Jay and Krista live in a fantastically charming 1927 bungalow. Their house has four bedrooms, one palatial chicken coop in the backyard, and a kitchen that holds onto a mishmash of at least one detail from each of the eight decades that have passed since the house was built.
Jay and Krista would love to redo their kitchen but, as is the case with many people, they don’t have the funds available for a major kitchen overhaul. This, of course, doesn’t mean they have to be stuck with their kitchen as it now exists. Even with the tiniest of budgets, a lot can be accomplished if you are willing to spend in time what you won’t be spending in money.
Here is Jay and Krista’s kitchen as it now stands:
Pros: the footprint is roomy, the layout is very workable, the appliances are relatively new and very functional, and there is ample room for storage. Cons: the worn, mismatched cabinets are from three different eras, there is no unifying design to the kitchen, the room lacks the finished character of the rest of the house.
With this kitchen, the most efficient thing to do is work with what the kitchen already has, then build from there. Painting the cabinets, rather than replacing them, would do wonders for adding a sense of cohesion. Even if the styles of the cabinets don’t happen to match, Jay and Krista can help integrate the cabinets by painting them a crisp, simple white, then outfitting them with some well designed pulls and knobs.
The simple white cabinets and appliances will be served well with some pulls that make a statement without being garish or out of synch with the rest of the home’s style. This updated version of a classic bin pull (from Ikea) would be a clean fit:
For a hit of Art Deco flavor, Home Depot offers this cabinet knob in a satin nickel finish that could be paired nicely with its drawer pull counterpart:
Or, for a more playful look, mixing and matching the Deco-style bin pulls on the drawers with these vintage-style glass pulls (also from Home Depot) on the cabinets would create some nice play off of the floor color without being too cloying:
For just about $100, Jay and Krista could replace the length of laminate countertop along their sink wall with a long slab of butcher block. These
butcher block countertops from Ikea are handsome, affordable, and, if treated properly, very durable.
The butcher block-topped drawers next to the stove are an invaluable addition of storage and counter space, and by simply extending the length of the countertop all the way to the wall, the counter can be made even more useful, and the drawer unit will instantly look more built-in. Conveniently, since Jay and Krista would need to buy two slabs of wood to complete the length of the sink wall, they would have enough materials left over to replace this existing butcher block counter. As for the drawers that sit beneath the counter, I am actually rather fond of the blue/green color they’ve been painted. If the rest of the cabinets get painted white, that small pop of color will play nicely against the white appliances and blue and green floor.
Jay and Krista’s sink and faucet are in great condition, so there is no need to replace them. However, to really complete the look of the sink wall, adding a simple backsplash of white subway tile will provide a crisp, finished look for a shockingly small amount of money. Two boxes of white 6″x3″ subway tile
(with plenty leftover) from Home Depot, plus the cost of tiling materials, will set Jay and Krista back just $50.
All that for under $400? Definitely. To break it down, here’s a list of what Jay and Krista would need to buy in order to complete this renovation:
Drawer & cabinet pulls: $75-$100
Paint and primer: $50
Various tiling, painting, and construction supplies: $50-$75
Final cost: $312-$362
Not bad for a total kitchen overhaul, and definitely doable for Jay and Krista. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting updates on Jay and Krista’s kitchen. The fun thing about this project is that Jay and Krista are soliciting remodeling ideas from a couple of other people, so I’ll be able to keep track of their ideas and progress as they decide on the best course of action. Whether they decide to complete a budget DIY remodel or a more intense kitchen overhaul, I can’t wait to see the finished product.