Affordable All-Around Kitchen Hacks

Affordable all-around kitchen hacks offer budget-friendly design, decorating, and storage options to take your kitchen from bland to brilliant.

interior-decorating-supplies

Just when I think my design and decorating mojo is in post holiday/new year limbo, along comes an awe-inspiring photo and I’m back ready to show and tell.

This Nicole Franzen photo with styling by Kate Berry is featured in the Domino article, 13 Reno Budget Hacks, Straight From Leanne Ford.

Leanne_Ford_Interiors_Kitchen_photography by Nicole Franzen styling by Kate Berry Domino

Domino – Photography by Nicole Franzen – Styling by Kate Berry

One recent Places In The Home analytics report showed an increase in traffic towards a 2013 blog post, Color Combination Pink and Brown.

Trends and tastes come and go and ebb and flow, but a visually engaging color combination becomes a lasting favorite.

So you can see why the above kitchen space instantly caught my eye.

pink-and-brown-color-combination-brush-strokes

Color plays a pivotal role in the world of design and decorating.

An interesting tidbit of color trend information comes from the CB2 Trend Report 2021.

Designers (62% of those surveyed) predict mineral-inspired shades will be the colors of choice in 2021.

Mercury.

Olivine.

Ochre.

Clay.

Give the latter two a big thumbs-up.

mineral-colors

If you don’t like it, change it to the best of your design, decorating, and budget hacks ability.

Speaking of liking…

I like the part of the post that features in the style of decor accents.

Wauseon Power Loom Brown/Pink/Beige Rug

Wauseon Power Loom Brown/Pink/Beige Rug

22 Wall Mirror with Decorative Handle Gold - Patton Wall Decor

22″ Wall Mirror with Decorative Handle Gold – Patton Wall Decor

Art in the kitchen is always an on-trend option, and this color and subject is 0n-trend for 2021.

Mixed Faces Abstract Canvas Art Print

Mixed Faces Abstract Canvas Art Print

Flower+8+oz.+Glass+Goblet (1)

Flower 8 oz. Glass Goblet (Set of 6)

pour-me-xl-mixing-bowl-w-handle

Pour Me Extra-Large Mixing Bowl

mastering the art of French cooking

Mastering The Art Of French Cooking

measuring-bowl-antiques-1100-Barksdale

Antique Shoppes at 1100 Barksdale

Measuring and mixing in vintage style never looked so good when keeping house with current wares.

pink-enamel-bowl-Washington-school-antiques

Washington Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall

Bergamot+6+Piece+Ceramic+Mixing+Bowl+Set

Bergamot 6 Piece Ceramic Mixing Bowl Set

Artificial Olive Leaves Branches (5pcs) and Stems with Fruit (1) (1)

full-moon-clay-vase-Leanne-Ford

Full Moon Clay Vase

Pink and green is another wonderful color combination, and with spring soon to be, this take on a classic color and pattern makes a lovely addition to kitchen shelf and table alike.

The Pioneer Woman Timeless Beauty 3-Piece Dinnerware Set, Jade

The Pioneer Woman Timeless Beauty 3-Piece Dinnerware Set, Jade

Realizing I spend waaay too much time washing dishes, I figure I might as well ring some type of enjoyment out of this seemingly endless routine.

Everspring dish soaps

Everspring Dish Soaps

Now that we’ve addressed colorful, workable, and affordable kitchen accessories that perform and complement, let’s talk the customize optimize combination.

optimize-definition

Working off the assumption you’re working with a basic white range, consider customizing it to suit your space and style.

Customize = Optimize

Freestanding+Gas+Range

 

The Nostalgie Series Freestanding Dual Fuel Range by ILVE in color combination white/brass is one good looking range that guides this next in the style of budget hack.

Nostalgie Series Freestanding Dual Fuel Range See More by ILVE

Nostalgie Series Freestanding Dual Fuel Range See More by ILVE

If the four figure price tag is out of your range (get it?), consider a refresh via spray paint.

Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Interior Exterior Metallic Spray Paint and Primer in 1

I call this the priming stage.

Remove the knobs from stove.  Wash the knobs in a warm water mixture of several drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid and a generous pour of white vinegar.  Rinse well with warm water and allow knobs to dry completely.

Holding the spray paint can approximately eight (8) inches from knob, apply spray paint in a back-and-forth motion in even layers.  I like to suggest applying two to three (2-3) coats of spray paint.  For a smooth polished finish, it is crucial you allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

What about range knobs with markings?

