Planning a Budget Kitchen Renovation

Tips, tricks, and advice for planning a budget kitchen renovationHi, guys! It’s Mandi. A kitchen renovation is an equally daunting and exciting project. Deciding what you want for your home’s main gathering place isn’t easy, but it sure is fun! Too bad the project doesn’t end with the planning. There’s this little problem that we’re all painfully aware of—money, honey. Sure, if we’d had the budget to renovate our dingy kitchen the day we got the keys to our 1950’s ranch, you better believe we would have! But looking back, I now really appreciate the three years of dreaming big, bringing ourselves back to reality, and then finally making achievable plans for a kitchen we can both love and afford.

With our tight budget, each decision we have made has been very mindful, since every dollar has to count! There are lots of things to consider when planning a kitchen renovation on a budget (whatever your budget may be), and now that I’m nearing the completion of my renovation (what, whaaat!), I have so much practical advice that I learned along the way, in addition to some fun designerly advice.

I graduated from a four-year accredited interior design program and worked briefly in the industry before plowing my own career path as a freelance designer and photographer, so working on the tedious aspects of our kitchen renovation has actually been a really fun blast from the past! In addition to my university training in design, I also have way too much experience with budgets. (Budgets and I have a love/hate relationship.) My husband, Phil, and I function on a mostly cash budget to stay on track with our spending and saving goals. Before we begin any projects or make any purchases, we either have the cash in hand or money purposefully set aside in our bank accounts. This helps us from making hasty decisions or getting ahead of ourselves financially. It really works for us (though it’s extremely difficult for me), and sticking to cash makes us appreciate each project all the more, since we have been planning and dreaming during the long time we have been saving.

Regardless of how large or small your household budget is, it’s a good idea to have a general idea of how much you want to spend before you get started on your kitchen renovation. Even seemingly simple projects, like repainting cabinet faces, can get out of hand really quickly! If you have no idea how much your dream renovation will cost, you could plan the financial aspect of it backwards, like I did, by making your grand plans first, then trimming them down to a more manageable price range once you see the scary cost of your big dreams. Alright, let’s start by talking about your kitchen dreams!

Tips, tricks, and advice for planning a budget kitchen renovationPlanning a Dream Kitchen

Before the days of Pinterest, I’d always clipped images from my favorite home magazines, like Domino and Livingetc, and pasted them into a “cut book.” These scrapbooks really helped me refine my decorating style and also helped me build specific dreams for the kinds of things I’d like to have in my own home some day. These days I do all of that dreaming on Pinterest, and boy, is it nice to have all of my kitchen inspirations just a click away! When planning our kitchen reno, I spent so many evenings pouring over the images and figuring out how to infuse the vibes I loved from each inspiration kitchen into my own home. I found some key elements that I knew I could easily incorporate into our budget kitchen renovation without having to make any drastic changes to the architecture of our space, such as specific textures, color schemes, inexpensive materials like paneling, and visual aspects like open shelving. Check out my notes above to see what elements we’ve been building into our new kitchen design.

Tips, tricks, and advice for planning a budget kitchen renovationMaking Design Decisions

When selecting colors, finishes, and an overall style for our kitchen, there were a few things I kept in mind. I wanted the overall look to match the rest of our home and stay in keeping with the midcentury-modern-meets-country style of our home. (I know, kind of a weird combo, but I can dig it!) I didn’t want to create a time-capsule kitchen, though I did want the space to feel timeless while simultaneously current. I wanted it to be something I could really enjoy at this particular stage of my life, but also something anyone else might also enjoy if we sold the home in the next few years. (I’m starting to sound like a nightmare client!) Oh, and did I mention I wanted it to be as inexpensive as possible, without looking cheap? The more I pondered my style decisions, the more I realized planning a kitchen renovation is like planning a tattoo. Whatever you settle on will be around for a really long time, so the design should have staying power but also be true to you and your lifestyle. If you want to change it someday, it will be painful and expensive. So choose wisely while you can!

