Highs & Lowes
Budgets are a big deal. One hundred dollars is a big deal to me. I know some folks would probably mock my idea of cheap…I literally am the gal in frugal. But the budget is a big deal. Breaking the budget can make you feel like a failure (or is that just me?) and keeping under a certain dollar amount makes us feel like the king of the world…or the mermaid on the front of a ship with salt water in our hair…or riding high on a mountain top with a horse between our legs and a sack of saved money thrown over our shoulder. Excuse my analogies…I may be watching too many Disney movies
So when Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine decided to sponsor a Kitchen Makeover project and provide seven hundred smackers to us, I whipped out my inner Honey Boo Boo with a “The dollah makes me hollah!” Seriously it does. And that seriously helped out our small kitchen budget.
As you can remember, when I introduced our Operation Heart of the Home initiative, I told you our main objectives….(here they are just in case Labor Day weekend has your brain in a tizzy!)…
- Mission: To affordably alter our kitchen to make it more our style and increase the functionality while still fitting our lifestyle.
- Timeline: Late 2012 and early 2013 during several phases so we don’t lose the ability to actually use our kitchen.
- Budget: under $3000 – preferably closer to $2000
And we want to keep the expensive stuff – like the cabinets (although we are painting those white), the appliances (except for our stovetop), the countertops and the floor. That helps. Because anyone that has done a kitchen makeover before would laugh at our meager budget listed at $2K. But with the help of Lowe’s Creative Ideas Mag, we have a few extra bones to throw at this kitchen to bring it up to speed. Because I am excrutiatingly honest (much to the dismay of my mother), I wanted to be up front about the freebies we got for this kitchen and how we spent that moolah. So here we go.
Our biggest purchases were for the vent hood and faucets. Like I said in a previous post, our stove top is seperate from our wall oven and is a down-draft ventilation system. I grew up with a down-draft stove in my parents house and never really thought about how it makes so much more sense to have an overhead vent hood. I mean…steam goes up. duh. In our first house, we had installed a overhead vent hood and it was just peachy (although we often wished we would have ducted it to the outside instead of leaving it non-ducted especially when we were cooking large batches of bacon). So when we talked about the functionality of this kitchen, we knew that the stove top would probably need to be replaced eventually (I want gas and the current glass stovetop is stained and chipped and one burner doesn’t work). So if we replace the stovetop, we will probably need a vent hood…of the overhead variety.
While we were at Lowe’s, we spotted this Broan range hood. It met our basic necessities of a hood and we decided that being under $200 was a big perk. Afterall, we are building around it to make it look like a fancier, more expensive range hood. And it’s ducted…so all that stinky burned-ground-beef air will have a place to go.
We have two sinks in the kitchen…one is a normal double basin sink, the other more of a vegetable sink in the island. We devoted a big portion of the $700 to replacing the faucets. For one, the installation of the faucets were faulty…they leaked around the base where it connected with the granite…so we constantly had a little puddle on the countertops. The other thing that bothered us is that they were gold. We are going for mixed finishes in this kitchen (our knobs are iron – black with silver undertones and the appliances are stainless) but throwing gold in the mix just wasn’t our cup of blinged out tea.
So we decided to splurge on two new faucets…the Pfister Wheaton would be for our main sink (we have a solution for our extra holes in the countertop) and the Moen Wetherly is for the small sink (we won’t be installing the sprayer).
I talked extensively about our cabinets already. What I didn’t talk about yet is that we are making it a lot easier on ourselves when it comes to priming. That’s right…we decided to spend a little bit extra and just spray prime everything. Our go-to spray paint is Zinssers Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer. It’s my personal favorite. And it’s oil-based so it sticks to pretty much everything….including the slickest wood. We bought 15 cans to do all 50+ doors and the cabinet frames.
While we were painting, we decided that it would be necessary to paint the trim too. The previous owners decided their jam was trim painted a creamy tan hue. Obviously their jam is not my jam because I dig the bright bright white trim. So since the floors and countertops were already protected…we prepped and sprayed the trim using Valspar Ultra Paint + Primer in one. It took two gallons to do the entire kitchen including the crown, kick boards, the doors, window frames and the moldings around the bigger entry way. More on that later.
And then there was a little bit left over for miscellaneous stuff. We had to grab some paper to protect the floor, some tack cloths, some metal ducting and a few other things for the hood vent, and some masks and sandpaper. All a bunch of little things that added up plus our taxes that pushed us over the $700 limit.
In the end, I feel really really good about our purchases. It’s hard to stretch $700 into a full makeover but I really believe that making a few bigger purchases and using the leftover change on the small neccessities is the best way to make it work for us. Sometimes you can have a gift card to a store and feel like you didn’t get your moneys worth…but in this case, not only did we get two items that will help change the entire look of the kitchen (faucets and paint!) but we also increased the functionality of it (hood!).
Yup. Mountain top moment.
So that leads me to this next question…how do you guys spend for a makeover? Are you like me with a few big purchases and then fill in the rest of the budget with the little stuff? Or perhaps you feel like paint and caulk cover a multitude of previous-owner-sins?