The first step is to take out your phone, device, or point and shoot camera and take a photo of the knob(s).  If a photo is not an option, draw out a template of the knob and settings placement.

After painting, use a black Sharpie to remark.

hotpoint-knobs

Now comes the oven door handle.

I’ve got a paint in place option and a remove the handle and paint tutorial.

For those of you who don’t want to fool with removing the oven handle, here’s your how-to.

Wear a mask (you should have plenty of practice with this 😄) and adequately ventilate the area by opening a window or door.

Tape off the areas above and below the handle using painter’s tape and proceed to spray paint the handle while in place.

ScotchBlue Original Multi-Surface Painter's Tape

For those of you who prefer to remove the handle, here’s the how-to.

Open the oven door and locate the screws on the top edge.  Using a screwdriver, remove each screw and set aside.  There’s a front and a back side to the panel.  You’ll want to lift the back panel of the door up to remove.

Using a nut driver, remove the two nuts on the inside of the door holding the handle in place; usually located on each side of oven door.  Remove the door handle.

Holding the spray paint can approximately eight (8) inches from the handle, apply spray paint in a back-and-forth motion in even layers.  Apply two to three (2-3) coats of spray paint, allowing handle to dry completely before applying the next coat.

Once the handle is completely dry, put back into place by lining up handle into the holes, placing nuts on each end, and tightening the nuts with the nut driver.

Bring door panels back together, line up with openings, insert nuts/screws and tighten.

Ta-da!

sub-zero-door-handles

I believe all this show and tell about affordable all-around kitchen hacks is inspiring me to bring about a bit of change to the Places In The Home kitchen.

New year, new pulls.

appliance-pulls-assorted-finishes

Braydon Studio Center to Center Appliance Pull

Instant doesn’t always guarantee a fruitful result, but in the case of installing new cabinet hardware I can almost guarantee instant visual upgrade success.

shea-mcgee-kitchen-renovation-domino

Domino – Photography by Studio McGee

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Gray kitchen cabinets with brass hardware Mike Stevens Homes

Mike Stevens Homes, Inc. – Photo by Bruce McCamish

There’s more than one way to impress the eye when creating storage solutions in the kitchen.

kitchen-bookcases-photo-Laurey-W-Glenn

Southern Living Magazine – Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

Absolutely loving the light oak gateleg table.

Finding one exactly like it proved unsuccessful, but here’s two suitable options for your kitchen decor consideration.

Larue Drop Leaf Solid Wood Dining Table

Larue Drop Leaf Solid Wood Dining Table

This English oak Barley Twist drop leaf table found at Gallery Auctions is in the dark finish so many gate leg tables traditionally come in.

The fantastic going once, going twice, sold! price on this table makes it all the more easy to fall in love with the darker finish.

English Oak Barley Twist Drop Leaf Table

Does your kitchen design lack sufficient cabinet and storage space?

There’s a hack for that.

5 Shelf Bookcase - Room Essentials™

5 Shelf Bookcase – Room Essentials™

Stake out an area of a wall and introduce an inexpensive bookcase or bookcase unit.

Begin by anchoring the unit(s) to the wall with an anti-tip kit.

Once everything is good and secure, the next step is to give an otherwise plain and rather utilitarian bookcase the custom treatment by dressing it out in a smart paint color and on-trend accessories.

Sherwin-Williams-neutral-gray-green (1)

Sherwin-Williams
Shoji White SW 7042  ||  Rushing River SW 7746  ||  Anonymous SW 7046 

Glidden paint colors (1)

 Glidden High Endurance Plus Interior Paint and Primer

Add molding and/or appliques.

How about plug-in swing arm lights?

Mattia 2 - Light Dimmable Plug-In Swing Arm

Mattia 2 – Light Dimmable Plug-In Swing Arm

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with traditional options for kitchen storage, just as there’s something very right about choosing a unique piece to bring visual lagniappe to the mix.

Gorgeous is as gorgeous stores.

In your antiques, vintage, and estate sale shopping, keep an eye out for bookcase or hutch with a bottom half that’s seen better days and a top half that’s completely salvageable.

A good eye sees past functional obsolescence, immediately  zooming in on the tremendous project opportunity found in otherwise overlooked redo-refine-repurpose pieces.

anthony-esteves-maine-cape-kitchen-detail-greta-rybus

     RemodelistaAnthony EstevesPhotography by Greta Rybus

If wall space is limited or any extra space for that matter is not to be, let there be hooks.

rustic-iron-wall-hooks

Options rich in variety, visual interest, form, and function enters into the kitchen storage grand scheme of things.

