Unbelievable DIY Transformation
Nelson and JoRay were very excited when they bought their house in 2001, and were also proud to own such a handsome 1903 craftsman-style home. Sadly, many of its historical elements had gone missing over the years, and even Nelson admits that the house was “in very rough shape.” None of this mattered as the couple looked past the decades of neglect and saw nothing but potential in their gem of a home.
Vowing to bring the house back to its former glory, they started painstakingly restoring their new home. Working entirely by themselves, JoRay and Nelson went room by room, gutting and rebuilding as their time and money permitted. After a long 8 years, their home was mostly finished, except for one last room. As a family of five, including two special needs children, they were forced to wait and save for the final and most expensive room, the kitchen. Finally, after scrimping and saving for another six years, they’d saved up $20,000 and drew up their own designs. It was important that the kitchen preserved a look and feel appropriate to the home’s craftsman pedigree, but also to fit a 21st-century family’s lifestyle, with modern functional and storage needs.
Nelson and JoRay quickly discovered their biggest challenge was finding the right cabinets at the right price. Having read up on cabinetry, they knew what they were looking for: no particle board, flush inset door style, and they had to fit their $20,000 budget. The couple had searched high and low, both locally and online, for cabinets that met their needs. They had all but given up hope when they found CliqStudios!
It was only after finding exactly what they had been looking for, JoRay and Nelson started to tackle the final part of their home. Being careful to stick to their budget, the couple lovingly rebuilt the entire kitchen without using a single contractor. To maintain the home’s 1903 character, they carefully removed, restored, and reused the original wainscoting! Bowing to slightly more modern sensibilities, they decided on concrete countertops, which they poured by themselves.
A final and very personal touch was the kitchen island. One of their many home improvement projects was to clean up the yard, which included cutting down an old cherry tree. Fortunately, they had enough foresight to save much of the wood. Repurposing an old dresser which they stripped and painted, they then took that beautiful old cherry tree wood and created a striking butcher block top. The result is a beautiful piece of furniture, that not only helped keep them in budget, but also has a great personal story.
Nelson sums it all up, “It took a lot of work, but we could not be more pleased with the end result.”
More Before & After Photos