Before & After: An Unbelievable DIY IKEA Kitchen Renovation for $20k

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Cameron and Chantel’s post-renovation kitchen is basically unrecognizable. Aside from sharing the common elements of a kitchen (you can cook in it! there’s a refrigerator!) the two spaces are completely different. Their new kitchen is softly colorful, light, breezy and spacious where the old kitchen was, well, very, very beige.

From Cameron and Chantel: Our kitchen is straight from the 80s! The only access to the room was a curved hallway around the back (side note: turns out the person that designed this house wanted to bring the ‘outside’ to the inside and so the winding hallway was meant to represent a meandering river). The room was back-dropped by nice rose pink tile backsplash and carpet that carried up from the floor to the back of the island. It’s not that it was in rough shape, things were clean and relatively well maintained, yet to take advantage of the vaulted ceiling and large picture windows in the other rooms we needed to take the wall down. A hood fan that rattled and squealed just slightly louder than the 80s fridge were the glaring red flags of the need for an update.

When we bought the house we fell in love with the vaulted ceiling in the living room and wanted to make an open-concept main floor to take advantage of that awesome feeling of vertical space that a vaulted ceiling gives you. Along with modern amenities (like a working dishwasher), we needed more cabinet space, more lights, more counter space, an island for entertaining and working appliances. It was a large ‘want’ list but we got it all.

We did most of the work ourselves, aside from the necessary plumber and electrician, everything was us. This house, I can say, was built tough! The demolition took the better part of a week (twice what we thought) but after that there weren’t any real hiccups.

The hardest part was adapting the IKEA Domjos farm sink to fit an island, we had to get the counter top guys to do some fiddling on their cuts.

In total it took us about six weeks of working evening and weekends (around our full-time jobs, and six month old baby), and since we did almost all the work ourselves the cost (including appliances) was about $20,000.

We absolutely love the open feeling we got from removing the back wall of the kitchen. So much light and with the rearrangement of the space we now have a huge island that friends and family always congregate around during get togethers.

In one corner there is a 24″ area where the chimney for the furnace is – if we would have had the money and time we would have gotten rid of that (hot water tank and furnace are vented outside so basically it’s just a waste of space now) and turn that into a pullout pantry. We have a ton of space for pots/pans/plates/etc, but do lack a little space for more pantry food items.

Cameron and Chantel’s words of wisdom: Shop around! We had quotes on our countertops ranging from 3k-7k. Measure and measure again – IKEA cabinets can be great but you’ve got to know how much space you’re working with.

One of the appliances we cheaped out on was the hood fan – it looks good but is noisy. If we could I’d insist on buying a higher end one that would be quieter.

Thank you Cameron! You can see more on In Love With a House.