I'm Amanda and I’m passionate about creating a well loved and well lived in home for my family and I I'd love to help you do the same!
When we first began researching our kitchen renovation, we were shocked at the quotes we were receiving for custom work. Cabinetry alone was going to cost more than we had budgeted for the entire renovation! So we decided to DIY the project using big box store cabinets. We wanted to make the kitchen look as custom as possible without spending a fortune. We used the following hacks and strategies to achieve a custom kitchen “high” look on a “low” budget. Here are the top tens ways we customized our kitchen for less!
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
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We chose Ikea cabinetry because their cabinets were by far the best quality for the price. Also, their online design tool made it easy to plan out space without having any special software. We designed this kitchen in 2010 so it was the old kitchen line (the equivalent now would be the SEKTION kitchen with BODBYN door fronts).
We designed this kitchen 10 years ago and it has stood the test of time because we went with classic styling choices. Do I love open shelving now? Yes, I do! Do I want a pretty range with gold hardware? I definitely do lol!! But I still love what we did too! You can’t go wrong with classic…simple white cabinets, wood flooring and marble counters aren’t trends even though sometimes they are trendy!
Mark customized this build in so many ways:
All the trim pieces were sprayed with a paint sprayer (with paint that was colour matched to the cabinets) to achieve a professional looking finish. We edged the pieces using a router to match the profile of the cabinets. And we used a jigsaw to cut curves, for example, the piece of plywood on the front of the sink cabinet that curves around the sink.
Hardware is like the jewellery of kitchen style. It sets the tone of the space and changing it can change the whole feel of the room! Hardware is a smart place to splurge if you are looking for
We stayed away from appliance packages when we were sourcing for our kitchen. Don’t be lured in by the promise of a better price. Appliance packages can make your kitchen look builder basic and you probably won’t get all the features you really want. Take the time to research each appliance individually and choose ones that work for your needs and budget.
Even though the kitchen was small and we had a budget, I wanted it to feel luxurious. So we added a few little features with big
Don’t be afraid to get creative and add that feature you’ve always wanted even if the kitchen isn’t part of a “dream home”. Remember my house motto… you can make your home dreamy even if it’s not your dream home. So put in that amazing built-in coffee maker or wine fridge or whatever feature you’ve had your heart set on!
By hiding the dishwasher and warming drawers behind cabinet fronts and building in the fridge and ovens, we made the kitchen streamlined and therefore more visually appealing. We also added as many drawers and pull-out options as possible in the layout to continue this streamlining. The garbage is hidden in a pullout
Our home is designed with a modern English Country Farmhouse vibe, so we added farmhouse flair to our design. We added a beautiful double
Because we had saved so much on cabinets and labour costs etc.. we were able to upgrade our countertops. We chose a beautiful honed Carrera marble. (If you are wondering about marble in the kitchen check out Should You Choose Marble Countertops) The marble makes the whole kitchen feel so luxe and it’s beautifully cool for baking!
Although we shed blood, sweat and tears taking on this custom kitchen renovation ourselves we are so happy with how it turned out! Any questions? Leave me a comment below!
And if you’d like to read more about our home renovation and design process check out these posts!
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I'm Amanda and I’m passionate about creating a well loved and well lived in home for my family and I'd love to help you do the same!
This is lovely. I found this an thought what the heck I will see what she has done that is so different from everyone else. To my delight and surprise you actually made sense and most likely saved the most money with your planning and smart buys. We are getting ready to redo ours and I will use some of your tricks and tips to help.
Aw thank you! I”m so glad that you found this useful. I always try to include as many unique ideas as I can and I’m so happy that these ones were helpful!
It was a good idea to add under-cabinet trim pieces to make your kitchen look that much better! I want to get new cabinets for my kitchen but I don’t have a lot of money. Do you have an idea on how to get cheap cabinets?
Thank you!! I def think Ikea has the best value cabinets out there, but painting your existing cabinets is always an option. I’ve seen some really amazing renos on tight budgets that completely transform the existing cabinets with paint, hardware etc.. New lowers and open shelving on top is always less expensive too if you have other storage options or are a minimalist in the kitchen! Also think outside the box, like a vintage table as an island or incorporate other furniture or second-hand pieces!
Excellent explanation. Anyone can easily comprehend since it’s simple & focused. Keep up the great work!
We are getting ready to put on an addition. We have a GE oven from the 50’s that I adore the color and it will be moving into the new kitchen. (Cooks to exact temp not to mention). Would fit right in with your backsplash tiles. I was wonder about your floor. Is it hardwood or a vinyl plank? Could you give me the scoop please. Thanks so much! Btw your kitchen and house are amazing!! Not to mention we are a house of gingers as well ????
Thanks so much! The floor is hickory with a stain and wax finish. It’s held up really well over the years (hickory is a fairly hard wood). Good luck with your renovation!
Great information!! Thank you!
I love your kitchen backsplash. Can you provide the name of the color from Daltile?
What is the size of your Island ?