Design & Planning Kitchen | Designs by You

Before-and-After | Amelia H.

Amelia Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

Our goal was to gain more usable storage space. We had an over-hang in the kitchen before and it blocked the view to the living room. When company was over and I was cooking, it felt like I was cut off from everyone else. Now I love entertaining!

Amelia After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

Get family and friends to help with the demo. That saved us money right off the bat. We hired professionals for the rest. Also, ask the contractor for their input. We got some really good ideas that we wouldn't have thought of.

Before-and-After | Amy N.

Amy Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

We saw potential, despite the smell in this 1957 ranch style home. We wanted the kitchen and attached den to flow as one large room for entertaining,so we removed the wall of cabinets and bricked in a window on the opposite wall to add some of the cabinets back in. Our goal was to create a comfortable functional area that our family could enjoy in the evenings while I prepared our dinners. I also made certain that I had ceramic flooring in a terracotta shade (as to not show trash) because of all the traffic to and from the pool located just off of the kitchen. It's everything I'd hoped for!

Amy After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

Always budget for the unexpected! Unforeseen problems are going to arise..just make sure you've put a little extra to the side for them! Try to do everything you can yourself to save money..labor will eat you up! But, who wouldn't agree that those guys earn every penny? Plan ahead and take advantage of coupons for your local hardware store as well as purchasing items such as lighting, faucets and door hardware when they are at rock bottom prices! (The pot rack over my island was my first purchase approx 8 months before we started the remodel!) Remember to have fun..this is YOUR dream kitchen!

Before-and-After | Anne P.

Anne Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

I did a whole house remodel and the kitchen was completely moved into another floor of the house. I used all Moen fixtures in the new kitchen and three new bathrooms. My contractor hand built all the cabinetry out of Fir and I tongue oiled them. The floor is ash. Granite counter tops have an antiqued finish.

Anne After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

The best advise I have is to know your contractor. Personally I didn't know this person. He had an excellent reputation and I was told was expensive. I appreciated that he and I could work together, he was open to my suggestions and I appreciated his suggestion, after all he had a lot of kitchens. When he gave me a quote it never came in higher and I appreciated that. After seeing the quality in comparison to other houses I go into, I realize you get what you pay for. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him.

Before-and-After | Ben S.

Ben Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

The goal was to update the kitchen and improve it's function. The house was an old cheese factory that had been neglected for 50 years. My partner and I love cooking and wanted a stylish, easy to use kitchen that flowed with the rest of the house. The flooring was the first to go. We decided to replace appliances and lighting second. I added recessed lighting fixtures to illuminate the cabinets. Lighting was also installed under the cabinets. I removed the counter top and replaced it with a new textured granite style one. The a granite composite sink replaced a stainless steel one.

Ben After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

Write down all the things you use the space for if it was your IDEAL space. Then try to incorporate them into what you have to work with. Take your time, If you can't afford to do it all, don't buy cheap things, do it right the first time. With all the new improvements my kitchen is now a part of my home and is the center of all activities within the house. It's truly a space I love to work and live in.

Before-and-After | Bronwyn R.

Bronwyn Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

We needed to transform a dreary, dirty out-of-date kitchen into something fun and modern with a small budget and a short amount of time.

Bronwyn After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

Shop around for the best prices. Think creatively about materials. But most of all, don't be afraid of bold color choices. We have never for one moment regretted the choice of cobalt-colored tile and contrasting orange-toned maple cabinets and countertops. The use of color is what really makes this kitchen uniquely ours.

Before-and-After | Chris L.

Chris Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

Our remodeling goal was to create a sleek, contemporary, environmentally-friendly kitchen. Green building material and non-toxic finishes were selected in building custom Bamboo cabinetry with black quartz countertops. Outdated appliances were replaced with energy-saving state-of-the-art stainless appliances, and a new polished porcelain tile floor was installed. The smoke-colored glass door, cook top splash, and accent shelf were all installed using recyclable glass. We achieved our goal by designing a kitchen that contributes to the preservation of our environment and to our enjoyment.

Chris After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

An important remodeling tip is to research products and materials before you select them by visiting showrooms, checking the Internet, and looking through magazines to gather ideas. It is wise to check references, licenses and insurance coverage for all contractors and workers. Our remodel was completed without any major problems, and the craftsmanship is superb. If you can do your own designing, contracting and some of the work yourself, you will save yourself a considerable amount of money.

Before-and-After | Diane G.

