Kitchen Before & After: A DIY Renovation With a Few Clever Budget Design Choices

Reader Kitchen Remodel

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Kitchn reader Courtney's kitchen was a "straight out of 1996" gem, complete with laminate countertops, honey colored cabinets, roll-out vinyl flooring, and a UFO light hanging over the sink. A leak turned out to be a blessing in disguise, and she and her husband took the opportunity to renovate the kitchen from the ground up. Their DIY renovation is super impressive, in no small part because of their smart, budget-minded design choices. See what this kitchen looks like now:

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Wow! What an improvement — lighter, airier, prettier. Courtney and her husband did almost all the work themselves, from the demo to the electrical and plumbing. They replaced their old vinyl floor with Pergo laminate, painted the cabinets instead of replacing them, installed hardware where there was none, and installed two new light fixtures — one of which is actually made from a bowl they found at Target!

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Material Sources

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The hammered hardware from Pottery Barn was a bit of a splurge, but as Courtney notes, "given the money we saved by painting rather than replacing the cabinets, we felt we could get away with buying the hardware we wanted."

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The hammered pendant light in the dining room may be my favorite feature of all, though. It's made from a bowl that Courtney found at Target! Here's what she writes about the awesome DIY project:

I found a hammered pendant light that I loved, but I wasn’t ready to fork out the $100 for it knowing that it came with a plastic cord. Really? A fancy pendant with a cheap looking cord? No thanks. So I decided to make my own, and we randomly happened upon this hammered bowl at Target. It was $20 for exactly what we wanted. Score! Since it would be near the other pendant, I decided to spring for the matching pendant kit from Pottery Barn but ended up finding it cheaper on Ebay. Double score! We bought a hole saw for our drill and used that to drill the hole into the bowl to have an opening to attach the cord kit. I kind of can’t believe we made this ourselves, and I love love love it.

→ Read all about Courtney's kitchen renovation and see more photos in the 4-part series she wrote on her blog: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Thanks for sharing, Courtney!

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* See more home Before & After surprises at Apartment Therapy! *

(Image credits: Courtney Champion)