Planning on selling your home in the next 5-10 years? Then don’t get too crazy, kids! Can you still make some gutsy style decisions? Of course! But if you don’t want your home to lose value, and if you don’t want to do more renovations down the road, just make sure the more taste-specific decisions you make are things that can easily be changed, like cabinet hardware, paint colors, or lighting fixtures. Expensive and labor-intensive changes like countertops, cabinets, and tiled backsplashes are not as easy to change and can look dated really quickly if you choose something trendy. For instance, before you rip out all of your cabinets in lieu of open shelving, just keep those annoying doubting voices of your friends and family in mind. You know the ones. “Really? Open shelving? You’ll be doing a lot of dusting!” “You’re getting rid of all that storage?” These concerns may not seem like problems for your lifestyle, but they might be for potential home buyers when you go to sell your home one day. So if you want something more unusual like open shelving, maybe you could plan a compromise like I did and mix it in with your current cabinetry situation.

Be sure to keep kitchen standards in mind before moving things around in your kitchen, too. To maintain the functionality of the space and the value of your home, make sure major circulation pathways are at least 36-48″ wide; countertops should be 32-36″ high, and upper cabinets or shelves should be 18″ from the countertop so that they’re easily reached but far enough away to allow space for appliances. To be clear, these are standard measurements that contractors usually abide by, but they’re not exactly requirements for your specific kitchen. The space between my upper cabinets and countertop was only 15″, and I had never even realized the space was smaller than standard.

While considering improvements to your kitchen, keep the overall value of your home in mind. I don’t live in the best area, and I’d bet the homes in my neighborhood don’t have kitchens with marble countertops or beautiful hardwood floors. Because of this, I made sure my design selections weren’t over-improving our home; otherwise, we’d never get the money back when we go to sell it someday. We kept most of our original cabinetry (they’re generic, but not awful or worth replacing), selected less expensive finishes and fixtures, and decided not to even go near the beast of our terrazzo flooring. We may restore them one day, but again, I worry about recouping the expense of that in the future. Honestly, I’m not the kind of gal who needs brand new appliances or fancy fixtures to make me happy. Mainly I just wanted our kitchen to be a brighter and more neutral backdrop to our home, universally likeable, and infused with our particular style (where easily-swapped accessories are concerned).

Tips, tricks, and advice for planning a budget kitchen renovationVisualizing the Renovation

To help plan the visuals of the space and figure out the spacing and materials required for the job, I laid out the changes in an elevation, which is a to-scale, two-dimensional drawing of a wall. You can easily make your own elevation by measuring your space and using graph paper (every square equals 3″ or 6″) to fill out your fixtures, like cabinets, appliances, windows, etc. Drawing your fixtures on separate paper makes it really easy to rearrange things on the graph paper until you get things the way you like them. I took my planning a step further and made a rendering of what the space would look like with the changes I’d planned. This was as easy as tracing over a photograph of my space and redrawing certain things as needed, such as raising the cabinets to the ceiling and replacing some cabinets with shelves. If you want more tips on how to realize your decorating plans in a drawing, perhaps we could do a whole post on the subject, if you guys are interested!

Tips, tricks, and advice for planning a budget kitchen renovationCreating an Initial Cost Sheet

After I was able to literally visualize the changes that were to take place in our kitchen, I figured out the materials I needed for new fixtures (such as shelves) and for updates to old fixtures (such as paint). Using a spreadsheet, I determined the total cost of the project by adding together the price of every can of paint, shelf bracket, tub of wood putty, box of sandpaper, cabinet knob… You get the idea! Boy, was I surprised at the cost! $660 for all of my cabinet knobs? And that didn’t even include the hinges or fasteners, much less anything else in the kitchen! I knew immediately I had to make some adjustments to my plans, which required some hard decisions.

Revising Design Elements to Save Money

After my initial shock at the first cost sheet, I had to get real with myself. How much exactly were we wanting to spend for this project at this point in our lives for this particular home? What number wouldn’t shock my pants off? What dream elements could I sacrifice for the sake of other fancy things?

The most expensive changes I was planning on making in the kitchen were my cabinet hardware and my countertops. I originally had wanted solid-surface or quartz counters because of their durability and the light colors available. But we just don’t have the money for that kind of material, considering how much counter space we have to cover, and we couldn’t justify a splurge, since there are lots of other important home improvement projects waiting in line for our money. My compromise was a beautiful butcher block counter that is less than half the cost, though it will require more gentle use and maintenance than a product like Corian or quartz.

