kitchens. I'll still share: never buy a cheap toilet! :)

Mommy Bits said...

OMG. That looks so good. I can't beleive the difference that the paint made on the cupboards.


Blog Hopping ~ Anastasia Beaverhousin

Katie & the boys said...

I am amazed at the difference. It looks so clean and inviting. You are good, woman! I like the openness of the window though--it kind of looks like a painting of beautiful scenery. This might be "out there" but I'm picturing either a very small hanging plant on the side, like a dangling pothos or something green and fresh to match the outdoors...or what about hanging something like this on the sides of the windows from the ceiling. I was reminded of these when I saw your kewl twig cabinet knobs.

Yeah you will have to copy and paste it. If it doesn't come up, it's a birdhouse windchime from Hallmark by Marjolein Bastin. She's awesome.

Thanks for sharing!

mom of 2 said...

I LOVE your kitchen!! Once we did a home makeover on a budget...well, sort of. We had a major, MAJOR leak upstairs during the night and didn't realize it until water was pouring out of the light fixtures downstairs...not that great. But, the insurance paid for everything and we got a complete home makeover for nothing!

JB said...

Your kitchen looks absolutely fab. Thank goodness, because I don't think anyone could have stood living in the Before-version of the kitchen for too long before going a little crazy. Just painting the cabinets makes it look so much brighter!! Nice job.

Brother Jimmy Eat World said...

I love your new kitchen, HB!!! Tom rocks hard. But where did he learn to do that anyway???