DIY Kitchen Remodeling Tales

While knocking down a wall or reconfiguring a layout make the biggest differences, smaller tasks like adding an island or changing the backsplash can significantly alter a kitchen's style and function. We found three bloggers who survived months-long renovations to share their DIY kitchen remodeling tales.

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An Aqua and White Retro-Inspired Kitchen

teal and white kitchen

Tanya of Dans le Lakehouse had a vision for her DIY kitchen makeover: A bright white space with pops of turquoise to complement her growing Pyrex collection. From the start, she knew she wanted to paint the lower cabinets, and what better way to display her assortment of Pyrex than with open shelving?

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Wood-Paneled Walls

kitchen shelving

Removing the upper cabinets and tile backsplash left the walls in need of some TLC. Tanya and her husband patched problem areas with drywall and covered the entire space with affordable paneling. For storage, they hung laminated wood shelves that had been primed and painted the same color as the walls.

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Solid Maple Counters

blue and white kitchen

Can you believe the solid maple countertops started as 2-inch-thick rough planks that were 10-12 inches wide? After Tanya's husband and father-in-law built them, they were stained white and sprayed with a semigloss top coat. Although the finish is durable, Tanya is still very careful to quickly clean up spills and use trivets for hot dishes and coasters for beverages.

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Open Pantry

blue and white kitchen

To create the look of built-ins, Tanya and her husband lined up the shelving with the top of the refrigerator and the open pantry shelves. The pantry, another DIY project, was built with plywood and then primed and painted to blend in with the walls as well.

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Organize Your Pantry

See why open shelving makes for an even tidier pantry with these must-know storage tips.

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A Bright White Makeover for a Dark Galley Kitchen

sun light

It took Sarah of Sarah Hearts six months to complete her DIY kitchen update, but she believes it was time (and sweat!) well spent. She instantly brightened her dark and dated galley kitchen by painting the walls pale gray and the original 1967 cabinets white. Sarah loves open shelving but wasn't planning to replace the cabinets, so she simply removed some of the doors.

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DIY Subway Tiles

white shelving

It only took one day to replace the old backsplash with affordable white subway tiles. The installation was quick and easy because the new tiles were self-spacing. Keeping them the same color as the cabinets makes the galley kitchen look larger. The most expensive part of the DIY backsplash, according to Sarah, was renting a wet saw.

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How to Tile a Backsplash

Bring color and pattern to your kitchen with an exciting new backsplash design. Here's how to tackle the job yourself.

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Outlet Upgrades

subway tile

Quick fix: In Sarah's remodeled kitchen, her husband replaced two outlets with ones that have built-in USB chargers. No more lost wall adapters!

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Bistro-Inspired Counter Bar

white kitchen

Sarah's original plan was to cover the old laminate countertops with concrete for a modern look, but the new slide-in range made it difficult to get a proper fit. Instead, her husband and a friend installed butcher-block countertops, following the layout of the original kitchen. They created a bistrolike counter bar with a narrower piece of butcher block and replaced the traditional spindle legs with sleek hairpin legs.

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From '70s Drab to Fresh and Fab

gray and white kitchen

Jenna Sue's kitchen needed more than just a few cabinets painted or replaced to bring it back to life. Its drab '70s color scheme and cramped layout didn't jibe with her more contemporary aesthetic, so she spent five months renovating the kitchen from top to bottom.

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Supplemental Storage


After a wall was taken down, the entire space was gutted and reconfigured. Jenna Sue worked with a kitchen designer to find the perfect layout for the cabinets and major appliances. Then she used IKEA storage units to create a "built-in" pantry, bench seating, and a bar.

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Top-to-Bottom Upgrades

gray/blue and white kitchen

The months-long kitchen remodel was a true labor of love that included adding planks to the ceiling and walls, recessed lighting and speakers, and white subway tiles to the backsplash. The combination of textures and warm neutrals gives the room modern cottage appeal.

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How to Paint Cabinets

Ready to refresh your kitchen? Learn how to paint cabinets like a pro with this step-by-step tutorial.

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Kitty Corner


Jenna Sue considered every detail of her kitchen remodel, right down to her cats' food-and-water station. She even hung their silhouettes in DIY frames above the new dish holder made from scrap wood.

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