our kitchen: before and after

Welcome to our kitchen renovation! The total time that this project took was approximately 3.5 months. 

During that time, we were also renovating our living room, hence the delay! It felt like a long process, but one that wasn’t as stressful as I had originally thought. Below are the before pictures.

Our goal for the room changed quite a few times. First it was to get new flooring and counter tops, but to leave the sink. Then it was to get all three. By the end, we decided on a new floor and sink, and to leave the preexisting counter tops. Meanwhile, we were always set on refacing the bottom cabinets and replacing the uppers. And that’s what happened!

We began this process by first taking down our upper cabinets. Removing them went fairly smoothly, but what was behind them was a bit of a mess. Where there was drywall, it was bumpy and uneven. In other parts, they had cut away the drywall to install the cabinets. The window casing also decided to come down with the cabinets. Because we were wanting to install floating shelves, the walls needed to be even and smooth. It took a lot of mudding, sanding, puttying, and more sanding, but we finally got them to a usable state!

Meanwhile, we had the same company return to rip out the vinyl flooring in the kitchen, and install the same dark laminate that we used in the spare bedroom. I love a dark floor with white cabinets, and thought that continuing it in this room would be to our advantage. After a day of labour, it was in!

Next we had a contracting company come and reface our bottom cabinets. We had never had this done before and were curious and excited to see how it would play out. We chose to reface instead of install new cabinetry for many reasons. The first was to keep the costs low. The second was because it was quicker. The third because it created less of a mess and we could still use our kitchen while it was getting done. They made us new soft-close drawers from scratch, reconfigured a few things, and ironed on the new material. I chose these drawer pulls from Amazon. Although it took three long days, we were so happy with the results!

After our cabinets were refaced, we set about painting the kitchen. This was pretty straightforward. It took four heavy coats of white to cover the dark and grease-stained walls and off-white ceiling. It was the most time-consuming project in the entire renovation!

We ordered our new appliances from Home Depot and Trail Appliances. We went during a big sales event at Home Depot for a new fridge and stove. It turns out that they ordered us the wrong fridge (but we kept it), and our stove was back-ordered for two months. I don’t think that we’ll be going back there again for appliances. Our dishwasher, on the other hand, came from Trail Appliances. We picked it out and picked it up that same day, and the sales team and entire experience was so enjoyable. We were even given a discount just because the salesman liked us! I definitely recommend a smaller company like them over a big box store.

Choosing our floating shelves was probably the hardest process in this makeover. I bought and returned so many different types and colours of shelves- it was insane! Here is Geoffrey testing out a MDF wall shelf and a barn wood shelf. We ended up going with neither! Instead, we chose wide plank pine shelving.

We ended up going with these brackets from Amazon. The least expensive brackets that I could find at Home Depot and Rona were around $10. Because we needed 17 of them, I wanted to find a cheaper option. The brackets that we ordered were only $5 each, and looked better than anything that I could find in the city. Hooray!

I also ordered our light fixture, sink, and faucet from Amazon. Those were the last to be installed. We chose a sink that was a little larger than our previous one, and so much better looking. The faucet is so neat. It has an LED light that turns blue when the water is cold, green when it’s neutral, and red when it’s hot. The plumber said that he had never seen one like it before. He took a video and a few pictures of it, and said that he wanted to order them for the shop. Too funny! After spending an entire day here, and $1100 later, our sink and faucet were in. We were done!

Down the road, and if we stay in this house, we would like to order a chimney range hood for over the stove. I would also like subway tile back splash in the kitchen! I think that it would pull it all together.

We learned so much from this renovation. I’m just thankful that we were able to continue to use our kitchen the entire time. I couldn’t imagine not being able to! In that regard, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this post. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or compliments. ;-)))

Emory

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living room: before and after

Hello, friends! I must admit that I have been pushing this post back, only because renovation posts are a little daunting to both write and photograph. Now I’m finally ready to show you our living room makeover. (This will come only mere few weeks before our kitchen makeover post, so hang on!) Above are the before pictures.

I began this renovation by ripping out the carpet, underlay, and tack strip. This actually took me two full days to do given the size of the room. I had to do it on my own as well since Geoffrey was away at the time. But between mom duties, I got it done! 

What a mess. The underside of carpet was covered in dirt, which of course became airborne with each rip. The underlay was stained and smelled incredibly old, and removing the tack strip is never fun. 

Yet, I was looking forward to exposing what I hoped would be hardwood floors that we could refinish. This was unfortunately not the case. Not only were there multiple holes in the floors where you could clearly see through to the basement, there was water damage, broken boards, and missing hardwood in the places where they widened the doorways. The old porch (which is now part of the living room) had no hardwood at all. Instead, it had OSB boards that were soft and moulded. It was not good.

I swept, vacuumed, and scrubbed the floors multiple times over the next few days. Then I put all of the furniture back. 

Painting came next. I took my time over the next few weeks to paint the walls and ceiling white. It took three thick coats, but probably could have used four. 

