Small Kitchen Remodel, Featuring Slate Tile Backsplash

It’s so inspiring to see a total room change, and this small kitchen remodel is definitely inspiring! Our guest today took the old kitchen in her 1930’s house and renovated it to change the layout and flow, while inserting her own style and keeping some of the charming features of the home. 

Small Kitchen Remodel with Slate Tile Backsplash | featured at #smallkitchen #remodel #backsplash @Remodelaholic

Small kitchens aren’t something we usually dream of, but look at these great small kitchens I’ve found recently:

via Houzz

small kitchen remodel, via Roomzaarvia HGTV Rate My Space

small kitchen remodel, via This Old Housevia This Old House

small kitchen remodel, Better Homes and Gardensvia Better Homes and Gardens

And now, here’s Rachel to give you all the details of her lovely remodel!

Small Kitchen Remodel with Slate Tile Backsplash | featured at #smallkitchen #remodel #backsplash @Remodelaholic


Small Kitchen Remodel
by Rachel of lovetodecor8

Hi everyone! I’m Rachel from lovetodecor8. I have to be honest – I was TOTALLY giddy when I was contacted by Remodelaholic asking me to share the details of my kitchen remodel with you! I’m pretty sure I told my entire family. Not even joking. 🙂

I’ve lived in my house for about three and a half years and I’ve LOVED every minute of it! It’s my first home and I have put SO much of myself in to it. My house was built in the 30’s and one of the things I loved about it was all the old details- the glass doorknobs, hardwood floor, and the big arched front doorway. The one HUGE drawback was the kitchen. It was terrible! It was so small and it didn’t “flow” well at all. I couldn’t open my oven door all the way because it would hit the refrigerator and vice versa. If you look closely at the picture below you can see the handle from the refrigerator in front of the stove.

small kitchen remodel before

See the little spot to the left of my stove – that was the ONLY place my mixer would fit underneath the top cabinets. I’m a baker and this kitchen did not make baking fun. I knew I would have to remodel this room eventually, but I was dreading, dreading, dreading it, so I was making it work.

Then one day I started my dishwasher and few minutes later the house was filled with smoke and the smell of something burning. To this day I don’t know exactly what went wrong but the old KitchenAid dishwasher was toast.

So…you know how one little project turns into another and then another? Well that’s exactly what happened here. Turns out my dishwasher was part of a dishwasher, sink, countertop combo so you couldn’t really swap out the old dishwasher for a new one. Believe me, we tried and it was not pretty. The new dishwasher didn’t fit right. It stuck out too far and we never found a great way to secure it properly. This isn’t mine, but it looked a lot like this.

small kitchen remodel, appliances before

So after living with the temporary fix for a few months I decided to go ahead and start the remodel. I have not idea what got into me on that day. Temporary insanity maybe??? 😉 I knew I wanted to do as much of the remodel as I could on my own to save money, but my skills have their limits so I knew there were certain things I would have to hire contractors for. I didn’t see any reason I couldn’t handle the demo so later that day my mom, sister, brother, brother-in-law, and I got to work. I found this to be one of the easiest parts of the whole project.

small kitchen remodel, in progress 1 small kitchen remodel, in progress 2 small kitchen remodel, in progress 3
small kitchen remodel, in progress 4 small kitchen remodel, in progress 5 small kitchen remodel, in progress 6

Once we had the cabinets cleared out we moved on to the flooring. I knew the original hardwood was underneath all the other layers of flooring and my goal was to remove everything on top so I could refinish them. I knew it was risky, because I had no idea what I was going to find or what condition they would be in, but I was determined. There ended up being six layers of flooring and about 10,000,000 nails and staples (no joke!) that needed to be removed. I think I calculated over twenty hours went into pulling all the nails and staples. I kept thinking that there had to be an easier way to pull all those nails, but I never figured it out. If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them!

