The Kitchen Reveal: reno on a budget

One thing I hope to never do again: install kitchen countertops.
After many hours, copious amounts of sawdust and support joints, extensive use of our levels (good thing Mr. FC has 4 of them) some bruises/cuts, and discovering we needed to modify our waterline hookups in order to install the faucet, we are done with the countertop installation. A big hug to Mr. FC for he did most of the work.........I hovered, helpfully handing him tools and giggling uncontrollably when he asked me to hand him the "galvanized nuts".

To refresh our memories, the BEFORE:

(click photos for larger view)
Those lemons aren't just for show--I really am making lemon bars for a friend's bridal shower, I swear. And yes, my countertops are always this bare--every little inch of space is precious!

Told you, it's tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny.
With our new faucet, the Hubs and I practically fight over who gets to fill up big pots or the Brita pitcher full of water.
But of course, we're not completely done with this space yet. We still need to change out the door hinges and knock out part of a wall and install a backsplash. Sweat, patience, and frugal decisions went into this extreme budget makeover:

* Whirlpool stainless steel appliances = $2,100
* paint (SW Sensible Hue on walls & Behr Ultra White on cabinets) = ~$100
* tiles (ceramic tiles, supplies, tile saw) = ~$300
* laminate countertops = ~$300
* Kohler Staccato brushed stainless steel sink = $150
* Kohler Simplice faucet = $250
* cabinet hardware/lighting= ~$100
Approx. total: $3,300

The backsplash and wall patching will probably tack on another $300-$500 if we're lucky. It's still a miniscule kitchen but it works for us for now! At least now I can cook a meal without gagging on the ugliness.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Any kitchen renovation stories of your own, you'd care to share?
(Please tell me you've seen smaller kitchens than this = o)


  1. shut the f up.

    I think I just lost all bodily panties are wet.

    This is unfreakinbelievable.

    freckles will you marry me?

  2. The countertops look fantastic!! In fact your whole kitchen is amazing (and so cozy!) I can't believe you guys did it yourselves. That, and your budget, are both inspiring to me!

    Galvanized nuts...LOL :)

  3. That is totally amazing. It doesn't look like the same kitchen at all.

    I'm totally loving the white cabinets with the wall color and stainless appliances.

    And, the hardware - I'm totally loving it!

  4. ooh pick me for the world's smallest kitchen at 36 square feet
    ...just not looking as stylish as yours. Love the updates you're doing. What a relief to get those counters finished.

  5. Dang homie! That looks amazing! I am thoroughly impressed with Mr. FC, can I borrow him? And you too, I need design skills as well as handy man skills!

  6. Ewwww. Katie used the "p" word. Yuck. Blach. Yikes.

    Okay, recomposed. I am in love with you faucet. And the countertops are to-die-for. You and Mr. FC did such a good job.

  7. Wow, just wow. You two did an amazing job! I'm in love with your new floors and the white cabinets make your kitchen look much bigger.

  8. It looks so great! Such a major improvement! I love EVERYTHING! You guys have done such a great job! Can't wait to see what you have picked out for your back splash.

    You know my kitch reno story!

  9. It's just gorgeous! I'm so happy for you :)

  10. What an amazing transformation!!! It looks so crisp and clean in there. I also can't believe how little you spent on it, everyone should remodel their kitchen like this!!!

  11. Absolutely Amazing! The wall color is fantastic with the crisp, white cabinets! And, hello, the yellow accent color is to-die-for! You must share at DP, PLEASE!

  12. This is gorgeous. I love the paint color with white cabinets. And, your budget is awesome. Can't wait to see your backsplash - I've been having trouble with that one.

  13. it looks fabulous! I love white cabinetry with dark countertops. a girl after my own heart!

  14. I just found your blog and am amazed... Your kitchen looks fantastic! We're hoping to start a kitchen remodel soon, so no horror stories... yet.

  15. It looks amazing...that is one "WOW" transformation. My kitchen is probably just as's a galley and I have zero counter space, so you are not alone.

    If I'm not mistaken, that's the Kohler Stacatto sink right? My mom and dad have that in their kitchen and I absolutely love it. What's the brand of your faucet?

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  17. FC! OMFG! You and mr. fc did an amazing job AND i can't BELIEVE the small budget! The counters, appliances, cabinits, paint and sink...ahh! I love it! Way to go!

    ps i love the little microwave nook

  18. OMG FC--it looks AMAZING!! I love it!!! Wow. Seriously so gorgeous. I love it all!

  19. Awesome, awesome, awesome! The kitchen looks so fresh and stylish. Good job!!

  20. wow! such an awesome job on a doubly awesome budget! it looks sooo good! must be sooo nice having a shiny new kitchen!

  21. Oh my goodness, it looks ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! You did an outstanding job! I'm so impressed! Your kitchen is beautiful!

  22. that looks like a whole new space! amazing! it looks very cool you guys did it yourselves. i'm sure you will love using it now!

