Before & After: Genevieve's New Kitchen for a New Life

Before & After: Genevieve's New Kitchen for a New Life

(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)
(Image credit: Photos submitted by Genevieve)

Before — Click through to see The Big Reveal!

(Image credit: Photos submitted by Genevieve)

After — Scroll down to vote for this entry!

(Image credit: Photos submitted by Genevieve)
(Image credit: Photos submitted by Genevieve)

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Boulder, CO
U.S. Owner
My room makeover::
I bought this home last year after a heart-breaking divorce. My kids and I were renting an apartment at the time. The moment I saw this kitchen I immediately recognized that it had a great layout and space--it just needed to have life injected into it. I changed every single thing in the kitchen except the layout and I did 95% of the work myself. I spent about $4k total. The process took about 4 months because I had to find time to do the work in between my real job and being a mom. One of the things that made the hugest impact was refinishing all the existing cabinets, including doing a hand-painted mural on the pantry doors. I also designed a shelf unit to fit on the end of the island so that I could replace the counter top with a larger piece and create a more usable work-space. I created an awesome lime-green chandelier from a fixture I bought at a flea market. There are too many changes to list in 1000 characters!
My makeover advice::
I have a passion for unique spaces with personality and I do not think you need to spend a fortune to get there. I also love creating beauty out of old or recycled things. I would encourage people to look for ways to be unique and save money. You don't need to spend a few hundred dollars per dining chair--I adore the blue chairs on the ends of my dining table and they were $10 each from a thrift shop! I would also encourage you to do research, cost compare, and get multiple bids. I had 2 bids on my tile back-splash project. One of them was $1000 less than the other! I would encourage people to reuse their cabinets and refinish them if the bones are good. And I would also say "do not be afraid of color"! So many people are too scared to go bold with color and end up with the same bland, gray and white kitchens.
What I love most about my new space::
I love how unique and personalized it is. I love how I had a hand in creating everything in it. There is a personal history and story behind every inch of that kitchen. It gives people a good feeling when they walk in and there are so many interesting things to look at. I love that I can be cooking in the kitchen and talking to people in the living room. And I love that my little boys can sit at the island and eat breakfast. Finally, this kitchen represents a sort of re-birth for me. I sketched how I wanted that kitchen to be while living in a small apartment with my kids after the divorce. I was sad and scared. I had never owned anything by myself before. But I was excited too and dreaming about my new kitchen was a source of light for me. Now I am actually here and I am paying a mortgage on my own. I have created a beautiful space for my family and I am so proud of myself.
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