Kitchen Renovation Before and After

Kitchen Renovation Before and After

It’s taken me a long time to write this post and I think it’s because our kitchen renovation was more traumatic than I realized. It wasn’t planned and we learned a lot about dealing with a water leak but I’m really hoping I never have to deal with it again. Thankfully, I could not be happier with the end result but man, it was rough getting to this point.

The kitchen was always on our list to get to but it was fine for now. Perfectly functional even if it was outdated but there were other projects we needed to tackle and we were planning on spending some time and money on our backyard. We had already done the dining room, the windows, laundry room, and stair railing and knew that the outside was next since we spent so much time there.

Our house had other plans.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you!

Kitchen Before Renovation

The layout of the kitchen was great but could have used a few tweaks. The white tile counters were the bain of my existence, so hard to keep clean and as a blogger who loves to share recipes, it didn’t photograph well.

Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel

Keep in mind that I took these “before” pictures when we discovered the leak in the wall behind the sink, on Christmas Day. Things were in a bit of disarray but I knew this wasn’t going to be good and I attempted to document the old kitchen quickly.

During the Renovation

Since we had a water leak, we needed to get a mold remediation company involved. They worked with our insurance and came in and took out the affected area, removed the damage, dried everything out and left us with a blank space. This took weeks and was loud and felt like we were living in an episode of Breaking Bad.

We had a great experience with our company, Flood Solutions, but I’ve heard horror stories of people using shady companies for this part of the process. Do your research and make sure they have a good reputation.

How to Manage a Kitchen Renovation

  • Shop around for a contractor and get multiple estimates.
  • See if your contractor can get you into suppliers. We used Pro Source of San Diego and they were WONDERFUL to work with.
  • If you are using insurance, make sure you tell them if your initial settlement isn’t covering enough.
  • Develop your style – practical, modern, traditional. This will guide the rest of your decisions.
  • Set your budget and prioritize your needs vs wants.
  • Use Rakuten to get cashback on your purchases. We got over $350 dollars back from our appliances, lighting and kitchen accessories.
  • Plan if you can! It takes a long time for your cabinets to come in so we were stuck cooking in our garage for MONTHS while we waited for everything to come in.

Our New Kitchen

To say I love it is an understatement. We added white quartz countertops with a waterfall edge on the peninsula, new cabinets in two different tones and a farm sink with an apron front.

Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel

We didn’t change the footprint of the kitchen during the remodel but we did move some things around to create more function and openness to the space. The microwave moved from above the stove to below the countertop in the peninsula. We also moved the stove to the left so we could add a small countertop to the right of it with a pull out spice drawer.

Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel
Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel

In keeping with the openness of the kitchen, we decided to add open shelving to the corner that was once bare. I made these shelves with some L brackets that my contractor installed in the tile and 1×12 boards from Home Depot, similar to the shelves I built in our laundry room. The new window treatments are from Lowes.

Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel

The kitchen cabinets are two tones – maritime blue for the bottom cabinets and woodgrain for the uppers and pantry wall. Black hardware for the woodgrain cabinets and gold library pulls for the lower blue cabinets. We kept our old refrigerator and this is exactly how it looks on a daily basis.

Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel

The new pantry wall features glass front doors over the coffee counter, we extended the cabinets above the refrigerator for added storage and have pull out shelves in the pantry to increase functionality.

Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel

This is my favorite spot in the kitchen though. I love this sink. I love the faucet. Most of all, I love this view. This is where I can watch my girls play in their playhouse, explore the hill and get as dirty as their little heart’s desire in the yet to be redone backyard.

Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel
Before and After Kitchen Renovation with ideas and costs. See our farmhouse sink, herringbone backsplash with white subway tile and our DIY open shelving without changing our layout. Two-tone cabinets in woodgrain and blue. Including tips to get the most out of your budget. #kitcheremodel

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20

As we are finishing up our kitchen renovation, I found myself torn up about my toaster oven. I’ve had this Hamilton Beach toaster oven for over 10 years and I love it. It’s functional and ok, maybe I have a little bit of a sentimental attachment to it. So when I realized that the red wasn’t going to look good in our new kitchen design, I needed to come up with a plan.

