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Kitchen Makeover

After almost 10 years of living in my house, I thought it was about time to remodel our kitchen. It looked tired and, for sure, dated. 

I followed a few DIY blogs that gave me great ideas and the courage to get into a kitchen renovation. After close inspection, I listed all the projects I wanted to tackle in our kitchen and sent that honey to-do list to the mister.  In my mind, he was the one that needed to tackle all the wooden projects that my kitchen needed.

The painting and decorating was my job, and the mister was in charge of the building. ;)

Ha, how wrong was I!

I kept waiting and waiting, and nope. The man didn't build anything. He could hardly take a measurement. 😩

Well. I call it a blessing in disguise because I got empowered to grab our old electric drill and the few tools we had at that time, and I started this kitchen makeover all on my own.

I had some experience with paint and a few carpentry skills doing other little projects around the house. My thought was: "Sure, I can do it!"

Well, it took a lot of work. But if I have to do it again, I will gladly do it, especially with the gained experience.

This is how the kitchen looked at the end of the major makeover:
kitchen renovation with roman shade, Firefly pendant light, painted cabinets,

The honey oak kitchen that I loved for many years.
A 90's kitchen with oak cabinets and white appliances - before.
*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

This little kitchen of mine was showing its age!
It was time to improve it, give it a cosmetic makeover, and at the same time, update certain features that I didn't like.
For instance, the kitchen island seemed to be a simple cabinet stacked in the middle of the kitchen with an outlet as its main décor in the center of one of its sides. :/
That space above the cabinets collected so much dust and grime.😖 I had to bring those containers down a few times during the year to wash them. I was getting tired of doing that task.
One important thing I wanted in my new and improved kitchen was a range hood that could get all those cooking fumes outside the house. That recirculating fan had to go!
I also wanted to say goodbye to those honey oak cabinets. The cabinets per se were suitable and sound, but I grew tired of that reddish tone. Oh, and those laminated countertops & appliances had also seen better days. 
kitchen with laminate counters and oak cabinets before being painted and transformed.

I wanted a simple makeover, keeping everything in the same place. But hey, once I started, the projects grew and grew.
The budget went upwards of what I wanted to spend, but in the end, it was a very economical makeover for all the new features that this little kitchen got!
You can check the complete BUDGET POST right HERE.

Let's dive into all the projects done to update this small kitchen!

The renovation started in the center by beefing up the kitchen island. You can see me there, working on adding moldings to that cabinet.

Well, I first built and installed a shelf on the side of the island to make it bigger.

On the other side of the kitchen island, I installed the microwave. I finally gained back my counter space!
How to install a microwave inside a kitchen island adding metal trim around it and installing a shelf on the other side.

Check the complete details of this KITCHEN ISLAND makeover right HERE.

The second project I got myself into was building a fridge enclosure. I noticed in other kitchens that when that gigantic appliance is inside a cabinet, for some reason, it looks less massive and gives the entire kitchen a more seamless look.
The first task was to remove that tiny 12"-depth cabinet and replace it with one 24" deep.

There were a few other steps done before that fridge enclosure could look like this:
how to build a refrigerator enclosure for your kitchen.

But you can check all the details on how to BUILD A FRIDGE ENCLOSURE right HERE.

OK, ok, let's hold it here. 
Raise your hand 🙋‍♀️ if you have built and installed a range hood? Especially if that happened circa 2010 when there wasn't a single tutorial online!
This was perhaps the project that gave me the most anxiety of them all. I was a rookie in remodeling a kitchen, and here I was, building and installing a range hood!

I was lucky to find a simple clue/visual, and from then on, I managed to build this range hood that has been in service for the past ten years:
how to build a range hood for kitchen using a hood liner and wood.

Closing that space above the cabinets was an easy and very economical project. 
Once done, it looked like this:

Learn how to close that SPACE ABOVE THE CABINETS by clicking right HERE.

After closing that empty space above the cabinets, the kitchen didn't look too fancy. 
It needed something else... MOLDINGS!
how to add moldings to existing cabinets - kitchen makeover

I sure gave it plenty! 

Crown molding, panel molding, base cap, screened bead, etc., etc. 

The paint was the element that gave this kitchen a cohesive look.
Armed with a paintbrush and a roller, I painted those cabinets.
My kitchen was totally transformed! 😍
Kitchen makeover on a budget - How to paint the cabinets

Installing a backsplash right after getting the countertops was the cherry on top for this kitchen makeover.

kitchen makeover with quartz countertops, BM Aura paint, LG appliances.
Pendant Light | Roman Shade - similar | Backsplash |

A lighting plan is one of the first steps during any kitchen renovation. Can-lights needed to be installed before closing the space above the cabinets.
kitchen transformation with shelf/bookcase and microwave were added to kitchen island.

After a full year of working in this little space, I could finally say it's DONE!

I LOVE my new kitchen!!

And guess what?

I gained tons of experience by doing it myself! 

Did I get into mistakes?

Yes, many, but nothing that I couldn't fix. ;)

What are you waiting for to start your own kitchen renovation?


