Shelter Kitchen Remodel Complete!

October 1, 2012

Well, we’ve done it again!  We’ve remodeled another kitchen in partnership with our local COTS (Committee on the Shelterless) and as part of our ongoing Alma Project.  Together with an amazing team and some generous donations, we’re proud to showcase this incredible new kitchen we remodeled for a local emergency shelter.

white kitchen sink and rug centsational girl


A little backstory first.  On the same day we wrapped up the first Alma Project kitchen, Warren, our partner at COTS, told us about this second home that was also part of the transitional housing program, a five bedroom home that was to be used as an emergency shelter for single parents and their children, with move in dates in October.  Each family shares a bedroom so this home will work for both COTS and with Child Protective Services to keep families intact by taking them off the streets and giving them temporary housing until they find a more permanent solution. 

The home was in really bad shape and saddened us that it was in no condition for children or families, so we decided to adopt a second house this year.  Matt and I love this project so much, it fills us with great pride to be helping people in need by remodeling these spaces in our community.  For this home makeover, we again turned our attention to rounding up all the resources we could.  You’ve seen the hall bathroom and over the summer we’ve been working on both the great room and kitchen.  We’re so excited the kitchen remodel is finally done! 

This was the kitchen the day we toured it back in July, and it was in really horrible shape.  (I swear that plunger is not a prop, it was actually sitting there.) This space was really depressing, it was dark and dingy, the cabinets were broken, the old laminate countertops were chipped, the flooring was moldy and peeling up in places, it was an absolute mess.  

kitchen before


So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work, and over the course of three months, we pooled resources and asked some generous donors to contribute and we’re so amazed by their generosity.  A combination of DIY efforts pulled this off, but first I’m so excited to acknowledge our sponsors.

Again Home Depot came to our rescue and donated new flooring, cabinets, a sink and faucet, and new backsplash tile.  Wilsonart countertops donated the new laminate countertops, and Shades of Light donated a new light fixture.  With some local donations of appliances and some funds raised from our Alma Project, we were able to completely transform this kitchen in three months.

Here it is, all complete! 

shelter kitchen remodel after


I have to thank our local kitchen designer Christine from Home Depot who came to the house to take measurements and then sketched this kitchen plan so we could visualize the difference.  She’s always been a big supporter of this project and we love working with her!  Thank you Christine!

shelter kitchen cabinet plan


The kitchen was gutted down to the walls and the florescent lights removed.  The old flooring was removed, the walls repaired with new sheetrock, and the floors prepped for new laminate wood flooring. 

kitchen during


Four new recessed lights take the place of the old florescent lights.  I chose not to use a window treatment in this space, but instead to frame the window with glass mosaic tile that goes up to the ceiling.  I thought about open shelves next to the window, which would be lovely but would have impeded the opening of the cabinets to the left, so instead I chose a simple botanical print to balance the offset window.

wall of glass tile centsational girl 

Warren and I installed this backsplash by ourselves over two days, and there was one moment of panic in framing the window, when our grid was slightly off, but we resolved the issue quickly and the feature wall turned out perfectly – I’ll share that adventure in installing a glass tile backsplash around a window soon.

green blue backsplash tile centsational girl


I found this ceramic tile backsplash called ‘Misty Seaglass’ with shades of blue, green, and cream on clearance at Home Depot and snatched up every last piece at $4 a sheet.  It changes colors throughout the day, more colorful in bright light and subdued in indirect light.  It’s really stunning in person and was such a great deal!  We were able to tile the full wall and both sides of the kitchen for $300. 

blue green mosaic tile backsplash


Instead of a window treatment, we framed the window in simple trim and hung this beautiful glass Peridot pendant from Shades of Light over the sink. 

green glass pendant over sink


The countertops were another generous donation by the Wilsonart company, the finish is ‘Perla Piazza’ the same we used on the first Alma project kitchen.  I loved it so much I used it again!  The cream colored finish complements the cream pieces in the blue glass mosaic tile backsplash. 

wilsonart countertops


Some local supporters donated the dining sets and cookware, the rest I shopped for over the weekend at Bed, Bath & Beyond to prepare the kitchen with essentials from silverware and glassware, towels and utensils since families are moving in this week.   

dishes inside cabinets


Here’s a few more before and after shots!

Left side before:

left side before


left side of new kitchen

Right side before:

right side before


right side after


A huge huge thank you to all of our sponsors, including the Home Depot, Wilsonart, and Shades of Light for their generosity and philanthropic spirit in supporting this kitchen remodel.  Words cannot express our gratitude!!  I applaud these companies who support charitable projects like this! 

A huge thank you to our most recent round of Alma Project donors:  Stephanie Norris, Sue Townsend, Chelsie Bruggeman, Jane Hankins, Megan Booth, Nurfarhana Hamdan, and Erica Brown!  Thank you, your donations helped so much with this kitchen!

