Brittany’s House: New Year, New Kitchen

Brittany's before and after photos

Good riddance 2020!  Anyone disagree? We didn’t think so! Something else that I’m happy to be rid of is the dated kitchen in my new home. 

Our Kitchen Renovation: Before

Although functional, our kitchen just wasn’t my style. If you read our last blog post, the kitchen was too dark. And boring. The orange-toned cabinets were “matched” to the floors, the countertops were an unsightly swirly brown, we had no backsplash, and the light fixtures were dated. We wanted our kitchen to be the heart of our home, but since we were fresh out of college and just starting out, we needed to make this happen on a budget.

Our Vision

As you can tell, dark colors are not for me. I prefer neutral timeless colors that go with everything, and I happen to love white. I wanted white cabinets, a white subway tile backsplash, and white countertops. My husband was unconvinced and thought an all-white kitchen would be cold and boring, but I won him over.  Happy wife, happy life, eh?  Rather than cold and boring, the kitchen feels fresh and welcoming, and I can use virtually any accent color.  I’m so glad we went with white!

brittany's kitchen inspiration

Renovating a Kitchen for Under $5000

Remodeling a kitchen on a budget seems like a daunting task, but with a good plan, it is entirely doable.  We knew that we would keep our existing cabinetry since it was in really good shape.  We had to find the right shade of white and use the appropriate type of paint.  We had already chosen a bright white trim paint to offset the wall color, so really, all we needed to do was match the cabinet paint to the trim paint (tip:  if you’re having white cabinets and white trim, they should always match; otherwise one will likely look dirty). Read on to learn more about our paint.  

Painting our Kitchen

We mentioned in our last blog post that we painted the entire interior Paper White by Benjamin Moore. Although this color has white in the name, it is more of a pale gray that is part of Benjamin Moore’s off-white collection. This beautiful color goes with just about everything and gives the house an open, airy feeling.  

Redo Your Kitchen Cabinets or Buy New?

Although our cabinets were orange-toned, they were in excellent condition, and their smooth wooden surface was ideal for painting. After doing a bit of research on Pinterest, I decided that painting them myself was out of the question. I just don’t have enough painting experience, and I didn’t want to risk messing them up. Thankfully, Mike Robertson Painting came to the rescue. Mike was able to paint our entire kitchen in under three days, and he did a fantastic job. He used Behr Interior Urethane Semi-Gloss enamel in White NO-3900-N. He then sealed the cabinets with Sherwin Williams ProClassic in High Reflective White. The white cabinets look great and match the trim. We couldn’t be happier!

Lighting in our Kitchen Renovation

Because the whole kitchen was getting a facelift, we couldn’t skip the lighting. The two pendants over the island that matched the pendant over the sink didn’t compliment our farmhouse style. Neither did the craftsman-style light over the dining table. I decided to peruse Amazon and Wayfair to see what I could find that would work within our budget. I was fortunate to find Westinghouse Lighting’s One-Light Indoor Mini Pendant in brushed nickel on Amazon for a steal–$25.96 each. Score!  I then found the perfect chandelier by Livex Lighting (Alessia 5- light chandelier in Antique White) I splurged a little on this one, but $177.00 is not bad for a chandelier.

Corey hanging new chandelier

The Countertops: Carrara Marble Look-Alike in Laminate

After painting the cabinets and walls, the swirly brown countertops stuck out like a sore thumb.  We now had the clean/dirty color problem that we learned about from Maria Killam’s blog years ago (Clean vs. Dirty Color Dilemmas).  The walls and cabinets are fresh and white (clean), while the brown countertop is earthy (dirty). We asked Monica to help us find the right countertops because she has great style and taste (she knows her stuff). She came across carrara marble look-alikes in laminate by Wilsonart. They look so much like real marble that you can’t even tell close-up making it a great inexpensive kitchen countertop option! Wilsonart marble is available in a variety of finishes from matte to high gloss. Monica liked the matte finish that looked like honed marble, but Corey preferred the glossy finish.  Monica said either would be fine, so we chose the gloss finish that looks just like polished marble. Galen Shelly of Misty Meadows Cabinetree did such a professional job that you can’t even see the seams.  Thank you, Galen!

Carrara Marble Look-Alike in Laminate

The Backsplash: 4” x 16” White Subway Tiles

Ah, the backsplash.  What an essential finishing touch. Classic white subway tile was an absolute no-brainer.  Paul and Monica happened to have some leftover white subway tile from their new home’s master shower. These tiles were larger than the typical  3” x 6”  subway tiles, which made me a little nervous, but after a little discussion and consideration, we decided they would look great. I trusted the process and WOW! The larger 4” x 16” tiles look great and actually make the kitchen look larger. Charlie Galusha of Galusha Tiles and Cabinetry did a fantastic install. Thank you, Charlie!

You CAN Renovate a Kitchen Successfully on a Budget

With careful planning, attention to detail, and understanding color, a successful “champagne” kitchen renovation IS possible on a “beer budget”. Hello 2021!  We love our new kitchen!

Here is a breakdown of all materials we used and the cost:

New Range$700
Kitchen Sink$300
Paint and Painter$700
Countertops (material and installation)$2,200
Total Renovation$4,954

Keep in mind that if you are handy, you can shave off significantly more cost by painting and installing the backsplash yourself!

Enjoy Some Before and After Kitchen Renovation Pictures Below:

Happy New Year! 

From the HartLand with love, 

Brittany, Monica & Cheyenne 

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