Another way I was able to cut down on the cost of this project was by mixing our cabinet hardware styles. I originally wanted all of the cabinet doors and drawers to have long brass bars on them, but each bar I wanted cost $22 (check them out here), putting the total cost of handles at $660! I couldn’t believe it. I knew that new hardware would dramatically change the space, though, so I compromised and decided to get a smaller version of that pull for the drawers only, and for the doors I would use closely-matching knobs I found at a local hardware store for around $2. That put my cost at $40 for door pulls and $168 for the drawers, giving me a grand total of $208 for my new hardware. Making that compromise wasn’t my initial plan, but it did save me $452!

I was able to shave down money here and there by compromising on several smaller details too. I went through every item on my wish list and thought about what I really liked about it and considered if there was a way to achieve that for less money. That white globe light that I liked at West Elm? Sure, it has pretty brass detailing, but it was the shape that I really liked, and I found a less expensive globe light on Amazon that fit the bill. I originally wanted white subway tile for a backsplash, but after thinking about it, I realized what I really wanted was a white backdrop with textural interest. DIY painted paneling will bring in that texture I love for a fraction of the cost. New, sleek, Ikea cabinets? Maybe less expensive than custom cabinets, but still more money than I wanted to spend. How about I just refinish and paint the ones I have? So many dollars saved.

Tips, tricks, and advice for planning a budget kitchen renovationBeware of Unforeseen Expenses

Now that we’re nearing the end of the renovation process, I can sheepishly admit that there are several things I hadn’t planned for and should have, like tarps and outlet covers. Sure, these surprises meant more work for me (so many trips to the store!), which wasn’t that big of a deal, but the main problem was causing my budget to stray from the original estimated cost. The key to sticking to your renovation budget is to initially plan that budget to include everything required for your job. It’s a good idea to add 5-10% to your expected project cost to allow for mistakes or any additional materials that might be required. But to help you do it right the first time, I made a list below of items that are easily forgotten when preparing for a kitchen renovation. Can you think of any other often-missed expenses? I’d love to read your stories in the comments below!

General expenses I omitted from my cost sheet:
-shipping costs for online orders
-ear plugs for use around air compressors or other loud devices
-electrical nuts and electrical tape for changing light fixtures
-outlet covers & switchplates to match new paint colors
-proper bolts and screws for mounting sinks, cabinetry, counters, and shelving
-masonite or plywood for making templates for new sink holes, etc.
-fresh blades for clean cuts with Skil saws
-renting spray guns, air compressors, other equipment

Demo & repair work:
-duct tape for hanging tarps
Sand & Kleen system to trap dust while drywall sanding (worth the money!)
-both quick-setting and finishing-grade sheet rock (drywall compound)
-drywall mesh and tape for repairing large holes
-drywall spatulas
-chisels for removing old tile
-respiration masks for all helpers
-variety of sandpaper and sanding screens—I generally need more sandpaper than I anticipate. Fresh sand paper helps the job go faster.
-wood filler
-protective eyewear
-ducts and adapters for moving or changing ventilation systems
-quarter round or other molding for covering gaps around cabinets, etc.
-toe kicks for cabinet faces
-caulk—waterproof silicone and construction adhesive as needed
-clamps for Skil saw guides or gluing together pieces of wood

Cleaning supplies:
-chemical cleaners like TSP for washing walls before painting or floors that are badly stained
-chemical-safe gloves
-protective eyewear
-respiration masks
-sponges, brushes, and metal scratchy pads

Painting supplies:
-respiration masks for all helpers
-additional brushes, rollers, or trays for any helpers
-brush cleaner for washing oil-based paint
-saw horses and lumber for laying out wet cabinet doors, etc.
-wax paper for placing underneath painted objects that haven’t yet cured
-painter’s tape

I’m so excited to share this renovation process with you all! I’ve got a few things to teach you along the way, and a big before and after to show you at the end. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see, we’d love to hear your thoughts! –Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Spring and Valentine of the Signature Collection.

