Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation

Victorian Kitchen Renovation

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Learn tips to renovate your kitchen on a budget and check out the before and after photos of our 1890 vintage Victorian kitchen renovation.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

For me, a kitchen renovation is like sipping a mug of hot coffee by a glowing fireplace on Christmas morning.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Let’s unpack the tips and tricks that went into making this the greatest profit point in our home. 

First of all, when I sit down with my pencil and graph paper (yes, I said a pencil and graph paper. I still use a pink leather-bound paper planner for Pete’s sake, and I LOVE it.)

I draw out the dimensions of the floor and determine where I want my sink. Every kitchen renovation has to start somewhere, and this is where I start.

Two things I think about when placing the sink – the view and the flow of dirty plates.

Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation

For the view –under a window is always a great choice, but in this kitchen by putting the sink in the corner, I was able to see out toward the dining room and the family room while conversing with guests and watching little kiddos. 

This also helped to give me longer runs of upper cabinetry.  When I say the flow of dirty plates I mean dinner is over now so where does the dirty plate travel to get from point a (the table) to point b (the sink)? 

This space needed around the sink I term the “dirty landing zone.” 

I wanted to maximize countertop space in the dirty landing zone while minimizing the need for foot traffic into the kitchen in order to access that zone.

In our case here, by putting it in the corner there was plenty of dirty landing zone real estate without kitchen foot traffic as dirty dishes could be placed on the bar or handed across.  

So back to the graph paper – I placed my sink and practically designed the rest of my kitchen cabinetry from there.

Check out How to Design an Efficient Kitchen Around These 4 Work Zones for practical tips and tricks to layout your kitchen.

But for the rest of this post let’s move on to the renovation.

Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation


The very first thing we did was open the kitchen into the dining room. That half wall would then become the bar.

We removed the kitchen door to the side porch and walled that in.  Notice the large double-hung window on the left looking toward the backyard.

Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation

By replacing this space in the wall with a smaller casement window, we gained cabinet space while still benefiting from the natural sunlight and the view to the backyard.

kitchen renovation budget
Now there is a smaller casement window looking to the back.


Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation


We ordered cabinetry from Lily Ann Cabinets which is an online wholesale RTA cabinetry distributor.

You will find solid wooden cabinetry in a variety of options for half the price, including glazing in several colors, painted or stained. They also offer accessories such as pull-out trash cans, cabinet dividers, etc.

Note these are RTA (ready to assemble), so if you are looking to build some sweat equity this is a very easy way to do so! I built all of these RTA kitchen cabinets myself.  You can do it!

We used the York Linen with Mocha Glaze cabinets.

kitchen renovation

To give you an idea, I bought the cabinets for this DIY kitchen renovation for $2,727.08. Yes that is $2,727.08 with free shipping.

Click HERE for $75 OFF your first order at Lilyann Cabinets.

These companies frequently have deals that run through each of their cabinetry options, so I waited until the York Linen cabinet was 20% off and then BOOM – floor to ceiling solid wood cabinetry with soft-close doors and drawers for less than $3k.

We used Cosmos Oil-Rubbed Bronze knobs from Amazon.

kitchen renovation

Due to settling that occurs with old homes there were several inches of difference in the floor grade which made installing cabinetry (and just about anything that needed to be flush or level) a challenge!!

We always joke that after this house all projects since have seemed like such a breeze. Baptism by fire I guess!

kitchen renovation
Zach learning the ropes of cabinetry installation from his grandfather.
kitchen renovation

With the subtlety of a two year old, Gracie decided Daddy needed to take a break from installing the slide out drawers and read her a book.


Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation


When buying a countertop I looked for companies that were offering “bundled” deals. Granite countertops have become much more competitively priced over the years and, at times, can be cheaper than high-definition laminates.

Companies often have a handful of standard color options that will be offered as part of a “package deal.” (If you are building your forever home I would not sacrifice your dream counter-top to maximize these deals, but for an investment home this is the best bang for your buck as granite counter-tops are often considered a valuable home improvement due to their longevity and quality.)

When buying x amount of square feet of this particular color, the package deal included a stainless steel sink, a granite cutting board, and the travertine tiles for our back splash (which we installed ourselves).

To find packages in your area, Google “granite counter-top packages in (your) city, state.” The best deals will often be a paid Google advertisement that will populate to the top of your search.

A tip – always compare a quote or a bid to at least 2 other companies. 

This is true regardless of whether it is a family friend, ranks #1 on Google, or seemingly is the best deal you think you will find.

Make sure for the money you are also getting the appropriate quality.  One is NOT done in the case of renovation estimates.  Do your homework.

The faucet was a Moen Arbor One-Handle High Arc pull down in brushed stainless steel.

kitchen renovation




Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation


For appliances, I searched the Sears Outlet which offers discounted appliances all over the country.

Another great way to save on appliances is to Google “scratch and dent appliances in (your) city, state.”

If a big box store gets a stove that has a dent in the side of it, then they cannot place it in their inventory at full price because it is considered defective.

Enter the scratch and dent market.

Most of these dents are hidden by cabinetry or can be touched up with an appliance marker.

These appliance markers are also an easy way to make your current appliances look nicer if they have already suffered some bumps and bruises!

You can save thousands of dollars on scratch and dent appliances. Compare deals in your area, and don’t forget to consider if they include warranties!


Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation


A note from a design standpoint (more to come in a separate post!) – try to add elements of interest to draw your eye.

For example in this kitchen, the first impression was of the back wall. I centered the stove but then on either side created niches.

To the right was the window with little shelves of spices and on the left was the coffee bar which I highlighted with fluted cabinetry fillers and added the 5 mini-drawer cabinets on either side of the coffee machine.

These held K-cups, tea bags, etc. This picture staging is a little cluttered (staging tips to sell your home here), but we are looking back on this photo 6 years later!

The ceiling fan was Hunter Builder Plus 52 inch Brazilian Cherry 5 Blade.  Having bought almost a dozen ceiling fans now – this is the only one I get anymore.

The Hunter Builder Plus puts off the best air of any of the different styles that we have gotten.  Especially in bedrooms – I don’t want a wussy fan!!

Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation
Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation

The mugs hanging above the Keurig I switched out seasonally to add decorative appeal.

Not including the structural changes or the flooring (we left the original flooring because it was actually in good shape) this brand new kitchen – cabinetry, appliances, electric, sink, faucet, plumbing, counter-tops, backsplash – cost us less than $12,000.

If you are looking to make money when you sell your home, then consider the tips from this DIY kitchen renovation on a budget!

For a much more detailed look at kitchen renovation check out 10 Mistakes Essential to Avoid When Renovating a Kitchen.



Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation

Before and After Gallery

Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation
Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation
Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation
Before and After Victorian Kitchen Renovation

For more kitchen inspiration be sure to check out:

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    Learn tips to renovate your kitchen on a budget and check out the before and after photos of our 1890 vintage Victorian kitchen renovation.
    Learn tips to renovate your kitchen on a budget and check out the before and after photos of our 1890 vintage Victorian kitchen renovation.
    Learn tips to renovate your kitchen on a budget and check out the before and after photos of our 1890 vintage Victorian kitchen renovation.

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    1. More great tips for renovating a kitchen, Ahna! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About! Off to look at your recipe for pumpkin struesel muffins!

    2. Wow, this is absolutely amazing. It’s so beautiful. I can’t believe you did that work by yourself (without hiring it out), too–that’s so impressive! You did a fantastic job. Visiting from Wonderful Wednesday at My Life Abundant.

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