Hey! I’m Allie, wifey, mom, cheapo, and blogger over at www.cutekiduglyhouse.blogspot.com, where I share the hilarious side of marriage, parenting and DIY home improvements. Feel free to check it out!
Much like Chelsea mentioned in this post, my hubs and I always expect things to go smoothly and drastically underestimate how long a home project will take.
Maybe that’s why we usually finish each major project hating our stupid old house even more, and feeling something other than love in our hearts for each other. What I’m saying is that if the lives of some of these decorating/DIY bloggers are as sweet in reality as they are in virtual reality, then mad props to them.
When Greg and I decide to start a DIY project, like updating our kitchen for $200, which we did a few months ago, we usually begin bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Picture a married couple marching the aisles of Lowes, pointing to every single thing and breathlessly spouting bits of home design mumbo jumbo like,
Hey, wouldn’t this be such a unique yet neutral color for the hallway?”
This is like my ideal faucet. We should totally incorporate it into our ‘phase two’ kitchen project.”
Wait, wait! We could use these for coat hooks! Wouldn’t that read so unexpected yet approachable?”
We were basically holding hands and skipping on the way back to the car.
On the drive home, Greg actually asserted he would start on another project later that night after we FINISHED the kitchen.
We seem to forget two important things in these moments: First, we have a one year old child, and secondly, we have a stupid, 60-year-old house.
Three hours later, it was finally time to start the Project, and we were already grumpy.
My job was to paint the inside of the cabinets. Did I mention I’ve never painted before in my life? You should have seen my husband’s face when he saw me trying to push the roller into the corners and asking him how I was “supposed to get these stupid corners?”
I only completed three cupboards in two hours.
Things went more quickly once I started painting the right way and Greg came in to help me.
But it still took us four hours.
We were covered in paint, and the kitchen being the only room in our stupid old house with no air vents, there was no A/C.
At first, I thought, ‘Me and my hubs working on our house … sure, maybe we’re tired and overwhelmed, but this is fun! We should talk and have fun,’ and I tried to pull stuff out of my behind to talk about.
So, did you hear about the royal baby?” I asked. “Apparently he gave a little ‘royal wave’ to reporters when they left the hospital. How cute is that?! Hahaha!”
Pretty soon I gave up.
It was 3:30 in the morning when we finished, and we were so annoyed at each other, but also so exhausted that all we could muster up to express it were annoyed glances.
The whole thing ended up taking about four days. I painted the back splash the next day, all by myself, and finished it during Darby’s nap! I was so stinkin’ proud of myself and couldn’t wait to show Greg when he came home.
He loved it.
But then he went into our bedroom and saw that I had used one of his favorite T-shirts as a painting shirt. I thought it was an old, crappy one, and told him that he has a ton of T-shirts; how was I supposed to know?
Later, he brought one completed doors inside very ceremoniously, and attempted to attach it to a cupboard.
From the living room, I heard him talking to himself in a frustrated tone and rolled my eyes.
Then he came in the living room and told me that because we have a stupid, old house, our cabinet doors need a special kind of hinge or they won’t even shut.
So, after a trip to the store for new hinges, coming home, realizing they’d overcharged, and heading back to the store for a refund, we finally managed to replace the cabinet doors.
After a few more changes, here’s what we ended up with:
This is a classic “phase one” update because we aren’t in a position to do a major overhaul right now. However, I couldn’t look at that faux tin back splash for one more second. None of the changes are major, and the whole thing took a few days, and cost us a total of $200 in paint, spray paint, hinges and pulls, a sconce and a new window treatment.
What we did:
-Painted the inside and outside of the cabinets white (they were a creamy eggshell color)
-Changed the dated brass pulls and hinges for a simple, modern and sleek look
-Left off the two cabinet doors on either side of the sink (and sanded and filled the hinge holes.) This gives an instantly updated look to a kitchen because open shelving is popular right now (yet classic enough to not make it a waste of time) Then I made sure to style those shelves attractively. There are some bright colors in my kitchen already; the walls and some accessories and artwork, so I tried to stick to glass, including some amber glass which is a neutral color, for the open shelves.
-Painted the faux tin back splash light gray. (This gives the impression of a stony gray back splash, which is our actual ideal for a real back splash one day.)
-Spray painted the country looking pendant lamp over the sink to a dark aqua (Spray painting is our go-to way of changing something cheaply, and Greg does it way better than me, as you’d expect. He gets really sick of me bringing him new things to spray paint all the time.)
-Replaced the curtain with an inexpensive faux jute roman blind. I like to mix modern/industrial (aqua pendant lamp) with natural fibers and objects, even it is faux-natural…. errr….
-Replaced the dated sconce with a cheap one from the hardware store. (This is not my ideal sconce, but there is no connection to a light switch from this sconce, so it needed to be the kind with a switch or pull on the sconce itself. Read me?)
-We did nothing with the countertops or appliances because those will have to wait for the bigger update one day. The counters are just old laminate, but they look like stone because the previous owner was a smarty and purchased one of those “paint your laminate counters to look like granite” kits that Chelsea mentioned being too expensive in a recent post. I guess our previous owner decided it was worth it in order to sell the house, and guess what? She was right because it worked. I literally had no idea the counters were fake until moving in.
But I’m ridiculous like that.
Allie did an incredible job totally changing the look of her kitchen on a budget. It’s crazy that she only spent $200 and was able to create such a difference. I’m loving the jute roman shades up against the modern pendant lamp and I’m obsessed with the open shelving. Awesome job, Allie! What’s your favorite part? Share in the comments below! If you’re visiting from Cute Kid, Ugly House, I’d love for you to check out some of my favorite posts: Laminate Countetop Makeover and $5 DIY Vases. If you’d like to get regular updates from my blog, follow Pinterior Designer on Facebook and Bloglovin (links are in the sidebar). Thanks! -Chelsea