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

published Jan 5, 2020
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In 2018, Apartment Therapy published a tour of Suzannah Hamlin Stanley and Jason Stanley’s previous home … a 1990s-era, two-story house they had purchased in 2016. It needed a lot of work, but it was the perfect project for two avid DIYers on the hunt for a fixer upper.

“Suzannah and Jason had a hand in everything of this home’s renovation, from cosmetic projects like custom upholstery jobs, to more complex architectural work like the complete demolition and rebuilding of two and a half bathrooms,” wrote their tour’s author, Arthur Garcia-Clemente. The result was a home styled in what Suzannah describes as “light and fresh, with bold contrasts and natural elements. West Coast relaxed and simple.”

Fast forward to 2019, and the couple has added a baby (son Otto) to the mix, as well as swapped that 1990s-era home out for their newest home purchase and renovation project: A 1937 Tudor revival-style house in a neighborhood a block from the house Suzannah grew up in.

You can follow along with their current home’s renovation on Suzannah’s DIY blog, Create/Enjoy, but she’s also shared her newest home’s kitchen remodel in this post.

They rather impressively renovated their previous kitchen for less than $2,000. But while they spent considerably more money on this house’s kitchen renovation, the cost was still budget-minded.

The final total cost was just over $12k, pretty good for a room that now looks decidedly more bright, modern, and like it cost more.

They were able to complete their renovation on a tight budget thanks to a few tricks, which she outlines in a blog post. They did all the work themselves, saving a ton on labor costs.

They also kept the same layout, which enabled them to save a lot of money, and not changing the plumbing or electrical meant they were able to do a lot of the work themselves.

And of course, she got smart when it came to shopping. “DIYing aside, I shopped very carefully and compared prices especially on the bigger items like the cabinets and countertops (saved with prefab pieces),” she writes on her blog.

“Shopping scratch-and-dent for the appliances saved us about $4k for these same/similar models (see my post about that and where I recommend shopping).”

Another smart money-saving (or rather money making) trick they employed was selling the elements they tore out and replaced.

“We made $1,270 selling the old appliances and cabinets. We donated other stuff like the old lighting, but it really helped the budget to take the time to sell those pieces,” she wrote.

Thank you for sharing, Suzannah! For more information on this room renovation, visit her blog.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before & After: Thanks to Smart Budget Ideas, a Dark and Dated Kitchen Is Now Much Improved