Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Kitchen Re-do Photos & Money Saving Tips!

Hi Everyone,

We finally finished our kitchen re-do and I'm thrilled with the results!  I've posted some Tips and $$ Saving Ideas at the end.

 Here is a BEFORE photo with the original 17 yr old fridge that needed to be replaced and then our gas stove died so we decided to go for stainless appliances, replace the worn floor, 'peachy' counters, stained sink, add the pendant lights and re-do the cupboards darker.

 We have a long telephone desk and island with counters that wrap around the cooking area so granite was way too expensive for the amount we would have needed.  We went with Formica counters. Wow - our family photo below is over 25 years old as our girls are now 25, 26 and 30!

Part of this photo seems a bit over exposed but I plan on doing the top of my old oak table and chairs darker as you can see the sun has bleached them lighter than the table's pedestal.

 I re-covered my kitchen chairs and bought all the fabric for chairs and new valances at JoAnns in Bellingham, WA at 50% off.  I used 6 yds of Findlay Cliffside fabric on sale for $19.99 yd.  We also re-did the valance in our family room which took the most fabric, but my photo didn't turn out. 

Cindy, our graphics designer, brought over her sewing machine and helped make the new valances. I didn't want ruffles anymore and went for a simple sleeve style. I bought 1" Bronze Braid trim on sale for $1.99 yd and slipped 2 loops over each sleeve and just added Velcro tape (from Dollarama) to stick all the valance's to the old existing bars. Click on the photo to see my piglet print from the 1890's.  It's sentimental as my nickname is PY, short for piglet, which I earned because I can eat so much!

 I'm still not 100% sold on the stools Scott bought.  They look so big for our narrow space.  I had them on Craigslist and planned to buy these stools on Amazon but now I'm on the fence. Which do you like better?  The old Singer sewing machine cabinet also takes up space but I can't part with it and love the little drawers and the treadle holds my big bowls.

Vicki posted a cool bike wheel photo/memo holder she spotted at the Junkstock Show and now I'm on the look out for a small wheel to go over my sewing cabinet (below) as the Grape Nuts print is so faded. I want to mount it so it spins and use wood clothes pins to attach photos and memos, Plus, I bet we can use it for a game at parties.

Re-doing the cabinets was a lot of work! My retired hubby Scott did most of it.  I emptied out, washed and sanded some, he painted and sanded them all and there are 26 cupboards,  16 drawers and trim! We used a product called Saman (see below) a seal, stain and varnish in one. Wash all your wood with TSP first to remove any dirt and grease. Sand wood, apply first coat, lightly sand, add 2nd cost and repeat if 3 coats are needed. Ours have 3 coats of the Medium Oak and Scott said a paintbrush worked great.  Our neighbors used the same product 4 years ago in Walnut and they still look great. They preferred a sponge brush.

I also used Rust-oleum Hammered Paint and Primer in Brown to spray my white metal paper towel holder and a green bird cage to go above the cupboards. 

Below is a list of tips I put together if you plan to re-do your kitchen and you want to save money.  Who doesn't want to save some $$!  Kitchens and family rooms are the hearts of our homes and a warm inviting kitchen is where happy memories are made!

Tips & Tricks for Saving Money on Kitchen and Home Re-do’s

First brainstorm all your options for ways you can save on materials and time. Look for sales on both new items and check for quality used appliances and materials on Craigslist,, newspapers, liquidators, auctions, etc. You can also type ‘used appliances’ in Google and you should be able to find local places that specialize in used and often include warranties.  Consider bartering your time & talent with other trades people. Two of the best places to see home dec ideas are and DIY Kitchen ideas on
Appliances: Shop around and make a list of features you want and your size requirements. Don’t pay full price for new. Wait for a sale or ask for a discount. Consider buying quality used or update yours using some of the new appliance paints available.

Cabinets: New cabinets are often one of the most expensive parts of a kitchen but consider the alternatives.  Could you add a bookshelf to hold dishes and kitchenware, or could you remove some of your cupboards to create open shelving?  Check out these great ideas for turning old dressers into kitchen islands!  If you hate your cupboards, can you replace just the door fronts, or re-paint or stain your existing cabinets?  Often a coat of fresh paint and new handles will transform a kitchen. Here are 2 places I found on Ebay here and here with great prices on cabinet hardwarePlease tell me, do you think we need handles and knobs? We never had any before and have the indents under each cupboard so they open easy.  

Counters: Granite counters are beautiful but very pricey! We have so much counter it would have cost a fortune so we went with Formica counters.  You might also consider wood, tile, corian or some of the other less expensive materials available. Also, check out this postby ApartmentTherapy and how they used a new product from Rust-Oleum to re-do counters with a granite look.

 Flooring: Laminate and Vinyl floors are more cost effective than ceramic tile, marble or wood and many styles closely mimic the same patterns. We found ‘tile looking’ laminate flooring at 60% off.  Be sure to buy some extra. The plumber didn’t hook up our new dishwasher properly and it leaked, damaged the floor and Scott had to drive over 2 hours away but luckily found more.  Another option if you have concrete under your old lino is to paint it.  You will need to prep it, apply at least 2 coats with a roller and seal it with a polyurethane coating for durability. Concrete floors can look stunning and are becoming a popular trend.

Lighting:  One of our favorite changes was the 3 pendant lights we added over our island and it was so easy it took Scott less than 10 minutes to hook up all 3 lights into our existing pot lights with these pendant light kits we found. Dimmer switches are also one of my favorite ‘must haves’ and we have them installed in the kitchen, dinning room and all our bedrooms. They save money and you can adjust your lighting to any level.

