I’m participating in the One Room Challenge for Spring 2019 by renovating our kitchen! The ORC is a bi-annual 6-week intensive renovation that takes a room from start to finish. Bloggers from all over the world participate. 20 designers are chosen to be featured designers, along with guest participants like me. The Spring 2019 challenge will be my first time, and I’m PUMPED!
And in case you’re new here – welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by. I’m Catherine, the voice behind DIY Without Fear. Just like you, I love sinking my teeth into a new home project, dream about knocking down all.the.walls. and spending WAY too much time looking at homes I can’t afford on Pinterest. I consider it my mission to help other homeowners DIY without fear – you can achieve anything you set your mind to! I’ve tackled some majorly big projects so far in my quest to fix up our fixer upper, and I can’t wait to tackle even more!
Because it’s such an intensive renovation over such a short time period, my posts will be once a week for the next six weeks. That’s the only way I can complete everything on my to-do list. Check back every Wednesday for an update! And I bet you can already guess what room I’m doing – our kitchen.
The Layout and Problems
The layout is terrible and is one of the largest reasons we’re diving into this renovation. The builder squeezed everything into one side of the kitchen, making it seems way smaller than it actually is. The second part of the gif is the new layout.
Just to give you an idea of where our kitchen started, here are 10 of my biggest gripes.
- The faucet on the sink was broken and didn’t swing back and forth properly (and leaks).
- The sink was scratched something fierce, and the right bowl’s plumbing putty was disintegrating.
- The original laminate countertop had a big hole in it.
- The contact paper that we slapped on top of the countertop to hide the holes was peeling.
- The countertop near the wet areas was disintegrating.
- The cabinets were incredibly hard to open.
- The cabinets had been cleaned so many times that you can actually see the particleboard underneath because the finish is gone.
- Our microwave sounded like an AT-AT coming in to annihilate rebels.
- Most of the cabinets on the window wall were rotting and covered with mold.
- The layout is terrible. It’s like half of our kitchen is unusable.
It’s a fairly large sized kitchen, and the usability will be greatly improved with the new layout. There
To the right of that exterior wall is our cooking area – see how cramped it is? I’m really looking forward to actually having prep space when this renovation is said and done.
The wall directly across from the one with the windows is new. My husband and I framed it out, drywalled it, threw a few cabinets up, and finished tiling prior to the ORC since I knew we’d still need a place to prepare meals and store all our stuff once everything was demolished. As a family with two under two, there is just no way we could function with a completely gutted kitchen!
As for the rest of the room, we’ve already demoed the tile and cabinets, moved the sink, rewired everything, framed and drywalled a new wall, and built out the refrigerator wall. In other words, I already took care of the structural, plumbing, and electrical stuff. That’s not what you’re here to see in the ORC – it’s all the pretty design stuff and the things in front of the drywall!
With all of that out of the way, it’s time to talk the pretty stuff. In keeping with the style we’ve developed throughout our suburban neo-colonial(ish) home, I’m incorporating lots of neutrals, traditional shaker cabinet fronts, matte black fixtures to keep it current, and some raw steel elements as well to give it some edge. To give you an idea of what the finished space will look like, here are a few inspiration pictures.
I love the open shelving from Studio McGee in the first photo. And that herringbone in the second from Okayest Moms? Gorgeous. Jenna’s kitchen has an absolutely beautiful pairing of traditional shaker cabinets with modern pulls – the best of both worlds.
While I would LOVE to have the funds or sponsorships that the featured designers for
- I’m using the brand new AXSTAD line of kitchen cabinet fronts from IKEA.
- IKEA is also where I found our extra-large
- It will be a big upgrade to switch to the VARIERA organizers.
- I picked up this ultra-inexpensive subway tile for our backsplash. There will be a mixture of herringbone and traditional straight subway tile.
- We’ll be using IKEA’s EKBACKEN countertop in the concrete effect.
- I’m dreaming of this slate tile from Floor and Decor, but it might be out of our budget.
- I’m going with this faucet from Amazon. It’s beautiful, simple, and functional
- There will be open shelving on two walls – the window wall, and the one above the desk.
- We’re going with an ultra-deep sink from Amazon. It’s an undermount style, so stay tuned for how I’ll make that work with our laminate countertops.
- Greenery everywhere to break up all the white!
There is SO much to do in this space. Since we’re a young family with a tight budget (and I LOVE DIY), my husband Aaron and I will be doing everything ourselves.
- Install brand new cabinetry
- Organize every drawer, shelf, and cubby
- Tile a new backsplash all the way to the ceiling
- Install an
undermountsink with our laminate countertops (stay tuned for that one!)
- Install gorgeous cabinet pulls
- Paint the pantry door a fun color/replace it with a glass one?
- Build a custom range hood
- Trim out the doorways into the kitchen
- Install undercabinet lighting
- Install new window coverings
- Hang steel open shelving for our dishes
- Replace the pass-through with some bookshelves on each side, while still maintaining the openness I love
- Trim out the windows
- And I know I will probably think of 10,000 other things that I want to include along the way.
Want to help?
In conclusion, I’m going to need all the encouragement I can get complete my kitchen for the Spring 2019 one room challenge. I’d love if you would come over on Instagram and tell me what you think, or leave a comment here. I can’t wait to share the afters with you (and not live in a construction zone anymore!)