Diane Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

The goal was to make the kitchen reflect our personal style, rather than that of the builder. The kitchen and dining area are open to each other. So colors were pulled from the favorite dining room rug, we installed a combination of saffron-colored painted and glazed cabinets and garnet-stained alder cabinets. Plus a hand-glazed tile counter and backsplash in shades of khaki, honey, and deep red, and the island got a stunning, character-filled slab of typhoon green granite.

Diane After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

Start with a favorite piece to serve as the focal point of a design. In our case, it was a favorite rug that now sings with all the other finishes in the kitchen/dining space.

Before-and-After | Jennifer R.

Jennifer Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

Our goal was to transform our bland kitchen into a modern, scrumptious space that we could be proud to entertain in. My husband and I didn't have the option of upgrading the kitchen when the house was built. As a graphic designer, I took the remodeling opportunity to infuse my style and personality into the kitchen. We went from being embarrassed of our kitchen to the home that hosts all of the family gatherings and dinner parties.

Jennifer After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

Do what you can yourself to save money. We only hired out to do the cabinets and countertop. You can save thousands in labor costs from demo, electrical, plumbing to tile installation. Be prepared to live without a kitchen. The remodel feels like it is going to be forever when you are going through it. It looks so easy on a 30 minute TV show. But in the end, it is worth all the time, money and sweat equity invested.

Before-and-After | Jonathan I.

Jonathan Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

Turn an ugly, poorly designed kitchen into a useful, modern, and attractive space on a budget. We wanted the kitchen to enhance entertaining, be useful for cooking, and show our personal style with curves and blue glass. We achieved a look that's balanced with an antique stained glass window. We gutted the room, created a new space plan, ceiling and lighting design, and got new appliances, flooring and fixtures. We worked with a designer, but created many of the layout and design details, and designed and built the new multi-level ceiling and installed the backsplash and floor ourselves.

Jonathan After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

Spend as much time as possible planning before you start because you only get one chance to get it right. Do research and visit show rooms that have full-sized models. Move on if a designer doesn't "get it". By the time we found a designer we could work with we had the design virtually finished, but were introduced to some great ideas that only come from experience. Introduce style components that make the space yours. Do some of the work to save money if you can, but not if you don't have the skill. Shop around – getting great style doesn't mean getting expensive items.

Before-and-After | Linda W.

Linda Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

The main goals for my tiny, dated and dreary kitchen were to maximize the 8' X 12' floor space, create additional storage and include an eat-in area. I painted the walls black, the ceiling green and the existing cabinets a fresh bright white. The warped countertops were replaced with beautiful green and white flecked solid surface formica. A white ceramic tile backsplash and dentil crown molding were added, decorative feet were attached to the cabinet bases, and a new energy efficient window was installed. A frame created from crown molding dresses up the ceiling florescent light fixture. Creativity was essential in developing a plan for an 8' non functional wall. This wall was only 4" from the doorway so it was extremely limited. I built a 4" deep floor-to-ceiling shelving unit and backed it with mirrors to create a sense of openness. This functions as a display area for Fiesta pitchers as well as additional storage for dry food items. Next to the shelving unit, a solid surface countertop was installed to create an eat-in breakfast bar. To eliminate countertop clutter, a stainless steel shelf was installed discreetly behind the entry door to create a small coffee bar.

Linda After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

Start with a design plan but remain flexible as you go. The design will evolve as each element is installed. As you shop and browse thru magazines keep your eyes open for unique ideas. Enlist the help of both professionals and friends and be open to their suggestions. Have fun creating your dream room and enjoy it to the fullest when completed!

Before-and-After | Nancy H.

Nancy Before
Before

My Remodeling Goal

Our goal was to align our kitchen with the rest of the beautifully modernized 1860's farmhouse. In contrast, the "highlights" of the kitchen included a countertop cutting awkwardly across the bottom of an old-glass window, busy purple and beige wallpaper, and dark cabinets sticky from years of cooking sausage with a poor exhaust fan. Our goal was to make the large, centrally located kitchen the focal point of the house, a room that took your breath away but was entirely functional. Our final goal was to do all of the work ourselves; the only paid labor was $150 for drywall taping.

Nancy After
After

Tips and Advice from My Remodeling Experience

We recommend having friends or relatives who are handy and hard-working. We also recommend living close to a hardware store for everything from drywall screws to drop cloths. Ironically, we recommend having a reliable crockpot for numerous meals of pulled pork and chili simmered in rooms other than your intended kitchen. Finally, plan the "big picture" in advance, but leave the finishing details open to adaptation, serendipity, and desperate creativity. You will amaze yourselves. We admire our wonderful kitchen every day, after enjoying it for more than two years already.

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