Before and After: A $3,000 Kitchen Redo with IKEA Cabinets and Farmhouse Style

published Aug 3, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: kitchen with orangey wood cabinets and beige walls and tile

It’s not always the size of a kitchen that’s the problem—sometimes it’s how the space is used. Take, for example, Krista Howard’s kitchen. Although the cabinets were in fine shape, after her family moved in, Krista realized that they hardly worked for her family. “The functionality was nonexistent,” Krista says. “In this spacious kitchen, there were only four usable cabinets and a lot of ‘dead’ space left in the cabinets.” Storage was the family’s biggest obstacle: They had not enough space for pots and pans, and hardly any for food. Krista ended up keeping canned goods and other non-perishables in a storage area in another part of the house “Quite the headache for a gal who cooks almost every meal at home!” she says.

“We decided to make the change because walking to the back of the house to grab ingredients and food for our meals was simply not feasible long term,” Krista says. The main priority in the reno was a new kitchen with way more functionality and storage space, all on a tight budget of $3,000.

To keep costs low, Krista and her husband Cully took their time and did all the work themselves. They kept at the project for a few hours every week, over weeknights and weekends, and finished in about three months. Most of the budget went towards purchasing four new base cabinets with wood counters from IKEA; painting the old island to match helps it blend in.

Paint also came in clutch for the floor and the island top—yep, those are both painted! Medium gray helps modernize the tile floor, giving it the look fo cement; a marble treatment on the counter is a convincing dupe for the real deal.

Other money savers: Krista and Cully built the pantry door and range hood from reclaimed barn wood they sourced for free, and most of their furniture and decor was either thrifted or repurposed. “I love all things farmhouse, vintage, and rustic and wanted all three to shine in the final design,” Krista says, so she made sure to incorporate elements of each in the kitchen.

The overhead lighting brought a little bit of vintage glam to the kitchen—and even though there were some tricky moments in that part of the project, Krista and Cully lucked out with a helpful electrician neighbor who was able to talk them through.

Overall, Krista’s happy with how the space turned out, both in function and style. “We were thrilled that we stayed within budget and did not have to sacrifice any design features from our original plan,” she says. “The only thing we wish we could have had room in the budget for was moving the kitchen window. With the building of the new pantry, the window is not center to the wall. But we’re so pleased that we have an easy to access pantry that the window is not a huge bother… and we could always make that our next project!”

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