Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Master Plan for a Mini Kitchen Makeover

Even small makeovers deserve big plans!

Remember when I was going to do a major overhaul of my kitchen? Yeah, about that... I don't think that's going to happen. I've decided to make peace with some of the issues I have with the kitchen and focus on making it the best little room it can be without entirely breaking the bank.

There are so many beautiful kitchens out there in blog land, and with the popularity of fun sites like Pinterest we are practically drowning in gorgeous design. Similar to how our self esteem and idea of "normal" can be affected by the constant deluge of super thin models we are subjected to in the media, it's easy to get caught in the same trap when it comes to the "perfect" house or kitchen. There's no such thing! Large, small, new, old... rock what you've got.

The truth is, your kitchen (and your body!) are great. Make the most of what you have and learn to love it. Happiness isn't having what you want, it's wanting what you have. I'm excited to show y'all that you don't have to gut your kitchen and spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new high end space to have a kitchen you love.

So while eventually I do hope to make a few changes to the cabinets in my kitchen and move a few things around, I'll be keeping the majority of them, reusing boxes when I can (a great way to save some money) and matching new doors to the existing ones instead of replacing them all.

For now though, I'm concentrating on a few details to make the most of the kitchen I have. Details like:

1. Replacing the existing laminate counters -- I'll stick with laminate again as it doesn't make sense to upgrade to a more expensive material in our neighborhood, even if I wanted to spend the money on it right now. I will be using a higher end laminate (as much fun as the beige graph paper counters have been...)
Counter Exhibit A  
(click to enlarge its graph paper fabulousness)

2. Replacing the beige sink with something less... beige.
3. Patching the walls and ceilings.
4. Painting the ceiling.
5. Installing some attractive pendant lighting.
6. Adding trim to the unfinished walls.
7. Painting vinyl flooring (yes, you heard me. Shhh... it'll be all right. I promise.)
 8. Replacing my stove and fridge to match my microwave and dishwasher. Okay, that one's not a priority (except for me). It'll happen eventually. Sigh.

I'm sticking to a monthly house budget so I have to make the most of my money and it won't all happen next week -- but I'm excited to look back in a few months and see the transformation!


  1. I think those are very reasonable and thrifty alternatives to a major overhaul. We rent, so a major overhaul of anything is out of the question, but we are allowed to do renovations and painting to make the house our own. Anything permanent gets deducted from the monthly rental cost, which is nice. Right now I'm looking into flooring for the dining area (icky carpet!), possibly painting the lower cabinets, adding hardware (builder grade nothing right now), and definitely painting the walls in there!

    I'm also going to build myself a small kitchen island. The space doesn't warrant anything huge, but it would be nice to have a 2'x4' space to set dinner prep stuff, store root veggies, etc. near the stove.

  2. I love this post. We (and our houses) don't have to be perfect. We just have to be happy with them. Great post and a great message :)

  3. Also looking to conserve money, I have been popping around pinterest for ideas for my tile back splash. It occurred to me I have 20 sq feet (more than enough if I add in an additional tile) of fantastic travertine tile in the garage that was left over from a very expensive bathroom reno my dad did for a customer. I'm thinking I'll cut it in half (or maybe 1/3) and use it above and below a 6" accent tile of matchstick glass tiles.

    The whole back splash would only cost about $50. (including what I'll mess up) That I could live with.

    I'll be checking back for pictures. :)

  4. It doesn't make sense to upgrade our countertop either... Which is good because we save the money, BUT laminate is blah. I feel you.

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