We remodeled our entire kitchen and kept the total under $3,000. Here’s how.

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(Note: This is part of our First Person series. Jessica Horton is a Charlotte photographer.) 

We knew before moving into our 1960’s-style home that the kitchen would have to go, even though the previous owner had “updated” it.

It did have some redeeming qualities that saved us loads of money, though, like the new neutral granite, a good layout and new stainless appliances. What it did need, though, I knew that thanks to some ingenious ideas, we could keep at an affordable price point.

Over Christmas 2015, I took measurements of the island and started playing around with IKEA’s kitchen planner.

We realized that with some ingenuity, we could reface our lower cabinets using IKEA cabinet doors and drawers and just replace the upper cabinets, which would allow us to keep the granite in place.

Just to see if it could work the way we thought it would, we started small and purchased four doors for the island.

The two middle doors are actually drawer fronts – like I said, ingenuity. Before the doors went on, I found an exact color match in Benjamin Moore’s Cinder and primed and painted the island.

After playing with the island, we decided to go a different route for the perimeter lower cabinets. Instead of replacing them as-is, we swapped them out for giant drawers instead of the traditional designer of a small drawer over two doors. We ordered the drawer boxes from Barker Door, which made the space more functional and easier to use. There would be no more reaching into the back of a cabinet for a pot or a pan!

My husband was able to remove the support pieces and reconfigure them to allow for the drawers – another money saver.

Next came the upper cabinets, which were probably the easiest part of the job. We removed the ones already in place completely (and sold them on Craigslist!) and replaced them with Ikea cabinets. They were super easy to assemble and only took a handful of curse words from my husband to hang.

The final piece of the puzzle was a last minute addition of a full-size “pantry” cabinet next to the wasted space by our fridge. It now houses our Keurig and dog food… two items that didn’t really have homes prior to the remodel.

During our garage conversion, we paid an electrician a little extra to add two can lights and pendants over the island. We removed the awful fluorescent lights and reused them in the new laundry room and master closet.

Here’s how it turned out:

In total, we spent $2,889.05. Here’s how the pricing broke down:

Island cabinet* doors from IKEA: 4 for $198
Sink cabinet* doors from IKEA: 2 for $118
Large wood drawers from Barker Door: 4 for $211.80
Soft close rails for large drawers: 4 sets for $84
Trash can pullout from IKEA: $170
Pantry cabinet* from IKEA: $311
Upper cabinets* from IKEA: 5 complete cabinets for $862
Cover panels from IKEA: $197
Electrician: About $400 to add an outlet to pantry for Keurig and 4 lights
Paint: About $40 for Benjamin Moore Cinder & Valspar Soft Cloud
Pendant over sink: $97.20 from Home Depot
Pendants over island: $97 each from Bellacor
Drawer pulls & knobs from Hardware Hut: $334
Barstools: $25 from Craigslist
We made $300 from sale of old cabinets

Cabinets are Bodbyn Cabinets from IKEA.

All that’s left to do is add crown molding the top of the cabinets.

We liked the Ikea system so much, we’ve already purchased another kitchen for our “man-cave” we hope to complete this year!

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