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Kitchen Updates on a Budget

Updated on July 5, 2014

Not What I Had Planned

When we moved into a older home and downsized, I knew that I would have to make some changes, but like life some were complete surprises. We started with a bathroom that someone could actually turn around in, but the kitchen continued to call my name. I purchased a new refrigerator when I saw a great clearance deal. When it was delivered, I had it placed in the garage while we finished other projects. A month later, I want my new refrigerator in the house. It was much bigger and didn't have the years of wear that I had to look at every day when I entered the kitchen. Matching appliance makes the room look like a cohesive unit. Often cabinet type, color, or style will dictate what finishes go with when you do change appliances.


The refrigerator wouldn't fit through the doorway going into the house - too wide. It also wouldn't fit through the garage door into the house. Also it would fit in the back door going directly into the kitchen. Ideas? Take the frame off the garage door to the house and then move the refrigerator through. But, before we started we measured the pocket door from the dining room into the kitchen and - the next surprise. The kitchen pocket door is too narrow.

We had to widen the doorway!!!!

After wall is out.  Note kitchen color - bad.
After wall is out. Note kitchen color - bad.

One Thing Leads to Another

We took out the wall just enough to widen the doorway. We had a new idea. What about taking out half of the remaining wall and putting a bar to open up the area. We would have a small breakfast area and an extra buffet area for family dinners. What a great idea!!!

When half of the wall came down, the bottom potion was so poorly contructed that we decided to tear the wall completely down.

The wall came down and it opened up the area nicely. Little did we know that all the long support planks are not a standard size. So, after we made several trips to the hardware, we gave up on buying a standard size board and my husband cut it down. Now, let me say my husband is extremely neat and precise. The board came out beautifully. If I had cut it the board might have looked like modern art.

Marking. cutting, and recutting!!!
Marking. cutting, and recutting!!!

New appliances, New color

The renovation was all done for less than $300.00, not counting the cost of the appliances. We moved into a house where all the appliances were different colors, so I couldn't stand it any more.

Picking your paint color

One thing you should do is buy sample cans and try them on the wall for a few days. This was one time I didn't do this, and the results were a little different than I expected.. I went with a grey that was a medium saturation (middle chip of the 3 chip sample). It went on almost white, and I now believe that the deeper saturation would have looked more grey when dry, but I do like it.

I walked through 30 new homes at a Homearoma to get the feel for what colors were popular, and how they might look with different cabinets, hardware, and floor covering. I was surprised at how much grey there was this year and how many painted kitchen cabinets. Also, if you are thinking about adding an island, this year the designers are putting different painted finishes and different counter type finishes together in one room.

The Roman Shades were on sale. I chose a Navy. Buying the color shade gave a more custom look. I don't think DIY could have made them cheaper, and it certainly save me a lot of trouble.


We have plans for wood floors throughout the house, but that's about a year out. I decided to improve the floors, but not break the bank. I installed peal and stick tiles that look like grey slate, with a light grey grout. We have had several people ask if the floors were real slate tiles. What's better, we did improve the kitchen temporarily.

peal and stick floor
peal and stick floor
Navy Roman Shade.  Matching Shade on kitchen door.
Navy Roman Shade. Matching Shade on kitchen door.

Future Ideas

  • I am going to cover the kitchen chair seats. It will only take about 1/2 yard of decorator fabric. Those pictures will follow.
  • Also, I forgot to tell you, the refrigerator is 1/8 inch too tall. We have to use the jizsaw to trim just enough to push the refrigerator in.
  • AND, so we understand the theme of this story. We also have to reverse the doors on the refrigerator, so it will work better in the room. This will be another hub, I'm sure.

But all in all it is looking good. I feel like it is mine. I hope it inspires you to try an update on a budget - and hopefully with fewer problems.

View of kitchen after paint, curtains, and flooring
View of kitchen after paint, curtains, and flooring


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