my kitchen revamp - the befores


Welcome to the first post in my room by room series.  This is where I hope to revamp our 1400 square foot storybook cottage one room and one month at a time on a teeny, tiny budget.  I'm starting with the busiest room in the house...our kitchen.

Grab a cup of coffee, this is going to be a long post.

I took a few pictures of my kitchen the morning after our 4th of July BBQ.  This is a real peek at how our kitchen functions on a normal day.  It took all my restraint not to crop or edit them in any way but I really wanted to show you the problems I have in here and what I'm hoping to accomplish with this mini revamp.

So, here goes...

This is the view of our kitchen from the dining room and front door.  It's a decent size space but the counters and cabinets are narrow and limited so it always looks cluttered.  One of my main goals is to maximize the storage we do have and that involves purging what I don't use on a regular basis so that I can fit the things we do use into the existing cabinet space.  The best part about this fix is that it costs zero dollars.

With the exception of a small cabinet we use for a pantry, this one wall of cabinets and counter top is it. Because of the over flow of snacks and baby paraphernalia stored on the counter, I rarely use this area for food prep.  The good news is that the counter tops are fairly new quartz in a neutral tone and the cabinets are solid wood and in pretty good shape.

This island is my main prep area and I am happy with it.  There are actually two islands connected in an L-Shape. The one along the window wall is my baking area and I like it, as well.  Both areas could stand to be decluttered to maximize efficiency.

The cabinet to the right is my pantry area.  It is full and needs to be better organized.  I need to make room to store the extra soda and water so that it's not left out on the floor.

I love the natural light that these large windows let in but they open to the street so they need to be covered for privacy.  Currently there are white wood like blinds on them that function well enough but are a constant source of grease and dirt collection due to their proximity to the range and food prep area.  I am thinking I'll replace the valance and blinds with washable curtains on clip rods.

The range is only a year old and I am so lucky to have it.  As you can see, there is no vent over the stove which is a big part of the grease and grime problem I face in here.  I usually just open the window in the door next to the stove for venting.  I purchased a ductless hood vent online for $85.00, that I'm hoping will do the trick.  The other thing I want to change is the gap area between the stove and the refrigerator.  The fridge can be moved over another six inches toward the window so I am going to have my husband build a small counter area between the two appliances so that I have a place to rest my spoon while cooking.

In spite of the large windows the overall feeling of the room is dark and while I love the red cabinets, I think they are a large contributor to the darkness.  I am going to paint the uppers only a creamy white.  The walls in here will also be getting a coat of white paint.  The lighting fixture is being replaced as well.

The shelf over the door is coming down.  I think less on the walls and over the fridge will declutter visually. The wood laminate floors are fairly new and I still love them so replacing flooring is not necessary.

Well that's it, the good, the bad and the ugly.  My plan is to finish by the end of July and stick to a budget of $500.00.   Any thoughts?

xo, Patty


  1. Hi Patty. I love your kitchen already. Are your cabinets red? It's a little hard to tell on my screen but I like that your kitchen is colorful. The only thing I would do is get as much stuff as possible off the counters. In fact, I'd start by removing every single thing and then add back very selectively....that's if you can hide some of it in the cabinets. That would make you feel like you have more room.

  2. Patty,
    Like you, dear friend. . .I don't have enough counter space!!!
    In our Galley Style Kitchen each counter space is chopped into 26" ~36" surfaces!!!
    By editing, I manage to keep the large appliances off the counter tops. . .
    but then it's down on my knees to retrieve them for cooking and baking.
    Not a "good thing" !!!
    I can see that vertical space for your kitchen is limited as well.
    I think you're going to enjoy the vent hood for your range.
    Once I painted our dark walnut cabinets Paperwhite, it helped lighten the space.
    If the bi~fold doors in the Dining Area were a pantry. . . space issues would be solved!
    But then. . .where to do the laundry???
    In my Senior years, I'm not about to move that to the lower level!!!
    I'll be observing your kitchen make~over for inspiration, dear one!!!
    Thank you for sharing with us!!!