Walls:  A fresh coat of paint will give a kitchen a whole new look and feel but consider painting just a feature wall. Also, check your garage for partial cans of paint that can be re-tinted. Ask at your local home hardware stores for miss-tints which are often marked down 75% off.  Consider wallpaper which can transform a wall or the inside of a glass china cupboard. Painted or vinyl stencils are also popular and can make a great visual statement with designs or quotes on a wall.  

You can also add some cool art to your walls or home decor pieces like these canisters DT leader Vicki Chrisman decoupaged and revamped using chicken images from our CD #2, Creating with Vintage Illustrations.

I also want to share this wonderful excerpt I found in an old book from the 1890's I have called Beautiful Homes.  It's written so eloquently and with such passion.

I have a bunch more new samples stamped I want to show you but this post is so long I will do a new post tomorrow.

Do you have any kitchen or home decor tips you can share? 

I'm linking this post to some Linky Parties 


Wishing you joy & creativity
Sandy Redburn

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TLady said...

LOOOOOOOOOOVE your kitchen remake! It's GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think your kitchen would look even NICER with Kitchen cupboard nobs & handles! I think you'd like it! We too are thinking of adding them to our kitchen! As for your bar stools, the ones you have look nice! I DO like the ones you picked out new! It's really WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE BEST?

Vicki Chrisman said...

Your kitchen is SOOO beautiful! It looks like it's from a magazine! I know it was a lot of work..but wow.. look at the results. I LOVE IT!

Angela Fehr said...

Sandy, that is beautiful - you must be so excited! And I love that you did so much of it yourself. Congratulations on a wonderful new spacE!

Charlotte Zweigoron said...

I would say the size of the bar stool needs to work for the size of the bottoms that will occupy them!! I have an adorable "ice-cream shoppe" kitchen table and chairs that many of my guests HATE because they are rather amply endowed and they say it is like sitting of the head of a pin! That said, they do seem kind of plain. A friend of mine totally changed the look of her small kitchen (which was all white) by putting new fabric on the bar stool seats and painting one accent wall. Soooo much cheerier!!
All in all, your kitchen looks terrific but it is far more work than I would be physically able to do and my husband works 10 hour days plus weekends; we're just glad he has a job! One other hint I would share is IKEA... we found very modern 12" long wooden handles on sale there ($2.50 a set of two) and even some cabinets with roll top stainless steel fronts that we added along a wall that had no cabinets. They had been over $200 each and we got them for $49 each.

Donna said...

Sandy, your new kitchen is gorgeous....i really like the new countertops and the darker cabinets! I also like the green paint (walls) although that's not new! :) You guys did a great job! I also love your HUGE window but boy, that pretty sunshine sure can ruin things by fading them----amazing how much difference there is in your tabletop and the pedastel. I wouldn't worry about moving out that vintage singer cabinet---it looks good and makes a unique storage piece!! I like it! As for the barstools, it's hard to tell the scale in the photo, but they do look a bit large for the space. I can't tell about the size of the Amazon ones but both sets are nice, style-wise. I would just base it on size relative to space, although an earlier commenter makes a good point about considering comfort, too. Thanks for sharing! So much fun to peek into others' spaces and especially when it's a before and after!

Bonnie said...

I love your kitchen did a lovely job. My husband and I are giving our home a facelift as well. but we own a remodeling company and a custom closet company, so it's about time the shoe cobbler's children got some shoes!
I so appreciate the passage from Emerson that you posted. It's dead on target! Thanks for sharing it!

Personally Created (Michele) said...

I love the piece from Emerson! You should print it, frame it, and hang it in your home. Handles and knobs make pretty jewelry for your doors and drawers, but they can get so grimy! I am a horrible housekeeper, so my first question is always, "What can I do to make this easier to keep clean?" (I'm still dumbfounded by the design of a toilet. The people who decided to form the outside of the base to the pipes obviously had never cleaned a bathroom used by young boys!) My barstools stick out from under the bar about as far as your new ones. It took a while to get used to the look, but they don't really get in the way. I'd say if you're not tripping over them, they're not too big. Congratulations and enjoy your new room!

Kathy/NorthCarolina said...

Your new kitchen is so lovely. I really like all the sweet vintage touches you have in it, but it is not at all cluttered or fussy. Beautiful.

We redid our kitchen about 5 years ago, and it is a huge job. We had to actually replace our cabinets as they were press/fiber board and 25 years old, not real wood. One thing that I learned is that if you look for a local showroom as opposed to a big box store, you can actually save quite a lot of money. And the local company we dealt with provided a designer at no additional cost, so that was really nice.

Your island is amazing! You must love all the space it provides you. I agree with you...the stools from Amazon would look better in there, but that's just my opinion.

Enjoy your beautiful new space...I know you are glad that it is done!

Debbie K. said...

Your house looks amazing, Sandy! Home projects are a LOT of work but well worth the effort. Thanks for sharing the photos and helpful tips. Have a great week!

Darlene said...

WOWZA! Your kitchen redo is GORGEOUS! Well worth the wait! (I know ... easy for me to say!) Thanks so much for sharing all the photos and tips!! HUGS from OHIO

Unknown said...

GORGEOUS kitchen Sandy!! You and Scott did a marvelous job, looks like a professional did it! I love the layout and all the open space you have. The vintage sewing cabinet looks terrific and adds wonderful charm! I agree with Charlotte Z about the bar will use them so much more if they are comfortable to sit in! Personally I love the look of your cupboards and drawers without the knobs and it's so much easier to keep clean without them.
I'm SO impressed with all the work you did yourself and your beautiful style. Thanks for sharing!