Kitchen Update Before and After

We recently updated our kitchen and as you can see above there is a huge difference between the before and after. When we moved into our house 5 years ago the kitchen was dark due to barely any light in there. We had an electrician add some canned lights. After living there for a few months I could not stand the cabinets and so we had them painted white. The contractor who painted them used a roller instead of spray painting them. So, over time they were chipping especially around the handles. We also discovered there was a leak by the kitchen faucet and it had been leaking for a while because as we touched the wall to get a sense of the moisture we ended up with a hole. We lived with that hole for almost 3 years.

How to Update A Kitchen on a Budget

Initially when we got quotes for the kitchen update we just could not fathom how much it was going to cost. Our goal was to pay cash for the update and each time we got a quote the dream of a kitchen seemed unattainable. We looked at options on how to update a kitchen on a budget. One of those options was to change just the cabinet doors. But then as we talked about it and looked at the condition of the inside of the cabinets we realized that it would have just been putting a bandaid on the matter. The cabinets were cheap and shelves were falling apart. So we held off for almost a year as we continued to save for the kitchen.

How To Update A Small Kitchen

We live in a small house built in the 1930’s so the space we were working with was small. Of course I had some crazy ideas for the small space we had and my father in-law (who is a contractor) reminded me that people with small kitchens always want the impossible. I wanted a hood and a wine fridge, however, neither of those ideas would have been practical since that meant losing cabinet space. We ended up adding cabinets above the fridge which we didn’t have in our original space. We also scrapped the idea of replacing the tall cabinet that was by the back door. There was a lot of wasted space on the bottom the cabinet. With eliminating that cabinet we decided to add more countertop space with the bottom cabinet being a set of drawers to store all our food storage containers.

We really put some thought into maximizing the space we have and making sure the kitchen was functional.

How to Find Inspiration

I spent time scrolling Pinterest saving different kitchens I saw as well as scrolling design accounts on instagram to get inspiration. After a few months of saving some pictures I realized that there was a theme. I wanted cabinets with some color and did not want white cabinets. Originally, I wanted black cabinets but as my husband and I talked about it, we weren’t sure if that would make the space feel smaller. We went back and forth on just going with white cabinets since they felt more safe. However, in the end, we both really liked grey cabinets. We went through a color fan deck from Sherwin Williams and narrowed down to 3 colors, Westchester Grey, Dovetail, and Classic French Grey. We both liked the Classic French Grey but ended up customizing the color by making it 20% darker.

With the darker cabinets we went with lighter floor tile, lighter countertops, as well white backsplash.

Tips To Updating a Kitchen During a Supply Shortage

One tip I would give when updating a kitchen during a supply shortage is to go with supplies in stock. We were fortunate that the countertop slab we liked was one that someone had decided they didn’t like after ordering. We didn’t replace any appliances outside of our stove and microwave. The ones we had were the ones that were in the house when we moved it. My father in-law found us a used gas stove that is in great condition. Ebay is one place to source used appliances.

Additional Expenses To Keep in Mind

If you are paying cash for the remodel, make sure to save an additional 20% for additional expenses. We ended up with additional costs because of a leak by the sink. It was a slow drip from how the original faucets were installed which were behind the wall. There was also black mold behind the kitchen sink wall. As they took up the floor they also found some rotted wood underneath the door that needed replaced.

Favorite Parts of The Kitchen

Our favorite parts of the kitchen update are the new faucet that we got as well as the spacious sink. Our old sink had a partition in the middle that we both disliked. Also, the additional countertop and drawers by the back door . We also love the cabinets above the fridge as well the trashcan in a cabinet by the sink.

Create a space that you love because we all spend a lot of time in our kitchens.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have.


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