kitchen | What Else Michelle

Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

How To Update a Condo’s Kitchen on a Budget

Some condos, like DMCI, will not turn over the unit to the owner until it has been thoroughly finished. The good thing about it is that you can move in right away. But the downside of not having a choice to leave the unit bare is that you’re pretty much stuck with whatever kind of finish they specified for the project. It’s a homeowners’ dilemma because taking down the brand-new cabinets or re-tiling the floor and bathroom is kinda “nakakahinayang.”

When I was asked to decorate my sister-in-law and friend’s unit in Acacia Estate, the first thing I wanted to change was the kitchen cabinets and countertop. The laminate color was too dark for the unit and so the cabinets made the kitchen look even smaller. And since the kitchen is one of the first areas you see when you enter the unit, I want it to have an impact. But both my clients had very limited budget so having custom-made cabinets was out of the question.

Here’s what I did and what you can do too if you want to give your kitchen a make-over. Both projects cost less than P7,000.kitchen-before2

kitchen-after2

Spot the difference! From vertical to horizontal cabinet handles. Just apply wood filler on the screw holes and proceed with these steps:

  1. Laminates can definitely be painted over. You don’t need to strip it off since it would damage the surface, making the project even costlier. Prep the surface by sanding it a bit using 220 grit sandpaper. Laminates are too smooth for the paint to adhere onto. Even if it is a textured laminate, sand it still.
  2. Next prime the surface using flat white latex (water-based paint). I personally don’t want to use oil-based enamel since condos usually have limited ventilation. Enamel odor takes forever to leave the room and you don’t want that.
  3. Choose any color you want in high/semi-gloss finish. Remember to still use water-based paint.

TIP: Since water-based paint dries much quicker than oil-based one, using a foam or cottom roller would ensure a smoother finish. Paint brush would leave brush marks unless that’s the finish you’re after.

With my sister-in-law’s kitchen (above), the mirror backsplash cost around P4,000 plus the quart of paint for P400+.

kitchen-before1For my friend’s unit, I wanted the kitchen to look clean, sort of Scandinavian-inspired. I initially planned on replacing the cabinet doors with melamine board for the glossy look but I realized that I had to replace the entire cabinet too with melamine board and that would go beyond the budget. So again, I had them paint glossy white.

kitchen-after1aThe glass doors looked great with the back of the cabinet painted blue-green. It might still have looked great if they only had white ceramics as contents. But who wastes precious space for such stuff anyway? So to hide the clutter, (because it really shows through despite the frosted glasses) I had the back of the glass painted too. Not bad, eh?

kitchen-after1bThe black countertop was actually just 60x60cm plain black granite tiles laid over the existing granite. I had the left part extended for a cooktop so the gas and trash can could be stored underneath. It looked more customized like that than just placing a gas range in that spot.

Those white little subway tile-like (30x30cm) cost just P23/pc and the black granite tiles were about P150/pc (tiles were from Floor Center.) For this particular project, we spent no more than P8,000 including the tiles adhesive, grout, plywood for the extended countertop, paint and labor.

I really wish I could take better photos because these kitchens look way better in actual. Hehehe!

If you have similar kitchen and are dying to give it a fresh look, go ahead! P10,000 would go a long way. You can paint the cabinet yourself and just ask the help of someone reliable to do the tiling. Lucky you if you have a handy husband!



Week 14-12: Ground Floor Sneak Peek

15weeks-orgI can’t believe how time flies so quickly! I’m on my 26th week now, officially the last week of second trimester. Next week will be the start of third and that means I’m nearing my deadline for home organization. And just because I wasn’t able to post anything for three whole weeks, doesn’t mean I’m just sitting around doing nothing. The last three weeks had been the busiest week of all. On top of having our ground floor fixed, I still had some work related projects going on and of course household chores to be done. We still don’t have househelp (and I still refuse to get one), I’m getting heavier and my tummy’s growing bigger, so doing all the cleaning and organizing is no longer as easy as before (not to mention occasional allergy attack.) Ok, am I whining?

Anyway, so here’s a sneak peek to what happened for the past three weeks. Chaos galore! But now, I’m much, much happier and satisfied.

I love crisp white walls just like the rooms you usually see in interior design magazines, blogs and Pinterest but after painting our house white, somehow it just didn’t feel right. That’s because we only have a tiny window as natural light source. White, in order to be seen, needs lots of natural light. No wonder our house still looked gloomy. Gray shadows are everywhere and white failed to make our house appear cleaner and brighter. :( moodboard

I’m still going for a beach-themed living room so here’s the moodboard I did. Our house feels like a cave with very little sunshine so I planned to bring the outdoors by using natural materials like wood, burlap, jute, abaca and of course, plants! And since white isn’t working for the walls, those 3 colors (yelow, tiffany blue and warm white) are brought in for the walls.

The swatches are from Dunn-Edwards but since a gallon costs about P1,500, I matched the swatch with Davies’ custom mixed colors. I will give the paint details on another post.

progress21

Hello, bright colors! Hello, sunshine in our dining area! (That’s our handyman, Jojo :)) progress3And that’s our handygirl, Me! (Please excuse my lousy house clothes. They just comfy!) I re-did the stripes on that wall. Before, the stripes were darker in color and 12″ thick. I changed it to 8″ and using the same wall color for the beams and two of the walls in the dining area.

progress1

This house has a lot of awkward spaces (awkward alcoves?) Remember our living room has the same “feature”? I had it covered with plyboard in the middle leaving two alcoves on either side which I planned to transform into shelves but didn’t push through. (You’ll see later what I’ve done instead.) Our dining area has the same thing which also gets narrower on the other end. If you would look closely, the wall is slanted. (Fact: Not a single wall in this house is close to perfect L. The builder followed the land cut which is really annoying for me! Such a design problem!) dining-nookSo, with a few hollow blocks and a bit of cement, that awkward space is turned into a built in seat since I’ve always wanted a breakfast nook. This is the closest I can get. Haha! I also had that half post added to cover the other half of this awkward space. I just have to stuff this area with more cushions and pillows for comfy seating and to make up for the uneven width.

