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5 Fabulous DIY Kitchen Makeovers

We all love kitchens ~ they are the heart of our homes, the gathering place for family and friends. Even if you are not a great cook or someone who loves to cook, we all want pretty and efficient kitchens.  It’s not surprising that several bloggers chose to transform their kitchens. It was “hard” job, but for the 2nd installment in my ORC favorites series,  I’ve chosen 5 fabulous kitchen makeovers.

These days kitchens are open to the living room and eating areas, not tucked away unseen behind swinging doors. It’s no wonder that kitchens are one of the most updated and renovated rooms in our homes. We spend more money on our kitchens than any other room. When you think about the need for plumbing and electrical, the cost of cabinetry, hardware, lighting, flooring and appliances, paint and storage, it’s understandable why a kitchen renovation can cost as high as $75,000. But, as these 5 bloggers show in their kitchen makeovers, you can get a beautiful and efficient new kitchen on a budget.

If you missed the first installment in the series, My Favorite One Room Challenge Makeovers, I focused on backyard makeovers. Selecting my 5 favorites from the kitchen makeovers was just as hard, but just as fun.

5 Fabulous DIY Kitchen Makeovers ~ Favorites from the One Room Challenge

Once again, I tried not to pick styles and design that appealed to my personal esthetic, but DIY kitchen makeovers that truly were successful in creating a new look and a more efficient space. From very low budget to more high end, all these choices reflect a great vision and hard work that paid off.

Bean in Love on a Budget

Considering how expensive kitchen remodels are, when I read that Sheena of Bean in Love transformed this kitchen for just $160, I had to see what she did. Since her family is living in a rental, spending a boat load of money on a kitchen makeover wasn’t the smart think to do. But using paint and a very judicious and creative approach to DIY projects paid off big time and you would think 20 times $160 was spent here. Here’s what Sheena and her hubby Anthony did to transform this kitchen from rental reject to a kitchen anyone would be proud of.

kitchen makeovers

  • removed old ~ as in brown and gold  ~ wallpaper
  • removed bi~fold doors between kitchen and dining room
  • removed wood valence over kitchen sink
  • painted upper and lower cabinets
  • new cabinet hardware
  • added new “subway tile” wallpaper as backsplash
  • added new DIY lampshade to ceiling fan
  • new DIY pot rack
  • added bamboo shade for kitchen window
  • new pendant light above kitchen window
  • added DIY spice rack
  • made a rug for the kitchen
  • added plants

I think you’ll agree that they did a fantastic job on a small kitchen that now has a big impact in the pretty category. They get the award for the biggest change on the lowest budget. Congrats for a job well done.

kitchen makeovers

Bright Green Door Goes from White to Black

As you can see by the before and after pictures below, Jess of Bright Green Door went from white to black in her color choice for this kitchen makeover. Normally, I always gravitate to white cabinets, but what made this kitchen makeover was not just the drama of the black cabinets, but the dramatic increase in functionality.

kitchen makeovers

How did Jess achieve a more efficient layout as well as a much prettier kitchen? A little magic, of course.

  • removed the dropdown fluorescent light fixture
  • removed the built in desk
  • moved the location of the oven to create a built~in pantry
  • moved the refrigerator to the desk location and built an enclosure with storage above
  • moved the oven to the refrigerator location
  • installed new peel~and~stick tile backsplash
  • painted the cabinets and added new brass hardware
  • replaced the existing flooring with new hardwood laminate flooring
  • built a new island (incorporated the existing sink) and made a new butcher block countertop
  • added new brass and glass pendants above the island
  • added bar stools for eat~in dining
  • added drapes to the windows
  • added a rug

Moving the appliances to create more counter space and straightening the island had the biggest impact on the functionality of the kitchen.What I didn’t show you is that Jess extended the makeover into the adjoining dining room. Be sure to take a look at that area.

kitchen makeovers

Farm Charm Rules the Day for The Created Home

The layout of Sarah’s kitchen wasn’t bad, but the esthetic definitely had an 80’s vibe with stained cabinet overload. It’s now a light and bright space with a cleaner, more modern feel. Adding touches of farmhouse design created a Joanna~worthy kitchen to enjoy. The Created Home now boasts a kitchen to brag about especially since they did most of the work themselves.

kitchen makeovers

Let’s play a game: just from the before and after pictures, name 10 things that changed in this kitchen makeover. Here’s the low~down in case you’re stumped.

