Before and After: This DIYed Kitchen Was Totally Worth All The Effort

This DIY kitchen was a massive undertaking involving moving windows, removing and building walls, wiring, and plumbing, but all that hard work paid off beautifully in the new, larger, greener kitchen.

First things first: This new kitchen is in a completely different spot than it was before, so there’s simply no way to perfectly align the “before” and “after” photos. Here’s how the mastermind behind this renovation, Colleen of Lemon Thistle, explains it:

The wall between the kitchen and dining room was removed, and the kitchen was moved to where the dining room was and the dining room was moved to the front of the house.

Therefore, the photos are paired up based on what features they contain: fridge and sink, stove, bay window, dining area, and so on. The white backsplash tile is shimmering delicately, the new floors are stunning, and the cabinetry is a glorious color that’s green, blue, and gray—none of those colors yet all of them at once. Overall, the new kitchen is bright and airy but with plenty of color.

The old kitchen was much smaller, and though it had a good amount of storage, now the new one has even more.

The fridge, stove, and dishwasher are from three different companies but are unified by their stainless steel finish. This is a great approach if a kitchen has very specific needs that a single company can’t fulfill, if getting the best deal is a top priority, or if you’re saving up and buying appliances over time.

The laminate flooring is wonderfully pale and streaked with dark walnut, and though it looks amazing, the story behind it is so stressful. Colleen had installed laminate throughout the rest of the main floor, but it was discontinued before any was purchased for the kitchen and dining room. So to unify the entire floor, that new laminate was ripped out and replaced with this one. The wood floor, along with the table and leather stools, balances the sleekness of the appliances and cabinets.

Speaking of the cabinetry, the full-height pantry wall not only adds more storage, it disguises a quite uneven wall (the interior cabinets therefore have three different depths).

One challenge with the old kitchen is that there wasn’t a great work spot next to the stove; that little L of countertop is a bit awkward.

There’s now so much more counter space near the stove, and on both sides, which is wonderful if two people are cooking at the same time. Speaking of the new counter, it’s a lovely quartz with very subtle details. There’s enough veining to add a bit of organic beauty but not so much that it overwhelms.

The open shelving is used for actual storage and not just a few trinkets, but the pantry wall means that there’s more hidden storage than before, so no space was lost.

And that range hood is gorgeous and dramatic, such an elegant solution to a kitchen necessity.

This dining area was very nice! The slightly fussy light didn’t go exactly with the modern furniture, but it all looked good, the color is intriguing and the light is fantastic.

Here’s a view of the new dining room, placed conveniently at the end of the kitchen. Thanks to the removal of a wall, the natural light now flows all the way from the living room to the far end of the kitchen, bouncing off the white walls and tiles to create a glow. The dining room chandelier links quite nicely with all the black hardware and lights in the kitchen. This is such a job well done—a kitchen that looks like it’s a joy to cook and live in.

Thank you, Lemon Thistle!



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