Therapeutic Kitchen Renovation

I’m sure you’re wondering how renovating a kitchen can be therapeutic, but hear me out. Our first big reno we did in our home was remodeling our kitchen. I started the process just a few months after my little brother was killed in a car accident. His death left me in a very dark place, literally and physically. I was angry, sad, frustrated and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I desperately needed something to keep me occupied and give me purpose. A big project seemed like a good idea. Our kitchen was dark, ugly and in desperate need of new life. A lot like I was feeling inside. And I was just sick of looking at it. I needed light and airy. I needed to stay busy. I woke up one day and just started tearing my kitchen apart.

As you can see, this kitchen was rocking the 70’s look. I wanted it to be open, bright and cozy. I started by tearing out all of the upper cabinets. I’d seen so many inspiring kitchens with open shelving and knew that was what I wanted. I did all of this on my own, while my hubby was at work. Imagine his surprise when he came home to no upper cabinets, backsplash gone and a HUGE mess. After the initial shock wore off he was interested in my thought process. What did I plan on doing? Was this going to be expensive? Why, just why?All legit questions. But he heard me out and was actually on board. And even chipped in to help.

After removing the upper cabinets, I painted, added shiplap and open shelves. At this time countertops were not in our budget. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from updating them. I knew they made contact paper for countertops so I started searching for the best ones and found some on Amazon. The brand was Very Berry Sticker. It was fairly easy to put on and made a huge difference in my kitchen. But I still disliked the brown lower cabinets. I thought about painting them but I just didn’t have the time. I was spending a lot of my time caring for my brothers children while their mom tried to cope with the loss of her husband. At that time, my niece was on oxygen and required a lot of care.

In between caring for the kids (which has turned into an ongoing thing.) I decided to try putting contact paper on the cabinets as well. I was surprised at how good they turned out. And how much it brightened my kitchen. Not to mention how therapeutic it had become for me during a time that I didn’t think I’d get through. Having his children so close though helped somehow. Even if it was a big undertaking. And making my kitchen reno take a lot longer.

Although I was loving this stage my kitchen was in I thought that we needed something above the stove. So I drew up some plans for a range hood and my husband built it for me. He’s a keeper, ya’ll. It is purely decorative since our fan is in the ceiling. But I love the farmhouse character it adds to this space. And the best part? We used only materials we had on hand. Making this project cost very little.

I was one step closer to actually liking my kitchen. Maybe even loving it. I reached out to a few companies (as an Instagram influencer these companies all gifted me product in exchange for photos, posts and mentions on Instagram.) I was able to get a copper sink from Sinkology, new quartz countertops from Hanstone Quartz and new appliances from RC Willey. These changes took my kitchen to ‘”A whole notha level!” If you know…you know! 🙂 And also prompted a few more updates. Removing all the contact paper and painting and updating the cabinets. Note the green cabinet under the sink? That did not last long. It turns out I just really love white. Stick to what you love, Right?

This kitchen has seen so many changes over the last three years. But the current stage is probably my favorite. I started this project to pull myself out of a dark place. It was both therapeutic and rewarding. And also really got the ball rolling on so many other projects in our fixer upper. It may seem strange that a renovation could also be therapy. But I truly believe this project saved me. If you’re in a dark place, for whatever reason, find the thing that gets you out of it. The thing that gives you a reason to get out of bed and brings you joy. For me, It is definitely decorating and fixing up our little home.

Take a look at this before and after!! I sometimes can’t even believe it’s the same kitchen. We didn’t change the footprint of this space at all. Just new countertops, sink and appliances. The cabinets are the original, just updated with paint, beadboard and trim. New flooring is on the checklist but for now I’m so happy with this space.