  3. You have such a cute, colorful and fun kitchen. I'm anxious to see the transformation.

  4. SInce our house is DIL commented last night that we had too much stuff on the counters. We weren't having a showing and as my husband said we are just living. I told her not to worry when we do have a showing everything gets hidden. So well, I can't find it. Found my Kindle under the bathroom sink....that wasn't funny. Found my phone charger in the cookie jar, I laughed at that. I like the shelf over the door. I noted it right away. I think with the counters cleared it doesn't look cluttered being on the shelf. I don't know how you would not have stuff on your counters with 3 generations under one roof, esp. a baby. Looks like a fun kitchen.

  5. Hi Patty! Oh my I just love redo's!!! You are so talented so I know this is going to be fabulous! What a charming house. My only thought and it might not be possible because I don't know the rest of the space near the kitchen. How about taking out the baking island. Move those items to the counter top. Put island near kitchen and place all the baby items underneath. Perhaps you could move the other island lengthwise under the window. That would free up space in the kitchen. I really liked having my mixer out on the main island because it's pink but I realized that I don't use it enough to give it priority space so it's out of the way on a side counter. If you need to have both in the kitchen my other thought was to paint the bottom of the main island white so it flows with the baking island and the cabinets you'll be painting white. Your house is so pretty. Can't wait to see what you do!

  6. I think you are spot on with your ideas. I decluttered the cupboards when I redid the kitchen and it was awesome! I kept only the bowls and dishes I use all the time. It really is a breath of fresh air to get rid of the visual clutter in a small kitchen. Sometimes the things we put up for decoration are pretty but add so much visual noise that it can be counterproductive. I tried to clear it all with the idea that if I want to add something back in later I can. Instead it has spurred me on to get rid of even more throughout the house! You have a darling kitchen already, ( I LOVE those cabinets!) it's going to be even prettier when you are done:>)

  7. Great post! I'm so excited to see how it looks 'after'! I think the simple ways you plan on making will really make a huge difference- I hope you're able to stick with you budget, too!

  8. Wonderful post! I think painting will help a lot...although I do love the color and just changing the top will be awesome. I am looking forward to seeing your updates!! Happy Monday!!

  9. I share some of the same flow issues that you do and am looking forward to see what you come up with. I love make-overs that are on tiny budgets...good luck and best will be fun!

  10. I love the color in your kitchen. When your hubs builds you the area next to the stove, have you thought of using the vertical space below the counter to store your baking sheets and things like that, or perhaps specifically for baby items? I, too, like the shelf above your door. Could you make that a "working" shelf and put some of the bowls you use / but not every day up there? The colors would be pretty and it would be a shelf for kitchen items you use instead of just for display. Just a few thoughts..... I think the cabinets are going to be wonderful and lighten up the area as you said. Can't wait to see the results!!

  11. I can't wait to see the transformation! I love a good make over!!

  12. I think you have some great ideas going and I can't wait to see what it looks like when you're done! I love your red cabinets but I agree that by painting the top ones a creamy white, it will really open up the space and make it brighter. You'll still have the splash of the pretty red by leaving the bottom cabinets that color. I also agree with the decluttering of the countertops and removing the shelf above the door. Will help the space look more open. I'm just trying to think of what you could do with those two islands. Seems they take up a lot of useful space how and where you have them set up. I wish I could see your space in's hard to make suggestions based on photographs.

  13. I'm excited to see how you improve things!

  14. Hi Patty! Oh my gosh, I have missed so many posts!! I have been here to catch up. Sounds like you had a nice 4th of July celebration!
    Now, your kitchen! I love it! I love the homey feel! I love the red cabinets! I love the islands that are used to add additional counter space and storage! You and I have many of the same problems with our kitchens! Mine is also long and narrow. VERY little counter space. But we have made it work. We also need to do a makeover in there. So I am really excited to see how and what you wind up doing to yours! I will be waiting! I know it will be great!!!
    xo kris

  15. Cannot wait to see the restyling! I love the pics of your loved kitchen!

  16. Patty, what a fun series you're doing on updating your house on a budget! I'll be following every step that I can! I'm anxiously awaiting to see the after of your kitchen now! :) your work will pay off! ;)

  17. Probably a silly question, but WHERE did you get get the shelf above your door? I am looking for two above door shelves and don't have any idea where to go to find one!

  18. Probably a silly question, but WHERE did you get the shelf over your door? Did you make it or buy it? I am trying to find a shelf for above my kitchen doorway and another to put above my single dining room window and don't have any clue where to purchase!


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