Next we picked out flooring from Flooring Superstores in Saskatoon. We chose a good laminate floor that was majorly discounted due to the store being down to its remaining boxes. It was only $1.65/square foot! We couldn’t have gotten a better deal than that, and it matched the surrounding floors so beautifully. We really lucked out. They brightened up the room immensely. I no longer felt guilty about not refinishing the floors underneath.

After they installed the floors, Geoffrey finally pitched in and installed the quarter round! I was so grateful to have his help. Then he painted the trim and did some finishing work to complete the room. He also hung the curtains that I purchased from Urban Outfitters. He did such a beautiful job with everything! Without him, the living room would still be unfinished.

Now for the after photos!

Here are a few details on our purchases:

1. IKEA Runner

2. IKEA Play Kitchen

3. IKEA Children’s Chair

4. IKEA Couch

5. Bamboo Chair

That’s it! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I look forward to hearing from you guys.

Emory

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simple porch makeover

Disclaimer: This really isn’t a total porch makeover so much as it is more of a temporary fix.

The front porch of our century old home slopes. When we bought our house, the room was drafty, dirty, and had a linoleum floor. I think. I can’t tell the difference between lino and vinyl. It was in one big piece, and rather than being glued down, it was merely placed on the sub floor. The entire perimeter of the flooring was curling upwards. It was so unattractive. One day I got fed up with it, so I picked it up and threw it out the back door. What I was left with was a sub floor covered in old glue, pictured below.

The issue with installing any new flooring in our porch was that the space between the floor and the bottom of the front door was approximately 1 cm. That ruled out hardwood or tile. Rather than buying new linoleum, I asked Geoffrey to try to get rid of the glue so that I could stain the sub floor. It was still in pretty good condition, considering its age.

When he used an electric sander on the floor, the glue heated up and began to spread. It became a sticky mess and was quite apparent that sanding and staining the floor was no longer an option. So I went onto Plan B. We ended up removing the remaining carpet and I painted the sub floor white. It really brightened up the small space!

I purchased a hanging light fixture from Home Depot and Geoffrey switched it with the motion sensor spotlight.

I also hung a few things and stacked two crates so that I could display my Kinfolk magazines and a few other items. I finished the room off with my Baba’s rug that I adore.

That’s it! This room only cost $20, which was the price of the new light. It’ll have to do until we can really get in there and make more drastic changes.

By the way, keeping your home this neat and tidy is no easy feat with a toddler! Sometimes, a little extra help is needed. If anyone is looking for amazing home cleaners, be sure to this NYC maid service!

<3

Emory

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bathroom: after

bathroom-after-8Everyone, welcome to our new bathroom!

bathroom-after-6A few days ago I showed you the before pictures. It was a white disaster. We decided to go with grey for the walls. Always a creature of habit, this is the exact colour that we used in our first condo that we owned together, as well as in our next home. But it’s been a few years since then. When we went to the paint store, it was the first colour that I gravitated to, and Geoffrey agreed that it would look best. It’s called Fine Silver by CIL.

bathroom-after-7If you recall, I was originally going to choose one wall to hang wallpaper on. However, after searching through a few stores, I couldn’t find any wallpaper that I loved as much as what I hung in our back porch or what I saw on Pinterest. Still wanting a feature wall, I was contemplating painting one black. In being such a dark and drastic colour, I decided to paint all of the walls grey first, and if I felt that something was still lacking, to do it then. In the end, I’m glad that I decided to wait.

bathroom-after-3We purchased a new toilet for our bathroom. I also bought a white shelf to hang above the toilet, as well as a picture for the shelf. I reused an old tin as a plant pot and found a purpose for our IKEA spice rack that I gotten a few years ago but had never used. We put it above the sink and it now holds the hand soap and a succulent.

bathroom-after-2I love the way that the bathroom turned out. I think that it has a somewhat modern yet peaceful feel to it. I’m shying away from rustic elements with our new home given that it’s so old, and am going for more of an updated look but with modern and antique elements. I hope that it shows.

<3

Emory

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bathroom: before

bathroom-before-2Remember this post? In it, I had written about how we were going to renovate our one and only bathroom. Today I will show you the before photos.

bathroom-before-1Everything in our bathroom was either white or a variation of white. This included the walls, baseboards, flooring, bathtub, sink, registers, and more. It was too much. It felt sterile and dated.

bathroom-before-5bathroom-before-6Additionally, the technique that they used on the baseboards made them look dirty. No matter how hard we scrubbed them, they never looked clean. It annoyed me to no end.

bathroom-before-3I really wanted to replace the linoleum flooring, and I even inquired about doing so over the Christmas break. However, given that we would have to remove absolutely everything in our bathroom, it would’ve turned into too big of a job. This is something that will have to wait until we have a second bathroom in the house, since we will be without a toilet while they replace the floor.

bathroom-before-4I’m so pleased with the way that our bathroom turned out. I’ll reveal those photos to you in a few days. I knew that this bathroom was ugly, but I didn’t realize just how ugly it was until we made it over.

Until then, stay tuned!

<3

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (one on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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