It’s been months coming (nearly six to be exact) so I’m thrilled to finally share all the details about our big DIY kitchen update! If you need a refresher on exactly what our kitchen looked like before, here’s a refresher above (and more details). Our home was built in 1967 and we still had the original kitchen cabinets! They were in pretty good shape despite their age but the dark walnut stain made the already small galley kitchen feel even smaller.
Shortly after we bought the house in 2010 we purchased a new refrigerator and dishwasher. Those were must haves on our list. The photo below shows how exactly how the kitchen looked the week we moved in.
Last fall, we started transforming our tiny kitchen 2 weeks before we hosted Thanksgiving. In those 2 short weeks we painted the original 1967 wood cabinets (you can see more about that process and my tips and tricks on my cabinet painting post) and got the new range installed just before midnight on Thanksgiving Eve. After that, we took our time and working on the kitchen between lots of traveling and events. We originally were going to keep the old laminate countertops and cover them with concrete but after installing the slide-in range we realized that we would have to hack up the laminate so much to get it to fit property. My dream kitchen would have a large butcher block island and marble countertops so we went with the later and purchased ours from Ikea. Our handy friend (who unfortunately can’t install yours since he just moved to France!) installed them for us with Kevin’s help. Then we put off things for a bit because I had a Meet + Make coming up then my super handy dad came up and helped Kevin install our dreamy bright white subway tile backsplash.
We put a lot of time and sweat into our DIY kitchen update but I have to say every ounce of energy was worth it! I find myself lingering in the kitchen after doing dishes or making coffee and just staring at it! Anyone else ever complete a DIY project that made you do that?
Resources for all the items and supplies is at the bottom of the post.
Here’s what the kitchen looked like when we moved in and here’s what it looked like just before we started the transformation.
We kept the previous layout of the kitchen, which had this wrap around counter bar. We made this piece of butcher block slightly less deep (20″) than the rest of the kitchen so it would be easier to move around and make it more like a bistro. We finally replaced the super traditional spindle legs that supported the counter with steel hairpin legs.
We plan on hiring a cabinet maker to adapt our over the range cabinet to fit an over the range microwave so we can remove it from this wall shelf. That’s going to be phase 2 of this update, which after it’s done, I plan on hanging a pretty globe light above this counter.
My dream kitchen would have tons of open shelving but just because we weren’t getting new cabinets didn’t mean I couldn’t make that happen. I simply removed the doors from one cabinet, filled in the holes where the hardware was, and painting the entire thing white. I’ll admit it was a bit tedious to paint but it makes the kitchen look even brighter (and shows off our pretty dinnerware).
Kevin updated two outlets in the kitchen with ones that have built-in USB chargers. So convenient since we always seem to misplace the wall adapters!
Isn’t she a beauty? I seriously love this range. After using one that was older than I am (and hence +- 50 degrees off) for several years this oven cooks like a dream. It’s also a double oven, with one door, that allows me to multi-task or rather multi-bake like a pro.
After installing our new range we decided it was time to splurge on a trash can that matched the look and quality of our other appliances. My life tip is to spend money on a nice trash can because it’s an appliance too! We lucked out and got a great deal on a floor model from The Container Store and I cannot recommend it enough. Oh and it has a 10 year warranty too.
We removed the tile backsplash that was previously only above the cooktop and sink and replaced it with bright white subway tile. Not only is it super affordable (only $.22/tile) it was an easy way to brighten the entire space.
Wayfair provided this gorgeous farm house sink and matte black faucet. The sink is large enough to wash entire sheet pans in! I’ve always loved apron front farmhouse sinks but sink we were working with the original cabinets we opted for a drop-in farmhouse sink. We chose a composite/resin sink vs. a porcelain one because of it’s durability. It has the same look as porcelain but is a fraction of the price.
My favorite part of the sink? The faucet for sure! It’s minimal but oh-so-functional. The nozzle pulls out and converts into a sprayer that can reach every corner of the large sink.
Kevin and my dad installed the white subway tile backsplash in a day! I have to admit my mom and I were at the barn while they installed it so I’m not too sure about the process but they said it was a breeze. The tile we selected was self-spacing, which means that you don’t have to use tile spacers in it. The most expensive part of the backsplash was the 24 hour rental of a wet saw.
Since we moved in, we never liked the lighting in the kitchen. The track lighting was extremely directional and cast hard shadows on just about everything. Wayfair provided this simple semi-flush mount fixture that completely transformed the lighting in the kitchen. Since the previous track lighting was hung from one side of the trace ceiling, we had an electrician come and move the box to the center of the ceiling. I patched the old holes with colored wood putty and it looks like new! We let the warm wood paneling on the trace ceiling because it mimics the butcher block countertops and helps tie everything together.
Light fixture: Dolan Designs Kalina 3 Light Semi-Flush Mount (discontinued) provided by Wayfair / Sink: Reliance Reflection single bowl kitchen sink provided by Wayfair / Faucet: Moen Arbor provided by Wayfair
Drawer pulls and knobs: Stone Mill matte black Nantucket / Trash can: Simple Human / Paint: Cabinets and ceiling- Sherwin-Williams Pure White / Walls Sherwin-Williams Sedate Gray provided by Sherwin-Williams / Wallpaper in dining room: Sarah Hearts for Walls Need Love / Knife magnet: M.O.C. / Mixer: Kitchen-Aid in pistachio / Apron: Orla Kiely / Keurig: Mini Plus in banana yellow / Wall hooks: black branches / USB wall outlets: Amazon / Counter stools: Crate & Barrel spin counter stool / Salt and pepper shakers: Bavaria salt and pepper mills / Potholder: Charles Viancin