$500 Makeover: Retro to Contemporary

It took $474 and a weekend to turn this kitchen from ho-hum retro to chic contemporary.

After the Makeover

A fresh coat of a custom-blend beige paint for $30 from Sherwin-Williams was an easy upgrade to this formerly aqua kitchen area. Other DIY-friendly switches, such as tiling the backsplash and updating the cabinetry, were key to making this makeover a success.

Before the Makeover

The kitchen had good bones but needed a few updates. Worn countertops, a dated wall color, and an aluminum tile backsplash were easy to update.

Fresh Cabinetry Look

With the new style, the cabinetry needed an update, too. Since the black-and-white paint still worked, the front of the cabinets didn't need to be repainted. Instead, the homeowners added a fresh look to the back.

Back-of-Cabinet Surprise

To add interest to the open cabinetry, the homeowners adhered wrapping paper to foam core and placed it against the back wall. The paper came from Paper Source for $16.

High-Performance Sink

A new sink and faucet were necessary to match the new, modern feel of the kitchen. The homeowners replaced a well-worn enamel sink with a stainless-steel model. The sink was $120 from Wilsonart. The faucet was only $50 from a discount faucet Web site.

Classy Backsplash

Mosaic glass tile replaced the old aluminum tile backsplash. The mosaic tile adds a touch of class, and it's an easy project for a do-it-yourselfer. For $120, the glass tile from Modwalls created a focal point in the kitchen.

Keep What Works

The kitchen's beaded-board wainscoting still looked good, so it stayed. The homeowners spiced up the existing red window shade with leftover fabric from the shades in the dining room area and $5 worth of ribbon.

High Style For Less

The old laminate countertops were cracked and worn. New laminate countertops, in a design that mimics solid-surfacing, were an inexpensive update for $98 from IKEA.

Space Saver

Before, the homeowners stored hard-to-access boxes holding kitchen supplies on open shelves above the fridge. Now, handy storage containers give a quick view of what's inside. Plus, they look neat and organized.

Pantry Storage

Instead of building a new pantry, the homeowners placed stackable cubes beside the refrigerator. Adding a rod and curtain was an easy way to conceal dry goods while showing personality.

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