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

updated Feb 18, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: Plain, mostly white kitchen
Credit: Katrina Taboas

When it comes to trends, white kitchens probably aren’t about to go anywhere — but some white-on-white spaces veer more “dated” than “timeless.”

Katrina Taboas’s kitchen, for instance, was trapped in the 2000s, when her home was built. While the white color wasn’t offensive, the white-cream-beige combo didn’t really excite.

“When I purchased the home, I knew I had to update the kitchen,” Katrina says. “The ceilings were very high, and the cabinets were too small.” Plus, the walled-off pantry felt like it was separate from the kitchen; Katrina wanted its doors to match the kitchen cabinets to make it feel like everything went together.

Katrina knew she was in for a total redo.

Credit: Katrina Taboas

Katrina thankfully had some help: her dad and boyfriend did demo work on the old kitchen, then Katrina hired pros to build and install the cabinets. “I saw the same cabinets at about six different stores and was quoted from $3,500 to $11,000,” Katrina says. Shopping around helped her get what she wanted at the lowest possible price.

The new cabinets are taller, which takes advantage of the high ceilings and gives Katrina more storage space. Her pantry door is now integrated, too.

Katrina also hired a pro to install new quartz countertops in a fresh white finish. Lowering the peninsula’s bar-height counters so that the whole surface was counter-height helped make the area more practical for meal prep. And it came with an added bonus: “Changing the counters from bar height to counter height really changed the space and made it feel more open,” Katrina says.

Credit: Katrina Taboas

Katrina’s dad installed the new flooring and the new penny tile backsplash, which helped her save money on labor.

All in — cabinets, counters, tile, flooring, sink, faucet and appliances — Katrina paid $11,000 for this kitchen remodel. Considering that’s what she was initially quoted for cabinets alone, that’s a steal! Shopping around, getting family help where she could, and keeping the layout the same helped keep total costs down.

“I love all the finishes and how updated everything looks,” Katrina says. It’s proof, she adds, that “you can have a brand-new kitchen you love at a reasonable price!”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: This Kitchen’s the Same Size, But Now Way More Functional