The Mess of Renovations

You all know by now I just finished remodeling my kitchen. You have all seen the before and after photos--and that is only what the majority of other bloggers actually ever post. I wanted to share with you all that renovation is not instant, nor is it fun! In fact it creates a big mess and a bigger headache! I think I'm going to regret posting these photos, but it is what it is! I don't want anyone trying to accomplish a DYI project think they can do it pain free! I had dishes, and pots & pans, and everything everywhere! I couldn't find the Laundry Room, the Dining Room was so full you couldn't even walk in it. My guest bedroom was overflowing with stuff. Case in point--the whole house looked like something you'd see on Hoarders. Click on the photos for a larger view, if you dare!

 Just look at my poor laundry room! (Yes, my microwave normally lives in the laundry room....)

See--I told you you couldn't get into the dining room! poor guest was the landing site of everything that had been in the kitchen cabinets.... things aren't quite this bad anymore, but the house is still suffering from the aftermath!

I can't believe how much stuff was in the kitchen cabinets!

While everything was all messed up, I went through the entire house. Every closet, cabinet, cupboard, shelf. Under every bed. Even the attic and the shed. I tore open boxes of things I hadn't seen since I moved in and PURGED! Yes, I threw out, gave away, and sold tons and tons of stuff!

I had a yardsale with a friend of mine and I took 5 TRUCKLOADS, plus 4 carloads of stuff for it! Dishes, furniture, extra chandeliers and stained glass I had just lying around or shoved in a closet (really.....why would you put chandeliers and stained glass in a closet?)

Creating this giant mess made me part with things I'd been holding onto for no good reason. Now, I'm nowhere near done with putting everything I kept away because I'm going though everything again before I display it or store it to further PURGE! We're having a second yardsale on Mothers' Day Weekend--I hope to have just as much stuff to put in it! There is something good about all of this--I sold enough stuff at the yardsale to pay for my ENTIRE kitchen remodel! Yes you read that right. My yardsale paid for the entire kitchen renovation! Woohoo! So not only do I have a brand new kitchen, I will also have an organized house (here in a few weeks--I still have a lot of grut work ahead of me to clean the mess up!), and a zero balance on my Lowe's Card! Maybe I'll make enough at my next yardsale to do some more landscaping! 

Vent hood....I promise the tutorial for my vent hood is still in the works. I'm having to draw the pictures because I don't have any during constructions photos of the frame......sorry this is taking so long!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

Happy Easter!

Sorry to have been away for so long! I've been getting everything ready for the Huge Outdoor Estate Sale I participated in this week-end!!! Look forward to another great sale with TONS MORE STUFF Mothers' Day Week-End, more details TBA!

Happy Easter to All in Blogland!

French Farm Kitchen

[Edit: Check out additional photos here! For photos of construction, click here and here for the Vent Hood tutorial. This was featured in Romantic Homes September 2011 more info on that here.]

I overhauled my drab, dated kitchen for a chic and modern twist on classic French Farm style all on a $1,200.00 budget! Here are some before and after photos, as well as total cost break downs of materials of my budget kitchen remodel.

I promise there are tons of pictures following. If you don't want to read about it, just keep scrolling for more eye candy!

Of course, I couldn't start with a before. . .so here is a photo-mosaic of some of the details.

Here is the before:

Sorry for the poor quality photos!

I had painted my ugly pine cabinets and replaced the counter top, sink, and hardware when I moved in. I also added a bead board back splash and a new vent hood. I hung a favorite vintage Italian tole chandelier. I was making do with it until I could afford to renovate it.

Unfortunately, a water leak make me rethink my game plan less than 2 years later. In that two years I lost my job and was unemployed for just shy of a year. Needless to say I wiped my savings and maxed out my credit cards--I'm still a long ways away from recovering and now faced having to renovate the kitchen.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to renovate. Knowing that most kitchen renovations start around $10,000.00, I did what any true romantic would and broke down and cried. Alas, the romantic lifestyle embraces everything life throws at us--good and bad. So I counted it a blessing that I could now justify the remodel even though I couldn't afford it!

I liked the before, in fact, I spent quite a bit of money transforming the thing that was my kitchen into the kitchen in the before photos above. Here is a photo (below) from Google showing you a similar kitchen to mine when I first bought the house--I don't know where my photos are! I had similar, but blue, counters, identical cabinets, and uglier hardware. Thankfully my house came with NEW appliances!

I brainstormed what I wanted in my kitchen, made a few sketches, and tried to figure out how much money I could spend. I had saved about $700.00 to start renovations on my hall bathroom--so I started with that. Here are the results of my ordeal! I'm very happy with the outcome!

I re-used my counter top, sink, faucet, light fixtures, and appliances. This alone saved me over $1,000.00! I used stock kitchen cabinets which came to about $350.00 for the base cabinets, including hardware.

I begrudgingly moved the picnic table outdoors because it didn't fit with the addition of a dishwasher. I moved this Hoosier cabinet base to the kitchen from the laundry room to serve as an island and additional storage, as I lost several cabinets and drawers from adding the dishwasher. A dishwasher might sound like too big of a splurge on such a tiny budget, but the cost of a 24" base cabinet was about the same as the dishwasher! You can see my trash can in the background. I put a burlap coffee bag liner into a vintage grocery cart and lined it with a regular plastic garbage can to protect the burlap.

Opting for open shelving was another cost saver. Upper cabinets would have cost close to $600.00 for matching cabinets to my base cabinets. I had the shelf brackets in the hall closet waiting for a project. It was $40.00 for the shelving board.

Because I did remove the upper cabinets--there came the problem of damaged drywall. My solution to this was to use bead board. It took four sheets of bead board to cover the back wall. Not only did it add charming character to the room, it saved me a ton of money. At $20.00 a sheet, $80.00 covered the whole wall without the mess of drywall dust!

My cottage chic vent hood is serendipitous! My friend, Joe, built this from scrap materials leftover from the project. Joe was also responsible for all the carpentry and much of the installation in this project. I am so thankful for good friends like him! The right person can transform ho-hum stock lumber into amazing results!

I was able to save additional money by reusing part of my original bead board back splash and quite a bit of the trim molding. I bought most of the molding, including the solid wood corbels at the Habitat ReStore. FYI the corbels were a buck each!

My kitchen island was moved in from the laundry room. It gives me extra prep space and storage. The huge wire postal basket below it was $5.00! I thought about painting the back, but I really like the rawness from it. It helps break up a mostly white room without being to intrusive.

A lovely vintage inspired French wine bottle drying rack serves as decorative storage for mugs and glasses.
Similar wine bottle drying racks are available at Wisteria

I reused my light fixture behind the sink, as well. This is another vintage Italian tole piece that happens to match my chandelier!  In case you're wondering, the gold metal doohickey is a bottle corker! Something you can't see is the garbage disposal I added. That added $80.00 to the total.

 If you love my daisy tole chandelier, you're in luck, Land of Nod has a budget friendly reproduction one for sale!

Below is a video slideshow of my kitchen:

Cost Breakdown:

Cabinets: $350.00
Dishwasher: $200.00
Garbage disposal: $68.00
Lumber, trim, paint, materials, etc. $150.00
The rest went to Joe for labor! Thanks again for your help!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Welcome to all my new followers! Let me know if you have any questions! I'll try my best to answer each one. I hope you now know it doesn't cost a fortune to get a stylish look!


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Disclaimer: I was not compensated by nor am I associated with Land of Nod or Wisteria. I am linking to these sites so my readers are able to purchase similar items to what I used in my renovation.
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