Sunday, 15 July 2012

How to Renovate a Kitchen by yourself on an Extreme Budget!

My Jimi Hendrix Clock in my Kitchen

I have two kitchens in my house! 

And so in preparation for renting out the downstairs, the kitchen desperately needed updating. 

However, after our main kitchen reno, (see link)…  the conversion of our attic, (still need to write about) the stripping of the stairs and many other upgrades like boring replacement of plumbing and wiring, there was literally no money left for another kitchen reno.

So, time to get creative on an extreme minimal budget, which is actually quite fun!  And I barely required my live in Handy Man!  I could practically do this reno all on my own! (I know, I know, don't laugh, Lori!)

The downstairs kitchen is a good size and perfectly functional, unlike the upstairs one used to be. 

Lots of Floral

Lots of panelling

But, each time I entered the kitchen I felt like I was twelve years old (meaning 1972) and any minute the Brady Bunch would be showing up for Egg Salad sandwiches and I'd have to wear an apron!  My mother actually liked the downstairs kitchen as it was covered in flowery wall paper framed with a very fruity border.  So without having a great deal to work with, the first thing that had to go was the pretty flowered wallpaper.  Sorry Mother!
As you can see, scraping off this paper was fairly simple but it left behind one of its layers that was quite annoying and required some spray called, DIF FAST-ACTING Wallpaper Stripper, it's about $7 a bottle, which I purchased at Canadian Tire.  It worked like magic and I was able to scrape off easily.

Luckily the border of strange fruit came off without any trouble at all and I was glad to say goodbye and shove it all into a garbage bag. 

I contemplated the melamine cabinets, which are very sturdy, easy to use and with large deep shelves, however, they are somewhat boring and have no character whatsoever, for some reason they were all the rage in the seventies.  About ten years ago, in Victoria, BC I had decided to paint these same type of cabinets and although I read on a Reno Diva’s website how to exactly go about it….the paint chipped in time which was discouraging.  Melamine is heavy and non-porous and refuses to accept a change in colour and so they chipped with every wee knock or tap, it was most regrettable especially when the paint was expensive and the hours spent sanding, painting, etc….BLargh! 
So, not wanting to make the same mistake again, and without the cash to replace, I decided to make the walls and surrounding area as funky as possible to make up for the lack of Interestingness about the cupboards.

And, I thought about my Very Colourful Jimi Hendrix Clock and so I decided to match the hues from this clock.  (Oh dear....)

The girl at the paint store cringed, "Are you sure about this?" when I showed her the colour combination and I wondered if I was doing the right thing…but you know, it’s just a kitchen and I loved the clock so I decided, Why Not?  Also, it kind of matched the odd fruit tile on the back splash, (sadly all fruit couldn’t be eliminated )
But as the paint went on, the three hellishly different colours were oh my……were they beginning to look hideous?  Like the kitchen I had previously criticized?   Crikey!  At this point my Handyman wouldn't even enter the kitchen.  "I don't know Suze...looks like you'll have to hand out vomit bags to whoever dares go in there." 
"Really?  You mean that?"  panic ....panic
Then when I painted the 70’s wood panelling in red with a purple stripe, I thought, oh no,  even poor Jimi will be rolling in his grave! 

Was it too late to change the colours?  But it had already cost so much in paint! So I forged on and painted the window and door frames in Purple too!  (no way was I stripping again)

It was so loud, I had to wear sunglasses.  My mother hissed, “What have you done to that lovely kitchen?”
"I know!"  I cried, "What have I done?"

But you know, it’s now grown on me and I love it!  My original plan was to make this kitchen as Funky and Fruitless as possible and I think it worked.  Not everyone agrees with me and I am totally prepared for the horrifying reaction to my kitchen.  All it cost, was the price of three gallons of paint, (each a different colour), lots of family labour, a new laminate floor, which was on sale, $300, completely necessary, we ripped up the linoleum stained green roll, and that was all.  I hope you love it too!  What do you think?



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