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Credit: Photo: Clockwise: Courtney Hierath, Anita Yokota, Katelyn Richardson, Chesca Alston; Design: Kitchn

The 50 Most Satisfying Kitchen Makeovers We’ve Ever Seen

published Feb 26, 2022
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After more than a decade of studying kitchen makeovers (read: gasping at before photos and ogling the after photos!), we’ve come to learn a few things. For starters, the best kitchen makeovers usually happen once something that was once tolerable becomes entirely intolerable — like a cramped layout, flimsy cabinets, old appliances, or wacky paint colors. Also, successful makeovers don’t always have to have big dollars behind them. And, finally, the very best kitchen makeovers can often be found over on our sister site, Apartment Therapy. In fact, we just combed through the archives to collect our personal favorites.

In this list of the 50 most satisfying kitchen makeovers we’ve ever seen, we’ve noted how big changes can come from teeny budgets, clever finds can fix a range of issues, and paint can solve most unsightly woes. If you’re thinking about updating your kitchen this year, look to these projects for inspiration. If you’re just here to peep some eye candy, welcome. Either way, let the scrolling begin!

1. A ’90s Kitchen Gets Overhauled in a Desert Palette

Designer Anita Yokota did the best she could with the outdated ’90s kitchen in her family’s home, and tried to modernize it with DIY fixes like marble self-adhesive paper on the countertops. But the layout would always be full of wasted space unless it was overhauled, so after patiently saving, Yokota took on a five-week reno that gave the kitchen a fresh chapter. She reconfigured the room to have a peninsula, open shelves, and wide cabinets for plenty of storage. It’s all stunning, but the Fireclay tiles definitely steal the show.

Read more: Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Actually Ditches Its Covetable Island — And Now It’s Way More Functional

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2. A Beige Kitchen Gets a Bohemian Makeover on a Tight Budget

After only two months of living with an all-over beige kitchen, designer Sheryl Sanders decided she had to do something to change it. She envisioned a space that was much more bohemian, with open upper cabinetry, a muted palette, and lots of wood tones. She made that happen for about $2,000, thanks to a bevy of DIYs and discounts. She built her own cabinets, encased a soffit in shiplap, and repurposed laundry room storage into a coffee station. It’s a bright and casual upgrade that’s also a lesson in how far budgets can go. 

Read more: Before & After: This ’90s Kitchen Turned into a Scandi-Boho Dream for Just $2,000

3. A Closed-Off Kitchen Becomes the Warm Backdrop to a New Open Layout

Designers Leigh Robinson and Jamie Tronzo had a typical client in Melinda: She had a small kitchen with a closed-off layout, and she wanted it to be modernized with intention. Her style is traditional yet eclectic, and she asked for every item in the space to be able to tell a story. The designers met that task by removing the center wall to open the kitchen to the rest of the living space, and then painting the cabinets sage to match terra-cotta-colored starburst tiles. Gold accents and rich wood tones tie everything else together, ultimately exceeding Melinda’s expectations. 

Read more: This Dull-and-Dated Townhouse Makeover Really Proves The Power of Paint

4. A Dysfunctional Kitchen Gets Saved by IKEA’s Many Storage Solutions

Tabitha Shakespeare had a kitchen that was dysfunctional in more ways than one. In addition to its color palette — a unique mix of bright blue, light wood, and dark floor tiles — its L-shaped layout didn’t capitalize on storage or style. She sourced everything from IKEA to transform the room into a space she loved, which came together with new emerald cabinets surrounding the refrigerator, open shelving in front of classic subway tiles, and wood floors. Finally, a new island creates a much better flow, and supplies lots of storage. 

