Before and After: Costco Is the Reason for This Affordable Kitchen Renovation

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Vintage American Home)

This vacation home is in a totally dreamy spot and boasts amazing views, but it had a few issues involving the words “filthy,” “particle board,” “mauve,” and “sagging joists.” The new owners were able to resolve all of these issues in a reasonably affordable and prompt way, thanks in part to standard cabinets ordered online … from Costco!

Read this tale and beware, future homebuyers. Janice of Vintage American Home bought a vacation house on the eastern shore of Maryland and “fell in love with the natural beauty of the property and the Williamsburg cottage feel of the house.” She and her family knew the house would need some work, but didn’t know exactly how much until after they bought it.

Once we purchased the house on a snowy and cold winter’s day we realized we were in for much more than we realized and the home inspector didn’t provide the information we needed to know before we bought the house. (I could say more about that but not now!). So needless to say, we bit off more than we could chew even though we are a family of fixer-upper types.

The kitchen had nice stainless steel appliances and what I thought were decent white cabinets. I thought I could live with the mauve granite counters and the orange toned tile floors for a while. Unfortunately the cabinets were filthy and couldn’t be cleaned that well. On closer inspection the particle board doors were coming apart in some places. The worst part of the kitchen was that there were walls which closed it off from the living room and more importantly the water view.

Since we were coming up with a lot of unforeseen expenses like electric and foundation issues, the kitchen was not a top priority. But one thing led to another and we ended up tearing out the old cabinets as well as the walls.

Let’s see how all those issues were resolved.

(Image credit: Vintage American Home)

This looks great! It has a vintage warmth, but it also feels so fresh and modern, thanks to the black-and-white palette and stainless steel appliances. There’s now a great amount of counter space, and it’s more worker-friendly since it’s not stuck under hanging cabinets. The breakfast bar is perfect both for admiring the views of the water and hanging out in the kitchen, while the new pendants and stools have an old-fashioned flavor without trying too hard.

(Image credit: Vintage American Home)

This photo gives you more of a feel for the kitchen, as well as a good look at the mauve countertops and orange floor tiles. That dishwasher is beautiful, however.

Janice was kind enough to share a ton of detail about the renovation, including the all-important shopping portion of the process.

We saved the appliances and the hardware from the cabinets. By tearing up the floor we were able to have the sagging joists under the house replaced. That led to new hardwood floors in the now great room. So we moved the plumbing and changed the configuration of the appliances and sink. We also got a lot of extra room by eliminating a large foyer that was really just wasted space.

But the whole project really started when I found the Costco Kitchen Cabinet site. I was able to price out the cabinets I needed plus they were on sale and, as a Costco member, I got an additional discount. The price made the whole project seem more affordable than I thought.

So I figured out which cabinets would fit and where they would go. They have a lot of choices and sizes but they are not custom. It is a bit like building a jigsaw puzzle and it is not that hard. You can call them for help but I didn’t need to call. I did call about the delivery to be sure it was going to happen when I thought it would. The people were nice. So I added everything to my cart and hit “confirm” and bought the cabinets. Well it was a little confusing because you had to pay Costco in a strange method. It took me a while to understand what was going on.

So we hurried to get ready for the cabinets because they only took a few weeks to arrive. We worked as fast as we could to be prepared.

We got them inside and unboxed them. It took a while because they were pretty well packed. The cabinets were all in good shape but we realized that one cabinet which was the most expensive was cracked and out of square. The drawers did not close evenly. So we took photos of the cabinet and the next day I called All Wood Cabinets. The woman told me to email the photos to her and a new cabinet was sent. It arrived the very next week!

The cabinets cost $3,000.

(Image credit: Vintage American Home)

Now that this space has been completely transformed, Janice is quite pleased with the results; she found the cabinets easy to order, the quality good, and the appearance pretty.

The cabinets I chose were Nantucket Polar White from Costco purchased online. I used Sherwin Williams Pure White to paint the sides of the island that my husband built. (I will tell about that on another post.) I used the same paint to touch up the crown molding. We bought the crown molding from All Wood Cabinets from Costco and it came finished but needed to be touched up after it was nailed in. Pure White is not a totally exact match but it is very close. The counter top is black pearl granite in a leathered or brushed finish. The hardware was taken off of the existing cabinets but I needed a few extra handles so I got them from Amazon.

(Image credit: Vintage American Home)

Take a look at the whole space. The wood of the bar stools is very similar to that of the unique coffee table, the kitchen’s black accessories continue into the living room, and the new pendants look appropriate with the decor of both spaces.

If you’re tackling a similar project on a similar timeline and budget, Vintage American Home has some advice.

I would say that if you are trying to renovate on a budget and you don’t have time to wait for custom cabinets online cabinets are a good idea.

Thank you, Vintage American Home!

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: Costco Is the Reason for This Affordable Kitchen Renovation