Google+ House Revivals: MLS Kitchen Budget Make-Over

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MLS Kitchen Budget Make-Over

The other day, I was looking at MLS listings, and realized there are a lot of kitchens out there that could be a lot better for very little money, if the homeowner was willing to roll up their sleeves and do  a little DIY.   So, I've made one over to show you.  Not actually.  Virtually!   I gave myself some rules:  two makeovers from one kitchen, one showing an extremely crazy tight budget kitchen, and one showing a very tight budget kitchen.  As tight budgets suggest, we are not moving windows or major plumbing or knocking out walls.

{Here is a sneak peak!}

Here is the MLS listing I found:

 {Cute, cozy bungalow in a historic neighborhood}

Here's the before kitchen:

This kitchen has a wonky, off balance sink, window, and cabinet set up, a giant fridge that is crowding the sink work area, and a lot of clutter.


Here's another view to show how out of balance the space is, and to show that there is not enough storage -- which contributes to the cluttered feeling.  These cozy little cottages need lots of storage!


What the space does have going for it is cabinets that are in good condition, a huge window, and fairly new appliances.  Using the floor tiles as a guide, this kitchen is about eleven feet wide by about fourteen feet long, but the present layout only utilizes about  half that space.  You can see that the homeowners have brought in open shelving to make up for the lack of storage, but it only adds to the cluttered feeling. Here is a quick sketch of the existing layout, and a new layout.

This is the equivalent of a "back of an envelope" sketch, so please don't judge.  This is a cabinet style and finish you can still get at a big box store, so I would recommend picking up a narrow wall cabinet and two more base cabinets.  If you were doing something similar in your own kitchen, but couldn't get the arched door in your store, I would recommend leaving the wall cabinet open.

Here is what the after could look like:
  • We removed a double door wall cabinet on the left of the sink and replaced it with a single door unit.  The purpose of this was to balance out the sink area.  It was originally so wonky, it would have been stressful to work in the space. 
  • The fifteen inch high uppers over the sink that had created such a claustrophobic feeling  were removed.
  • To make the window look slightly less "off", we added over-sized window treatments that overlapped the wall quite a bit on the left.
  • A rug was placed to further ground the sink/window area, and make it feel more balanced.

  • The wall unit that was removed from the sink wall was  placed on the adjacent wall where the fridge had been.
  • A new base unit was placed where the fridge had been.
  • The fifteen inch high wall unit that had been above the sink was placed under the large window to create a window seat.

  • The fridge was moved to the formerly empty wall.  It's not usually a first choice to place the fridge so far from the sink, but the alternative was to leave it too close to the sink, and it's still within a reasonable distance.
  • A new base unit was placed next to the fridge to create a landing area and to provide additional storage.
  • The wall unit that had been above the fridge was placed next to the fridge above the new base unit.  To keep the space from feeling off kilter, a storage basket was placed above the wall cabinet.
  • A bar surface was created on the pony wall between the kitchen and dining room.  
  • The tricky part of this make-over will be the counter tops.  An inexpensive butcher block surface could definitely be used on the new base cabinets next to the refrigerator.  If the other section of new counter top would be a budget buster using the surface material already in the kitchen, I would recommend just using butcher block there, as well -- if you bump that base cabinet out from the wall about three inches, and give it some bun feet, the change in counter surface will look intentional!

Let's take another look:





This was the "extremely crazy tight budget makeover".  The "very tight budget makeover" steps it up a notch, and embraces the "historic cottage bungalow" feel.  Be sure to hit "follow", over in my sidebar, or "like" our facebook page so you're sure not to miss it!

Edit:  You can see the stepped up "vintage cottage kitchen" version of the make-over HERE!

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