Read more: Before and After: This Now-Stunning IKEA Kitchen Cost $7,000

Credit: Brooke Littel
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5. A Kitchen with Lots of Room (but Little Storage) Becomes Way More Functional

It would be safe to call Brooke Littel’s original kitchen an optical illusion: It had plenty of floor space, but not much storage or room for prep. She and her husband didn’t like the brown cabinets, either, and pictured a much more efficient, colorful upgrade. They painted the cabinets, and made the wood countertops themselves (with help from Brooke’s father-in-law). A portable island and a giant sink adds plenty more cooking space, creating a kitchen that feels as good as it looks. 

Read more: Before & After: This Brown Builder-Grade Kitchen Is Unrecognizable After a $3,000 Makeover

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6. A Yellow-and-Brown Kitchen Gets a Fresh Color Palette for $600

Courtney Hierath didn’t like her yellow-and-brown kitchen, but she waited three years until she had the time to make budget-friendly changes. She opted to use peel-and-stick white subway tiles on her backsplash, and added pine trim to her newly painted green lower cabinets to give them a Shaker-esque design. Courtney also painted her upper cabinets white, resulting in a total transformation for about $600.

Read more: Before & After: Budget DIY Upgrades Totally Transformed This Kitchen and Its Dark Wood Cabinets

Credit: Elise Zernis
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7. A Kitchen Gets Modernized with Three Coats of Paint and a Fresh Backsplash

Elise Zernis’ kitchen hadn’t been updated in 20 years, and it showed. The dark oak cabinets, cracked appliances, and laminate countertops were aged, and she wanted to create something that better reflected her family’s style. The project started with painting the cabinets in a hunter green shade, and then finishing them with gold hardware. She replaced a few of the upper cabinets with open shelves and installed new appliances, too. But the biggest shift Elise made was choosing to put white subway tiles into a fun geometric pattern, which instantly makes the whole kitchen feel bigger and more exciting. 

Read more: Before & After: A Dated Kitchen from the Early 2000s Gets a Sophisticated Revamp for $8,500

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8. A Barely-There Kitchen Gets Filled Out with DIY Fixes and Clever Finds

Johanna Beach didn’t have much to change when it came to renovating her apartment’s kitchen. All it had to start with was a fridge, sink, and stove — no countertops or cabinets. She honed her DIY skills to build a kitchen herself over two years, which includes IKEA shelves, herringbone wallpaper, and repurposed cabinets. She also painted the backside of her front door in a burnt orange shade on a whim, which surprisingly ties it all together. 

Read more: Before & After: A Thrifty DIYer Turned This Bleak, Bare-Bones Cookspace into a Fully Functional Kitchen for Just $543

Credit: Carmen Lepp
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9. A Kitchen with Crumbling Cabinets Gets an IKEA Update

Designer Carmen Lepp and her husband bought a home with a kitchen that hadn’t been touched since 1979. Naturally, it needed some work. Because the cabinets were falling apart, they swapped them for white IKEA boxes with custom fronts, and paired those with quartz countertops. A blue island, wood shelves, and black accents were used to create an airy-yet-refined atmosphere. 

Read more: Before & After: A Very Brown Kitchen Gets a Cute Farmhouse-Style Redo

Credit: Rebecca Bishop
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10. A Bland Kitchen Gets a New Look with an All-Over Paint Project

Rebecca Bishop and her husband live in a century-old home, and when the pandemic began, they realized its dated kitchen would need to be updated if they were to spend so much time in it. Over two weeks, they painted every inch of the space. That meant coats of black paint on the floor and green on the cabinets. They even added new window treatments and rethought their furniture. The whole project cost less than $1,000, and it made them fall in love with their kitchen.

Read more: Before & After: A 2-Week, $900 Redo Gives a Dated Kitchen an Incredible New Life

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11. A Once-Mismatched Kitchen Feels Bigger, Thanks to a New, Timeless Design 

Lyndsey Hinkle’s kitchen was tight, and so was her budget. The kitchen’s U-shape layout felt smaller, thanks to barely any lighting, and its mismatched cabinets were also falling apart. She replaced the floors with wood, installed second-hand cabinets, and sourced modern white appliances. A geometric backsplash and butcher-block countertops add some dimension, making this upgrade feel modern yet timeless. 

