Have you ever watched a kitchen renovation project unfold on HGTV and then, not-so shortly after, needed physical assistance to pick your jaw up off the floor? If that description is you every time you flip on a home improvement show, you're not alone. Americans just can't get enough of those thrilling before-and-after transformations — especially when the results are utterly unrecognizable.
In an attempt to quash our insatiable cravings for magical kitchen transformation experiences, we asked our friends at Pinterest for some insider intel: What is the site's most-pinned budget kitchen renovation?
Well, well, well. As it turns out, the pin links back to a Before & After project from our sister site, Apartment Therapy! The owners of this Columbus, Ohio, kitchen relied on one of our favorite stores to complete the shocking new look with new cabinetry and countertops: IKEA! What we love most about the bright new space is that, while it's a complete 180 from before, it still seems super attainable.
Here are some of the lessons we learned from this cool transformation.
1. Open-shelving is not for everyone.
Although super trendy, open shelving instead of cabinetry in a kitchen can do more harm than good. Instead of inducing kitchen envy, cluttered shelves can make a space look chaotic. Replacing those shelves with IKEA cabinets, however, makes the kitchen looks a lot more put together.
2. Natural light is key.
Do you see what a difference installing a larger window makes? The natural light just pours into the updated kitchen, shedding brightness on all the fun new features that we now want to see.
3. Every sink should be a farmhouse sink.
I'm slightly exaggerating, but look how much more beautiful this deep, modern farmhouse sink looks compared to the super-small and ultra-utilitarian sink from before. Chip and Joanna Gaines would be proud. Since the owners planned to redo the surrounding countertop and cabinetry anyway, adding a farmhouse sink made perfect sense.
What do you love most about this transformation?