Our kitchen reno is a major project on our to-do list, but, realistically, it won’t see any action in the next 24 months. Saving up for our bathroom overhaul, making things clean and safe, and generally trying to get organized all take priority over the room we use the most. So… we’ve got plans to save a little of our sanity with a quick-fix kitchen project.

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While our as-is kitchen is a little ugly (and small), the functionality really isn’t too bad. The cupboards are solid and a few surprises give the space a soft spot in our bleeding-for-a-reno hearts.

The built in cutting board & random space-for-sponges:

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The built in spice rack:

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The lazy Susan:

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Our in-the-mean-time fix involves a lot of patching, sanding, priming, and paint. While we won’t be knocking out walls (yet), replacing counter tops (yet), pulling down the drop tile ceiling (yet), or ripping out the laminate floors (yet!), we can’t wait to bring our 70s cuisine into the present with some choice colours, upgraded hardware, and punchy pops of colour via some new accent pieces.

Here’s the beans on what we’re thinking colour wise. Like in our living and dining room, we’re opting for Para paints (it’s a favorite around here for quick and seamless coverage). Since we’re temporarily stuck with speckled laminite countertops, we’re opting to pull out two tones from the counter for our upper and lower cabinets. I love the Sarah Richardson line with Para, and am leaning towards Sunbeam (SR45) for the uppers and Jetstream (SR18) for the lowers. This is a light combo that will hopefully compliment that greys in the counter and bring out some of its warmer tones too.

What else is on our painting agenda? Here’s an mini list:

  • All trim on the lower floor
  • Exterior entry doorway
  • Living room closet door
  • Main stairwell & hallway
  • Bathroom (FIRST BIG RENO!!)
  • Bedrooms x 3

Basically… we’ll be painting the entire house as we swap our plaster for sheet rock and in a few cases to tide us over until larger renovations make their way to the top of the list.

Holy heck do we need some colour in this ugly ducking!

Since we’ve been on the move since December and are only just starting to get settled, I thought I would share a few photos from the condo that I spruced up in February.

When we moved in, it was full of old furniture, hockey art, and brass… oh… so much brass. With a very limited budget, I spent a few weeks hunting and trading on kijiji to bring in some used pieces that better suited the space. I painted tables (like the grey side table below), sourced artwork, and filled in the gaps with things I already had on hand. Some of my best finds included: two black and white chairs ($40 for the set), stripped pillows ($3.50 each!), and that great elephant sculpture (FREE, from a relative).

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The dining room was trickier, because I had to work with the existing student-grade furniture and beige paint. I opted to hand stencil the walls with some left-over paint and did a quick swap-out of the brass light fixture with a cheap (>$10) shade from Homesense. No question it would have been nice to go further, but I am really happy with how my stencil turned out. It really added a pop to the otherwise beige open-concept living space. Here’s a close-up of my hand-made stencil that took a few days to put up.

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Here’s a bonus photo of Ohia (our mascot) snoozing on the old fold-out sofa that I removed from the condo (it was structurally unsound, so recovering wasn’t an option, despite those great lines!).

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I also replaced flooring in the kitchen and bathroom; installed baseboards throughout the condo; sprayed out the giant brass curtain rods and brought in two cheap grey panels to tie the existing sheers into the new colour pallet; and brought art and organization to every room in the unit.

The condo was originally bought for my brother-in-law as a student pad, it’s low-end and could only hold the value of minimal cosmetic upgrades (no granite & stainless steel here!). After my brother-in-law moved out, the unit had been sitting vacant for a few years. When we moved in (December), the building had 5 other units that were also for sale, which made for lots of competition. But, I’m happy to share that after we finished our mini-reno (March)… the unit sold in less than a week, and all of the other units are still on the market! Whoo hoo!

Another proud moment that proves a little design goes a long way.