Wednesday, August 3, 2011

(Not Even Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: kitchen refresh

We moved into a new house this spring, and the kitchen needed a bit of an update.

There was nothing wrong with the layout and the cabinets and appliances were in fine condition. So why the update?

First, because it was very, very blue: countertops, sink, walls.

And it was also a little dated. And lastly, it had an electric range.

The Ninj doesn't do electric.

So we decided on a kitchen refresh, as opposed to a full-blown kitchen remodel: no ripping up floors or tearing out cabinets, just a little updating.

I'm happy to say that it's finally done -- and I'm proud that we did a lot of it ourselves.

We did our own demo, which is fun!
Waiting for the countertops
Laying out the backsplash template

Well, Mr. Ninj did it himself while I did a lot of supervising.

Backsplash installation -- last step!

I'm even prouder that we didn't go overboard. It's easy, once you get started, to want everything to be new or top-of-the-line. But I realized that, even though my last kitchen had very high-end appliances when we moved in, they never made me a better cook -- they just looked cool. So, in keeping with our refresh-not-remodel philosophy, you will not see any giant-ass Wolf, Dacor or Viking appliances. And I won't be getting a new refrigerator until the existing one dies.

What you will see is a cool and dreamy, contemporary kitchen unlike any other I've ever had. It's like living under the sea -- and yes, I keep singing that song, complete with that crab's accent ("undah da seeeeeeee!"), but unfortunately the only words I know are "under the sea" -- very annoying, even to me.

Some refresh lessons learned:
  • As the Dweller has also pointed out, don't be afraid to ask. I wound up getting a beautiful granite slab with awesome installation and a higher-quality sink from a local granite company rather than a big box retailer because I asked if the local guy would price match. And he did.
  • Tiling is a pain in the ass, especially on the walls, but it's not hard if you take your time and plan it all out in advance. And you will save tons of money on installation.
  • Just changing the knobs and pulls can give your cabinetry a whole new look -- cheap.
  • Cooking with gas is worth it!
Don't you just love before-and-afters? It's so HGTV.


  1. Looks great! And I'm in total agreement - Cooking with gas is sooo worth it!

  2. I can't wait to see it in person. When should I come for dinner?

  3. It looks great Jules! There is nothing better than gas cooking. Hope you are celebrating your new look.

  4. Woot, finally some pix--it looks super!! I especially love the backsplash, but next time we need a better picture of Mr. Ninj's butt. ;-)

    What do they got? A lot of sand...We got a hot crustacean band. Each little clam here know how to jam here under the sea.