Projects & Improvements

Before & After: A Love of Cooking and a Lack of Counter Space Lead to a Kitchen Reno

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(Image credit: Submitted by Carleen )

Carleen’s kitchen didn’t offer much in the way of counter space but it did provide her with lots of poorly laid green tile, which, shockingly enough, wasn’t much consolation. She decided that she’d had enough and set about renovating her kitchen. A mix of professional help, a handy husband and some smart IKEA finds help her put together a chic new kitchen with plenty more counter space to boot.

(Image credit: Submitted by Carleen )

From Carleen: The previous owner had removed the upper cabinets in the kitchen of our 800-square-foot condo. This meant there was a serious lack of counter space, because everything that I used frequently to cook had to be stored on the countertops. The microwave took up what little remained of the counter. The stove was a horrible flat top electric stove that never looked clean, the refrigerator was full size and stuck way out from the counters, and the green glass tile backsplash hadn’t been installed quite straight and drove me crazy.

(Image credit: Submitted by Carleen )

I love to cook and was frustrated with not having enough counter space. We also wanted more storage and felt like the area above the oak-colored IKEA cabinets to the left of the fridge was being wasted. We also wanted to be able to put the library ladder that goes up to our loft inside a cabinet where it wouldn’t be in the way.

We started our updates at the end of April 2016 and finished in August 2017. We used IKEA to install the cabinets, as well as professionals to do the floors and tile installation. My husband built the interiors of the cabinets to the left of the refrigerator, and used IKEA facings so that they would match the kitchen cabinets. He did a lot of custom cutting and had to be creative about how the cabinet doors opened.

(Image credit: Submitted by Carleen )

I love, love, love the backsplash. I know it’s not for everyone, in this day of white subway tiles being the norm, but it makes me really happy. I also love my gas stove and the new, larger microwave. I also love the clear acrylic front drawers in the new pantry, which make it easy to see what’s inside.

(Image credit: Submitted by Carleen )

Carleen’s words of wisdom: Expect everything to take a lot longer than you think it will, especially if you’re doing any part of it yourself. Hire professionals to do whatever you can if you care about things being done more quickly. Be prepared to live with a lot of dust. Be prepared to be without a functional kitchen, and consider setting up a temporary kitchen in another part of the house if at all possible.

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Thank you, Carleen!