It started on a whim, one Saturday, when my friend and I were thinking of a “rainy day house project” to do together. My eyes would drift over the kitchen’s yellow(wish) formica counters, the inside of me screaming “LET’S RIP THIS CRAP OUT!!!” Externally, of course, I just bit my tongue. The kitchen was a project Colt and I had vowed not to spend any money on yet. (There’s an order to “newlywed budget” home renovations. You make a list, you save up for the next project, tackle it,and then save up again…) I bit my tongue and we went through the list of other projects that could be fun.
All the sudden, though, I had that thought/indignant flame of inspiration that sets literally all of our home improvement projects into motion: “No. Just, no. This is stupid. I don’t have to spend a lot of money to make this
bedroom, bathroom, hallway, kitchen palatable! I’m fixing this now.” From there it basically just became about how quickly we could make it to Home Depot.
Have I ever shared pictures of our kitchen? I’m thinking I haven’t, since I tend to only like posting “before” pictures if there’s a pretty “after” to follow it up with. …and there hasn’t been.. until now!
The day we purchased the house, our kitchen looked like this:
-Low ceilings/fluorescent lighting
-dirty, off-color, tile floors
-popcorn texture on the ceiling
Then…. after a few weeks of work (partly us, partly hired work), it looked like this:
-new, knock-down ceilings
-recessed lighting/slightly higher ceiling
-cork flooring ( ❤ ) to flow with the rest of the house
-fresh coat of white paint on the far right wall (also to flow with the rest of the house)
Grainy, fuzzy and un-photoshopped “after” images… but “AFTER” IMAGES, NONETHELESS!! If you follow Sand&City on Instagram, I’m sure you were privy to my struggles in photographing this sweet space. Small and yet somehow perfectly-sized, this U-shaped kitchen is just open enough to do some “hardcore” cooking without feeling cramped. There’s plenty of countertop area, full sized appliances and a surprising amount of cabinet space. That said. There is, like, zero natural light. So, taking photos of this place was a total challenge. A super slow shutter speed and a tripod later, I’ve at least got something to show you. Don’t judge.
-painted cabinet knobs
-resurfaced counters with concrete
TOTAL improvement. Under $500.
A few things: I have NO photoshopping abilities, so the messy jumble of black chords that you are seeing under the top cabinets are just gonna have to stay there for now. They are an under-cabinet lighting addition by the previous, shoddy-workmanship-loving owner. Fun, fun!
I like the light they produce, but have yet to figure out a way to minimize the amount of chord by about 90%… so unnecessary. Anyway.
Black Paint (used on lower cabinets) – “Totally Black” by Behr
Gold Spray Paint (used on cabinet knobs) – “Gold Medal” by Design Master
Concrete (used for the countertop overlay) – Henry Feather Finish by Ardex
Subway Tile (for backsplash) – Rittenhouse for Home Depot, White Wall Tile
Rug – Urban Outfitters, 4040 Locust Dye Rug
Dish Soap – Caldrea Dish Soap
Hand Soap – La Compagnie de Provence, Liquid Hand Soap
Faux Marble Ring Holder – Nate Berkus Ceramic Marble Ring Dish
Wooden Spoons (assorted) – Crate and Barrel, Target, Pampered Chef
Hand Made White/Indigo Speckled Pottery – Thrifted
Cutting Boards (assorted) – Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate and Barrel, Thrifted
Rolling Pin – Cook N Home Marble Rolling Pin
The art of home improvement is possible on a tight budget. Promise!