  • When budgeting for a kitchen remodel project, it helps to know exactly what items you’ll need to put on your appliance shopping list.

  • Open shelving is great for a budget kitchen to remodel and they also make the kitchen seem bigger and brighter. I was hesitant to add a few open shelves to our new kitchen space but now I love them and would never go back to having cabinets on all the walls.

  • This was a very informative post! Bookmarked.

    I will just say that I happen to know that some companies like N-Hance and WoodWorks Refurbishing and even a href=””>Knotty Alder can help you plan a kitchen redesign for much less money.

  • Great $ saving process, thanks for sharing your experience. We had a tiresome time trying to find the right materials for our kitchen…I’ve seen and felt enough wooden materials to last me a lifetime, thankfully at the end of our 3rd month searching, we stumbled upon a gold mine – definately cost effective to DIY but I wouldn’t recommend if you are in the novice stage 🙂

  • Kitchen design is the most desirable activities by any home-owner. The information you have shared is very informative. thanks

  • Budget is one of the important aspects while planning a renovation and budget always changes while the renovation is in process. Thanks for sharing the blog and helping out with some tips about how to plan a budget for kitchen renovation.

  • transforming your kitchen will boom the price of your private home. It calls for creativity and right planning. There are lots of things you may do to remodel your kitchen inside the only manner.
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  • If you are planning to Kitchen Remodeling, make sure you are making the right choices to get the kitchen of your new dreams while staying within budget and avoiding mistakes. so no need to worry! Come to Kitchen Right and plan your kitchen renovation the right way

  • Been there! And I felt like it was so far away. Dreaming is a lot of fun in the meantime. 🙂

  • I’d definitely say that the amount to estimate for overages depends on the extent of your job and the age of your home. Typically in the interior design industry they say to add 10% for overages, because professionals are more easily able to foresee expenses that are up ahead, depends on factors involved in each specific job. My project involved mostly superficial work, and because of recent inspections I knew I wouldn’t need to worry about updating electrical, plumbing, and structural things. If someone’s gutting a kitchen on a 100 year old house, though, it’s true— you NEVER know what you’ll find, and too often it’s scary, scary expensive stuff!

  • Remodeling your kitchen will increase the value of your home. It requires creativity and proper planing. There are lots of things you can do to remodel your kitchen in the most effective way.

  • Mandi!!!! Thank you sooo very much for this post!!! We just recently painted the peach colored tile that covers most of our bathroom and boy, did we underestimate the cost!! You have really inspired me to take our redo’s to another level and really plan for the our next project. We also believe in saving ahead and counting our pennies, but we didn’t create a budget sheet which I think is genius! Our home is a small 1928 spanish bungalow and although I love how cozy it is, it has been quite difficult planning out our living paces with furniture. I think the solution is drawing out our floor plans, thanks again for all the info! Super helpful!

  • What a thorough and informative post! And definitely NOT too much text. This is so helpful for folks who want something comprehensive and don’t want to go to 20 websites to find the same information. Thanks so much, Mandi. Awesome job 🙂

  • It’s true, planning a kitchen IS like getting a tattoo!

  • Very intrigued. Keen to see the progress, especially the benchtop reno.
    Great stuff Mandi!

  • As someone who renovated (gut) her kitchen six months ago and documented it on my blog, I can say this is all super helpful and great. However, I’d add 30% to 40% extra for things you do not foresee. In our case, there was a lot of stuff with electrical that had to be done that was an added cost – and the only way anyone knew of it was because the contractor went into the wall and found issues with wiring. Things come up, you discover structural problems that you couldn’t even conceive of. If you go over your budget by 10% – that is amazing, stick the remainder in the bank and call it a day. But — just be prepared for the worst…. I’ve spoken to many friends (both wealthy and budget conscious and their projects always went at least 30% over — ours did too.

  • I would love to redo my kitchen but my budget right now just doesn’t allow it. But a girl can dream right?

  • Thank you for sharing this. I´m not in the position to renovate the kitchen in my apartment, but someday I´m gonna build my dream kitchen and I´ll definitely come back to these tips.

