Kitchen reno, part 4: the wrap up.

Well, the major points of our Fung Schway Kitchen Reno have been covered (miss it? check out part 1, part 2, or part 3). Now for final details that put icing on the proverbial cake:


Jar pendants

I despised strongly disliked the pendant lights that came with the house (also, why just two? when the peninsula could clearly support a trio? odd numbers, people, odd numbers). Since the small space could easily be overwhelmed by lights too large or stylized, I was having trouble finding an affordable option for replacement. I’d lazily perused etsy a few times, looking at jar lights — but never could bring myself to spend $35 on a homemade jar and shoddy wiring — especially when I have a plethora of jars in my own basement.

One day I was cleaning the embarrassingly dusty pendants (because I only dust when it’s to the point of shame) when I realized that if I took them off, I (er, Tim) could just punch a hole in a jar lid and screw it into place. I used some regular canning jars at first, but then found these antique blue jars at a yard sale within a few weeks. I’m still not wild about how bright they are — I need to investigate softer bulb options — but visually they fit.



Our Ikea cabinets (they came with the house), while giving a nice overall impression, lacked a few finishes. To help them appear a little more grown-up, Tim added molding to the top edges. FYI, finding the exact white to match a factory finish is a BEAST.



And what kitchen is complete without a wall of chalkboard paint? If I were staging this shoot, I would have clearly erased my 8-year old’s drawing of a nondescript punk-ish girl and replaced it with a menu for the week, or a verse of inspiration. But I’ve never once written a menu on that board, and have a general mistrust of inspirational prose. I figured I was stretching reality enough by showing you an “after” pic of a clean kitchen, I wouldn’t perpetuate the lie.

To refresh your memory, the Before pic. In the grand scheme of things, not a horrible kitchen. Relatively new, bright cabinets. But no window, no warmth:


And, After. No underground-dish-washing, a bit softer, a little more color, a little more me:


So, on to the cost.

Cash breakdown:
window: $150
trim (window & cabinets): $40
paint: $45
shelving: $100
countertop: $200
backsplash: $140
pegboard: $20
pendants: $4

(which, incidentally, was very closely guessed by Kelly in the comments of the last reno post — though if she was playing Price is Right she would’ve gone over.)

Now from the never-satisfied department: while there were several very good guesses last post (I actually don’t love my stove, even though it’s gas and functions fine, and our refrigerator did have a “moment” a few weeks ago that had me moving everything to a neighbor’s and had Tim banging things around in the compressor area) — the thing I still hate about my kitchen is the floor. We have beautiful hardwoods throughout our house, and I love hardwood floor in a kitchen. But ours stop maddeningly shy of that room — and I have to repeatedly stop myself from harboring bad feelings toward the previous owners for putting in cheap travertine tiles. You know when you renovate something, it can make everything around it appear even more tired and outdated? The floor bothers me now more than ever — it stylistically doesn’t work, and always looks dingy.

But, really — I just have to get over it. Don’t look down, that’s my motto.

And overall? My hot contractor gave me a kitchen I love for under $700. Can’t beat that with a stick.

What would you do with $700 in your kitchen?



You might enjoy following the rest of our reno adventure:
Part 1: Julia Child Pot Rack
Part 2: The Window and Shelves
Part 3: The Countertop & Backsplash

This post was linked up to Simple Lives Thursday, via GNOWFGLINS.

22 thoughts on “Kitchen reno, part 4: the wrap up.

    1. Thanks Marisa — I too love the lights, they just seem to make sense in a kitchen already full of visible jars ; )

  1. Love, love, love it. You have such style, my friend! If I had $700 to spend in the kitchen I’d definitely do countertops. We have the ugly beige laminate. I’m headed to IKEA tomorrow, though, and I’m very, very tempted to purchase a butcher block for our island.

    1. ooh!! do it! It would look fantastic, and if you’re like me, you won’t hate the rest of your counters quite as much, because the island takes center stage.

      and since you’re headed that way, could you pick up a new bathroom rug for me? ; )

    1. Meg, that sounds awesome! The main problem is that the tile will have to come up first — it is already 3/4″ higher than the adjoining wood floor. And the tile goes under the cabinets. So it will be a huge undertaking, one that my (ahem) contractor is not willing to delve into just now : /

    1. Thanks! As far as cost, it admittedly helps to have a guy around who can do things like install windows. I claim it’s the reason I married him…

  2. Great job! I found your blog after your kitchen was featured on Apartment Therapy. I love everything you did for your kitchen. It’s so nice to see someone else who really appreciates a window over the sink! You just might have me convinced on subway tile, too. I tended to think of them as a little boring, a little overly-trendy, but they really do add to most kitchens (including your own!) and I had no idea they were so cheap!

    1. Sarah, I know — how can anyone *not* need a window over their sink? And while the subway is currently so trendy, we can feel better knowing it’s at least classic (many 1920s houses had that style of tile) and of course, about the cheapest way to go (assuming the tile is from a big-box improvement store rather than a tile shop — we found there’s a big difference). thanks for stopping by from TheKitchn : )

  3. Pingback: A Hectic Spring

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