Since the dining room is right next to the kitchen I wanted to flooring to flow seamlessly into that room, so I pulled up the old flooring in there too.

small kitchen remodel, in progress 7 small kitchen remodel, in progress 8 small kitchen remodel, in progress 9
small kitchen remodel, in progress 10 small kitchen remodel, in progress 11 small kitchen remodel, in progress 12

 I refinished the floors in the living room, hallway, and both bedrooms when I first moved into my house so I was prepared for the refinishing process. It can be a little time consuming, but it’s not really that hard of a job and the end result is always amazing. I know there are lots of imperfections in the floors, but I love them and I think all those little things just add character which I love. Here is a picture of the refinished floors I snapped on my phone.

small kitchen remodel with refinished floors

The ceiling and walls were in sorry shape so my uncle helped me put up new drywall on the ceiling. I ended up hiring a contractor to come in and fix up the walls and finish the ceiling. I think I paid around $300, but it was worth it! small kitchen remodel, replacing drywall

The cabinets were the next thing to go in- and let me tell you this was such an exciting time in the project. Because my budget was so limited I decided to buy the in-stock cabinets from Lowe’s. I opted to buy the crown molding from the milwork department and painted it myself to match the cabinet color. Just buying the crown molding and painting it myself saved me around $150 and you can’t tell a difference at all.

I was a little hesitant to buy stock cabinets at first because I was afraid the quality would be terrible, but I’m really happy with them and they are holding up just fine. With this being a starter home, I didn’t want to put a bunch of money into the kitchen remodel because I knew I wouldn’t see a return on the investment. I struggled with buying what I loved versus buying what made sense. 🙂 small kitchen remodel, new cabinets 1 small kitchen remodel, new cabinets 2

I hired a contractor friend of mine do any of the work that I couldn’t do and it was definitely worth it. He did such a great job!

To save money I put in a standard laminate countertop. I knew I wanted to put in a tile backsplash so when I ordered the countertop I had them order it without the laminate backsplash attached. I think it has a much nicer look in the end. Another way I cut cost was installing a simple lighting system on my own that you can read about here. small kitchen remodel, laminate countertop

I ordered my sink and faucet online and saved a ton of money that way.

small kitchen remodel, faucet

I splurged a little on my light fixture, knobs and drawer pulls. They might look like basic knobs but there is something about the hardware finish and quality that you get from Restoration Hardware that makes my heart swoon. 🙂 small kitchen remodel, Restoration Hardware knobs small kitchen remodel, Restoration Hardware pulls

The backsplash is a brick-joint 2X3 slate tile. I went back and forth a bit because I love all white kitchens but ultimately the contrast with the dark backsplash tile against the white cabinets won out. It’s definitely more “me” and I love it! small kitchen remodel, slate tile backsplash and laminate countertop

Overall I am so happy with how it turned out. I love baking and cooking again and even though the kitchen is still small it works and flows SO. MUCH. BETTER.

Small Kitchen Remodel with Slate Tile Backsplash | featured at #smallkitchen #remodel #backsplash @Remodelaholic Small Kitchen Remodel with Slate Tile Backsplash | featured at #smallkitchen #remodel #backsplash @Remodelaholic Small Kitchen Remodel with Slate Tile Backsplash | featured at #smallkitchen #remodel #backsplash @Remodelaholic Small Kitchen Remodel with Slate Tile Backsplash | featured at #smallkitchen #remodel #backsplash @Remodelaholic

Here is a quick run down the kitchen details:

  • Paint Color: Balanced Beige by Sherwin Williams (SW 7037) 
  • Trim Color: Customer color to match the cabinets
  • Cabinets: Lowe’s in-stock cabinets from the Arcadia line Cabinet
  • Knobs: Restoration Hardware Bistro knobs in Oil Rubbed Bronze Cabinet
  • Pulls: Restoration Hardware Bistro pulls in oil rubbed bronze
  • Light Fixture: Restoration Hardware Heath Flushmount in oil rubbed bronze
  • Flooring: Original oak
  • Sink: Kraus KTM32
  • Faucet: Moen 7185CSL Brantford
  • Tile: Daltile – California Gold (brick-joint natural cleft) S700
  • Countertop: Formica Labrador Granite – Etchings Finish (3692-46)

Thanks for reading about my little remodel! 🙂 If you are interested in any of my other projects you can visit me here.

Thanks for sharing, Rachel!
Be sure to pop on over to lovetodecor8 and see the rest of Rachel’s cute house!

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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

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  1. Love the tile that you used as a backsplash. Was thinking about using something similar in my kitchen but was concerned about cleaning it (particularly behind the stove). What has been your experience?y