Affordable just happens to be a budget friendly bonus.

Now it’s time to stack and store in style.

Bee & Willow Milbrook Small Canister in White

Bee & Willow Home

farmhouse-pottery-trunk-vase

Farmhouse Pottery Trunk Vases

kitchen-utensil-holder

H&M

stoneware pitcher gray Hearth & Hand with Magnolia

Stoneware Pitcher Gray – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

storage baskets with lids

H&M

Designer Jeremiah Brent’s eye for attention to function, design, and detail proves 20/20 perfection in regards to this super chic choice of open shelving.

Jeremiah-Brent-designed-Park-Avenue-kitchen-open-shelving (1)

Architectural Digest

Start with a set or two of floating wall shelves.

Modern+Floating+2+Piece+Wall+Shelf+Set

Modern Floating 2 Piece Wall Shelf Set (Set of 2)

Modern+Floating+2+Piece+Wall+Shelf+Set (1) (1)

Modern Floating 2 Piece Wall Shelf Set (Set of 2) in Black

Cover the front and sides with vinyl self adhesive peel and stick metallic shelf liner to create a polished modern look.

gold vinyl peel and stick paper

On the subject of peel and stick stylish and affordable kitchen hacks, wall decals and/or wallpaper easily become a choice material for a kitchen backsplash.

map-wallpaper-backsplash-idea-photo-John-Bessler

Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by John Bessler

The wall area behind a stove or sink is prime focal point real estate for this application.

Seabrook Designs Vespucci Map Tan & Gold Wallpaper

Seabrook Designs Vespucci Map Tan & Gold Wallpaper

Blue Azulejos Kitchen Panel Wall Decal

Blue Azulejos Kitchen Panel Wall Decal

What got this backsplash show and tell started was this farmhouse butler’s pantry redo by Cathy and Garrett Poshusta of The Grit and Polish and their rather impressive side-mounted sink placement choice.

Gorgeous, n’est-ce pas?

In real estate and renovation, it’s all about location, location, location.

butler's-pantry-sink-placement

The renovator used a scrap piece of marble for the backsplash, cutting the curved design himself.

My skills do not include this talent, but I can source the faucet with the best of them.

Concord 2-Handle Wall-Mount Standard Kitchen Faucet in Brushed Brass

Concord 2-Handle Wall-Mount Standard Kitchen Faucet in Brushed Brass

These two fixtures are from my personal inventory.

eBay crystal chandelier

The iron and crystal chandelier an eBay find, the bamboo chandelier an estate sale treasure.

kitchen-cabinets-backsplash

For approximately $150 all in including the fixtures, two rewires, aesthetic adjustments, a couple of coats of paint, and clear coat applications, two new to me custom chandeliers replaced two drab and outdated fixtures long past their prime style days.

vintage-bamboo-chandelier

Think outside the box when it comes to a particular area in the kitchen.

foyer-paint-fixture

I don’t know what’s more of a showstopper- the collection of ironstone or the pantry doors made from louvered arched wood shutters.

shutter-doors-kitchen-pantry

 Atchison Home 

Antique auctions are known treasure troves of goodies.

vintage-shutters

Gallery Auctions

Gallery Auctions in Houston, Texas is a personal favorite auction offering in person and online bidding.

This pair of French Louis XV style armoire doors in Cherry (50″ X 71″) sold at Gallery Auctions (our favorite) for $90.00.

Talk about a unique choice of pantry door.

Pair French Louis XV Style Armoire Doors in Cherry

Pair French Louis XV Style Armoire Doors in Cherry

March arrived today, and with its arrival comes spring project ideas.

Several of these kitchen hacks will see the light of day, and the treasure hunt for the unique, the stylish, the classic, and the affordable to pull it all together is highly anticipated.

love signature

Kitchen Remodeling Renovation Features to Splurge or Save On

Kitchen remodeling renovation features to splurge or save on is the focus of today’s conversation.

Okay.

You’ve made the decision to remodel or renovate your kitchen.

Let’s work with this area first.

Remodeling includes demo, construction and changing the existing design of a space or structure.

Renovating details an update or restore consisting of mainly cosmetic changes.

Let’s throw another R into the mix.

Resale value is a choice point to consider when remodeling or renovating.

I find the cost vs. value comparison from Remodeling Magazine both interesting and informative.  It compares the average cost for 29 popular remodeling projects with the value the project retains at resale in 99 U.S. markets.

Undertaking a kitchen remodel or renovation comes with a myriad of decisions.

