My kitchen's facelift
My 20-year-old kitchen was showing its age. I have a modest home in a modest neighborhood and didn't want to spend a lot of money attempting to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. My builder's grade golden oak cabs were very orange and looking a little shabby. I wanted to get rid of the fluorescent ceiling fixture and replace the tile counters. My kitchen is just 10'x10' and G-shaped, but it's got a good existing layout, 9' ceilings, red oak floor, ample storage and natural light, so I aimed for a facelift. I live alone and don't have to share the kitchen with anyone (more a curse than a blessing).
Since I wanted to pay cash, I decided I was willing to spend $20K, and figured that would probably mean $25K. I ended up going $200 over $20K. I had a wonderful KD through whom I got my new cab doors, sink, faucet, counters and hardware. My GC turned out to be a PITA, but I got through it. Wouldn't ever hire him again. I painted the ceiling/walls myself (and promised myself a new iPad with what I saved). Got my own backsplash people.
I decided to keep costs down and get new appliances later on. However, I did get a new hood and fridge after everything else was done, not part of my original budget. I ended up liking the looks of my low-end Kenmore stove a lot more after everything else was done, so I'll live with it and my old DW for awhile.
At first I hated everything about my new kitchen: too much white, counters too mottled, faucet way too big, sink too deep. Too stark, not enough color. What had I done to my kitchen? I actually missed the orange oak! While I'd do a lot of things differently if I had it to do over, I've settled into it and actually like it now. This is probably the most updated kitchen in my entire neighborhood. Painted white cabinets haven't come this way yet so I'm actually on the bleeding edge. :p
Because I kept my old cabinet boxes, I have not one, not two, but three blind corners. I put infrequently used things in their deepest recesses and curse when I have to dig deep on occasion. I think of GW's disdain and pity for me, and it makes me laugh, in a good way.
I'm not a DIYer, but the stuff I truly love the most about my kitchen are the silly little things I did myself: Swapped out a 4" can and put in an LED, added Blum soft closers on all doors, made a lined valance from instructions I found on a blog, updated my message center, even the patching and painting I did myself. I envy all of you able to DIY. Still awaiting stools with saddle seats that I plan to paint BW Caliente.
Cabinet doors and drawer fronts: Decora paint-grade maple with MDF insets
Cabinet paint: BM Cloud White (very smelly, assume it isn't water-based)
Counters: Caesarstone Smoky Ash
Backsplash: Sonoma Creamy Crackle, platinum grout
MW: Sharp (Costco)
Sink: Dawn (Chinese, don't hate me)
Faucet: Hansgrohe Talis C
Walls: SW Antique White
Hardware: Top Knobs
UCL: Juno fluorescent (not on in these photos)
Pendants: Thomasville Santiago (ole!)