wine on the keyboard

The Great Kitchen Remodel

by Kay~Kacey on 2/16/2009

The great kitchen do over. On the cheap. Or at least on the “not too expensive” …

kitchen window side

Here is my kitchen. I like it, but it needs updating. Too cluttered, but I can fix that. Here is one side with the blown out window. (the gas between the panes frosted over so you can’t see out of it.) That’s definitely going to be replaced.

kitchen stove side

Here is the other side with the double ovens (love that) and stovetop. We have lots of cabinets. Love that too.

The walls are a golden yellow…going to tame that down some. Paint and time. We can do that.

kitchen glass stove top

Here is our glasstop stove top. We have a down draft exhaust because the original stovetop was a Jennaire. Broke all the time. Hated it. Replaced it with this. SuperGuy would love a gas stovetop, but…it would be really expensive to put one in, because we’d need to get one of those popup exhausts that sit behind the stovetop. They are as expensive as the gas stovetop itself. Still deciding on that one. This is on our maybe list.

kitchen sink

The sink has to go. Old. Builder’s grade quality. Want one that’s deeper too. This one hardly holds a pan. This is on our definitely list.

counter tops

Butcher block formica countertops. Very dated. Worn from 25 years of use. I’d like to replace them, but I canNOT believe how expensive countertops are.  Granite? New formica with the thin rolled edges?  Something else? We’d really like black counter tops with a bit of speckle or swirl to them. So this is also on our maybe list.

white kitchen cabinets

Originally these cabinets were dark oak. Really dark oak. I have a north facing kitchen. No sunlight. Very dark. So we painted the cabinets white. They are a greyish white though. I want them true white/white. Doable. Paint and time. Oh, and SuperGuy said he’d add a molding up at the top of them. Like a crown molding, I think. That will update them a lot. Might replace the pulls, especially if we replace the countertops with black.

laminate floor crack

We have a laminate floor. From when laminate flooring first came out. Not as perfected as it is now. You can see that it’s pulling apart at some of the seams. It doesn’t have the click/lock system that laminates have now. Drives me insane. Doubt if we’ll replace it though. It’s in perfectly good shape except for a few seams.

kitchen ceiling light

Ceiling fixture. Hate it. Not enough light in the kitchen. Any ideas for what might look good here? The light over the window (see first picture) has to go too. I think we’ll replace the light over the kitchen table too. It’s a ceiling fan that I hate the look of now. Which reminds me…we’re going to replace the kitchen table too. It went with my “50’s diner” look. I’m over that now…   ;)

Well, I’ll update you with our progress as we go along. Slowly. Any tips or suggestions from anyone? Must haves? Positively don’ts? I welcome any help I can get with this!

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne February 16, 2009 at 6:41 am

I have a ceiling fan in the kitchen. I love it! Lots of light, and also provides air flow. I have a gas cooktop and because it’s in the island, we don’t have a hood/exhaust. I cook a lot and haven’t missed having an exhaust. (Way too expensive to get a downdraft. But get your gas cooktop! You won’t regret it!)

Cindy February 16, 2009 at 7:03 am

ooooooo, kitchen remodel!!! mine’s do for one too… so i, my friend, will live vicariously thru you!!

Have you thought of concrete countertops? I’ve been seeing them alot on DIY, durable, customizable, inexpensive (compared)…… also, I would go gas stove, but then I just never got the knack of cooking on electric……….a ceiling fan (they have so many designs now) would look great where that big rectangle light is now…….. cabinets look great, a new paint job, some new handles………. can you pull the laminate back together? when I put mine in there was a pull thingy (sorta like a crowbar) to pull it together……..

LOL, see I really want my new kitchen! Good luck to you!! Keep us posted :beer:

This Eclectic Life February 16, 2009 at 7:44 am

My, you are ambitious. You make me tired thinking of it, but then I hate re-modeling :-). I’d opt for a gas stove top myself, but then I have Jennaire and love it. Go figure. I’ve been lusting for concrete counter tops myself, but we have itty bitty tile (very dated). Counter tops are worth the expense, so get the best you can afford. What color are you going to paint?

Mental P Mama February 16, 2009 at 8:05 am

Having just done my kitchen, and half the house, I am exhausted. I will tell you to splurge on the gas cooktop, and they make some awesome synthetic granites now. Well worth checking out! I can’t wait to see the progress reports. And am so glad it’s not me;) 8O

Kate February 16, 2009 at 8:06 am

It sounds like you already know what you want and I’m not really much help. Am not a decorator. I think I’ll just sit back and watch this one unfold.
I will say that in my old house, I chose the countertops and really liked them. They were super inexpensive, formica, very dark. cool looking.
I’ve also been to someone’s home who had the concrete and it was gorgeous. It can be mixed with so many different colors.

Tess Harrison February 16, 2009 at 8:07 am

We’re in the process of remodeling our house too. The kitchen is next on the list so I’ll be watching your progress for ideas on ours. We’ll be getting started on our probably this summer after the baby arrives. Good luck!

Kacey February 16, 2009 at 8:36 am

Well, we have to have an exhaust with the gas stove top. Code here. So it’s either $$ to put in an updraft or $$ to put in the pop up backdraft. SuperGuy really, really wants the gas stovetop.

We checked into the synthetic granite tops. They were like a couple dollars less per square foot than granite. Will check into more places on those though.

Oh! I like the ceiling fan idea in the actual kitchen area. That’s where it gets warm when we’re cooking. That’s a good idea. Don’t much like the one over our table. Cools the food off too quickly when it’s on.

