How I Completely Transformed My Kitchen on a $600 Budget

From a drab, outdated mahogany kitchen to the bright, boho kitchen of my dreams for around $600!

To save costs: first decide what you can live with, and then what absolutely has to go.

In a dream world, I would have loved to replace my "yellowish" quartz countertops with something bright, white, and shiny. But I considered the high $$ cost, and risk of someone working in my kitchen during Covid, and ultimately decided that if I could change the colors around it, then it would fade into the background

But those dark mahogany cabinets....HAD TO GO.

I'm not going to sugar coat it. The cabinets were by far the biggest project to tackle and the most time consuming. Halfway through sanding I sobbed on the floor because I thought I had made a terrible mistake. My meticulously taped plastic shields were no match for the sandstorm that was my kitchen and despite all my efforts, orange dust was EVERYWHERE.

Luckily, Seth is the calm and collected one. He has a way of calming me down, and assured me that one day, we will have a cheeto-dust-free home again. Honestly, if I was doing this solo, I would have panicked and burned the house down, blaming the fire on a janky curling iron...

Painting your cabinets will completely transform your kitchen for a small investment * if you are willing to put in the work.

Since our cabinets were such a dark stain, we had to strip and sand down to bare wood. For more on how we stripped our cabinets, click here. Our cabinets are painted with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl in satin. I LOVE this color. I didn't want a bright white color, and this creamy neutral is a warm gray that looks bright in daylight and soothing in low light.

We also removed all the cabinet trim because it was bulky and outdated, and used classic crown molding to give the kitchen a traditional upgrade.

I wanted to avoid having to sand the sides of our large kitchen island. I had considered tiling the island side, but it would have added an extra $300 to the project, so we instead chose beadboard wall paneling instead.

I love using bead board for projects. Its inexpensive, easy to work with, and timeless!

I picked a rustic spanish-style tile to create a boho feel in the sea of off-white cabinets. A white subway tile would have looked really polished, and probably better for resale, but I figured this is my dream kitchen so I'm picking what I want. I wanted a little old world charm and texture.

My Advice: Unless you're remodeling a home to flip...don't worry about resale or trends. Pick out what YOU want, afterall you'll be the one staring at it for years to come.

I only did one strip of the 12x12 tile to save money. It was my one little splurge in the kitchen, but I still kept it modest. Unlimited budget, would I have tiled every wall in the kitchen? YES.

Favorite splurge: My kitchen blind! It's purely decorative since we don't need the privacy, but it gave such a warm, boho vibe to the kitchen.

Biggest Mistake: Before you drill a hole in the wall to install shelves or hang a frame, make sure you're not drilling a hole into your bathroom drain pipe. To our surprise, ours is located exactly where we wanted to put our shelves. YUP! Learned that one the hard way.

I scoured the internet for deals and sales for everything I purchased. I always look for coupons, and even opened a homedepot credit card to save $25 on the tile. Woohoo!


Amerock Revitalize Knobs in Gilded Bronze at Home Depot - $95

Gilded Bronze Revitalize 3" Center to CenterArch Pull at Wayfair - $30

Artisan Azul Decor 13 in. x 13 in. Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile at Home Depot - $87

Arlo Blinds Dali Native Bamboo Roman Shades from Overstock - $51

Halle Light Semi Flush Mount Light from Wayfair - $74

2 Brass Light Single Globe Pendant from Wayfair - $118

Beaded White Wainscot Wall Panel from Lowes - $22

EverTrue 2-5/8-in x 8-ft Primed Crown Moulding from Lowes - $40

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl Interior Satin Aura Waterborne Interior Paint - $80

Floating Shelves Supports - $13

Cedar Wood for Floating Shelves & Track Light Box - $30

*prices may have changed since originally purchased


Tennie & Co. Blog

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