  23. It looks fabulous!!

    Im with you on a clear countertops - I hate clutter.

    And yes, Ive seen MUCH MUCH smaller kitchens than this. This would actually be pretty sweet in most NYC apartments.

  24. Well I wish I could say I also farted in response to your post, but I guess that's a laugh result, not a coveting so hard it's painful result.

    You should be proud, very, very, very proud. Call your Mom up and tell her she needs to tell you she's proud of you, because we haven't exchanged numbers yet.

  25. Oh mah gawd. It's a beautiful kitchen--pefect choices! (My kitchen looks a lot like it, so I appreciate your taste!)

    Way to go, you guys.


  26. Great job doing this on such a tight budget!

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you for leaving such kind, sweet, and encouraging comments about this kitchen of ours!! I'm happy that we were able to stick to a small budget and even more thrilled that we don't have the smallest kitchen you've ever seen =)

    Michael~The faucet is a Kohler Simplice in brushed/satin nickel. Lurve it.

    Thanks again for your feedback!! It really keeps me going =)

  28. Woah! That kitchen is gorgeous. I love that you did this on such a realistic budget, it all looks absolutely amazing. I have seen smaller kitchens than that on HGTV-- studios in New York :) Great job!

  29. P.S. I know the guy who engineered your faucet. Ha.

  30. The kitchen is AMAZING! I can't believe you did it for so cheap! I'm drooling here. Seriously, I love it.

  31. Great remodel, wow. I really like the contrast too. I am sure you very happy to have your kitchen back! Stop by and let me know your thoughts...we are still struggling to get our kitchen project finished! :( lot more work than we thought it would be!

  32. WOW!!! That looks SO amazing!

    Did you paint yourself? I've been wanting to repaint our kitchen. Did you use tape around the trim to not get paint there? What about by the ceiling? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! :)

  33. Hi there

    Can I ask you where you got your appliances from? Your kitchen looks great!


  34. Hi Sanaa! Thanks for dropping by =)
    We got our appliances from Lowe's (Whirlpool). No complaints here, they all work fabulously. At the time, there was a deal on them if we got all 3 of the same brand. Might be worth asking about.
    Take care!

  35. OK, so its an old post, but I still had to comment as I only just found you!
    That kitchen ... phwaor! (which is a much better 'p' word than the one Katie used!)
    Its phenomenal (another great 'p' word!). Its not about the size...its about the storage! And your kitchen appears to have it in bucketloads! Totally impressed!

  36. Just browsing around your blog today since I finally have some time, and, wow, um, fanfriggintastic reno here! What a fantastic use of space, wonderful color choices, style, everything is perfection. I am super impressed! Great job!

  37. I like how your counter blends so well with the stainless steel. It all shines so nice. Sometimes stainless stands out so in a kitchen and yours blends. I might refer to your pix a few times as I think about my own.

  38. I love your little kitchen! It looks so fresh and new.

  39. I'm very late to the party here - just discovered your blog! I LOVE this reno - it's absolutely perfect. Can you tell me more about your countertops? What brand/color of laminate is it? I don't usually love the look of laminate but the maintenance/clean-up is hard to beat (and I have a toddler so I'm all about that). These, though, look really fab!!

  40. Hi edh!
    Thanks for dropping by! It's never too late here at FC's. =]

    You can read more about our laminate countertops here in this post I did:

    Hopefully that helps! We don't have kiddos but Mr. FC sort of counts as one (HA!) so I can say that our counters have stood up to wayward sharp objects, dropped cans of food, juices, liquids that stain, etc., beautifully.

  41. I am so late to finding your blog... I only purchased my own home a month ago and have suddenly become obsessed with all decorating blogs. I just wanted to say you did a beautiful job with your kitchen. We have a galley kitchen now and though it's convenient to have everything within reach, we have had myself, my hubby, the dog and two piggies in there at once and it's not amusing. Okay, alittle. But I love that no matter the space, when you have a vision, it all works out.

  42. Love your remodel!! My kitchen is 8x7 and needs a lot of help. So inspired by yours. Thanks, Dee Dee

  43. My kitchen may be the smallest of anyone..... 8x7. Can you believe it!? and NO dishwasher, aarrrggghhh! I really hate to wash dishes. But your little kitchen is an inspiration for me, I can now click my heels and say"I think I can, I think I can". LOL Thank you for sharing, I love, love, love your space!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Violet! And the perk of a tiny kitchen is less to clean, am I right? ;-) I would some day love a bigger, dream kitchen but ours is oddly functional. Thanks a million for dropping by!

  44. I love this kitchen... similar what I have in mind. My kitchen is about this big and it was built in 1950's. My question to you, did you installed a kitchen vent somewhere? Hope to hear from you.

  45. This kitchen is absolutely fabulous!! Love everything about it, 

    Parker Home Furniture

    Kitchen Cabinets Parker


Let's get weird up in here.
~Freckles Chick~