Category Archives: Kitchen

Budget Kitchen Before & After (Finally!)

Budget Kitchen Before & After (Finally!)

Oh.My.Word.  I seriously thought this kitchen redo would NEVER end.  Never.  But (for the most part) it has!  Hip, hip, hooray!!  This will be pretty much a picture post.  If you’ve been here before, you know I am NOT a photographer.  If you haven’t been here before……, prepare yourself.

The photos may not be much, but the results are amazing.  We did everything ourselves (except put in the gas line for the gas cooktop).  You can read more in-depth posts on the project here.  If you have any questions, please post in comments & I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Here is some lovely “Before” to get you warmed up!

kitchen before 1

Kitchen before 2

Yeah.  That’s probably enough of that.

Now, for some “Afters”!


You can see how much more room we have now!  The actual dimensions of the kitchen are 19′ 1″ x 11′ 4″. The peninsula that once held the dishwasher is gone.  We simply turned the dishwasher sideways and it is SO much better!  The ceiling fan is gone.  WHY would anyone want a CEILING FAN in a kitchen?  Over the stove?!?  I know pendant lighting & chandeliers are all the rage, but I am loving the new flourescent light.  The covered deck is off the kitchen & effectively blocks about 90% of the light that could come in the kitchen windows.  It gets DARK in here, friends.  My cute light over the sink is actually an outdoor light.  We took the cabinets to the ceiling.  SOOO much more storage!  The country blue countertops are now Uba Tuba granite & the backsplash is off-white subway tile.  Love!  The new microwave is a convection.  We swapped the drop in oven unit for a gas cooktop & separate electric convection oven.  Both from Craigslist, as was the microwave.  The flooring was worth the wait!  We searched & searched, talked & talked, and thought & thought about flooring.  One night we were out & dropped in a Home Depot we don’t normally visit.  The guy there was FABULOUS!  We talked with him for about 2 minutes & he walked us over to a pile of flooring boxes.  It was PERFECT!  And it was CHEAP!  Laminate flooring for .99/ft.  You can get it here.  You’re welcome.  At that price, we decided that if anything happened to it, we wouldn’t even cry because we could afford to replace it.


The other side.  Photo-bombed by my adorable assistant.  🙂  You can see the cabinets are to the ceiling here as well.  My fabulous husband built a deeper cabinet over the ugly-but-staying-forever fridge.  It holds my baking stones, cookie sheets, cooling racks, etc.  He also built new drawers in the lower cabinet for plastic containers and pots/pans.  It’s so much easier to reach that stuff now!


Mr. Cuteness is a little bit of an attention hog.  You’ll notice that the shelf that once circled the dining section is gone.  So are those brackets sporting heart-shaped cut-outs.  Yes, I know a lot of people like that style.  I do not.  Nor do I like country blue wallpaper with flowers.  You probably noticed the mismatched chair cushions.  We got rid of the old chairs and brought in the dining room chairs that belonged to my grandmother.  A couple of them had been in use in other rooms & I just haven’t recovered all the seats to match now that they are in the same room.  It’s coming.  As soon as I figure out what fabric I want.

So, that’s our (finally) final before & after on our budget kitchen remodel!  I have some organization and clean out to do.  Once that’s done, I’ll share pics of the inside of our cabinets, pantry, drawers & pull-out by the dishwasher.

Thanks for hanging out with us through the looonnnggg process.

52 Mantels


Kitchen Remodel Update

Kitchen Remodel Update

I am so stinkin’ excited to tell you that we are (almost) DONE with the kitchen redo!  All that is left is the floor and possibly a new fridge.  I’m not sure about replacing the 30-something year old fridge because the new ones just don’t seem to last very long.  We’ll see.  The floor will be replaced after the entryway remodel.  I have no idea when we’ll get to that.

Let’s go back to the Country Blue bombshell beginning, shall we?

kitchen before 1Kitchen before 2

Yeah.  That’s enough of that, don’t you think?  If not, you can read more about it here, here and here.  Let’s move on to the current After shots!


