Recently Money Saving Mom published my article “How We Paid Cash for Our Kitchen“. There were a lot of comments asking for before pictures as well as questions about utilizing the space in our small kitchen.
I decided to follow up with a post showing a few more pictures as well as some tips that we did to make our small kitchen more user friendly.
To give you the short version, about 15 years before we actually re-did the kitchen we built the house. Our budget was minimal and needless to say top quality products weren’t used. 15 years after the fact the trendy hunter green counter tops I put in didn’t help the appearance of the budget cabinets.
Through the grace of God, we won $4,000 in counter tops from a local kitchen store. We saved up the cash and ended up re-doing our whole kitchen. I do a much more eloquent job explaining the full story here.
Once we made the decision we upgrade our kitchen, getting it right was our next priority. Knowing this was the only kitchen remodel I was going to get, maximizing the space and getting right was a necessity.
In case you’re new here, I’m an analyzer. I like to figure out what the problem is and then find a solution. The first step in my process is documenting what was the root problem and any issues I wanted to address.
Here is the list we came up with of wants and watch-outs:
- We did not want to over upgrade the kitchen
- Our budget was relatively limited
- I really wanted a garbage disposal
- The cabinet layout didn’t maximize the space of our relatively small kitchen
- The microwave HAD to come off the counter
Since we were going through an actual kitchen specialty store they assigned us a designer. The kitchen designer was a HUGE help in getting us exactly what we wanted. I didn’t find him to be pushy, he seemed to understand all of our issues and was willing to work within our budget. Out total out of pocket (including appliances) was about $9,000.
Here is what we started with. Please remember this is a judgement free zone and I’ve already told you that I’m far from perfect. We must not take many pictures in our kitchen so you are getting one circa 1995. Judging by the look on my face I wasn’t very appreciative of my husband snapping the picture. Even though they weren’t up when this picture was taken, I did have green checked valances on the window. Mike also custom cut a stencil for me (checkerboard with apples) that I absolutely loved. However, all good things must come to an end 🙂
This had to be my favorite addition to the kitchen, the corner cupboard. The builder previously had the craziest layout with one teeny tiny cupboard and one cupboard that we could only access half of in this same space. This is the upper cabinet that is to the right of the sink.