October 31, 2011

Retro Kitchen Renovation

So, we're in a tough spot. Well, in a decor kind of way.

Our house came with the original kitchen. People tend to think its "cute" and has a lot of character. To be totally honest, it is one of the reasons we bought the house - no one had done a bad ikea remodel (like a lot of the "flipped" houses in our neighborhood).

But, I hate the tile. Hate it.

Along with it being chipped, dingy, and with disgusting grout, the edge lip annoys me, the colors leave very little room for changing up the decor, and the windmills and dutch boys are so cheesy they should come with crackers.

We've come to the conclusion that we will most likely NOT be remodeling this house. We should really close off one entrance, cut a hole in two of the walls and open it up. Then we could get a full sized dishwasher and way more counter space - plus, maybe there would be a fridge we could get other than the one we have (it is literally the only stainless steel fridge that is short enough in the whole universe).

We'll stay here until the market goes back up (maybe 50 years?) and then hopefully find something with three bedrooms (two flats of course, we love living with bunni (grandma) upstairs)).

So, I'm trying to convince my husband to let me re-do the surface of the kitchen. Oh, and we're now on one income (yay), so we have to do it CHEAP.

To do?

* Re-do the counters
* Sand and paint the cabinets
* New hardware (including hinges) for the cabinets
* New sink and faucet
* New flooring

With a budget of about 1,000 bucks (like, 1,000 bucks MAX), this is what I think we could do. A good bit will come from Lowes Gift Cards, so it must come from there as well :)

This sink for $199
It is really the only one from lowes that is cast iron and will fit in the spot we have...but I worry that two small basins will make washing cookie sheets difficult. Will it?

With this counter top (from ikea) $200
I mostly see undercounter sinks with pics of this the best way to do it?

This faucet $108
White Tile Backsplash going all the way to the cabinets, not stopping halfway. $40 (at .33 cents a tile, its a bargain...but I have no idea how much the materials cost.
Butcher Block
(though no where near as fancy as this one, but you get the picture).

Then I truly would love to tear down the tile on the wall that the stove lives on and just re-sheetrock and paint. But, not sure how possible that will be. Tim thinks it will be a huge job...We're going to take down the backsplash tile first and see how that goes.

Now that I have this all down I can get final approval :)


  1. I love that pot rock over your stove in the last picture. Where did you get it?

  2. It is from amazon, but the "seller" is an actual small wood worker. It is fantastic and we love it. We'll probably buy another one to put right next to it soon!

    If you go the the tab "things we buy" it should be listed there.

  3. Having tile behind your stove is a good heat/fire safety feature behind the stove.

    I have black edge with white tile in my kitchen (and no windmills or other pictures) and love my retro kitchen. I love the edge as when I spill it doesn't end up on the floor.

    When I moved in the only change I made was to replace the faucet with a Dishmaster. It looks retro enough to fit and I love the hand washing feature. They're pricey but I'll install one in any kitchen I ever live in from now on.

    Have you checked the level on those countertops? Mine slope towards the sink, making wiping water into the sink easy.

    Also as to demolition. All of that tile is sitting on a bed of cement with a metal mesh underneath. It will be a booger to take it all off, especially the walls. I know because I had to do it to my bathroom before I replaced it.

    If you're not planning on living in that house forever, I'd just leave everything as it is and live with it. You're going to find two kinds of buyers. Those that love the original and will pay for it and those that hate whatever you do and will plan to redo the kitchen anyway. So if you can't afford to redo your kitchen (and on $1000 budget, you can't) you're better off leaving it all original than doing a bad remodel that will just be redone by a future buyer anyway.

  4. Thanks for all the tips! I wish we had you as a resource when we dug into the walls :)

    Quick reno is done for now (still need to do the floors) - but we love it!

    I just did a search for our kitchen before and after and I can't find one! Here's a status update from last year: