Before and After: This Kitchen Was a Rat-Infested Nightmare

published Dec 19, 2017
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(Image credit: Mercedez Hofberg)

Sometimes, when people describe a room as “a nightmare,” they’re talking about shag carpeting or hideous laminate or cheesy ’80s style. Today’s kitchen sounds like the stuff of actual nightmares—read on lest you think I’m talking about the blue-mustard color combo you see here. (But don’t worry—the space now is totally dreamy.)

(Image credit: Mercedez Hofberg)

What a difference a new everything makes! This is now such a bright, cheerful kitchen that unites white, stainless steel, brass, black, and navy into a lovely whole. There is definitely a lot of white, with the shiplap, tile, and paneled cabinet doors adding texture and visual interest. Mercedes of Touches of Blush has done an incredible job creating an inviting, user-friendly kitchen.

(Image credit: Mercedez Hofberg)

Let’s take a step back to that nightmare I mentioned:

When we purchased the house I was SO naive. I thought, “oh, these are all good bones we just need to make cosmetic changes!” Once we moved in we realized we needed to make changes for sanitation and to match our aesthetic.

Our kitchen before can be described as somewhat of a nightmare. When we first purchased our home we quickly discovered our kitchen was infested with rats. If we wanted to fix things up before we REALLY wanted to now. The floors were vinyl and very uneven. The cabinets were covered in a layer of scum. Basically, EVERYTHING had to go. When we started to rip out the walls and floors we realized that there were several holes rats were getting in through. On top of that, the walls were filled with their feces. We were horrified! Since all the walls were out we decided to knock down the wall separating the kitchen and dining. THIS was a game changer!

This is a good reminder that when people do home makeovers, it’s not always about aesthetics. No judgement if it is just about aesthetics, but sometimes there’s a serious “infestation” and “scum” situation behind people’s decision to spend a ton of time and money remaking a room. I’m so happy Mercedez and her family were able to make the changes necessary to have a safe, hygenic, and beautiful kitchen.

(Image credit: Mercedez Hofberg)

Don’t get too distracted by that incredible sink, because it’s time for the nitty-gritty (time and money) details of the renovation from Mercedez:

Our entire kitchen took about 2.5 weeks. LUCKILY my Dad is a contractor and did all the labor for us: electrical, plumbing, tiling, and everything else. Due to the fact that we had free labor our entire kitchen cost around $5,500. The biggest surprise was that a rat had built a full blown nest in the oven vent. Not only is this disgusting it is sooo unsafe!

Someone’s going to get an amazing Father’s Day present next year, that’s for sure. It looks like her dad did an amazing job, and it’s nice that she’ll be able to consult him with any concerns or changes in the future.

(Image credit: Mercedez Hofberg)

One criticism of all-white rooms, we hear all that time, is that they are “sterile,” but I think this is one case in which we can all understand the desire to have a room that feels as ultra-clean as possible! The white walls and cabinets are warmed by the wood countertops, the navy island provides contrast, and the brass lighting and hardware adds a cozy glamour that’s a far cry from any lab or hospital. It’s possible for a room to feel sterile and homey all at once. Mercedez loves the results, and has some renovating words of wisdom to share:

I love how clean and simple it is. I purposely created a blank and clean canvas that I can dress up differently as styles change. Sometimes, when I am feeling colorful, I pull out my vintage colored glass and style it different ways on the open shelving. The majority of the time I am feeling minimalistic so I keep that tucked away. I love that! I also love that by knocking down the wall between our kitchen and living room the house feels so much bigger! I can honestly say I would not have done much differently. I really love how this process went!

Renovations aren’t like HGTV makes them seem. Stuff is complicated and takes time to be ‘perfect’. You have to just breathe and be open to whatever may come! My biggest flaw is that I want things done overnight. Slow and steady wins the race are the words to live by! If you are able to sit back and breathe a bit great things will happen.

Thank you Mercedez! Readers, her kitchen remodel post has even more After shots, so don’t miss those!