A "new" roman shade treatment gave the kitchen a brighter look.
Updated kitchen on a low budget

And the addition of a built-in plate rack opened up the space.
builder's grade kitchen makeover on the cheap.

However, another mini-makeover was done to brighten up the space even more. 
How to update your kitchen on a budget

The kitchen island got a new color, the cabinets were customized some more, the range hood was given a new treatment, and the kitchen stools got a makeover too.
Well, this kitchen keeps on evolving.


Thanks for visiting!

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  1. Your kitchen remodel is absolutely gorgeous! I hope you'll answer two questions for me...first, where did you get the gorgeous light fixture over the island? And second, did you tile over the laminate backsplash that was originally on your wall, or did you remove it first--and if so, how??

  2. Hi Korrie, Thank you for your comment! The light fixture is from CB2, at the top is the Resources Page where you can get more info.
    No, I did not tile over the laminate backsplash, that little strip of laminate backsplash was removed by pulling it with a pray bar, making sure not to damage the dry wall! b/cause it was glued pretty dearly by the builder! The marble tile was laid over the drywall after installing the countertops. More info here:

  3. You had amazing vision to turn the before into such an incredible AFTER! I love everything you have chosen and done.

  4. Oh wow! I love your transformation!!!!! That is gorgeous! Congratulations!!!! So glad I found you on The Inspired Room! Great job! Can't wait to read more of your blog!

    Growing in Grace,

    Mary Joy

  5. It's just beautiful, breath-taking!!! Thank you! I'm glad I was able to connect through The Inspired Room.
    Debbie from the Northwest

  6. So pretty! I like that you mixed white cabinets with a dark island.

  7. Did you paint your own cupboards? Sand, prime & paint them?

  8. Gorgeous!! It turned out beautiful...My kitchen is a project that needs to be done, but I keep putting it off! I need to gather the energy to paint our cabinets! I'm now following your blog.

  9. Just gorgeous! I love the back splash and hood over the stove. Thanks for sharing.

  10. So pretty! We are getting ready to start a whole house remodel and this is exactly the layout I'm thinking will work in our space. Love the colors- traditional and contemporary at the same time!

  11. Cristina,
    I pinned your kitchen a few weeks ago, its gorgeous. I am going to feature it in a series I am posting on DIYing your kitchen at I love your attitude--you and my (Magnolia Lane) girl Christy could pretty much DIY anything, I am SO impressed!

  12. Love your kitchen! I was torn between doing mine dark or white...this is truly a great white kitchen! Wonderful job!

  13. Love this kitchen redo! Everything is so beautiful. Love the fact that you did it yourself, too. Newest follower.

  14. Gorgeous! Especially love that backsplash!

  15. Love it, love it, love it! Great job! I also have a microwave on the countertop and it bothers me! Found you from Centsational Girl (we were both featured!) and I'm glad I did because I found so many inspirational themes here! Of course I'm now following you! And if you'd decide on stopping by my place, I'd be more than happy! :)
    Have a lovely evening!

  16. What an inspiring kitchen...The before and afters is incredible!!! We just finished our kitchen makeover too...tons of work, but definetly worth it!

  17. What a beautiful transformation!!!! I love how you closed up the "dust space" above the cabinets!!!

  18. Wow! Your kitchen looks fabulous now! Super high end!

    And inspiring!

  19. Great update! I like the look after you took the molding to the ceiling. I'm wondering how tall your ceilings are in your kitchens? I'm trying to figure out if I can pull that off in my kitchen...Although mine are 12 foot I think..

    Thanks for reply!

  20. Hi Cassie,
    Great you asked me about that! I didn't mention that on my posts! My ceiling is 9'!

  21. Very Classy Remodel. Its amazing its the same kitchen.

  22. Wow!!! Outstanding and bright. Great job!!! I'm inspired

  23. Just so amazing...I am sharing this on my FB page! Hope you can visit!

  24. Dulce Christina... tu cocina esta fabulosa! Me gusta antes tambien, pero ahora esta muy hermosa, me encantan las lamparas, le dan el toque final a la increible remodelacion! Thanks for sharing.

  25. You have inspired me to update my kitchen. Yours is one of the best remodels I've seen, and I like you and your husband's DYI mentality. It is BEAUTIFUL. Hope to pull up my sleeves and start on my real soon. Maria M.

  26. Its hands down stunning! You made so many gorgeous design choices. I love it.

  27. You are just too amazing at all this! I added you to my favorites-so inspiring to me in my bath makeovers and kitchen one soon to come!

  28. wow… that looked amazing. such a great atmosphere. well done

  29. I'm simply amazed at your kitchen! It doesn't look like the same space at all, and I can't believe you re-used things like the cabinets and island! It's beautiful!

    ~Ellie @

  30. This kitchen makeover is magazine worthy! It is all so beautiful! I am so inspired to build things now. I know I can do it. I just need to get a kreg. :) I'm a new follower! Love your blog!

  31. As I am workking on my kitchen I have to stop and check out other projects to keep myself inspired. I love what you did! I wish I had a best friend like you. We could knock out each others projects in no time!

