Kitchen Before & After: A Beautiful, Budget-and-Kid-Friendly Renovation

Reader Kitchen Remodel

When Julia and Sara bought their rundown 1967 duplex in downtown Anchorage, it was a mess. "It had barely been touched in 40+ years," Julia wrote to us. "Sculpted shag carpet, pink toilets, mirrored tile, etc." After qualifying for a renovation mortgage loan and deciding on a contractor, Julia had just 24 hours to pick everything for the interior of the house — including the kitchen! — but she did it with the help of a designer and Pinterest inspiration board. The new kitchen is classic and kid-friendly, and designed with affordable materials that look way more high-end than they actually are. See what it looks like now!

Beautiful! We love the touches of red, and the cheery, comfortable vibe of the whole space. Here's what Julia says about the renovation:

What I wanted: clean, classic, great for cooking and kid-friendly (we have a 2-year-old and my partner is pregnant with our second). We also had the challenge of the shape and size of the space. It was very long and too narrow to fit my grandmother's table (sniff). We solved that problem by building a table using finished butcher-block counter top and legs.

The kitchen was actually very affordable. The cabinets are simple, but we chose to extend the storage by going to the ceiling. That gave us extra space and made the room feel bigger. The counters are basic laminate and unfinished butcher block. The butcher block is great for prep (and right by the stove!). The knobs and handles came from Lowes and Home Depot. I used a mix of my existing and my older IKEA chairs.

I used Lowe's for the track lighting (super affordable alternative to can lights) and then I splurged a little on the pendants at a specialty store. The sink is a huge single bowl, but costs pretty much the same as a two-bowl sink. I bought the appliances on Black Friday, which saved a bundle. I chose to spend extra on the faucet, because I wanted it to last.

Thanks so much for sharing, Julia!

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(Image credits: Julia O. via The Kitchn's submission form)