The Kitchen is Finished!!!!


After what seems like forever (I stopped counting after about 4 months of living in construction dust), our kitchen remodel is finished!  We have a bit of touch-up paint to do on the cabinets, and I’d like to change out the lighting over the eating area, but everything else is finished and we are so happy with the results.

Here are some before and after pics, before on the left, after on the right. You can click on each picture for a closer look.

This is the view to the left of our entry, as you enter the front door of the house.


And, a closer view as you walk into the kitchen.  This is the only picture I have of the old sink, which was honestly the worst sink ever.  The only good thing I can say about it was that it was enormous.  It had impossibly tight corners and was almost flat at the bottom, so the water never drained well.  The faucet was tiny and had terrible water pressure, and the sprayer never worked.  Since Cass is the chief dishwasher in our house, he picked out the new sink and we both are happy with the 70/30 split bowl, stainless steel undermount….it’s perfect!



This is immediately to the right of the sink.  The glass-front cabinet was nice, but limited the counter space near the sink, so it had to go.  Also, though the peninsula contained a huge amount of storage (that corner cabinet was much bigger than it looked), it also had to go to make room for the fridge.  Can I take a minute to tell you how much I love my new refrigerator?  It was like playing a game of Tetris in my last fridge, moving things all around to find what you were looking for, cramming food into every nook and cranny.  The new one isn’t much bigger in terms of cubic feet of storage, but the configuration of French door fridge on top, freezer drawer on bottom works so much better for our family.



This is the view from the eating area, looking back to the front of the house.  Here you can see the new pantry cabinets where the stove and microwave used to be, the stove moved to the left side (where the refrigerator used to be), and the refrigerator moved to the right side, in place of the peninsula.  This is the best picture of the floors.  It was laminate before, and though it looked nice, it sounded really hollow and we didn’t have any extra to patch some gaps after moving appliances and cabinets around.  Cass installed the new engineered wood and it looks amazing.  You can also catch a glimpse of how we enclosed the dining room by extending the walls a bit and adding French doors.  It was a tiny space for a formal dining room, and since Cass works from home we decided it was much more useful to us as an office.



A closer look at the new pantry area.  I was worried the upper cabinet would take up valuable counter space, but I really needed the storage.  We added some more counter space in another area (see picture below), so it worked out beautifully.



This is the long wall that divided the kitchen from the family room.  We gave the kids hammers and they took the whole thing down…….a super fun and super messy afternoon project!  It’s amazing how open and bright everything is now in both rooms.  Yes, I lost quite a bit of cabinet/storage space, but the end result was definitely worth it.  And the stove…..oh my word, the stove… my favorite thing about the new kitchen.  I have wanted a gas range for years, as well as a double-oven, and it makes me smile to have both ovens going while something simmers on the stove.  Silly, I know, but I do truly love it.



Here is the view across the eating area into the family room. Again, this was completely blocked off by a wall, and it makes a world of difference to have that separation gone.



And circling back to the right toward the front, this is the space to the right of the stove (used to be refrigerator).  Before was a large pantry cabinet and tiny piece of counter.  Now it’s the low cabinet for the microwave, and an extended countertop.  Really, you can never have too much counter space, am I right?



In all, in took about about 7-8 months to complete.  We did a lot of the work ourselves, which saved us a lot of money, but meant that it took a lot longer as we fit projects in around work, school and kids’ schedules.

To off-set some of the costs we sold anything we could on Craigslist:  the refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, cabinets and cabinet doors.  We met some interesting people in the process (who buys a pile of cabinet doors?!?!), and made pretty decent money to put toward the new kitchen.

One thing that saved a lot of money was re-using as many cabinets as we could, rather than start over with all new.  As we designed the new layout we used every cabinet we could, and ended up buying five new cabinets at Lowe’s to fill in a few gaps.  A local cabinet maker made new doors for all the cabinets, and we had everything painted bright white.  You can’t tell the old from the new at all.

We also decided to not re-route any plumbing in the space.  Initially I wanted to move the sink to look over the opening to the family room, but that added a significant amount to the budget, as well as to the mess and timeline, so we scrapped that idea.  We also found plumbing in some unexpected places, so we adjusted some plans to accommodate that rather than re-route anything.  The only major plumbing project was the addition of the gas line for the stove, which turned out to be easier than expected when we found an old existing line near the stove’s new location.

Cass installed all the cabinets, appliances, floors, tile backsplash and electrical, which saved us a ton of money.   No, he did not know how to do all of it before hand, but if you have a hammer, screwdriver and YouTube, you can learn to do just about anything.

And just in case you were wondering, here’s a rough cost breakdown:

Plumbing/Gas Line – $1000
5 New Cabinets $2500
New Cabinet Doors – $1000
Cabinet Painting – $1000
Framing/Drywall/Trim – $1500
Lighting (under-cabinet and recessed)- $500
Quartz Counters – $5000
Engineered Wood Floors – $2500
Appliances (dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, microwave) – $5000
Tile Backsplash – $500
Like I mentioned above, we couldn’t be happier with the new kitchen.  It was definitely a long and messy project, I might have had a few temper tantrums, and Cass worked his tail off, but it was all worth it.

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