Garden Apt: Kitchen

FINALLY!! After pictures of the garden apartment kitchen!

I know. It’s been so long you’re like, “You have a kitchen in your garden? What?” or “Wasn’t that a million years ago?”

No I don’t have a garden but I do have a garden apartment. AKA – the lowest level of the rowhome that is zoned a completely separate unit the took 1.5 years to renovate. That garden apartment. And, yes, it was a million years ago.

But I posted lovely after pictures of the bathroom

garden bathroom 1

garden bathroom 2

And the main room (it’s a studio) –

garden apt with agents


That only left the poor, neglected, kitchen. Which was – quite possibly – one of the more disgusting spaces in this house at closing.


Everything – walls, counters, cabinets, ceiling – was covered with this nasty, sticky, brown goop.




Here’s what it looked like May 29, 2009. {I don’t think I have ever posted these photos before. YAY! Brand-new-to-the-blog photos!!}




garden apt kitchen before

To get it looking. . . .um. . . not like that, took a significant amount of doing. I won’t bore you with every single detail but for a more detailed mid-project look at things, check out this post.

Here’s an animated gif of every step of the way {wait for it…last photo pauses for 30 sec}

If it’s not cycling through different pictures, you might have to change some settings. If you’re using Internet Explorer (IE):
– Go to Internet Options
– Select Advanced tab
– Scroll down until you see “Play animations in webpages” under Multimedia is checked.
– Then restart your IE.

Since you can’t hit pause, here are direct links to images – > 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

For those of you who are impatient, here’s what it looks like now!!

garden apt kitchen: After

garden apt kitchen after



So here are some fun facts about the kitchen.

1. The sink base cabinet, stove, 2yr old fridge, microwave cabinet {turned base cabinet}, and counter top were all purchased used off Craigslist.


2. I finally got my deep sink that fits {good looking out on that one, Mom!}. LOVE.


3. The far left “base cabinet” actually used to be a $15 craigslist microwave stand. I needed something more shallow than a standard base cabinet because of the front door and this just happened to be the perfect depth. With a little plywood base to raise it up to counter height, no doors, and a couple coats of paint, it became the perfect solution for open shelving.

microwave base



Source List & Budget
{prices include NJ sales tax where applicable}

Sink base cabinet, craigslist: $0.00
Microwave stand turned base cabinet, craigslist: $15
24″ gas stove, craigslist: $75
16cu ft fridge, craigslist: $200
Laminate counter, craiglist: $39
Elkay sink, Home Depot: $124.22 {list – 10% discount + tax}
Faucet, Home Depot: $28.75 {list – 10% discount + tax}
Wire Shelving, Home Depot: $15 {I think??}
Upper cabinets, IKEA (no doors): $127.30
TIDIG Ceiling fixture, IKEA: $41.39
Outlets, paint, caulk, hardware etc: about $60
TOTAL: $725.66

Not bad for an entire kitchen from scratch, huh?

BA 1

BA 2

BA 3

BA 4

So there ya go! Garden Apt is officially signed, sealed & delivered. Was it worth the wait?

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22 Responses to Garden Apt: Kitchen

  1. KML says:

    Coolest post YET!! You go girl!

  2. WOW! This is a beautiful remodel! I can’t believe what you did to that kitchen. I was cringing at the before pictures and then the after? It’s so modern and well-fitted for the space (also, better lit…a big plus for a basement)! LOVE THIS!

  3. Ridiculous! Amazing! Clean! Wow! I’m very impressed, that is one cute space. I can’t believe the thrifty finds – you are a DIY princess!

  4. Meghan, UK says:

    WOW. It looks fantastic, you’ve done such an amazing job on it. You’re actually kinda inspiring me to go out and find a goopy kitchen to renovate! (Ick!)

  5. Looks awesome! Its an adorable apartment… I’d be tempted to move in as it looks like it has way more space than my garage apartment 😉 How is it going with the renter?

    • I think it might, actually (roughly 500sqft). But you get to say you live in a garage (with that bathroom; *swoon*)!! That’s way cooler.

      The renter is fantastic. Quiet, reasonable, pays rent on time. I got really lucky with this one.

  6. Yanet says:

    Not bad at all! Terrific make over at a terrific price!

    Yanet of 3 SKBs

  7. Julia says:

    Thanks for sharing! We are planning a kitchen remodel this year and I needed the reminder to always check craigslist 1st. Did you find it all at once or was it over several weeks that you found the countertop, fridge, ect?

    • Actually it was over nearly a year. Because the reno drug on for so long (a several month break in working on it) things evolved. The stove & base cabinets were purchased summer 2009.

      Originally I nabbed 2 base cabinets for free off craigslist with the intent of cutting it down to fit by the door. But when it came time to actually do it (summer 2010), cutting it down and rebuilding 2 of the 4 sides (width & depth) it just wasn’t worth the effort – if I could find something better. The microwave cabinet was the right width & depth but just needed a little height boost – much easier!

      Also, I’m on craigslist fridge #2. The first fridge (purchased summer 2009) was more narrow but, when I went to install the upper cabinets, I realized it was 1.25″ too tall. The uppers actually extend over the fridge a couple inches. Luckily I was able to resell the first fridge and found this one. Fridge #2 (bought summer 2010) is shorter but just BARELY squeaked in the back door with the doors off (no chance it’d fit through the front).

      I don’t love the laminate (summer 2010) for my own space but it was a practical, cost-effective solution for a rental. The color isn’t super chic but it goes with the floor paint and isn’t ugly. Did I mention it was $39!

      Having time to collect stuff really worked well. I didn’t feel like I was settling just because options were limited. I was able to wait around for the perfect item at a price that was in budget.

  8. Just found your blog, and I’m really enjoying it! This is so impressive. We are amidst our kitchen renovation right now, and it’s at that stage where I want to pull my hair out. Thanks for the reminder that the end result will make it all worth it!


  9. This is seriously AMAZING, Carrie. It doesn’t even look like the same room. At all. Just inspiring. I really like the open upper cabinets. Really makes the room look larger.

    You are awesome.

  10. Amanda says:

    The apartment looks great! I love how you do everything yourself and look for deals on every project. I do the same at my house. It’s nice to be able to show people what you did instead of what a contractor did for you!

    Also, I’m glad you’re back! I missed your blog!


    • Thanks Amanda!! It’s great to be back. I’m not above calling the pros but you’re right. The satisfaction of hunting for the best deal and doing it myself is really motivating. Not always the quickest option though! Haha!

  11. Wow, you got some great bang for your buck! I love the outcome!!

  12. Pingback: Waterlox, built-ins and a basement - NewlyWoodwards

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