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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Budget Friendly Kitchen Remodel

I was browsing through pictures on my computer last night and came across some photos from our old condo which was pre-blog, but I thought our kitchen re-model in this place was worth showing you because it was a tiny outdated space that we re-modeled on a pretty small budget (at least as far as kitchen renovations go). I don't have a before photo to show you, but imagine 1980s standard issue laminate cabinets like these paired with laminate flooring and countertops and beige appliances. We lived just a few blocks from the beach and it wasn't quite the look that suited our neighborhood or lifestyle, but with just a few facelifts, we created an entirely different space.
First off, those are the same cabinets! We removed the doors, painted the interior and exterior of the cabinets and then had a woodworker friend make new door fronts, some with beadboard and some with glass. We removed the bottom end cabinet to create a custom bar area that would hold the wine fridge we received as a wedding gift and store wine bottles. If you look closely you can see a cutting board that pulls out above the wine fridge that we could use for bar fruit. Plus, we were able to use the end space to add a bookcase for all my cookbooks.
We also replaced the counter tops with butcher block and swapped out the appliances for stainless steel. My husband and brother in law replaced the laminate and wall to wall carpet floors throughout the entire first floor with a pre-finished hardwood. A few other small space ideas that we did were to paint the narrow strip of dark wood between the upper left cabinets that no longer matched the kitchen with chalkboard paint, add glass storage (because I have an obsession with glassware) underneath the cabinets with a hanging rack, add the pull out cutting board, and maximize the storage above the cabinets by keeping items we didn't use as often up there as well as buying matching baskets to put up there that contained things like dining room linens.
It's amazing what a difference a few changes make, and how much you can change the feel of an entire house by making changes in a single room (although I of course kept on going). If you are living with a room that you really can't stand, but think you don't have the money to change it, try to think of creative ways to re-create the space. If your cabinets are paintable you can do just about anything you want with them to create and entirely new space.

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