Reader Redesign: DIY Kitchen Do-over

It’s no surprise that we’re in the mood for a good kitchen makeover these days. Okay, who are we kidding, we’re always in the mood for one. But Erin & Zach’s do-it-yourself remodel of their 1950’s kitchen is especially familiar (and inspiring since we’re just at the beginning of our current kitchen’s transformation). Here’s their letter:

We wanted to share the redo of our 1951 kitchen (take note of the sweet before lamp and the heavy-duty ceiling beam disappearing act).

We were so lucky to peel up the old laminate floor and the plywood to find original (albeit quite damaged) wood floors that extended into the middle of the kitchen. We found matching red oak floor pieces and filled in the missing & damaged spots.

One of the cool things we did was to buy two pre-made cabinets from Home Depot to create the breakfast bar. We put them side-by-side and filled one of the openings with wood pieces to make it seamless.

We also re-used all the cabinets but updated the hardware. Painting that many cabinets and doors definitely took patience … and three coats of paint. The new blue color in kitchen is Behr Primer + Paint in Clear Pond, Eggshell.

Thanks so much for checking out our kitchen. We love it!! ~ Erin & Zach

We love it too, guys. Congrats on a job very well done! It’s a reminder of not only how much work is ahead of us, but also what a big payoff there can be at the end! Seriously, it doesn’t even look like the same room.

PS: We’ve announced the winners to this week’s giveaway. Click here to see if you’re one of them.


  1. Melissa says

    Holy cow….good job guys! I live in Western PA and there are so many kitchens that look like that…you remind me that if I buy a kitchen like that there is HOPE for it. :-)

  2. Erika says

    AMAZING! I love white kitchen cabinets, and glad they made use with the old cabinets instead of tossing them.
    Wow – that looks sooo good!

  3. Peggy says

    A very nice re-do!
    John and Sherry, I hope you’ll forgive me for meddling, but there’s just one element of your re-design that’s bugging me. I wonder if you’ve considered moving the pantry over to the fridge side. I know y’all thought it looked “monolithic” on that side, but think of the counter space you’d gain on the main work side of the triangle! Plus an unobstructed view of the dining area when you’re on that side of the kitchen.

    • says

      We just didn’t want the folks sitting at the peninsula to be staring at the side of a pantry or upper cabinet- so using the low cabinet there will let people at the counter “breathe” a bit more – and make it feel more open from there.


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