Home > Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover > Another Check Mark on the To-Do List

Another Check Mark on the To-Do List

February 7th, 2010

I hope everyone is sitting down because I would like to announce that Mr. vB and I have actually, wait for it…FINISHED A PROJECT!  The Kitchen has officially been checked off the To-Do List. {If the mood strikes us we might still upgrade our dishwasher and change up the bar top, but for now we are all good!}

But before I debut our new digs, you know I gotta show you were it all started.  And just to warn you- this is gonna be a long post.  I took us just over 6 months to get it all done.  That is ALOT of projects/photos to recap!

Just like most things in this house, Mr.vB had already renovated this kitchen once when he originally moved in. Here is what it looked like back in Jan ’05.

This is the few from the hall looking into the kitchen and dining room.

And here is looking from the back pantry room into the kitchen. {nice isn’t it?!}

The original plan entailed opening the wall up between the kitchen and dining room and also rearranging the cabinet layout.

Here is the kitchen right before we started taking down the cabinets.  The upper cabinets did have doors, but Mr. vB was working too fast.  By the time I grabbed the camera, half of the doors were already down.

We were never fans of the original cabinet doors as they were very 80′s-ish with the wood accents. Our appliances (which came with the house) also bugged us as they were mismatched- Black Stove, White Hood, White Fridge and Silver/black dishwasher.

We started by rearranging our existing cabinets. Mr. vB took down all the existing cabinets..

And then put them back up in the new layout.

We also added floating shelves beneath. Instead of buying them, Mr. vB attached pieces of re-bar into the brick wall.  Then he built a box that would slide around the pieces of metal and become our shelf.

Once the new layout was in place, we purchased the new fridge, stove and exhaust hood.  To properly exhaust the hood to the outside, it required drilling a BIG MESSY HOLE in the brick wall.  We sealed off the kitchen to hopefully contain the mess.

A few weekends later we decided we had to do something about the back splash.  Previously it had been painted to buy us some time, but we had always envisioned it in tile.  We ended up having some left over tile and grout from the bathroom project, so we decided it was time to take the plunge.

It was actually quite easy and we had that part done in a weekend.

Then month by month we purchased the new cabinet doors and hardware. {As you saw, we reused the existing cabinet boxes as they were in pretty good shape, and once the new doors were on you wouldn’t be able to tell anyways!}

I love how the new doors and hardware make the counter tops look so much better!  I was never a fan of the Formica {especially with the old doors} but now they look so much richer.  I am still thinking about removing the existing Formica bar top and replacing it with a granite slab, but we’ll see.

Another new addition was the hardwood floors.  You might remember me mentioning that we discovered these the week Mr. vB was on vacation. What a difference they make to this room!!  We were never fans of the bright orange tile, but had no clue such a gem was hiding under it.  We might have ripped them up sooner had we have known!

Our final tasks were to add base board and shoe molding, touch up paint, caulk, and clean!!

So one more before shot and then the grand unveiling..



Dotty and Flo even made it down for the photo shoot!

There you have it!  Was it worth the 6 month wait??

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Rating: 4.3/5 (6 votes cast)
Another Check Mark on the To-Do List, 4.3 out of 5 based on 6 ratings

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  1. Sarah G
    February 8th, 2010 at 06:06 | #1

    When this dam snow melts Joe and I will be down to check it out for real!

  2. Adrienne
    February 8th, 2010 at 06:07 | #2

    Looks gorgeous-you guys did an amazing job!!! Kudos to Mr.Sanders on the floors too. ;)

  3. February 8th, 2010 at 06:57 | #3

    It looks amazing!!! Well done! Tell Dave when he finishes your house (and Nick and I decide to move North to VA) he can tackle ours ;) See you guys soon!!

  4. Joette
    February 8th, 2010 at 07:59 | #4

    It looks great, and the floor makes such a HUGE difference! Job well done!

  5. Amber
    February 8th, 2010 at 09:30 | #5

    It looks gorgeous! Where did you buy the cabinet doors? I’m looking for something similar, but no one wants to sell me just the doors!

  6. February 8th, 2010 at 10:40 | #6

    OMG it looks so good!!! when can i come over and see it in person??

  7. jfox76
    February 8th, 2010 at 11:41 | #7

    It’s awesome! Congrats. Can you fly Mr vB up to NYC?! :)

  8. Joanne
    February 8th, 2010 at 12:19 | #8


  9. February 8th, 2010 at 12:20 | #9

    Hey Amber!
    By chance do you live near an Ikea?? That is where we snagged all the doors and hardware! Check out this link, http://onlinecatalog.ikea-usa.com/2010/sb_kitchen/US/#lnk-3-3.
    We chose the Adel white, but there are tons of other options!
    Good Luck!

  10. Justin vB
    February 8th, 2010 at 13:17 | #10

    Finally you have pictures!! Looks great. 6 months isn’t bad I started my kitchen 3 1/2 years ago and I still haven’t finished.

  11. Jennifer
    February 8th, 2010 at 13:26 | #11

    Your skills are amazing. Great before and after shots, you really get a feel for the amount of work that went into it! So, what was the first meal you cooked in your new kitchen?!

  12. toni
    February 8th, 2010 at 13:44 | #12

    It looks absolutely amazing!! The vBs do GREAT work!!