  32. Wow! I was directed here from Southern Hospitality. I still can't believe those are the same cabinets. That's amazing. What a beautiful renovation!

  33. You are one TALENTED lady! I LOOOV the range hood and the cabinets lok brand new! GREAT job!

  34. Love your remodel! Did you paint your ceiling and window trim the same color as your cabinets? Also what brand is your appliances?

  35. Thanks Anonymous! No, the ceiling and window trim were painted each a different white color. I don't remember the color I used for the ceiling, the window and all the trim in our house is painted Behr Swiss Coffee. The appliances are LG.

  36. This is a beautiful makeover. All your changes were so well thought out, and it looks like a million bucks!

  37. What are the dimensions of your kitchen? It looks like a similar layout to mine, but a bit wider. I'm looking into ideas to remodel our kitchen as we are coming up to 10 years in our house. I was thinking about expanding my kitchen, but looking at yours, maybe I don't need to. I LOVE your remodel!

  38. Thanks Teachermom! Measuring from the wall where the window is located to the end of the fridge, and the wall where the range is located to the end of the kitchen island, the kitchen is 10'x10'

  39. Gorgeous!!! Love everything, from your backsplash to your amazing lighting!!!

  40. came from TT&J's roundup - amazing transformation! definitely pinning :)

  41. It is truly a nice and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  42. I adore your beautiful kitchen. I can hardly believe it's the same room. Great job.

    Warmly, Michelle
    Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust

  43. Your kitchen transformation is FABULOUS Cristina and what I love the most is that it's got that special touch in the decorations, ONLY YOU have..with such great taste and talent. You can hardly believe it's the old kitchen!! The chandy is amazing. Gorgeous everything, my friend! Hope you're having a wonderful VALENTINE'S DAY!

  44. Wow, this is such a wonderful makeover! I also painted our kitchen cabinets 2 years ago, and eventhough I'm far from finished, I love how that single change transformed the space.

    I'm sharing your story over at my blog, I hope you don't mind... I think it's really inspiring!

  45. Wow, such an amazing transformation! Love the fact that the cabinets are the same but with a great new look. Good Job !

  46. Your kitchen and all the DIYs you put into it are so, so inpiring as we contemplate remodeling our kitchen. I can't believe you built that hood (and did the duct work!) I'm so excited to back through all your posts…..thank you so much for sharing all the projects that went into it!

  47. Kitchen is one of the places which need extra care and attention while working on them. But your story was different you did all in a casual way and it was interesting.
    kitchen renovation

  48. Where did you get your lights?! I can't find anything like them and they're beautiful. Let me know if you can. Thanks!

  49. What kind of knobs/handles did you use? Also where are they from?

  50. The knobs/handles were bought at The Home Depot, those economical packages. I don't remember their names or brand. Sorry about that.

  51. Thank you so much for letting us know this one. I'm glad to see your kitchen Remodeling services. Very attractive design I like it. I will visit your blog everyday to look if there is an update. Anyway if you want to have an example of Kitchen Remodeling services online.good information..!!!

  52. Where did you get the lights ?. Gorgeous kitchen!

  53. Wow! What a huge difference and just gorgeous!

  54. Great project! I am looking for similar window treatments to go in my kitchen - where did you find the grey/yellow/white shades?

  55. Hi Emily, the shade is the same brown roman shade but I used fabric to give it another look. You can see the how to right here:

  56. oh wow.. if mine will turn out just half this pretty I will be over the moon thrilled.

    thanks so much for visiting me, following and sharing this link....

    you did an amazing job. The transformation is Top Class!!

  57. Great choice of lighting...Must have good taste...I have the same CB2 light in my dining room. ;)

  58. I love your kitchen. Your back splash and light over your island are my inspiration for when I finally get to that point in my own kitchen.

  59. Hi Cristina!! I fell in love with your kitchen cabinet remodel!! My husband and I had "before" cabinets just like yours so when I saw how you transformed them, I knew I wanted to do that as well to ours... and we did!!! I just uploaded a blog post showing our kitchen cabinet update and I linked back to your blog. I would love for you to look at my blog so you can see how our kitchen cabinets turned out....all because of you!! :) We would have liked to add finishing details like a backsplash and so forth but we were moving to DC and time was against us. I love your blog and think you are very talented!! xo Anna

  60. I'm in awe (and a little jealous!) of your sense of style and eye. This is a fabulous makeover!!! Thanks for sharing all of your details.

  61. Hi! I know I am a couple years late to this, but can I ask you what the height of your ceilings are? I have been considering the light fixture but fear it may not work in our kitchen.

    1. :) Not a problem Laura, Thanks for stopping by! They're 9 feet. I'm still using the same fixture.

  62. Beautiful- you mentioned keeping the budget low but it certainly looks expensive! would you share approximately how much you spent- at least on the cabinet toppings and fridge build up? Thanks

    1. That's one of the most economical parts. I used MDF / plywood. It would be around $200 max. Not counting the cabinet above the fridge. What usually brings the budget up are the tools, if you don't have them.

  63. I know I am a couple years late to this, but can I ask you what the height of your ceilings are? I have been considering the light fixture but fear it may not work in our kitchen.

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