Home Projects

The “Almost-Unbelievable Total Kitchen Renovation for 5k” Makeover

updated Dec 19, 2019
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.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Project by: Amber
Location: Belton, South Carolina

After dreaming of this foreclosure for years, it finally became ours two years ago. But when we started knocking down walls, of course, we quickly ran out of money. Yet, we still had to renovate a kitchen. We literally had nothing in this kitchen but floors, a door, and windows! With a LOT of sweat, TEARS, and lonnnnnngggg days and hours…we made it happen for just a little bit over $5,000. Seriously, we got most inexpensive parts of this kitchen we could.

Follow Topics for more like this

Follow for more stories like this

For example, we got STOCK UNFINISHED from Lowe’s and our gracious contractor helped us spray them. It took three coats of white paint (and notice walls and everything are white to try to cut costs) and a final coat to seal them but it saved us a ton of money. We had a quote for custom cabinets and were heartbroken when we ran out of money, but in the long run, I’m so glad I won’t be paying for this kitchen for 30 years!

We got our appliances on CLEARANCE. When we were searching (and we looked everywhere from a scratch and dent store to appliance centers), we truly found the best deals at Lowe’s. The guy showed us each appliance that was on clearance and one that had even JUST been marked down because of a tiny scratch somewhere (our oven came in around half price because of that!).

Cost $1,606 (oven $748, microwave $359, dishwasher $499)
We literally bought the cheapest countertops money could buy: Standard A Formica Calcutta Marble Laminate. (And we LOVE it. It can’t be messed up…even when I forget I turned the hot glue gun on and it drips on it…)
Laminate countertops were $613.59 (Lowe’s installed which could easily be avoided because our contractor helped so much, as did my husband!).

Even though I drooled over huge pendants for months, I couldn’t justify $150 each when the ones we have were $49 EACH. The white chandelier was also on sale for around $40!

We researched our island a ton, too, and bought two pieces of butcher block from Lumber Liquidators and my dad and husband planed it and stained it for us.

The DIY Hood was my Christmas present last year.

The sink was $25 on Craigslist and we found the faucet on Amazon!

The refrigerator was FREE from my husband’s parents and we picked up some magnetic primer (around $30) and used chalkboard paint (already had) and panels (a couple of dollars each) to make it look built in. We also already had the towel bars (that were supposed to be for our bathroom!).
Finally, for the open shelves, we used 2 1x4s and brackets for $7.47 each and leftover white paint!

Bringing the total to $5,347.59…a little bit over $5,000 but still on a $5K budget.

We purchased it all at Lowe’s and because we used our Lowe’s credit card, we also got 5% off the total so that helped some.

I truly hope that helps readers see that it can be done a really tight budget. We truly used what we had or picked items up at thrift stores throughout the year to style it and bring the colors together. We just recently finished our second open shelf and I spent around $12 to finish off the look with dishes from our local THRIFT stores!

To have started with nothing since we weren’t able to salvage any of the cabinets left behind (and compared to a custom kitchen with an estimate of only cabinets and countertops) that was I feel pretty confident that $5,347.59 was a great deal!

Read all about the project on Amber’s blog: Restless Arrow

Thanks, Amber!

Re-edited from a post originally published 2.2.15-NT

• Are you interested in sharing a decorating or renovating project with the Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Makeover Project Submission Form.