HELP! Kitchen Update Ideas Needed!!

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I had posted a little while ago that the I live in  the farm house version of the money pit. We have been chipping away at updates and maintenance as we can, but we have been holding off on any kitchen updates  for a long time now, even though the ceiling was a massive eyesore  and the kitchen seems to be stuck in the 50’s.  The  reason for the delay was the mess that would be involved in tearing down the drop ceilings wold inevitably make, but I think we just got to the end of our ropes and decided it was time. The hubs and I agreed to only do the ceiling to try to keep the project manageable,  but as we started spending more time in home improvement stores looking for solutions to our ceiling, the more we realized how much improving we could be doing to our home and thought we could handle a couple of DIY projects.

Hanging Drywall


Today the ceilings and lights where pretty much taken care of.  We hired a local Mennonite contractor to do the kitchen ceiling, they removed the drop ceiling tiles and hung drywall. All the work they did was  able to be  done in 1 day, they will be coming back soon to tape and sand the seams . No more lumpy bumpy ceiling!  We also hired an electrician to rewire electrical, and add more lights. But that is all we are planning on bringing in as far as professionals go.  The rest of the projects will be DIY.


With the ceiling job for the most part behind us I am planning some minor updates to our kitchen, but to fully appreciate our kitchen’s issues join me in my tour of my 1950’s kitchen. The picture below was taken after the electrician had already started, that is why there are large portions of the ceiling missing.

kitchen renovation ideas on a budget
Kitchen before (this picture was taken after the electrician had started his work)


Some of the key features I would like to point out that drive me crazy, is the excessive use of knotty pine, the scalloped trim above the kitchen sink, and the dated cabinet hardware.  But it is not all bad, see that long stretch of counter top that divides my kitchen and dinning room? I love it! It has been suggested to me that I shorten it to open up the kitchen some more, but who gives up counter space? I love having so much work space. Here is quick pic of what I am planning on doing:



I am really really in need of suggestions though! What colors should I paint the cupboards? I am pretty sure white would end in disaster with my 3 kids. And see that knotty pine under the window?  That wraps all the way around my dinning room, do I paint that too?  I am not sure about the back splash  but I am pretty sure it will not involve removing that fake tile, so whatever we do will happen on top of that. I would love to hear any suggestions and will be posting more about this!


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    1. Didi,
      LOL I can not wait to be finished! I am still trying to figure out a few things, Lowes told me that the stone I wanted to use on the back splash is not available in our area, and I am trying to figure out a solution for the cabinets, without a latch they will not stay closed. I am spending entirely too much time at home improvement stores lately.

  1. I love the counter space also! How about a charcoal gray color for the cabinets? Not too dark…and yes, I would also paint the wood around the room.

    We painted our cabinets white and I do wipe them a lot but I also feel that I can see the dirt to wipe them. If I couldn’t see it, who knows how bad they would be!! You can see my Kitchen Remodel on my blog and see our transformation too.
    I found a great place to get the new hardware too. I found what I liked at Lowes and this place had it for almost half off!! Here is the link if you are interested in the makeover and the hardware source…

    I can’t wait to see the after pictures of your kitchen!!

    ~ Darlene

    1. Darlene,
      I hear you about being able to see the dirt! The more I look around the more I am leaning towards white, it would really brighten up our kitchen, I will just have to make sure I get a super scrubbable paint!
      I love your kitchen remodel! I have checked out the site you recommended for hardware and bookmarked it. Thank you so much!

  2. I’m jealous of your counter space. My husband redid the kitchen before we were together and it’s b-a-d – 2 little sections of counterspace and one electrical outlet.

    For your kitchen, how about ‘bleaching’ the cupboards to lighten them? I am not sure how one does that though 🙂 See how that goes before you attempt the rest of the pine areas.

    1. Teresa,
      Thank you, the counter space is the one think in my kitchen I love 🙂
      I totally never even mentioned my outlet situation! Our electrician had to do a bunch of rewiring because we could not use the microwave and dishwasher at the same time!
      I have been thinking about a whitewash with a chalk paint, which might be similar to bleaching, in that it will allow the grain of the wood to show through, I have also looked into pickling. I am still really on the fence…