The $159 Kitchen Makeover…REVEALED!

The last big part of our kitchen redo is (finally) finished!
Funny…these upper {European} cupboards were the very first thing we started working on…and the very last to finish…
Here was the kitchen when we first moved in:
cupboards before bad
And now…
upper cupboards after
(The strange upper cabinets hiding some big pipes are a whole other “can of worms”. We’ll tackle that later!)
upper cupboards by stove
Here’s the rest of the room, Before:
beadboard after keeper
whole kitchen
whole kitchen after
If you want to see any of the previous posts of the details, you can click on the links below:
From Black to White – A Dresser Makeover
DIY Kitchen Curtains
Painting European Cupboard Doors
Restoration Hardware Inspired Pendant Light
Old Window Message Board
Fabric Cupboard Doors
Beadboard (Wallpaper!)
Our original $100 challenge did expand slightly… Here’s the breakdown:

  • $100.00 for building supplies for the upper cupboards (DON’T make the same mistake we did! A combination of our being in a hurry to catch a ferry and a helpful but uninformed Home Depot worker caused us to pay about 2/3 more than we should have for our shelving! We have since discovered huge sheets of the stuff (with the white melamine-like stuff covering it) for much less than we paid for the already cut shelving…
  • $40.00 for beadboard wallpaper (and I have some left over to use for another project…)
  • $18.25 for pendant light above sink

The rest was all re-purposed or “borrowed” from other parts of the house and garage….
The paint colors are:

  • Walls: Designer Gray from General Paint (a close match to Benjamin Moore’s Gray Cashmere)
  • Backs of cupboards: Stratton Blue from Benjamin Moore
  • Trim and cupboards: Cloud White from Benjamin Moore

If you have any questions about any of the details of this little spiff-up, just let me know. I’ll be happy to answer.
Linking up to these great parties: Miss Mustard Seed, My Repurposed Life, Remodelaholic, Romantic Home, Chic on a Shoestring, At the Picket Fence, funky junk, tatortots and jello, lovely crafty home, I heart naptime, sisters of the wild west, my uncommon slice of suburbia, thrifty decorating, Freckled Laundry
Home Stories A – Z, One Project Closer, Making Lemonade


  1. 1

    Susan @ Busy Home Adventures says

    What a great after! The new color is so nice and that crown molding is awesome. I love your open shelves!

  2. 2

    Eileen @ Cottage Beach House says

    Wow. this is a big difference and it looks wonderful. I love the change up of where the fridge was to where it is now and the use of the bureaux there in the white paint looks fabulous.

  3. 3

    Remodelaholic says

    Oh my goodness, I love it all. I think you have done a wonderful job. i would love to have you come and write a special guest post about this at Remodelaholic. If you are interested please elt me know!


  4. 4

    Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage says

    This is beautiful!!! Great transformation! I thought my $1,200.00 remodel was a deal! (I did have to replace cabinets, and bought a dishwasher and garbage disposal, that I didn't have before!!!)

    I guest posted on Remodelaholic, too! Congrats!

    Happy Blogging!

    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

  5. 5

    Heather at Dusty Bay says

    You did a FANTASTIC job and should be proud of your efforts – well done, the kitchen looks beautiful!!!

  6. 6

    Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says

    Wow~ it is absolutely beautiful and on a budget! I love the open cupboards and all the details you added and the soft blue is just beautiful! Would love if you would come share this at Feathered Nest Friday :)

  7. 7

    Pink Overalls @DIY Home Staging says

    Nice job. I love a cost-conscious remodel. It shows vision and hard work.

    You are brave to have open shelving. It's a great look.

    How do you get away with not having a range hood? Downdraft?

    Thanks for commenting on my blog.

  8. 8

    Tracey Ayton Photography says

    The wainscotting is so beachy!! I too have a very large clock in my kitchen. It's funny because not only does the stove have a clock but the microwave does too. It's all for the love of style!! Great job!

  9. 9

    Joy @ Thrifty Parsonage Living says

    What a great transformation for such a great price. Everything looks beautiful, I love it!
    Great job!!!

  10. 10

    Tammy says

    I love the color, the wainscoting, and curtains! I'm your newest follower. I hope you can visit me sometime soon!

  11. 12

    At The Picket Fence says

    This is just a fantastic transformation! I remember seeing your darling curtain cupboards and it is so neat to be able to see the rest of the makeover. Everything is just lovely and we are so glad you shared it at Inspiration Friday this week!

  12. 13

    Elizabeth (Blue Clear Sky) says

    Oops, only half my comment showed up!

    Love the changes to your kitchen. You did a great job unifying the look and updating it. We have those same cabinets in our basement, my parents' former in-law suite. Now I am inspired to take the doors off the top and painting the lowers to hide the oak trim. Do you mind sharing your paint brand/type? Thanks so much.

  13. 14

    Elizabeth (Blue Clear Sky) says

    Lesson learned, I should check the links BEFORE asking the question. I just read the post describing the painting of the cabinets. Thanks!

  14. 15

    Kylie@StylishSettings says

    You must be so happy to have completed this. I love the cornice you added above the overhead shelves. Really gives it a custom made look. Well done. Kylie

  15. 19

    Becca says

    Your hard work and vision paid off … this is amazing! It's to light and fresh … love the skirts and great shelving!

  16. 22

    Donna G says

    Great job! . I am just finishing up the decorating projects before I share any pictures. Good to know it does end.

