In need of a kitchen makeover that doesn’t break the bank? With some intentional choices and a breakdown of manageable phases, I was able to get exactly what I wanted without overwhelming myself or my budget. I am so excited to share with you this fun transformation from a 90’s traditional kitchen to my fresh take on traditional-meets-modern kitchen makeover.
Kitchen makeover? Yes, please! Unlimited budget? I wish!
After completing my major living room refresh, I was left with little monies to complete the second half of this open concept living room/kitchen combo.
However, with some intentional choices and a breakdown of manageable phases, I was able to get exactly what I wanted in a doable amount of time without overwhelming myself or my budget.
I am so excited to share with you this fun transformation from a 90’s traditional kitchen to my fresh take on traditional-meets-modern kitchen makeover.
When you’re ready for your own kitchen makeover, don’t forget you can change a space dramatically one phase at a time!
Table of contents
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Phase 1: The Inherited Space (Before’s)
Like many, we bought our home from a previous owner who had a very different vibe going on. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 90’s, but the big red movement is not my jam. The hubs tried to convince me it was a good kind of red. I’m sure you can decide who won by the end of this post.
Phase 2: Making it Work
When we first moved in to our home, there was a thousand things that I wanted to change, fix, or make better.
Naturally, I could not do all of those things at once, so I ended up “making it work.”
Before I knew it, 2 years had gone by and my smile instantly turned up-side-down every time I walked into the kitchen. So, this was my attempt at ‘making it work.’
Forgive the low quality of these images, but I think it gives the real feels of what I felt during this phase.
Phase 3: Paint Upgrade
When enough became enough, paint was my first order of business.
I think red/maroon is a fine color choice, but not to the degree and level this house had incorporated it.
Because of the excess of red tones, I have developed what I like to call ‘red aversion.’
However, as I completed operation de-redify, it ended up feeling just a little too bare, so below you will see the stages of no accent wall to what we landed on with the full accent wall.
Again, quality of these before images are no bueno, but the final after photos at the end are the real feels.
Don’t mind the little baby boy checking out what’s going on in the corner there…
Phase 4: DIY Window Treatments
The window accoutrements were nothing to write home about when we moved in.
However, it didn’t seem to matter as much when the room was red.
When it was lighter (BM Revere Pewter), it seemed like the window’s were naked, especially since the window treatments were white as well.
I wanted to bring in some subtle pattern and color to offset the lighter walls, but cornice boxes are so expensive!! Did you know you could get a cornice box for $600? One!
Sure, it comes with installation, but I did not have that kind of dough since I needed two of them.
Enter the world of DIY!
Together with my dad, we made our own cornice boxes for $60! Total for both!
The cornice boxes were only part 1 of the window treatment stage.
I eventually changed the old school vertical blinds for drapes and a DIY roman shade.
I’d love to know if you are interested in how I made the roman shade over the sink, so leave a comment if you’d like to know more.
I have the window picture zoomed in a lot below because I actually added it after the backsplash, but I’ll save the full view for the final after’s at the end of this post. 😉
Phase 5: Backsplash Upgrade
As you can tell from some of these before photos above, the previous owners had opted for a 4″ backsplash.
To me, it always looked half done and cleaning the wall behind the oven was no fun. After getting cold feet with one handyman tile installer, I postponed the tile process.
The nice part of having postponed it was that I inadvertently allowed myself the time I didn’t know I needed to thoroughly consider my tile choice.
With the extra time, I was able to make a decision that I am so happy with.
This is a 4″x10″ subway tile in a light gray.
I’m in love! If you want more backsplash help, I wrote a whole post on how I chose the kitchen backsplash.
Phase 6: Lighting Upgrade
The lighting upgrade was probably the biggest change in our kitchen.
It has made such a difference in the overall aesthetic and feel when people turn the corner.
It was not as expensive as I had thought it would be.
If you need more, you can read my kitchen lighting tips post that talks all about how I chose these.
Phase 7: The Final Touches (Afters)
This is my favorite phase of the whole process!!
The final finishing touches make me giddy every time I walk through the door into the kitchen.
With the addition of a centerpiece I love that can be shifted to fit the holiday, the slate place settings, new island bar stools, pulls and knobs, and usable accessories, like our cutting board and coffee stations, displayed for functionality and beauty, I’m in heaven!
Close ups, full views, and around the room – all the angles!
I can’t wait to hear what you think!
(click on any of the images to shop the products)