Home Projects

Before and After: A Mismatched Kitchen Gets a Chic, All-White Revamp for $25,000

published Sep 17, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
kitchen before renovation dark counters
Credit: Ela Bobak

Designing a kitchen can be a daunting task. How do you make the most of a small kitchen? To wallpaper or not to wallpaper? And what about colors — should you go with stylish black cabinets or opt for a classic all-white kitchen?

When blogger Ela Bobak bought her home in 2019, she had her heart set on that classic all-white look — which meant she’d need to do a major renovation.

Follow Topics for more like this

Follow for more stories like this

Credit: Ela Bobak

The original kitchen was an incohesive mash-up of black granite countertops, poorly painted white cabinets, brushed nickel hardware, and several shades of beige: off-white floor tiles, a light beige backsplash, and dark beige walls.

Credit: Ela Bobak

Ela worked with two contractors to complete all of the major renovation work, and then a floor installer, demo worker, countertop installer, and cabinet-maker. “Initially I was trying to save the cabinets that were there, but then we ended up getting all new cabinets and even a new hood,” Ela says. Her new cabinets extend all the way up to the ceiling and are painted in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove

Credit: Ela Bobak

Ela then did away with the black granite countertops and replaced them with quartz, which dramatically brightened up the space. The old tile floor was ripped up and in its place, Ela installed five-inch natural white oak planks to match the rest of the home’s new flooring. She then redid the backsplash with subway tile for a clean, timeless look and switched out the previous owner’s dated light fixture with more modern pendant lights.

Credit: Ela Bobak

Ela put a lot of thought into choosing the right smart-home upgrades and ways to make the kitchen more tech-friendly overall. “For some of the outlets, I knew I wanted USB ports, then I did a smart outlet on the left of the stove so if I had a Crockpot running, I could turn it off from work,” she says. “And probably my favorite thing we installed in the major rooms was a Wi-Fi-enabled dimmer! So when I’m laying in bed I can turn off the lights from bed. It’s life-changing.”

Credit: Ela Bobak

The kitchen renovation cost $25,000 and happened simultaneously with the full home renovation over the course of five months.

Credit: Ela Bobak

For anyone considering a kitchen renovation but finding it overwhelming, Ela says, “Pad your budget but also just make the decisions. You’re always going to have so many options on tile and finishes that you just have to pull the trigger!”