Read more: Before & After: A 1920s Home Finally Gets a (Gorgeous) Functional Kitchen

Credit: Myra McKeon
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12. A Blah Kitchen Gets DIY Upgrades and a Bright New Look

Myra McKeon’s kitchen was more or less fine, except that it wasn’t her style. She also thought that its layout could be improved, but wasn’t feeling particularly rushed to change it. It wasn’t until she serendipitously came across a few sales that she decided to start a year-long upgrade. With help from her dad and a few pros, she replaced the countertops and cabinets for a more minimal look, and built maple open shelving for easy access to daily items. There are still a few shifts she’d like to make, but she’s more than happy to wait for a good sale. 

Read more: Before and After: This Mostly DIY Kitchen Upgrade Looks About 100 Times Brighter

13. A Closed-Off Kitchen Becomes a Moody Enclave in a Great Room

Christina Beck and her husband, Colin, bought their house from an Instagram connection, and knew straight away that it needed a lot of work. They wanted to have one open space for their living, dining, and kitchen areas, so they removed walls and installed vinyl plank flooring throughout. All of the walls were painted a bright white, and the kitchen stands out with charcoal cabinets as a contrast. Quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a “picket” backsplash finish out the kitchen’s modern appeal, which turns out to be more than ready for an Instagram close-up. 

Read more: Before & After: This Kitchen Redo Will Make You an Open-Concept Believer

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14. A Dark and Dated Kitchen Gets Ripped Down to the Studs

Patchi Cancado’s kitchen was dated, cramped, and pretty much epitomized the “before” picture of designs gone wrong. She took it all down to the studs, and over four months, rebuilt the space to feel less creepy and more carefree. A wood-slab counter between the kitchen and dining spaces match a trio of open shelving above white cabinets, while brushed brass door pulls add some shine. The kitchen looks nothing like it once did, and that’s a good thing. 

Read more: Before and After: A Dark and Creepy Kitchen Gets a Bright and Beautiful New Start

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15. An Out-of-Date Kitchen Gets Overhauled for Only $450

Anne Chicheportiche’s kitchen was hopelessly stained, broken, and sad. Its old cabinets and dark appearance needed to be remedied, but Anne only had $450 to devote to an upgrade. She stretched every dollar by painting the cabinets a fresh white, adding gold hardware, and covering the counters in marble self-adhesive paper. She also used peel-and-stick patterns for a subway tile backsplash and wood floors, and painted the fridge a bright blue as a focal point. It also has to be said that Anne did all of this at night while her kids slept, making it a transformation that’s truly impressive. 

Read more: Before & After: This Dated Kitchen Got a Ridiculously Amazing Makeover for Just $450

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16. A Kitchen Gets a Budget-Friendly Facelift with Secondhand Finds

Jessica Nickerson had a kitchen that was perfectly functional, but wasn’t matching her specific needs or individual taste. She wanted to make a few pointed changes on the cheap, and she made it happen by buying things mostly secondhand and painting her cabinets. She also installed open shelving and switched up the hardware. The only details she needed help with was the electrical and patching drywall, but in all, she made this kitchen her own for $1,000.

Read more: Before & After: Some DIYs and Savvy Shopping Gave This Kitchen a New Look for Just $1,000

Credit: BHHS Chicago - Isabella De Santis
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17. A Dated Kitchen Gets Revamped into a Bright White Showstopper

Homeowners Erica and Chris had a Chicago townhouse with a kitchen that completely epitomized the 2000s: cherry wood cabinets, dark countertops, and a wall closing it off from the dining space. They envisioned a brighter room that was much more open, and that plan started by removing the dividing wall. New bright white cabinets match the surrounding walls, and the black hardware coordinates with the geometric backsplash, island, and overhead lights. All in all, this new kitchen is of this era, and it looks exactly like what the couple had in mind. 

