There is no doubt that the internet can be a great resource for any remodel on a budget. I would wager that I spend almost as many hours researching products online as I actually do installing them. Wes stresses how important google was for a resource for him too.
Our kitchen suffered from an inefficient layout (no counter space) and the adjoining rooms weren't getting used as much as we'd like because the floor plan wasn't very open.
After DIY remodels of both of our bathrooms in the past 2 years we decided we were up to the task of tackling the kitchen (so we gutted the entire thing and started over.)
We replaced old appliances (oven, stovetop, fridge and rangehood) with energy efficient ones. We replaced old laminate glue-down tiles with laminate wood flooring to match the rest of our house. We opened the doorway between the kitchen and dining room from 3 feet to 7 feet (dramatically opening up the space) and opened up the kitchen footprint by combining an unused adjacent room. New lighting was installed and electrical updated. Every surface was replaced... walls, ceiling and floors. New cabinets and diy concret countertops.
The keys to our affordable kitchen were planning, the internet, smart purchases and ikea.... and the internet... did I mention the internet.
As weird as it might sound, I can't imagine tacking this on my own without the power of google. Any time I had a question, felt stumped, or needed a photo or video reference along the way I was able to get help on the internet. Sites like ikeafans.com, thathomesite.com, youtube, froogle (for price comparisons) apartmenttherapy.com and countless other blogs and community sites all served as the ultimate reference library and source of inspiration. The availability of information online was solely responsible for giving me the confidence to tackle pouring our concrete countertops myself.
Patience, planning and flexibility also helped when researching and waiting on deals to become available. Our LG fridge was nicer than the frigidaire we planing on purchasing but was available at half its original price due to a model closeout deal plus the extra 10% plus rebates Home Depot was offering when we stumbled upon it.
• Our sink was purchased on ebay (HUGE savings) • backsplash tiles from an online supplier (mosaictilesupplies.com) • cabinets and some accessories from ikea • dishwasher was reused but relatively new (from a bandaid reno on the kitchen a few years back) • range was a special purchase sale item at hhgregg (almost half of retail) • laminate flooring was special ordered but on sale 20% off (had to find a good match for our existing flooring in the rest of the house)
The photos I'm attaching are the latest we've taken... we still want to get some art up on the walls (specifically around the desk area) but we're very happy with how it all turned out.
Before during and after photos are up on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/wesc/sets/72157605825434732/
as well as some progress posts on our blog wesandsarah.com
Approx price $9,000
This desk looks like it is a counter top on top of two ikea uppers (maybe over fridge cabs?). I totally want to steal that idea.