My Tuscan Kitchen ~ Before and After

Eleven years ago, my husband and I bought a brand new house, and I was so excited since this was my very first *real* home of my own. We got to choose all the paint, brick, cabinetry, carpet and colors, however, we were on a budget, so we went with just the basics, no upgrades. Over the years, we have managed to replace/upgrade all the lighting fixtures, repaint most of the rooms, put laminate flooring in the living/dining area, and we did *DIY* tiled entryway. We decided that laying tile was not for us, we were too old/fat/out of shape for that job!

Two years ago, we began shopping for granite countertops for the kitchen. We had already replaced the stove, microwave, dishwasher and refrigerator with graphite appliances, as I was never a big fan of stainless steel. Just a little too cold and industrial looking for my personal taste. After pricing the granite countertops, which would have cost around $5,000.00, we backed up and started to rethink our plan.

We spent the money to have ceramic tile laid by a local company, and they did a beautiful job. Our cabinets are not custom-made, although my husband works for a custom cabinet company, those are also out of our price range. Have I mentioned yet, that I am cheap thrifty??? Mike had a friend who would put new laminate on our countertops, so I found a beautiful laminate at Lowe’s, which cost about $450. Quite a savings, right?

We began by removing all the shelves, wallpaper border, mini blinds, and painting the walls in a neutral beige. Goodbye purple.

Goodbye purple.....
Paint prep.....
New, so much better!

Next came the new flooring, which took several days to complete, since I wanted the tile on the diagonal 🙂

New ceramic progress..
Mike, who hates to paint, but won't let me climb a ladder!

After the tile was completed and all the appliances were back in place (after being in my living room)…we replaced the light fixtures, finished painting all the trim work, and had crown molding put around the ceiling. Poor Mike, who hates to paint, had to paint the crown.

The cabinet tops were in place by this time and we were almost ready to do the tile back-splash. Since we had done the tiled entryway, I felt confident that we could do the back-splash by ourselves. We finally got it done, but, boy oh boy… was nip and tuck for a few days!

Pretty copper-colored glass tile that I chose. Good choice, Debi!

Next came the new oil rubbed bronze faucet, that someone else installed….we know our limits!

New faucet, and the ceramic tile border for the back-splash in place. Making progress!

And the completed back-splash,with which I am very pleased!

Almost finished......YAY....whew!

I decided against curtains for the big windows, we installed new wood blinds, and had a cornice made from the crown molding, painted to match, for a simple clean look; but I wanted a curtain over the sink and on the back door. I chose to make these myself, for a more custom look. They are also very simple and clean, but incorporated all the warm colors of the tile and counter top.

Curtains, with beaded ribbon on tiebacks.....
Looking toward the living room....
So warm and pretty, exactly what I wanted! more purple!

They say that if a marriage can survive remodeling a house, it can survive anything! I’m here to say, truer words were never spoken!

We finished this project not only with our marriage intact, but our budget as well. This whole project cost about 2/3  what the granite countertops would have cost. I got the look I was going for, at a price I could afford, and didn’t go into debt to get it!

I have to add that Mike has teased me for years for watching endless episodes of Bob Vila and HGTV, and DIY shows….but when the time comes to do something like this, I’m pretty well knowledgeable…..I just don’t always have the physical capabilities to do what I want….That’s when being our age has it’s advantages. Hire someone young!

Thanks for looking in on my project, I welcome your comments!