Before and After: A 90-Square-Foot Kitchen Doubles in Size (and in Style)
You know the standard, orange-y wood that shows up way too often in kitchens? That’s what Alma Arrieta and her husband, Jason, had in their own cook space. They also had linoleum floors, a fluorescent light box, and a shallow sink. Basically, their kitchen “felt like an after thought instead of the heart of the home,” Alma says—not to mention, at just 90 square feet, it was awfully tight.
Over a month and a half, the couple gutted the space themselves, removing the flooring, moving a window, closing up a former sliding door, and rewiring the electrical work. They also built new cabinets. “Thankfully Jason, my handy husband, had the time off from work, so we were able to focus on the project, and we worked about 10 to 12 hours six days a week,” Alma says.
Once Jason returned to work, the couple slowed down. After two months, they finally spotted countertops in their budget, which fabricators installed. They also hired out help to extend a water pipe to the new sink spot. Then came the details: trim, shelving, and shiplap (um, check out that range hood cover!).
All in all, the project cost about $23,000 and took “about three months of works in a five-month window,” Alma says. And that work seriously shows: The kitchen is now 180 square feet—literally double what it started as. “Pulling out the kitchen and adding a peninsula has made this space easy for our family to hang out at, making storage a lot easier to manage, and has the space for the kids to dance in while they put the dishes away,” Alma says.
This marked Alma and Jason’s third kitchen reno, and they’ve learned a lot along the way—specifically, to create some wiggle room in both the timeline and the budget. “Every time, without fail, we went over our budget with things that were unforeseen and couldn’t be helped,” says Alma. “Setbacks are going to happen, so give yourself grace and just embrace the process!”
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