And here’s how the other spaces look like right now.

laundry-update2013

The laundry and storage area is almost done. A shelf was built for the paint cans and supplies so I can easily find them. They all used to be under the stairs with no order at all. My scrap woods are now in order too. The stone wall on the right is painted semi-gloss white and I used the same color from the living area for the wall under the stairs. I swear, I’m gonna make this area look chic. Gotta make doing the laundry fun! :D kitchen-update2013

Sorry for the poor photo quality. This is just a sneak peek anyway. Hehe! I had this kitchen painted apple green 3 years ago when we trasferred to this house. Back then, apple green was my favorite (see dining chairs!) and I thought painting the walls with it was quite daring and artistic. Not anymore… I prefer neutrals now, with pops of bright colors and a rustic touch. I wish I knew this before so I would have picked wood-like ceramic tiles for the kitchen instead of this yellow green herringbone tiles.

Of course the kitchen has another uneven wall that I had to cover. (This is the same wall where the awkward space in the dining area is.) I had it cover with second hand palo china planks which I will talk about in my next post. living-area-before living-area-after

I have finally gotten rid of my two sofa beds. No matter what I do, they just don’t work with the space. Those three seats are my unfinished DIY sofa. And the two supposed-to-be alcove shelves were now covered with mirrors. It really opened up the room. Love them!!!

What do you think of the wall colors? Are they happy enough? I can’t wait to finish decorating the house!dining-before dining-afterAgain, I was in a hurry taking the after pictures so forgive the bad quality. The dining area is far from finished and I hope to replace our dining table and chairs with wooden one and add an area rug. I’m planning to hang a mirror too.

Ok, so that’s what kept me busy the entire three weeks. I know I haven’t shown you the left side of the dining area because it’s really undone, but I swear, I will soon.


Sneak Peek: My First Condo Unit Project

Okaaay, after months of struggling with my first ever take on interior decorating, here is the glimpse of what has been done so far. The pictures are not in their best quality because I had to take photos really quickly. It’s almost 9pm and most of the afternoon was spent organizing the clutter (the owners moved in weeks before I finalized everything and just dumped all their stuff in every nook and crannies they could find.)

livingroom-semiafter

There’s still a lot to do here but it’s more on just accessorizing and personalizing it. Here is the living room showing almost no personality of the owners (should I say it’s more like mine since they left the decision on me. Haha!) I still need to add boxes on the top shelf, a huge decorative bowl on the right of the TV to hold the remote, chargers, etc. The TV needs to be hung and the DVD player to be hidden in the shelf.

Since my idea for this condo unit is a “blank canvas to add art to”, I made the walls white and the furniture plain and in neutral colors  so different color palettes can be used. Check out the mood board I did for this although the result isn’t kind of exact. Framed artworks need to be added too so it can pull the look together. All the colors will come from accessories so those are essential to the design and should be chosen carefully or else it’ll end up cluttered.

By the way, that’s my DIY upholstered sofa!

dining-semiafter

My absolute favorite is the dining area. And my all-time favorite feature is the mirrored wall. The table was a design collaboration by me and my husband!

Below is how the kitchen looked like during the turn over. I am so not digging the medium brown faux wood formica and the salt and pepper granite so I had the cabinets painted.

kitchen-beforeAlthough it’s still far from what I have envisioned, the new cabinets now seem to match the look I’m going after: young, bright, “blank canvas.” If only the granite were plain black or white, I would have opted for a bright colored painted glass for the backsplash, or maybe mosaic tiles. But since salt and pepper is already a busy design, I just chose mirror for added depth.

kitchen-semiafter

There still has lots to do here. The left side of the kitchen where the stove is supposed to be is still empty. And don’t dare look inside those cabinets because it is where I put the “skeletons.” Haha!

bedroom2-semiafter

This is what you see when you enter the master bedroom and that’s just it! There is nothing else behind that door except the wall. That’s how small this room is. The other one is even smaller. FYI, I didn’t choose the curtains nor the beddings. My mother in-law placed them temporarily (I hope!) while we’re still waiting for the black out curtains to be finished.

Since the walls are painted medium gray, the curtains that I wanted for this room is white with a strip or two of accent color. The beddings should be pure 300 or above thread count luxurious linen for a hotel feel. The silver leafy curtains should be ok if paired with plain white linen. The black and white beddings should also be alright if the curtains and pillow covers are plain too. This current look is too department store-ish… Ick! So not luxurious at all.

bedroom1-semiafterI love the pearly leatherette headboard which we DIY’ed too (husband and wife tandem) but something is still missing. I’ll be back next week though to finish it. Again, the bedroom looks like a hotel room with no trace of the owners’ personality. No wall art yet and other personal paraphernalia.

Oh, and total expense? Roughly p150,000 ( $3,750) for everything from carpentry/painting labor to the smallest piece. Well, what do you think?

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