The answer to the kitchen remodeling renovation features to splurge or save on question is subjective to personal taste and lifestyle, while strongly influenced by and tailored to the existing structure, layout and budget.

Now that that’s established, let’s delve into the topic of kitchen remodeling renovation features to splurge or save on.

Kitchen Island

country-kitchen-rustic-wood-ceiling-cross-beams-gray-stained-pine-cabinets

Tiffany Farha Design

The well appointed standalone kitchen island is a multi-functional focal point center of kitchen activity that packs a powerful one-two punch.

The aesthetic lands the visual appeal while the design delivers navigational proficiency.

Kitchen spaces and sizes vary from house to home, style to space.  A large space with an open floor plan is a reality for some, a dream for others.

This is where thoughtful kitchen design becomes crucial to the prep, cook, store and clean environment.

Efficiency, distance and flow is key in regard to the design concept known as the kitchen work triangle.  The work triangle connects the main task areas of the sink, range or cooktop and refrigerator.

As a general rule, the sum of all three sides of the kitchen work triangle should be between 13 feet and 26 feet.

Factor in the proximity to the sink, range and refrigerator kitchen work triangle and design with convenience in mind.

kitchen-work-triangle

Specialty Stations and Appliances

transitional-kitchen (2)Shenandoah Cabinetry

We are a thirsty nation with a design need to accommodate said thirst.

The increase in demand for kitchen specialty stations and specialty appliances is responsible for moving the gourmet coffee machine, commercial ice maker and wine chiller out of the luxury extra column and into the kitchen features splurge column.

Optimum kitchen design successfully integrates lifestyle and necessity.

coffee-wine-beverage-stationBetter Homes & Gardens

High-End Range, Rangetop or Cooktop 

black-barrel-kitchen-hood-black-viking-rangeMegan Winters

Gourmet cooks, home chefs, and entertainers extraordinaire know a high-end range, rangetop or cooktop is a must-have splurge of innovation, efficiency, functionality and performance.

In the words of interior design Miles Redd, “buy the best, and you only cry once.”

Many brands of mid-range appliances offer a quality smart performance with a modern aesthetic for an affordable price.

Quality is not necessarily accompanied by a budget busting price tag.

traditional-kitchen-rangetopDouglas VanderHorn Architects

High-end appliances are price justified if the homeowner has no intention of selling the home.

In terms of resale situation and return on your investment, high-end appliances may only appeal to niche buyers.

Pot filler

copper-pot-filler

Convenience makes a fabulous sous chef.

My preference for cooking on a gas cooktop or range is of no secret to Dave the Builder.

pot-filler-Rohl

A pot filler makes the kitchen features wishlist however, moving electrical, gas and plumbing is expensive.

Try, try as I may to justify the splurge on expense, a save on compromise is on the table.

Hello, new electric cooktop and kitchen sink faucet.

Cabinets

When Dave the Builder & Company renovated our kitchen, we kept the existing cabinet and drawer boxes and went with custom fronts.

This best of both worlds decision rendered significant savings.

cabinet-frontsBuckingham Raised Panel Cabinet Door

Storage

appliance-garageHouse Beautiful 2017 Kitchen of the Year

Customized countertop storage compartments, cabinets and drawers qualify as smart storage options to splurge on.

mixer-cabinetWood-Mode Custom Cabinetry

james.michael.howard.portfolio.interiors.kitchen.architectural.detail.design.detail.

James Michael Howard

Dollars saved by going with a less expensive backsplash option such as  subway tile equals dollars well spent on details such as a custom range hood.

Subway tile is classic, on-trend, and budget friendly.

You gotta pick and choose your kitchen remodeling renovation features to splurge or save on battles.

Flooring

I’ve got enough to say grace over in the kitchen.

I don’t want nor need the extra headache of fretting over the flooring choice.

As beautiful as the hardwood floor is, it does present a water stain, spot and scratch issue.

kitchen remodeling renovation features to splurge or save on

I prefer ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen over hardwood flooring.

Tile is durable, stylish, design friendly, and affordable.

I vote save on for this one.

terracotta-tile-flooringSroka Design, Inc.

Porcelain tile in the style of hardwood flooring is gaining in flooring popularity.

porcelain-wood-tileMediterranea Boardwalk in Myrtle Beach Whitewash

If you ask me kitchen remodeling renovation features to splurge or save on suggestions:

A kitchen can never have enough electrical outlets.

The utility of a kitchen is found in the utilities.

