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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kitchen Remodel...almost

New Year, New Projects....

fine, so maybe they are old projects that are FINALLY going to get finished....
at any rate, we are finishing the kitchen!

 (this is in-progress, so the charming orange formica and hood are gonzo!)


Here's the deal with our was heinous. It's still half-heinous, because it's only half done.

Imagine, if you can stomach it, dark wood laminate cabinets with fugly 1960's hardware, an orange and yellow formica backsplash, a giant vented hood over the stove, and really cheap, really permanently dirty laminate flooring...yep, the original kitchen to our 1960's home.

Also image virtually no budget to gut and start over...let me tell you, I've lived with that fondue-commercial kitchen for far, FAR too long!

So we ripped out the drop ceiling and oh-so-flattering florescent tube lighting. Instant improvement! We tossed around a ton of ideas before settling on tin ceiling tiles. How fortunate for us that there is an amazing manufacturer of reproduction tin ceiling tiles in Sarasota, American Tin Ceilings.

We drove over and picked out our favorite. The owner was SO nice (coincidentally, the person who helped us was Ken and his wife was Michelle...) we left with some extras to practice painting and for other projects.  They do mainly mail-order business, so if you are in the market for tin ceiling tiles, they are your guys!  Their patterns are reproductions from old tiles pulled from salvage. Cool, right?

(this is the pattern we chose)

We started putting up the wood sub-ceiling to attach the tiles to,
and of course, we need to paint and seal them before installing....but it's PROGRESS!

The upper cabinets are actually done. We removed to doors, lined the back of each cabinet box with bead board, framed out the edges for a finished look, applied trim to the shelves, and painted it all soft white. This was before chalk paint came into our lives, so we used a product made from cabinets. It was a messy project, due to sanding and priming all the cabinets, but it's held up great. We also installed vintage brackets under the shelves for a truly bespoke look.

Kenny installed subway tile where the orange backsplash once was...we chose a sandy colored grout for a bit of definition. The wires you see are for under-cabinet lighting that will be hidden from view

I was afraid of open cabinets...I'd heard they were a nightmare to keep clean! Once a week, usually after a large meal when most of the dishes are in the dishwasher, I wipe down the surfaces with a warm cloth. That's it. Easy peasy.  If you display dishes you don't use often, they might get a bit gunky, but we use just about everything in the open cabinets daily.
Did I mention we just pulled up the hideous vinyl flooring? Yep. Guess what was underneath? No, not beautiful hardwood...just hard concrete. Actually, really ugly, glue-stained concrete. Thankfully, the wood for the floors is already purchased and awaiting installation.

The hold-up is a French door. I need one to replace an ugly sliding glass door. I can't find one used that is the right size, and I don't want to spend a fortune on a new the hunt continues. I know if I am patient, I will find the perfect door...the problem is, it's holding up the entire kitchen! I think a compromise might have to be in our future!
We've purchased an undermount white iron sink (custom order return at Lowe's for $50...retail $500....SCORE), and we'll be installing our own butcher-block countertops from Ikea (that will be a blog post unto itself, I'm sure!)

Here is the light fixture Kenny rigged up for me so I could see in the kitchen

and here is the fixture that will soon be replacing it (yes, I bought new!)

Which brings us to the lower cabinets...this weekend's project! We'll be using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
this time around, sealed with lacquer.
Our initial plan was to replace the lower cabinets, but then, I saw THIS stencil and my heart went pitter-patter!  How GREAT is this?  I not only got the Bistro Lettering, but also the ancillary stencils that we're going to use all over the kitchen in lots of fun ways.
Royal Design Studio really does have the best stencils, stencil cremes, and they are ASCP stockists, too!  We LOVE them MUCHO!

When it's all done, we're hoping for something in this vicinity, only much smaller (sadly...)

(You can view all our Kitchen inspiration on Pinterest)

If we are M.I.A. for a bit, you'll understand why!

Adios for now,

Kenny and Michele


  1. Oh my! It's gonna be great I can tell. Love the ceiling to be. Love the open cabinets though it would never work for me cuz I only have mismatched stuff and I'm a slob,lol.

    We recently redid out kitchen, it too was horrible. Cabinets had to be replaced. I'll have to post some pics in an album on my fb page. We also did a 1/2 bath and NEED to do the main bath. It has maralite walls, UGH!

    1. Norma, I had shrimp pink Fiestaware...I replaced all my dishes w white and glass...was so worth it! Now, when I see cool vintage white dishes, I know it will all work together.

  2. Very useful content with excellent ideas. I really appreciate your post, thank you for sharing.
    Tampa Kitchen remodeling

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  5. Those subway tiles add so much variety. It's such a new and unique idea. Most cabinets look plain despite being colorful. I bet those tiles also look good in other colors!

    Chase Conely

    1. Thanks Chase. These are all pretty simple projects that any experienced DIYer can tackle...

  6. You have expressed your thoughts in an excellent manner. It’s really timely that I saw your blog because I’m considering a renovation project for my home. Our home is like a hand-me-down from my parents, and I think I have to renovate it first before my wedding. These pointers here might make my home a better place to start a family.

    Keaton Oakes

    1. Go for it, Keaton! It only has to please you and your don't have to spend a fortune!

  7. I'm with Keaton! My house was given by my parents and I want it remodeled, I guess it's the perfect time for me to do it. I'm not really an expert when it comes to renovations and remodels, so ideas and pointers are much appreciated! :)

    1. Kristopher, my husband used to be a contractor, so granted, that helps! But really, these were not super complicated projects. Good luck to you!