Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Progress - Part 3

During the time that my nephew and his girlfriend spent at our house assisting with renos, we brainstormed some ideas to better use the space in our kitchen to offer us some more counter space.

And, last night, my nephew delivered by installing these dowels above our (Habitat for Humanity Restore) sink so that we could place our dish strainer up there and get it off the counter.







It's definitely true that you should live in a place for a while before you attempt to renovate. We've lived for seven years without any counter space, so we were more than ready for this brilliant hack. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Progress - Part 2

The thing with home renos is that, once you start one project and have marginal success, it makes you want to keep going.

So, once again, back to Pinterest I went.

This time I inadvertently stumbled upon the following photo, and I became so smitten that I logged in everyday to stare at it and fantasize about how this look would work in our kitchen.



But rather than being stalled at the fantasizing part of my dream, we actually went to work and made this one happen.

We bought cabinets and countertops from Ikea, as well as various other discounted odds and ends that my nephew (an apprentice carpenter) used to custom build a bench (with drawers!) for us.

And we purchased some new tiles and a sink from our local Habitat for Humanity Edmonton Restore, which is my absolute new favourite place to shop.

In the end, it cost us approximately $4500 (the bulk of which was labour from my nephew and his girlfriend) to update our kitchen and main bathroom (including linen closet). And we couldn't be more pleased with the end result.


Pinterest success story: NAILED IT.


Yes, I copied the original Pinterest photo down to the detail of selecting (the dreaded) clear glass-front hanging cabinets. The pressure's on for us to keep them tidy.



I still need to mend the curtains that are hanging at the window, as well as find some way to sew a seat cushion and backing for the bench, but we're otherwise complete.

(Note: the cabinet on the far left is the 80's style pantry that we painted.)


So while our home is still an over-stuffed cesspool of clutter, it's at least now an over-stuffed cesspool of clutter with personality.

And, like everything else, it's still a work in progress. Thanks to Pinterest.





(As an aside, yes, that's my daughter in the photo above, and yes, she was up way past her bedtime working on her music composition homework. Why? Because we left it to the night before it was due, of course. Just keepin' it real, yo.)


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Progress - Part 1

I've had a love-hate relationship with Pinterest over the last few years.

Love - in that it's my go-to site for virtually everything.... and hate - in that it depresses me to see all the beautiful (fill-in-blank) that we can't afford.

(Here's looking at you, heated in-ground pool.)

When we first purchased our home seven years ago, we were just excited to have a place that was our very own, and we embraced all the flaws that came with living in an older house.

But it reached a point where I became miserable each time I stepped into our kitchen, so I spent the last year or so searching Pinterest for ideas on renovating a split-level home such as ours.

This open-floor concept is something I fell in love with and decided that I wanted for our main floor.


However, once I started getting quotes for the cost of tearing down walls and installing beams, etc, I immediately became disheartened to admit that we couldn't afford this new look. At best, all we could do was tile our fireplace to look like the one in the photo.

So back to Pinterest I went.

The first (more affordable) thing that I stumbled upon was the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit.

Realizing that we couldn't even afford to replace all of our kitchen and main bathroom's cabinets -- let alone tear down walls -- my husband instead purchased this kit for just under $100 and immediately went to work on giving them a facelift.

I'm not going to lie, he worked day and night for weeks to pull off this enormous feat, but the end result was magnificent. We also added some new nickel handles to all our cabinets -- which unfortunately cost us more than the actual cabinet makeover did -- but it was worth it to add some style to our home.



Note: this is neither my photo nor my kitchen, but these are the same type of cabinets that we have for our kitchen, pantry, main bathroom, and linen closet.
(We also have them in our laundry room, but we left those alone since I'm not bothered by them down there. At least not yet anyway.)




This photo, however, is my own. 
It was taken in a corner of our kitchen, after my husband finished painting and reinstalling our 80's-style cabinets, but before we (painstakingly) installed the nickel handles. 
(And yes, I made sure my daughter watched in awe as I used a power drill and hand-made jig to install some of the handles myself.)



So as you can see, it wasn't necessary for us to spend thousands on new cabinets after all. All we needed to do was paint them and add handles, all for less than $300.

Pinterest win.