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Outdated kitchen cabinets, wallpaper and floors made these first-time homeowners wince every time they entered their kitchen. It was time for a kitchen remodel. Thanks to careful planning, frugal choices and a lot of elbow grease, they made this intimidating home improvement project both manageable and budget-friendly.
Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.
The first step in this major kitchen remodel was to undo some of the choices made by a previous owner:
With the countertops out of the way, it was easy to move the appliances, which had been awkwardly arranged on one side of the room, partially blocking a door. Only one foot of countertop separated the sink, stove and refrigerator.
Instead of replacing the cabinets, the homeowners saved money by painting the cabinets they had. The original handmade pine cabinets had a clear polyurethane finish atop a dark stain. Although in good condition, they made the room feel tiny, so the homeowners chose to paint them white. They:
Self-adhesive vinyl squares are an easy and expensive way to brighten up a floor. It was simple to cover up the old linoleum without having to remove it:
1. The homeowners cleaned the floor with TSP.
2. They applied a floor primer followed by a liquid underlayment, which filled in any cracks or texture in the old linoleum for a completely smooth surface.
3. The squares were carefully put into place.
White paint further lightened the room and made it seem larger. This presented a clean slate for decorating. The couple decided to incorporate elements that coordinate with the rest of their house to add a splash of color.
The cherry wood countertop was selected because it has a natural look and plays off the color of the home's hardwood floors. The accent colors, Olympic Yellow Coneflower (#214-5) and Southern Heritage Colonial Green (#790-4), were chosen to match the adjacent dining room. The accent designs were easy to create with foam stamps. The diamonds were made by taping off sections of the wall with a low-adhesive tape.
The result is a colorful and casual look that's durable and easy to clean — a good thing in a home with two dogs. "We're thrilled with it — and we never strayed from our budget," say the owners. "Doing it ourselves was the best decision even though we had no experience. The cost would have at least doubled with professionals. It's a real confidence builder to realize that you don't have to pay someone if you're willing to learn."