Before & After: An “Uninspired” Kitchen Gets an Electric Blue Cheetah Makeover (for Only $800!)

published Jul 1, 2024
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Outdated white kitchen before renovation
Credit: Madi Moxxi

When 24-year-old artist and interior decorator Madi Moxxi bought her first home in Louisville, Kentucky, she didn’t have the cash to completely overhaul certain rooms — especially the kitchen. However, she wasn’t going to let that stop her from making her bold mark. 

Credit: Madi Moxxi

“The kitchen was uninspired, modest, and dull,” Moxxi says of the original space. “I hated the laminate blue-gray countertops. They still had the metal trim, which I will admit gave it character but not main character energy.”

Moxxi was set on creating a “pop art and fun” aesthetic in her new space. She took a chance and DIYed most of the room’s updates, spending only around $800 (and one month!) to make a world of difference. “Which is wild to think about — that’s so cheap! Shout out to me,” Moxxi says. 

Credit: Madi Moxxi

Moxxi started with a color palette that included green, gold, pink, and white, and also wanted to incorporate some animal print into the mix. The first step of renovating the kitchen was updating the countertops. 

Credit: Madi Moxxi

She removed the sink (which she later needed a plumber to reinstall), covered the entire kitchen in tarp, and used resin to get the faux marble look on the countertops. “They turned out pretty well for someone with no prior resin experience,” she explains. “I saw it as a temporary solution until I could afford countertops. It was such a cheap way to get that look.”

Credit: Madi Moxxi

One of the main gold accents in the kitchen is the range hood — and it required minimal effort. Moxxi sanded it, spray-painted it gold, sealed the piece, and admitted it was a “pretty chill process for a high-end look.” Gold can also be seen in the new hardware, with silver as another accent color. 

Credit: Madi Moxxi

When it came to storage, Moxxi DIY’ed an IKEA KALLAX storage shelf by painting it to match the new cabinets and added four hairpin legs to match the height of the countertops. She then took a sheet of plywood and cut it to size and used the same resin countertop method to make a matching countertop. “It is so functional, holds so much storage, fits right into the space, and was a great, cheap solution for someone without woodworking skills.”

Credit: Madi Moxxi

Updating the original white cabinets was one of the more arduous tasks in the makeover. “No one talks about how grueling painting cabinets is,” Moxxi admits. “If I had to do it over, I’d use a spray gun. Minimizing brushstrokes was hell on earth!” However, the new cabinets, which are clad in Behr’s “Sparkling Emerald,” made a huge difference in the space.

Initially, the wall behind the countertops was bare, and Moxxi admits, “that wasn’t going to fly,” so she used a peel-and-stick tile backsplash from Amazon to add some pizzazz. That wasn’t the only thing that added character to the room — the cheetah print wallpaper is a focal point. “I find animal print to be neutral, and the room felt so boring [without it],” Moxxi says. 

Credit: Madi Moxxi

Adding more animal print to the mix are the pink cow print decals on the refrigerator. Other eye-catching details include a photo of Terry Crews from White Chicks, a letterboard with a quote from the Cake Boss, and a trophy honoring her time as her elementary school’s mascot. “The kitchen was pretty before, but these elements make it fun and, more importantly, mine,” Moxxi shares. 

Credit: Madi Moxxi

There’s undeniably a lot happening in Moxxi’s kitchen, and all the bright colors and patterns work together to create a happy, inspiring, and sentimental room. It’s incredible how she completed the whole project herself, saving hundreds compared with hiring professionals to do the work. Moxxi loves the “good energy of the space” more than anything. “It’s a representation of who we are as people, and that will never not be cool.” If you’d like to see more of Moxxi’s colorful space, visit the full home tour on Apartment Therapy.