Projects & Improvements

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen’s Fresh Facelift on a Budget

published Jul 20, 2014
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(Image credit: Anna Sundman)

Compared to their last kitchen, the kitchen in Anna’s new home was amazing. Two people could cook at the same time, the appliances were made in her lifetime and it was bug-free. Once with newness wore off though, it was time to tackle all that wood that did not fit their style. The challenge? How to make this dated kitchen look brighter and more modern with the tiny budget of $2000!

(Image credit: Anna Sundman)

From Anna:

We began to dream of stainless steel replacing the off-white stove and a refrigerator that actually fit our kitchen. Our goal was to make it light and airy–a challenge with black granite countertops, to be sure. My Pinterest board was filled with gorgeous open shelving, white subway tile, and lots and lots of brass.

However, we had a teeny tiny budget of $2,000. Determined, we set aside a week to paint the cabinets and tile the backsplash ourselves, and vowed only to buy our appliances on Craigslist.

As it was, our kitchen was a pretty dark and dreary place, and we desperately wanted to make the room feel larger, brighter, and taller. We chose to paint the upper cabinets and drywall in the same white paint and added white subway tile below to make the upper half of the room more cohesive. For the lower cabinets, we used a darker grey to provide contrast and anchor the black granite.

Since we couldn’t install open shelving, we took off the doors of two cabinets and added false pieces to the front of the interior shelves. You’d never know, looking at them, that they weren’t built that way!

While our budget restraints and the nature of Craigslist made this project take a little longer than our others (about 3 months), it was well worth the wait!

Products used in the kitchen:

  • Loft Pendant Lamp from CB2
  • White Subway Tile from Home Depot
  • Benjamin Moore paint in Frostine and Storm
  • Greyson Vintage Brass Hardware from Home Depot

See more before and after photos on Anna’s blog!

Thank you Anna!