Before & After: This DIY Kitchen Redo Would Make Chip and Joanna Proud

updated Mar 3, 2020
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Sometimes it takes a while to realize a space needs a change — but Emily Rodgers knew as soon as she got the keys to her house that the kitchen would need some help. “It felt claustrophobic and heavy with the wall-to-wall upper cabinets, the microwave on a shelf, and the dark floors and countertops,” says Emily. “The soffits were screaming to be removed, and the fluorescent light fixture and track lighting weren’t helping with the overall vibe of the space. I knew the kitchen had so much potential, so I started demo almost immediately and began a much needed face lift!”

Armed with the DIY skills needed to turn the kitchen into her dream cook space, plus a plumber friend and a handy dad, Emily knew it was time to dig into the redo.

“I knew the kitchen had a lot of potential. It needed a vision and some TLC,” Emily says. To save money, she kept the base cabinet boxes in place and fitted them with new Shaker-style doors; a lush green (Benjamin Moore’s Caldwell Green) makes the whole assembly look way more modern. Subbing in butcher block for the old black counters brightens up the whole space.

Overhead, Emily swapped the boxy fluorescent fixture for a much more charming flush mount, and subbed in a cute retro globe light for the spotlights over the sink.

Emily used white shiplap — installed vertically — as a backsplash, which gives the kitchen a modern farmhouse-y feel. Also complementing the vibe? Black iron-look accents, including simple black pulls for the drawers and black knobs for the doors, both from Amazon, as well as black pot rails from IKEA. Vinyl flooring gives the look of weathered wood for way less money.

The total cost for Emily’s reno ended up right at $6,500 — but considering $2,900 went toward all new appliances, she says, she feels like her budget kitchen redo was a success. “I love that I did it all myself,” Emily says. “I am so proud of the space and the blood, sweat and tears I poured into it!”

If you’re motivated to take on your own kitchen reno, Emily has some wisdom to share: “Challenge and flex your DIY skills,” she says. “You are capable of so much more than you think!”

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A DIY Kitchen Redo That Would Make Chip and Jo Proud