PART 1: Choosing Materials & The (tiny) Budget
Its time. I'm done talking about it (for 10+ years). And I'm excited to have some DIY fun!
Plus I want to share it all and show you what I'm doing (in case you are thinking about doing something similar). Yes, CABINET PAINTING will be involved!
And now... the scary (and slightly embarrassing) part: The Before Pictures.
Can you say 1980's? Yup. Proof that I do not have an awesomely decorated home. Yep. Remember the story of the Cobbler's children who had no shoes? Well, I haven't gotten around to my own home because I've been busy working on painting furniture for other people and teaching students how to paint THEIR kitchens!
(I'm taking a Sabbatical from the studio/store for a few weeks.)
So here it goes!
I already knew that the cabinets would be WHITE. (I'm SO tired of brown cabinets.) I wanted the countertop colors to play well with the cabinets, since they are going to be touching each other all the time...
So I did some research, priced it out, and discovered Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring in Sterling Oak. It's quite affordable (under $3 per sq ft at Home Depot). Plus it has built in padding, which is great on concrete floors (aka. my kitchen)! I carried my floor swatches around for a week, trying to coordinate them with everything.
This is where I reminded myself "you're on a budget, you're on a budget, remember!"
After watching one too many episodes of Fixer Upper, I originally chose Subway Tile. At $0.22 per tile, its very affordable - and looks trendy. And I brought a few home. And then decided - naaaaaahhhhh. I need something more interesting (nothing against subway tile, it's just not my taste)! So I swapped funds from another part of my budget, and voila - the $8/sqft fancy stone tiles! I had to splurge a tiny bit. (After all they weren't the reeeeeeeally expensive tiles I would have picked if I had unlimited funds...just a nice compromise!)
If you haven't ordered from D. Lawless Hardware before, you will thank me. Let's just say they are VERY reasonably priced for the high quality of their products. (Disclaimer: I've spent many hours on their website.) I've been using their hardware on furniture for a while and LOVE it! You're welcome!
I wasn't originally planning on replacing the hinges on my cabinets. They seemed to be dark bronze-ish. And I didn't want to paint them (painted hinges don't wear well over time). And I personally like it when the cabinet handles & knobs coordinate with the hinges (if they are showing). So I chose Venetian Bronze handles and matching knobs with a little bit of copper showing through. Eventually, I realized the original hinges didn't match, so I replaced them with new, inexpensive Venetian Bronze hinges (also from D. Lawless Hardware - thanks, guys!).
My advice for choosing materials:
1. Get samples of everything, and look at them in different lighting in the room you are making over. Lighting is EVERYTHING! Make sure you like them during the day AND at night. Make sure they still "match" in different lighting. And keep in mind what colors and textures will be touching each other. You don't want to get dizzy when you look at them.
2. Also if you are trying to save money, shop around for materials. Learn which materials are "high end" and "low end" and find materials that fit your budget. You'd be surprised what you can find on sale!
Most of all KEEP IT SIMPLE! And have FUN!
Next up: The (tiny) budget...
THE (TINY) BUDGET
Have you ever wondered how much you might spend on a kitchen makeover?
Yeah. Keep going. It can get very expensive!
My husband challenged me to makeover the kitchen for under $5000.
Could I actually remodel my kitchen for under $5K? Lets just say I was highly motivated (see the before pictures). And willing to compromise a bit, and do as much work myself as possible.
Previously, I'd gotten estimates on new cabinets for my kitchen ($20K) or refacing the existing cabinets ($13K), plus hiring someone to replace the old floor ($1K with cheap tile) and estimates on installing new counters ($5K), and in my fantasy kitchen, moving a wall and creating a new pass through to the dining room ($20K - $30K because a support beam would be needed). How the heck would I do this for under $5K??
So I made a spreadsheet. And a budget. And nixed the support beam idea, and the new cabinets idea. And considered it a challenge to come in under budget (and on schedule)! I had 4 weeks of my "sabbatical" to complete this project.
Here's a spreadsheet with my plan and what everything actually cost:
Stuff Happens. Plan for it!
You will notice two items with a large discrepancy (the sink and the tiles). My plan was to do all the work myself. Unfortunately, 2 days before starting the work on this project, I cracked a rib! Crawling under the kitchen sink to replace plumbing became an issue, and reaching over the counter to tile the backsplash was painful, and I had to hire some help. Thanks to a fantastic local plumber, and a tile contractor who was between jobs, both items were done quickly and professionally.
Overall, the total project cost came in just around $5K. So yes, doing the work yourself (mostly) really saves money!
This is Rachel's blog about our adventures in bringing The Artistic Home Studio & Boutique to life.