An overhaul of an existing electrical panel by a licensed professional electrician updates the outdated and safely allows for additional lighting and outlets.

Save on the lighting fixtures, splurge on the electrical.

If your heart is set on granite, but your budget does not allow for tricking out the entire kitchen countertop in granite, consider going with granite strictly for the kitchen island countertop.

granite-white-kitchen-island Venegas and Company

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

The answer to the kitchen remodeling renovation features to splurge or save on question is subjective to personal taste and lifestyle.

Areas of splurge should give maximum return on investment, performance and expectation.

Areas of save should give a maximum return on quality and functionality while being both stylish and cost-effective.

love your style

Cucina Construction: A Kitchen Remodeling Project

Oh my decorating & designing goodness, this kitchen remodeling project was a doozy!

Our home is my childhood home, and I realize I’ve gone full circle in my house to home life.  Familiarity and fabulous memories from the past, the nail & hammer present, and the next generation future offers a comfort we can, and are, easily living with.

Design tweaks, adjustments, and repurposes have been met and mastered.

kitchen-cabinets-counters

Eight foot ceilings I love to hate have been embraced, especially when the architect gave us his bid on raising these puppies two feet.

Heavy, and I mean h-e-a-v-y five figures later, that’s a big negatory!

Please excuse the fact that I can’t help myself with the homage to the song Convoy from the 1970s.

Casey Kasam’s Classic American Top 40 is on the radio, and between the before pictures and the flashback tunes, I am swimming in 70s nostalgia.

The kitchen is a multipurpose high traffic area of the home, and ours is no different.

When my parents built the house in 1965, the kitchen was a design marvel among the ranch house set.  It underwent two decor remodels that simply did not stand up to the test of time or design.

outdated kitchen

When we took a real look at the kitchen as the present homeowners, we realized this space needed some space.

To give you some idea of what we were working with, I am posting before and way,way before pictures of the space in question.

kitchen remodel

The first order of demo was to take down the wall at the end of the kitchen as seen in the first picture of me with my paternal grandparents.

Immediately after the first demo we tore down the breakfast bar, broom closets, and cabinet built ins shown in top right  picture.

My thought process was to incorporate the formal dining room space into the kitchen.  I’m all about removing walls to open up a space.

We are picture deficient of the demo process. Just imagine dirt, dust, and chaos.

You get the picture.

kitchen-cabinets-backsplash

Dave and crew salvaged, saved and strategically placed existing cabinets in with purchased solid wood prefabricated cabinets.

Dave removed the door and drawer fronts off both the old and new cabinets. He ordered sixty MDF cabinets doors and twenty-nine MDF drawer fronts.

He primed all with oil base KILZ interior oil stain block and primer, and finished out the cabinetry in Sherwin-Williams Pure White.

sherwin-williams-pure-white

The wall color is (was) Sherwin-Williams Anjou Pear.

Counter tops were born from sheeting the new cabinet tops with 3/4 ” CDX plywood as the base.  I selected MS International 12″ square granite tiles for the counter tops.

For the backsplash, we went with 12 X 12 ceramic paired with 6″ copper half round rope metal molding wall tiles.

kitchen-materials

back-splash

Slab granite was definitely a consideration, but the $$$ difference between the two is money we can spend elsewhere.

Dave won the “discussion” of bull nose vs. wood trim for the counter top front edging.

kitchen-granite-countertop

Dave dressed up the upper cabinets, existing fluorescent light fixture, and ceiling molding with decorative molding from Home Depot.

sub zero refrigerator

The Sub-Zero refrigerator was moved from our previous home and repainted to match the new cabinets on site.

A casing was built to house the refrigerator to match the new cabinets.  Dave repurposed the doors as side casing decoration, adding them to the refrigerator casing.

painted kitchen cabinets

We removed the original windows and installed Pella replacement windows from Lowe’s.

I knew from the get- go I wanted 13″ X 13″ ceramic floors with the tiles laid diagonally, and I am thrilled with the result.

I was adamant the original Baccarat crystal chandelier my mother selected forty years ago fit into the overall look.

The breakfast area chandelier is from Lamps Plus, and the pendant light from Home Depot.

decorative corbels

Amerock cabinet hardware was purchased on clearance from Lowe’s.

Let’s build something and save money while doing it together, Lowe’s!

Both corbels framing the window above the sink and the ceiling medallion were purchased from Wish I Had That.

And now, without further ado, may we present a preview picture of our new kitchen.

****UPDATED****

kitchen-full-view

Click on the picture to begin the updated kitchen remodeling project tour