I’m dreaming of a new kitchen.  Let me wow you with beautiful, inspirational pictures before showing you my less-than-photogenic space (my kitchen and 7th-grade-me have so much in common):


Canadian House and Home

LOVE: Subway tile, open shelving above the sink, corbels and trim beneath the cabinets


Elle Decor

LOVE: white subway tile with dark grout, tiled walls, mismatched cabinetry and countertops, brass everything, and that glorious natural light


Home Depot

LOVE: Shiny backsplash (it makes the room feel bright and reflects the light so well), rustic open shelving, white shaker cabinetry, mix of metal finishes


LOVE: subway tile, open shelving, industrial look

Liess Home

LOVE: Mixture of modern and rustic cabinetry, gold faucet, industrial shelving above cabinets, oven vent

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LOVE: stamped concrete tiled floor, subway tiled walls, shaker cabinetry, brass hardware, upcycled antique cabinet, built-in open shelving (between the studs)


LOVE: Can you even tell this is a kitchen?!?  Those antique built-ins used as kitchen storage is just DIVINE.

When we first moved into our home, this is what our kitchen looked like: cheap (plastic) cabinetry with basic silver hardware, stainless steel appliances, and honed granite.  I wish I knew who decided to “update” the kitchen with expensive appliances and granite on top of plastic cabinetry…

DC8542886 - Kitchen

Kitchen (Before)

DC8542886 - Kitchen

Kitchen (Before)

When we first moved in, I spray painted the hardware gold to match my style more, painted the backsplash area black to match the granite, attempted to install under-cabinet lighting (that failed), exchanged the faucet for a new brass one (my birthday gift from my husband), and built a pantry in the laundry closet (located in the kitchen).  These changes have held me over, but I use this kitchen a lot… A LOT.  I cook 20 meals per week in this kitchen, and I have discovered it does NOT work well for me.  Of course, an entirely new kitchen does not work well with my budget.

The Good:

  • Countertops (Although I’m not a huge fan of granite, it is great for its heat resistance and low maintenance.  I do appreciate its honed (unpolished) finish that somewhat resembles soapstone (my favorite countertop material).
  • Appliances (They’re new.  They work.  They’re better than anything else I’ve ever owned.)

The Bad:

  • Plastic, white cabinetry (It’s bowing in spots under the weight of my dishes, and the interior has bubbled and scratched from use.)
  • Layout (There’s an entire corner of the kitchen that is empty space.  I wish they had installed a lazy Susan into it, but instead they walled it off and it’s unusable.)
  • Size (Thanksgiving dinner was quite difficult to prepare in here.  There’s barely enough prep space for a couple of items, and there’s certainly not enough room for more than 1-2 people to work.)
  • Light (There are two can lights in this room and no windows.  Enough said.)

My original plan was to purchase nicer cabinets off of Craigslist and make them work for our space.  After a lot of research though, I discovered that removing (and reusing) granite was not an easy task.  Apparently, it frequently breaks upon removal.  In other words, unless we wanted to splurge on a full kitchen makeover (we don’t) removing the cabinetry wasn’t going to happen.

NEW plan: keep the cabinetry and modify it to make it work for us…

My only goal is to keep this entire “remodel” as cheap as possible without sacrificing style and function.  I’m excited to see what we’ll accomplish on a tight budget!