Read more: Before & After: A Dated, Builder-Grade Kitchen from the Early 2000s Becomes an Open, Airy Stunner

Credit: Suzy Jean
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18. A Red Kitchen Gets a Bohemian Redo with Just a $100 Budget

Suzy Jean was well aware that her ’90s kitchen needed plenty of updates, but she simply did not have the budget to do away with it all. The red walls, gray laminate floors, and light wood cabinets all clashed, and she knew that changing them would require ingenuity. She painted the lower cabinets olive green and the top ones white, and then painted the floor using a stencil. A new pendant over the sink and a cute color-block detail on the wall finished things up. And it all cost less than $100 to do. 

Read more: Before and After: This Dark ’90s Kitchen Turned into a Boho Dream for Less than $100

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19. A Midcentury Kitchen Trades Tired Brown for Trendy Green

Anna Westbury’s kitchen was original to her 1968 home, which meant that it could be described by two words: dark and brown. She opted to keep the wood cabinets, but painted them olive green on the bottom and white on the top. She also moved the overhead fan and gave it a verdant upgrade to match, and then filled in the corners with plants and a new breakfast nook. Now it feels much more modern, but still has some of that midcentury style.

Read more: Before & After: A Dim, Dated Kitchen Gets a Gorgeous DIY Makeover for $400 

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20. A Run-Down Kitchen Gets Cheap-yet-Impactful DIYs

Tiffany Lucke and her husband have lived in their home for five years, and the passage of time was beginning to show in the kitchen. The Formica and laminate finishes were looking beat up, and so they decided to update it with DIY fixes. They painted the cabinets white and added gold hardware, installed faux marble self-adhesive paper on the countertops, and placed a peel-and-stick sunburst tile on the floors. Existing plants and a pegboard organizational system were brought back in, making this kitchen feel new yet comfortable. 

Read more: Before & After: Just $300 Later, This Kitchen Looks Brand New

Credit: Kit Lin
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21. A Kitchen Gets a Whole New Look with Just a Few Changes

Kit Lin didn’t like the details of her kitchen, particularly the speckled countertops, the boring hardware, and the lack of a backsplash. She liked the size and its natural light, though. The space just needed to be supported by a few upgrades. Kit and her husband splurged on new white quartz countertops, and installed midcentury pendants above the peninsula. They also put in a new sink, and screwed in black hardware. The most impactful change? The geometric backsplash, which adds interest without taking away from all that sunlight.  

Read more: Before & After: A Few Little Changes Made a Big Difference in This Kitchen

Credit: Taylor Palumbo
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22. A Flipped Kitchen Turns from Flop to Fab

Architect Taylor Palumbo owned a home that was built in 1943, with a kitchen that was installed in 2014. It’s just too bad that those updates were dull, and completed in a space that measured only eight feet by eight feet. Taylor wanted a larger kitchen that felt more connected to the rest of the living spaces, and also thought it could use more personality. She designed the project herself, which included new walnut cabinets, stacked subway tiles, and more space overall. Now the kitchen is even more up to date, and meets what she had in mind. 

Read more: Before & After: This Charming Kitchen Ditches Its Shaker-Style Cabinets

Credit: Laurah Booghaard
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23. A 1920s Kitchen Finally Reflects Its Historical Charms

Designer Laurah Boogaard lived in a bungalow that was built in 1924, but its bright red kitchen and oversized appliances lacked any sort of charm. She imagined a kitchen that reflected the home’s history, starting with new charcoal cabinets. She had pros install a black-and-white tile flooring, and then switched the dinette area into a walk-in pantry for even more space. The entire renovation now feels like it fits, with a few modern touches mixed in. 

