Old Kitchen to Farmhouse Chic with Decor and Remodel

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Learn the money-saving tricks to turn an old kitchen into a Farmhouse Chic kitchen for under 6K, and some elbow grease! You will:

  • Learn the “Must-Haves” for a Farmhouse chic look!
  • Have Access to Money-Saving Tips & Tricks!
  • Turn your old kitchen into your dream kitchen! 

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

Step 1: Be realistic with your
“must-have” list

As a first-time homebuyer I was hoping to find my dream home off the bat. I quickly realized that was not going to happen. I had dreams of lavish open concept homes with kitchen islands that could look into the living room and dining area. I always wanted bedrooms with vaulted ceilings, and an enclosed backyard, along with a garden, craft, and work center.

When I took all of my “must-have” items to my real estate agent, I quickly realized that my first home was not going to be my dream home.

I had a picturesque view of what a home should be. All of the home renovation shows I watched made me believe that I could magically update a house. However, I quickly realized that I did not have the money or resources to outright buy a perfect designer house. And I definitely did not have the resources to completely flip a house.

Instead, I took my budget and looked at homes within my price range. And, it didn’t take long for me to see that I was going to need to make compromises. 

I believe a lot of home buyers have a moment of defeat when they realize they are not going to be able to afford the home of their dreams, and many give up on the whole process at that point.

Step 2: Don’t let barriers end your dreams. Learn to re-adjust!

I knew that I was not willing to give up on buying a home, even if it that meant having to compromise on my expectations. For me, buying a home meant major steps forward for my long-term financial health, so I was determined to make it happen.

 
If you are looking at becoming a first-time homebuyer, but think you can’t afford a home, check-out my post on how Millennials Can Afford Homes Too! Owning a home is a huge step towards independence! 

"For me, buying a home meant major steps forward for my long-term financial health, so I was determined to make it happen."

Step 3: Create a List of your Non-Negotiables

Sometimes getting to own a place requires making sacrifices. However, buying a home is exciting, so even the sacrifices you make will be worth the investment. Start by making a list of non-negotiables, so you know exactly where you should invest first.

For me– I knew I was not going to get an open-concept home, or central air conditioning.  I also wasn’t going to get a house with a brand new roof. However, I was absolutely not willing to compromise on a farmhouse kitchen, or an open-concept cooking space!

I mean, hindsight is 20/20, and I probably did not “need” a farmhouse kitchen in the moment, but I was just so committed to having one, that I set a budget, made a plan, and committed to a farmhouse chic look even with a very humble budget of $5,500.

For me, I defined Farmhouse chic as a modern minimalistic style that blended cool whites with rustic elements to create a refined country-feel.

The Farmhouse Chic Toolkit!

Farmhouse Toolkit

For some homebuyers, farmhouse kitchen decor includes a variety of items. Your farmhouse might have white-washed shiplap, rustic signs, white countertops, or open-shelving.

However, my “farmhouse kitchen toolkit” which included white subway tile, white cabinets, an overhang sink, a quartz countertop, and some wood elements (like open shelving).

After creating my tool-kit, I realized that my current kitchen was far from anything that I wanted. My kitchen had old appliances, cabinets that were falling off their hinges, a plastic counter, dingy old tiles, an a lack of overall cohesion.

Old Kitchen

Cost-Cutting Tips & Tricks

  1. Free Consultations: To convert my kitchen into the style that I wanted, I needed to make compromises while actively trying to cut back on costs at every corner! I decided to start the process by doing a free consultation with a local retailer to get a layout and design of my space.

  2. Go Directly to Manufacturers: After I had the blueprints of what I had and what I was able to do with my space, I researched some affordable cabinetry that would fit my style and aesthetic. I ended up purchasing directly from American Woodmark, who helped me design my kitchen layout and gave me a sense of everything I needed. During the delivery period, it was time to get to work, and I started by creating a checklist!

  3. Track Trends (Price Hikes/Trends/Competition): I found out that there were certain times when countertop sales were more on the rise, and with greater competition comes better prices! For me, Fourth of July weekend was not only the perfect time to get a deal on a car, but it was also when I saw some of the best promotions for new countertops. Pro-Tip: Never look at the price of a countertop as final. Most companies have promotions and deals for new customers, so use your buying power as an advantage to get the best prices.

  4. Haggle Haggle Haggle!: I took my haggling skills to various local quartz countertop sellers, and with every decent price I could negotiate, I was able to bring others down as well. I knew that I was dead-set on a white arabesque silestone quartz countertop, and after having some great quotes in hand, I was able to bring my first pick of installers down almost 30% of what I was initially quoted!

Cost-Savings Through Sweat Equity

  1. Get Help from Friends: Everyone loves demolition, so you can get “free labor” by inviting your friends over to take down old counters and remove dingy cabinets. For the price of some pizza and drinks, I was able to get a “very minimalistic” kitchen, and with all of my cabinetry down, painting became a breeze! I believe farmhouse kitchen decor goes well with light paint colors, and I can’t begin to tell you what a difference a fresh coat of paint does to an old space. With all my cabinets down and paint applied, I could finally see my vision come to life!

  2. Use Your Resources: While I waited for my countertops to be delivered, I found various crafty tutorials for open-shelving on Pinterest. This allowed me to add a nice wood-element to my kitchen for under thirty bucks! At the same time, I was able to find a local woodworker who took wood from old factories in the area and used reclaimed wood to make various furnitures.

    I knew I could not afford to add a quartz kitchen island, as it increased my price substantially, so I opted for a handmade wooden island, and it definitely did not disappoint! Farmhouse kitchen decor requires a wood element and bright colors, so while I did not have quartz everything, I believe the wood shelves and island adding a warmth to my space.

  3. Do It Yourself: With my counters and cabinets installed, I watched a bunch of youtube videos on how to install subway tile in the kitchen, and got to work! After my kitchen looked farmhouse chic-y, I decided to glam up the space some more!

    To up my Farmhouse kitchen decor, I won an auction on Ebay for a fire-clay farmhouse sink for a fraction of the price, I added new appliances that were marked down for “open box,” and I filled my space with colorful kitchenware to add character and a pop of life to my white-on-white-on-white space.

End Result:
My Farmhouse Chic Kitchen!

Farmhouse Chic Kitchen

For $5500 I turned my old kitchen into my new farmhouse chic kitchen. I think the total cost was actually $5,700 (so $200 over-budget), but overall, I got what I wanted without breaking the bank!

Have you remodeled a kitchen before? Do you love the farmhouse chic look? If so, comment below & share your experience! 

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