The Kitchen: Before & After

The kitchen before we purchased.

Like most women I know, the kitchen tends to be my area. I haven’t had a great kitchen and people to cook for all at the same time in years — since I lived in Alma and we had standing Thursday night dinners. So, I LOVED the size and scope of the kitchen, the newly updated cupboards, the storage space, the ability to have people in the kitchen with you but not (in the breakfast dining space/whatever you want to call it).

Appreciate this fan and its age along with the brass handles on the cupboards, then say 'see ya'!

And, in the interest of full disclosure, I will say this. I was using some pears to decorate my apartment, I have a black sign that says, in white, ‘Fresh Pears’ or something like that. I have a SUPER COOL pear shaped cookie jar. I’ve really been on a pear kick.

However, what you can’t see from the photo above is that the wallpaper on the walls is COVERED in pears. In purple, green and who knows what other color. The border on the soffets were pears, too. In all, it was an over abundance of a rather tasty fruit and it HAD to go.

So, one day when Jon was down at the training center and I was at home, I decided that I’d start in on wallpaper removal. Keep in mind that we had discussed doing the office first (where I ironically sit now, staring at another wall of ugly wallpaper). However, the furniture in the way meant I couldn’t begin without someone to help me, so I went for it in the kitchen. See my earlier blog post about that…

Jon came home and while he did not IMMEDIATELY show his displeasure with my decision (that came sporadically over the next two weeks, when I didn’t even see it coming), I knew it was going to be a big project. But I couldn’t wait to get started and get it done.

So, though Jon is still putting the finishing touches with some touch up paint around the rooms, it is for the most part complete with new paint, new hardware, new ceiling fan and new light fixture above the dining ‘nook’ (really need to find a name to call that space).

Without further ado…

The nearing-completed kitchen with two coats of gray paint, new hardware and a new ceiling fan!!

So, you’ll notice the hardware on the drawers – that was purchased from — really cool pewter handles. The ceiling fan is a Harbor Breeze from Lowe’s. The paint took two coats of “Honest Abe” (not to mention the primer) and two coats of “Empire State” (Honest Abe is darker — live and learn, I needed to go another shade lighter on the ‘light gray’ choice…now I know).

Here’s a breakdown of what we spent:

40 Handles: $67.96 ($1.69 each) @

Ceiling Fan: $122.30 @ Lowe’s

8 Light-Track Light: $86.80 @ Lowe’s

3 Knobs for Pantry Doors: $10.59 @ Lowe’s ($3.59 each)

3 Gallons of Paint @ Menards: $69.90

Grand Total for Room-Specific Costs: $357.55

In addition, because we’re first-timers in this area, we had to invest in wall patch/spackling, brushes, paint trays, rollers, tape, sanding sponges, etc. This total came to : $186.29

All total, that’s $543.84 to get a room nearly COMPLETELY updated. As Jon just pointed out, we don’t yet have blinds…but I’m doing the entire front of the house at once with that and I’ll of course clue you in to how much money we save doing that one.

I feel pretty damn good about the fact that we spent just over $350.00 and got a brand-new feeling kitchen. Even Jon, an eternal pessimist I swear, says it wasn’t that bad. Two weeks of our time (and it’s not like we were rushing) and a few bucks and we’ve made this old house start to feel like our own.

Now, on to the next room!!

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