Read more: Before & After: A 1920s House Gets a Stunning New Kitchen Worthy of Its Vintage Charm

24. A Brown Kitchen Gets a Black-and-White Color Scheme

Designer Patrick Thompson’s kitchen used to be dark, brown, and blah. He thought a black-and-white palette would better reflect his style, while also reflecting that of his 1926 bungalow. While he couldn’t change the footprint, he could bring in new black cabinets, white subway tiles, and a farmhouse sink. The most stunning feature of this renovation: the floors, which he designed to have a funky mosaic pattern. To make them even more enticing, they’re heated, too. 

Read more: Before & After: This Kitchen’s Whole Remodel Is Great, But the Floors Are to Die For

Credit: Kari Hailey
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25. A Mismatched Kitchen Gets Streamlined with Paint and Wallpaper

Kari Hailey was looking for a home she could fix up, and this kitchen delivered. The home was built in 1959, and its kitchen reflected the 1980s. In short: The home was ready for a change. That started with painting the brick peninsula and walls, hanging wallpaper, and putting in a new quartz sink and faucet. Kari also kept the laminate countertops and wood cabinets as they were, embracing their vintage feel in a new chapter. 

Read more: Before & After: A 1950s Kitchen Gets a Charming Makeover for Just $2,500

Credit: RoomPlays
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26. A 1970s Kitchen Gets a $500 Makeover

Deboshree Dutta had a 1970s kitchen to contend with in her home, but the estimates for renovating it ranged from $18,000 to $50,000 — and that clearly wouldn’t do! So instead of spending time saving, waiting for permits, and getting HOA approval, Deboshree and her husband opted to do little DIY projects that would have a big impact. They painted the cabinets white to instantly brighten the room, installed black lighting for contrast, added new hardware, and picked out new bar stools. The final bill? Around $500. 

Read more: Before & After: A $500 Kitchen Redo Shows Just How Far Little Changes Can Go

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27. A Non-Functional Kitchen Becomes Much More Appealing

Krista Howard’s kitchen had a lot of cabinets, but upon closer inspection, most of them didn’t work properly. She ended up storing items in a different room until it was possible to do a renovation, which started with new IKEA base cabinets and wood counters that maximized space and storage. She painted the existing island and floor to match, and suddenly, the kitchen wasn’t so bad after all. 

Read more: Before & After: A $3,000 Kitchen Redo Featuring IKEA Cabinets and a New Farmhouse Style

Credit: Kimberly Bahelda
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28. A 1950s Kitchen Short on Storage Gets a Modern Update

Kimberly Bahelda and her husband’s kitchen reflected the passage of time. And not in a good way! Because their property was built in 1953, the kitchen didn’t have the storage that modern homeowners are used to. The couple sought to make it more modern and open to the living space, so the duo (and Kimberly’s dad!) worked to knock down a wall, install new navy cabinets, outfit a new breakfast nook, and plug in a fresh refrigerator. It was a big job, but they’re all happy to have pulled it off together. 

Read more: Before & After: This DIY Kitchen Reno Now Has Nearly Double the Storage

Credit: Katrina Taboas
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29. An All-White Kitchen Gets Revamped with More Color, Storage, and Prep Space

Katrina Taboas had an all-white kitchen, but it read more lifeless than light-filled. She wanted to give it some dimension without changing its layout, and she enlisted her dad and boyfriend to help. The trio installed new gray cabinets with more storage space, and lowered the breakfast counter from bar-height to counter height for easier prep. They also installed new flooring, hardware, and a penny-tile backsplash, giving this kitchen many more textures than it had before. 

Read more: Before & After: This Kitchen Has the Exact Same Layout, but Is Now Way More Functional

Credit: KC Cibran
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30. A Pre-War Apartment’s Dingy Kitchen Gets a Fresh, Bright Update

KC Cibran lived in a pre-war, New York City apartment with a kitchen that had old appliances and a dingy appearance. But she was getting by on an assistant’s salary, so she couldn’t spend much to change it. Instead, she got creative by using a peel-and-stick backsplash and removing the cabinet doors to display art, plants, and must-haves in an original way. Now the kitchen is functional and more inviting, too. 