  • HI Mandi – Thanks so much for this post! Would love if you could make the template for your budget downloadable?

  • so awesome. exactly what i need to start my kitchen renovation!!
    thanks mandy. the $2000 total is impressive.

  • Thanks for the vote of confidence! 🙂 Actually, the very first thing I did when we moved in (this last April) was to take all the upper cabinet doors off because I *knew* I wanted open shelving but had to convince the Hubbin. ;p 4 months later, we both LOVE it and I’m *thisclose* to getting his green light to pull down the cabinets entirely and put up the shelves for phase 1 – keep your fingers crossed for me! lol

  • I read about halfway and then pinned for later. I don’t live somewhere right now where I can renovate the kitchen, but I know I’ll want this information for the future. Thank goodness for Pinterest 😀

  • I went to design school too! You did a great job summing up Kitchen Design and you renderings are beautiful! I haven’t done any in so long and stopping working in Kitchen Design with 20/20 two years ago because so many jerks run kitchen showrooms. Very awesome advice though!

  • Thanks Mandi, this was very helpful !! I’m extremely interested in renovation in general, so yeah please please, I would love this whole post on how to realized decorating plans and drawings !

  • perfect, thank you! I’m in the planning stages of a mini kitchen-living room reno (all open floor plan). Likely just new, lighter, brighter paint on the walls and DIY spray the cabinets. Everything else is good enough for now – I don’t mind my pulls/knobs or countertops and some new white cabinets (which I have always wanted) should make everything look new and shiny.

  • Ahh thank you for being so thorough!
    We’re buying a house soon, so this will be so helpful when we start the reno !!!

  • I really love reading about this entire process! I am one that lives for budgets and list-making and little details, so it’s an exciting post to read. I’d love to even hear more about your budgeting. Although I following my own budgeting plan, I still love to hear more tips and tricks!


  • As a former interior design major (I sadly switched majors, wah!!!) I loved seeing pictures of your sketches and rulers and pens. Thanks for sharing your process, I’d love to see more! I love how detailed you were with the budget, I think that’s most people’s weak points (at least, it’s mine) so it’s neat to see how and where you tweaked your budget to fit your needs.

    Thanks Mandi!

  • awesome post. and not too wordy. haha. people are so funny when they say things like that. anyway, thanks for the information. i think a post about the drawings would be interesting. 🙂

  • I’m planning on writing a whole post about our butcher block counters! We bought ours and assembled the pieces with miter joints and an undermount sink. It ended up being the most strenuous part of the job— but also I think we were a bit scared to cut into such an expensive chunk of wood! 🙂 Stay tuned! It should be up in the next month or so.

  • We painted our kitchen cabinets black using a Rustoleum kit earlier this year. It worked beautifully. Since then, I’ve been looking around at different options for butcher block counters. I considered making them myself, but I think in the end, I would spend almost as much as buying them outright. Do you have any sources for counter tops?

  • Thank you for sharing – I just graduated and am living at home – but would love to revisit this when it’s time for me to have a home. I love the use of pinterest and inspiration – I’ve loved Interior Design forever and would tear out some of my favorite rooms too. And thanks for including the list of unforseen expenses – your honesty & advice is brilliant.

    Warm Regards,

  • This is SO awesome!!! Thank you For writing this up!! So many great tips to keep in mind and I’m totally copying that spreadsheet idea as well as tracing over photos to see what new ideas will look like! My husband and I just spent a few months giving our new home a lot of TLC including tearing apart a bathroom. I knew from the beginning we should have mapped out a plan but it was like getting caught in a huge snowball and making the time to stop and breathe and think things through completely just never happened. So, we paid as we went, had a lot of surprise little expenses that added up (I expected this, hubby did not), and we made it through–still not knowing how much we spent all together! I’d love to be this forward thinking in the future!

  • Fabulous post and like many others have said – just what I need right now as we dip our toes in the waters of renovation! I already put together the shell of my spreadsheet – now for filling in the details!

  • That’s a great piece of wisdom- We’re on a tight budget with going out to eat, and we definitely blew that while our sink and stove was out of commission. We started pulling from other cash envelopes, like entertainment, miscellaneous, and even our personal fun money, but then we were like, eh, what the heck, it’s only this one week! And then we splurged. Oops!

