Project Kitchen: Before

When we were looking to move a couple years ago, one similarity occurred in every house we looked at - I didn't like the kitchen. And that's ok. I knew I could eventually turn one of them into my dream kitchen. Now, we're far from "dream kitchen" status, but we're on our way.

When we first walked into the house, the kitchen looked like this:

I know, stop the presses. That's gorgeous, right? (That last sentence was sarcasm, of course.) What didn't I like? Pretty much everything except the height of those upper cabinets. Oh how I longed for 42" high upper cabinets in my last kitchen.

The cabinets are, thankfully, in good condition so we are keeping those. The doors need help. The laminate is peeling and a few have white duct tape holding it on. No joke. Thank you, previous residents. My current plan to keep on budget is to strip the laminate off, prime and paint. I saw the idea on Pinterest so expect a follow up post on how well the idea actually works.

Using the island for our experiment - the laminate striped off completely

The flooring? I had fully planned to replace it, but before we did our pre-inspection walk through, it was already replaced with new, neutral up to date laminate seen in the above photos as part of the foreclosure process.

We've already replaced 2 of the appliances. The refrigerator was first as the one that came with the house was FULL of mold and nastiness thanks to lack of cleaning from previous residents and sitting turned off for months during the foreclosure process. It was beyond gross. Be thankful I'm not sharing photos. It was that bad.

Dishwasher before & after: from old, white & rusty to sleek, stainless

Next we replaced the dishwasher as the rusty prongs were ruining our white china. Trent took care of that installation and, during the process, we broke the kitchen faucet. No kidding. Turns out there is a small washer at the valve that eventually does dry up and break. When we turned off the hot water under the kitchen sink to attach the dishwasher, the washer shattered. When we turned the water back on, it shot the bits of the washer up the line into the faucet. When the plumber explained and told me it was unfixable, I laughed. I didn't like that faucet anyway and was happy for an excuse to replace it!

New faucet and soap dispenser

Now, we are starting on the next big project in the kitchen - the counter tops. I really, really don't like the blue laminate. The backsplash to wall was recaulked before we bought the house. In the last year and a half, it's been slowly cracking and splitting back apart. I just laugh. Easier to pull it out later!

Over the weekend we visited a home show and started talking to a couple of companies to get estimates on new counters. Thinking either granite or quartz. Leaning more toward the latter. We'll be replacing everything but the island. It's something else I don't like. Another plan there altogether and will have to be delayed until we're ready to replace the floor too.

Have you ever replaced counter tops in a home or done a kitchen remodel? Any tips for me?


  1. Looks like you guys are coming along on the kitchen remodel, the bare bones of that kitchen are great so I'm sure the final outcome will be awesome! Good luck with replacing the counter tops, sorry I don't have any tips to offer you!

    1. Thanks! Yes, the bones are good which is helpful. Still going to be an adventure for sure.

  2. Before we decided to move, we were in the planning process of a kitchen remodel. Good luck!!

    1. I did the opposite. Last house had a great kitchen and so much more cabinet space. I traded overall space gain for a not so great kitchen for now.

  3. Baby steps but that is the most economical way to do a project like this. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks! Definitely taking baby steps. One project at a time. :)


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