Maria's kitchen before the renovation.
We love seeing our readers' freshened-up kitchens! Today's kitchen renovation story comes from Maria in Vancouver, BC. Her kitchen renovation is really inspiring, as it falls in that challenging in-between category — she wanted to do more than just paint her cabinets and hang some artwork (a $200 job), but she didn't have the budget for a full gut renovation of her old and challenging kitchen. So she worked a modest, realistic budget, and this plus some elbow grease got her a serious amount of upgrade!
Read on to see her kitchen before the upgrade, and for all the details of what she did, including a budget breakdown.
Maria's Kitchen Story
We had been in our house for 2 years and our inefficient kitchen was becoming more and more of a thorn in my side. I love to cook and entertain and my kitchen was not a useable space — and it was just very blah and dingy looking.
My biggest pain point was that the oven had about a 4-inch space on each side between the oven and the counter space — this drove me NUTS!!!
We couldn't afford my dream kitchen renovations, so I did what I called a facelift. We modified the existing upper cabinets to fit in a working range hood, modified the lower cabinets to get rid of the 4-inch gap on either side of the oven, replaced the floor with a vinyl tile, built new cabinets around the fridge, installed a bi-fold door for the pantry, installed a dishwasher, new oven and hood range, new kitchen faucet, new counters, painted the walls and cabinets and my favourite aesthetic piece — the kitchen backsplash. We also purchased an IKEA butcher block island that is perfect for my kids to have meals at and do crafts — it also has shelves to house all my cookbooks.
Cost of "Facelift" Renovation
Maria and her dad did all the grunt work. "It's very handy," she says, "to have jack of all trades for a father!" (Do note that these costs are in Canadian dollars.)
• Appliances: oven, range hood, dishwasher - $2,200
• Countertops: $1,000
• Floors: $200
• Backsplash: $175
• Paint: $150
• Cabinet hardware: $100
• IKEA cabinets & bifold door: $1,000
• IKEA island: $575
• Electrical: $500
• Faucet: $200
• Total: $6,100
Maria's Renovation Favorites
What was your favorite improvement?
My favourite aesthetic improvement is the backsplash. I installed it all by myself and was swearing as I grouted itty-bitty tiles at 2am in the morning, but I love how they turned out. I chose the hexagon tile because it reminded me of the tile in the first apartment I shared with my husband.
My favourite functional improvement was the electrical upgrade — being able to make toast and coffee at the same time is a very good thing!
Which one gave you the most "bang for your buck?"
Hard to choose, since we did everything so economically. I would have to say splurging on the IKEA butcher block island. I hemmed and hawed over it for a long time as $575 was a lot to spend at the time (especially since I had a perfectly fine kitchen table to use) and it wasn't a necessary piece to make the kitchen function.
But the island provides storage, seating for my kids to eat and do crafts at while I'm preparing a meal, more counter space (especially for baking!) and provides a place to gather while entertaining. I didn't expect to get as much use from it as I have.
Share your own kitchen renovation or improvement!
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
Show us your kitchen here!
Related: Before & After: 15 Creative Kitchen Renovations
(Image: Maria via The Kitchn's submission form)