A few people suggested that I give it a good cleaning and then paint it with some high heat spray paint to give it a little facelift. A matte black toaster oven for under $20? What did I have to lose right?

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

Black Toaster Oven Transformation

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

First step in making this a black toaster oven was making this a clean one. I used a degreaser and following the directions, made sure I was in a well ventilated area and used gloves. This degreaser worked so quickly and very easily got this little toaster oven looking like new, at least on the outside.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

I’ve linked everything I used for this DIY project in my Amazon Store.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

Once it was clean and completely dry, I tapped off everything with blue painters tape. I was very generous with the tape to make sure none of the chrome or stainless steel parts were accidentally painted matte black. The I used this high heat matte black spray paint and got to work. It coated very easily and dried quickly. I started with the back of the toaster oven so that I could get used to the spray paint. Once that was dry, I did the front. I used a small piece of cardboard to over the opening when the glass door was open and the red lip on the inside needed to be painted.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

I am THRILLED with how it turned out. It looks just perfect in the new kitchen. This little black toaster oven is now just the perfect combination of new and completely used.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

Want to see the rest of our kitchen renovation? Make sure to subscribe for email updates and be the first to see the reveal.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances
Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

9 Tips to Survive a Water Leak in Your Home

9 Tips to Survive a Water Leak in Your Home

Finding a water leak in your home can set off an instant wave of panic. Knowing these steps will help you minimize the damage and the stress of putting it all back together.

There is a Smell in Our Kitchen…

Around Christmas, I started to smell something a little musty around our kitchen sink. We checked under the sink itself and the faucet. Nothing was leaking. Fast forward a week and the smell was getting worse. We emptied everything out from under the sink and found that the back of our cabinets had mold. There was a leak in the wall and it was causing all sorts of destruction to our kitchen.

You would think that since this is the second time we have gone through a water leak, the first with our dining room, that I would be a seasoned veteran. But this was a lot like having a second child, the baby is born (or the leak happens) and you vaguely remember what to do but it’s still a little hazy. There aren’t any clear answers on Google – for the baby or the water leak – so here is my handy list of what to do when the leak happens. I’m still working on the concise parenting list…

9 Tips for a Water Leak

  1. Locate and stop the water leak if possible. We had to shut our water off for a few days until the plumber could get out here. BUT, the plumber won’t come if there is mold so you need the mold remediation company to come out first.
  2. Call a mold remediation company. Get a few quotes also. Even though your homeowners’ insurance will most likely cover this, you want someone that you feel will get the job done right and understands how the process works.
  3. Call your insurance. Ours didn’t send an adjuster out until after the mold remediation process was complete. The adjuster will come out and write up an estimate of what it will cost to fix the damage.
  4. Save receipts! Our insurance will reimburse us for a portion of our cost of eating out since we don’t have a kitchen.
  5. Ask your friends for help. We borrowed a microwave and hot plate from a friend. We also had a few great recommendations on contractors from friends.
  6. Set up your back up space. If the leak was in your kitchen, this is going to be more complicated than if the leak was in your dining room or some other non-essential place. Since our’s was in our kitchen, we set up shop in our garage with a folding table filled with a microwave, hot plate, toaster oven, electric skillet, and Instant Pot. I created a must-have list here of all the essentials we are using for our back up kitchen.
  7. Rethink your space. Once you can assess the damage, start to think how you are going to rebuild. Walk the big box stores and take a look at what’s out there. I was shocked at how fancy kitchen drawers are now compared to the 1979 builder grade cabinets we had.
  8. Start to contact contractors. This process is not fast so get some companies out to give you some preliminary quotes. Get at least 3 quotes for the work that needs to be done.
  9. Have patience. Easier said than done, I realize.

Stay tuned for before and after photos. Perhaps a few posts on how to renovate a kitchen. Leave any kitchen renovation tips or things you’d like to know in the comments!

