Before and After: An ’80s-Era Kitchenette Gets a Modern, Sophisticated DIY Revamp

published Dec 18, 2021
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About this before & after
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kitchenette before renovation wood cabinets gold lamp white walls

If you love to entertain and host, you’ve probably done a little work to make sure your guests are comfortable when they visit. Whether it’s adding some extra pillows to their bed or making sure to keep a few spare toiletries on hand, those little gestures are sure to make your friends and family feel welcome and cared for.

Courtney Equall (Girl and Grey) and her husband Nate took their host upgrades a step farther. When the couple bought their 1,400 square foot home, it hadn’t been renovated since it was built in 1984 — and that included the small guest house. “We have large families who love to visit, so the guest house was a priority to renovate,” says Courtney.

The original features in the kitchenette were dated and worn, with the entire area screaming “1980s”: cabinets that were builder-grade dark oak, off-white walls and laminate countertops, and a mosaic-look vinyl floor that Courtney calls “scary.”

“It was old, ugly, and in terrible working order,” Courtney says of the space. “So my dad and my husband demolished everything and then we started piecing it back together.”

With the help of Courtney’s dad and sister, Nate and Courntey were able to DIY the entire remodel for about $7,000.

Courtney decided to go with a more modern look with the cabinetry, swapping in Shaker-style base cabinets painted dark green and outfitted with shiny brass knobs from CB2. To make the space feel a little brighter and bigger, Courtney skipped upper cabinets altogether, instead mounting a single corner shelf over the new tiled backsplash.

Courtney kicked out the old brown and gold flooring and instead laid brand new hardwood floors to bright up the space. And to stick with the modern, upscale look, Courtney splurged on a Café range and under-counter fridge. “I love the white sparkly tile and the appliances,” Courtney says. “It brightens up the entire space and gives it a young and fresh vibe!”

Courtney and Nate started renovating in the spring of 2021 and finished by summer, just in time for their annual Fourth of July family weekend. “Now all of our family fight over who gets to stay in the guest house when they come visit. It makes me so happy,” Courtney says. “The only regret I have is that we didn’t get it done sooner!”

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