We finally finished our galley kitchen remodel! In the last post about it, it was being demoed. I was hoping to have project-by-project posts, but instead here’s one giant before-and-after post.
We’ll start with the “After”, then the “Before” from the dining room.
From the living room (after):
Guys…this one tiny room completely transformed our house. It went from a 6′ wide closet of a kitchen to a place where everyone wanted to (and could!) be.
We were finally able to enjoy cooking together again.
The layout changes
The biggest change was obviously ripping out the wall. A galley kitchen just wasn’t going to work for us. We built an island where the wall used to start. Not only was it way more open, but we could also now access the kitchen from more than one spot.
We also swapped fridge and stove positions to further open things up.
The cabinets were a huge score. One day we randomly went into a Restore (by Habitat For Humanity) second-hand store hoping to find some art for the dining room and ended up with “new” kitchen cabinets.
They had been the showpieces at a nice cabinet store…which meant they were never actually used, but it also meant that they had all the upgrades like olive wood drawers, amazing slide out cubbies and baskets, built-in spice racks, tiny bonus cupboards on the ends for small items, and more.
They came in a really nice gray, but while I intended to paint them black (and already had the paint), we ran out of time.
So the cabinets were very affordable, and as we love, we opted for open shelving on top.
The island was super fun to do. Since space was really limited, but we needed more storage, we used some of the upper cabinets for the island as they are only 15 inches deep. The Hubs built a base fastened to the floor to attach the cabinets to. Here’s a video of how to build a sub frame if you’re using wall cabinets for bases, so you can get a visual of it.
Then we used a regular depth countertop which overhung perfectly for counter-height stools.
We put veneer over the sides and backs of the cabinets and then painted them with a custom color to match the rest of the cabinets.
The cabinets were the perfect depth for pots and pans and all those random kitchen items.
We pulled up three layers of flooring down to the original hardwood, but sadly it was way beyond repair (looks-wise!). We weighed our options, and decided to go with the very affordable, very fast peel-and-stick vinyl.
If it wasn’t that, it was going to be real tile, and we didn’t have the time or the budget for that at the moment.
We put down new subflooring on top of the hardwood for a clean surface to stick to. Then it’s just a project you can work on for a couple hours a day until it’s done! At least that’s how I do it. 🙂
A big thing I love about peel and stick is that because there isn’t nearly the time and financial investment, I’m not afraid to go bold.
We used Achim Geometric pattern tiles. I loved them.
The big splurges were the fridge and stove, though we did wait until they were on sale. We went with black stainless steel (since the lower cabinets were supposed to be black).
We started buying counter-depth refrigerators years ago, and just can’t go back to standard depth. Less food gets lost in the back, AND it just looks so much better and saves that much more room in the kitchen.
The range hood was from Amazon. It was more affordable there, but it was a little frustrating to install with the way the sleeve was designed.
The sink and counters
The sink was special to me. Since we were going to go black on the cabinets, I also wanted a black sink to sit on the marble-look counters. We found this single bowl sink from Kohler and paired it with this gorgeous (and affordable) gold faucet.
The counters were our old favorites from Ikea. We got shock and disbelieving comments from both a pair of designer friends and from realtors that were visiting when we told them they were IKEA. Highly recommend!
The pantry was a huge change too. I can’t currently find an image of what it was originally but…
The door to the right inside the kitchen was a little hallway with a door to the back yard at the end.
When we bought the house, that hallway had three closets in it for pantry-type storage. It was clever, but a lot of the spaces were awkward and because of the doors, things would pile up and get messy in there really fast.
So we gutted it.
We didn’t want to take out the walls as well, but they were plastered within an inch of their life and it was just not pretty.
So we took it all down and started with fresh drywall.
I always wanted a butler’s pantry, so we built one. And it was so much more functional! It was also a great place to store dry goods, which is always the one thing missing when you go with open shelves for uppers in the kitchen.
We also removed the door so it would flow better.
The pictures aren’t that great because it’s such a tiny space (and we left in such a hurry), but there were two full lower cabinets and one extra large upper hanging above them. Then we had more open shelves, and an open section underneath for a trash can and rain boots.
We didn’t keep detailed records, but including the splurge on higher-end appliances, we estimate the whole remodel at $15,000. The biggest costs were the appliances and then the building materials (the wall we ripped out was load-bearing, so we needed to put in a lot of quality materials and care there).
So worth it to go from the very cramped galley kitchen to a big open one for a couple who loves to cook and entertain.
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