Before and After: A Once-Unusable Kitchen Is Unrecognizable After a Cool Industrial Redo

published Oct 19, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Cost
N/A
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Corner of unfinished room with exposed pipes, beams, bricks, and ceiling

Apartment Therapy has seen some remarkable redos over the years. It’s amazing to see completely run-down, abandoned spaces transform into like-new livable homes, and these renovations take tons of time, money, and a willingness to dive right into DIY.

Sasha Santillan’s 100-year-old home is one of those total fixer-uppers that she’s rebuilding from scratch. See: her impressive brick restoration in her living room, and now see her total-nightmare-turned-terrifically-chic kitchen.

When Sasha inherited her duplex, it wasn’t structurally sound or safe. In the kitchen, for example, the cement floors were cracked, and dirt showed through. There were wires dangling from the unfinished ceilings and tons of pipes exposed, plus broken boards and dust everywhere. “Looking at the before makes me sneeze,” Sasha wrote on her Instagram.

She and her dad have worked for two years (and counting) to bring the 100-year-old space back to life. “I was concerned with aesthetics, and he made sure it would function properly,” she explains. “It was quite the bonding experience, and I’m really thankful that he gave me the opportunity to do this with him.”

They’ve restored the space into an unrecognizable industrial dream kitchen with concrete floors (though Sasha would have poured epoxy, looking back), butcher block counters, black lower cabinets, and an emerald green accent wall.

Although there are no upper cabinets, Sasha packs in high-up storage with shelves and a pot hanger. It’s “cute and functional for people who like small living,” Sasha says.

Another great small space trick: Sasha hung a small circular mirror above her sink to mimic a window and reflect a bit of light.

She also used semi-sheer white panels in the dining area to let as much light in as possible. Her dining area is complete with a round glass table, lime-colored mid-century seating, and a modern brass chandelier with white globe bulbs.

Her total budget for the project? “Let’s just say I don’t have a savings or a retirement plan,” she says. “I had three jobs and worked around the clock because no one would give me a loan… I stopped counting because it’s a labor of love.”

She’s most proud of building a space of her own by hand with her dad’s help. “It’s incredible that we have this structure that we built together,” she says. Her advice to future ambitious overhaulers is to “have a plan, a backup plan, and probably another option just in case.”

Most importantly, she says, “build a team you can lean on and try to enjoy it.”