Before and After: A $10,000 Redo Livens up This Brown-on-Brown Kitchen

published Apr 18, 2021
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Before: Kitchen with brown walls, natural wood cabinets, and a brown countertop
Credit: Anika Gandhi

Brown can be a tricky color to style with. There’s nothing wrong with it, of course, but it can be tough to find the balance between “warm and earthy” and “dark and dingy.” In Anika Gandhi’s (Anika’s DIY Life) kitchen, the brown tones had kind of taken over. “The kitchen started off as what I called ‘the shades of brown kitchen,’” Anika says. “There was every shade of brown in the sight, from the beige paint, to the cabinets, to the dark brown floors. The countertop was brown with orange sparkles.”

All that brown dragged the kitchen down, but it wasn’t just color that was giving Anika pause. The layout was cramped, so there was not enough counter space, and it was tough for more than one person to be in the kitchen at a time. Anika knew it needed an update to both fit in with the rest of her cheery home and to be more functional for her family.

Credit: Anika Gandhi

Anika started with the help of contractors, who closed one of the external windows to allow for a more workable layout. They also removed the soffits to give the kitchen a more airy vibe. Anika also hired pros to install the new countertops, the biggest splurge in the kitchen redo. Unlike the old brown-and-orange ones, these bright white countertops look modern and sleek.

The rest of the project — installing new floors, new cabinets, a cool new chevron backsplash, and new floating shelves — was all DIY. The project took about four months in total, but DIYing so much herself kept the costs pretty low at just $10,000 for the whole makeover.

Now, the kitchen has a sunny personality to match the rest of Anika’s home. “I love how open and bright it looks in spite of removing a window,” Anika says. It’s a hard feat to pull off, but the combo of fresh colors, an improved layout, and no more soffits goes a long way.

“I love everything about the after,” Anika says. “It is bright and fun! The green is perfect and it flows perfectly with the rest of my home. But my favorite part has to be the counter space!”

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