Creating a Space for You

The Man Cave. The Woman Cave/She Shed. These dedicated spaces to the men and women of the home are becoming all the rage and ever more popular. These types of spaces are even becoming part of essential search criteria when house hunting, as we yearn for a space in our homes to call our own – a getaway from the kids’ toys, the dishes in the sink, and the piled-up laundry. Continue reading

A Peek Into My Kitchen Renovation

Last weekend I hosted an open house at a gorgeous, newer home with a beautiful kitchen. The kitchen had all the bells and whistles: granite countertops, high-end appliances, gas range, drink cooler, etc. One potential buyer walked through and made the comment that his wife wouldn’t like the colour of the kitchen cabinets. And that’s a totally fair comment. Even though the kitchen was great in so many ways, not everyone has the same taste. I shared with him how our kitchen in our home was pretty nice as well when we bought the house but that it wasn’t completely our style and that we were able to make a few changes without breaking the bank. After our conversation, it got me thinking and I thought I would blog this week about what we did in our kitchen and also share with you the cost. You might be surprised!

Last week’s blog focused on the topic of Good Bones (click here to read all about it), and that was certainly a factor when we looked at our house. We knew that, for the most part, the kitchen had good bones. The appliances were in good shape, it was the right size kitchen, the layout worked well, and the cabinets were also in good shape. All these things meant we could save money as we didn’t have to replace appliances, or cabinets, or take down walls, etc.

Similar to the man I spoke with on the weekend at the open house I was hosting, I didn’t love the colour of our cabinets either. I’m a sucker for white cabinets. Initially we researched replacing them, but as I mentioned it’s quite a big kitchen and brand new cabinets would have been costly. After doing a lot of research and speaking with a few companies that spray cabinets, we decided to have our cabinets sprayed. I was nervous that they would chip, but two years later, with two kids who constantly drive toys and what not into them, I’m happy to report that they are in great shape and no chips! So you have an idea of the size of our kitchen, this is how many cabinets we have:

  • 7 single upper cabinets
  • 6 double upper cabinets
  • 17 drawers
  • 7 single lower cabinets
  • 6 double lower cabinets

In total, the cost to have all those cabinets sprayed was $5500. Not bad considering it probably would have been about double that cost (as a low estimate) to replace all those cabinets. We also saved energy and time in not having to remove cabinets or reconfigure them.


Old Kitchen



In my opinion, if you’re going to do a kitchen renovation one of the biggest impacts you can have (other than changing cabinets) is updating the counters. While the counters were in great shape when we bought the house, they were laminate and not stone/solid surface. I love the look of marble but I don’t love the upkeep that comes with it or the cost. We ended up finding a quartz counter, which is much more durable, that had a marble look to it. The cost to upgrade the counters was $3900, this included delivery and installation. These counters are probably one of my favourite things about our kitchen.


Next, we upgraded the backsplash. We went with a white subway tile. What I love about subway tile is that there are many patterns you can do to create interest and add detail. I have quite a traditional style, so we went with a standard brick pattern. What I also love about subway tile is that it’s easy to clean and it’s cheap (which is always a bonus). The tile and installation cost $900.

There were a few other changes that we made, such as replacing the sink, faucet, and handles for all cabinets and drawers. We went with a black granite sink from Costco, which cost under $300. The faucet cost about $200, and we got our cabinet handles from IKEA. The handles came in a two pack and they were (I think around $6 per pack). We needed 27 packs, so they cost us under $200. These extras add up to approximately $700.

In summary, we paid $5500 for our cabinets to be sprayed, $3900 for our counters, $900 for our tile (and labour), and $700 for the sink, faucet, and handles. In total (before tax) our kitchen reno cost $11K. Considering the size of our kitchen and the impact the changes had, it was worth every last dime. Kitchens also have the best return on investment when it comes to renovating. We also added some custom touches that cost us next to nothing but added character. This included removing one double upper cabinet and replacing it with open shelving. This is where we now display wine glasses and other décor. We were also gifted a new light for above our island (thanks mum and dad!), so we replaced the outdated fixture.


I wanted to share this because often times home renovation shows will show that it cost thousands upon thousands to renovate a kitchen. These costs can be accurate depending on the type of finishes you choose and the state of the kitchen to begin with. But what’s important to know or keep in mind, is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot and when you do renovate you get exactly what you want and exactly your style.

Thanks for reading.

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246



Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

Good Bones: House Hunting Considerations

What makes a house perfect, or close to perfect, truly depends on who lives there. Every family or individual is going to have different needs and requirements for what they look for. It is therefore important when house hunting to look for a place, that at its core, meet these requirements or has the ability to be changed to meet these requirements. The bones of a house are those things that are permanent or can’t easily be changed. Continue reading

A Simple Basement Transformation

Is your basement used to its fullest potential or is it a place where furniture goes to die and storage boxes collect dust? The basement can often be the last to receive design attention, however, with the right touches, it can be an amazing space to enjoy. I have lots of great design tips but I’ve only incorporated a few of these ideas myself into our basement, mainly due to budget. I will say the few ideas I have incorporated have had a huge impact and help it to feel less like a dungeon! Continue reading

Behind Closed Doors: Staging Tips for Your Closets

Have you ever toured a home and found yourself opening the closets? I’m willing to bet most people have. If you’re serious about purchasing a home then it’s important to view every aspect of the home including how big the closets are and how much storage they have. So, like any other part of your home, if you’re selling, your closets should be staged and looking their best as well. Continue reading

Tiny Living

Would you do it? Would you live in 500sqft or less?

My answer is no; I mean come on, I have 2 kids and a husband and we enjoy our space. I would, however, downsize, by a 1000sqft. In fact, I would like to downsize by that much in our next home. I love to watch all those shows on HGTV about “tiny living” because they inspire small living solutions, and that’s what this blog post is all about: Creative solutions for living in smaller spaces (not necessarily 500sqft and less, but smaller spaces in general). Continue reading

Designing for the Masses

One thing I always have in mind is resale value; I guess you could say I was taught this through watching my parents buy and sell multiple properties over the years. So when designing and renovating, I always keep in mind whether my design choices would appeal to the masses. At the same time, I also like to design for myself and create a home for my family. Continue reading

Moving: A Family Endeavour

My husband and I used to live quite a simple life in a small(ish) 1-bedroom, 850sqft, apartment. We had exactly what we needed and nothing more (other than probably too many clothes and shoes). Fast forward 5+ years and we are now living in a much bigger space and have filled almost every room. What’s changed? Their names are Norah and Elliot; our sweet babies. Let’s face it kids, as darling as they are, come with a LOT of stuff. If you are a parent you know this too well already. The thought of packing an entire house and preparing for a move can be daunting and this is amplified when you have children. But the good news is, you can get them involved and help make the move a family endeavor. Continue reading