My Kitchen Transformation [Part 1]

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Hey all! Work has been absolutely bananas since I went back on the 22nd, so I’ve had no energy to blog when I get home! Ah, the life of a school secretary. Things will start to slow down by the end of September, but the start of the school year is always so chaotic!

I’ve had a few people telling me they love seeing my bathroom update progress, so I thought I’d share the super exciting reno that is happening in my kitchen. I’m so freaking excited about this. The reason I’m doing my bathroom myself is so I can spend my money on a professional kitchen renovation!

Let’s take a look at what’s been done so far…

Unfortunately, this pano I took while getting my home inspection done before I bought the house is the only photo I have of the state of the kitchen when I moved in. It’s a bit hard to tell in the picture, but the lower cabinets are actually quite a bit shorter than a standard counter normally would be. They were about the same height as a standard bathroom vanity would be.

The lady I bought the house from is quite petite, so shorter counters made sense for her. I’m 5’7″, which isn’t outrageously tall, but the counters were definitely not at a comfortable height for me to work with. Plus, the plain plywood cupboards really had no personality, so of course I wanted a total transformation.

I had the guys at McMunn and Yates come in and design the kitchen for me. I decided I wanted grey flooring, white cupboards, and a black countertop. I also wanted the horrible backsplash ripped off and the drywall replaced. I definitely needed to add a dishwasher, plus a microwave above the stove. Other than those few specifics, I told the designer to make up something he thought would look great and be functional.

They were super helpful when I was picking out my countertops and flooring. They even recommended I buy a less expensive countertop, because they’d had a few complaints about the one I had originally wanted. Plus, they showed me this amazing flooring that I’m so excited for you to see. I even got to take home pieces of cupboard doors, countertop samples, and a few floorboards, so I could see how they looked in my house’s lighting.

Here’s the design he came up with:

Isnt it beautiful?! I love that he added drawers to the lower cabinets next to the sink and that he used every inch of space possible. It’s a pretty small kitchen (with no pantry) so I could use all the cupboard space I can get.

With the house, I got the fridge and the stove, which are a little old but still functional. They’re white, so when I picked out my dishwasher and microwave, I got white to match. Since it’s a small room, I wanted to use more white than black to brighten up the space.

First, they ripped out all the cupboards and the backsplash. I was very glad I wasn’t the one tackling this project (although it would’ve been satisfying to tear it all apart). I spent a week away volunteering at bible camp, and returned to see this:

My beauty of a dog was very confused. She isn’t sure of the house yet to begin with, but now it had even LESS furniture and home-y things… “where’s the fridge, Mama? I want snacks!”

The contractor called me and asked me to come over to the house one morning to go over a few things. I headed over and he pointed out something I wasn’t quite expecting…


If you look very closely at the third photo, there’s a streak of black along the corner of the wall, on the top left.

My only choice was for the contractors to completely rip the walls apart, right down to the studs. Since they were in there, they put in new insulation and fixed the plumbing so the pipes would be behind the drywall, instead of in front, like they originally were.

The next time I walked into my house, this is what I saw:

At least I know the mould has been taken care of and I won’t have to worry about it. Plus I got better insulation, which is great for energy efficiency. The only thing I’m not crazy about here is the unexpected price tag I have to deal with. That sucks, but I’m trying to look at the bright side!

The next time I went back to my house, I was expecting to walk in and see a bunch of pink fuzz still. Instead, I was happily surprised… I had walls again!:

It felt like forever waiting for him to finish taping and plastering the cracks, but he did an incredible job. The walls are so smooth and the corners are so sharp. I can’t say it enough: I am SO glad I left this job to the pros!

I didn’t get pictures of the taped and plastered steps, but my mom did take a few the other day when we finished painting. We had to prime and paint the walls and the ceiling. I HATE painting ceilings, but the old paint was a glossy, dingy white, and I hated it even more than the sore neck I got from painting.

I used my EZ-Twist Paint Stick to paint the ceiling, and I’m so glad I did. I can’t imagine trying to paint it with a regular roller and tray. My mom painted my kitchen walls for me, which was awesome because I was exhausted from painting the ceiling.

Anyway, we got a coat of primer and a coat of paint on the ceiling, as well as one coat of primer and two coats of paint on the walls in just one day! It was a lot of work, but it was nice to have it all over and done with.

For primer, we used Beautitone’s Super Adherent Primer on both the ceiling and the walls. Priming was the most frustrating part, because the plaster on the walls just sucked it up, so it took FOREVER to put it on. It took twice as much primer as I thought we’d need, because it just kept getting absorbed instead of covering.

I used regular flat white ceiling paint (by Beautitone, of course), but I wish I would’ve bought the kind that goes on blue and dries white. It was really hard to see where I had already painted!

The paint we used for the walls was Beautitone’s Signature Series in Eggshell, in the colour Frosted Window. It’s very light grey, almost white, as you’ll see in these pictures (the edges are lighter because the paint is still wet):

In the photos, it looks white. In real life, it sort of changes depending on the daylight. I think it most often looks like a super light purple or blue. If you look closely, you can see that the ceiling is a couple shades lighter than the walls.

Here I am hating that I have to paint the ceiling, featuring the hideous green walls in the living room (seriously, why did she love pastel green so much???):

Anyway, that’s all I have to share about my kitchen so far! They are supposed to be putting in my cabinets sometime this week and I can’t handle my excitement!

Have you done any big renovations in your house? What would be on your must-have list for a brand new kitchen? Let me know in the comments!

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2 Replies to “My Kitchen Transformation [Part 1]”

  1. I had my kitchen redone last year. The one thing I love is the lazy susan I had them put in my corner cabinet. I also had a pantry(about 10 inches deep) put in beside my fridge. love it.
    Your house will look great when you’re done. Keep up the good work.

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