This Berkeley Bungalow suffered from a poor layout, a bizarre lack of power outlets, direct sight lines to the bathroom, and was severed from the rest of the home. On a shoestring budget, we were able to achieve a bright, modern, eco-friendly renovation that tackled the most pressing problems.
But first, let's take a look at where we started...
As much as I loved the original cabinetry and sink, they just were not practical. We were able to salvage some of these elements for resale and in the final design, selected hardware and cabinets that were a nod to the original elements. Notice how little clearance there was between the upper cabinets and the fact that there wasn't a SINGLE power outlet?!
I can't even begin to count the ways this doesn't work. I don't know about you, but I really don't want to look at a toilet while I'm cooking, eating, or remotely thinking about food. No bueno. The wall next to the stove top must have been perpetually greasy and gross. That tiny square of a countertop for food prep? No thank you. It worked in college. Not now. And imagine the wet mess on the floor you'd have to clean up every time you loaded the dishwasher across the room from the sink. Again...no outlets?! But my real favorite is the sheet vinyl flooring. Isn't it cute?
Finally, the wall between the kitchen and dining was ready to go. So what did we do? Let's take a look!
On a shoestring budget, we had to DIY some of the work. But for the real man power, we looked to our contractor for help. After closing off the bathroom door (there was access from the other side), we captured a ton of counter space.
One splurge was the commercial grade cork flooring. We selected 6" wide planks and alternated them black and white for a bold stripe. We absolutely love it. It's soft underfoot, easy to maintain, and is a naturally renewable material.
Interesting note: While cork flooring is not impossible to come by, we ran into a couple of hiccups getting ours. The reason is, most cork flooring comes from Portugal (It's a byproduct of the cork tree). Well, in August every year, the entire country of Portugal takes a holiday. (God bless the Europeans. They really know how to vacay.) This is right about the time we needed our cork flooring. In the end, we were able to get ours already in stock, stateside, but not without a few headaches. Moral if the story, if you have your heart set on a very specific kind of cork, don't plan to get any at the end of the summer.
To save money, we opted for a few open shelves vs. upper cabinets. We love the way they turned out. The result also feels more open and airy. Doing an entire kitchen in open shelves wasn't practical for our family so we brought in a pair of uppers to flank the oven. If I had it to do over again, I'd select a solid panel door to conceal our less-than-pretty yet practical kitchen items you see here.
Perhaps my favorite feature of this kitchen is the butcher block countertop. Yes...it's more maintenance than typical options, but the warmth and feel is unparalleled in my opinion. The truth is, the maintenance isn't terrible. We don't let liquids sit on it. And once every few months, we clear them off and give them a deep rub down with mineral oil. After that, they truly look gorgeous!
Money Saving Features
- Ikea Cabinets during their 20% off sale
- DIY electrical work, cabinet assembly, and painting.
- Open shelves vs Cabinets
- Big Box Light fixtures...for now at least. :)
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