In honor of this week’s organization extravaganza, we thought this makeover was a great reminder that organizing and planning isn’t just about putting things in baskets or sorting your socks. An organized thoughtful approach to your home could help a dark and dated space become beautiful & functional with a little (or a lot) of planning, penny-pinching, perseverance, and perspiration. Morgan and her husband Kevin took their paneled den and turned it into a bright and modern kitchen. The transformation is, in a word, insane. And their planning tips are awesome, like scouring Craigslist every day in a nice wide radius to save serious loot – and rethinking the placement of a kitchen to make more sense of their floor plan. Here’s Morgan’s letter:
We bought our 1930’s bungalow almost four years ago and it was in need of some serious love, but we’re enjoying the renovation adventure as we work room by room demoing, designing, and constructing on our own. We built the new kitchen from scratch from what was previously a den or TV room in the back of the house. Here’s a look at the den before we moved in three years ago:
Now that space is a kitchen!
All in all we guestimate that we saved 50-75% of what a contractor might charge for the same kitchen if we had outsourced the work and bought everything brand new. Instead, we scoured Craigslist every day (in about a 500 mile radius) and scored a stainless steel fridge, viking range (drove over 300 miles to nab this beauty), range hood, dishwasher and sink for anywhere from 40-80% off of the original price.
Since our 1930’s home was built in traditional San Diegan Spanish-style architecture, our goal was to create a contemporary kitchen that would compliment the original design of the home. Beyond that, we wanted a space that was fresh and modern! And it was so rewarding to do it all ourselves.
So that’s the new kitchen! We know that we’ll enjoy this space for years to come and it was all well worth it. Hope you enjoyed it too! – Morgan
Thanks for sharing your amazing makeover Morgan and Kevin! And as if this den-to-kitchen transformation wasn’t enough, they’re actually doing lots of reconfiguring and redesigning at their house (like turning a bunch of closets into a bathroom), so head over to their blog to see more – including a full source breakdown of this kitchen. Update: It looks like their site has crashed due to traffic- oops! We’re hoping it’s back up for you guys soon. Now let’s all play the what’s-you-favorite-part game. Sherry’s all about that brown runner and the backsplash tile and I’m ogling those giant glass doors.
I think the range hood is my favorite part. It’s very classy.
Judy W. says
I hope they have better luck than we did (in our last kitchen) with the sink in the island. Because the island was the logical place to sit and visit, play cards, etc. we found that anything left there got wet from sink splashes. We were constantly dealing with wet mail, newspapers, etc.
Their countertop is wider than ours was, so it might be less of a problem, but eternal vigilance will be called for. It was bad enough for me to vow never to have a sink in a sit-at island again.
Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove says
What a transformation! I love this kitchen, especially the backsplash tile colors!
uh oh, looks like we overloaded their site!
I know, I’m so sorry Morgan and Kevin! Hope it’s back up soon!
I’m so sorry everyone!! Working hard to get our queries in a row and get that site back up! Thank you guys for all of your kind and awesome comments.
So sorry Morgan! We feel so bad!
wow!, i love the backsplash too! Great colors! Also, I dont think the links are working.
Sorry about the links Lisa, they’re correct, their site is just down due to traffic. We feel terrible and hope it’s back up soon!
Talk about willpower over bill-power!
Krystle @ Color Transformed Family says
I love the glass tile and all those doors. I just love natural light in a room.
WOW! What a beautiful kitchen. I am lovin’ the back splash! And of course the fact that they did it themselves and got such smokin’ deals makes my heart pitter patter.
That backsplash tile is dreamy! Love it.
And just FYI, the links to their blog aren’t working =)
So sorry Ammie, their blog is down due to the traffic we sent their way. Eeks! We hope it’s up again soon!
First of all: gorgeous. Seriously. I want to cook there.
Second of all: I don’t know that I would ever think to change the location of my kitchen. It’s like a bathroom. Fixed. Obviously I need to rethink that! So awesome!
I love it! It seems like everyone is doing painted cabinets these days, it’s so nice to see a wood tone there! I love the tile choices, too, the big black slabs on the floor and the shiny green subway backsplash. What a great kitchen!
[email protected] says
The transformation is incredible! I love both the backsplash tiles and the floor tiles they used.
[email protected] says
Oh man! What a crazy awesome transformation!
