Our Kitchen Makeover

This is a long post so get your scrolling finger ready! Renovating is hard! Much harder in your 50s than in your 30s. And it’s stressful. Nerves are frayed, and arguments happen. If you can survive a renovation then you can survive anything.

Our kitchen has gone through many stages:

BEFORE: Stuck in the ’50s (or ’40s or maybe ’60s???)


DRYWALL: (And the floors have been refinished, too.)

REBUILDING: Appliances.

COUNTERTOP: My favorite part. First photo is of the slab. (I love going to see the stone at the vendor!)

BACKSPLASH: Expertly installed (note the corner joint). I used large tiles to reduce labor and because I loved the design and brought it up 20 inches just under where the shelves will be installed. Thanks, Charlie!

Open shelving installed. This was a lengthy discussion between my husband and I (and I use the word “discussion” loosely) that turned into a “he said, she said” about the size of the shelves. I know I didn’t want them this thick but he insists I gave him this dimension. Unfortunately, he also let it slip it had to be this size to accommodate the microwave vent. A-ha! I knew there was another reason and therefore I win! Such as it is, we will probably be living with this at least for a while.

Cabinet doors and drawer fronts in! Yea! This makes me just as happy as the countertop. We painted these a deep blue, I’m sorry it is so hard to tell from the photos, and I couldn’t be happier with the color. It is really starting to feel finished, and although I am still waiting on my pantry cabinet and a few punch-list items I’m feeling good enough to post this. I am sure you are all feverish with anticipation!

This is a tiny kitchen, no room for the island every kitchen renovation includes, and every inch must be well-thought out and utilized. We could have taken down the wall to the dining room and we could have extended out back but our budget was small and we wanted to keep to the original footprint if at all possible.

Not everyone needs an enormous kitchen and if you don’t need it why build it? I entertain a few times a year and since I just finished entertaining family for Thanksgiving I can safely say it was a challenge to have even two people working here and not get the stink-eye at least once. But the rest of the 342 days out of the year this is perfect.

The two best perks are: (1) there isn’t much to keep clean, and (2) people don’t gather in the kitchen and bug you while you’re trying to cook; they actually move into the dining room and living room just like they’re supposed to!

This took a long time to accomplish, 4 months, and it’s still not completely finished, but when it’s your own place and you have to squeeze in work between clients, it may take longer than expected. The rough estimate for this project is $6000. Of course, we saved on labor because Shawn did most of the work.

Our big splurge was the marble countertop at $2365. Our biggest savings was on cabinet boxes which were bought at the ReStore for just $125, and then we bought $200 in wood to make the fronts. Another big savings was appliances. We bought the refrigerator and dishwasher used for $475 and the microwave and range new for $650.

The sink was used; the faucet was new. The electrical cost $825 as the entire room had to be rewired. And then, of course, there are all the little things that add up like drywall, paint, moldings, tile, etc. All in all we feel we got the kitchen we wanted on a tight budget and it is perfect! At least for now…

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.