1. Find your inspiration

Take your time with this and don’t rush. Search Pinterest, Instagram, Google, magazines or wherever you get inspiration. Save pictures of everything you like and make a list of your must have items or features. For example, our stove was functional, but we wanted a larger stove to be able to host large family gatherings. While browsing online, we fell in love with a 48” stove by Ilve. We started with that and literally planned everything around it.


Do your research 

If you are getting new appliances, a new sink or faucet, lighting, really anything, read as many reviews as you can, watch YouTube videos etc. We did not know it when we ordered the stove, but because we were getting a larger one, we also had to have a larger propane line. Had we known, we could have saved time and money planning for it.  

Set your budget! (splurge & save) 

Focus on one statement piece and then look for ways to save on everything else but don’t sacrifice function. Shop around! 

Don’t take on more than you can chew 

Know when to hire a professional. Let’s face it, you can pretty much find a tutorial on anything on YouTube but don’t do more than your skills can handle. It will cost you money in the long run because you may end up having to have a professional fix it which can cost more money and time. 

Measure twice (or 5 times!) and cut once

Measure a bunch of times to make sure you are accurate – double, even triple check. We thought we had measured correctly and then once we had pulled the lower cabinets out, we realized the filler strips on the edges would have to be bigger than we originally thought. It was fine in the long run but required more planning and some adjustments.

Stay on top of it!  

Keep in constant contact with your cabinet, countertop, or any company you’re working with. I hadn’t heard from the Ilve distributor in several weeks, so I decided to call. I was told the stove wasn’t coming in for another month. Wait, what??? No one told us. This, of course, was going to back everything else up. I should have known something was wrong when I got an email two days later telling me it was scheduled to be delivered that Friday. We didn’t even have the cabinets moved yet!

Expect delays, especially now.

Delays happen. Many businesses are experiencing delays in shipments for products and parts and other delays can happen as well. The company we purchased the countertops from had an issue with their cutting machine -twice- which resulted in us having to push back a total of four weeks!!  

Expect the unexpected. 

Know things will not always go as planned. (See #6 & #2) We must have looked at 100 slabs of granite. We took a chunk home that was 6”x6”, looked at it in every light, with every angle of the cabinets. It’s very hard to tell what the full piece will look like with something that small and when it was installed, it was way lighter than we thought. 

That meant that the cabinets were now too yellow and that they were going to have to be painted. That’s a whole new project and more money we didn’t plan on spending as well as time we didn’t plan on. 

Another example is when the company came to install the stove, they broke the legs off when they were trying to place it. Another week for the new legs to arrive which gave us time to get the propane line upgraded but still. We ended up installing it ourselves.

Add more lighting. 

If you're ripping things apart, take the opportunity to add lighting. You will never regret more lighting. 

Understand things will get messy. 

Our project took a total of 10 months. At times, we were without stable countertops, our dishes and utensils were in drawers on the dining room floor, and we were without a stove for a while. Know it may be uncomfortable and that you will be out of your routine for a time.

Schedule changes, late shipments or even changes in your plan because you change your mind; things will come up. Plan as much as possible, be prepared to be flexible and know things will take time but it will be worth it in the end! 

For more details on this kitchen makeover, other D.I.Y. projects and decorating ideas, visit the blog at www.mylifeonkayderosscreek.com. 

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