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
Dans_le_Lakehouse

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

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Have a question about this project?

20 questions
  • Hildegarde
    on Jan 2, 2016

    I fell in love and went to heaven! What a beautiful colour scheme - I want to redo my kitchen in my home in South Africa but didn't know until now which colour until I saw this one. I am going to redo my kitchen in the same colours, if you don't mind. Would you give me your colour scheme a.k.a. the paint names? Please accept this as a compliment to your taste if someone across the world wishes for the same effect. Chapeau! Where did you buy those chairs? They're absolutely wonderful!

  • Judy Capone Mantell
    on Jul 25, 2016

    Could you possibly add the paint color/brand somewhere under the pictures so we can find it easily? Absolutely gorgeous!

  • Paula Crossman
    on Aug 30, 2016

    what about frying on the stove? no vent/hood?

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Aug 31, 2016

      I used to batch cook but now I cook every day but I use non stick, very little oil. Don't fry. Use my oven a lot. Really not an issue for me. Lots of holder homes didn't have vents. The one that was there never worked anyway, lol. Just sounded like it did, so former owner didn't even know!

  • Jackie Byrd
    on Aug 30, 2016

    Where did you put the microwave oven, toaster, can opener, etc.? You must have spent hours (and $$) finding that much turquoise CorningWare /Pyrex, dishes, and utensils. How many casseroles do you make at one time?

    • Anita Elaine
      on Aug 30, 2016

      Her post claims she chose the makeover colors because she already owned the Pyrex collection. They may not use a Microwave, but there is room UNDER the island for appliances as well as can goods.

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Aug 31, 2016

      I collected over 15 years at yard sales and thrift stores, it was a hobby I shared with my grandma and mom. I use the Pyrex for all kinds of things: baking, cooking, storing left overs and chopped up veggies in the fridge. I use it in lieu of plastic containers. Would you be bothered if I made 10 casseroles at once? Seriously, such an odd question! I don't have a microwave, the toaster and can open and pots and pans are in the cabinets/drawers beside the stove.

    • RichandTammy Whiteside
      on Sep 1, 2016

      Dans_le_lakehouse: I love Pyrex. In my multiple decades of life I only remember one piece of Pyrex ever breaking and I suspect that it had something to do with the age of it along with the fact that we took a super hot Pyrex casserole dish outside in freezing cold weather. That stuff is awesome and so extremely durable.

    • Jen10614412
      on Sep 2, 2016

      Beautifully done. Thanks for the ideas. My father and I did yard sales and Va. Bazaar for years before he passed and now I can show off my "prizes" that I have been saving for years. Well...when I get a home. Oh and my favorite color is turquiose

    • Janice Rall Yash
      on Sep 19, 2016

      I would need a step stool for anything past the first shelf...........NOT happening due to health reasons. And I LOVE having open windows but that would make everything covered wuth thick/sticky dust!! I would have left the upper cabinets & cut up doors to fit with glass.

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Sep 29, 2016

      So happy to hear from another Pyrex lover @richardtammywhiteside!

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Sep 29, 2016

      Janice, it must have a lot to do with where we live. I live lakeside in the sticks with pretty much zero traffic so open windows are no problem here. But I think life was way dustier when I lived in the city. Sadly, the upper cabinets were too small - one was fake, the microwave took up room and the ones to the right of the window were unusable. One day when we renovate I might go back to doors - maybe :)

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Sep 29, 2016

      Thanks @jenisetf! Love finding another turquoise lover!! Such a cheery color, I love hearing that it's your favorite too.

    • Lynn M. Harmon-Bennett
      on Sep 30, 2016

      I love it!! I am jealous of all the turquoise dishes, it makes your kitchen pop. You just can't find these beautiful dishes anywhere around us. Great Job!

    • Susie Campbell
      on Oct 2, 2016

      What an outstanding renovation!! Bravo !!

    • One12001568
      on Oct 17, 2016

      Nice work! I just love your Pyrex collection. What is the brand and color of the cabinets? (My apologies if it's already listed). When you make as many casseroles as your little heart desires you know with whom to share them with :)

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Oct 28, 2016

      CIL Niagara Mist is the paint color I used :)

  • Yar3131989
    on Aug 30, 2016

    Where do you keep your food, this would never work for me

    • Anita Elaine
      on Aug 30, 2016

      The island bottom cupboards are there for storage. She added a pantry cupboard to the left of the refrigerator also.

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Aug 31, 2016

      To the left of the fridge are twelve giant jars for staples like cereal, rice, pasta - other canned stuff and spices, etc. are below. I use lots of jars to optimize the storage. I have room for more! The place I lack storage is the fridge. I eat so much fresh food, my fridge could be bigger for sure!

  • Maria T Ford
    on Sep 9, 2016

    I think it's beautiful. Why so much negativity from people is beyond me.

    • Madalyn
      on Sep 28, 2016

      It is beautiful! It's not functional. How ofte n do you have to wash all those dishes? Grease, dust, ext?

