BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

Kitchen Makeover

Hi, my name is Alexandria Szwarc, and I’m so excited to be with you at Style Spotters! I am a DIY home improvement blogger at DIO Home Improvements (the DIO stands for “doing it ourselves”). Being featured in Better Homes and Gardens was a dream I never thought would become a reality!

How it happened.  In January, I received an email from a Better Homes and Gardens remodeling editor asking me if I would be interested in having my kitchen makeover featured in the May issue. I had to re-read the email a few times before it hit home and I determined this was real!

After exchanging a few emails, a photo shoot date was set for two weeks later. The night before the shoot, two BHG photographers arrived at my home to do a walk through and unload their equipment for the following day.  As one can imagine, I didn’t get much sleep that night with too many thoughts running through my mind.

The following morning a stylist arrived at my home. After helping to unload her car full of props, she got to work on setting the kitchen up while I got ready. A short while later, the photographers arrived and started setting up their equipment.

The day was a whirlwind to say the least!  Everyone made the shoot so much fun and put me at ease since I much prefer to be behind the camera! A few hours after arriving, they had their shots and my interview was over.  I sat down still not believing that in a few months my kitchen would be in the biggest home magazine there is!

A couple of weeks after the shoot, I received an email of the photo proof that would be used in the May issue. It was so hard not to share that with everyone!  In April I received a package with my copies of the issue. I was beyond excited! I couldn’t wait for it to hit the stores for my family and friends to see it!


A little more about my kitchen. When I looked at my house before buying it, I cringed at the kitchen and both bathrooms, but I knew these rooms had potential. Growing up in a house that was 100 years old and full of character, one of the things I missed most about my current house was the charm that’s lacking in newer homes.

The first project I did in my kitchen was the wall opposite the door to my yard. I added interest to this area by attaching craftsman-style wainscot and making a new air return vent cover. When asked how I came up with the idea for the door on my refrigerator surround, I explained the air return vent cover I made. I loved the Union Jack sheet metal that I used in that project and thought it would look great above the refrigerator. I was also on a very tight budget and wanted to use what I already had in the house!

Another project I did in the kitchen before redoing the cabinets was building a plumber’s pipe bench.  I have been obsessed with all things plumber’s pipe for about six years now.

I’ve often been asked how I came up with the idea of redoing my cabinets. The house I grew up in had 12-foot ceilings, my previous home had 10-foot ceilings, and my current home has 7.5-foot ceilings. I felt claustrophobic when I first moved in here. I wanted to make the kitchen feel taller. I was able to accomplish that by adding height to the cabinets. It worked because now I feel short in the kitchen!

I wanted to add the refrigerator surround because I felt it would make the kitchen look more custom and expensive than it actually is. After the cabinets were finished, I painted my refrigerator and range hood with appliance paint. Yes, you can paint your appliances! I also had some leftover fabric that I used to make a faux roman shade and matching roller shade for my kitchen window. You can see more of the cost breakdown and how-tos of my kitchen makeover here.

Being a part of the Better Homes and Gardens experience has been a dream come true and so much fun. You are invited over to DIO Home Improvements at any time to follow along with my projects or  talk about your own projects. I love seeing readers’ before and after photos!



Hi Everyone! My name is Shavonda and I’m the blogger/author over at  A Home Full Of Color. A Home Full Of Color is where I journal all my décor and DIY shenanigans, and share my love of all things interior design.  I love colorful, eclectic spaces and I’m always on a mission to try and infuse that love into my home.  I’m so excited to be here guest posting on BHG Style Spotters today, and I’m thrilled to be sharing a bit more about my I Did It kitchen project.







When we moved into our home we loved that it offered plenty of space for our young family.  What we didn’t love so much was the very bland, tan, cookie-cutter interior that accompanied its planned neighborhood exterior. We knew right away that had to change and I wanted to start with the kitchen. When we first toured the house I loved its potential and started brainstorming ideas right away.

We stretched our dollars by keeping the layout the same and choosing to make impactful cosmetic changes. We painted the cabinets & removed some doors, installed hardware, installed a backsplash, updated the faucet, and even painted and stenciled the floors!

The project was truly a labor of love and was over a year in the making!  Since my wife and I have completely different design styles and we needed to stick to a very strict budget, every decision took time and compromise. Though it was slow going, the end result is a space we enjoy being in and is a true reflection of us.

The opportunity to be in Better Homes and Gardens has been an absolute dream come true.  It’s still so surreal to me that I’m actually within the pages of a huge source of inspiration for me.  When I first got the email from Kit Selzer about interest in featuring my project in an upcoming edition of the magazine I couldn’t believe it.  Even after our conversation scheduling the photo shoot I was still in disbelief.  It wasn’t until the stylist, Laura Hull, and photographer, Edmund Barr, arrived at my house that I realized this was actually happening!  Before I knew it they were working their magic and we were under way.

At the end of the day I was left with a wealth of knowledge, and memories of one of the best days of my life, both of which I’m so grateful for.  It’s definitely an experience I’ll cherish forever.

Thank you again, BHG for having me.  For even more details on this project and to follow along on with more of my colorful adventures, be sure to check out my blog.  You can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.



Welcome to our new Friday Finds series where I’ll be sharing some of my favorite posts from our BHG Insiders. Here’s what’s inspiring me this week…

I always been a fan of patterns but didn’t consider working triangles into decor until I saw this collection of triangle wall treatments from Oleander and Palm. It’s such a bold way to dress up white walls!


Whenever I go to the farmers market I consider buying succulents but never do. These stylish DIY PVC planters from Squirrelly Minds might be enough to get me to finally make the purchase. 


I don’t know what’s more impressive about this 2 Day Kitchen Makeover from Not Just a Housewife – that it was done so quickly or that it cost less than $600.


I hate to say it but summer’s winding down and it’s almost time for school to start. On the bright side, at least you can personalize your little one’s supplies with these “Property Of” printable stickers from Confetti Sunshine!


I love how Finding Home Online turned vintage doors into a DIY desk! Plus, the colorful accents and cute office accessories really pull the entire look together.



Bloggers, would you like to work with us and have a chance to be featured in our upcoming Friday Finds? Apply to be a BHG Insider here!

- Kenzie Kramer, Social Media Editorial Assistant



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