Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Solo Mini Kitchen Renovation

Hello Everyone! 

I am so proud of my recent mini kitchen renovation and want to share it with you! 

The cabinets you see in the before photo are super cool! They're tall, metal, and retro like the rest of my kitchen, but there's an entire other set on the opposite side. With a kitchen of this size who needs 12 cabinets? Not me! It felt closed in, so I took on the challenge of upgrading this wonderful space. I love, love, love how it turned out. When it was done I just stood there staring in awe of it for about 25 minutes..... sweet winning jesus.

Note: Never take uppers down by yourself! 

I'm one of those people where if it needs to be done I do it. 
However, taking these cabinets down by myself was completely insane and much caution was needed! Not only were the cabinets bolted in, but they were also glued down. There was a lot of yanking, then slamming the cabinet against the wall to slowly slide it down. Utter craziness! Luckily for me, I didn't get hurt and I found a secret window!! 


So at this point I was like okay lets take a moment to think about what the hell you just got yourself into:

1. You have to sand the wall like crazy 
2. You also have to drywall 
3. And learn how to frame a window
4. There's no such thing as a weekend project
5. I need another beer
6. Here we go people

I bought my first sander and a couple of different grades of sandpaper and went to town. To say the least, there was dust everywhere. 

Note: get fitted bedsheets from the store and throw them over all your kitchen stuff. This saved me from having to move every little thing out of my kitchen and made clean up super easy.

Once everything was sanded down, I went after the drywall (get over here drywall!). Luckily for me, I've seen someone drywall before (in real life not on renovation reality, but bless those people's little hopeful hearts), so I kind of knew what I was doing.

Cut drywall
Hang drywall

Let me tell you something - I found out I have mad drywall skills. Check it out...

Those lines are cleaner than an art student's first geometric tattoo.

So here's whats happening at this point...

1. Filled the holes from the mega screws with spackle
2. Sanded the spackle down
3. Painted the wall twice
4. Finished the drywall like a female carpenter superhero

Then comes the time to frame my first window.

Can I get an AMEN for Pinterest??! I searched for "framing a window" and some wonderful, amazing genius had the best tutorial. I discovered all you're really doing is cutting and nailing up wood to fit around the window.

You use these finishing nails and this tool to tap the nails down into the wood. 
Fill the holes with spackle, sand it down, and paint. 

Again, another BOOM moment for me.

Okay, so now I have the wall painted, drywall is up and painted, window is framed....


Now, I need to figure out where I want my shelves. Beer me please.

Note: Use painters tape to figure this out. I saw someone do this on Pinterest. Genius move people. You can easily tape them up, move them around, shorten them... it makes it SO easy to figure out your layout. 

SUPER NOTE: Find your studs, then put your tape up. Mark your studs on your tape. This will help when you go to put your brackets on your shelves (more on that later) and you won't mark up your freshly painted wall. 

Once you figure out where you want your shelves, take the tape off the wall and put it on the wood you're going to cut. Perfect measurement. Mark and cut your wood. Once you cut your first shelf measure it, then cut your second piece based on those dimensions. 

Okay. Now back to using your tape to attach your brackets.

Take the tape you used to cut your wood and put it on the side of the shelf where the brackets will be attached, then align your brackets over the stud markings you made on the tape. Play around with it a bit, because it's not always this graceful.

Get one done, then repeat this on the second shelf.

People, your life will become so much easier by doing this! It eliminates having to go back and forth: measuring the wall - measuring the board - measuring the brackets - double checking the measurement for the wall - are the brackets going to hit the stud. - on and on... praise painters tape ya'll. 

Sorry for the lack of photos here. I had no idea I would be sharing this process with you!
Here are my shelves all ready to be hung.

Note: Let's come back to doing things like this by yourself. Just like taking cabinets down alone is not a good idea... neither is hanging shelves. There was a lot of weird balancing. My head was holding the shelves up at some point, there was a strange elbow/knee thing happening... good lord just get a friend to help please. 

Lucky for me, with hella patience, my first shelf was born!

And then my second shelf was up!
This was an even bigger struggle. 
I'll leave it up to your imagination. 


I did it. 


I went around my house and collected things to put up on my new shelves. Things include: spices, a plant, oils, a scratch art Buddha my sister made me when she was a teenager, my great grandmother's 65 year old teapot.... so many treasures. 

Thanks for taking that little trip with me.

I am so proud of this. 

Where's the Girl Scout badge for this one?

Probably in the mail. 

What projects have you been up to recently!? 

Show me everything!

<3 CHEERS! <3


  1. This is SO pretty. I love that random secret window and it lets in the light so nicely on your new shelves! Looks awesome, very clean and fresh.

  2. It's sometimes best to do the work on your own but I find that it's better when you work with someone who shares the same vision as yours. But I really like what you've done! The open shelves are trendy and provide a way to see what you had in the cabinets instead of hiding everything.

    Maxwell Frey @ Design Build Duluth