Before & After: This Kitchen’s $7,500 Facelift Was a Smart Use of Money

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Heather Knight)

When Heather Knight moved into her new home, she had to focus on more urgent repairs and wasn’t able to put as much money into the kitchen as she would’ve liked. While the space was in good shape, it was dark and a little too dated for her tastes. With some pretty clever spending, she pulled off a pretty impactful renovation project.

(Image credit: Heather Knight)

In order to accent the vaulted ceilings and the openness of the space, Heather ditched the cabinets and replaced them with a full backsplash and open shelves. To make the space even brighter, she removed the metal screening on the windows and swapped out the recessed halogen bulbs with larger daylight LEDs.

Installing the tile—which cost about $400—herself definitely helped her save a pretty penny. She waited for the appliances to go on sale so they didn’t totally gouge her budget. While she would’ve preferred to totally replace the bottom cabinets, she instead elevated the look with new brass pulls that only cost about $50. Overall, Heather spent $7,500.

(Image credit: Heather Knight)

Because you can see the kitchen from across the house, she decided that a clean background was the best way to go. The soft reflection of the white tile bounces the light back making the kitchen bright and airy. The hexagon pattern is playful and yet still subdued enough to be appealing to all of their guests, no matter their design preferences. Matching the shelves to the floorboards was a clever design choice because it breaks up the background without disrupting the continuity. The new rug is longer and colored with a softer, less shocking red than the previous one. It satiates the hunger for color without distracting from the rest of the room.

(Image credit: Heather Knight)

She keeps the counter clear of everything except an espresso machine, a small recipe box, and a bowl of lemons that offers another delightful pop of color. Plants on the shelves help to make the space even more refreshing.

Heather taught herself how to tile in her last renovation, using her background in ceramics to inform her work. “It really just takes patience and precision,” she says. In order to tile all the way up to the vaulted ceilings, she and her husband created paper templates of the tiles and traced the angle of the wall so she knew where to cut. Considering that she was six months pregnant at the time, the fact that it only took her a few weekends to finish the project is pretty impressive.

Thank you, Heather!