home tour pt 1: kitchen & dining room before & after

this month marks two years of us living in this little rancher. it's been fun (i use that term loosely) to completely renovate the simple, 1000 square foot floor plan and make it our own. ever since i started watching hgtv years ago, i had the itch to tear down walls and rip out kitchen cabinets - and that's exactly what we did here. lots of drywall dust, tears, sweat, and chiropractor visits later, we had our little open concept, fresh & bright home. now, we feel like it's about time to begin the process of finding another investment house for us to pour our hearts into. we've learned a whole lot the past couple of years and so we will be farming out most of the work this time around. there were a few too many tears involved last time. but there really is nothing like transforming your house into a beautiful home with your own two hands. there's just something really special about that. so, this summer will be full of soaking up the remainder of our time here and finishing up those last few projects we never got around to. buying and selling a house is a process and you never know how slowly or quickly these things will go. so, we shall see what happens.

when we bought this house, we knew it was going to be a short term thing. it was an investment and a stepping stone to the next house - which would hopefully be a little closer to "the" house i dream about. so, knowing that this was a temporary place, we kept our renovating expenses low. i'll be talking a bit about the money side of things too & how we did some major work to this house on such a limited budget. 

since we are gearing up to put this house on the market, i figured it was about time to finally get around to a little house tour. i posted a lot of "before" pictures back on my old blog right after we had purchased the house and before we had started gutting it, but i'm going to post them again here. 

i was going to do a full tour in one post, but there are so many pictures that i decided to break it down a little more. so, for part 1 of the tour, let's start in the kitchen and dining room. 

here is a lovely "before" shot of the kitchen from the mls listing. i mean, i guess it's ok if you like how florescent lights make the orange countertops pop. and that leaded glass window...yum!

this room was a third bedroom, but the previous owner turned it into a second living room of sorts. he added the back doors out to the porch and made the closet into a walkway to the kitchen. it was odd. and tiny.

the day we closed on the house, we immediately got to work tearing down walls. don't worry, we did all of our research prior to closing on which walls were and were not load bearing. 

we were going to try and salvage some of the cabinets as a complete kitchen remodel was not in the original plan, but they were so dilapidated and really needed to come out. i had never designed a kitchen before and we didn't have the money to hire it out, so we were on our own!

this stage was really rather frightening.

besides hiring someone to help with some of the more extensive electrical work (Jeff did all of the lighting and such though) and to install the countertops, we did every last bit of work ourselves. i am not necessarily recommending that, but we were able to remodel the kitchen from the floor up, paint everything, install loads of new recess lighting and all new fixtures and switches, refinish the hardwood floors throughout, landscape the front yard, and much more for under $10k. and the only way we were able to do that is because we are extreme bargain hunters (aka "cheapos") and we worked our tails off for four+ months straight. and we were fortunate enough to not run into any major, money-sucking issues. we had issues, just nothing major.

as i share the next couple of posts in this tour series, you will begin to see how all the rooms connect after we took out the walls. we basically turned four rooms into one large open space. it's not always a good idea to create such an open space, but in this case, the rooms were so tiny and it was not very functional. thankfully, we did not have to do any structural work as none of the walls were load bearing (keep in mind that this is a very tiny house). 

the stove was a lucky find at a bachelor's estate sale, the cabinets were found at a local resale warehouse, and that island is a vintage drafting table - found on craigslist for $175. the fridge came with the house, and we are too cheap to get a new one until it breaks down. and the darn thing keeps running. 

we chose slate tile for the flooring. i hand-picked every single one of those tiles! whew!

we installed ship lap all along the kitchen wall in leu of a tiled backsplash. i love the look of it and it has held up really well. it gives the wall texture & interest for a very small price tag.

we made the open shelving from pine boards and ikea brackets. 

and this is what it looks like today. i didn't really do any styling to the shelves for the picture - other than straightening a couple of things. this is really what it looks like on the daily. we should probably get some kind of window treatment there, but i just love being able to look out into the backyard without any obstructions. 

the sink is from overstock and the faucet is from a similar site - can't remember the name. the light pendant above the sink is from ikea. 

notice the match strike pad on the side of the stove :). nice and handy!

the countertops are caesarstone in nougat. i have loved the caesarstone and would choose it again even though it wasn't my first choice in pattern. this slab was a leftover piece that was the perfect size and so we got a killer deal on it.

still no hardware on those cabinet doors. some things just aren't meant to be, i tell ya!

the original plan was to build built-ins around the fridge (and get a new fridge as well), but that hasn't happened yet. 

the light fixture above the island is a 1960's pendant from a home here in tulsa. i love giving old things new life. 

a lot of the items in the kitchen are thrifted (including our garbage disposal. haha!), but feel free to ask for sources and i'll see if i can remember.

we turned that odd little third bedroom/second living room into the dining room. it just made more sense after all the walls were gone.

the wall tapestry was purchased here.

the table was a $60 craigslist find and the bentwood chairs were found various places for about $5/each. i painted them all black to give them a bit of coherence. the white, eames-style chairs are from walmart.com.

the pitcher and woven placemat are from ikea. and the linen tablecloth is from home goods several years ago.

the brass light fixture was made by yours truly. and those lovely blooms are from whole foods.

to see more of the home tour:

home tour pt 2: living room and entry before & after

home tour pt 3: bedrooms before & after