When we first moved in our kitchen was very dated and did not match our style at all. First off the kitchen had not been painted but they did add a "stylish" apple wallpaper border. We had cheap, laminate counter tops, the cabinets were Oak and needed a good cleaning, and the appliances were gross and broken. Our kitchen opens up into the family room so we wanted to make sure it all tied in together. This is another project that we did in stages, most of which I did not catch pictures of, sorry.
The first stage of remodel began right when I moved into the house, before the wedding. We removed the apple border that surrounded the top of the kitchen walls as well as went around just above the back splash/counter tops. Man alive that thing was ugly! Old country apple wallpaper, not my style. Once that was removed we thoroughly cleaned the walls which were covered in grease and grime. I then begged, pleaded and bargained until Jason gave in and let me paint the kitchen "purple." It is not bright purple but a soft, as neutral as you can get purple-ish color.
We also sanded the cabinets down, patched any holes and covered them with a coat of white paint. We painted the details of the cabinet with a paint brush and the rest with a foam roller to avoid as many brush marks as possible. This alone was a HUGE improvement.
Jason then went craigslist hunting and found new appliances for our kitchen. We purchased a new dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer for under $600. They were all white (helped to keep that clean look) and fairly new. His parents then gave us their white refrigerator because they were buying a new one. We would have to settle with the counter tops and sink for awhile so we could afford to have food at our wedding! :)
This is what the old counter tops looked like.
Anyways, the second update to the kitchen happened early 2010. We went to Construction Lots to look around and found a beautiful cast iron sink for less than $100. When we got home and tore out the old one I asked Jason "since we already have the sink ripped out, doesn't it make sense to just do the counter tops now as well." So, what was supposed to be a 5 minute project turned into a two day project. (Oops!)
This is the sink that started it all! :)
After he finally agreed that it made sense, we started pinching pennies and trying to figure out what we could afford and what would look the best. We swung into another one of our favorite places, Floor and Decor, and found these Quick and Easy Granite Counter tops... perfect for us!
They only cost $8.88/sq ft. meaning we were able to do our new counter tops for about $300.00. They are big granite slabs that come with pre-polished edges. There is a video of how to install them with three simple cuts, perfect for our small kitchen. I also used to work in real estate and wanted to make sure we didn't go crazy on remodeling and spend more than we will get back on our home. Anyways, here is how we did the counter tops in a weekend.
First we ripped out the old sink and counter tops
We then put down a plywood base and screwed cement board onto that giving the tile/mortar something to stick to.
Now comes the fun part. You start by centering two tiles where the sink will go and build out from there. We measured, measured again and probably even a 3rd time just in case. We then dry-fit the tile pieces as best we could before we started just to be safe. I taped and marked the measurements on the tile while Jason worked on cutting them.
We then began installing the tile and back splash. We used tape to hold some of the pieces in place while the mortar set.
Again, our dog needs to be close by...
Once the tile had sent for 24 - 48 hours I grouted with non-sanded grout in a color that closely matches the color of the counters.
We also added these simple door handles we found at Home Depot to update the cabinets a little bit more.
And this is the final result...
Ah... so much better than the junk we used to have.