Before & After: A Seriously Stylish Kitchen Renovation on a Budget

One Kings Lane

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Does this kitchen look familiar? It is the Apartment Kitchen. I believe it was installed in every apartment built between 1978 and 1995. It is difficult to hate the Apartment Kitchen — it just is. But there is not much to love about it, either. So when One Kings Lane editor Kerstin, who had the Apartment Kitchen, met stylist Megan Pflug, who was looking to do an "easy but stylish" kitchen before and after, she jumped at the chance.

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Yes — it is the same kitchen. I know. I couldn't believe it either. Using this kitchen by Danish design firm Københavns Møbelsnedkeri as her inspiration, Megan made this formerly drab space look like a million bucks. And on a small budget, without any demo at all. So of course now we're all wondering: HOW DID SHE DO THAT? Here's how:

  • To imitate the look of glass cabinets without making a big change, Megan removed the doors from the upper cabinets and filled them with simple glassware.
  • The cabinets (including the inside of the upper cabinets) and all the walls were painted in Benjamin Moore's Blue Ice. The light color opens up the space, and painting walls and cabinets the same color gives the kitchen a luxe, custom look.
  • New brass hardware adds to the luxe feel of the space — and as a bonus, extra-long drawer pulls double as a place to hang towels.
  • Custom storage solutions, including a console table with shelving and wall-mounted shelves, ease the burden on the cabinets and make everything less cluttered.
  • A large mirror on the backsplash bounces light and creates the illusion of a larger space. (If this mirror totally fooled you into thinking there was a pass-through added during the reno, you're not the only one — I thought the same thing. Which means: it's working, right?)
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To see more photos of the renovation and more budget solutions (like the gorgeous cork floor!), check out One Kings Lane.

(Image credits: One Kings Lane; One Kings Lane)