This DIY Blogger Created Her Very Own Dream Kitchen for Less than $6,000
DIY blogger Lauren Comer bought her home in Smyrna, Georgia, back in 2017, but in order to build up a budget, she and her husband waited four years to tackle remodeling their builder-grade kitchen. The previous kitchen was wall-to-wall brown and more than a little boring. Once the couple could save enough money, Lauren tore everything out (floors included) and started from scratch, keeping the kitchen’s original footprint and most of the existing appliances.
See the full before and after:
Before & After: A Boring, Builder-Grade Kitchen Gets a DIY Update with Nancy Meyers Vibes
Lauren had tackled both large- and small-scale DIY home improvement projects before, including a total renovation of her laundry room and her childhood bedroom. She did both as part of the One Room Challenge, a bi-annual event where bloggers and Instagrammers join together to support and motivate each other as they transform their spaces.
Because Lauren was a featured designer in the One Room Challenge, she was able to have parts of the kitchen sponsored, which saved her a ton of money. For example, the lighting, soapstone countertops, and sink were all gifted to her by Kichler, The Home Depot, and Elkay, respectively. In comparison, without the sponsorships, lighting would have otherwise cost nearly $1,000, the countertops over $4,000, and the sink would have been about $400. In total, through several sponsorships on both big and small items, Lauren saved roughly $10,000, which is a considerable sum. While the couple saved on costs this way, it also forced them to commit to an eight-week timeline, which ended up being a lot of pressure and included quite a bit of rushing.
Read more about Lauren’s decision to do everything on her own:
3 Things This DIYer Would Change About Her Kitchen Renovation
Still, Lauren was able keep the rest of the kitchen remodel on a tight budget, thanks to plenty of DIY endeavors. The exception was the floor demolition. Lauren had assumed the floor planks were nailed in, but when she saw they were glued, she knew she’d need to hire a professional. This added expense was unexpected, and the first quote she received was for $2,500. Luckily, a second quote came in at $1,250.
She also hired a professional electrician to install and rewire her light fixtures.
As for everything else, Lauren built her cabinets herself using pre-cut wood, a miter saw, and lots of patience and time. She laid her own flooring, put up pretty wallpaper, and even installed the backsplash tile.
Now, let’s see how they spent their money.
Lauren’s Budget Breakdown
- Cabinets: Lauren reused the existing cabinet boxes, but purchased the materials for the new doors and constructed them herself. The materials cost $622 and she purchased foam paint rollers ($10) and a paint sprayer ($79) for this project.
- Cabinet hardware: $0; Emtek knobs and pulls (sponsored)
- Paint: $144
- Primer: $20
- Range: The cooktop glass was replaced for $786
- Dishwasher and Fridge: $0; Lauren used her existing appliances.
Tile & Counters
- Backsplash tile: $760
- Soapstone countertops: $0 (sponsored)
Lauren did most of the work herself (with some help from her dad!), but she paid an electrician $1,030 to install all of the fixtures. She also paid to have her wood floors removed, about $1,650 for removal and repair.
- Flooring: $0 (sponsored)
- Open shelving: $168
- Faucet: $289
- Sink: $0 (sponsored)
- Lighting: $0; Kichler chandeliers, brass pendant lights, brass industrial sconces, and under cabinet lights (sponsored)
- Paint: $20 (wall primer)
- Trim: $50
- Wallpaper: $24; four rolls of sponsored wallpaper, plus glue.
- Runner: $45
- Curtains: $70
Total Budget: $5,767.00
See Lauren’s Full Reno Diary