Jaw dropping is not a term I like to just throw around, but I think this makeover earned it. Emily’s got lots of info about her makeover, so I’ll just let her dive right in and show it off to you guys. Here’s her letter:
We bought this house as a foreclosure a little over two years ago. We got such a great deal on the house that it hasn’t been as difficult to save our money for the updates it needs. The house was built in 1987 and the interior had not been touched since, except for adding a layer or two of wallpaper over the original wallpaper. Floral explosion all up in the house! I really enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen, so that room was always on the top of my list to re-do as soon as possible. Our kitchen was so icky feeling – the formica countertops were stained, loose from the cabinets, and just plain old (but not in the cool vintage-y way).
I browsed for hours and hours on different design sites and I eventually fell in love with the look of bi-color cabinetry. I felt like it would give me a little bit of a modern look without being too much, because I always have re-sale value in my head when making changes to the house. I didn’t want to do something too crazy that it would be difficult to sell later on if we ever need to move.
In order to save big bucks, and not be wasteful, we had the cabinets re-painted rather than ripped out to buy new ones. We hired a contractor to do a lot of the work (mostly to save time… and our marriage) but we DIYed the whitewashed plank walls to cover the terrible attempt at my first wallpaper removal.
Adding the plank walls took two Saturdays with my husband and I both working on it, and I would say that it’s a moderately easy project to take on.
Thankfully my wallpaper mistake turned in to a design success.
Another big savings was in purchasing all of our appliances at IKEA during their kitchen sale. We were able to get our dishwasher, a 5-burner oven range, an exhaust hood, a microwave, and a wall oven for less than $4,000. Having the cabinet built to surround the refrigerator is hands-down the best decision I think I made in the kitchen. The built-in look makes the room look so finished and luxurious. And another easy DIY was the chalkboard wall. I like to feel relaxed in a room and the silliness of writing on the walls did the trick for me.
Another major cost saver was using subway tiles for the backsplash. We were able to get them for 21 cents each ($1.61 sq/ft). The countertops were a splurge though: a quartz product by Cambria (the color is called Torquay). It is such a low maintenance product which was the top reason for choosing it, but a close second was because it looks like Carrera marble!
Our dining table is from a Restoration Hardware Outlet. The list price is $1395 for the 96 inch table, but we got it for $600! The curtains are all from Ikea. The dining area feels so cozy now and we’re able to close the sheer panels for privacy. The chandelier is from West Elm. It’s a bit funky, but I felt that the space needed a little funk! I hope you like it! - Emily :)
Killer, right? And I think it’s a great reminder that mixing splurges and affordable DIYs while looking at outlets and big box stores for sales can add up to a polished and expensive looking finished product. Oh, and if this wasn’t enough house hotness for you, Emily’s got lots more on her blog. Thanks so much for sharing your kitchen Emily! Now let’s play the ol’ what’s-your-favorite-part game. Mine’s the dining table and the counters and Sherry’s are that red door behind the table and the dark paint on those french doors and the window sash over the sink.
We always love a big kitchen renovation when it comes to Reader Redesigns, but sometimes making over just the corner is enough to get us inspired bigtime. Just check out what Deme and her family did to the breakfast nook of their dated kitchen. Here’s her email:
Hi Young House Lovers! Your blogs is one of the highlights of my day and I wanted to share our breakfast nook with you. After removing a thick lacquered chair rail and scrapping layers of fruit patterned and 70′s wallpaper, we ended up with some pretty fugly untextured walls.
We started with a dark dungeon of a corner and ended up with something bright, fresh and uber functional for our young family of five!
I scored an L-shaped bench on craigslist to give us some additional seating (our previous table could seat four, leaving someone in our family out of luck at mealtime). We said goodbye to the honey finish, giving it a fresh coat of white paint.
Even though the benches were a pretty standard style, they had storage in the seats, which helped solve the problem of our art/craft supplies that were scattered throughout the house. We lined them with some graphic shelf paper and they now hold all of the kids’ painting/art supplies, homework necessities, and learning activities for our youngest bambinos.
When it came time to paint the walls, I planned to use stripes to help this corner feel larger. But I also can’t help but be pulled toward the ombre trend, so we went with a subtle ombre stripe treatment for our backdrop.
We used a digital scrap booking kit to break up one of our favorite Dr Seuss quotes into four prints (“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”). We framed them with some white lovelies we grabbed on sale at Target… they mark this space as a place to learn, explore, and create!
Overall we are so happy with the change to this little kitchen corner! It serves so many functions for us and I can’t help but smile whenever I walk into the kitchen… especially since the rest of the kitchen is in that ugly mid-cabinet-painting stage of DIY kitchen reno! ~Deme
It’s a fun update, right? I’m jealous of the storage benches. And I think the paint treatment on the wall is pretty awesome too. She’s got plenty more details and extra photos of the makeover (including updating their existing table and chairs) on her blog. Thanks for sharing Deme!
Psst- We did it. We survived hosting our very first Christmas dinner at our house. So of course Sherry’s hyper and giddy about sharing all of the photos and details next week (we’re spending the rest of the week with the family, but we’re dropping in with a little post today and another one for you tomorrow too). Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday!
When it comes to Reader Redesign submissions, sometimes it’s the room pictures that really get me, sometimes it’s the story behind the room, and sometimes it’s both. That’s why we loved the tale Julia and Chris’s studio tells… and the result is pretty sweet too. Here’s her letter: Hey John and Sherry, I wanted to share the studio we finished in our home. When our little family of three moved into our house last April, we had plans to turn the third upstairs bedroom (a seriously creepy and outdated nursery) into a second nursery for a second child.
After over a year and a half of no-such-luck in the baby department, we decided to open the door to the stale room and turn the room into a useable space that we could enjoy right now–a studio for me with room for our little girl, Greta, to “work” in too.
Over the course of a month and a half, we painted the walls a crisp white and the ceiling a lively turquoise. We changed the light fixture and the floor covering and the window treatments (which are actually two tapestries from Urban Outfitters) to inject life into this room.
What used to be a sad reminder of what we were wanting in our lives, became a beyond happy and exciting experience for our little family and the friends who cheered us on. One of the last projects I did was DIY a 3D quote on the wall that encompassed what this room represented, and our new mantra: “Be Open To Whatever Comes Next.”
Next on our agenda is having a picnic lunch right on the floor in here–we love it that much. Thanks for all that you do and your constant and daily inspiration! -Julia
I don’t say this very often about a room – but I think my favorite things about it are the ceiling and the floor. The color on the ceiling turns the whole space happy while the FLOR tiles below feel downright cozy. If you want more info on Chris & Julia’s makeover, hit up their blog for extra photos, sources, and links to the various DIY projects involved. And a big thanks to them for sending the inspiration our way! What about you guys? Do you have any favorite parts?