Real people, renovating. Many factors affect a full-home reno decision, including the value of your home as is versus the danger of over-renovating said value, the current state of your mortgage, personal willingness to deal with massive disruption in the daily routine, and so on. But for some people, it comes down to one simple factor: we love it here (and, if we have to, we’ll find the money).
Today we begin a seven-part series written by Katherine Scarrow, who decided to renovate an original condition 1940s bungalow with her boyfriend, Chris. “It didn’t seem like such a big fat scary deal to him,” she says, while she brought “abundant enthusiasm and profound naïveté” to the project. Why the difference in attitude? Chris was born into a family of builders and designers, while Katherine “grew up in a home where no one was even remotely deft with a hammer.”
Read on for part 1, The Kitchen, and see if the combination of these personal styles and life experiences yielded a reno to your liking!
Katherine and Chris (left)
Part 1: The Kitchen
The look: Seaside cottage kitchen with a modern twist.
The challenge: Reconfigure the existing, poorly designed layout, to create a functional and cozy kitchen. We toyed with the idea of opening up a south-facing wall into the living room, but for structural and financial reasons, decided against it. Instead, we created a galley kitchen by closing off the front entryway.
Approx. cost: $2,000 (not including appliances)
Realistic time span of project: Three weeks.
Biggest challenge: Figuring out how to fit the shaker-style cabinets we found on Kijiji into such a tight space. It was a bit like Tetris.
We absolutely love: The painted pine boards we used for the backsplash, which gives the kitchen its rustic, coastal feel. The best part is, they’re easy to install and incredibly affordable.
What we would have done differently: The white porcelain tile floor. While we purchased it at a very reasonable price, it shows every speck of dirt and drop of spaghetti sauce, so requires constant vacuuming and mopping. Not fun!
We strongly recommend: If you’re buying a used kitchen online or at, for example, the ReStore, get more cabinets than you need — it will give you plenty of size and shape options to choose from.
Potential for DIY Disaster?
On a scale of 1-5 Bryan Baeumler heads — 5 representing the highest potential for disaster — we give this project 4 BBs. There are so many places to go seriously wrong!
• Tiles: Tile Factory Tile Depot (Mississauga, ON)
• Countertop: Ikea Numerar in beech
• Wood, building materials: Home Depot
• Sink and taps: Lowes
• Cupboards: Kijiji
• Paint: Benjamin Moore (Ocean Breeze, cloud white)