Before and After: A Cramped, Dingy Kitchen Gets a Personality-Packed Redo Full of Doable DIYs

published Dec 9, 2021
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kitchen before renovation missing cabinet doors peeling floors
Credit: Ananda

Not every renovation can be tackled in a weekend. For spaces that are too dated, too dingy, and too far gone, it’ll take more than just a fresh coast of paint to bring it back to life. Sometimes a space calls for a total overhaul to achieve the style and function it deserves.

That was certainly the case for the kitchen in Ananda’s home. Ananda, who blogs at A Piece of Rainbow, loved the whole house she and her husband bought — except for the cook space, which was small with dated 1970s features but zero personality. She knew that she’d have to redo the whole space when they moved in.

Credit: Ananda

Then something wild happened: A flood hit the house on closing day, practically ruining the entire kitchen. “The assessment by the insurance company basically ‘gifted’ us a totally unexpected remodel as new owners,” Ananda says. “We were thrilled since we did not love the kitchen.”

Credit: Ananda

So shortly after closing, Ananda and her husband jumped right into planning with a $23,000 budget. Even with the extra funds, Ananda wanted to DIY as much of this project as she could in order to allocate more of the budget to high quality items like cabinets and floors.

Credit: Ananda

Ananda started by getting rid of all the existing upper and lower cabinets, replacing them with SEKTION cabinets from IKEA that she accessorized with modern gold pulls. (She and her husband DIYed the install.) For the countertops, which they called pros in for, Ananda chose butcher block to warm up all-white look.

Credit: Ananda

For the backsplash, Ananda chose a simple square ceramic tile in classic white; on the adjacent wall, she used a stencil and some clever painting to get a cool boho cement tile look.

Credit: Ananda

The minty-toned paint job ties in with the new DIY island, which Ananda and her husband put on wheels for extra functionality. “We love the open bright feeling, happy colors, and warm materials,” Ananda says.

Another pop of color came from the fridge. It may look totally new, but that’s actually the same fridge — Ananda painted it light blue with gold accents to give it the look of a high-end vintage-style piece.

For the floors, Ananda got rid of the large, dingy tiles and opted for professionally installed wood flooring that makes the kitchen look clean, cozy, and modern.

The kitchen now looks completely different from when Ananda and her husband closed on their home. “We do LOVE adventures, but we NEVER imagined doing a complete kitchen remodel a week after buying our house,” she says on her blog.

Even as a DIY blogger, doing her research gave Ananda an extra boost of confidence to take on this project so quickly, and well. “Read and learn as much as possible about others kitchen remodels,” she advises. “The more you know, the better experience (and results) you’ll have.”