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Affordable kitchen makeovers

Simply by adding a coat or two of paint and adding a few new upper cabinets, this kitchen was transformed from cutie cottage to timeless and traditional.


New countertops, cooktop, sink, faucets, lighting and cabinet hardware were added, but other than that, it was just a paint!  The homeowner saved $ because they did all the work themselves with the exception of plumbing and electrical work.

Despite a toddler on the loose and a baby on the way, this homeowner and his wife decided to take on a complete kitchen remodel.

The kitchen had been done on the cheap by the previous owner and looked it - there were cheap chipboard cabinets, stained sheet linoleum flooring, and rotting faux butcher block laminate counters.

They constructed their own cabinets and added undermount lighting - by doing all the work themselves (except for the countertop installation) and taking the time to find deals on the granite and appliances, they managed to save a fortune.

A young family with a 1950s house took on the challenge was to revitalise a bland and dysfunctional kitchen. They wanted to create an airy space that would fit their modern aesthetic life but still be appropriate to the character of the home. By playing with contrasts of light and dark they gave this small kitchen an open feel.

They created storage space by maximising cabinet heights and developing clever storage locations. From a design perspective, they chose to combine modern touches with traditional design. For example, a rich quartz countertop sets off timeless shaker cabinets, and a glass tile backsplash showcases classic design.

This brick cottage underwent major renovations in 2007 to improve its efficiency and flow. It was completely gutted and reworked. The design included ready-made cabinetry bookended by custom pantry cabinets.

By adding the custom pantry units and a 2 metre long island, they achieved a high-end look at a reasonable price. A streamlined shelf improves the perception of space in an otherwise long, narrow room. The glass backsplash - in elongated shapes and varied widths - ties the look together, putting a modern spin on the timeless textures of brick and wood-plank flooring.

Our home was built in 1926, and the kitchen had last been remodeled in the 1970s or '80s, so we gutted it to bring back the charm associated with the home's original time period. We went for a period look but still included all of today's modern conveniences.

We opened up the doorway from the dining room to accommodate a double door, and we added a built-in bench to make a true eat-in kitchen. We took out all of the soffits to make use of the 9-foot ceilings and create a more open space. It is now our dream kitchen!

After three years of pondering ways to squeeze more style and function into the existing footprint, they called on Holly Rickert from local design-build firm Ulrich Inc. to wring maximum benefit out of minimum rebuilding. Casting about, Rickert saw a way to cut into the back of a closet in an adjacent room and annex 6 square feet. "That allowed us to have our fridge," says Bonnie. Shown: The original kitchen lacked function as well as period charm.


Sometimes, living with a dysfunctional, dated space for years allows you to really envision the look and utility you want. When Butch and Bonnie Filippi got ready to overhaul the eat-in kitchen in their 1918 house in Westwood, New Jersey, they yearned for a more period-appropriate style along with more storage and prep space—not to mention a 36-inch range and 42-inch fridge. But they liked the room's proportions and saw no reason to make it bigger.

Shown: Everything's new but looks old again, from the cabinets' recessed panels and reeded-glass inserts to the black and white hexagon floor tile, vintage-green wall tile, and schoolhouse lights.

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