Thursday, February 18, 2016

Our Own Hi-Low Kitchen Project

In the year that I was born, Julia Child wrote an essay for Architectural Digest about her home in Cambridge, Masachusets.  In it she called her kitchen, "the beating heart and social center of the household,  both practical and beautiful, a working laboratory."

Well, I'm sorry but I'm not gonna burst your bubbles and tell you when that was, else you'll find out how old I am.  Ha ha...

My kitchen wasn't as complete and functional in all the sense, as that of my gourmand idol, Julia Child and it has become old and dingy with modern appliances and kitchen "thingamajigs" sitting somewhere in its corners.

My husband was so kind to include our kitchen in our home make-over, so how can I not be happy, I was ecstatic.  After adding a new room at the fourth floor (roof-top) where we used to do our laundry, he decided to stretch his budget some more and tried to give me my dream kitchen, though it doesn't come next to my dream kitchen but it was great nonetheless

To date, this would be the third time in our marriage life that we re-did our kitchen, and yes it was historic.  Let me say it wasn't easy and cheap either! (With an exclamation point to exaggerate.)

But here is the best thing I learned from watching HGTV, and I've stolen Sabrina Soto's mantra:
"You don't need deep pockets to dream big."

Sabrina Soto is the designer and host of HGTV's  High Low Project, a show where she makes-over a particular room with a design based on the client's dream project.  The show reveals how expensive it will cost them but the catch is, Sabrina will surprise them by re-doing the room according the the client's given budget but kept the integrity of the previous design.

As you can see I got all-crazy doing the monotone design.  It's the combination of white, black and gray which played perfectly with our not-so-new appliances which have silver and gray tones.

With our old over-head kitchen cabinets, we were able to re-create a modern and clean look. I know there are still a couple of upgrades we needed o do aside from the ones we did, but with re-purposing our old cabinets, we were able to save a lot, all we needed was to re-paint it.

Before I go further into the kitchen reno, let me tell you the backstory why we didn't go to a kitchen contractor.  Before we took over the kitchen, we did visit at one of the depot centers in Makati and asked someone from a kitchen builder, but guess what, the snotty sales lady gave me a face and told me that the kitchen counter package I was asking about costs P 150,000.  Maybe she thought I wasn't capable of paying for it.  

Duh!  Even if I could, I wouldn't, especially with an attitude like hers.  

My husband broke down all the things we needed to do and how much we could spend for every details, and according to him, we could do something close without breaking the bank.

Here are some of the things we did and added to create our kitchen:

  • Replaced old big sink with a double stainless one.
  • Replaced water spout and plumbing
  • Added L-shaped counter, coz we used to have only a meter and a half with the sink over it
  • Added more cabinets and drawers below the counter

Custom-made spice cabinet/movable table, my husband made

  • Replaced dingy tiles with charcoal-colored (with silvery sparkles) granite 
  • Placed a very interesting 20 x 50 (cm) gray tiles for the backsplash
  • Added shelves

  • Painted everything glossy white except the utensil-designed door knobs, which I painted flat black. 
  • Hid everything inside the cabinets and just jazzed up the shelves a bit
Take note, some of the cabinets were made by my husband and all paintings were done by us as well. We had someone to do the counter and the tiles and some other hard carpentry stuff.

So, how did we do?
Can you guess how much we spent for the whole kitchen remodel?
We spent barely P 60,000 for all which included the bathroom plumbing which was above the kitchen.

The money we used for this came from months of setting side a chunk from our budget.  Of course, to be able to be diligent in saving up, I had to make sacrifices, which included not going to spas and salons, no more regular shopping for clothes and what not, no window shopping either except for kitchen make-over essentials and restraining to even watch movies and dining out in expensive restos. 

We didn't only save a lot of money, we feel so fulfilled and happy of our creation.
And, it was indeed a fun project to take on and my youngest daughter had been nestling in it and baking all her might.


  1. Looks nice, modern and very functional. I so looove the white and black combination. Sana you posted the before renovation pics so that may point of comparison po ☺

  2. Veli, veli nice!!! In 5 yrs time, I'll consider your kitchen theme. Ang linis!

  3. i love it! i will definitely go for this colors when it is time to design our own kitchen! I particularly love the shelves + that lovely spice rack! ^_^

  4. That was amazing! I have repainted my kitchen cabinets before…yours look better, but instead of paint sprayer I used paint brush. Top articles sewing and embroidery machine

  5. Just would like to say, you did an amazing renovation for the kitchen decor lovers and fans.The various transformation you did look really magnificent. All the elements and appliances glaring with their own beauties and functionality. This was totally a fabulous journey for me. However, looking for used home appliances? Ok here you can check out to used appliances for sale in Toronto.

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