Like a bridge over soapy water.

Like a bridge over soapy water.

If your goal for the new year is to finally give yourself the kitchen you deserve, may I offer Better After reader Sunni for inspiration?  She was sick of looking at her orange kitchen all day every day, so she and her husband fixed it up themselves with a budget of less than $2,000! That included the flooring, granite, appliances and everything.  Sheesh.  That’s incredible. She should teach a class.

I love the plate holder above the sink, it’s like a bridge of inclusiveness for that sad lonely cabinet in the corner.  And did you notice how the island seats four instead of two now?  Great job Sunni!

Update: Sunni has shared with us her budget breakdown! Check it out in the comments below.

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  1. January 4, 2013 / 4:30 PM

    Wow and WOW!!! I love the painted cabinets and the addition of the crown molding to them. Makes a huge difference. I’ve been contemplating painting mine.

  2. January 4, 2013 / 4:34 PM

    Under $2,000? Na uh! I’m totally impressed. And yes, I’m so happy that plate rack has invited that poor cabinet to come play.

  3. January 4, 2013 / 4:46 PM

    Such a beautiful kitchen. Adding the plate rack was such a smart idea as was adding to the countersize for more seating to the island. Very Nice!

  4. January 4, 2013 / 4:57 PM

    She needs a blog! Beautiful!!

  5. January 4, 2013 / 5:13 PM

    How in the world did she do that for less than $2000? Hats off to her! Amazing job.

  6. January 4, 2013 / 5:15 PM

    I didn’t even realize that I wanted a plate rack until right now! 😉

  7. January 4, 2013 / 6:00 PM

    No way they replaced appliances and did all the upgrades for $2000 – could she do a breakdown for us please.

  8. January 4, 2013 / 6:48 PM

    It’s gorgeous, but I have to admit to being skeptical about the budget–wish we could see how it breaks out…

  9. January 4, 2013 / 7:05 PM

    Simply stunning! WOW WOW WOW gives me hope & insipration… if we end up being able to buy the FIXER upper we have our eye on, after hubbies Army retirement! because we will be on a TIGHT budget

  10. Michele from IL
    January 4, 2013 / 7:10 PM

    Great kitchen re-do… crack me up! Now every time I hear Simon & Garfunkel’s song, I will be singing “Bridge over Soapy Water”. hahaha! 🙂

  11. January 4, 2013 / 7:53 PM

    What a gorgeous makeover!
    Love it………….
    Happy New Year Lindsey

  12. January 4, 2013 / 9:58 PM

    That looks so great! I can’t believe that included the appliances. I am so happy for them!

  13. Anonymous
    January 4, 2013 / 10:08 PM

    HOLY CRAP that’s a wonderful Kitchen remodel!

    Not sure if you allow the word crap on here but those are the first words that flew out of my mouth. I soooo wanna redo my kitchen. It needs to be gutted though I don’t know what these cabinets are made of but it looks like cardboard.

  14. January 4, 2013 / 10:24 PM

    How pretty! Okay, you gotta follow up with a break out on costs for this. We would all love to see how they did this for under $2000. I’m so inspired!!

  15. Anonymous
    January 4, 2013 / 10:36 PM

    Even $20k would be impressive. Wow!

  16. January 4, 2013 / 11:34 PM

    I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of white cabinets over 90’s honey oak. Love it.

  17. January 5, 2013 / 12:36 AM

    Fantastic job, I’m totally impressed!!

  18. January 5, 2013 / 4:21 AM

    That’s amazing! And totally inspiring! I always think projects like that would be way too crazy and cost way too much! Good to see it is possible on a budget! I love it!

  19. January 5, 2013 / 4:31 AM

    Breakdown on how…please! That’s a heck of a lot of work on 2k and I’d love to know how they pulled that off!

  20. January 5, 2013 / 2:03 PM

    umm. WOW! i dont think thats possible for $2000 in Australia… America must be heaps cheaper for things like that. like your food is so cheap compared to us… because $2000?!?!?! including appliances?! wowww!!! i would also absolutely love to see the breakdown and how to! amazing!

  21. January 6, 2013 / 3:17 AM

    Lol!!! I was thinking the same thing!!!!!

  22. January 6, 2013 / 3:20 AM

    With appliances?! Hooooow?!?!? Did they fall off a truck? We did our kitchen for $750, but no appliances and no flooring. Seriously impressive.

  23. January 7, 2013 / 12:40 AM

    I’m from Missouri, so you’ll have to “show me.” I recently bought a new refrigerator and they are nearly $2000 alone! Cost aside, it is absolutely beautiful. I’ve always loved painted cabinets. They just freshen up the place and make everything look so clean. Fabulous!

  24. January 7, 2013 / 3:27 PM

    Impossible! The appliances alone cost much more than the reported price of the whole kitchen redo.

  25. January 7, 2013 / 5:42 PM

    Does Sunni have a blog she shared that documented this transformation? It’s so pretty!

