Before and After: An Affordable, Traditional Kitchen Makeover
Only one word comes to mind when blogger Jessie Epley Short, the voice behind The Long and Short of It, thinks of her former kitchen: cream. When she and her family moved into their ranch-style home in Raleigh, North Carolina, the monochromatic culinary space had a 1980s country vibe with a scalloped window awning, simplistic cabinet faces, and two-tone tiled linoleum floors. Remodeling it was a priority. Scroll down to see the before and after shots.
“My goal was to design something clean and updated,” she says. That said, she didn’t want to break the bank, and it was important that she create a space that would be appealing to future buyers. “We knew that we would be moving within a couple of years and needed to think about resale, without sacrificing design.”
Being strategic about their budget and splurging where it counted most, she completely transformed the space in about six weeks. “On our renovation, we tried to save wherever we could,” she says. “We searched a local scratch-and-dent store for appliances, we found our farmhouse sink at IKEA, and we opted for semi-custom cabinets.” Short purchased her Shaker-style cabinet doors from a local cabinet company, 1st Choice Cabinets, and found affordable knobs and pulls online at knobs4less.com. “Adding brass hardware and dark grout really paid off,” she says. “It made a dull kitchen pop, without busting the budget.”
U.S. Ceramic Tile Bright Glazed Snow White Ceramic Beveled Edge Wall Tile ($2.80/sq. ft.)
Cutting corners where she could, she made room in her budget for two very impactful splurges: Caesarstone countertops, which she describes as “gorgeous and very durable,” and new hardwood floors. Both, no doubt, increased the value of her home.
Meanwhile, a few accents, such as a sprightly green fig leaf–print shade, rich blue ginger jars, a vintage Persian rug, and brass pendants, brought the space to life, creating those “ooh!” moments.
Another worthwhile cost? Labor. “I am a big advocate of working with a contractor who you trust when it comes to larger projects like a kitchen renovation,” she says. “They have great relationships with subcontractors and vendors that end up saving you time and money in the long run.”
Lewis Dolin Bar Knob in Polished Brass ($7)