Thursday, May 12, 2016

Charleston House Budget Kitchen Makeover

I'm back! Whew, I intended on updating this blog a lot sooner than this, but we have been happily busy with working with folks near and far on their spaces and it has been AWESOME! Thank you all so much for your encouraging words about our last post. It is always a bit scary to hang your shingle, and start something new that you care about! We have felt humbled and grateful for everyone's support.

Now, having said that, I've been going back into my archives to find projects to share from my past projects. I thought I'd start with my makeover of my kitchen in my home in Charleston, SC. Charleston is a beautiful city close to the beach, and when we lived there I was very influenced by that coastal feel. I didn't have much of a budget (my husband might say I never had a budget at all and just went for it ha!), but I put a lot of elbow grease into it and was really happy with the transformation. It's not a fancy kitchen, but most of us don't have fancy kitchens! You don't need a lot of money to make it feel updated and fresh!

Ok, so here come some before's.

 This was the dining nook that was right off from the kitchen. I had a lot of trouble with this space because it was so small and right in front of the sliding glass doors to get to the backyard. Argh, why do builders do that?! I see it in so many floor plans. Please tell me I'm not the only one who finds it annoying! #kidsrunninginandoutallday
 So here was my little kitchen. What we've got here is all of the usual "builder basic" subjects. Honey oak cabinets. White appliances. Formica countertop. Curved double decker countertop. It's not terrible. But it's not terribly inspiring either, am I right? (or am I right....right?)
And just so you know, it is my official policy to leave dishes in the sink of every before photo. It just makes the after look that much better folks. It's all about psychology....ha! So, here it's just more of the same. Ugly white faucet, and you can catch a glimpse of the dirty looking linoleum here too. Even when it was clean it looked dirty. I guess some people call that "good at hiding dirt." I'm confused by this concept. I want to not have anything be able to hide dirt.

Now how about I stop assaulting your eyes and let's have a few afters. M'kay.

Better, right?? We laid some plank vinyl flooring from Home Depot, and I painted my guts out. Painting of kitchen cabinets is not for the faint of heart, I will tell you that. But the results were so worth it! At the time, I was very fond of the two tone kitchen style and decided to go with blue lower cabinets, and keep the upper cabinets light so that it wouldn't bissect the wall above it (we had really high ceilings in that house). I also changed out the faucet to that gorgeous bridge faucet that I found on craigslist for a steal! We also changed out the hardware to bin pulls from the Martha Stewart line from Home Depot. Note to couldn't take the cell phone and cord off the counters for the pretty shot?? Real life here folks.

Here is the view of the other side. I fully intended to put the doors back on these shelves, and then....I started painting. And I thought, hey...those don't look half bad without the doors! Also, I might harm something if I have to paint any more cabinet doors....So it worked out in the long run. :) You can also see that we added some beadboard to the back of the shelves!

We did keep the doors on above the microwave because there was a plug back there and I didn't want to mess with it. We also added some corbels beneath the cabinets hoping to up the charm factor.

Now, on to the dining nook area. I painted a round table I found at Goodwill, hung a $20 light fixture I found at Habitat for Humanity, painted some craigslist chairs, and took apart and painted a bookcase I found...on the curb. Yes, this is the part where you find out about my history of taking other people's garbage and making it over. Yes...I have done this more than once.

Here was what the chairs looked like when I bought them from craigslist.

And here is what the garbage curbside bookcase/dresser looked like before painting. It actually used to have saloon type louvered doors on the front...very snazzy, take my word for it.

Here is the bookcase made over.
The chandelier! I still love that chandy after all of these years.

And a reminder of what it looked like again:

And there's the after of the dining room. The pesky sliding doors were still there, but with the round table, it didn't seem to bother us as much (and adding the curtains around the doors and a DIY roman shade on the other window helped too!)

So there you go, my first budget kitchen makeover back in the day! I have another one coming for you of my current kitchen soon. This time it was a total gut job, and I love it even more!


  1. I love it, what a transformation!

  2. I have no doubt that your makeovers got that house sold in a New York minute, when the market was not even crawling!

  3. Holy crap, Jen! This is amazing. I'm so scared for you to come to my house now!