Wednesday 7 November 2012

Budget Kitchen Redo - Part I

All I wanted to do was hang a shelf!!!

I'm a sensible woman.  Well, at least I'm trying to be!  As an interior designer, I know how costly a kitchen reno is and my home being 200 years old guarantees that hidden issues will surface and the costs will escalate.

The cabinetry is circa 1985.  While most of the rooms in this house have been gutted and rebuilt over the years I've owned it, the kitchen still has old drywall over lathe and plaster.

I accepted that I could not get into this kind of major project but what harm can there be in removing an old, hideous, useless microwave shelf? ~

Face it, putting some cookbooks and mason jars up there isn't doing anything to pretty this up!  Even Maeve's kitty butt can't help with pretty here!  She liked the shelf as a perch to watch me wash dishes.

Off comes the shelf and I stare in horror at this! ~

 This is bad.  This is really bad!  Sooo - I figure I'll put on my pro decorator hat and a pair of work gloves and lets see how cheaply I can spruce this kitchen up.  I've hit blogs and Pinterest for ideas and techniques and I'm sharing this makeover in the hopes that you'll get some ideas for your own projects.  I'm keeping careful track of the costs and I think I'll come in under $200.

Of course, busting out the plaster and fixing the cracks and holes was the first order of business.

I picked up this shelf at a yard sale for $1.  Someone had stripped it and found it wasn't worth refinishing.  I wanted a place to display vintage tea tins that belonged to my Grandmother. ~

I painted swipes of different shades of blue on it and added a crackle medium before putting a final coat of Benjamin Moore 2108-50 Silver Fox.  That's the colour I am painting all the oak veneer cupboards.  I added some numbers in a cobalt blue craft paint and three, hand forged, antique hooks that I bought at a flea market for $4 each.  ~

The hooks display a little collection of vintage cream pitchers. ~

Now, hanging that shelf was another whole ballgame!  This house was built by a pioneer, in between pulling stumps and ploughing fields with a horse.  Nothing is standard and I couldn't find a stud to anchor the shelf.  My brother in law came to help and he brought some self drilling anchors and spent a good hour trying to get the shelf up.  I kept saying, "All I wanted was a shelf!  Can it really turn into such a big deal?".  He was saying ummm - nothing.

So two weeks into the shelf fiasco, it's finally hung.  The doors are removed from the cupboard above and the oak trim painted in the Silver Fox.  I'll leave this as an open cupboard and next post I'll show you how I dressed up the interior. ~  

Wanna see the before again? ~

And the after! ~

I'm putting a lot of man (okay, woman) hours into this kitchen but I'm actually having a ton of fun with sticking with my Thrift, Gift, Reworked & Found goal!  

Wait until you see how I reworked the hardware! 

I'm sharing this with Saturday Nite Special


  1. Love it Maureen!!!
    Please tell me you're going to fill in those screw holes lol
    Did you have to cut the shelf to size or did you just get lucky and it was " meant to be?"

    1. The holes in the cupboard wall will all be covered!

  2. It looks beautiful Maureen, I'm glad you got it up, what a pain with the wall. Can't wait to see the hardware.

  3. Open shelves really do make such a difference!

  4. It's lovely Maureen. I like the numbers on the shelf. We have totally given up on our old house. When I spent months painting the 13 foot walls and then the plaster cracked after six months I gave up.

  5. I think even if I had all the money in the world I would still want to do things on a tight's just more fun that way...using your creative noodle. You did great! This is awesome!

  6. It looks great. Now you'll have some fun with it. Good job!

  7. Love it! It looks so airy and smart! What a difference. I've missed your blog for the past few days and wondered if that piece of missing wall had turned into an even bigger problem. (From one who renovates old houses herself, LOL)

  8. Maureen,
    It's funny how sometimes those simple little projects turn out to be bigger than you thought it would be. It looks really nice. I like the open cabinet and your shelf looks really nice too. Hope you got my return email. Have a great day.
    Pat @ Pat's Pink Apron

  9. This is so much fun. I love to see the treasures that you find and the end result.

  10. Totally awesome! I have 1980's builders melamine cabinets in my kitchen and trying to figure out ways of sprucing things up....they are so ugly. I don't think I can keep it under $200 though! Cathy

  11. Your hard work paid off, the new shelf looks so much better. Can't wait to see the rest.
    Isn't it satisfying to be able to do it on a shoestring !

  12. I will be carefully following your progress as you remodel this kitchen. Mine is a youngster compared to yours -1949 remodeled by a DIY'er in 1960. When we moved in we primed and painted all the cabinets that were stained Jacobean. Now it is time for those cabinet doors to be junked and new ones installed, but I do not want to spend money on it. So I am ready for any help!

  13. Love the after, Maureen. I can tell you're having fun.

  14. Love it Maureen, I bet the kitchen looks brighter.

  15. nice work! (and it's always the smallest projects that end up driving me crazy. awesome after.)

  16. Fabulous!! That is one pretty makeover and I am totally jealous of those tea tins!! Now I just want you to makeover a little nightlight and plug it in that outlet there to show them off even more!! (I don't need me adding to your projects list!)

  17. Looks fabulous! You're so creative.