**For some reason, my computer is now refusing to upload pics.  I’ll add them when it decides to act right.**

*Edited – pics now working!*

We took the cabinets to the ceiling & eliminated the florescent light over the sink.  We removed the peninsula that hindered entrance from the deck, as well as general flow through the room.  That allowed us to turn the dishwasher, so we could actually reach the cabinets & sink with the dishwasher open.  Yay!  We also swapped out the old drop in style oven for a convection wall oven & gas cook top.  Love my “new” gas cook top!  Both items, as well as the microwave w/convection baking, came off Craigslist for WAAAYYY cheap!

We removed the super nasty formica countertops & installed Uba Tuba granite.  Such a difference!  I don’t have anything against formica in general, but ours was bluish & you probably remember how I feel about that.  Also, apparently nasty little six legged monsters are able to get in behind the backsplash part & hide.  Eeewww.

Our backsplash is now cream colored subway tile.  Love.  This is the smaller subway tile that comes on a mesh backing.  It was our first experience putting up a backsplash, but it was pretty easy & we LOVE the way it looks.

We are really enjoying our new layout & additional storage over the fridge & at the top of the cabinets.  I’m still working out the best way to organize things in the new cabinets & drawers.  As soon as I do, I’ll be sure to post.

A Kitchen Update


Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend! We were busy as usual.  Hubs is almost finished painting & putting up the new cabinet doors.  Yay!  Just so you can see the difference, here is a “before”…

Have I told you lately how I feel about Country Blue……not my favorite.  Now that you’ve experienced THAT loveliness, here is where we are today:


Sooo much better!  We took out the peninsula/bar that was blocking our door to the deck and it has made a HUGE difference!  We (thankfully) had some of the flooring the previous owners left, so we were able to patch the floor where the bar was.  The cabinets were already framed out to the ceiling, but for some reason they closed that off with plywood.  I dunno.  But it saved us a lot of money since we could just use the cabinets we had.  Yay!  We ordered the doors from a cabinet company in MS.  I’ll have to find the invoice to tell you the name of it.  The grimy ceiling fan is now a florescent light (that I love) and the light over the sink is now a cutie-pazootie light.  We didn’t put up a pendant light, because these are 1986 popcorn ceilings & we really didn’t want to mess with them right now.  Oh!  Hubby also built the cabinet out over the fridge so I could use it for my baking sheets & cooling racks.  Love it!

We still have a ways to go – new appliances, door fronts on the 3 new doors hubby made for me, paint the old hardware and put it back on, paint the walls, new floor, etc.  But, we’re getting there!

DIY Kitchen Remodel Update – Painting Cabinets


The upper cabinets are painted!  Yay!  We are so stinkin’ excited to get at least the upper cabinets painted.  Oh.My.Word! They look a million times better already & we don’t even have doors yet!  You can see some fabulous before pics here.  Just, um, brace yourself before you click over to that….yyyeeeaaaahh.  ANYway, here is where we are now:

The lovely microwave cord is one of the fun things we will fix in the near future.  Be glad you can’t see the holes some knucklehead literally knocked into the wood to put that outlet in.  Mercy.

And here is the fridge side.

Those 3 drawers held EVERYTHING from the entire upper cabinet section while we were painting!  Crazy!! The new cabinet Jimmy built over the fridge is PERFECT for my cooling racks, baking stones and muffin tins.  We’re just using some stand alone pot racks to keep them upright.  That will give me more freedom, since I have small commitment issues when it comes to organization.  And paint colors.  And furniture placement….Let’s talk about painting those babies, shall we?  🙂

The first thing we did was remove the old doors and clean the fronts and sides of the cabinets.  The insides are not real wood & had been covered by doors, so no cleaning.  I also did not clean the old shelves as they were particle board & we were replacing with new wood shelves.  I used TSP to clean.  It’s fabulous & a little goes a long way.  I got it at Benjamin Moore.

Once the fronts were clean & dry (wait at least a day to be on the safe side), we primed with Prime Loc.  (Again recommended by & purchased at Benjamin Moore.)  May I just say that I.hate.priming.  I just do.  It’s gooey and we clean the brushes with smelly gas.  Gross.  Not to mention we use old brushes and they are just no fun.  And fun is important to me.

