Favorite Project- A Kitchen Table for Two

Today's guest blogger is April from A Kitchen Table for Two.  I started reading April's blog after she was the lucky winner of our PetSmart giftcard giveaway.  April's dog, Teddy, is an excellent DIY helper..."Nah Mom, the curtains are the perfect length. No hemming needed."

Not only is her dog cute but April is also working on some fun DIY projects..on a budget of course!  April is now going to share with your her favorite project. 


Hello, Decor and the Dog readers!  I was so thrilled when Michelle asked me to guest post for her - don't you just love her blog?  I'm so thankful for my "blog-land" friends, and Michelle is definitely a kindred spirit... a professional with a love for DIY projects who loves her dog like most people love their kids (isn't Ike the cutest?!).  So, when she asked me to pop over and share a little somethin' with all of you, I jumped at the chance!

It's hard for me to choose a favorite project from our 1970's ranch home; we've done so much to it in the two years we've been living here!  We've removed the popcorn ceilings, done a few custom paint jobs, re-upholstered furniture, etc...  But the project with the most bang for our buck and the most incredible results has to be our kitchen overhaul, and the story starts a little like this...

My husband and I purchased out home in an older neighborhood that is close to downtown Tempe (a suburb of Phoenix, AZ)...

We loved the idea of living within a mile of our Alma Mater, ASU (GO DEVILS!), and having the home eventually become a rental property for college students.  This, of course, means no crazy-expensive remodeling projects, since college renters are characteristically party animals not the most careful.  So, when our nice little ranch home came with a kitchen that looked outdated (to say the least), we knew we needed to figure out an interim solution.  Hauling out the cabinetry and replacing it would cost over $10,000 (be still, my heart!!), and wasn't an option.  But paint - now THAT was something I could do. 

True Life Confession.... I have NO real "before" picture.  This is because I jumped into the project so fast, I didn't even think about it.  That is just a small taste of how crazy I truly am.  In my head, it went something like this... "Remodel my kitchen with a budget of $300? Sure, this will be easy and wonderful!! I'll start right now!  This very second!  To hell with pictures, I need a paintbrush, STAT!!" 

What I do have a is a picture of the beginning of the process.  This is after I removed the oak cabinet doors, taped everything off, and began sanding (and an gnome came in and deposited a bunch of crap on my counters because my kitchen would never look that dirty in real life *wink*)

Forgive the camera phone picture.  But it's truly frightening, no?  And doesn't fluorescent lighting just make everything look attractive?  Thanks, guy who invented it - all of our bleached out faces and tired, squinty eyes are forever in your debt.  

After a coat of primer, we were starting to look a bit more like a real kitchen...

Yes, I did leave everything inside my cabinet boxes.  And you should know that I declined to paint the inside of the cabinet boxes for one reason: I am lazy.  There's really no other excuse.  If you're going to judge me by the inside of my cabinet boxes, I guess you'd probably find out how ridiculous I can be anyway, so go right ahead.

I chose to do all of it by hand - sanding (DEATH!  Next time I WILL rent a hand sander!), priming, painting (used Purdy brushes and a foam roller), and replacing all of the hardware (we went with the Amerock line from Lowe's).  Although I guess you're not technically "replacing" hardware if there was nothing there to begin with.  After 2 weeks (procrastination and I became BFFs), 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of Behr paint in semi-gloss, and only $322, we had this...

Hallelujah!  Cue angels singing!  It turned out better than I could have EVER hoped.  Especially since it was my first real painting project.  All of my friends and most of my family Some people may call me crazy for attempting such a big project as my first, but I knew my crazed perfectionism (for everything but the insides of my cabinet boxes) would carry me through to the end.  Here's a few detail shots for ya...

My pantry doors are getting painted with chalkboard paint soon!

And a new stainless steel dishwasher is going to be my birthday present (4.5 months and counting!).

I LOVE how the farmhouse-pulls we chose look against the white cabinets and the (faux) butcher-block counters.

Doing the dishes has never been more pleasant!

Here's the final before and after presentation...

Thanks for letting me share my kitchen, Michelle!  It was quite the project, but we're very happy with the results!

ο»ΏWhat's not to love about an inexpensive kitchen make-over?? Paint is a beatiful thing.  And a dishwasher as a birthday gift?  Bet she would have never predicted that would be on the ol' birthday list a few years back!  Be sure to head over to A Kitchen Table for Two and see what April (and Ted) are up to!