  26. January 7, 2013 / 9:00 PM

    Hello Everyone!! (Warning: long comment) I started to chuckle as I read all of these comments. I also told my husband that I should have actually calculated to the dollar the exact amount we spent before I spouted off to Lindsey that we did it for $2,000.00!! I added it up with my husband after seeing all of these comments and it actually came to $2,205 so we were a bit higher there. It is important to note that WE did it for that much, not everyone (obviously) could do that. If I had left over supplies from other projects, those weren’t counted in the out of pocket breakdown for the kitchen. Anyway, here is the breakdown of what we did and how:
    Painted the cabinets: $25 (i primed with kilz, but only used a little from a left over project)
    Hardware on cabinets: $45
    Crown Moulding: $45
    Painted the one wall with left over paint from another project
    Plate rack: $5 (i saw one i loved at lowes for $300, studied it really well bought $5 worth of dowels and went home and made it from some scraps out of my lumber pile)(I do have pics of that project if you are interested)
    Granite tiles for countertops: $300 we bought those on a clearance at a local tile outlet, my husband used to have a flooring company, so he mostly laid the tiles. We also bought a tool that rounds off the edges of the granite tiles so that they aren’t square.
    Tool for rounding granite edge:$250
    Other countertop materials (thinset, grout) $0 (left overs from other materials)
    The base cabinet that we added to the island to make it bigger was $180 from lowes, but I could have gotten it for $60 from habitat from humanity if I had used my brain.
    The stove was $200, we sold our white one from the before picture on craigslist, and then used that money plus our $200 to buy a stainless one.
    The Microwave was $130 out of pocket. we sold our white one on craigslist and used that money plus $130 of our own.
    The Dishwasher was $180 out of pocket (same thing here, we sold our old one on craigslist).
    We kept the same fridge.
    The sink and faucet: 200
    Backsplash :$45 I bought some clearanced tiles from the same tile outlet I purchased the granite tiles from.
    the flooring was $500, we bought vinyl tiles (they look like wood planks) on a labor day sale and would NOT recommend them. We thought vinyl would be best in a kitchen because of spills, but they were SO HARD to install, (and my husband was a flooring installer) and the corners have started to peel up, so i don’t recommend those to anyone. I don’t have a blog, I am actually a wedding floral designer, I just love to refinish furniture and do fixer-upper stuff around the house. If there are any specifics you’d like to know about any of these things, or are attempting any of these projects yourselves and want to learn from my mistakes, feel free to email me at sunnipehrson at yahoo and I’d be happy to answer any questions.

  27. January 9, 2013 / 2:37 PM

    What about the new flooring?

  28. January 9, 2013 / 2:40 PM

    I think the problem is that the fridge in the first picture is not the same one as in the second, so people couldn’t help but question it. You must have replaced it before the renovation and then it didn’t figure into the calculation.

  29. January 9, 2013 / 3:46 PM

    It’s still an amazing change on that budget.

    Can you please elaborate on the vinyl flooring you used, as I was thinking of going that route, but would like your advice on the product you used.

  30. January 9, 2013 / 3:51 PM

    You rocked it, Sunni. Too bad on the flooring tile install – live and learn, right? Kudos to you – I hope every time you walk into your kitchen you are delighted and proud of the work you did.

  31. January 9, 2013 / 4:22 PM

    I may be wrong, but the flooring looks like Allure vinyl planking. I’ve heard it’s a b**ch to install.

  32. January 9, 2013 / 4:23 PM

    I’m pretty sure that the refrigerator is the same in both pictures, the lighting is just different.

  33. January 9, 2013 / 9:42 PM

    WOW! This is inspiring and impressive! A real stunner. =)
    Handles on the fridge do look different, tho.

  34. January 9, 2013 / 11:22 PM

    @ Tracy: The new flooring is included in my breakdown

    @Barb: You are correct. I took the “before” picture about 30 seconds after we moved in because I painted that orange wall a khaki color about 30 seconds after that. Shortly after that, our fridge kicked the bucket and was replaced. I didn’t actually redo anything else in the kitchen for another year or so.

    @crunchy diva- we have moved to the phoenix area and so I have a new house to fix up! So, I, like you hope that every time my renter walks into the kitchen she is delighted on my behalf. 🙂

    @MelMac- it is the vinyl planking,and was TERRIBLE to install, and a year later the corners of half the planks were starting to peel up. In fact, we took pictures of the problem and asked the manufacturer if that was normal and they had received so many complaints with that lot that they refunded all of our money…so I guess we could take the $500 for the flooring off and we did make it under $2,000 😉 I don’t know if vinyl planks have improved in the last few years, but none of the tongues fit into the grooves. Each tile was a fight to get down.

  35. January 10, 2013 / 4:57 PM

    @Sunni: I, for one, would LOVE to see how you went about building the plate holder.

    Pretty please with cherries?

  36. January 10, 2013 / 4:57 PM

    @Sunni: I, for one, would LOVE to see how you went about building the plate holder.

    Pretty please with cherries?

  37. January 11, 2013 / 3:39 AM

    I second the allure vinyl planks being terrible! They were a huge pain to install and the seams started coming apart almost immediately. We did that in a basement and click and lock laminate on the main floor. The laminate was much easier to install, looked better and was actually cheaper on sale around thanksgiving.

  38. ShannonU
    January 11, 2013 / 6:48 PM

    Gorgeous work on your kitchen!
    Thanks for the follow-up budget breakdown.

    I’m so sorry you had trouble with your vinyl planks. We have used the Allure planks in 2 rooms and they were no trouble to install and have held up fine for 2 years. We are in Texas, so not sure if humidity is a factor since you’re in AZ.
    We also used the peel n stick planks from Lowe’s and those have held up fine, too. We are on a slab and prepped with Henry’s primer for that one.
    Good luck, all you DIY’ers!

  39. January 12, 2013 / 2:01 AM

    I have used allure too and it was easy peasy. No problems a year later! Too bad it didn’t work for you 🙁

  40. Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 / 9:33 AM

    Can you please tell what color you used on cabinets.

  41. January 29, 2013 / 6:08 PM

    You should definitely start a blog to document what you do in your new house! I’d love to see what you do!

  42. January 29, 2013 / 6:08 PM

    You should definitely start a blog to document what you do in your new home, I’d be a dedicated reader!

  43. May 23, 2013 / 3:48 AM

    Sunni Pehrson, could u let us know what paint colors u used? On walls and cabinets.

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