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April 2011
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House Refresh the Kitchen

Recently I refreshed a house.  Owner died, heirs want to sell.  In the current market balancing cash in vs cash out is a delicate act. You want to add value but you can’t afford to overbuild for the market. Once you own a house you can of course go crazy.

Here is the kitchen in this house which is just like every other house in the neighborhood, which at one time was a ‘development’.

In the foreground is the breakfast area with wood posts forming a visual separation between the family room and the galley style kitchen. This is untouched from the day the developer turned over the keys. Back in the day where wallpaper was thought to be a good idea in kitchens. The wallpaper has to go, the popcorn ceiling in the breakfast nook has to go, the cabinets need serious cleaning. The formica counters are showing extreme age.

The first order of business is to eliminate the posts, remove the wallpaper, skimcoat the walls,(required as the builders do not final finish these walls figuring that the wallpaper will cover imperfections) clean and refinish the cabinets, order and install new tops and clean and refinish the floor. The floor was left as it is a one piece sheet vinyl in good condition.

Just these few tasks begin to open up the space. After removing the wallpaper, which was not real hard as I had my daughter do it, and using a spray bottle filled with water she made it go away in short order. We cleaned and refinished the cabinets first, bagged them and then primed and painted. The counters were the last major items installed before doing the floor. Here is the final result.

Here is the kitchen start from the reverse angle.

Here is the finish.

Here is a longer view from the family room.

3 comments to House Refresh the Kitchen

  • This looks very similar to the house I grew up in, living in Chandler from 1970-1990s.

  • Mary

    I’ve been browsing your blog for a couple of years. As a committed Arizona DIY-er, I really appreciate your sharing of experiences and expertise. We are still tweaking our 1980’s home (does it EVER end?) but are very pleased with the results of our efforts so far. We’ve added two rooms, scraped popcorn ceilings, new flooring, new windows,new siding – all improvements that we learned as we went along. Thank you for helping to reinforce the notion that we could do this for ourselves. Carry on!

  • Wow, that’s unbelievable how something so simple can make such a BIG difference. It really brightened the place up!