Read more: Before & After: This $100 Rental Kitchen Redo Has a Million-Dollar Personality

Credit: Chesca Alston
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31. A Tan Kitchen Gets More Colors and a Surprising Breakfast Bar

Chesca Alston’s kitchen was tan from top to bottom, which made the entire space feel closed in. She lightened it by painting the walls gray and the cabinets white, and then added a hint of color to the mix with seafoam backsplash tiles. The most eye-catching aspect of her upgrade can be found on the peninsula, in which Chesca added dowel rods and painted them yellow. It’s an unexpected twist of a design choice, and it works. 

Read more: Before & After: A Bland Brown Kitchen Gets a Bright White Redo with a Surprising Breakfast Bar

Credit: Tonya Mahar
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32. A Kitchen From the Early 2000s Gets a Classic Upgrade

Tonya Mahar updated her kitchen in 2008, but after a while, she regretted not installing white cabinets. So recently, she decided to redo the kitchen again with that classic feature, and picked hexagon-shaped hardware to make the fronts look bigger. New gray floors were also brought in, a switch from the former cork, and Tonya added new lighting to brighten things up. 

Read more: Before & After: A Dark Kitchen Gets a Big, Open Feel — Even Though the Footprint Stayed the Same

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33. A Brown Kitchen Gets a Fun Reno Using an Unlikely Color

When designer Andrea Granger was hired to update this dated kitchen, she didn’t think the countertops, which were in good condition, needed to be replaced. But that meant that she had to work with its dark brown shade, so she chose an unexpected color to coordinate with it on the cabinets: purple. With gold hardware, a black-and-white backsplash, and wood shelving, the new kitchen has a style all its own. 

Read more: Before & After: A Bland Brown Kitchen Gets a Quirky Redo — And a Surprising New Cabinet Color

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34. A Hopeless, Too-Blue Kitchen Gets a Do-Over — For $6,000

Timisha Porcher’s kitchen was entirely awash in blue, with laminate cabinets that were far past their prime. She couldn’t solve the issue with DIY fixes, so everything was taken out — giving her the chance to start over. She kept the same layout and extended the new cabinets to the ceiling, mixing their soft green shade with gold hardware. The cream-colored countertops and wood open shelves add minimal details, making this new kitchen feel spacious and serene. 

Read more: Before & After: Two Months and $6000 Later, This Kitchen Is Totally Unrecognizable

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35. A ’90s Kitchen Stays Mostly Intact, but Looks Wildly Different

Courtney Barch had a ’90s kitchen, complete with oak cabinets, ivy wallpaper, and flourished lighting. She and her husband enjoy DIY projects, so they started updating this space with new wood floors, then moved on to painting the cabinets and island in coordinating white and gray. They installed new gold pendants over the existing counters, creating an entirely new look without many changes. 

Read more: Before & After: This Kitchen Kept the ’90s Cabinets and Counters — And Somehow the Space Looks Brand New

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36. A Builder-Grade Kitchen Gets a Makeover with IKEA Cabinets

Homeowners Shannon McQueen and her husband, Marcos, originally planned to renovate their kitchen in stages. But then they realized they spent most of their time in there. They drew up a three-week timeline and got to work within hours! The couple hired the pros at IKEA to come over to measure and order the cabinets and countertops. They assembled and installed the cabinets, painted the walls, swapped out the lightning, and even rerouted some pipes. More pros came in to knock down the wall between the living room and kitchen, help out with some electric work, and add the subway tile and countertops. In total, the couple spent around $12,000.