Deb February 16, 2009 at 8:55 am

You won’t go wrong with granite and the gas stove. As for the ceiling fan, the thought of grease and dust on the blades makes me cringe.
Have you been to IKEA? They have the most beautiful kitchens on display for cheap. Really…go check them out if they are close to you.

Kelly Boyce February 16, 2009 at 9:22 am

I plan on doing some kitchen remodelling myself. New ceramic floor tile, new back splash, I would love to get rid of the blinds too. Hate those things. Oh and new cupboard handles. Hopefully that will be done bit by bit this fall.

Treasia/TruckersWife February 16, 2009 at 9:54 am

I really like your kitchen now the way it is. Wanna trade me? :rofl: It’s so bright and cheerful. I would love the granite and the gas cooktop. I have gas myself and wouldn’t go back to electric at all. As for the ceiling fan. I have had them in kitchens before and actually liked it even with the extra cleaning.

Marcia February 16, 2009 at 9:57 am

Hmm, we’re in the middle of a modest kitchen redo ourselves. I want the quartz counters because they don’t have to be sealed and can handle hot pans (granite needs sealing and can’t) but look into Corian and Wilsonart solid surface as a cheaper option: they have some thin versions. (Concrete stains.) We have laminate on some of the counters and tile on the island…hate both! Our floor and cabinets are solid cherry, so those will get refinished or just cleaned up. Can you have “high hats” or canned lights put in to replace the light fixtures? We have some on a dimmer, plus a track light with pendants and a spot. I want an undermount sink, for sure, although I’m thinking of switching to a high grade stainless steel. Just replaced the double ovens and we got a black triple door fridge…the best thing ever invented, with the freezer on the bottom and French doors on top!
Kitchen decorating/remodeling magazines are a great source of inspiration.

Cathy February 16, 2009 at 10:02 am

Replacing the cabinet hardware is an inexpensive upgrade that gives you big bang for your bucks. There are so many cute pulls and handles — even if that’s all you did I’ll bet you’d be happy! By the way, I think your kitchen looks great as is, but I know that sometimes you just need a redo. Good luck!

Amy A February 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

Can’t wait to see the redo!

We’re updating out kitchen this year, too. Our gas stove has NO external exhaust, so we’ll be adding an exhaust fan that pulls the exhaust OUTSIDE, instead of recycling it back into the house like it does now.

We’re repainting our cabinets, too, but I’m having someone come in and enamel them. New sink, definitely. I want a DEEP stainless steel sink. I hate my porcelain sink. Gets all kinds of marks and stains on it. Yuck.

Also, we have Formica countertops, but we’re going to use SkimStone as the short-term solution. We can redo the whole kitchen’s counters for <$1K with SkimStone. And that’s having someone else come in and do it. Will look like concrete when we’re done.

We want to redo the pantry wall as a buffet, but not sure it’s in the budget this year. If we do that, though, we’ll be relocating our microwave into the new cabinetry and have to install a new hood over the stove.

Don’t know yet.

superguy February 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm

and doesn’t that buffet with the tile top look good!!

rene February 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm

I can’t say enough about granite. We went through a huge kitchen remodel in 07 and I went with granite. My kid wrote on it with a sharpie and I was able to clean it up with a wet paper towel. Concrete scratches and stains plus is very expensive. Quartz and other manufactured stones can’t take heat and they scratch. Corian scratches, stains, and scortches and is very expensive. Tile or granite are your best bets. I love my gas stove but I think the glass top electrics are pretty good.

To give your kitchen an updated look, take off the pulls on the cabinets. They don’t need them. Maybe change the hinge hardware as well. For lighting, you might look at track lighting. It isn’t that expensive and you can use fluorescent bulbs to save on energy.

WillThink4Wine February 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Love kitchen remodels. Pot lights. Lots of them. Under-cabinet task lighting. Lots of them. Granite is always fabulous, but very expensive. Don’t over-improve, especially if there’s any chance you will be selling in the near future. Looking forward to watching you work!

iPost February 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

You have a pretty kitchen, but I agree about the sink. It is one of the downfalls about my kitchen as well. I would love to replace mine with a bottom mounting one so it is flush with the counter tops!

annbb/TSannie February 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Ohhhhh….a kitchen redo! Wish I were doing the same thing!

mary February 16, 2009 at 7:43 pm

I think granite countertops and a gas cooktop are a good investment. But the greatest investment we found in our remodel was to get a really great kitchen designer who gave us a terrific workable plan. I know you are not changing the cabinets, but have you thought of taking out your peninsula and putting the cooktop on that exterior wall? That way you can vent it directly outside with a normal overhead vent which may be cheaper than a downdraft one.

Ilyn February 17, 2009 at 12:51 am

Kitchen remodeling is not easy and it’s very expensive. But as I can see you have a pretty kitchen… but I love kitchen remodels too. Good luck! :)

Sandra February 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I didn’t have time to read all the comments ahead of me, but if no one has mentioned Corian countertops, that’s what we put in when we moved into this house 5 yrs. ago. We just didn’t want to spring for granite, and I’ve been very happy with the Corian.

Sarah S. February 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Good luck with the painting and remodel. I have a nice big farmers sink and I LOVE it. It was a bit more expensive but well worth it. Mine is not fancy just big and deep ;)

Sarah S. February 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Oh my cousin has concrete counter tops and she loves them. Very inexpensive, bit nice. You can even get them with color! Pioneer woman has them in the lodge too. Check out some of her posts in her home and garden section ;)

Felicity June 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I went with a wilsonart HD countertop when I replaced mine and love it. It looks great and was a fraction of the cost of granite or any solid surface top.

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