Before and After: DIYs and Savvy Shopping Remake a Kitchen for Just $1000

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Having a kitchen that works, of course, is important. But when you pass through or spend time in your kitchen every single day, making sure it looks the way you want it to can be just as crucial. After moving into her home, Jessica Nickerson knew that she’d eventually want to gut her entire mostly-functional kitchen a few years down the line—but until that was possible, she wanted to do everything she could to make it suit her current needs

The first phase involved painting over the wallpaper when Jessica first moved in, but it wasn’t until this past October that she set her sights on phase two. After previously covering her bathroom countertops with feather-finish concrete, she wanted to bring the same look to her kitchen’s avocado green countertops. “Then I realized we could cut the edges off of our cabinets and install concealed hinges for a more modern look,” she says. “It was go time.”

The kitchen revamp took five weeks in full; one of those was spent waiting on an electrician. Although Jessica wasn’t planning on outsourcing the electrical work, she wanted to be safe about extra wires in the soffit that needed moving. She also hired someone to patch the drywall. Both jobs came to around $500. 

For a fresh look, Jessica painted her lower cabinets—with newly-hidden hinges—a soft putty color (Behr’s Garden Wall). Open shelves painted white help brighten the space around the window.

Jessica sourced budget-friendly furnishings on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. “Everything besides the hinges was secondhand,” she says. “The lights and the cabinet hardware were from a thrift shop. The shelves were built from scrap wood. The rug and faucet were from eBay.” In total, she spent $500 on paint, decor, and fixtures.

Jessica is thrilled with the final result. “I love how the open shelving opens up the space between the dining room and kitchen. I love the narrower selves for the extra trinkets and tiny bowls because my goal was to get everything off the countertops as there was limited space anyway,” she says. To sum it up: “I love it all and wouldn’t change anything.”

As Jessica learned, giving your kitchen a new look doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s her advice on making it happen: “Be creative and scrappy. Take time to gather the knowledge you’ll need and supplies you’ll use if you’re trying to buy second-hand. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

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