Kitchen REVEAL!

Okay, that title is a joke, in case it isn’t obvious.  This is definitely not HGTV!

In fact I’ve been putting off writing this post because there are so many little projects and loose ends that still need to be tied.  Some drywall needs patching.  Electrical work.  Transition pieces and shoe molding.  But a funny thing happens in the process of renovating a house:  you get to about 99% done, are satisfied with the results, and suddenly it’s a new season and there are new things to worry about.  Like yard work.  Or studying for the bar exam.  Or avoiding the heat.  Or replacing the front door that your dog walker broke.  You know, those things.  So finishing that last 1% may have to wait until it’s cool enough to feel like working hard again.  But I wrote enough about my kitchen reno over the winter that I don’t want to leave you hanging!


Foolishly, I did not take any before photos prior to demolition.  The ones below are from the listing.  Suffice it to say that it was BAD.  We thought we might be able to live with it.  Just take off the cabinet doors, spruce up the paint, etc…but once we got in there we realized it was just one giant, disgusting mess.  The laminate countertops and vinyl floors were peeling off.  I could not unscrew the cabinet doors due to the 17 layers of paint, but luckily they were easy enough to pry off with a crow bar thanks to the poor condition of the wood.  There was so much wasted space.  And the pièce de résistance:  the most dreary foam drop ceiling and fluorescent light you have ever seen had been installed over what turned out to be a charming plaster ceiling with an exposed beam. It was HORRIBLE and just a few updates here and there eventually turned into a complete gut job..down to the studs.


Cabinets, sink and countertop are from Ikea and were installed with the help of a contractor.

Drop ceiling was removed and we installed drywall with the help of some family members who know what they are doing.

The backsplash, open shelving and marmoleum floors were all also DIY and would not have been possible without the help of some wonderful and more construction-savvy friends and family!

The backsplash is made of glass subway tiles.  My kitchenaid was obviously the inspiration for the color :). The countertop is a solid wood butcher block.  The floor is marmoleum and described in further detail here.

The countertops, cabinets, sink and freestanding counter unit were all from Ikea.  While I would have loved quality, solid wood cabinets and what not, it was not in the budget and we also want to keep open the option of an even more extensive kitchen renovation by bumping it out into the laundry/utility room (see above).  Ikea seemed to have the best balance between price and quality and was also the most eco-friendly compared to others of similar cost — formaldehyde free (which is important for particleboard/MDF products!), low-VOC, and they make efforts to source their wood from sustainable suppliers.  I also prefer Ikea’s design aesthetic — I was pretty set on the idea of a farmhouse sink, and they sell one for less than $200, a price that is pretty incomparable to any other farmhouse sink I could find sold at other big box retailers!

Storage in a small kitchen can be an issue but I’ve tried to embrace the idea of having more things exposed — after all, a kitchen is meant to be used!  It also forces you to edit down your kitchen wares to what you really need and keep things clean!  The open shelving was purely a budget decision, but I like how it looks, and it has worked well for us so far. You can find instructions for a pegboard wall organizer à la Julia Child here.

Well there is obviously a lot of work left to do but I wanted to post an update here.  Maybe soon I’ll have a new front door to report on too!



8 thoughts on “Kitchen REVEAL!

  1. Joni Miller

    It looks AWESOME! You guys did a great job with all the work, and made fabulous design choices! Love it!

  2. Diana

    Love what you did! I’m definitely going to have to check out Ikea’s kitchen line…love the farmhouse sink and butcher block countertop!


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