Kitchen Before & After: A Truly Amazing Transformation for $3,500

Reader Kitchen Remodel

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As soon as Chelsea and her husband purchased their little bungalow home, they knew they wanted to redo the kitchen. A little over a year after closing they started the project, and nine months after that they finished it. We know how quickly kitchen renovations can run into the $15,000 - $20,000 range (or more), but this creative, industrious couple were able to completely transform their kitchen for only $3,500. (Yes, truly.) Check out the amazing 'after' photos below!

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Wow oh wow. Seriously. Beautiful and inspiring! We're in awe.

Here's the step-by-step of what they did, in Chelsea's words:

  • It started with lifting the foundation of the house (in the center back corner of the kitchen). Our bungalow is circa 1918 and after almost 100 years we ended up with some serious slants as a center support beam settled.
  • Next we finished the bead-boarded ceiling and added new light fixtures (work from the top down as my mother always says). For the ceiling we used reclaimed crown molding from a 1960s house that was deconstructed in Upper Arlington, OH. We purchased the school house style lights from Home Depot.
  • After having some fun demolishing our existing cabinets, we (and by we I mean my husband Kiel) hand made our cabinets. From scratch. We kept the top cabinets open with bead board backing and the bottom cabinets we made flush. We accented the simple white cabinets with painted black antique hardware.
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  • For the walls we went with a custom light yellowish green to keep the kitchen light and airy feeling (and anything was better than the hideous salmon that we were stuck with after buying!).
  • The floors are original to the house. We scrapped up layers of old laminate and glue to refinish and stain the new (old) floors in a dark brown.
  • For the countertops we purchased IKEA butcher block and cut it to size. The backsplash we tiled with large Martha-Stewart blue colored tiles (now discontinued).
  • The sink is an old cast iron farmhouse style sink, 1920s purchased on Craigslist for $20 (best money we ever spent). It is fitted with an IKEA faucet.
  • Lastly we constructed the kitchen island out of more butcher block and piping from Lowe's. The piping legs were washed with blue to match the backsplash. We found an awesome old set of metal drawers at an antique mall and attached them to the bottom surface of the island for utensils. We used old metal baskets on the bottom shelf for dry goods storage.

After 9 months of sweat equity, our grand total in supplies for our kitchen cost us merely $3,500. But despite the time and labor, we now have our perfect handcrafted kitchen to enjoy for many years and gatherings to come.

→ Read more about Chelsea's kitchen makeover at Farm Fresh Therapy

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Great job, Chelsea! Thanks so much for sharing!

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

(Image credits: Chelsea of Farm Fresh Therapy)