I’ve been a little quiet this week. It’s been crazy around the house gutting the kitchen, and getting it to a place where we can start the fun part of the DIY kitchen renovation—the pretty part!

We’ve saved cash for this project, but we’re on a tight budget, so we’re doing as much as we can DIY style. Ted’s been busy gutting, and is so close to being done, but we have a few big things left to do before our IKEA kitchen consultation in mid April.

Here are the main to-dos:

  • Work with a contractor friend to open up the load bearing wall (we weren’t about to DIY that part—it’ll only be about $300-400)
  • Create a new gas line for our new gas range (a contractor friend offered to do this for free, yay!)
  • Sheet rock work
  • Remove the parquet and replace with new wood flooring
  • Electrical work
  • Possible plumbing work (if we move the sink)
  • Other finishing details (trim, beams, etc.)

And here are a few in-process photos of the gut to catch you up. I do not miss that wall. 🙂

And here’s the fun part…our design inspiration and plan.

Oh So Lovey Blog brings you on an in-process tour of a DIY kitchen demo and renovation on a budget using IKEA cabinets. High style at a great price!
Inspiration photo credits: Top left / Top right

You can visit my Kitchen Reno Pinterest board for all inspiration sources + shoppable links.


Ted and I are in agreement on most of the design, which is pretty common for us. We have similar tastes, which makes these projects much easier.

Below are our ideas and rough plan. I’m sure some things will change during the process.

  • We’re thinking we want to go with grey base cabinets, and white uppers. Without the grey cabinets, we’re afraid the kitchen will be too white. It’s a very well-lit room, so we think we can get away with the grey.
  •  We have a ton of free white subway tiles in our basement, and plan on covering every spec of visible wall with them for a classic sparkle. It’ll take forever, but will look so good!
  • We’re on the countertop fence right now. We both like the marble, but know we’d ruin it, ha. We’re looking into marble looking alternative stones now (caesarstone, quartz, etc.), and hope to pull a little warmth from the brushed brass accents.
  • Speaking of brushed brass—I’m obsessed. I’ve always been a brushed nickel girl, but lately brushed brass has won over my heart in a major way. I love the warmth, and how it works with the cool grey. It’s classic, and hopefully not a super big trend. I mean the Union Station that I work in was built in 1914, and they have brushed brass window hardware, knobs, pulls, etc. throughout. It looks so good. I feel like I can call it a safe bet that it’ll last…let’s hope anyway.
  • We currently have white beams in our kitchen, but they were cut to work with the soffits that we removed. It’ll be easier to do new ones in raw wood. I’m trying to decide if they will be DIY. More on that later.
  • We want to build a large island on a budget (large enough to fit four barstools). We’ll either do butcher block or the same stone we use on the rest of the kitchen.
  • We bought a new stainless, backless, gas range and vent hood, and are very excited to get them installed. We’re growing tired of eating out and microwaved meals at this point.
  • We’ll need to choose our island pendants and other lighting. Of course I’m drawn to modern brass lighting.
  • We want to have at least a few small open shelves mixed in with upper cabinets. I love the look, and we hope to DIY this part.

Those are the guts of our plan and a good starting point. We’ll know much more in mid April once we have our big IKEA design consultation and get our bid. I can’t wait to see the 3D renderings and land on the perfect layout for our oddly shaped kitchen. Sooo excited!

Anyone else have any experience with IKEA kitchens? Any tips to share? I’m all ears.


4 thoughts on “DIY // KITCHEN RENOVATION – PART 1”

  1. It is amazing what you are doing with your various remodeling projects on a tight budget. Congrats from a home repair/home remodeling business owner!

  2. You kids are amazing. Great ideas, plan and execution in the making. Bravo! Cannot wait to see the finish. xo

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