Looking for a little DIY farmhouse kitchen remodel inspiration? Today I’m sharing tips for a DIY kitchen remodel on a budget while still living in your home.
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The Original Kitchen
After living in our farmhouse for two years, we were very excited to get to work on updating our kitchen and dining room. We completed this DIY farmhouse kitchen renovation over the summer of 2019 while living in our home with our two kids. For more about us, click here.
Before we begin demo, I would like to share a little bit about our old style rooms. Our original farmhouse kitchen had a large window over the sink, without any upper cabinets to obstruct the view. Absolutely something we were not changing! Our kitchen sink was an octagon-shaped, oversized porcelain sink. The original backsplash was cream colored, and had textured tiles featuring images of watering cans and flowers. We had wood trim around the edges of the cream colored formica, and wood-colored everything.
Our original kitchen island had a glass cooking surface, which made the space unusable for food prep.
The Original Dining Room
The original dining room had very dark wainscoting along it’s walls, and was decent sized but we knew we wanted to move the kitchen wall or open it up a bit. I had dreams of a farmhouse style table and spindle chairs for this space!
First, we knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, then we removed the wallpaper and wainscoting from the living room. There is an old wood stove on the other side of this room, hence all of the soot on the walls and ceiling!
Next up is the kitchen, we removed everything! The wallpaper border, the cabinets, lights, the windows, countertops and island cooktop and formica. That stained glass light pictured below did eventually have to go, it was so full of years of cooking grease …
Our biggest tip to fellow DIY kitchen remodelers, take it one step at a time if you can. As I touched upon earlier, we were able to remodel our kitchen and dining room over the course of a few months on a budget while working full-time, and living in the home with our then toddler and infant!
We like to repurpose as much as we can and this goes for building materials too, but after removing the old cabinets, we discovered that many of them were too damaged to repair so we ended up purchasing new ones.
To get the look of custom cabinets without the cost, we purchased our cabinets from a surplus store unfinished. My husband installed all of the plain cabinets, then removed all of the doors and sanded each piece.
Painting cabinets yourself is an easy DIY that can really change a space without breaking the bank. We had a paint sprayer from a previous project, so that is what we used to paint this project. The paint color is Cityscape by Sherwin Williams, and this is an enamel type paint. It is important to spend a little bit of extra money on good paint so that the cabinets can be washed when needed and to reduce chipping.
That Big Window
Next up, the installation of our new window! I really love the look of windows with dark colored window frames. So far, the kitchen is the first window we have replaced in our home. I decided to choose a black window frame, and rather than having four crank windows we opted for a larger window with two sliders. The trim around our window isn’t completed yet, but will be filled in and white once it’s done.
We installed our sink and window at about the same time. One thing that is hard to live without during a renovation is the kitchen sink! After trying to salvage the original kitchen sink, we realized it was cracked beyond repair. Our family liked having an oversized sink as it was great for washing big dishes, garden veggies and children! After many nights of debating on farmhouse sinks vs stainless sinks, we decided to go with this very large stainless sink. I’m so glad we did! This sink was actually purchased from Amazon, and it’s one of the first things people talk about when they see our kitchen.
For the countertops and island top, we chose this faux-marble formica. While we love the look of natural stone, we needed to keep our kitchen renovation on budget!
To match the counters, we wanted some type of white backsplash. But, we also wanted it to have character! We found these oversized subway tiles that aren’t flat. They almost look handmade as they are each a little different which adds just the right amount of subtle character we were looking for. My husband has done quite a bit of tile work, and I generally choose tiles that are challenging to cut and set. Well, I did it again here too! The biggest challenge with handmade looking tiles is making sure they are straight.
The island was deconstructed, and the old cooking surface had to go. Inside the island was nearly un-usable as all of the ventilation and guts of the cooking surface took up most of the space. The most important parts of the island are done, but we still have big plans to re-build and paint a new island.
After disposing of the old cook top, we selected a gas stove. I cook primarily with cast iron pans, and wanted a safer cooking surface to use them on. The original kitchen came with a brand new wall oven, which we kept in place. We are excited to have two ovens when cooking family meals!
Our dishwasher fell apart in the midst of our construction, but it truly couldn’t have happened at a better time. We loved our old Kitchen Aid dishwasher, but the tubing/hoses became so brittle inside the machine that it was not as functional any longer.
We raised our cabinets nearly to the ceiling to make room for my favorite part of the kitchen. My husband found someone who was selling thick, locally sourced Oak boards. He polyurethaned these boards and fitted them to the iron brackets pictured. The shelving brackets pictured here came from Etsy, and we hand-selected exactly how the wood shelving would be laid out to show as many imperfections and as much character as possible.
We found ways to save money during this renovation so that we could spend a little extra on features such as this shelf and still stay within our budget.
The floors in our kitchen are native Pine, we believe this wood came from trees on our property and milled by one of our neighbors! Each of the floor boards are handmade. Every individual board is a little different, ranging in width but all are about 12″ wide.
In time, we plan to restore these floors and I can’t wait to see what they will look like. Our goal is to rent a sander, and make a weekend out of it.
New Farmhouse Dining Room
Between knocking down the wall, taking off wallpaper and wainscoting there wasn’t much left to paint, so we re-plastered the walls and ceiling. My husband wanted to hire a professional to tackle this part of the renovation, so we did some research and found someone who could come out quickly for a very reasonable price.
Once we had a smooth surface, we painted the walls a greige color. This is the same color that is in the kitchen as well, and will eventually make it’s way into the living room too.
Our DIY Farmhouse Living Room
My husband and I had gone to countless furniture stores and reached out to countless Craigslist ads for the right farmhouse table and chairs. After a little searching, we came across this gorgeous set from someone close by on Craigslist.
This dining room light was a hand-me-down. We found bright white replacement globes which gave the light a new feel, and it works perfectly in this space.
Tips for remodeling on a budget
- Upcycle: Think of creative ways to reuse or upcycle what you already have.
- Paint: The power of paint is incredible! Make your project custom with a coat of paint.
- Have an open mind: Try to keep your mind as open as possible and be flexible to making alterations to the original plan. Different materials or furniture may need to be used or purchased to stay in budget.
- Buy used: Our farmhouse dining table turned out great, and I don’t think we spent much over $100 for it (and all of it’s chairs). Incredible items are out there, they just need to be found.
Our DIY Farmhouse Kitchen
There are some odds and ends left to finish up, but we are so proud of our DIY farmhouse kitchen renovation!
In case it sparks some wonder, in front of our kitchen island is a giant step for the boys to stand on and help me cook. My husband built that for me several months ago so I could have kitchen helpers.
Pin this DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel for later
My husband and I hope you were inspired by this post, as we want to teach you all that it is possible to slowly make updates to your home without breaking the bank. Our kitchen and dining room aren’t totally completed yet, and that’s okay! Over time, we will have a better idea of what the finishing touches will be, and look forward to what’s to come.
Thanks so much for stopping by our farmhouse and revisiting this big project with us!