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before and afterInteriors

Before & After: A Budget-Conscious Kitchen and Dining Room Makeover

by Lauren Chorpening

Ashley and Luke Mayes’ home in Springfield, MO is being transformed room by room. The 3,800-square-foot house was full of carpeted bathrooms, wallpaper in every room and loads of outdated finishes when they got the keys. Ashley, home blogger at Bigger Than the Three of Us, and Luke, software manager at Experian, have been fast learners and eager to DIY everything themselves. Their kitchen and dining room have been changed dramatically between a few spacial and cosmetic improvements. “We do almost all the work ourselves. Our biggest renovation to date was our kitchen, eat-in and dining space. Those spaces definitely set the tone for the rest of the house,” Ashley shares.

To make the kitchen as cost effective as possible, Ashley and Luke decided to use the existing lower cabinets with new handmade doors and a few coats of dark grey paint. They kept the granite countertops and while the stone isn’t preferred by Ashley, the savings were far too great to consider the alternative. The wall that used to house a pantry, desk and fridge were reworked with the refrigerator and pantry swapped and range and counter space where the desk used to be. The doorway leading to the dining room was removed and the wall opening was widened, allowing the two spaces to flow into each other. “I love how the dining room flows into the kitchen space. A funny story about the wall that the dining and kitchen share: We knew the wall wasn’t load bearing, so we started taking it down one day. We got to a 2×4 that was just stubborn. Luke looked at it and started to go get some different tools to help get it down. I looked at it and just went for it,” Ashley laughs. “I hung on it to loosen it up and it worked!” The dining room was given new wallpaper and a chandelier. The entire living area also received new flooring.

While there are plenty of big-ticket items in the Mayes’ dining room and kitchen project, they worked primarily with refinishing and updating existing pieces where they could. “We want to create a space that feels like us while matching the home style (which tends to be more classic) with our style (we love mid-century), all while not having anything too precious or fussy so that friends and family will feel comfortable,” Ashley shares. The end result is a space that looks completely new, even though the main components have just been given a facelift. –Lauren

Photography by Ashley Mayes

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The Mayes' kitchen before the makeover.
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The Mayes' kitchen today. "I love this view because I built the cabinets that flank the oven, wine enclosure and built-in pantry with my Grandpa. He didn't think we needed eight spaces for wine, but I assured him that we did! He had the last laugh though, because after I left for the day, he made the wine enclosure removable," Ashley jokes. "He told me that eventually, I would see that I didn't need that much storage for wine. Ha!"
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Ashley and Luke removed the soffits and upper cabinets, tiled the wall and added floating shelves.
Before & After: A Budget Conscious Kitchen and Dining Room Makeover | Design*Sponge
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New cabinet doors on the existing cabinet boxes were DIYed by Ashely and Luke and then painted "Cracked Pepper" by Behr.
Before & After: A Budget Conscious Kitchen and Dining Room Makeover | Design*Sponge
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"The kitchen is interesting because it's not a large space, yet it feels pretty spacious with seating areas on both sides," Ashley shares.
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"To get the small pantry, we had to take a bit of the space of the formal dining room," Ashley says. "We wanted the spaces to flow really great together so that it didn't seem weird."
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Switching the positions of the pantry and refrigerator has allowed the dining room and kitchen to flow into each other more beautifully.
Before & After: A Budget-Conscious Kitchen and Dining Room Makeover | Design*Sponge
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The formal dining room before.
Before & After: A Budget Conscious Kitchen and Dining Room Makeover | Design*Sponge
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"As much as I hated the built-in china cabinet when we moved in, it's grown on me and I think it's an interesting piece in the room now. I absolutely love how our hardwood floors work with all the textures in the space," Ashley says.
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"We love the space because it's an extension of our kitchen. It adds more seating when we host, which is also great. I found the table at Habitat Restore and it's been my favorite find ever," Ashley says. "I reupholstered two chairs with vintage black and white fabric that my Grandma has had for 65+ years."
Before & After: A Budget Conscious Kitchen and Dining Room Makeover | Design*Sponge
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The new wallpaper, floors and chandelier gave the dining room a completely new look.
Before & After: A Budget Conscious Kitchen and Dining Room Makeover | Design*Sponge
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Luke, Ashley and their son Greyson in their home.

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