Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

Totally “Green” Kitchen & Where The Heck Have I Been?

on March 20, 2015

I seem to have disappeared all winter, much like the melting snow outside my window. I hope there is still someone out there that is actually reading this blog and can forgive me for my absence. It has been a brutally harsh winter and my commitment to this blog has not been at all where I wanted it to be. I do apologize and hope you stick around with me for things to come.

Just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. I had all these grandiose plans to show you all my wonderful cold weather thrifted (fabulous) outfits but let’s be honest, I did not feel like dragging my camera and tripod out in the bitter cold and snow all winter and indoor shots of me in my bedroom just ain’t gonna cut it for most readers. Spring is in the air and I’m going try my darndest to get this back up and running.

When I wasn’t lounging in my PJs all snuggled up in my favourite chair, I actually was off my butt and doing stuff around the house.

Mr. Restyle and I have been working on our basement kitchen for the past few months now. He did MOST of the work but I did lend my hand where I could, trying very hard to just let him do what he does best and hoping he wouldn’t veer off my design plan too much.

It started with obtaining this old kitchen from someone who was in the process of a house flip. Solid wood, ugly and about to be thrown away – just what we were looking for! It makes me cringe when I see people throwing away perfectly good, solid wood without a second thought. My neighbours are doing this right now. Their entire first floor is out in the dumpster. One of my favourite TV DIYers, Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict would not approve! Doesn’t anyone think about the enviornment? If you want to replace stuff, stop and think about redoing it yourself or give it away! Ugh! Don’t even ask me about granite countertops. I hate them. Can I say that? i don’t like granite, mostly because EVERYBODY has them and I don’t want to be like everybody and also because granite is a nonrenewable resource. Rant over. Our goal was to see if we could finish this using old or reclaimed stuff, partly to save money and partly to say “We did it!”

old kitchen

Ugly, old brown kitchen about to be hauled to the dump. Perfect!

It took quite a bit of planning when it came to how to best configure it. There were a LOT of cabinets, but hey, who doesn’t need tons of storage in the basement? Let me say that this is a second kitchen whose main function will be for the kids to grab a snack or for extra prep space for large family gatherings and that is it. We will not be putting a full table and chairs in here.

We started by painting those horrid brown cabinets out with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre. I got some bleed through on a few of the doors and wasn’t happy with it, so I ended up priming them and finished it all off with 2 coats of clear wax.


All painted out with new handles picked up at Habitat for Humanity and countertop ready for install.


The fridge and stove we’ve had for years. The over the range microwave was picked up at Goodwill. Perfect condition and clean.

Mr. Restyle is pretty creative. He came up with the idea of framing out the electrical panel to make it look like a window. There is actually no window in this room. That’s why you’ll see a cut out wall by the sink as the office right next to the kitchen has the window. If we’d closed off the wall this kitchen would’ve felt like a tomb.

electrical panel

Prepping th

Here it is done. Excuse the wood filler around the frame. That part’s not done yet!

He even put a light inside. He says it makes it look like it’s the sun shining in. Bless him but that’s adorable. Tacky maybe but adorable.


Electrical panel “window” with the “sun” shining through.

The sink and faucet are more Habitat Finds. Mr. Restyle sanded the sink to make it look brand new. He used sand paper that is used on cars, not the paper you buy at Home Depot. It’s extra, extra fine and did a fabulous job, though personally, I didn’t see the need. The sink is deep which I love.

Sink and counter. All that's left is the backsplash and electrical sockets.

Sink and counter. All that’s left is the backsplash and electrical sockets.

More counter and cabinets.

More counter and cabinets.

Our original plan for the counters was to find some old, solid wood doors but we searched everywhere and came up empty. Plan B was some maple, which Mr. Restyle installed and I stained using Danish Oil. Danish Oil becomes food safe after it cures but man, does it EVER stink while you’re applying it! We used Watco Danish Oil in Medium Walnut. The trick with Danish Oil is to pour it directly onto the wood (like a small puddle) and just use a sock over your hand or a soft cloth to go with the grain. I think I did 2 or 3 coats. It dries very quickly. I love the contrast of dark counters with light cupboards. I think eventually we’ll seal the counters with Waterlox or something similar. The edges were finished off by applying a wood veneer. The veneer is applied with an iron, which heats the glue. The veneer was also stained with Danish Oil.

Here are a few more shots from the other side of the room. The plug from the microwave to the wall socket is temporary. There is actually power above the microwave but in order to do finish this off, all the power to the house has to be turned off. It wasn’t feasible to do this during the frigid winter we’ve had.


Temporary power to the microwave.

This is actually a great idea for this corner. Instead of wasted space, there is a fake cupboard behind to the side of the stove. The original plan had the stove sitting where the small counter is but we decided it looked disjointed that way.

This is actually a great idea for this corner. Instead of wasted space, there is a fake cupboard to the side of the stove. The original plan had the stove sitting where the small counter is but we decided it looked disjointed that way.

Since we didn’t want a table in here, we opted to add a small counter area for snacks.


Snack counter is essentially a “table” made by his truly, attached to the rest of the countertop on one side with legs on one end.

A close up of the legs made from pipe. Isn’t Mr. Restyle getting better and better? He came up with this on his own and THEN saw something similar on Pinterest. Ha! Excuse the mess. There are still a bunch of baseboards to go up down here and doors to be hung or painted.

Pipe legs.

Pipe legs.

Chairs are a Goodwill find. They were a cherry wood kind of reddish colour that wouldn’t work down here so they got the same paint as the cupboards and some new upholstery. Easy peasy and so fresh!


2 fresh new chairs.

And lastly, have one of these in your basement and need to cover it up?

Water metre to be hidden.

Water metre to be hidden.

There didn’t seem to be an easy way to hide this thing. It’s between the kitchen and the fruit cellar and totally in plain sight. Here’s what we did. We got this credenza at GBF (charity thrift store). We both love vintage and for now it will stay as it is without changing the colour, painting it or replacing the hardware. Eventually we can store barware in here. Funny thing about this when we brought it home, Mr. Restyle asked one of our boys to help unload it. Our son asked “What is it?” Mister replied (as a joke) “It’s a coffin.” When he removed the back panel, he noticed the letters R.I.P. scribbled on the back. Creepy, huh?

Vintage cabinet.

Vintage cabinet.

It doesn’t stop there. We had to make it actually fit in the space. Here’s what the mister did.

Cut off the back to make it fit, take out the drawer and cut off the back part of the drawer just enough, then put it all back together.

Cut off the back to make it fit, take out the drawer and cut off the back part of the drawer just enough, then put it all back together (something like that).

Thanks for sticking around for all that. Let me know what you think! I’ve been so empowered by this project (we both have) that we are going to be updating our main kitchen. Oak cabinets anyone? I have a great idea for those that does not involve the landfill and also for a true butcher block counter that will be much better than the one we did down here.


2 responses to “Totally “Green” Kitchen & Where The Heck Have I Been?

  1. Rude Record says:

    WOW glad to find like-minded souls doing like-minded things. How awesome that you have revived your kitchen and not chucked it into landfill. I have shown RUDE boy and he too is inspired. Well done and thank you for sharing the joy of frugal with us.


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