Monday, July 3, 2017

The BIG! Kitchen Renovation Reveal!!

The first time we toured the house with our realtor, we knew the house was going to be a huge renovation project. The previous homeowner's taste and ours were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Deeply opposite ends of the spectrum. It took us walking through the home multiple times before we could get past the cosmetic aspects which made the home appear very dark and depressing, and focus on the floor plan.

The popcorn ceilings in the home were painted a depressing shade of grey, while the walls were a dark golden color. The cabinets and trim work throughout the house had a shade of brown/green slopped all over them, with paint drips and globs of paint everywhere. The walls had a hand-troweled DIY texture applied, which was thick and stuck out so far from the wall, I sliced open my arm when I got too close to it as I rounded a corner.

As we walked through the home, we noticed the cabinet paint was peeling, revealing a blood red underlying color. We opened up the kitchen cabinet doors and jumped back as the blood red painted interior assaulted our vision. The brownish color paint on the outside and the blood red on the inside, made it appear as though you were looking at the inside of an animal that had been slaughtered.
kitchen renovation, remodel, design, ideas
The camera flash makes the kitchen appear brighter than it was in person

Yes, even with the lights turned on, the house was very dark

That red jumps out and grabs you

Say hello to the slaughterhouse red!

You can see the paint brush swirls and the peeling paint

With a budget of $2,500 - including appliances - my husband and I (after months of design disagreements) decided on a design. The ceilings were professionally scraped of the popcorn gray and redone with a knock-down texture and painted a bright ceiling white. 

We kept the existing cabinets because we didn't have the budget to replace them. The cabinets were stripped, and stripped, and stripped some more of the red paint (which never fully released from the wood), and then sanded, primed, and painted in a cheerful shade of white. We added an extension to the top of the cabinets, due to the kitchen's 9' high ceilings making the upper cabinets look short and squatty. Satin nickel cabinet hardware replaced what few pieces of cabinet hardware had been left on the cabinets.

A new neighbor was remodeling their home and gave us a section of upper cabinets (which matched ours) to hang above the long bar area. Because the cabinets our neighbors gifted us with were actually for an angled wall and we were going to be installing them on a long straight wall, my husband had to cut the cabinets in half. This allowed him to trim the angles from the cabinets so they could hang in a straight line. 

The kitchen walls were scraped of the odd DIY texture until our hands bled, and then re-textured with a softer appearing hand-troweled texture to smooth over the harsh lines of the previous wall texture. It took 23 paint samples before we found just the right shade of a grey-beige for the wall color.

The brick countertops were sledgehammered out, and granite tile countertops with a tumbled marble backsplash replaced them. A new deep heavy-gauge stainless steel sink and kitchen faucet replaced the worn out and leaking old one.

The utilitarian light over the sink was replaced with a fixture that was a bit modern and pleasing to the eye. A breakfast room chandelier was purchased and installed as well, since the previous homeowner took it with them. The photos below are the renovation as it unfolded.

The first pieces of brick are removed

My husband and I raced to see who could pull the brick off the backsplash first. I won.

This countertop was incredibly difficult to remove

We discovered our son loves demolition 

All of the brick is being ripped out, slowly but surely

Goodbye brick countertops

There comes a point when you just say to heck with it and rip the drywall out
That red paint....EEK!

Free child labor

The primer is on

I laid every single one of the granite tiles

In the midst of the renovation, I discovered the pantry space wasn't going to cut it with 2 growing kids. "We" (meaning me) decided to tear out the 3 stacked cabinets which served as the pantry, and I coerced my husband into extending the wall by another 2 feet. This created enough room for a walk-in pantry.

Say hello to my new pantry

The support strips are in place!

Oh shelving, how I love thee!
Time to fill it up!

After several years of back-breaking work and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (and a few design arguments thrown in there), here is the light and bright finished kitchen. The brick floors and the oven and microwave will be replaced somewhere down the road. 

We expanded the doorway to the formal dining room after we discover the refrigerator door couldn't open properly

The upper cabinets on the right are the ones we were gifted with by our new neighbor
Sooooo much brighter and cheerful!

The extension we added to the upper cabinets to give them the appearance of more height

I am in LOVE with my kitchen hardware

We are so happy the dark depressing colors, gray popcorn ceilings, oddly textured walls, and slaughterhouse cabinet paint scheme are all a thing of the past. It's time to move on to the next project in this house........ scraping more poorly hand-troweled texture off the walls. I should probably stock up on some band-aids first though.

Christie Bielss


  1. What a great and amazing transformation. I know it took some blood, sweat, tears..... and a few curse words to tackle that crazy (red inside the cabinets) kitchen. Hopefully, we get to see the "Shrek" bathroom updates, as well!

    1. Thank you! That red gave us a run for our money trying to eradicate it. It not only was inside the cabinets, but they painted the plumbing under the sink and the vent-a-hood venting above the cooktop. The Shrek bathroom is currently undergoing design negotiations - i.e. convincing the spouse that my design plan is the best. LOL! That crazy wall and ceiling texture, along with the concreted mirror, are going to provide quite the challenge.