Renovation Diaries

3 Things This DIYer Would Change About Her Kitchen Renovation

published May 28, 2022
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Lauren Comer cutting strawberries in her kitchen
Credit: Tanya Lacourse

Lauren Comer, who runs a DIY home improvement blog called Pinch Plate Party, transformed her 265-square-foot, Georgia kitchen in just two months, while participating in a One Room Challenge, an event for bloggers and Instagrammers to show off their creativity. We’ve seen scrappy homeowners paint their walls and install their own backsplash tiles, but we’ve never seen this much DIY! Lauren did just about everything!

Credit: Tanya Lacourse

All of that DIY work helped Lauren keep the cost of labor way down, but it wasn’t easy, even though she had done a good deal of DIY home improvement work before. From start to finish, Lauren installed her own flooring, built her cabinets, put up her backsplash, painted the cabinets green, added molding to the floors and ceilings, and even applied floral wallpaper!

Credit: Tanya Lacourse

Hire someone to do the tiling.

There were two tasks Lauren decided not to do herself, even though the DIYer in her wanted to: She hired a professional to remove tricky glued-in wood flooring, and she had an electrician come in to do wiring work (for obvious safety reasons). 

If she could do it all over again, she would also hire someone to do the backsplash tiling. Lauren had done this before, but for the sake of energy and time, she says a professional would have been better. “I’m not fast,” she says. “The job would have taken them a couple hours where it took me the full day. I think that would have been worth the investment,” she says. 

Credit: Tanya Lacourse

Get help with the last details.

She also says she would have hired someone to do all the finishing work, such as installing trim and adding cabinet hardware. “Those small details aren’t enjoyable to me and actually take up a lot of time,” she says. 

Don’t rush.

One final thing Lauren would have done differently? She would definitely take her time and slow down. When people renovate, it’s typical for them to want to finish fast, but the eight-week deadline for the One Room Challenge created extra headaches for Lauren.

Credit: Tanya Lacourse

When her broken soapstone countertop came in, she didn’t have time to wait for a new replacement slab, so she had it epoxied as a quick fix. It also made the unexpected hiccup twice as stressful. And when she found out her floors would need to be removed by a pro, that cost her a week of work in other parts of the kitchen. 

Still, it all turned out beautifully — and budget-friendly, too!

See Lauren’s Full Reno Diary