kitchen | What Else Michelle

Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

How to DIY Your Own Backsplash

COVERFour months ago, I decided to find a place to rent that would serve as my work place. My interior decorating hobby became a full time job and I had to find someone who could help me with the project details and management. It was also getting hard for me to concentrate when I work at home because of my two growing “makulit” kids, so an “office” now makes sense. Anyway, I was able to find an unfurnished condo unit very near our place. Initially, the space looked too lonely and dark for me and I just had to inject a lot of Michelle touches in it.

beforeFirst off the list is changing the countertop of the kitchen. See that huge brown spot that is almost the size of the whole countertop (left photo)? That was water stain. Cheap granite slabs are so porous that are prone to ugly water stains, making your countertop look perpetually dirty. 🙁 On the right is the new one where we used 60×60 white granite tiles (Brand: Sol from Wilcon Depot). Granite tile is a durable and affordable option if you need to update your kitchen countertop. I usually do this in my condo projects. 🙂 Doesn’t it look much, much cleaner? Now all it needs is a backsplash that would add some personality to the unit.

I originally planned to handpaint a pattern on it since this is a rental property and I can’t really have anything permanent (except for the countertop which I asked for the landlady’s permission, hehe!) But then Stiles.ph contacted me about their sticker tiles and I knew I had to try it myself since a lot of you, DIYers would find this interesting too. 🙂

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Basically, it works like regular sticker. You would have to peel the protective covering at the back and just stick it on the wall! I think this is perfect if your rental unit doesn’t have any backsplash since you can totally do this yourself. When you move out, just peel the tile using a hair dryer to easily loosen up the adhesive and minimize wall damage.IMG_4115

IMG_4125The size is almost the same as typical mosaic tiles you can buy from home depots so laying it out is easy too. First, I cut off the excess tiles on the bottom and left part so that it would align on the wall and countertop. I used an X-acto knife initially but resorted to scissors on the later part because it’s easier for me. Haha!

By the way, please make sure that your wall is clean, free from dust or oil smudges, so the sticker would stick well.

IMG_4126The instruction from Stiles actually said to measure the wall first and draw where each tile would be installed. I personally find it hard because my kitchen wall is quite crooked, so I had to just test how each tile would fit on top of the existing one before taking the protective backing paper off.

IMG_4134See? I was hard at work trying to keep the “grout” lines even. Hehe!

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If you have an outlet, simply cut the edges using a cutter and ruler. Not my hand though! I must admit that I did ask for a little help installing the tiles, but only in challenging corners like this, not because I can’t but because I was feeling lazy. And I had to take photos! Haha!

IMG_4156Same with the panel box, just slice the edges off using a sharp knife or cutter. 🙂

IMG_4197And here is my finished backsplash, TAADAAA! 😀 I finished it in about 4.5 hours. There was an “un-tiled” space left on the top because I ran out of sheets. I’m planning to do something about that soon… when I find the time. 😀

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It really does look like real tiles. It’s heat resistant too so it’s safe to use even if you have a stove. It’s water proof and can easily be cleaned. Trust me, it always gets splashed with acrylic paint, sometimes spaghetti sauce, but it still looks pristine. It has been up on my wall for about three months now and it shows no sign of peeling off. Totally worth it!

The cost per sheet is P110-120, almost the price of cheaper mosaic tiles, but less the labor cost, tile adhesive and grout cost. It can even be used in the bathroom or even as accent wall in the dining and living area.

For more information and other tile designs, you can visit their website: http://stilesph.weebly.com/ or facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stiles.ph/



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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! 😀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.


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