For those of you who read all those posts, bear with me. For those of you who haven't, be sure to click on the links I'm supplying throughout the post for more details on the various aspects. I'm also linking up this post to the Roomspiration Blog Hop Kitchen Edition on the DIY Showoff today. If you're stopping by from over there, be sure to check out the 31 Days to a Clutter Free Home series while you're here!
Of all the rooms we've remodeled in our little 3 bed/2 bath ranch, the Kitchen was the most ....well... the most everything. It was the most expensive, the most extensive, the most time intensive...but it is by far and away the best transformation. Everyone who walks into our home just says "wow" when they see the kitchen. And for good reason. You really don't expect to see a kitchen this nice in this small ranch house in the middle of an Indiana cornfield. And then you find out that we DIY-ed our way through the whole thing and it's even more amazing.
So, let's get down to it! Here are the before photos - Dark. Dirty. Disfunctional. Disgusting. Diagonal-faux-wood-grain.
And here are the after photos:
First of all, we decided to bust out the wall between the kitchen and front room to open up the living areas in our home and also bring more natural light into the kitchen. This also created a great spot for a breakfast bar.
Then we spent a great deal of time determining a new kitchen floorplan.
What really helped in this process was when I spent time imagining where I would store every single item we owned in the new kitchen (small appliances, dishes, food, etc.). I literally measured the size of the crockpot, the iced tea maker, etc. so I would be sure to have a cabinet that would hold these things. This helped me to realize that we definitely needed to add a tall pantry cabinet on one side of the room.
You can read more about that process in great detail here and here. We basically just studied a lot of cabinet displays that we liked at Lowe's to decide what we were going for, how we were going to build it, etc. Then we bought some tools and rough cut cherry and got to work. Nearly 2 years of long weekends and vacation days later, we were done. :)
Here are the boxes built and delivered to our house from Patrick's shop a state away. At that point, they still needed to be installed (obviously), stained, polyurethaned, and the doors still needed to be built and installed.
They ended up sitting right in that spot for about 3 months while we gutted the kitchen, re-drywalled (let's just say wallpaper borders are NOT my friend), and updated electrical (we added 5 can lights and replaced an old ceiling fan with a flush mount light), etc.
The week before Christmas, our two brother-in-laws, Rod & Linn, came to the rescue and helped Dave finish the drywall and install these bad boys. Here's what the kitchen looked like when they arrived.
Here they are working on it...
And here's what it looked like when they left. What a tremendous blessing those guys were to my sanity!
Shortly after that, Dave got to work on the moldings. Our friend, Mark, helped Dave run the crown model in his woodshop. We ended up painting the dentil molding portion (the blocks) black. It looks very nice with the cherry cabinets.
And here's the first cabinet with it installed.
And the second. This step made a HUGE difference.
Here you can see all the cabinets stained, with the crown mold (minus the black painted dentil mold).
We purchased all new Frigidaire Gallery stainless steel appliances. I am incredibly pleased with that purchase. They have a nice protective coating that does not fingerprint like other stainless steel appliance suites I've seen before.
After a few more months, Patrick was finished building all the cabinet doors. He brought them to us and we stained and polyurethaned them. Here they are hanging in the Great Room drying.
In the photo below, the cabinets had all been polyurethaned (thanks to my sister-in-law Michelle helping me one long weekend!), the black dentil mold had been added, and all the doors were installed (minus one that was the wrong size and had to be re-built).
And here you can see the bottom molding that we later added. It helps conceal the under cabinet lights and adds another level of luxury.
As if DIY-ing the cabinets wasn't enough, we also decided to build our own countertops. (We apparently have a thing against going the easy route.) We considered many materials but loved the look of granite, so we ended up using granite floor tiles to achieve the same look for a fraction of the cost.
We call this part the "waterfall" where the tiles just fall right into the sunken Great Room. Levi loves playing there.
For the tile backsplash, we chose a glass accent tile to be placed between the granite tile countertops and the 2" travertine tile (that matches the travertine floor).
Dave even cut rounded tiles around the bottom molding on the cabinets under the microwave. Do you see it? He's so detail oriented. Gotta love it!
In the end, with all our DIY steps along the way, our kitchen remodel only cost $6,950. Overall, I think it was an incredible deal even though it was an incredible amount of work. See my little financial comparison post where I tried to estimate what it could have cost us if we'd hired someone to do the same thing and bought custom cherry cabinets and granite slab countertops.
And just in case you don't remember, this is what the kitchen used to look like.
It sure has come a long way, hasn't it?