Super exciting news: We are starting a kitchen (and bathroom, and our house is tiny so that’s pretty much the whole house) remodel in January! Since I have loved following along with other people’s remodels, I’ll be sharing about ours here on the blog and on Instagram. I’ve already learned a lot about this process, and will continue to share all the tips and tricks I learn along the way.
To easily find posts about the remodel:
- Here on the blog: click HOUSE & HOME in the menu bar above
- On Instagram: find them under #zenbellyhome
(This is my first official post about it, so there won’t be much, yet!)
Of course if you’re here for the food and the food only, that’s still what this site is about, 98.9% of the time.
When Simon and I started talking about this remodel, we decided it would be best to schedule it a year out. It feels like a really long time to wait, right? But it’s also time to plan, save some money, and get our priorities in order.
Actually, that would be my first tip- do not rush the start date. This will give you time to shop around for the best deals, and be solid on the design, feel, and finishes you choose.
Here’s what it looks like now; All in all it’s a pretty good kitchen! There are definitely some things that need fixing, though, and I’m excited to start fresh.
When researching ways to save money on a remodel, the main thing I’ve found is to leave the footprint of the kitchen as it is, if possible. Replacing the cabinets and appliances where they sit costs a lot less than moving everything around.
Well.. the main thing we’re doing in the kitchen is knocking down the wall between the kitchen and the living room to create an open floor plan. We are gutting our kitchen, and moving every single thing to a new location. So there goes that!
Since we are on a limited budget for this remodel, we definitely had to explore our options when shopping for the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel (materials-wise) – the cabinets. Simon is a contractor, so knows of some local custom cabinet makers that do great work, but the price tag for custom cabinets is way higher than we can afford. To give you an idea of just how expensive, our kitchen is roughly 120 square feet, and Simon’s best guess at what custom cabinets would cost for our *not large* kitchen is at least $30,000. AT LEAST! Probably closer to $40k, he says. I almost fell down when he told me that.
So I obsessed over patterned tile for about a month until I decided to dive deeper into this cabinet issue. Turns out getting lost in a sea of patterned tile is how I deal with remodel stress.
Scrolling through Instagram one day, I saw an ad for Cliqstudios. It was a photo of a gorgeous modern kitchen and the copy said something about 40% off custom cabinets and free kitchen design. Obviously, I was intrigued. I clicked over to their site, and the first thing I did was order samples, so I could see the quality and color of the cabinets in real life.
If ordering completely custom cabinets, you of course would get to choose just about every detail. Cliqstudios is semi-custom, but I was happy to see how many options they had: 12 paint colors, 7 stain options, and 10 cabinet styles. I had an idea of the shade of grey I wanted in my kitchen, and was glad to see two colors that looked close to what I was looking for. When you order free samples, you can choose both the door style and color you’d like to see, so you can really get an idea of what your cabinets will look like. If you need an even better idea, you can pay $30 for an entire door, but I found that the free samples were plenty to get a sense of the quality, style, and color. I knew I wanted grey cabinets, and I knew I wanted them in a classic but simple Shaker style. That option was easy to find, and Simon and I even completely agreed on the door style. We’re off to a great start!
The great thing about them being semi-custom is that they will use as many stock cabinet options as possible when designing your kitchen. This keeps the cost down. But if you want something that isn’t available stock, for example a deeper pantry, or uniquely shaped cabinet to fit a particular angle in your kitchen, making your kitchen truly as custom as you want it to be. And the price is nowhere near Simon’s custom cabinets guesstimate. In fact, it’s about one forth of what we’d be paying if we went the custom route!
Once I got my samples, I was thrilled that one of the colors was exactly what I wanted. While the other was really pretty, it was more of a blue tone than I liked for our kitchen. Which brings me to my second tip! With all of the online options these days, it’s easy to remodel a kitchen without ever leaving your house. But get samples whenever possible. Colors on screens and colors in real life can be very different!
The quality of the cabinet sample was great too, and Simon concurred. (He has made it very clear that Ikea cabinets will not, under any circumstances, survive the way I use a kitchen.)
Hooray! We have found our cabinet style and color, and our price tag is looking like it will be about one forth of what it would be had we ordered custom cabinets. Once we were sold on Cliqstudios, I sent in a sketch of my kitchen along with measurements and scheduled a call with one of their designers. The whole process was super easy, and I’ll be telling you more about all of that in the next kitchen remodel update! (Look for that in early December 🙂
Thank you, Cliqstudios, for making this process painless and affordable, and for sponsoring this post!
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