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Remodeling Project

In July of 2013, I completely gutted and remodeled a beach house in Huntington Beach, California.  I'd been searching for the right property for over six months, and when my husband and I had the opportunity to purchase this one, we pounced.  This 1960s bungalow was sound structurally, but everything was grandma original.  The real challenge came in getting the property to rent for top dollar on a budget.  Someday, my husband and I plan to live on the property, and when that time comes, I will want to do a complete rebuild with new finishes.  So I couldn't exactly create my dream kitchen.  Here's a peek at my fiscally responsible kitchen. 
The cabinet that the microwave sat on was free-standing, so I opted to remove it since it didn't match the other cabinets, which were solid maple. Notice the ancient intercom?  The white thing next to the intercom below the top cabinets is a trash trap--one of my favorite features of the house.  I nixed the intercom, but kept the trash trap.
I salvaged the maple cabinets and chose an inexpensive granite to up the appeal.   

The granite was the cheapest I could find (only $100 per slab uninstalled), so I hunted for a backsplash that complemented the granite for the better.  The backsplash had hints of green, so I went with a modern green floor tile that I carried through the entry. 
The stainless appliances helped tie in the grey tones in the granite and the backsplash while the off-white cabinets kept the feeling of a California beach house.
 A closer look at the backsplash that I scored for only $7 per square foot.  It really had just a hint of green that the floor helped to pull out.  The front of the house was painted a beachy green, so I was inspired to stick with the color palette for the rest of the house. 

Almost done--I still hadn't installed the trash trap door, which I had gel-coated at an auto body shop.

The total cost to redo the kitchen came in around $6,000, including the floor, and we did a lot of the labor ourselves--with some help from our family and the awesome neighborhood.  The oven was one of the biggest challenges since the original oven was only 23.5", whereas 24" is standard, although still small. I found a fairly new 24" Kitchen Aid convection oven on Craigslist that retails for $2,100.  My husband paid $500, and had to buy a new trim for $200, and after 1/2" cut into the cabinets, and some electrical upgrading and grounding, it fit perfectly.  I also found the electric stovetop on Craigslist, and paid $120 (from the back of someone's truck in a Walmart parking lot--sketchy!).  Both came out of recently remodeled kitchens in the area.  It helps that people in upscale Orange County are always upgrading because their "old" appliances really aren't that old.  And we also got lucky that all worked like new. Phew.