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Learning and Teaching Sustainability

Kitchen Renovation Part 4 – The Big Reveal

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Are you ready for the big reveal of our kitchen makeover? If you're not already caught up, be sure to check out:
Part 1 - Before + Design Plan
Part 2 - Construction Begins
Part 3 - Construction Progress and Design Finishes

Things were starting to come together by the end of Part 3. The new window opening had been created, and the cabinets and countertop were installed. The construction process dragged on for over two months when it was originally only scheduled to last 4-6 weeks. We had inspectors come multiple times to sign off on electrical and plumbing work. It was frustrating living in a construction zone without a working kitchen, so I was very relieved when the work was finally complete.

BEFORE (below left)
You can see the kitchen work in progress. We removed all the existing cabinets, and reconfigured the appliance layout.

AFTER (below right)
On the right, the new kitchen is complete! The cabinets are simple, classic Shaker-style - navy blue on the bottom and white on top. I knew I wanted to do something interesting on the backsplash. I'm a huge fan of Moroccan inspired cement tiles, and I love the look of an intricate geometric pattern. I debated going with this slightly more colorful Barcelona option, but ultimately decided on this pattern: Neo 1. It's got beautiful lines, but the black-and-white color scheme feels versatile and classic. I think it will appeal to more people when we try to sell the place down the line.

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BEFORE
The kitchen was originally closed off from the rest of the living room by a solid wall. When we bought the place, you can see that the microwave was positioned dangerously low over the stove. The refrigerator was big and bulky, and the back wall of the kitchen was covered in mirror like it was the 80's.

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AFTER
As you can see, opening up the kitchen wall really brightened up the space. The kitchen feels so much more spacious, and it really flows into the living area making it much easier to entertain and have friends over. We moved the stove and microwave to the back wall, making the most of our tight kitchen space. The hanging fruit basket is great because it keeps the countertop clear and holds plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. As you can see we love plants. We clipped off a string of ivy and planted it in some water for a little greenery by the sink.

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BEFORE (below left)
Previously, the kitchen felt dark and cramped.

AFTER (below right)
The new layout and window opening make the kitchen feel bright, spacious and open.

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BEFORE
Previously, a solid wall separated the kitchen from the living area.

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AFTER
Now the countertop extends through the window opening creating a little bar area. I might add a couple stools there later. For now, it's nice to have that open space to interact between the living room and kitchen. I can talk to friends while cooking, or use the countertop to serve meals buffet style.

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BEFORE
Here's the original view looking towards the dining room. The kitchen is behind the wall on the right.

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AFTER
The whole space is really bright and open now. The living room, dining room, and kitchen all flow into each other to create a welcoming gathering space.

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BEFORE (below left)
The original kitchen felt dark and crowded. In addition to changing the appliance layout, we decided to open up the ceiling to maximize height in this small space.

AFTER (below right)We went from a galley-style kitchen (a narrow walkway between two cabinet walls) to a U-shaped kitchen with cabinets on three sides of the room.

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To be honest, I do have one regret about this kitchen makeover, and that is the refrigerator. It's really huge (36" wide) and takes up a lot of visual space. I like the stainless steel finish, and in-door water dispenser. It's also nice that it is counter-depth, which means it doesn't stick out too far past the front of the cabinets. But ultimately, it's more space than we need for this small kitchen, and I would have preferred more cabinet space and a cleaner look.

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I am really happy with the single bowl sink. I debated getting a double bowl sink which I've had in the past. But it's really nice to have a big basin to wash larger pots and pans.

We did salvage the cabinet knobs from the original kitchen. They are these little green crystal balls. I thought they were cute, and added a nice touch of color.

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Ok, so are you wondering how much it all cost? Well, here's the breakdown of our kitchen renovation budget:

PERMITS AND FEES
Architectural Drawings: $2,300.00
Permit Fees: $2,226.34
Permits and Fees Subtotal: $4,526.34

MATERIALS AND FINISHES
Backsplash Tile: $521.00
Countertop Slab: $998.82
Sink: $182.37
Faucet: $214.39
Appliances (refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher): $2,631.47
Custom cabinets: $9,968.00
Materials and Finishes Subtotal: $14,516.05

LABOR
Open Kitchen Wall: $2,100.00
Remove Soffit in Kitchen Ceiling: $869.00
Electrical: $1,200.00
Plumbing: $2,780.00
Painting: $1,500
Countertop Installation: $,1500
Labor subtotal: $9,949.00

GRAND TOTAL = $28,991.39

So all in we spent about $30,000 on this kitchen renovation. It's definitely not cheap, but I consider it an investment into the property. Many homeowners don't like to deal with the mess and stress of renovation projects.  The new kitchen could increase the value of the property by $50,000 or more, so hopefully this renovation will pay for itself when we sell down the line.

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Thanks for following along with our kitchen renovation project. I hope you enjoyed it, and learned a thing or too. Want to get the same look in your kitchen? Here's how:

Collage

1. Drawer Pulls 2. Countertop 3. Shaker style cabinets. Upper Color: White, Benajmin Moore PM-2 4. Sink 5. Faucet 6. Refrigerator 7. Green Crystal Knobs 8. Stove 9. Backsplash Tiles
(ordered from Daltile) 10. Lower Cabinet Color: Juniper Berries, Behr PPU13-02
Not pictured: MicrowaveDishwasher

About the author: Laura Weatherbee
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