So, you know all the popular design shows that work with thousands of dollars for budgets that make us all drool with remodel envy? (I’ll admit, I’m the first to grab the remote, a bowl of popcorn and plop down on the couch to enjoy them.)
But here, in the real world of design-on-your-pocket-change budgets, my home renovations must fit the following criteria:
- and cheaper!
All kidding aside, I do really think it’s possible to get a beautiful outcome when working on a home project, without breaking the piggy bank in the process. You’ve just got to have vision, a little patience and a whole lot of creativity.
That’s how this most recent kitchen project that we recently completed all happened to work out. We’d been eyeing up ways to make this ledge shelf that divides our kitchen from our living room more of a useful space.
It was the perfect spot for a cozy little breakfast nook that could serve as additional seating and add a bit of extra counter top surface as well.
Then I got a call from a friend of mine, whose carpenter-husband was looking to have a logo designed for his growing side business. She suggested a trade of sorts – my design services to create him a new logo in exchange for his carpenter skills for one small project.
This project was the perfect fit! I immediately went to working on designing his logo, while he came and measured for the new wood counter top that would fit this space. (Email me if you’d like to have Ryan’s contact info for his handy carpentry skills, and I’d be glad to recommend him!)
We settled on a piece of red oak, with an eased edge, that we could stain to match our existing dining room table top.
After it was cut down and sanded to a curved perfection by our carpenter friend, we purchased some basic wood corbel brackets at Menards for roughly $7/a piece.
Then we attached the corbels to the wall underneath the wood counter top, securing it to both the wall and drilling some screws into the top of the counter as well. We covered these small holes up later using some wood filler, then sanded them down with a very fine grit sand paper before staining.
Since we recently painted our kitchen cabinets white, we wanted to tie in the same white paint on the corbels & trim underneath the counter. The stain we had leftover from when we refinished our kitchen table a few years ago (before my blogging days officially started.)
Now came the issue of needing chairs for this area. After all, what good is a breakfast bar without chairs to sit at?
But with my no-need-to-break-the-bank budget, I was not super thrilled about dropping $100 or more on brand new stools for this space. I searched Craigslist and Facebook for sale posts for weeks to no avail. Sometimes I am stunned at what people think their used “junk” is worth!
But finally, I came across a Facebook post for someone local selling 2 wood bar stools at just the height that I needed for this spot. And for the right price too…they were only $20 for the pair!
Granted, they were the wrong color, but I knew a little spray paint would be able to fix that issue. They got a coat of blue for a pop of color, and now they fit here perfectly.
So, here’s the final cost breakdown for this entire kitchen breakfast bar project:
- Labor – FREE (traded in exchange for graphic design work)
- Materials – $20 for wood to create the counter top (stain and paint we already had leftover from previous projects) & $14 for 2 wood corbel brackets purchased at the hardware store
- Chairs – $20 for the pair, purchased off Facebook & $6 for 2 cans of blue spray paint to cover them
Grand Total: $60 for everything
My goal was to keep this entire project at around $100, and we still managed to come in under budget! (Whoot, Whoot!)
We have all really been enjoying our new little carved out corner of the kitchen to sit here for breakfast, or a snack after school. Since this place is right in the “hub” of our home, it has been quite popular. And since there are only 2 chairs, it has “motivated” some people to get up earlier and down to breakfast first!
Speaking of breakfast, I have been trying really hard to get back into a cleaner pattern of eating, especially for my first meal of the day.
Grapefruit with a side of granola or some greek yogurt has been super yummy!! My kids even like it!
If you don’t enjoy eating it plain, you can sprinkle a little Stevia on top and it’s delicious.
I find that when I am filling my body with nutritious, wholesome food, it really makes a difference in my sustainable energy levels and clearness of mind. And who doesn’t want that? Right?
Have you started any recent renovation projects at your house? Challenge yourself to think a little outside the “store bought” box and see what kind of budget friendly inspiration comes your way. Have a little faith in what you can do with what you’ve got!
Hope you have a great rest of your week friends!
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