Before & After: A Sad, Dated Kitchen Becomes Unrecognizable After a $19,000 Overhaul
“Words can’t really describe the before,” Lauren says. “Have you ever had a bedroom in your dining room?” The owners prior to Lauren and Kam had enclosed the dining room to add an additional bedroom, which made for a small and choppy layout — plus the kitchen was disconnected from the family room and entertaining areas.
An open floor plan and a dedicated dining room were at the top of their wish list. “We needed a house that functionally flowed well,” Lauren says. “We love to be in the kitchen, so it was a must-have for us to have both an open and larger kitchen.”
Because of the scale (and the electric and demo involved in a kitchen reno), the couple hired a contractor for their 16-week project, but they also did much of the work themselves. “We use our kitchen and dining room every single day, and it’s really satisfying knowing it’s because of the hard work and thought we put into it.”
The project essentially flipped the kitchen and dining areas, placing the kitchen next to the windows for more light. “I love that the after is not recognizable visually or functionally from the before,” Lauren says. “Once we got the initial walls demolished, the light and vibe of our condo was completely transformed.”
Lauren and Kam decked the place out with modern finishes, opting for simple blacks and whites plus oak floors. They furnished it with many mid-century angles, and the result is cool, airy, and incredibly easy on the eyes.
Their design also more seamlessly connects the kitchen and dining spaces without sacrificing the storage that open concepts sometimes lack — check out the lower cabinets in the dining area (from IKEA) that almost blend into the wall.
“The whole project cost around $19,000; one way that we could have easily cut costs is by not continuing the cabinets into the dining room, but being in the city, additional storage is really important,” Lauren explains.
Another one of her favorite parts of the remodel is the bar area, which makes a feature wall out of the backsplash’s matte black tile — and which almost didn’t happen. After the contractor demolished some of the drywall, attempting to create the totally open space Lauren and Kam imagined, the three realized that there was a phone line riser to condos above and below in the wall, and it could not be moved. “We were forced to pivot and instead decided to capitalize on the extra space and create a bar accent wall,” Lauren says. “I am sure the kitchen would not look as complete without it.”
Her best advice for large-scale renos is this: “Don’t get completely stuck on the initial plan, such as if unanticipated things come up and you are required to pivot. Sometimes this is where the best things can happen.”
When life (or your complete kitchen overhaul) gives you lemons, make a lemonade-infused cocktail at your sleek new black-and-white bar area.
Inspired? Submit your own project here.
This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A Dim, Dated Kitchen Becomes Unrecognizable After a Glam $19,000 Overhaul