Erin’s Extreme Kitchen Makeover: Panic Edition

I wish I had a cyber tour bus to drive in front of my kitchen, just so I could drive it off, thereby making the big reveal dramatic! and exciting! I would jump up and down — propelled by the overwhelming spirit of joy and gratitude — screaming and crying about how amazing it is, and about how getting a new kitchen has changed the very core of my being. But that would be untrue, because (let’s face it) macaroni cooked over a bunsen burner in a dorm room is the same as macaroni cooked on a brand new stove in my pretty new kitchen.

But that don’t make it any less pretty.

Remember when I first enlisted your help with my junky kitchen a looooooooong ass time ago?

erin's kitchen

Yes, the red is very charming (unless you have to live with it), but everything else in the kitchen deserved to be burned in a pressure treated blaze of glory. Trust me, it was a LOT WORSE than it looks in my awesome picture. Well, a mere six months and 10k later — with only one week to spare before the baby is due — it looks like this:

erin's kitchen ikea

I know, I know! You miss the tile and the bank of head bonking cabinets, the chipped almond formica and the spectacularly filthy appliances, but at least the rugs are cute, right? In all seriousness, this was crazy hard to shoot because the light was not cooperating and the paint wants to read as brown instead of gray, but hopefully you get the idea.

erin's kitchen renovations

We still have a lot of trim issues to deal with and loads of accessorizing to do, but it’s 95% done! Hooray! And despite what must be universal hatred of barstools, I love that we have some extra seating near the kitchen instead of wasted space on the living room side, like we had in our old kitchen. Plus, you have to admit that my vintage Thonet stools are pretty fly.

erin's kitchen ikea

Hallelujah, you can even see into the living room without busting your head open on a fortress of low hanging cabinets! Downside: I have the sudden urge to replace those hideous ceiling fans, STAT! Any recommendations?

erin's kitchen ikea

So, what did we do in here, anyway? I detailed the floor renovations a while ago, but you can read about them here. We yanked out all the old oak cabinets and mounted them in the garage (whee! extra storage), then replaced them with Ikea Abstrakt gloss white cabinets, and Ikea Applad black cabinets mounted to form a pantry wall.

erin's kitchen ikea

So much better than the floating fridge situation we had before! Oh, and surprise! I am the kind of person who sticks stuff all over the refrigerator. Hunny Bunny hates it, but how else will I know where to find my Babies R Us coupons? What do you think of my crazy Moroccan brass tray up there? I know it’s kind of passe to stack stuff on top of your cabinets, but because our room is vaulted, it felt really naked without something…

erin's kitchen ikea

The peninsula was ripped out and HB built a new, taller wall for the bar to anchor the cabinets onto. He and Matty bear also tore out the old post and replaced it with a smaller, dry walled post. The counters are Ikea Numerar in oak, and the backsplash is soapstone, which Matt installed. Karly bought the vintage Danish pendant lights on Ebay and decided they didn’t work for her. Bonus! They are perfect in my house. I got a new stove on sale at Lowes, the Datid hood for half price at Ikea, and I am unnaturally obsessed with our new Ikea spice rack. Now I just need three more spices to fill it…

erin's kitchen ikea

On the sink wall, Matt installed a soapstone tile countertop in a very labor (and dust) intensive process so that the countertop looks like a slab. No grout, and half the price! He did a super excellent job, and if you live in Austin I highly recommend you contact him for all your handyman/renovation needs.

We bought a Kohler cast iron sink that has a very low divider, so it’s kind of the best of the single/double sink worlds. Love it! The faucet is also Kohler, and the dishwasher was on sale at Lowes. I had the vintage light fixture already and it’s ok (I like the brass), but I think I could do better. Someday. Maybe. Oh, and the reversible cotton rugs are from Ikea, of course.

erin's kitchen ikea

The window wall feels a little unfinished, so we’re planning on putting up a couple of shelves where I can display cute dishes and whatchamadoodles. What do you think: glossy white? black? or butcherblock? Who knows when we’ll get to it, since we’ve only got a week until the baby is due and still need to clean renovation dust out from under the furniture, but we can dream, right?

So, that’s it for my kitchen tour. We hatched a half baked plot in November of last year, started gutting in January, and “finished” just days ago. I think our original idea was to slap some paint on our ugly cabinets and call it a day, but I’m glad we took the advice that many of you gave us — which was to rip it out and go for it. Including the appliances (except for the fridge), the floors, counters, sink, hardware, cabinets, lights, paint, and Matt’s labor, we came in at around 10k, which was pretty close to my original estimate. It took the short side of forever to complete, but because Hunny did most of the work himself and Matt helped out a lot, we were able to spend most of our budget on materials instead of labor.

So far, we’re super happy with it, but I’ll be sure to let you know if any of the walls fall down…