After the yukky priming stage comes the paint.  We decided to go with Benjamin Moore’s Navajo White.  I used it in our Master Bath & we love how it looks.  We tested some grays & greens on the old doors, but just didn’t think we’d love any of them for very long.  Here are some we tried:

The darker green on the left had a fighting chance until we hung it up to see it in place.  No go.  So, white it is.  The Navajo White is more of an off-white with a slight tinge of yellow.  It’s not working well with the yellow walls, so those will be going Realist Beige (Sherwin Williams) along with the rest of the main floor.  It’s a really good greige that I have fallen in love with recently.

Hubs cut new wood shelves, put up the crown molding & helped paint this weekend.  It finally looks like we’re actually making progress!

So what did you do this weekend?  Please don’t say you got to lie around on the beach and read all weekend.  That would just be mean.  🙂

Weekend Recap


Hola, amigas!  Aaaannnnddd, that’s about it for my Spanish.  Except that I can order in a restaurant.  Because food is very important to me.  🙂

So, this weekend we piddled around here & (of course) worked on the blasted kitchen.  We did some other things too, but I think I’ll stick with kitchen stuff for this post & put the others in another day’s musings.  Otherwise, all 4 of you would seriously fall asleep and never come back.  And we don’t want that.

For some reason, I don’t have a “before”.  So, just use your imagination & remove that white horizontal bar and then insert a brown vertical bar in the center.  That’s the “before”.  See how good you are!  Hubs removed said vertical bar with some cool little tool (that of course required a trip to Lowe’s).  But, it WAS a cool little tool.  Then he cut that white bar & put it in.  That will be between the two drawers.  The top drawer slot was actually two drawers, but I wanted one wide drawer instead.  So I got one.  ‘Cause I’m the Princess.

There was also one looong shelf that ran the length of the cabinet.  Hubs cut that out & put in the 2 pieces of plywood to use for securing the drawer slides.  So, now instead of one open bottom cabinet, we have 3 sections.  The left section was supposed to have a shelf in it.  Hubs cut a wood support to match the one that was already there & primed it.  I painted it when I painted the interior of the cabinet (that he had already primed).  *Side note: I don’t mind painting, but I can.not.stand. oil based primer.  Yuk.*  Anywhoo, the support looked like this, all ready to go in….

Just one itsy bitsy issue.  We painted the wrong side.  So it looked like this when he put it in..

Being the sport he is, he tells me I should get a picture to put on the blog, ’cause this is really how we roll.  Do.and.redo.  A lot.  But, never fear, because there is a semi-matching section on the OTHER end of this cabinet.  And, lo & behold, if we put this support on THAT side, then it’s painted correctly.  Woo Hoo!  So, that’s what we did.  The shelf was a little shy on length, but nothing a good caulk gun can’t remedy.  Whew!  Now for the drawers.  Hmm..This is a familiar scene..

He’s a licensed engineer, so he thinks a lot.  It’s okay, I make up for it by just slapping stuff together.  Hee hee!  BUT, he built me some great drawers that will hold my awesome cookware in the near future.  Keep in mind there are no fronts on the drawers just yet, but they are painted and in.  As soon as we decide on a style of cabinet doors, we will make drawer fronts to match.  Yes, he’s doing all that himself.  He’s good like that.  Which saves us a LOT of $$.  Which is good, because we have 3 GIRLS about to be teenagers……Let’s not think about that.  Let’s just look at what the cabinet looks like as we wind down the evening.

Yyyeeess!  I have drawers!  I LOVE the wide drawer at the top, as opposed to the 2 narrow drawers that were there before.  The left side will not have a shelf *ahem* so we can fit taller stuff like the Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Pot that we use EVERY day.  The right side will have the beautifully, correctly painted shelf & support (ha!) for shorter stuff.  We will put the other 2 smaller drawers back in on either side.

So, that’s where we are!  Have a great night!  Feel free to comment with your kitchen (mis)adventures!