  • OMG yeah, copper pipe’s no joke! There’s a specific local hardware store my family has been supporting for years, and the staff has been there forever. They’re extremely knowledgable, so when I’m doing something I’ve never done before, I like to go there and get their advice on anything and everything. I went there first to get prices for everything, but then there were little things that occurred to me when I got home, so I went on Lowes’s website to get those prices.

  • I struggle with those same concerns! Mainly about our terrazzo floors. We want to paint them, because I would be perfectly content living with concrete floors painted white, but I can almost guarantee that nobody else would want to buy a house with those floors. But if we don’t paint them, I’m pretty sure people would be turned off by the crappy stained terrazzo. But if we pay to refinish them, will anyone even want beautiful looking terrazzo floors in northeast Ohio? Oh the decisions!

  • Hopefully I’ll have a chance to share more about drawing plans soon! I have used Google Sketchup when I worked for JoAnn Corporate designing store fixtures. Not the most exciting job, but it was fun adding people to the rendering with a click of the button! I’ve been thinking about using it again lately for ABM projects, actually.

  • That’s a really good idea to do it in phases like that! Because it can take a while to gather the funds, at least there are changes in the meantime that will help you enjoy the space more.

  • You can use so many programs! Google Sketchup lets you draw in 3D and there’s a free version. I used to have AutoCAD from my designing days, but my license expired. These days I draw to scale on Photoshop, but that’s definitely not a preferred method. The easiest way if you don’t want to use a computer program is just an old fashioned architect’s scale, a t-square, and a triangle. I’d love to share more about it! We’ll see. 🙂

  • I can’t wait for the gran finale!

  • I’d really love it if you did a post about realizing your decorating plans in a drawing; it makes it so much easier to get an idea of what it would really look like before any expensive changes are made.

  • We redid our kitchen about one year ago. It was completely DIY-ed (design, demo, install) and it was intense. Since our kitchen was completely out of commission for almost 3 months, we added a little money into our budget for takeout food (which is more expensive for us than cooking at home). We cooked dinner on the grill too but since it was a DIY job, when I’d come home from work and the last thing I wanted was to whip up dinner, knowing I only had a few hours to work on the kitchen before bedtime.

    I blogged the whole thing if anyone is interested. The cabinetry and quartz countertop was through Ikea during one of their 20% off kitchen sales, which definitely aided our limited budget. It was a learning experience but completely worthwhile.

  • wowww, im blown away by this extremely generous post. Thank you so much for putting so much time into it. I have a dream to renovate a room in my future home, its always the kitchen I see doing first. I am going to save this post for future reference. YOu are so organized and detailed, its very inspiring and makes me feel that its definitely doable.
    I look forward to more posts about your kitchen renovation journey.
    And please, give us a post on drawing up and sketching renovation plans!!

  • Thank you for such a great, extensive and informative post! As I still have my paper “Home” scrapbook, this is going right there. Now I NEED to see the after 🙂

  • Wow I love this post, can use it myself:-)


  • wow now it sounds really intimidating… though still fun. Thanks for sharing your proces. It might be helpful for me in the future.

  • Oh this is so helpful. My boyfriend and I have just brought our first home, it needs alot of work. and the budget side of things has been stressing me out. But this has really helped. Thanks Mandi.


  • This is exactly what I need! I want to update the boring beige 1990s kitchen that was in my house when I moved in, and I’ve done some sketches – but I hadn’t even thought of costing it all out so this will be my next step! I think I will also need to work out how much time will be required for each step, as it will just be me doing it and I need to fit it in around working. Looking forward to hearing more about your renovation!

  • That post is very useful! Thank you. You describe in details every little part and cost in kitchen renovation process. It’s very good when you have a plan and you know how much you are ready to give and so on.

  • Love it! We are still planning a kitchen remodel in our 1960s home – would love to see a post on drawing out decorating ideas!

  • Oh my goodness gracious golly gee wiz, this post is amazingly helpful. I didn’t expect to read the whole thing but I got sucked in and now I can’t wait to see the before and after and read about the rest of the process along the way. Thank you so much for the detailed information you spent time to write out for us!

