Budget-Friendly Turquoise Kitchen Makeover


When my Hubby and I finally found our dream home on Lake Superior, we had a very small budget to make the home ours. We're saving for major renovations, but in the meantime we wanted to have a little fun. In the kitchen, open shelving and modern white paneling was a cost-effective replacement for dated tile and small, awkward upper cabinets. The lower cabinets were painted turquoise - to match my Pyrex collection, naturally. Then we got creative: we built a pantry (to the left of the stove) and even built solid maple counters (stained white) from scratch. The whole makeover came in under $1500 and will see us through the next five years, at least. It's a bright, happy space that we enjoy cooking in.
Here's the before, which boasted tired oak cabinets, peeling laminate counters and not-my-style tile.
And here's a different angle of the "after":
I get a lot of questions about the open shelving, but it's been surprisingly easy to keep clean: http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2014/12/honest-thoughts-on-open-shelving-in.html
There are a lot of tutorials for the kitchen, from tips on installing paneling to the full tutorial on building the solid maple counter tops to how we painted our cabinets with a paint spray. You can find them all in this post: http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2014/06/the-big-kitchen-reveal.html

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 20 questions
  • Shell Morgan
    on Jul 6, 2019

    Where do you put your food at?

    • Shay Vaughn
      on Aug 17, 2019

      Hello, if you were to read the full article on her blog, she explains that the bulk food is in those glass canisters. The smaller items like spices, condiments and snacks, are in the cabinets below.

  • Carolyn
    on Jul 8, 2019

    I don't see a ventilator over your range. How do you keep grease and food from settling on the open shelves? I ask because that was a problem that I had.

    • Gabrielle Falk
      on Sep 2, 2019

      You can get (which I had in my pre-renovated kitchen) an exhaust /ventilator fan - that can be installed in the ceiling. Better than nothing, tho' a regular clean is the best way.

  • Jaimi Bradford
    on Aug 10, 2019

    Brand name AND color of turquoise paint please????

Join the conversation

2 of 967 comments
  • Bernice H
    on Feb 11, 2020

    This is still one of my all time favorite makeovers. And the bicycle picture with red in it is the best pull together. Lovely ,lively ,fun refreshing. I had open shelving at one time,I did not find it a challenge to keep clean. It might depend on how much dishware you have. And food..right now we use a hallway closet with shelves,because our new kitchen doesn’t have enough storage.so innovation is the key!

    now..if I was still doing house cleaning and the lady would want ME to wash all those dishes every time..I would not find that fun!

    right now I have glass doors on my primary cabinets ..and yes they need to be kept clean..as would regular cabinet doors! .

  • Paula P
    on Mar 13, 2020

    You inspired me to take the doors off the cabinet over the refrigerator and paint the inside a vintage teal. I put my teal Pyrex on display, something I'd been wanting to do for a while, and I love the way it looks. I also painted the kitchen walls a light aqua. I left the top cupboards and most of the bottom cupboards white, but painted the island the light aqua. What a difference and I get so many compliments.

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