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Sep 29, 2016

      Thanks for saying it's beautiful - it's also perfectly functional for me! I cook way more than I ever did now (twice a day as opposed to a few times a week) and because I cook so much in here and use all of my stuff regularly - and cook healthy (no frying, etc) - dust and grease is minimal. A few times a year, I take it all down, wash the shelves and reorganize a bit. But it's not for everyone, that's for sure!

    • V.Jones
      on Oct 16, 2016

      Love the color!

    • Linda Bertrand
      on Oct 18, 2016

      I had open upper shelves for 18 yrs. Loved them,very easy to keep clean!! Cooking daily. Lovely, great color

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Oct 28, 2016

      So lovely to hear that Linda! I was originally thinking of going back to cabinets when we renovate in a few years but these days I can't imagine going back. This is handy for a cramped space like mine - I think doors would just get in the way...

  • Helen
    on Oct 18, 2016

    I luv what you've done & I have been dying to do the same...my kitchen & dining room are together so not only do I want to copy your design I want to add a L shape breakfast nook to the right of the sink minus your wetbar 2 seat seating!!! My question is I can't get rid of the fan because my kitchen is so small if I don't use it while cooking my fire alarm will go off...got any suggestions?

  • Pat Croley
    on Dec 26, 2016

    I don't see a ladder anywhere so how on earth do you use those glass pots and dishes on the top shelves? How do you use so many of them?

  • Marlene Johnson Elser
    on Jan 1, 2017

    What did you do to the countertop? What is the new material and did you install it yourself?

  • Tha17994821
    on Feb 6, 2017

    Where's the microwave? I'm not seeing it.

    • Dans_le_Lakehouse
      on Feb 6, 2017

      Don't use one. Meant to place it in the pantry, to the left of fridge, but I didn't need it after all so I store something I use there instead.

    • L. Creative
      on Nov 18, 2017

      It’s not a great idea to store a microwave inside a cabinet. Fire risk.
    • Sandra
      on Jun 7, 2018

      Storing it in the pantry, doesn't necessarily mean using it there. I store mine there. But I don't use it there. I actually don't really use it at all. Not anymore.

    • Michelle Lineberger
      on Jul 7, 2018

      What did you do about replacing the exhaust hood over the stove?

  • Michelle Lineberger
    on Jul 7, 2018

    What did you do about an exhaust hood over the stove?

  • Pot24827840
    on Sep 12, 2018

    What color turq did you use? Brand name to pls.Ths.

  • Cyndee
    on Sep 12, 2018

    Perfect! What brand of paint and color?

  • Bma29619638
    on Sep 13, 2018

    what is the name of the color and whee did you purchase it. Beatutifil color and kitchen.

    Thank You.

  • Kathy Swears Davis
    on Oct 13, 2018

    Do you not have a ventahood over the stove? My kitchen has lots of cabinets to store dishes but there’s only me and with 8 foot ceilings I can’t even reach the second shelf. I’m 5’4”. I just bought the house I’ve lived in for the past 12 years and want open shelving. There’s a hood over my stove and your layout suggests that I may not need one. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    • Denise Eldredge
      on Oct 27, 2018

      I have very high ceilings in my house and I'm 5'3". I have nice step ladders and step stools stashed all around, for use in closets, cabinetry, bookshelves or whatever. In the kitchen, quite often, I step up onto the counters to pull down the lesser used items. I've had to do this my whole life. I just make sure my feet are clean and don't have on slippery socks. And wash off the counter.

      As for a hood over your stove, I don't think they are necessary. I personally never use mine except for lighting. But they may be part of a building code requirement, I don't know. You may choose one to vent out of the house and is decorative too. Check IKEA.

      Just some thoughts.

  • Mary
    on Jan 13, 2019

    What color is this ? I tried to buy turquoise and they don't sell just plain turquoise there has to be a color to it they said

  • Vicki
    on Jan 14, 2019

    I used your link and went to your blog, but I am lazy and didn't read everything.


    Where is the microwave?

    Also, what is the name of the turquoise paint?


    Sorry if I missed this info, I really LOVE your project. I have been trying to design my ultra small kitchen using the shelves instead of cab's.

    THANK YOU very much for your information.

  • 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.

    • Deb Robison
      on Aug 17, 2019

      It’s more of a showpiece kitchen rather than a practical kitchen. There’s also no place to store canned goods or pots and pans.


    • William
      on Aug 18, 2019

      Thta a good question. Probably just clean the shelves with hot soapy water after each meal prep?🤔

    • Gabrielle Falk
      on Sep 2, 2019

      To get extra food storage, etc., what I have done is install a metal type cabinet in the laundry (which is outside) - just outside the back-door. Impervious to water spillages etc.. You could also perhaps use any spare space in a garage - to store items that you have purchased in bulk - ie tinned items are best - not mayonnaise, etc..

    • 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????

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  • 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.

  • Gale O'Neal
    on May 6, 2020

    Every time I look at this one I smile. I love it so much.

    • Bernice H
      on May 12, 2020

      Me too! There’s so many things about it that I love,it’s fun fresh,different,unique...many kudos to them for going ahead and making a fun kitchen!

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