  • I really appreciate this post! So much thought and hard work and details (which are my favorite!) Pretty please do write that post about realizing decorating ideas through drawings. If I have to hold up another sheet of copy paper to my computer screen and draw over uploaded photos one more time… so help me. (Yes. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.) Thank you for you post! You are so good at what you do!

  • This is such a great step by step post and I wish I’d had it before I started building a table with my boyfriend and repainting some bookshelves. Who knew paint and copper piping was soo expensive! Did you just find all the prices for your spreadsheet online or did you take a trip to the store and then make your spreadsheet?

  • Thank you so much, Mandi! I’m honestly trying to figure out my kitchen reno budget RIGHT now (like tonight. and this week. seriously) for a big DIY reno — all on my own. I’ve never undertaken something this big and don’t have much experience in kitchens (a lot of DIY though) so this is perfect!

    Oh, and I’m a little midcentury-modern-meets-country too — clean lines and a lot of vintage wares. Double like. 😉

  • Great post! I love the detail! I’ll definitely pin this for future reference. I can’t wait to see your finished kitchen.

  • this is amazing! I love that you were willing to delve into the back end of the renovation process- this gives me so much more than a post just showing the renovation (of course, I’m excited to see that, too)! I will definitely hang on to this info for the future.


  • Great informative post. We have been toying with the idea of doing up our kitchen since we moved in. We have been here for two years. Knowing we probably won’t get a return on the costs when we sell one day has been making us put it off. But then there is also the thought that if we don’t do it, it may be harder to sell because people want pretty kitchens. I like the process you went through to cut down costs & it might be worth trying it. Looking forward to seeing more posts about this!

  • I’ve been considering a tattoo for 10 years and still haven’t gotten one. Maybe that’s a sign that I will always have an ugly kitchen bc I have a hard time committing 😉 Great post!

  • Love the ideas! And that blue is amazing

  • Wow, this is such an informational post, I’m bookmarking this for when I have my own house! Thanks for taking the time to write and photograph this, it must have taken such a long time to make! 🙂

  • This is some really helpful info. Renovations at tricky!

  • Great post & tips! Would love more detail on drawing plans… Have you used Sketchup? Can’t wait to see before/after. thanks a lot

  • This is such perfect timing. We’ve been in our home for almost 6 years and have been too scared to touch the kitchen for fear of overspending, even though it desperately needs a redo. As we hopefully start moving forward soon I’m sure I’ll be referring to this article a lot. Thanks for some great tips!

  • Such a great, extensive post! This will definitely come in handy for me in the future.

  • That was BY FAR the most helpful and thorough post I’ve read about a refit! I know it will stop me making many mistakes. Thank you from the bottom of my nearly empty bank account 🙂

  • Awesome! Can’t wait for the B&As. ;p We recently moved into a new-to-us house that had its original builder grade kitchen from 15 years ago (UGH oak cabinets!!). The plan is to do a phase 1 reno – paint walls and cabinets – and save up for a phase 2 reno – new counters, tiled backsplash/walls, monstrous picture window (if the stars align and smile down upon me), appliances, etc, so this post is so timely for us. Thanks! 🙂

  • That looks amazing! And it’s such a big kitchen too for quite a low price, I will definitely save this post!

  • Thank you for this! Very detailed- which is excellent.
    I would like to know more about sketching your own design drafts- yours looks so professional! Even with graphing paper, mine would be a mess! Or are there any computer programs or websites you would recommend for visually planning the space?

  • How many ways can I say thank you? This is exactly what I needed. I knew a kitchen reno was in my future the second I saw the kitchen on my 1935 home. There’s a reason it wasn’t pictured in the realtor listings. I’ve been planning and refining and cutting back and planning ever since. I’m finally nearing the costing phase, and your list will help me immensely. Your points about how long you plan to be in a space, staying true to the home while still making it modern, and not out pricing your neighborhood are all things I grapple with. Thank you again!

  • Mandi! I love how thorough this post is, definitely helpful! I’m for sure going to be referencing this once we start on our kitchen reno. 🙂 You’re incredible! xo -Sarah

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