before and afterkitchen

before & after: two kitchen renovations

by Kate Pruitt

It’s always a treat to see complete kitchen makeovers, the kind where everything gets gutted and the “after” is a total surprise. Luckily, we have two of those today, so get ready for some fun reveals. Julie’s new kitchen is dreamy in so many ways. I particularly love the tile, but the floating shelving, modern island with barstools and warm wood with white aren’t too shabby, either. Amazing transformation, Julie! — Kate

Time: 3 months

Cost: $15,000 (including all new appliances)

Basic Steps: Our kitchen (as you can see) was a complete gut. What took the most time was figuring out the layout. We didn’t want a traditionally arranged kitchen and really wanted a horizontal upper. We downloaded the Ikea kitchen planner (which I would very much recommend to anyone designing a new kitchen) and went over every possibility to make it work. My dad built the countertops, which are just white laminate, and my husband did the rest. I really wanted quartz, but it just wasn’t in the budget. To make the laminate a bit more fun, we had my dad build them with a two-inch reveal to chunk them up a bit.

We started with the cabinets and the floor and went from there. I had visions of an all-white kitchen but decided to go with the warm lower cabinets that matched the colour of my husband’s coffee — you can imagine why. I really wanted a playful backsplash with impact, so we decided on the glass tile, which we got from a friend at $7.00 a square foot! I think I mentioned previously that my husband learned how to do the tiling online. Again, big money saver!

Advice I would give to anyone tackling the same type of project is plan, plan plan! It’s the hardest part. Another thing I would say is to keep on top of your budget. It’s so easy for it to get out of hand with spending when it comes to a kitchen, but we really wanted function over fancy. What you don’t see in the photos is that the island is loaded with drawers, and the only doors are under the sink. That combined with the slide-out pantry made for fabulous storage. I am relieved to say that we wouldn’t change a thing! — Julie

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE to see Allison’s kitchen renovation after the jump!

Our second kitchen makeover is from Allison, whose clean new kitchen features a lot of smart decisions like Julie’s above: floating shelving, tile backsplash, minimalist appliances and plenty of fresh, bright white. The retro-style light fixture is a nice touch, and the larger subway-style tiles add a nice, clean look to the backsplash. Nice work, Allison!

Time: It took about 4 months to finish the physical remodeling, but I’ve spent about 7 months accessorizing and organizing.

Cost: $10,000

Basic Steps: In the brainstorming phase, I bookmarked at least 100 kitchens. Then I flushed out similar characteristics in those rooms —white, clean, vintage & industrial hints, etc. — and eliminated features that I might grow tired of quickly. I also considered what elements would complement the rest of our home. I modeled several versions of our kitchen on paper and, after much debate, settled on one that we both liked.

I would advise only demo-ing necessary portions of the kitchen and trying to maintain some function through the process. We deconstructed every aspect of the kitchen from the start and then realized that it wasn’t completely necessary. A little more planning on our part would’ve easily shaved a month off of the physical remodeling portion and saved our sanity a little. — Allison

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  • Wow! Both of these kitchens are gorgeous, but I especially love Julie’s transformation! Love all the tile choices … and if you stop by, Julie, would you mind sharing the name/type of the floor tile? It is really nice and I have been looking for something quite similar!

  • AMAZING! I liked the first kitchen’s before picture, then I scrolled down and my jaw dropped! That kitchen looks incredible! Can I move in? =)

  • Thanks guys!
    Laura Isabel, the hood and the stove are made by Whirlpool for Ikea. We’ve been really happy with them so far.

  • Beautiful kitchen. But I’m curious as to why the tile covers the entire wall on the left and only goes up a short way on the wall with the window. It looks unfinished. But otherwise what a crisp and fun space they’ve created!

  • Thank you for the lovely comments. Christina, I can’t remember what the floor tile is. It was sort of one of those run of the mill charcoal 12×24’s.The back splash tile comes from Cove Finishings in Vancouver B.C. Cee, I too struggle with the back splash. The trouble is that the window wall goes into the dining room making for a huge wall to cover with tile. I’ve considered painting the wall a darker gray to blend the tile in a little more. Thoughts?

  • julie–what a change for the better, dang girl that looks great.

    allison–i want more pictures of your place! i simply love the industrial look, we’d get along great. :)

  • Incredible job. I also installed an Ikea set of cabinets recently. Turned out nice as well. Just goes to show what a elbow grease will do and reading the instructions for set up will generate.

  • I work on the kitchens department at IKEA, and Nexus yellow brown has always been my least favourite style that we do, but combined with the abstrakt hi gloss white, it looks amazing!! Well done Julie, i cant wait to get to work and jump on my planner!

  • We renovated our kitchen about a year and a half ago (although its still not completely done yet) using the Nexus yellow brown and I absolutely love them. In fact, Julie’s kitchen is almost the exact layout as ours but without the walls that breaks ours up from the rest of the living area. I can’t wait to knock those walls out and this was a great inspiration to do that once and for all.
    Fantastic job!!

  • That first kitchen is the exact setup we need for our own kitchen and I keep staring at that “after” picture. I want to remodel our kitchen SO bad!!! Our fridge is in front of a window right now. Not cute.

  • Trina, the island is Ikea, my Dad built the counter top that surrounds it. Sarah, we had walls on both sides of the kitchen that divided the kitchen from the living room and dining area that were luckily not load bearing. Now we’re one big room.

  • I live in Ukraine. And we have, as rule, kitchen about 3*3m. So I dream to have a sink near the window. The floor is amazing!

  • I’d like to know more about Allison’s counters. They appear black…what material are they? And are the cabinets Ikea or was that just the first kitchen? I wish there were more pictures; this second kitchen is along the same lines of what I have been thinking and I’m surprised she was able to do it for $10,000 including appliances. Nice work! Please share more info!

  • Julie, thanks for sharing the before and after shots. It is interesting to read through your design process and helps others better understand what to consider when planning a kitchen renovation.