Monday, December 19, 2011

Kitchen Mini Makeover

Fair warning, this post is not Christmas related... but it's awesome related, so you should still read it.

I mentioned a few days ago on my Facebook page and on Twitter that I was in the middle of a little DIY kitchen project and how excited I was. Unveiling time!

Oooh! Aaaah!

In the spirit of my neurotic obsession with inappropriately timed pre-party projects, I decided a week before my Christmas party was the best time ever to give my kitchen a little facelift.

Just for fun, let's go way back and let me remind you what the kitchen looked like when we first purchased this house in 2009.

Warning: this never before seen photo is pre-blog, when we were still living in another house while we fixed a few things in this one. I had no intention of ever showing people my carefully unstyled photographs and was apparently too busy ripping down wood paneling to bother cleaning up after our roarin' construction keggers (or so it would seem from all the empty bottles and trash... oops.)

The whole point of that embarrassing exercise was to show you what used to be at the back of our counters: appliance garages and weird cabinet doors that swung open from the bottom (on the left side of the above photo, behind the empty wine bottle. I'm a lush.)

And here's what that space looked like earlier this year:

Yep, we tore those doors down and then lived for 2 1/2 years with giant gaping holes at the back of our counters and (I'll admit it) exposed nails. Classy.

I had finally had enough though, and something had to be done. But I really do want a new kitchen that is more open to the surrounding rooms and has a more efficient floor pattern and cabinet configuration, so I didn't want too spend very much money on my new backsplash... I just needed it to look finished.

I considered vinyl tiles but ultimately decided I didn't like the look of them; most of them have a larger pattern that fits floors better, and if I cut them into smaller "tiles" I would lose the beveled edge that mimics grout. Then I discovered that slate was only $1.48/foot, and I set out to make the least expensive backsplash possible. I've always liked slate, and I'd like it on my floors in my kitchen (eventually), but in the meantime it will work perfectly on my walls.

I put my head together with my contractor brother-in-law to figure out the cheapest way to get the tiles onto my wall. The slate was cut into oversize subway tiles to minimize waste and cutting time, and affixed using a fabulously redneck technique that I'll share next week after Christmas. When all was said and done the grand total for this backsplash project was only $53.

I also repainted the kitchen walls, since that bright apple green was a fun color but one that didn't work as well with the slate and also one I would be more comfortable with above a lot of white moulding. That didn't cost me anything though as I used leftovers from the paint I custom mixed for my boys' room.

There are just a few more (inexpensive) things I have planned for this kitchen so that I can make the most of it until I get to rip it down and start over in a couple few years:
  • Paint the pine surface behind the faucet/above the backsplash white to match the rest of the cabinetry and carry that through to the (unpainted!) knotty pine paneled wall in the living room that conveniently never shows up in photos of that room. Ha.
  • Do something with the vinyl floors. They are pinky beige and that's not okay in my world. I'm thinking of painting them too.
  • The exhaust fan and recessed lights above the oven need trim/covers.
That's it! Fifty dollars and my kitchen is ready for Christmas... too bad it's ready before I am. Come back tomorrow for a belated tour of my Christmas decor... better late than never, right?

Sharing at Thrifty Decor Chick


    1. Fabulous! Love how the slate backsplash looks. The whole effect is just wonderful.

    2. Seriously nice do over, big impact, love it and I agree with painting the pine trim White. I love when you acheive great things with a "make-do". On another note, a client brought in some cranberry pistachio biscotti this week and I wondered where I could find a recipe, BINGO, this was a great visit, Merry Christmas

    3. Love it! Not so sure about the "painting vinyl floors" in a high traffic area, though. Unless you want to put a weekly "touch up paint" on your TuexDeux List.

    4. it's lovely and a beautiful change! Esther from fleurcottage

    5. I love it!! Can't believe that it only cost $53.

      I've got to agree with Buffmeister...I'm not sure that you'd be happy with the durability of painted floors...have you considered putting a more attractive peel & stick vinyl down as a temporary measure? They come in slate-like colors.

    6. Its beautiful and all done before Christmas!

    7. I saw your Kitchen over at the Thrifty Decor Chick's link up. I LOVE that back splash!!!! One day we will re-do our kitchen and you have def. made me want a slate backsplash. Is that a butcher block in your couter top? Great idea if so. Thanks for sharing!! New follower here!

      Happily folowing,
      Ashley@ Thereisnoplacelikehomemade

    8. That backsplash is truly beautiful. But you forgot to tell us where you found that fantastic bargain on tile :).

      As for floors - what about the groutable peel-and-stick that TDC did in her laundry room recently? Looks like that might be a nice color for your kitchen (and I assume they have other colors too).


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