  • removed the appliance garage, freeing up counterspace
  • painted the stained kitchen cabinets white
  • added shiplap to the peninsula
  • added decorative corbels to the island (custom made by Sarah)
  • added new cabinet hardware
  • installed new tile backsplash
  • widened the cased open to the laundry room (which was removed and made into a butler’s pantry) and added a faux beam above (made by Sarah)
  • replaced the flooring with wood laminate
  • added new pendant lights over the peninsula, under cabinet task lighting and replaced ceiling lights with LEDs
  • new dishwasher
  • installed new farmhouse kitchen and reclaimed wood cabinets surround (custom made by Sarah)

That was actually 11 major changes to this kitchen makeover. Sarah is a woodworker extraordinaire and she made several of the design elements herself. I am so impressed! Hats off Sarah great word and great design.

kitchen makeovers

Bright and Airy Farmhouse Kitchen  from Fiddle Leaf Blog

I couldn’t help it. I love farmhouse and I loved this kitchen from Fiddle Leaf Blog. Ana and her husband did this entire kitchen makeover DIY and they should be so proud of their efforts. It is pretty impressive. Another great example that stuck in the 80’s and 90’s doesn’t have to stay in the 80’s and 90’s.

kitchen makeovers

You can tell that Ana is another lover of farmhouse style. The kitchen is small and the reddish~stained cabinets and goldy countertops just make it appear even smaller. Here is how this DIY committed couple pulled off this kitchen makeover.

  • extended the cabinets to ceiling by making cubbies for more storage
  • primed and painted the cabinets
  • added new trim to cabinets
  • added shiplap wallpaper to the peninsula
  • changed the corbels on the peninsula to farmhouse style
  • added new cabinet and door hardware
  • added moulding to doors in the pantry
  • change electrical switches and switch plates
  • made DIY concrete counters
  • made DIY tile backsplash
  • changed under cabinet lighting
  • installed new sink and plumbing fixtures

Considering that this kitchen makeover was done on weekends and at nights, they did a fantastic job. I especially love the new kitchen door ~ such a great rustic focal point. The cubbies above the cabinets create great storage and display space and make the room look so much bigger. I can’t believe they made the concrete counters themselves. Lots of applause.

kitchen makeovers

Sometimes Almost There is Pretty Darn Far

As most of us participated in the ORC can attest, sometimes stuff happens that puts your project behind. That’s life, folks, in the construction, remodel and DIY world. (It almost happened to me in our dining room makeover when our 2nd rug choice didn’t work and our mirrors were backordered.) Kati of Houseful of Handmade had some hiccups in her kitchen makeover; but you know what? Even without all the appliances installed, she still made it to my top 5.

kitchen makeovers

Once again, stained cabinets turned into painted cabinets in Kati’s farmhouse envisioned kitchen. From top to bottom, every inch of space was touched in this kitchen. Let’s see what was checked off on Kati’s to~do list.

  • removed the dropped ceiling to raise the ceiling 14 inches
  • installed new white upper cabinets to the ceiling for more storage
  • removed 2 deep pantries to gain 5 feet of counterspace
  • added additional storage above the refrigerator
  • built (themselves) new cabinets  and shaker style door fronts
  • rebuilt and customized the existing island
  • painted the lower cabinets and island a royal blue
  • replaced flooring
  • new quartz countertops
  • new tile backsplash
  • removed upper cabinets above the sink and installed open shelving
  • installed new farmhouse sink
  • added rustic bench style bar stools

So what’s left on Kati’s kitchen makeover? Some kitchen cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and moldings. My hat’s off to Kati for painting her lower cabinets such a bold beautiful blue. Tackling the island redo gets her a gold star. Since the ORC ended, Kati has completed her kitchen makeover so hop over to see the final~final reveal.

kitchen makeovers

Well, folks, that’s the 2nd installment of my ORC favorites. I’m kind of a kitchen junkie so this was a really fun and inspiring post to write and share with you.

kitchen makeovers

Left ~ Jess’ New Pendant Lights and DIY Butcher Block Counter
Top Right ~ Kati’s DIY Towel Rack
2nd Right ~ Sarah’s New Patterned Tiles
3rd Right ~ Ana’s Octagonal Tiles and Concrete Countetop
Bottom Right ~  Sheena’s DIY Spice Rack

All these fabulous kitchen makeovers are Pinned to my Kitchen Ideas Board. Please Pin them to yours.

kitchen makeovers




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  1. I would so love to open up my kitchen. Even if if never do, I could always extend my cabinets like Ana did. With 8-foot ceilings, they really need to go all the way up. I love how she added storage at the top of hers. Great post! I love a good makeover.