How to update your kitchen on a budget and on your own.
It was pretty obvious that our kitchen was stuck in the 90's. The pine cupboards, builders grade faucet and buttercream yellow walls screamed UPDATE ME as soon as we moved in, or at least they did to me. After living in our home for over a year, plus having the time to actually do something because of being laid off due to COVID-19 , I was finally able to take on the task of making over our outdated kitchen.
Being laid off definitely made me be hyper aware of making this a small budget makeover. Granted I think $500+ is still quite a bit of money so I will price out everything we used and you can see what fits in with your budget and adjust accordingly. Also note paint pricing can vary on your provider and when sales are available.
WHAT STAYS & WHAT GOES
The few things I did like about our kitchen already and we weren't changing:
1. FLOORS: Dark engineered hardwood wouldn't be my first choice for a kitchen but the floors are in good shape and were staying as-is (big budget saver). If you have old tile in your kitchen you could either do stencils and floor paint or use peel and stick tiles (wallpops), which I'm going to do in our main floor bathroom soon.
2. COUNTERTOP: The "greige" laminate countertops were also in good condition and are a neutral colour so they are staying as well. (If you hate your counters I would suggest a few inexpensive solutions, painting with a countertop kit, using contact paper or switching them to butcher block.
3. BACK SPLASH: Luckily the former owners installed a classic white subway tile for the back splash which we are slightly updating but the makeover only costs $19.97 so again a big cost saver for us. Don't have a back splash? We used peel and stick tiles for our last home which was a great option especially if you are in a rental.
4. APPLIANCES: Obviously getting new stainless steel appliances is out of the picture for this update so the white ones will have to do. I should mention that we did have to get a new dishwasher shortly after we moved in because ours quit. If you hate your appliances you could try paint or contact paper. But the best thing to do is give them a good clean with a magic eraser and make them look like new.
HELPFUL TIP - Notice a trend in your Pins
Now that you know where we are having huge savings on our kitchen update it's time to get into what we did DIY. After scouring Pinterest I started noticing a trend in my pins. I was loving painted green kitchen cabinets. I had previously always liked either white or dark navy cabinets like BM, Hale Navy. But the mossy greens were calling to me. It felt historic but still fresh, so off to the Paint Shop I went to get 3 samples of different grey/green colours to decide what would suit the space's lighting and existing finishes.
I also tried to notice what hardware, lighting and back splash was reoccurring in my Pins so I could lean on that design idea throughout. I personally find creating a style board helps me to see the big picture but overall I tend to have a good eye and mind for seeing rooms in 3D and fully designed in my head.
THE COST OF IT ALL
FRESH COAT - Wall paint $57.48
I started the remodel with getting rid of the buttercream yellow that was on the walls. Since our kitchen is open to our dining room we took my favourite soft white paint (Benjamin Moore, Swiss Coffee) through to the dining room, except for one black accent wall (BM, Wrought Iron).
Since I picked up a gallon of the white paint I had enough to paint our master bathroom as well with it.
SHOW STOPPER - Cabinet paint, primer, roller and sanding block $126.80
Now it was time to decide what the cabinets would be, because that original pine was doing no one any favours. The three green options I selected were BM, Caldwell Green, Quarry Rock and Rainy Afternoon.
After following the rule of three for paint (paint three different colours/shades in three places and look at it for three days in three different types of light) I finally made the final decision of Rainy Afternoon. Firstly, I should say that I love the quirky names given to paint colours and Rainy Afternoon was a stand out to me on the name department. This colour also reminds me of my husbands wedding suit, which made it even more perfect.
I also have left over of the cabinet paint so I am using it on our en-suite's vanity and for other future projects.
TIP: If you would like to read a full tutorial of how I painted the cabinets you can visit my blog post about it here.
BACK SPLASH BEAUTY- Grout refresh $21.82
Since the subway tile was previously installed I decided it could use a modern update by changing the white grout to a charcoal grey. I picked up a bottle of Grout Refresh from our local Kent. I did watch a few tutorials but the steps on the bottle itself are the best to follow for solid results. This did take a bit of elbow grease but so far the whole kitchen took that, so what's one more step?
THE JEWELRY - Hinges and knobs $180.67
When dismantling the kitchen to paint it was very obvious that I would need to replace the hinges. I thought originally I could spray paint them matte black but they were coated in grease and rusted so new hinges were a must. The hinges were $3.22 each and I needed 15 which came to $55.55.
For knobs I searched for a very long time. I tried Etsy, restoration hardware, and all different hardware stores but ultimately I found my favourite and least expensive option through Home Depot. At $5.44 each and needing 20 of them my price came to $125.12 including tax.
FUNCTION & TASTE - Faucet $114.88
The builders grade faucet just wasn't doing it any more for us plus we wanted to upgrade for better filtration on the taps so I took to Amazon for a faucet. Of course I tried bargain hunting online first but they simply have the best price on faucets. A new arched pull down, matte black faucet was definitely going to finish this whole mid century look off.
UNDER FOOT - Area rug $160.99 ($60.99)
Something I knew I wanted was a long runner area rug for the kitchen, that would add an additional pop of colour while tying together the cabinets and hardware. I found a 8 foot long one through Wayfair and happily used a Christmas gift card I had been saving up for just this. The gift card was for $100 so I only had to pay $60.99 out of pocket for this rug.
MAKE IT SHINE - New lighting $101.18
What good would all this work be if we didn't light it properly. The original track lighting was dingy and used up way too much energy so it was time to modernize. Wayfair is where I found the best deal on lights that I knew would be the cherry on top of the sundae. The semi-flush mounted lights were further marked down to $44 each so it brought our total for two new light fixtures to just over $100!
(Note: The sputnik light in the dining room is not included in this reno cost as I'll be doing a separate post about that room's transformation. But I'll also link the light we used for the dining room here, which is now $65)
$663.82 including taxes
I was hoping to get this project finished for under $500 but the new hinges and added area rug put me over my intended budget. Over all I am still very happy with how wisely I spent our money and how much time and effort went into this kitchen. Ultimately I think the work and money put in will actually bring us a good return when we do eventually sell this house. For now we'll just keep enjoying it every day.