Before & After: Claire & Jeffrey's Mostly DIY Kitchen Renovation

Best of 2013

One of the highlights of this year was the introduction of our Renovation Diary program, where we partner with homeowners across the country (and in Canada too!) to provide a real-life, step-by-step look at their home improvement projects. As the year draws to a close we're taking a look back at some of our favorite projects. First up are Claire and Jeffrey, the Minneapolis homeowners whose 'before' kitchen was dismal indeed.

Here's the post that first introduced us to Claire and Jeffrey's kitchen. It had great natural light, but not a lot else going for it: among its less appealing features were crumbling old cabinets in multiple mismatched finishes, a serious dearth of storage space, and walls covered in peeling layers of old contact paper.

After sharing with us their inspiration for the finished project and their projected budget for the renovation, Claire and Jeffrey dived right in. Read on for a week-by-week account of the renovation, and click the links to read more about each week's progress.

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Week 1: Some walls get torn down, and Jeffrey builds a new staircase.

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Week 2: Claire and Jeffrey tear down the cabinets, as well as the original plaster behind them. Lots of cleanup.

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Week 3: Refinishing the floors!

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Week 4: Taking care of some basics: electric, plumbing, heating. Jeffrey installs brackets to hold up the floating shelves... and tests them to make sure they're super strong.

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Week 5: New drywall!

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Week 6: Cabinets are happening! And countertops!

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Week 7: Tile, and a few other finishing touches.

And after all that, here's the final result, in all its shiny new kitcheny glory:

Check out The Big Reveal of Claire and Jeffrey's kitchen for more photos of the finished project. You can also see a detailed breakdown of their final budget and a list of all the lessons they learned along the way.

Congratulations, Claire and Jeffrey!

(Image credits: Claire Moyle)