Our One-Week, Affordable Kitchen Makeover

by on May 10, 2013

A washing machine is in the room.

We are miles away from the completion of the Curbly House kitchen, so we decided to make-over another one! Because, friends, when life is crazy, adding to the crazy is always the way to go! 

A few months ago, Bruno’s dad bought a house a few blocks away from us, and the kitchen is in some serious need of updating. When Wilsonart contacted us about using their new line of Wilsonart® HD® High Definition® laminate countertops, we knew it was time to show this kitchen some love. Read on to find out what we’re cooking up!

Here’s  a little video tour of the space to get you going:

Currently, Bruno’s dad lives in a condo a few miles away from us. But he wanted something walking distance from his grandkids. When this house went on the market, it was clear that it needed a buyer who was prepared to shower it with love. It’s a small house with a comfortable floor plan, but every room needs work. Fortunately, he purchased it for a great deal, and has been slowly fixing it up.

A kitchen with white cupboards and drawers.

Like many houses in our neighborhood, the house was lived in and loved by a little old lady who spent the better part of her life in the house (making very few improvements along the way). Aside from replacing the windows, this little house had been virtually untouched since the 1950s???, leaving a huge project for Bruno’s dad.  

The home’s kitchen has proved particularly difficult to work with due to its small size and layout (think galley kitchen without work surfaces on both sides). It has one North-facing window that lets in very little light, and it’s equipped with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, many of which require a step-stool to reach. The cabinets are all painted a dingy white, and most of them don’t open without a little elbow grease.  

And then there are the countertops, a gold-flecked laminate with a faux-brick backsplash. I know gold is all the rage right now, but these countertops and backsplash are not so much the rage. In fact they are the opposite of the rage.

Subway tiles surround a white counter in a kitchen.

When considering the type of makeover to do on this kitchen, we thought a lot about Bruno’s dad’s needs. A small kitchen is actually a great thing for him. He’s not big on cooking, but has a small rotation of specialities that he enjoys preparing. He doesn’t need a lot of space, but organization, and a clean look will really help him in his culinary endeavors.

These days, it’s common to go with granite or composite countertops. And while we love those options, in this case, we were looking for something that would give the kitchen a dramatic face-lift while allowing us to stay within our budget. The thing we liked most about Wilsonart® HD® High Definition® Laminates is that the surfaces have texture and depth to them, and come with several different edge styles, giving them a granite look without the granite pricetag. 

The kitchen sheet is on the floor.

Our laminate samples from Wilsonart. Note the texture and reflections.

Do you remember that MTV show Made? That show found awkward adolescents with big dreams, gave them a coach, and made them amazing. This is how Bruno and I feel about this kitchen; it’s a troubled teen with all the potential in the world, and we are the coaches who are going to help it realize it’s full potential. And we’re going to do it all in a week, without breaking the bank. And, in true Made fashion, we have a special guest flying in to help us see this project through: Chris, Curbly’s editor-in-chief and the brains behind ManMade!

Here’s what we’re dealing with:

An old analog clock on the wall.

That cool clock is an original. It still works and we’re using it as the inspiration for the kitchen’s new look.

A white toilet in a tiny room with toilet paper hanging next to it.

Yes, that’s a toilet in the kitchen pantry. No, I don’t know why. Not sure yet what we’re going to do about it.

Kitchen transformation hacks with less time.

This range hood looks pretty beaten up, but we like the retro look of it, and we’re thinking of sprucing it up with some color.

Tranform your kitchen in less time with brilliant kitchen hack ideas

Hey! You know what’s cool about these old drawers? Nothing! 

This is the overall look that’s inspiring our kitchen makeover:

Transform your kitchen with affordable make over ideas.Traditional Kitchen by Charlestown Interior Designer Jeanne Finnerty

Traditional Kitchen by Charlestown Interior Designer Jeanne Finnerty

We’re thinking about installing a black and white checkerboard floor. And, I adore that narrow book rack in the corner:

A small room has a black and white checkered floor and a window with flowers on the sill.via Little Green Notebook

via Little Green Notebook

Open shelving will be the kitchen’s new best friend:

White, organized kitchen counters in a very white kitchen.via Apartment Therapy

via Apartment Therapy

Check back next week for all the details as the real work (demolition) begins!

Note: This post was sponsored by Wilsonart, LLC. All opinions are mine alone. 

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