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36 Kitchen Remodeling Before and Afters That Only Look Like a Million Bucks

Let’s face it, Americans are obsessed with home renovation. It’s on our televisions nonstop, at the news stands when we check out at the grocery store, and don’t even get us started on social media channels like Pinterest and Instagram constantly showing us drool-worthy home re-dos. And since the kitchen is the heart of most homes, it’s a great place to start when revisioning your home.

But because it is the heart of the home, remodeling your kitchen should come with a lot of consideration — especially if you’re planning to live on site while remodeling is happening.

The Spruce gives seven things to think about before beginning a project. Set your budget, do your homework, plan for hidden costs, quality is key, eliminate the unnecessary, remember the kitchen is a functional space and that it must be built to code.

It’s easy to think you can do it all yourself, but if you’re considering re-arranging the layout of major appliances — especially if it impacts gas and water lines — you should get the help of a licensed contractor. You can always have the major work done by the pros and do the finishes on your own if you’re looking to save labor costs. Tile, painting, and flooring are doable for most weekend warriors, thanks to DIY television and internet tutorials.

Take a look at these 16 kitchen transformations and check inspiration off your list!

From Cottage Cringe to Cottage Chic

From 70s avocado and raw wood to grey-washed gorgeous, Fresh Coast Flips transformed their rental on Lake Michigan into something almost unrecognizable. Keeping the layout the same but giving the space a major modern refresh, the results are bright and airy. Gone are the old formica counters, and the new wood cabinets are light and just right. This is the perfect perch for lazy Saturday morning coffee and for wine and charcuterie after a day on the water. It just goes to show that small can be special.

Martha Stewart Eat Your Heart Out

This original kitchen was something of an 80s Tuscan nightmare, complete with a terra cotta tile backsplash. Now, it’s a romantic country miracle. The rustic beams and new windows give this white kitchen soul without being too over the top. Megan Miller removed the upper cabinets and replaced them with floating shelves that lift the eye. Soft grey-green wood cabinets are fresh and pair beautifully with the butcher block counters — and we’re obsessed with the striped jute rug.

Move the Walls, Make a New Room

Eli Acre gives us a look at the guts of this reno in a shocking before and after. By removing a bathroom that was behind the oven and stove, they created an open, functional kitchen that really is the heart of this home. Vinyl, wood-look flooring is perfect for kitchen spills and brings a lot of warmth. The new peninsula is generously sized and a great spot for family and friends to congregate. And let’s talk about the backsplash! It gives the space such incredible visual interest.

Quick Change

Painting the upper and lower cabinets white and changing out the hardware makes this kitchen look brand new. Before, the wood toned cabinets didn’t show off the unique character of the countertops. Now, the modern matte black hardware and crisp white paint makes a mismatched space look super chic. P.S in case you’re considering a painting reno, Kayla Payne also offers a DIY cabinet painting class so you can start off your remodel like a pro.

From Hey, Nice Space to Holy Gorgeous Kitchen!

Aliesha Porto shares a jaw-dropping transformation in her Georgia kitchen. What is so fun about this before-and-after is the progress she made in four years. She started out with a functional, traditional kitchen. It had pretty wood floors and stonework on the backsplash and peninsula, but the first transformation was painting the cabinets white, changing to a subway tile backsplash, and installing cool black pendant lights. Plus the addition of those cool wicker barstools. The next phase of redesign meant changing out the fixtures and cabinet pulls for stunning metallic copper. The ultimate wow are the glass pendants over the bar seating area.

Buh-Bye Drab, Wasted Space. Hello, Showstopper

We love a navy cabinet treatment. We love a bright window. We love a deep farmhouse sink. We love preserving cool architectural elements like arched doorways. Basically, we love everything about this transformation from @thepomhome — including her design philosophy. “It’s sometimes hard to know where to start” and you need to “really ask yourself what you want from the space and how it’ll work for you.”

Making the Most Out of the Space

Owner @jennnwood took another brown, outdated kitchen and turned it into a sleek, but still utterly homey, space. By rearranging the dining area and moving a settee into the kitchen, proper, the layout works so much better. There’s no bumping into people at the table while trying to prepare a meal, and it honestly makes the kitchen look larger.

86 the Cherry Wood and Bring On the Cheer

Keeping the layout the same, but adding a waterfall edge to the peninsula, is a touch of magic in this cheerful kitchen remodel. We love the ornate wallpaper installed under the seating area. It, and the north-south, elongated tile backsplash, adds some whimsy to what could otherwise be a stark, monochromatic design. Adding in floating shelves on the window wall opens the space up visually and gets rid of a weird single upper cabinet. (Source: Aubrey Cole Patterson)

A Glam Glow-Up

Designed by RikisDesign, this Melbourne kitchen underwent the glow-up of the century. Gone are the awkward L-shaped counter and outdated finishes. Now sleek ceramic tiled floors lighten and brighten the space and provide a much-needed lift to the kitchen. A waterfall edged island is in the spotlight with a trio of glass pendant lights. The greatest new feature, in our opinion, is the coffee bar in what used to be the corner of the kitchen. Fill ‘er up!

Beach Beauty

After ripping out the slate tile flooring, plus all the cabinetry and appliances, @katequanchi05 could start from scratch. Keeping the same footprint, but elevating the materials, means this cute galley kitchen went from drab to fab. Eye-catching aqua glass tiles laid in a herringbone is the centerpiece of this cute, beachy kitchen. Light wood flooring goes throughout the space, uniting the kitchen and dining areas.

Let There Be Light

With a lot of elbow grease, this cabin kitchen underwent a huge transformation while keeping the layout and the appliances the same. The kitchen sink got an upgrade, as did the lighting elements. We love that Lazy Bear Chalet kept the same wood backsplash as a nod to this kitchen’s cozy cabin roots.

No More Builders’ Basics

Suzanne from My Farmhouseish took cherry finished cabinets and laminate floor to a farmhouse(ish) dream. When a layout works, why change it up? Cosmetic renovations can yield results that are also stunning. A minimalist kitchen, when done well as it is here, is so elegant.