10 DIY Kitchen Before & Afters That Are Serious Eye Candy

A good, satisfying before and after is good — nay — necessary for the soul. It’s what keeps our design juices flowing and reminds us that almost anything is possible and few spaces are beyond repair. Today, we think we could all use some inspiration and design happiness so we are re-sharing this post with some breathtaking DIY kitchen renos done by YOU, the readers. If nothing else, we hope it provides a positive emotional lift to kick off your weekend and/or inspires a fun weekend project. Let’s get to it:

When I hear the words “kitchen renovation,” my first thought is always, “my god that’s a lot of work…and money.” But when I hear “DIY kitchen renovation,” I basically want to immediately take a nap because that my friends is A LOT of work and makes me tired simply just imaging it. This coming from someone who by no means “renovated” her kitchen but did attempt a couple of sizable DIY upgrades. Those were even nap-worthy. But aside from the guaranteed exhaustion, renovating your kitchen, a space where you spend SO much of your time (I mean your precious food is in there) is nothing if not completely worth it. We have proof.

So with all that said I am here to present to you some #ShowEmYourDIY badass readers who took on their old kitchens themselves and created something they could (and should) be extremely proud of. It’s time to see the dark, the purple, the magical painted garden kitchens hit the road and indulge in some serious “after” eye candy. It is Friday after all so bring on the sugar…

Let’s start with the less “gut the kitchen and start from scratch” and more “a little refresh”. While creating a completely new space is most likely everyone’s dream (i.e. Emily’s Mountain house kitchen that still makes me short of breath whenever I see it) not everyone can or wants to build something from nothing. That may be because it’s a rental, or money is an issue or a light refresh is all you really actually want.

Here we have Kendra Murphy’s adorable little kitchen. This kitchen SPEAKS to me as a long-term renter.

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All Kendra did was give a fresh coat of paint to her cabinets in Behr’s Granite Boulder, switched out the cabinet hardware, added that cute light and restyled the shelves. She did just a beautiful job and didn’t have to do an insane amount of heavy lifting to transform her wonderful updated kitchen.

Would you believe me if I said this next kitchen is for a family of seven? Jana Robertson and her husband want to eventually tear down this home and start from scratch to better accommodate their big family. So instead of pouring a bunch of money into something that will be someday demolished, they refreshed the heck out of it for a temporary, more livable situation.

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Down with the outdated wallpaper, new paint, counters, sink and appliances (which they could reuse) and they have a totally new feeling kitchen. Hope you get to see the whole new space someday. 🙂

Next up we have Avery Michael’s extremely happy and fresh kitchen. Want to guess how much it cost???

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This day-and-night transformation only cost $250. That’s right, the same price as a fancy pair of jeans (which, ha, we’re talking about tomorrow if you’re interested). She used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue and Pure White, brass hardware and this colorful rug. She then had her dad tile the backsplash a year and a half later. As you know if you followed my Makeover Takeover, I love a father-daughter reno project. She made sure to say that the $250 included even the paint brushes. What a difference a little paint and tile makes.

Now that we know the power of paint and hardware, let’s dive a little deeper into the world of DIY kitchen renovations.

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after photo by rachel loewen

Martha Pfister decided to save a lot of dollars by painting her cabinets and installing pretty hardware herself. So where she saved on the cabinets freed up some more money for a new countertop, backsplash, sink, faucet, floors and a new range. While this was not an easy renovation, it sure is stunning. The color of those lower cabinets (Benjamin Moore’s Misted Green) is so pretty. Are you also sensing a light gray/green trend here? In case you were wondering, the upper cabinets are Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace.

When fashion blogger Jess Ann Kirby tagged the #ShowEmYourDIY hashtag of her extremely charming and cozy kitchen, it was a no brainer that I needed to include it. Not only am I a fan of Jess (not because she has a great name) and her instastory humor/fashion, but her and her boyfriend have poured their hearts into their first home and it shows.

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What I also love and appreciate about their kitchen process was that it was a PROCESS. The initial transformation was an insane upgrade but Emily is the first to say if you don’t end up loving your initial design then switch it up. That is exactly what they did. So while the dark blue cabinets and medium toned floors were very pretty, they decided they wanted a lighter feel and repainted the cabinets with Farrow and Ball’s Inchyra Blue and bleached the floors. But then they got these beautiful Cafe Appliances and upgrade more they did. It looks pretty darn amazing all finished.

