Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen

Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen Renovation

This foreclosure to French Country kitchen renovation is packed with DIY ideas including a cabinet transformation kit, breakfast nook benches, tips for replacing light fixtures, how to find brand new kitchen appliances for half of the cost, and more!

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foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

This foreclosure to French Country kitchen renovation required a careful calculation of risk versus reward or investment versus profit potential.  With this foreclosure, we knew the greatest profit point was going to be the basement (see Foreclosure Before Tour Part 2), and unlike the Victorian kitchen renovation, the bones of this kitchen were in good shape but in need of a face lift.  On initial assessment, the cabinetry was solid oak and the doors were covered with the typical grime found in foreclosures, but they were otherwise in great shape without warping, mold, or cracks.  

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

The appliances were outdated, and I wasn’t keen on cooking, storing, or washing my food in equipment that went unused for a year. Those would need replaced, and as mentioned previously in “10 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating a Kitchen,” I knew I could find great deals on nice appliances in the scratch and dent market.  

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

The flooring was a porcelain tile, many of which were cracked or popped out. The floor would definitely need replaced as it wasn’t an option to replace single tiles that were originally installed 20 years ago.

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

Because the laundry was incorporated into a closet off of the kitchen, I wanted to maximize the floor space in this area of the kitchen.  In order to do that, I decided to build a breakfast nook and move the light so that it was centered over the nook instead of the typical kitchen table that protruded further out into that space. The half wall that was already there set the stage for that nook beautifully. I would replace all the task and ambient lighting (read 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovation a Kitchen to learn more about kitchen lighting) then to match the new chandelier over the breakfast nook.  

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

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Since we were pulling up the floor anyway I also moved the island slightly in order to give a little more room to open the refrigerator doors. 

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

Also, a tip for getting more space is to replace your old fridge with a counter-depth fridge which just gives you more room in front, so that it does not stick out as far.  

 

Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen Renovation

Lighting

Again I will reiterate that I am not a designer by trade, but in my own experience, light fixtures are a great way to save money in the renovation world.  Lights are often too far away to be seen up close, and many knock-off versions of designer brands cannot be differentiated from several feet away but still give the same overall effect.  More than once someone has assumed that my light fixtures are designer brands when in fact they are knock-off versions that look exactly the same. This being said, you will get what you pay for as the money is in the details.  I happen to be a huge fan of Pottery Barn’s light fixtures and will often look for knock-off versions, but when using a light fixture to make a statement such as a large chandelier above my dining room table, I am willing to pay for the details.  In the case of the kitchen, I used Vaxcel’s Monrovia Pendant above the island, and Vaxcel’s Monrovia 5 Light Chandelier above the breakfast nook, and the flush mount fixture I used above the sink is no longer available, but this Pendant by Vaxcel would also have worked beautifully. I only use warm LED bulbs anymore, that I buy in bulk, to decrease our electric footprint and help maximize the use of our solar panels.  

 

Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen Renovation

Flooring

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

We pulled up the old porcelain tile floor.  Ok, let me back it up, my dad and Zach pulled up the old porcelain tile floor.  

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

Go Dad go!  Laying down tile is a fabulous DIY home renovation project that can add a touch of class and bring a lot of satisfaction from a job well done, but pulling it up has to hit the top 10 worst demo jobs.  

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

Do not install tile you do not think you will love in 10 years or you will add another 10 years to your life by trying to pull it back up. An earth toned terra-cotta styled floor is quintessentially French Country, but as this was a Colonial house built in the ’90s in a middle class suburban neighborhood, I opted for a simple vinyl sheet floor.  Make sure you know your market and do not over-spend on your investment house. It is very difficult to resell a house that costs 50K more than the rest of the neighborhood. If you are wondering what materials to choose, then check Zillow for recent listings in your area and look at the pictures to establish the neighborhood standard. Follow suit but add your own style and flair to help set it apart.  Standard does not have to mean boring!

Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen Renovation

Breakfast Nook

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

I mentioned that we moved the chandelier and added bench seating for a breakfast nook.  I mentally processed several different dimensions (as evidenced by the blue tape on the floor), and ended up going with a 60×60 table.

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

This square breakfast nook gave us a lot more room near the laundry closet and immediately opened up the kitchen into the family room.

Our good friend Alex took an evening to come help us get the benches built, and then I trimmed them out and finished them off.  We LOVE this nook!

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen Renovation

Counter Top

The counter top I replaced with a high definition laminate because I could not find a stock granite counter top that I felt matched the overall look I was going for in the kitchen.  If you missed, “10 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your Kitchen,” I address how people often assume they cannot afford granite counter tops when renovating, and at times, with the deals available you end up doing better with stock granite.  In this case, however, I went with a deal I found at Home Depot on high definition laminate that had the look of granite. The faucet is Moen’s Single Handle Pull Down Faucet from the Anabelle Collection in Mediterranean Bronze.

 

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen Renovation – Cabinets

Once I decided to give the cabinets a face lift instead of a complete makeover I ended up using Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations Kit.  I LOVE this product.

colonial foreclosure kitchen renovation

An excellent video on how to use Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit can be found here. Unfortunately I cannot find any pictures of my set up in the garage when I redid this kitchen, but I am a huge fan of this product and cannot recommend it enough for a budget-friendly kitchen cabinet face lift. This product is not for the faint of heart, however.  For those of you that read, “DIY Victorian Kitchen Renovation on a Budget” you heard me talk about the benefit of the sweat equity that came from Ready to Assemble Cabinetry, and I still stand behind that as a great option if you want to entirely change the layout of your kitchen.  You will not find nicer cabinets at better prices.  My favorite is LilyAnn Cabinets.  Check them out here!    

For those of you who are content with your kitchen layout, or are looking to maximize a different profit point in your investment home and can still reach your selling price without replacing the cabinets, Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformation Kit is for you.  It requires slow, step-wise attention to detail type of work and setting it up is half of the project. But it is worth it! I have used this kit without the glaze for multiple pieces of furniture as well.

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In order to add some dimension and height to the cabinetry I added crown molding and corner shelving and then finished it all with the same product.

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

I replaced the old cabinet hinges with these Blum soft close hinges.  This is an incredibly cost efficient (and EASY) way to turn your current cabinetry into soft close!  

Colonial Kitchen

 

Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen Renovation

Backsplash

As I noted in our “Victorian Kitchen Renovation on a Budget,” I found a granite package deal that included a steel sink and the travertine tiles for our back splash.  We had so much tile leftover that we ended up using it on the foreclosure back splash as well. We rented a wet saw and had it done in a couple days. Zach came up with the idea to incorporate the strip of tiles that were cut in half and placed at varying angles to add visual interest instead of paying for decorative ones.  

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

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Our kitchen is also decorated for Christmas in some of these pictures.  Enjoy!

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

For an easy DIY kitchen chalkboard, pain the exposed side panel to any cabinet as I did the side panel to the fridge with chalkboard paint.  I used Rustoleum’s Chalkboard Paint.

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foreclosure to french country kitchen

foreclosure to french country kitchen renovation

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2 thoughts on “Foreclosure to French Country Kitchen Renovation

    1. Thanks! It’s been fun to experiment with each house and practice different design elements before we build 😀

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