Scared you have a water leak in your plumbing, maybe behind a wall in your home or in a basement? Here are some tips on how to make the damage and cost as minimal as possible, especially if you are dealing with mold. Great hacks on how to set up a temporary kitchen too. Don’t worry, no real DIY skills are required - just a sense of humor, someone who knows pipes or toilets and patience with insurance and contractors and everyone else who is affected by the water leakage. #DIY #waterleakage #renovation #mold

9 Whole30 Gadgets Essential for Success

9 Whole30 Gadgets Essential for Success

Another week done of the Whole30 challenge. I have mixed emotions about it. A lot of the changes that we’ve made have gotten easier. Pulling together a full breakfast, adjusting my coffee to a non-sweetened creamer (don’t get me wrong, I still miss my Ripple Vanilla creamer), not having mac and cheese as an easy side dish. There were parts of this week though that were infinitely harder than the first 7 days. Pizza night this week was torture. I miss having a bowl of popcorn while the girls are napping and I get some work done. I MISS WINE.

One thing that helped me get through it was to take it minute by minute and treat myself like I treat my toddler on the verge of a meltdown. I have mastered the art of distraction. I walked away from what I wanted or was craving and did something else. I made myself a bowl of cucumbers for nap time so I still had the crunch I was craving. I treated myself to a glass of sugar free kombucha in a stemless wine glass.

Another thing that helped me, is thinking of the end game. It’s only 30 days. I’m halfway through. I already did the hard part…starting. What’s another two weeks? Plus, in those first 14 days I’ve uncovered something completely unexpected. Something I haven’t since since, well, I can’t even remember….my abs. So something about this lifestyle is agreeing with my body, it’s motivation enough to keep going.

If I can do it, you can too.

Instead of giving you a daily play by play of what I was feeling, it think it would be more helpful to put together a list of essential Whole30 gadgets. Things that have made this month free of wine and popcorn a little easier.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! I never link to anything that I haven’t actually used. 

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Whole30 Gadgets

Immersion blender – I’ve used this daily. I’ve been making my own mayo – SO easy and SO tasty – and this gadget is essential. It’s also been great for other sauces, dips, ranch and butternut squash soup.

Mason Jars – These have been essential for my husband when he packs his lunch. It’s so easy to layer salads. I’ve also been making mayo in them. So easy to store anything and everything.

Water Bottle – I’ve been drinking a LOT of water. In an effort to reduce my LaCroix intake, I’ve kept a water bottle full and handy so I don’t reach for a can of delicious bubbly. This one has been great, I also love their kids size one. Read my full review of our kids water bottles here if you need ideas.

Spiralizer – When you are only eating fruit, veggies and protein, it helps to get a little creative. This spiralizer has been a favorite even before we started Whole30 but it’s been put into overdrive. I will spiralize anything -potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and even butternut squash. Even if I can’t have real noodles, I can at least trick my brain into thinking I’m eating it.

Glass Storage Containers – I’ve been trying to prep veggies and make a lot of leftovers, they are surprisingly perfect for breakfast. But that entails a lot of food storage and these glass storage containers are perfect. Why glass? I highly suggest you read my friend Leah’s book, Green Enough, and educate yourself on plastic and decide what you are comfortable with.

Salad dressing container – Ok, I know I just said no plastic but this is my exception. It the perfect container to pour oil slowly into the mason jar when you are mixing up mayo. Here’s the deal though, I don’t store food in it and I hand wash it.

Label maker – I’ve been using this label maker to mark up what is in each container and the date it was made. Although it’s not sticking well in the cold. Thankfully Mabel’s Labels has Date Mates, great reusable food storage labels that are going to come in VERY handy. I can’t see myself ever going back to store bought mayo  – seriously, it’s that good – so even after this Whole30 is done, these will be put to good use.

Cookbooks – My go to books for meal planning: The Whole30 Guide, Whole30 Cookbook and SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow. I am also LOVING The Whole Smith’s Good Food cookbook.

Silpat mats – These are my secret for great chocolate chip cookies (one of my random cravings during this round, I even dream about them) but they are also great for roasting veggies on. And trust me, you are going to roast a LOT of veggies.

Whole30 Gadget List (1)