  13. February 8th, 2010 at 20:24 | #13

    I wish it was something exciting! I actually put my crock pot to use for the first time! Chicken Taco Soup!! And the kitchen is already a mess…

  14. Mike McCormack
    February 8th, 2010 at 22:36 | #14


    That is an amazing job you completed.

  15. Heidi
    February 9th, 2010 at 05:55 | #15

    Looks fantastic!

  16. Jen
    February 9th, 2010 at 15:27 | #16

    Looks awesome!

  17. February 9th, 2010 at 16:20 | #17

    I am VERY impressed!

  18. March 4th, 2010 at 21:42 | #18

    I’m just catching up on your blog. The new kitchen looks fabulous! Well done!!

  19. Lynn Van Slyke
    March 30th, 2010 at 18:02 | #19

    Hi there, YoungHouseLove sent me your way and I must say I am so impressed with your makeover! I Love, love, love this kitchen!!! Our kitchen needs so much help, and I think this is just what the doctor ordered. We have a super tight budget and really need to update our 50 year old kitchen. Everything is original except for the kitchen sink.BLAH!

    OK so I have a few questions.

    How did you purchase just cabinet door and drawer fronts? I looked at the Ikea website and could not find a way to do this.

    Did you use existing hardware to attach the cabinet doors or did you buy new?

    Are you going to post a tutorial on how to install the cabinet doors and drawer fronts??? I would have no idea where to begin with something like this.’

    Thanks for posting such an amazing makeover!!! KUDOS!!

  20. March 30th, 2010 at 19:55 | #20

    This is absolutely stunning. What a transformation! [Care to come and work on mine?] I would love to know more about the door fronts from ikea also.

  21. Kelly
    March 30th, 2010 at 20:46 | #21

    I love it! I beg you to tell me specifically how you got the cabinet doors from Ikea, like did you call, go online or go to the store. We don’t have a store nearby and have 3 young kids so phone or online is really my only option. What are they called? Roughly if you don’t mind, how much $ did you spend on the doors? I’d love to show you a picture of my ‘worse than your’s’ cabinets! They are very similar laminate doors. OH do tell, please!! And if you’ll email me, I’ll send you that picture of my kitchen, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Fabulous work!

  22. March 30th, 2010 at 22:03 | #22

    Congratulations! Your kitchen looks beautiful, We just finished a kitchen renovation ourselves…7 months without one and lived to tell about it (we blog about it on firsthomefix.com). Felt like we held a record with 7 months but from the posts above, I guess not. Happy Cooking!

  23. March 31st, 2010 at 05:28 | #23

    What a BEAUTIFUL kitchen remodel! I came over here from YHL and your kitchen just really caught my eye (I had originally wanted a white kitchen – still do – but the hubs talked me out of it.) I’m always envious of people who discover their homes already have fantastic “gems” hidden inside, like your stunning hardwood floors. If hardwood was in our budget right now, I’d buy them exactly like yours.

    Let me just say that those floating shelves are genius! I’ve seen them in kitchens before, but never anyone who DIY-ed it. Do you think this would be possible to do in a regular (aka. non-brick) wall? I’d love some of these shelves in my kitchen along a big, blank wall. If you have any tips or more details about how you did yours, I’d love to see them!

    I also love your lighting. Do you have any tips on purchasing/installing undercabinet lighting? Unfortunately, we’ll probably be stuck with the regular plug-in kind because we’ve already tiled our backsplash, but I really love the way yours look.

  24. March 31st, 2010 at 06:52 | #24

    Your kitchen looks amazing! If you don’t mind me asking, how high are your cabinets hung? We recently moved ours up (they were a measly 12″ off the countertop) during our own renovation, but I don’t think we have room for shelves. I also think asking my husband to move them again could be harmful to my health!

    We live in an old house, that has undergone some sketchy renovations on the kitchen (like hollow walls 3″ away from the original plaster). Thanks for sharing your kitchen journey-it makes me feel hopeful that we will finish our own!

  25. India
    March 31st, 2010 at 07:41 | #25

    Also came over from YHL. I love love the renovation! Can you tell me the color you used on the walls?

  26. March 31st, 2010 at 08:39 | #26

    Awesome! I love the new tile and floor! What a find!

  27. April 9th, 2010 at 12:38 | #27

    i would like to know how to install rebar so that i can do my own floating shelves….please comment on that!!! Great makeover…well worth the 6 months!

  28. April 9th, 2010 at 14:29 | #28

    Mr. vB suggests only using rebar if you have a brick or masonry wall. So if you do, all we did was drill into the brick about 8″-12″ inches or so. (easier said than done!) Then we filled each hole with liquid nails and inserted the rebar. I have asked him how to come up with a way to do floating shelves for drywall. I will let you know what he says!
    Good Luck!

  29. Jessica B
    April 13th, 2010 at 07:10 | #29

    Your kitchen renovation is amazing! We are attempting to do something similar by using ikea doors and adding some cabinets. I am just wondering how you boxed in your fridge? Did you buy the cabinet and fridge panel from IKEA? Thanks for your help!!

  30. February 22nd, 2011 at 20:56 | #30

    Wow! You are really tempting me to redo our kitchen. But I know the man is gonna say no as we don’t plan to stay in this apartment beyond another 3 years…. So it wouldn’t be worth spending a couple of thousands on it. What a bummer!

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