Kitchen refresh is done!

August 02, 2021

Welcome to my 2021 post! (Because I'm averaging one a year πŸ˜‚)

I am so excited to say that our kitchen is finally DONE!! *besides a couple tiny things, but I'm calling it good enough to share*. I'll share the links at the bottom of the post in case you're interested.

We started this last October when I got a crazy idea to paint our cabinets by myself. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the cabinets the way they were, but it just wasn't my style. I wanted something lighter and brighter (especially since our house is surrounded by beautiful mature trees and gets dark in the summer with all the leaves out). I knew I wanted white quartz counters, so I told Clarence I would paint the cabinets myself to save $$. Thankfully, a friend of mine from Arkansas does this for a living and has an AMAZING tutorial that I'm so thankful I had! It is under $50 and worth every penny if you're thinking of painting cabinets yourself! 

Here's where we started. Again, everything was fine, just felt dark. 

Now, this is how it looks....

It's really hard to photograph in the summer bc of the tree cover, but doesn't it feel so much brighter? After a lot of swatches, and painted poster board, and indecision, I finally went with was Silvermist by Sherwin Williams. It's a gray, green, blue, depending on the light. I thought about doing white, but just wanted to go with something a little different. Classic middle-child decision. 

One of the things we did that I'm really loving, is added a frosted glass vinyl to the back of the two glass cabinets. We have kids which means lots of colored plates that don't really look amazing on display. πŸ˜‰This solved that issue! 

Another small change that made a big difference? Taking down that big microwave cabinet. It came out and down so far, that the counter space underneath it was all but useless. We really lacked useable space over there, so down it came. It seemed like a simple solution until the wall behind was covered in holes and damaged drywall. We attempted to fix it did not go well. πŸ˜‚Drywall is such an art. We ended up bringing someone in and paying them a few hundred dollars to fix it. Then we had a huge space between the cabinets for MONTHS before we finally got around to putting the shelves up. Real life DIY.

Sooooo much better! We also had to get creative with an outlet that is behind the framed art. Turns out, the microwave needed to be plugged in there because it was on it's own breaker and it would trip anytime we tried to run it and something else. So, we plugged in a extension cord, cut a hole in the bottom of the shelf for the cord to run through, attached it to the underside of the cabinet and now it sits behind the microwave. Unless you look underneath (or behind the frame) you would never know!

One of the biggest changes came on the other side of the kitchen. We took down the upper cabinets in the photo below so we could replace the counters. Once they were down, it seemed so much more open, so I decided to change it up totally! We used the backsplash to tile the wall and then put open shelves over top. 

Before we tiled, Clarence attached three metal brackets for each shelf to the studs in the wall. We then cut the tile around those poles. Clarence bought a piece of pine at Lowes that was 12ft long and 1ft deep and had them cut it into two long pieces. Then, he had the crazy job of trying to get holes drilled in the wood to match *exactly* with where the poles were already in the wall. It was not an easy process, but he eventually made it work! Once we slid the shelf on, we realized the tile cuts showed 😀

Well, it was too late to go back now, so we bought a small piece of trim, stained it to match the shelf, and placed it along the back to cover the gaps. You can barely see it now. Ahhh the joys of DIY haha. 

Mom life. The play kitchen has a prominent part in our kitchen still. πŸ˜‰We also took down the wine rack at the end of the peninsula cabinet and left it open. I still need to figure out what I'm going to put in there. It may be time to finally buy those Magnolia cookbooks I've been wanting! 

The play kitchen clutter isn't doing me any favors, but I don't even care, because it's such a huge difference! Soooo many hours spent prepping, and sanding, and painting. I will be 100% honest, it was SO MUCH work and I have no desire to do it again, but at the same time, I'm so proud that I did it all by myself! It was completely worth it. We ended up spending about $400 to paint versus paying $2-$3k for a professional to do it. 

We also upgraded our sinks and faucets.

Bye drop-in, two basin sink!

Hello undermount beauty!

Let's see one final look:

Now for some more nitty-gritty details (for anyone who is attacking their own remodel and would like more info or if you're just curious). #1 absolutely purchase Kayla's tutorial!!! She gives you a complete supply list, step by step videos, access to a FB group with other people doing the same thing, and is always available to answer questions. Ask me how I know. 😁

Take it step by step. It's much easier than looking at how much work you need to do and getting overwhelmed! I actually split our kitchen up into two sections. The U-shape I did back in the fall (which I would recommend if you're painting outside, bc doing it the summer with a respirator was so HOT!). I ran out of weather to continue, so I finished the peninsula and other cabinet this summer. It was really helpful to split up the work, though I did kind of dread having to do it all over again haha. Our kitchen was big, so it worked well this way, but if your kitchen is smaller, you could knock it out in one big chunk. 

If you have kids, I did a lot of work during naps or on the weekends. We took advantage of a lot of outside play and some movie time too. They also heard lots of "don't touch the cabinets!" πŸ˜‚

We got our quartz counters from Granite Top Designs. They had, by far, the largest selection locally and was priced well too. We ended up getting Shadow by Prism Quartz which has a really pretty marble look to it. 

For backsplash, I fell in love with the Bedrosian Cloe Tile in White, but it was on backorder everrryyywhere. Through Houzz stalking, I discovered that Equipe carried the same tile in their Artisan Collection. Same manufacturer, different distributer. I was able to find it that way in stock and I really love it! It has slight variation in color and with the white grout, looks so beautiful! 

Our good friend, Mike, who has tiled many times offered to come help us get started since we were tiling newbies. Tile saw in tow, he was such a huge help and sacrificed one of his July 4th weekend days to lend a hand! It took us the better part of a day to tile the whole kitchen (and movie marathons for the kids). The next day we spent grouting and caulking. Between the two, we both preferred tiling! It made such a difference in the kitchen; really making it look finished. Changing out the hardware was also a nice change, making it feel more updated. 

All in all, we probably spent close to 7k on our update (almost 5K of that going to the counters). Spacing it out over the better part of a year really helped out (as did the stimulus check ;)

It feels so good to be done! I'm really proud of how much we were able to do ourselves, and how much brighter, happier, and more "us" it feels! 

Here are some links to the things we used. Let me know if I missed anything! 

Kitchen Faucet (wait for it to go on sale; we got it for $100!)
Bar faucet (matte gold is no longer available. We found one on ebay)
Hardware - knobs and pulls
Sconce Lights over shelves (scored them BOGO) We did the "magic light trick" for these. They have puck lights inside and are not hardwired.

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