My Kitchen on My Budget

When I retired six years ago, I accepted a partial lump sum payment which gave me cash to be able to do a couple things. Some of the things I wanted to do was to finish my associate’s degree, take a trip and remodel my kitchen. I did the first two things earning an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science, Multi-Media and Web Design (graduating with a 3.93 grade average–woo hoo me!) and taking a dream trip to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. The third thing, remodeling my kitchen, never fully came about.

My house is almost 50 years old and I’ve lived here for almost 30 years. I’ve done many things including  painting my kitchen cabinets, painting or wallpapering every room several times  and replacing the tile floors at least twice . We only have peel and stick tiles in our kitchen, dining room and hallway. That’s what was here when I bought the house and I stayed with that type tile because it was something I could do myself. What a treat it was that for a couple hundred dollars and some time, I was able to transform the look of the rooms I spent a whole lot of time in. When I was considering remodeling the kitchen/dining room combination, I wanted to replace the peel and stick tile with a vinyl flooring. I was told that in order to  put down vinyl flooring, we would have to completely remove all the tiles and sand down the underlayment because the different adhesives used in peel and stick tile and the type used in vinyl flooring, are not compatible. Although I didn’t really want peel and stick, I didn’t want the extra hassle. I settled for a peel and stick which looks like slate.

floorMy original thought for remodeling my kitchen was to remove the peninsula, extend the upper and lower kitchen cabinets to the sliding door in dining room (which is just beyond the buffet in the photo below) and replace my white appliances with stainless steel. But, working at my peninsula one day, I realized that I would really miss this large wide island (has seating for at least two) if I replaced it with a smaller island. So I settled for painting my cabinets and replacing the hardware, added new counter tops and back splash and purchased an island (from Home Depot), and new stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher (the stove and range hood will have to wait).


The counters cost around $1,000 (from Lowes), the back splash about $350 (including labor), paint was $20, hardware (purchased on line and at Menards)  around $50, the island $850 (Home Depot) and the dishwasher and refrigerator $1750 (from Lowes). I figure I saved myself about $6,000 by keeping my cabinets.

Each morning when I leave my bedroom and walk down the hall to the kitchen to make the first pot of coffee , I flip on the light…and I smile. I really love my kitchen and as soon as I get the other appliances paid off, I’ve purchasing a new stainless steel stove and range hood.

Incidentally, the dry erase board on the back of the door has been hanging there for over fifteen years. When my boys were younger, I used it as a monthly chore chart. Each boy did certain chores for a week. when the month was over, I simply erased it and started over with the new month. Now it’s used mainly as a grocery list.

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