Kitchen Remodel: Small Update or Complete Gut Job?



It’s inevitable, once we start one project in the house the ideas start to snowball and take on a life of it’s own. Predictably that has happened since opening up the wall between the kitchen and living room.

Removing a Wall 06

We’ve always planned to remodel the kitchen since we bought the house 3 years ago. But one thing has lead to another and it has stayed larger the same. Honestly we could never decided between a moderate spruce up and a larger full renovation. Opening up the wall has shed some new light and made the room feel so much bigger. We’re really getting antsy to make this space our own.

It’s actually been a good thing that we didn’t dive right into a full on remodel right when we moved in. After living with the kitchen for three years now we’ve figure out what doesn’t work for us and what we’d change. Some of the things we don’t like about our current kitchen are:

  • Light oak colored cabinets
  • Soffits
  • Weird wood scalloped valance over the sink
  • Floors aren’t our favorite
  • Backsplash
  • No island (the dresser is just standing in for an island to make sure we had enough space)

Kitchen-ideas Images via 1, 2, 3, 4

Needless to stay I have been thinking and plotting a remake of this kitchen since the day we moved in. I’ve been saving kitchen images for a while, all of them had something I liked but I continued to struggle with exactly what we should do with the cabinets. Sure I’ve seen tons of cabinets like mine painted and spruced up and they look good but it was never exactly what I was looking for in terms of inspiration.


image via

That is until I came across this makeover of Anne Turner’s kitchen that completely hit the nail on the head and made me think that perhaps painting our cabinets and doing a cheap oakley sunglasses moderate spruce up could be in the near future.


image via

But perhaps my favorite part of Anne Turner’s kitchen makeover is the dramatic change from the before . It’s the same cabinets. The genius part which I haven’t seen before is that they raised the cabinets up to the  ceiling and added an open shelf below. I love, love, love this idea and it might just be the push I needed to switch up a few things in our kitchen.


image via

So the big decision still remains do we go with the big remodel and wait for funds or do a smaller remodel now? What would you do?

For the full story of Ann Turner’s kitchen and images visit Urban Grace Interiors

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  • Kathryn

    I’d just paint them now! It wouldn’t cost that much, leaving you still room to save up for a new kitchen in the future if you’d like. WE had metal 50’s cabinets that we couldn’t paint, so we had to go the whole major reno route but I wish we could have just painted them and saved a few bucks (although I love the new kitchen sooo much!)
    Happy dreaming!

    • Maria

      Thanks Kathryn, You’re right the paint wouldn’t be that much money. Also the cabinets are in generally decent shape so it would probably work out really well. Thanks for the input 🙂

  • Kathy

    I like your kitchen, and I agree with Kathryn, they just need a few coats of paint! Also you can take off a few of the upper cabinet doors to give it a more roomy feel, as well as adding some nice handles to the drawers and lower cabinets. Hope it goes well!

    • Maria

      Thanks Kathy, those are great ideas. I think we’re starting to come up with a really good plan. I’m really excited, can’t wait to share once we get all the details worked out.

  • Jesse B

    This is exactly what happens to us all the time. We make a small change which unlocks the door to the what if questions and allows us to really critique how a space is functioning for us. We made the jump to a lighter and brighter kitchen (painted our cabinets white) and are SO glad to have made the change. But, now after seeing Anne’s kitchen, I SO wish we would have moved the cabinets up to the ceiling and added the shelf. Genius. The small awkward space between cabinets and the ceiling is one of my biggest pet peeves! I say go for it! Just think about how much time we spend in the kitchen! I know you guys will make it look fabulous! Excited for you! Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

    • Maria

      Thanks Jesse, I didn’t know you painted your kitchen cabinets I’ll have to come take a look. How are they holding up for you? I’m so happy I found that image about raising the cabinets, it is genius and I would have never thought about it on my own.

  • Krista @thehappyhousie

    Some great inspiration here! We are going to be doing our kitchen soon too… it is hard to make decisions about what and what not to do…

    • Maria

      It really is hard. I keep joking that if I had unlimited budget it might be easier. Lol

      Trying to find the balance of budget versus style is always hard. Sometimes though not having a ton of money makes you think harder about the choices and it comes out all the better in the end. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

  • Veronica wines

    Remodelling the kitchen on your own could be quite a great experience. It is really fun mixing and matching small arts on your own, rearranging things and all. I’ve been my own designer too in my own kitchen, tell you, it’s really great doing it on your own!

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