  17. 23

    Peggy says

    Wow I love your kitchen! It is similar to the look I would like to go for.

    Can I ask you some questions? Do you have your food located somewhere else? Was the beadboard wallpaper the paintable kind? We found some on clearance at Lowe's and I picked it up but haven't used it yet as I can concerned about the cleanability of it… I have to be able to clean the surface really well.

    Once again… great kitchen!!!

  18. 24

    Lizzy F. and Katie K. says

    What a fabulous makeover! I just love the new, breezy look. And those skirted cabinets… attached to the drawers? BRILLIANT!
    (found you through Funky Junk Interiors Facebook post)

  19. 25

    barbara@hodge:podge says

    Rita Joy, this is fabulous. Inspirational that anything is possible with a bit of imagination and a can of paint!

  20. 27

    1 Funky Woman says

    Love the countertops and the open shelving! The pendant light and curtain are perfect for the space. Love the color behind the shelving also!

    Following from Funky Junk Interiors hope you can stop by, I linked up also!


  21. 29

    ALittleWorld says

    Amazing job! Very inspiring.
    Maybe will even inspire my husband to help me tackle some of the projects on my endless list :)

  22. 31

    Robin says

    I can't believe this transformation!!! My kitchen is very much like yours and ive been wanting to remove all the upper cabinet doors…where do you store all your not so pretty things like canned goods and cereals?

  23. 32

    Katherine says

    The tops that were added to the cupboards make a huge difference along with the painted wood backsplash. Nothing like a DIY project to make a world of difference with a small budget!

  24. 33

    Kristin says

    Wow so amazing!!! It looks like a major $$ transformation. I'm blown away that you did it for so little.

  25. 36 says

    Great job on the finished Kitchen – it looks fresh, clean perfectly beach cottage. Congrats!

  26. 37

    Aimee @ The Stylish Nest says

    You did an amazing job! I really love the style too. It's so airy and bright.

  27. 38

    Nita {ModVintageLife} says

    I love your low budget makeover of your kitchen. I believe there is a lot you can do to a kitchen without spending a lot of money and you proved it. I'm working on a little redo of my own in my kitchen. Your's is very inspiring.

  28. 40

    Jena @ Involving Color says

    Your kitchen looks amazing! I'd love to add it to the inspiration galleries on my site and include you in a feature post. Let me know if you're interested!

  29. 44

    Denise at PinkPostcard. says

    It looks great!!!! I just saw that Miss Mustard Seed featured it- what an honor for you! :) Congrats!

  30. 45

    Cassie says

    Great Job! I also have light blue walls with white cabinets in my kitchen. I just love the airy freshness of your blue! Interestingly, like your blog name, I used a color by PPG called "Harbor Mist". :)

  31. 46

    marie says

    WOW! your kitchen gives me hope! my husband i are currently making plans to update our own kitchen…and a $159 makeover sounds right up my alley! GREAT job! i'm adding you to my feeder to see what else you come up with. :o)

  32. 47

    Rachael@LovelyCraftyHome says

    Great job! I love it so much I'm featuring it today on my blog. Thanks for linking and be sure to stop by for a button!

  33. 48

    Dixie Sargent Redmond says

    Wow! Great job using what you have. I totally love that. Amazing what losing the doors did. :-)


  34. 49

    ❀ JoAnne says

    So pretty!! You have done SO much work and I can tell you put your heart and soul into it – it means so much when we have a kitchen that we love!!

  35. 50

    Leslie says

    Wow! I was amazed that the refrigerator seemed to disappear with the blue walls!
    I put beadboard wallpaper in my kitchen last year and love it, too!
    What a difference painting that wood strip across the doors made!
    It's just beautiful and bright!
    Happy cooking and bon appetit!

  36. 51

    joanne says

    Wonderful! I have those SAME CABINETS – how did you change out the doors on the lower cabinets??

  37. 53

    Graziela says

    I seriously love this kitchen makeover, because of the open shelves as well as the fixture over the sink. I have two small cabinets over my sink that I can barely reach, as well as a shelf on either side. I like how you opened that up above the sink, I'm thinking I might do that to my kitchen.

  38. 56

    Stacey@A Sort Of Fairytale says

    absolutely beautiful and inspiring makeover! and for so little $$$!
    i love love love it!!

  39. 57

    Anonymous says

    Wow Rita! All that hard work has paid off … the kitchen looks amazing!!!! I love how fresh it looks … what a transformation, it was all worth the wait! Coffee would be lovely in there!

    Cheryl :)

  40. 58

    Ann from On Sutton Place says

    Favorite things: beadboard, skirts as doors and the painted dresser. Well done! You have a nice, open, fresh place to work now. So inviting!

  41. 59

    vintagevioletstyle says

    That is a seriously incredible makeover! I'm not sure I would have been able to see the potential in all that existing cabinetry, but now it totally rocks! I hope you pat yourself on the back every time you walk in there!

  42. 64

    A Pearl In The Making says

    Whoa!!! Great job. I have the same counters and they look so ugly, but the way you transformed your area with new color gives me glimmer of what mine could look like:)

  43. 70


    Hiya, I found you via Home Stories A to Z. I *LOVE* this makeover. All your choices are just lovely, and I *especially* love that it’s a real makeover spending hardly any money at all!!! AMAZING!! Inspiring because it feels like something ANYONE can attain… Well, financially at least. Well done! Thanks for sharing!!
    g i n a

  44. 72


    Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web
    host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

    I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  45. 75


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