Read more: Before & After: This Small, Builder-Grade Kitchen Gets a Major, IKEA-Filled Upgrade

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37. A Rental in Paris Gets Smart DIY Updates — For Less Than $500

While moving to Paris, Anna Kovalchenko and her boyfriend had a hard time finding a place that was conveniently located and super spacious. When they finally found something that checked both of those boxes, they jumped on it — even though it came with a not-so-great kitchen. They spent two days just removing the wallpaper. Then, they patched and painted the walls, replaced the countertop, added a breakfast counter, and hung curtains to create hidden storage. The whole project cost them less than $500.

Read more: Before & After: This $500 French Rental Redo Is Packed with Brilliant Ideas

Credit: Jill Mansfield
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38. A Cramped Kitchen Gets IKEA Cabinets and a Bright New Look

While there were many things that Jill Mansfield liked about her home when she moved in, the kitchen was not one of them. The only thing she liked in that room? The fact that the sink was under the window. The kitchen got a bit of a new flow (including a bigger doorway) and lots of stuff from IKEA, including new white cabinets, wood countertops, an apron-front farmhouse sink, and a faucet. She also laid a peel-and-stick vinyl floor from Home Depot and installed new lighting. Just $5,000 later, the kitchen looks like a whole new space.

Read more: Before & After: IKEA Cabinets Set the Stage for This Stunning $5,000 Kitchen Redo

Credit: Ashley Lynn
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39. A Small Apartment Kitchen Gets an Eclectic-Slash-Boho Redo

Renter Ashley Lynn used lots of low-cost upgrades to tweak her kitchen. She covered the tile with laminate stickers and updated the countertops with marble-look self-adhesive paper. She also added storage with an awesome piece, which she could easily take with her when she moved.

Read more: Before & After: A Dated 600-Square-Foot New York City Apartment Gets a Beautiful, Low-Cost Upgrade

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40. A Blah Kitchen Makes Way For a Modern Farmhouse Cook Space

Look at the before photo of Christina Riley’s kitchen. Anything jump out at you? Yeah, some of the cabinet doors were installed upside-down! It didn’t really matter, though, because she removed them all on the second day of living in her new house. She painted the lower cabinets, had a contractor replace the vinyl flooring with wood, and the new Formica countertops were professionally made and installed. The after looks like a whole new kitchen: bright and open, with a classic-meet-modern feel.

Read more: Before & After: A Black and White Color Scheme Revved Up This Blah Brown Kitchen

Credit: Karlin Reed
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41. A Boring, 1920s Kitchen Gets a Fresh, Minty Transformation

Karlin Summer’s house was built in 1925 and, while the kitchen lacked in style, she knew it had promise. Things working against it: the out-of-date appliances, the peeling vinyl floors, and the backsplash made of large floor tiles. She got new appliances, worked with her dad to redo the backsplash and the floors, and painted the cabinets. With only Karlin, her fiancé, and her dad working on the project, it took about six months from start to finish. 

Read more: Before & After: A Brown and Boring Kitchen Gets a Bright and Breezy Transformation for $6,000

Credit: Sarah Roberston
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42. A 1980s Kitchen Boasts Tons of Natural Light

Designer Sarah Robertson was lucky enough to be able to move into a craftsman home that had been in her husband’s family since 1940. Her in-laws had redone the kitchen in the 1980s, but 28 years later, the space needed an update — so she got to work. She spent the next five months transforming the kitchen. Now, it has lots of natural light, tons of storage, and a trendy-but-not-too-trendy vibe.

Read more: Before & After: How This Design Guru Created the Kitchen of Her Dreams

43. A Dark Kitchen Keeps Its Original Layout but Looks Wildly Different

Look at the after photos of this kitchen, which belongs to Suzannah Hamlin Stanley and Jason Stanley, and you’d probably guess they spent way more than they actually did on the renovation. How’d they save? They did a lot of work themselves (doable because they kept the layout the same!). And Suzannah shopped very carefully, comparing prices on all sorts of items — especially the bigger items. They also opted for scratch-and-dent for the appliances, which saved them about $4,000.

