Shabby (un)Chic

The only thing I didn’t like about my house when we bought it was the kitchen. I had big plans and an agreement with the then boyfriend that after 5 years I would gut it and put in brand new everything.

Ahh, don’t you just love those big plans?

When we reached the 5 year mark I simply didn’t want to cough up 20 grand to re-do the kitchen. I’d rather use the money to put towards the mortgage (so worth it – we’ve already paid it off), buy new clothes, go on vacations, get a newer used car. You know, all of the other things that money is better spent on.

Over the past 3 years, sometimes against my better judgement and usually before a big party, I have made changes to the kitchen.

In fact, the huz will tell you that one night he innocently came home from work to unhappily find a wall missing. You see, my wonderful old house has terrible plaster walls. I hate love the plaster and all of its charm and when it cracks, crumbles and deteriorates it’s not my favorite thing to fix.

But this particular wall in our kitchen was just begging me to rip it down… at 10pm on a Friday night.

So down it came.

And of course, I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t think too far ahead about how I was going to fix the big disastrous, dusty mess that I was creating  so I did what any other stupid silly girl would do.

I called my Dad.

And whined.

And cried.

I begged, bribed and convinced him that he should feel sorry for my predicament and come help me rebuild a wall.

The next morning my super hero dad came up to my house with saws and levels and tools.

Lots. of. tools.

Over the next two weekends he did all of the work helped me turn the terrible mess I made back into a wall, minus the holes and cracks. He also helped me remove the plain trim that didn’t match the rest of the house and an out of place panel that was glued to another wall.

When he left my house the last weekend of our project there was no more missing wall but it was a far cry from complete and my poor, sad kitchen sat in disaray… for a year and a half, without trim, only half way painted and way worse looking than it did with the 3 inch hole in it.

Really, this is how I roll?

Sigh. Again.. admitting flaws.

Of course, I hated the kitchen but instead of completing the wall work I decided it was the floors fault. Said floor was terrible parquet that was scratched, dented, water stained and basically destroyed. It was impossible to clean because it wasn’t sealed correctly (or ever) and I suddenly decided that it was a bad idea to have (un-original to the house) hardwood in a busy kitchen.

Now, if the previous home owners had left the original oak I would have just refinished them but they didn’t so that wasn’t an option.  Plus, if you haven’t noticed by now, I love big messy projects.

So, (three days before hosting a large Thanksgiving dinner) I had the wreck of unsalvagable flooring ripped out.

Wisely, I didn’t take this project on by myself because well, I’m not that stupid; I hired the pros and they replaced it with simple easy to clean tile. They also finished all of the trim work that was left over from the wall escapade 18 months before and put smooth set on the wall that the paneling was removed from.

Sweet Mary, all of the pieces were in place.

And there sat my kitchen, complete with four walls, all of the trim work and wonderful tile floor.

I still wasn’t happy though.

The cabinets were dingy.

I avoided painting them for quite a long time because after all of my other failed attempts at projects I thought it would just lead to another disaster.

Then one day back in February (this year thank you very much) after repainting the bead board backsplash I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and that I would attempt to get the cabinets done.

Naturally, in proper Ginger form, I only finished some of the cabinets and let the kitchen sit for a good month before I  tackled the rest of them.

Finally, they are done and they look great!

I even painted the hardware to save myself a couple hundred bucks and I love the way everything turned out.

Of course I wouldn’t be me without saying the kitchen is not complete.

Now I am thinking I should paint the insides of the cabinets, too. They will look really good painted and with new contact paper (when they are open).

And aside from re-doing the insides of the cabinets I still need to repaint the window frames, the door, get new fabric for the windows and maybe even re-paint the refrigerator (or get a new one).

I  am also thinking of replacing the faucet, adding under the cabinet lighting, buying a new trash receptacle and I’m continuing my Craigslist stalking for a new used kitchen table.

I would really love to add bead board to the rest of the walls because I love the red but it feels very unbalanced in there. If I don’t add the bead board I will be re-painting it a lighter color creme but I think I’d much rather add the bead boarding.

Unfortunately, I have NO idea how to operate a saw and no one seems too interested in helping me. (Yes… I’ve asked just about everyone I know.)

I have to say though, after hating on my kitchen so much, for soooo long, I finally love, Love, LOve, LOVe how it is coming along.


16 thoughts on “Shabby (un)Chic

  1. Amazing how we move into our houses to create homes and they actually take over our lives…happily so! Sounds like you have many adventures and projects ahead. Keep up the excellent work. : )

    1. Thanks for thinking so! At least you are wise enough to think into the future; I just start ripping things apart and then I am left with a big huge mess and not enough know how to achieve the end result I am going for. I ought to remember your approach in the next room! It is a great feeling when a project is finally complete whether that’s a week or a year later! 😉

  2. Your house now is very presentable. That is the reason why I hate living in a house that is just rented. A home is a place where there is love and belongingness among each members.

    1. Some of my favorite memories were in our first rented apartment! Just because it’s a rental it doesn’t make it any less of a home 🙂

      I’ll be super corny and say this now too… Home is where the heart is!

  3. We previously owned an old house. They are not just full of character, they build character. When we had to move, we bought new. Our character is developed enough for now:-) I enjoy your blog, glad to have found it!

    1. I’m glad that you found it also!

      Now I know who to turn to the next time my character decides to break some more. I’ll have to ask you if it is a repair you are familiar with 😉

      I’m sure I’ll have a lot of questions for you because there is something falling apart or needing repair weekly in this old house!

  4. This is fantastic! As a girl who loves DIY projects on a grand scale ,I can relate. Many times, my husband has come home to extreme home “makeovers”. You did a wonderful job!!! (I love the subtle “plug” for BakeWise)!

  5. Thanks Metro! I wish I had some more knowledge on the remodeling subject, but I suppose it’s better that I don’t because I would really do some serious damage!! ha-ha!

    What kind of projects have you subject your husband to? Do tell!

    The BakeWise was purely a coincidence, I studied the book for quite a while before I baked “the cake” so it was all over the house for a few weeks, lol.

  6. Oh there are plenty of DYI books out there, I have noticed the library has quite a few, probably donated by husbands 😉
    I have never done anything as courageous or extreme as knocking down a wall in our house, (I once helped friends gut a house and got to knock down and tear apart alot of things …that was a lot of fun)
    But I have been known to completely rearrange then house so when he comes home everything is in the wrong place. (I’m talking even the big pieces of furniture) I have replaced and installed a toilet by myself, I even went to Home Depot and bought it all by myself. I have attempted to fix leaks, rip out carpet in our master bathroom, and have yet to lay down the tile…lol.

    1. We really sound eerily alike lol! I’ve been rearranging furniture since I was little. My mom let me do it too so like every 6 months or year I would rearrange my room. I wish I had a bigger house now cause I’m limited on options but I’m always moving everything I can haha! Good for you with the toilet! That’s super impressive! It totally sounds harder than anything I’ve accomplished so far!

    2. Oh and ps, thumbs up on the uncompleted projects, of I read right, your bedroom floor, that’s a classic sign of a great girl! We are such twins 🙂

      1. spooky 🙂 i used to do the same thing to my room! lol. Space is limited here too, which makes me move the furniture around even more, I get bored with the way it looks and think I can make “more” space if I rearrange. I am the queen of started projects.
        On that project, it is just the master bathroom. But I could do the bedroom next 🙂 The toilet was a giant pain in the hiney, but made me feel like I could have my own special on HGTV. I will share more stories as they come! It is so good to meet someone who I can swap stories/antics with. YAY!

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