This before and after kitchen remodel was done on a tight budget with the help of family.
There was a lot of creativity that went into putting in an entirely new kitchen with little left in our funds. We went the IKEA route and 6 years later I am still very happy with our decision. I LOVE our IKEA cabinets and the organization within them.
Overall I kept the before and after kitchen remodel pretty basic when we first started. I used The Kitchn Cookbook to help plan the best setup for the space we had using the triangle method. This is where you create a triangle between the main points in the kitchen: the sink, the refrigerator, and the oven. This is really crucial when thinking through the flow of cooking. Your hands are messy, you need to easily grab items, and you need a flow that allows you to easily walk between the three points. Our kitchen was mostly set up for the three main points before we moved in, but using this method helped me think through other aspects such as spices and additional items that I wanted to grab while cooking. We've had people comment on the ease of cooking in our small kitchen.
We used butcher block from IKEA for the countertops temporarily until we could put in a nicer material. It is now 6 years later and we still have the butcher block, but it has held up nicely. We are finally making the switch in the next year to IKEA's brand of Quartz. I have been researching different options for Quartz countertops, and I actually prefer what I see in the selections that IKEA has to offer. I will update with another post once we have put those in.
The butcherblock countertops have held up nicely over the last 6 years. Before we installed them, we sealed them using Waterlox and applied several layers. It is a very long process because each layer takes 24 hours to dry. I think we did 12 total. If someone asked me if there is anything I would do differently for the kitchen, I wouldn't use Waterlox to seal them. It is a GREAT product and if you love the color, then that is the route to go. However, looking back, I love the lighter wood coloration in the IKEA countertops when you first buy them. If I was buying them today, I would seal them with a clear coat if possible, to maintain the natural look.
We opted for a deep stainless steel sink and it was worth it. We do fill it up quickly with dishes, but I have so much room when cleaning household items such as drawers from the refrigerator. I definitely recommend a deep sink if you have the kitchen set up for it.
We purchased our stove new (linked similar), but we bought a very nice Kitchenaid hood range at a place called Scratch and Dent. It is no longer in business, but I would still buy a range from Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Our hood range is about $1k and we bought it for $300. We had to buy filters for underneath the hood which totalled about $60. Our dishwasher was purchased from Craigslist, another winner. We typically buy our appliances used, because we have always found great quality products that are in good condition. Our plan is to switch out to a propane stove in the next year or so.
The IKEA island was added to give a little more flow to the space. It sounds counterintuitive to add a giant piece of furniture in the middle of the room, but having the island gives people a direction to walk in when maneuvering around the kitchen. It also acts as a centerpiece for conversation where people can sit and talk while we cook.
If you look at the before and after kitchen remodels below, you can see that we took out the original cabinets, cleaned the walls, added a dishwasher, and painted everything a fresh coat of white. Joel installed the IKEA cabinets and the floors himself while we had help with the plumbing and electrical aspects.