I’ve already showed quite a bit of my kitchen (here, here and here) but I wanted to show you the whole kitchen remodel and all of the DIY details in one post as well as talk a little about my countertops! I am so excited to have this space done. And I have to admit that I feel really proud of it! It’s not perfect by any means and it’s not my dream kitchen. But it is literally 1000% better than it was.
And most importantly, I did it all by myself! Every bit of this kitchen was DIY and I did it all while five months pregnant and with a toddler. In addition to working, blogging, doing a bunch of other projects, and working on Malissa and I’s new business venture (exciting things are coming!). So yeah, if that sounds a little conceited, I feel a little conceited about it, ok? :)
This kitchen was the last place of my house that I really felt like I needed to complete before we have this next baby. I’d love to get the nursery and craft room done as well, and plan to at least start both next month, but I don’t know that they will be completed before October. Really none of that matters though! Mainly because neither of those rooms are places you absolutely have to have the baby in. They’re out of the way, not a required passageway to the rest of the house like the kitchen is.
This kitchen sits right in the middle of our home. Which makes it not only hard to get beautiful, natural lighting (the blogger in me cares a lot about this haha) but also a required place of passage to get basically anywhere else. I don’t mind this now that the space is bright, colorful and new. But, when we moved in, this kitchen was a different story. There was a lot I didn’t like about it. Ugly light fixtures, a weird window, dark brown cabinets and old hardware. But mainly, all you really need to know is that the kitchen was carpeted.
The whole time I was ripping it out, I just kept thinking “what was wrong with everyone in the 70’s?!” I know it was kind of a thing to do back then and, for the life of me, I just cannot imagine whyyy. The one space that you’re basically guaranteed to spill in every time you use it and lots of people thought it was a great idea to make it impossible to fully clean up by putting a super absorbent surface there…so interesting.
And yes, the carpet in this kitchen was from the 70’s. It was 45 years old. It horrified me and it especially horrified me to imagine my baby crawling around on it…shudder.
Click through to see a before picture!
Gah right!? Check out that awesome diamond/floral maroon and gold carpet…yikes!
I really had a fun time remodeling this space! I got to do a lot of projects I’ve always wanted to try and I especially loved doing the laminate wood flooring. I honestly never thought it was a project I could do! Every time I’ve considered that kind of floor, I thought I’d need to hire people to come install it. I really, truly didn’t think I could until I looked into it a little more and thought “meh, why not just try it?” So I did! And you know what? It’s super easy! I actually had so much fun laying it down. The only part that sucked was all the cuts when we got to corners or towards the end of the room. Mainly we just had issues with our saw and this house isn’t exactly built evenly…
I also need to mention that this is the one part of the house I didn’t do totally alone. My dad gave up a whole Saturday to help me get a large portion of it done and my mom also sacrificed her day to watch Stella. I don’t know what I’d do without our parents, honestly! I love spending time with my dad around tools. He knows so much and I like to think of myself as the child who will inherit all that knowledge and equally impress my kids someday :)
I talk about the cabinets in this post and I’m super pleased with how they came out and the fun color they add to the space. But let’s talk about the biggest time commitment of this whole kitchen remodel. The countertops. I had honestly no idea that you could just do a concrete finish on top of laminante until a few months ago when I came across the idea of a feather finish. If you look it up, there are a ton of tutorials floating around on how to do it.
I was super excited because I’ve always wanted concrete counters but I sort of thought I’d never have them unless I got to do a legit remodel on a more permanent place in the future. And then I wasn’t totally convinced that it would be what I wanted in a forever home. You never know! So coming across the idea that I can do it myself and for very little money was immediately enticing to me.
Now that it’s over, here is my honest review of it. #1, it is messy but I didn’t fully sand down between each layer, just got out the big marks and did a good sanding on the last layer (I did 3 layers) so that was the only time the house got a nice thin coating of dust. #2, if you have curves in your countertop (like all the edges of my counters), it will take you forever. I think laying down each layer took me 6 hours.
#3 this counter doesn’t whisk away grease of any kind. If you get anything oily on it before you lay down the sealant, that is permanent and will seep through any additional layers you lay on top. You’ll need to remove all the layers you’ve done and do more in that spot. Its a bitch. #4 even after the sealant was on, it still doesn’t handle oils well. I could have done more layers I think, I’m pretty sure I only did 4 or 5, and that would probably help.
So was it worth it? For me and this space, absolutely! I love the gray. I think it looks great, it was cheap and there really weren’t a lot of options for redoing these counters. I thought about painting them but when I researched that it didn’t seem to hold up well or look very nice. So overall I am happy with the result. I wish I had finished it all in one continuous setting (I started then visited Malissa for a week, then started other projects before I sealed it). And I wish I had completely avoided the kitchen food-wise in the meantime. If I could go back, I’d set aside a whole week to do it in and not allow any use of the space otherwise until it was all done.
So there it is! My happy little DIY space with colorful details and my thoughts on doing a feather finish countertop. It was a lot of work remodeling this kitchen but I feel so happy that it’s done and I enjoy being in it now. I no longer feel like I need to escape outside to eat every meal.
What do you think? Any details you’d like to add to your kitchen if you could? Anything you’d like more information on? Let me know in the comments!
PST! This kitchen was included in an awesome roundup over at Shutterfly of 100 kitchen decor ideas! Go check it out and see what other inspiring spaces they’ve collected.