How-To-S Kitchen Tips & Tricks

Bhavna’s Kitchen – Before-and-After Kitchen Makeover

Simple…Casual…Traditional…Modern..Contemporary? I was almost lost when I started thinking of remodeling the kitchen. To me personally, Whatever the style is, the kitchen says a lot about you but more importantly, it sets the tone for the whole house. And in my case, it was very important as the house is an open concept. I decided to go with modern contemporary look!
Below is the video of my kitchen makeover with all the details.

I thought of writing this post for many reasons. The first reason is to appreciate those who put all the efforts in making this kitchen dream come true. I really appreciate all the family friends who kept offering the help, specially, lovely lady Pravina who happened to invite me over to her house often at the right time…when I was almost discouraged, tired and was in need of refreshing my mind to keep moving all the renovation. My whole family not only get good food at her house but also a little getaway from all the hustle and bustles…and fun with other ladies Miss. Bhanu and Rupal.

A very special thanks to Mark Nickleson who turned all my ideas into realities. He also did Showcases in two areas of my house, living room and the guest area which supposed to be the dining area..We signed the deal with him for $18,000 for the whole project, the entire kitchen and the showcases.

Mark never did residential project. He works for the commercial properties. Janak (my hubby) convinced him to work for us as I was not impressed with any of the ideas from Home Depot, Lowes or other conventional businesses. I love Ikea style kitchens but they were little over budget for us. In fact, the kitchen remodeling was not fitting well with my financial condition yet…then I thought, I don’t need to buy a new car but I definitely need a new kitchen!
As soon as Mark agreed, first step was to look at pictures online and get some ideas as to what my dream kitchen will look like. There are hundreds of websites that feature beautiful styles of kitchen designs or you can simply connect with your local kitchen remodeling contractor to help you design your dream kitchen like I did.
The kitchen remodeling took two months but I had to stay on top of everybody involved in this project. Every morning, I would go through all the list and notes I made to keep moving project smoothly.
Now, let me be honest here that getting the remodeling done is not as easy as it looks like on HG TV…The cost of material and labor, unreliable contractors or procrastination can put a halt to your zeal of getting that dream kitchen going. What is more, the thought of you feeling like you have to change the whole look of your kitchen can feel so very overwhelming that you do even feel like contacting a local Pro for a free quote on the services. The reality is, you don’t have to change the whole look of your kitchen to get that dream kitchen of yours. Simple changes can get you closer to that dream kitchen of yours! I was looking forward to just reface the cabinets but that wouldn’t have solved many other inconveniences I have been facing with the kitchen. Just a look of the kitchen is not important but the functionality is.
I decided to go with one step at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed but I still felt exhausted at some point but it was all worth it! Feeding the family of six was the first thing I had to take care of. So I started planning to put some preparation together. I also had to pack fresh lunchboxes five days a week for my boys so the only place would work for me in the whole house was the garage to set up like kind of summer kitchen as the weather was in favor. My garage has laundry sink as well so it was easier for me to work around.
Before I renovated the kitchen, we removed the carpet from the whole house and installed LVTs. And with the change of flooring, the house started feeling lot better so we kind of became greedy to change many other things around the house like painting and the kitchen.
Now, before I continue writing, let me first show you the old kitchen. I mean, if you have been following me for a while now, you probably know the kitchen!

I have been struggling for years with this kitchen for the space, functionality and so on for my everyday cooking and for the filming as well. So the first thing I wanted was the huge island in the center which can be used for the prep work and for the dining as well. So I discussed with Mark and he goes, yes possible to do so. The next thing was to have lot of cabinets and drawers to store all my needs and so I decided to expand the cabinets to all the way up till the ceiling. Mark did a really good job on this though the kitchen has slop shape.

My sister Savitree was always with me throughout this project. In fact, I got the idea of adding cabinets by the kitchen window and extend the whole island in the center from her. I actually was thinking of something like this for all my appliances like electric cooker, air fryer, bread maker ad so on.

Sister Savitree is a big time fashionista….since she is the oldest and I am youngest in the entire family, she ended up doing everything for me! She had to shop everything for me since the childhood and even today, she does lot of shopping for me! I am so happy to have great people around me! Now, before you get bored, let’s get to the kitchen remodeling….I love to appreciate anything and everything comes to me!

Before starting anything, it is very important to visualize it to make things go easier and I found one picture of the kitchen from online and I made that picture as my inspiration. Below is the picture that I have been carrying to all the stores and vendors.

So as you can see that my kitchen reflect a lot like the picture. I was really impressed with the backsplash and most vendors in the area denied to that kind of backsplash but I was determined to get the backsplash like this and not the bathroom looking kind backsplash in the kitchen…So I disregarded the backsplash for a while and started looking for the countertop choices. I wanted granite countertops. After spending good amount of time, I decided to go with Quartz and not the granite. One day, while I was roaming around in the appliances for no reason since I wasn’t buying any appliances yet, I heard one couple planning for their kitchen with the Lady named Sue there and I thought let me share my dream kitchen with this lady and hopefully, things may work and it did. Right after talking with her, I went there again with my husband to finalize the deal on the countertops. And while we were talking, I happened to ask her can they not do the backsplash with Quartz? and She goes, yes it is possible…boom…I was happy! So all together with the countertops and the backsplash, we closed the deal with the amount of around $8000.
While the renovation was going on, I started planning for organizing the kitchen. I bought lot of accessories from Ikea and Amazon for organizing the cabinets and drawers.

Few months ago, I learned that anything could be sold instead of throwing away or discarding. I started using Facebook marketplace to sell all the furniture that I wasn’t going to use and thought some other people can use it. And I thought of listing the kitchen cabinets as well and believe me or not, I stared getting lot of queries for it..I listed for $800 and I got it sold quickly and then I was encouraged to sell all the random stuff I have not bee using. So I got money to buy my new refrigerator as I was not buying any other appliance.
The whole kitchen with living room Showcases costed around 28,000US dollar. $18,000 for all cabinetry. $8,000 for the Quartz stone countertops and backsplash (If laminated chosen, one can save around 4,000) and $2,000 for the flooring.
I learned one thing from my father, if the work is not started, don’t expect to get it finished but once started, and even it may sound tough at some point, it will get done if one don’t quit! Before starting this whole project, I was skeptical for sure about my own ability but I was ready to jump into it. Actually many things in my life started like that including my YouTube Channel. Wise people would say think before starting but in some cases, one has to start!


I am Bhavna a mother of two. My life is full of activities and I love sharing my passion for food, fitness, fashion, gardening, traveling and more on my YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram and many other platforms. I was born and raised in India but reside in the USA at present.

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