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Thanks for tagging, Jess!

Now onto Laura of Velvet Sweatpants Interior Design‘s kitchen transformation. Laura and her boyfriend bought this house to be a rental but decided to live in it for a while and I can whole-heartedly say that I can’t blame them. They are essentially a remodeling power couple as Laura is an interior designer and her boyfriend is a journeyman plumber and gas fitter. I KNOW. She has a real gem on her hands. Those are insanely useful skills to have on hand.

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after photo by paisley photography

With their skills combined, they had zero labor costs. But even still, this remodel still cost them about $12,000 CAD (which is roughly $9,000 USD). Not cheap but LOOK at that before and after. It turned out so beautiful and welcoming. Also, I want to note that this kitchen is one of many advocates for IKEA cabinets. They look so good. I love that they are footed because it gives them that little hint of modern to elevate the space. For those wondering, the paint color is White Dove by Benjamin Moore (an EHD fav).

Moving on…never have I seen such an artistic approach to a kitchen with a paint brush. Have you? So while unique, Manny Lopez and his wife felt similarly and wanted something, shall we say, a bit  more modern? They designed their new kitchen and recruited family and friends to help get the job done.

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They raised the ceilings, installed can lights and changed out the windows which got damaged during demo (renos are never boring). Swapping out the garden scene floors for new oak wood floors was also on the to-do list. Lastly, they invested in new appliances but had a family member make that amazing wood hood. To say it looks a lot better would be a grave understatement. Amazing job!

This next stunner is by Sarah Smith and her husband Chris. “We spent our nights and weekends building the kitchen after we got home from work,” she told us. “It took about two months to complete. We had a budget of $10,000 and kept to it. We did the demo, built, painted and installed the cabinet boxes and doors, installed and plumbed the sink, tiled the wall, and designed and hung the open shelves. We did everything you see except for the fabricating and installing of our Carrara marble slab. We were exhausted!” Well, all that hard work obviously paid off.

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For the cabinets and sink, they turned to IKEA. The lower cabinets are painted with Benjamin Moore Gray and the walls are painted fan favorite Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. Don’t worry I made sure to ask about the drawer pulls and the awesome shelf. The pulls are from Pottery Barn and they designed the shelf brackets but had them custom made. It all turned out so awesome.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have an amazing job then fall in love with a South African winemaker and move to South Africa with said love, now husband, and still get to do your amazing job remotely?? Oh and built a gorgeous kitchen? Well if you have, you can now vicariously live through EHD reader Whitney Ross le Riche.

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This kitchen is actually temporary and only cost them $400 in materials (gas, plumbing, and electrical was professionally done). I’ll let her explain how it all went down. “We patched all the water damage, painted the walls white, and painted the floor white with epoxy floor paint. I found a cabinet with a sink and faucet on FB marketplace for about $35, and it was in such rough shape that the sellers threw in another for free. We used another narrow cabinet my in-laws were tossing, and borrowed a bar cart and sideboard from family. We also built shelves into an old door we didn’t need. Throw in some trim scrap wood we already had to connect the cabinets, some melamine boards for countertops that we covered with marble Contact paper, and some leftover boards for floating shelves, and you have our kitchen! The bar stools were super cheap and the rug vintage, so the only real investment was our Lofra stove and LOTS of white paint.”

Here’s a view of the other side:

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Well, I am incredibly impressed and hope we get to see more from Whitney’s vineyard home in the future.

Last but not least we have a truly Emily Henderson-inspired kitchen remodel.

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Nothing makes Emily and the team happier than when a reader reaches out to say they were heavily inspired by one her designs. I mean look at that tile. It’s so freaking pretty. We are also definitely seeing those drawer pulls and obviously VERY much approve. I almost can’t believe that is the same space. Thanks Emma and Evan for sharing your wonderful kitchen with all of us.

Are you in a full-blown eye-candy sugar coma? Well, I am and I hope that you are gleefully inspired to potentially take on even a small project this weekend. Changing how your space looks can absolutely trigger positive change in your life and making that change with your own two hands (or the hands of a loved one, ha) is even more dopamine inducing. Go forth with confidence.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or ideas on what DIY topic you want next. Happy Friday.

Love you, mean it.

Fin Mark

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