Small Kitchen Remodel Before & After

Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:20 pm
<<     >>
Comments: 35

The kitchen, I believe we can declare is more or less done. It took us a few weeks of hard work and we certainly gave it a major overhaul. When we started, the whole kitchen was very green; it had a green linoleum floor, green walls and green ceiling, right out of the 40s in other words. The appliances were old and the fridge was standing next to the window, blocking light whereas the stove was on the opposite side. 


Our kitchen remodel project was meant to be pretty simple. Clean up the area and make it a great place to cook and organize our pantry. Under ideal circumstances we would have opened up the kitchen to the dining area, but that would have meant more money and more time, so we decided to leave that for the future. We envisioned from the start on doing everything ourselves so we were confident costs could be kept under control since all we were buying were supplies and appliances.

The size of the kitchen is only about 90 square feet, hence it was important to make the kitchen as bright and inviting as possible.

We are so happy the cabinets were made of solid wood, and worth keeping, not having to purchase new cabinets was great. Most people just tile the backsplash in their kitchen, but we love the clean look of subway tile so decided to tile all the walls. It made sense for us because tile is easy to keep clean and it gives a great industrial look. For the floor we really wanted something that would pop and provide a bit of contrast, so buying honed marble and granite tile was really our main splurge in terms of the remodel.

We literally did the whole remodel ourselves, so of course sometimes we had to buy tools we didn't previously have, like for tile cutting. However those have proved useful in other projects so we decided to not count them here in the budget. In terms of the costs, the floor tile is also calculated for the adjacent utility room where the checkerboard pattern continues seamlessly, so if you're strict the cost for the floor for the kitchen was actually lower.





So what have we done here? Well, luckily the wooden cabinets and drawers were in good condition, so we refinished them (basically sanding and re-painting twice, annoying!) and added new hardware. In terms of the flooring, we ripped out that old linoleum tile, and put in a gorgeous new marble and granite tile in a checkerboard diamond pattern. We tiled all of the kitchen walls with white subway tile and replaced that old linoleum counter with a brand new stainless steel counter

Time Frame: 1 month

Cost Breakdown:

Paint (ceiling paint, primer, antique white paint for the cabinets and various miscellaneous brushes, rollers, tape etc…) - $150
Fixtures (two ceiling track lights) - $120
Wall Subway Tile (and adhesive, caulk etc…) - $400
Door Cabinet Hardware (including knobs, hinges, rods) - $200
Countertop (20 gauge stainless steel) - $400
Sink (including faucet and plumbing parts) - $280
Outlet Covers - $30
Floor (marble & granite tile, adhesive, caulk, sealer) - $1600 (technically half that amount went towards the utility room, so the cost for the kitchen could be calculated at $800)
Threshold (two oak boards) - $50
Fridge & Freezer - $1000
KitchenAid Double Oven Gas Stove - $2000

Total: $6,230

Considering about half of that amount went towards appliances, I think we did a pretty good job transforming this kitchen for about $3200. Of course, we were able to get this done on this budget mainly because we did everything ourselves. If we had hired people to do this, then the cost would be much higher.





What else? We put in a new stainless steel sink, switched the fridge and the stove to let more light into the room, bought a new separate fridge and freezer (the freezer we put in the adjacent utility room) and we also added a gorgeous new gas stove!





Then we have the smaller stuff: we added new kitchen lights, bars to hang cooking utensils, and we refinished our old kitchen cart to better match the new design.


(oups, ran out of good before-shots, here I am washing up when we're in the middle of remodeling the house...





(in the middle of remodeling to be fair)




So all in all we're more than happy with the result. We did everything ourselves, over the time span of about a month. For more information and details on the remodel, check out the Kitchen category where all the related posts are gathered.


Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:26 pm
Name: Jackie tote | Comment: Great Job!

Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:04 am
Name: Tonya | Comment: What a transformation. I love how you kept so much original, but still modernized it at the same time.

Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:03 pm
Name: michelle | Comment: We are in the process of redoing our kitchen and want the black and white floor. I see you used granite and marble. Are your granite tiles absolute black

Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:07 pmMichelle, yes the black granite tiles are solidly black. The marble is white / grey carrera so there is more variation there. Good luck on your remodel!

Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:36 pm
Name: Tracy | Comment: Nice job! There are many things I like it about it ... the floor, the hardware, the stainless countertop ... you pulled it all together very well. I bet it'll be fun to cook in there!

Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:58 am
Name: Amy Renea @ A Nest for All Seasons | Comment: It looks so much lighter, brighter and beautiful!

Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:13 pm
Name: Heather | Comment: Gorgeous!!!

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:03 am
Name: Tonya@mycozylttlefarmhouse | Comment: I love that you maintained the character of the house but gave it a modern aesthetic! Awesome job!

Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:30 am
Name: Lauren Clark @ Prudence Design Spot | Comment: Def makes it bright and feels bigger. Love the subway tile on the walls!

Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:33 am
Name: SuzeH | Comment: I love all your design choices and hard work, but I am left wanting more pictures in detail. It's just beautiful and I want to study it!
Thanks for blogging it!

Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:41 pm
Name: | Comment: we've got a similar 1940s kitchen! congrats on all your hard work. question about the inside of the cabinets: did you sand the shelves inside (since they don't look like they were originally painted)

Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:43 pm
Name: Cate | Comment: ack, that didn't post my entire comment: we've got a similar 1940s kitchen! congrats on all your hard work. question about the inside of the cabinets: did you sand the shelves inside (since they don't look like they were originally painted)? how has the wear been on the painted white shelves? i worry about painting mine white and having pans/cups/dishes leaving marks. maybe you lined the shelves like the drawers?

Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:17 pmHi Cate, At first we didn't sand any of the shelves and cabinets but then the paint started to peel! So we went back and sanded everything, including the shelves inside (the shelves were originally painted) before priming and painting again. Now they're holding up great. I did line the shelves, just like the drawers, mostly so they would be easier to clean though, however I think they would be fine even I didn't line them. I do however really recommend you both sand and prime before doing any painting, or you'll end up creating more work for yourself! Good luck!

Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:34 am
Name: Sylvia | Comment: Just curious about why you chose to pass on a stove hood/ventilation? Especially due to relocating the stove to the exterior wall.
Nice job!

Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:16 amHi Sylvia, Thanks! Well, right above the stove now we have all our spices in the cabinet and I would hate to loose that storage. That said, we might add a stove hood sometime in the future. Right now though we just open up the window, and we haven't had any issues.

Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:54 pm
Name: Judy T. | Comment: We have a postwar 40's house and we're about to renovate the tiny kitchen too. I don't see a dishwasher, am I missing it? We have to downsize to a single 25" sink to fit in an 18" dishwasher, which I really look forward to having! I love your idea of a full fridge with the freezer elsewhere. You can really get shoehorned into a small 40's kitchen with our modern appliances and varied meals. You've done a beautiful job of optimizing space here!

Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:08 pm
Name: Kristina | Comment: Great job bringing in more light and transforming a small kitchen! Amazing it only took a month! We are getting ready to get our small kitchen redone and yours is inspiring.

Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:54 pm
Name: Sara | Comment: I really love the sink that you used! What kind is it?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:47 pmHi Sara, The sink was from Glacier Bay. We bought it at Home Depot, and it was a kit that came with the sink, the pull-out faucet and the soap dispenser. I really like it too!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:42 pm
Name: Amy | Comment: Where did you get the hardware and hinges for the cabinets? Also did you install the countertop? Where is it from? I am just putting an offer on a house with a 1940's kitchen and am inspired to realize I may be able to update it more easily than I'd realized.

Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:41 pmHi Amy, the hardware and hinges are from Home Depot. Yes we did install the countertops ourselves. More info here: DIY Installing Stainless Steel Counters

Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:17 pm
Name: Fred@OPC | Comment: Look Fabulous!

Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:43 am
Name: Jae URL: Comment: Fabulous. You guys did a great job!

Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:56 am
Name: AC URL: Comment: The lighting is wonderful!!

Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:44 am
Name: Jenny URL: Comment: I am SO impressed!!! It looks incredible! I am thinking of adding some subway tile and painting my kitchen cabinets as well, so thank you for the inspiration!

Thu May 31, 2012 11:45 am
Name: Kate Comment: I clicked over here from Young House Love and I just have to say what a great kitchen you have! I love that you kept the cabinets and made the most of what you have. Nice work.

Thu May 31, 2012 2:23 pm
Name: The Rebel Chick URL: Comment: I am totally in love with your new kitchen!! It's so open and bright now. I love the pop of pattern in the flooring...and do you want to hear something funny? My house was built in 1959 and our kitchen still has the original light fixture - and it looks almost exactly like yours!

Thu May 31, 2012 4:40 pm
Name: kara Comment: obsessed with how you redid your kitchen! i'm not a big fan of small kitchens but i would happily take over yours....will definitely be using some of these ideas in the future!

Thu May 31, 2012 5:59 pm
Name: Qaseh Gifts URL: Comment: Looks great!

Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:15 am
Name: Monica URL: Comment: Just popped over from YHL and I am in LOVE with you kitchen redo!!! That was so awesome your cabinets were in such good shape you could just work with what you had already. I did a half redo of our kitchen back in 2005 (seems like only a couple of years ago!) and replaced the floors and counter-tops. Now we seriously need to redo the cabinets and counter-tops again! Thanks for such a great idea of using stainless steel. My hubby would totally go for that too!

Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:09 pm
Name: Jessica Brown URL: Comment: Awesome!

Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:20 am
Name: Julie URL: Comment: Your kitchen redo turned out fabulous!

What was that white stuff on your backsplash in the before photos? Is it some kind of linoleum? We have that in our farm house only it is not plain white. There is an ugly pattern to it. I want to take it down. Did you have to heat it up to melt the glue? Would a blow dryer and a scraper work?

Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:36 amJulie, thanks! There was a linoleum backsplash in the before pictures, the same as the counter. Here is a post on removing the backsplash: Backsplash removal We didn't heat it up to remove the glue, we just used a hammer and a scraper. But you might as well try it with a blow dryer, it might make it easier...

Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:13 pm
Name: sarah c Comment: what brand sink did you use ?

Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:20 pm
Name: Colleen Comment: This is a really nice job on the remodel of kitchen! You have inspired me to possibly take on stainless steel countertops....they look sweet!!

URL: http: (ex.
Math (25 + 1)
* required
Latest Comments
DIY Installing Stainless Steel Counters
You did such a wonderful job on these
Building Small End Table & Woodshop Philosophy
Gosh, your projects are simple and yet
Long Time No See
Heja Linn, kul att du börjat skriva ig
Mahogany Stained Tongue and Groove Fir Floor
Looks great!! I actually read your las
Shop Almost Complete
It looks great!
Shop Almost Complete
Wow! That\'s fantastic!
DIY Installing Stainless Steel Counters
Thanks so much for responding back. We
Shop Almost Complete
I love it!!! I kept up with the proces

© 2014 Christonium LLC
Terms of Use