Here’s the budget breakdown for this emergency shelter kitchen remodel:

Budget Breakdown:

White stock cabinets, hinges, and toe kick: $3,064 (donated by Home Depot)

Oak flooring: $190 (donated by Home Depot)

Misty Seaglass backsplash tile: $302 (donated by Home Depot)

Stainless steel sink + faucet: $179 (donated by Home Depot)

‘Perla Piazza’ countertops – $1,000 (donated by WilsonArt)

Green peridot light fixture – $159 (donated by Shades of Light)

New recessed light fixtures + electrical wiring: $250  (purchased by COTS)

New hood – $170 (purchased by COTS)

Sheetrock wall + subfloor repair:  $175 (purchased by COTS)

Miscellaneous joint compound, grout, supplies: $200 (purchased by COTS)

Refrigerator: local donation

Dishwasher: local donation

Oven + microwave: reused from previous kitchen

Knobs and pulls from Home Depot: $110

Cloudstep floral floor mat:  Pier One, $69

White coffee maker, Target: $35

Frame + botanical print, Aaron Brothers: $45

Glassware, silverware, garbage can, utensils, towels, and other kitchen cooking essentials from Bed, Bath, & Beyond: $275

Cost for kitchen without donated materials (not including tax + free labor):  $6,223

Cost for kitchen with donated materials (not including tax + free labor):  $1,329

All of the cabinet and flooring installation was completed by Warren and his volunteer assistant Eddie, with Matt and I helping with installing the backsplash and hardware.  Warren handled all of the inspections.  The kitchen labor was all combined DIY efforts, saving us thousands since we spent zero in labor costs.  

We love this light and bright space that will serve the needs of homeless families in transition and we’re so proud of the result! 

To donate to the Alma Project, click on this button in the sidebar, thank you!

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119 Responses to “Shelter Kitchen Remodel Complete!”

  1. vel says:

    OMG, I can’t believe its the same space!!! you are truly a miracle worker, and this project shows not only that you’ve got a lot of talent, but a lot of love as well!!!! The tile made the biggest impact, just gorgeous, great job as always Kate!

  2. Margaret says:

    This is so gorgeous! Clean and bright – a fresh start!

  3. Kate, you should be so proud… this turned out beautiful and will be such a blessing for some people who really need it. It looks so fabulous it could seriously be in BHG. Just lovely and a great cause. Good for you!

  4. teresa says:

    Amazing transformation! The backsplash goes perfectly with the coutertop and I love those bowls! Everything is WOW! It’s probably best you skipped the open shelves as it’s hard to get everyone on board with the tidy thing in shared spaces. One question, how many people use that fridge? I noticed there were two in the before, and having rented shared spaces before, I know refrigerator space can be a point of contention. These Alma projects are some of my favourite posts. You’re very generous with your time. CTD

  5. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Teresa, there is a second large refrigerator in the garage which is a few steps away, so the families will be sharing both.

  6. CentsationalGirl says:

    Thank you so much Kate, that’s quite a compliment!

  7. Kathy says:

    Beautiful Backsplash… and I LOVE the rug! Fresh & Clean Kitchen… AWESOME!!

  8. Joani says:

    It looks so beautiful. You all did such a great job. Thanks for sharing. And, thanks for giving!

  9. Sandra says:

    Blown away! What an incredible transformation! Who knows the extent of the impact this change in environment will have on those who use it. You have a real gift for this! May God continue to bless the work you’re doing!

  10. Wow, superb job, and so joyful bravo, bravissimo

  11. Patti Z says:

    I’m always impressed with what you and the “team” come up with to improve the Alma homes. Great job – again!

  12. Lauren says:

    What a huge difference, really great job!

  13. Betsey says:

    Amazing how bright and clean the new kitchen looks. Excellent use of tile.

  14. Angela Evans says:

    This is beautiful! I love it so much that I got that the same tile today on clearance for $1.43/sheet and I also bought the rug!!

  15. Alice says:

    Your work is amazing… and such a gift… i came across your site while trying to find just one sheet of misty sea glass. You see, I work for Home Depot and we have a customer that needs just one half sheet to finish his project. My manager has me looking up store after store… i finshed California… and Nevada. At one point I thought we were getting a one from a HD in NY… but they broke it. So i was wondering…. do you have one tile left by any chance. I know its a long shot… but stranger things happen! Thanks, Alice

  16. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Alice, I might have a few sheets left, I’ll have to check at the house, how much do you need?

  17. Alice says:

    We just need one sheet for the customer to finish his project. I have called all over CA and had no luck. If you had one to spare you will make a customer extremely happy! Let me know, and thanks so much responding!

  18. Dria says:

    Your kitchen is stunning! I have seen very few kitchens that look good with white cabinets and white appliances yours hands down looks amazing!

  19. lindy says:

    I have the same backsplash tile and bought it for $1.48 a sheet. I love it!!!! What color grout did you use. I am ready to grout and cant decide! Thank you!!!

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