Read more: Before & After: Thanks to Smart Budget Ideas, This Dark and Dated Kitchen Is Now Much Improved

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44. A 75-Square-Foot Kitchen Gets Redone to Feel Much Bigger

Designer Shannon Tate reworked this kitchen for clients who love to cook. The space and budget were both tight, but she overcame the challenges by sourcing beautiful materials from low-cost vendors and by keeping the colors light. It’s only 75 square feet, but it feels so much bigger.

Read more: Before & After: A Dark 75-Square-Foot Kitchen Is Now Modern and Bright, Thanks to IKEA Cabinets

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45. A ’90s Kitchen Now Looks Oh-So Modern

When Lauren Sears and her husband, Kameron, moved into their Chicago condo, they knew the kitchen would be one of the first things to change. With extremely ’90s white and wood kitchen cabinets and an awkward layout, the space just wasn’t working. They decided to redo it all and hired a contractor to help introduce an open-concept situation. The couple choose modern finishes, opting for simple blacks and whites plus oak floors. The result is cool, airy, and incredibly easy on the eyes.

Read more: Before & After: A Sad, Dated Kitchen Becomes Unrecognizable After a $19,000 Overhaul

Credit: Courtesy of the homeowners
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46. A Small Kitchen Benefits from a Bold Redo

English homeowners asked the folks at deVOL Kitchens — maybe Instagram’s most famous kitchen designers — to turn their townhouse’s small galley kitchen into an open, L-shaped cook space with plenty of personality. Mission accomplished. That’s all we’re going to say. You’ve got to look at the before and after photos.

Read more: Before & After: A Boring, Small Cook Space Gets a Bold Redo from Instagram’s Most Famous Kitchen Designers

Credit: Justin Russo
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47. A Dismal Kitchen Turns Charming on a $500 Budget

Kitchens are often the first rooms to be redone, but illustrator Justin Russo spent 11 years turning his rental apartment into a warm, colorful space full of art, plants, and creativity. With the rest of the apartment redone, his kitchen stuck out like a sore thumb. (His words, not ours.) During quarantine, he decided to give it some love for just $500. This makeover is a true testament to what a bit of paint can do.

Read more: Before & After: A Dingy and Dated Kitchen Gets an Incredibly Cute Quarantine Update for Just $500

Credit: Mike Groner
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48. A ’90s Kitchen Gets a Two-Toned Paint Job

Speaking of paint! Here’s another example of the power of paint. Mike Groner thought his kitchen was fine, it just wasn’t stylish. So he got to work giving his kitchen a cosmetic update that would align better with his tastes. (He did also buy new appliances because the old ones were failing!) A key tip from Mike: Be sure to use primer!

Read more: Before & After: A Two-Toned Paint Job Brings This Dark, Dated Kitchen Out of the 1990s

Credit: Sylvia Bermudez
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49. A 100-Year-Old Home Gets a Sophisticated Kitchen Makeover 

Sylvia Bermudez and her husband, Tim Murray, live in a 100-plus-year-old home with a kitchen that hadn’t been renovated in years. And the kitchen just wasn’t working. Their first move was to get rid of the old, coal-burning fireplace and replace it with a wall of white cupboards from IKEA. With new storage in place, they were able to get rid of the upper cabinets altogether for a cleaner, more modern look. The whole space is amazing, but we especially love the penny tile flooring.

Read more: Before & After: This 100-Year-Old Home Gets a Sophisticated Kitchen Makeover with IKEA Cabinets

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50. A Kitchen Gets Fake Subway Tile with a Sharpie Marker

All you really need to know about this kitchen makeover: That “tiled backsplash” you see in the after photos is actually drawn on with Sharpie marker.

Read more: Before & After: This Cheerful $5,000 Kitchen Redo Features a Surprising DIY Hack with a Sharpie Marker

Aren’t these all amazing? Tell us about your favorite makeovers from this list in the comments below!