[email protected] says
Thanks for sharing!
Tina Gibson says
As someone who sees a kitchen redesign on the horizon, that’s a seriously inspiring kitchen! I like the sage tile and the large cubby for appliances.
katie s says
WOW!! So amazing and beautiful! I LOVE the doors and all the light it lets in!
Beautiful! (Also, in the header, “Woah” should actually be “Whoa”—it’s a frequently misspelled word!) :)
Thanks! All fixed!
I love her Freudian slip on the “stainless steal” fridge! Beautiful job!
Hahahahha, it was!
Ohhhh that’s good! I can’t believe I didn’t catch that. Now I’m laughing and blushing.
As my husband and I contemplate the purchase of our own “fixer-upper” I will certainly keep this reader redesign in mind. It’s a beautiful transformation! Thanks for sharing
It looks like we crashed their blog. :(
I can’t get the links to work right now. I guess that’s the best form of flattery though. The kitchen looks amazing!
I think you crashed their website as the links to their website no longer work. Behold YHL’s power!
I must have that kitchen rug! Do you mind giving me the source?
There’s a source list on their blog that we’re linking to on the bottom of the page (their blog crashed from the traffic we sent- oops, but we hope it’s back up soon). Hope it helps!
Hi Stacey! That rug is from Shades of Light :).
I LOVE this kitchen!! But the links to their blog don’t work.. :(
This looks amazing! And I’d love to view it in detail, but the links to Morgan’s blog don’t work :-(
Candy from Candied Fabrics says
Wow! What an amazing job! I’m headed over to their site now to see what other fabulosities they’ve done!
Sorry about those links guys! They’re correct, we just think we crashed/overloaded their site. Hope it comes back soon!
PS> I’d love to see more of their house but those links are working for me :(
What did they do with the original kitchen, if this room used to be a den?
I think it’s over on their site- they’re turning that space into something else (still under construction, but very exciting!).
Hi Rachel! We gutted it and turned it into an office! We love that the new kitchen connects with the backyard and outdoor dining area :).
Rebecca @This Nest is Best says
That kitchen is ah-mazing!!!
And I’m not sure that your links are the problem…I googled them and tried to go to their site that way and received the same error. Hopefully we didn’t just crash their site :)
Oops, we did! We feel terrible! Hope it comes up soon!
my goodness, that is an incredible transformation and looks absolutely amazing! Nice work!!
This is gorgeous! I love that big open lower cabinet with the mixer. I need that! The backsplash is a great color too.
Robin @ our semi organic life says
LOVE the tile!
Maybe all the YoungHouseLove readers itching to see their amazing work have crashed their server! I can’t even access their home page. :-(
Yes, so sorry it’s down! Hope it’s back up soon!
Carol N. says
I am seriously drooling over the Viking range but my favorite part is what appears to be open shelving in the base cabinets for the mixer! What a great idea! Once their blog site is back up I’m going to pin these ideas!
We love the extra storage for large appliances that don’t belong on the countertop – though that shelf is just the right size for a built in microwave should we ever decided to add one in the future!
That. is. amazing.
Paige @ Little Nostalgia says
That. Is. Amazeballs.
As soon as their site is back up, I’m going to absorb all of their nuggets of knowledge. We’re *finally* moving out of our condo and buying a house, so I want as many tips as I can get!
This redesign is fantastic and what an ode to Craigslist! I have only bought one chair off of Craigslist, and it all went smoothly. However, it would be great to hear some tips on how to “sniff out” the right sales on appliances and similar higher priced items. What are good questions to ask (especially before driving a long distance)? Any bargaining tips (how do you know its worth missing out on a warranty, etc.)? What are the other things I don’t even know to think about or ask.
Love that! Here’s hoping Morgan or Kevin pop in with some tips for ya!
Sherry/John, you could do this post! And also safety thoughts — I worry about both selling big items (inviting strangers, maybe more than one at a time, into my house) and pickups inside someone else’s house.
That’s a fun idea! We’ll have to add it to our (admittedly very long) list. Our advice is always to tell a family member you’re going to pick something up or someone’s coming over (just so a third party knows, we send them the contact info/link to the post, etc) and to both be home (ex: no one comes over to deal with me without John being here too) and to talk on the phone first – most people end up calling to give or get directions, and talking to someone usually allows you to “suss out” if they’re friendly and sound hunky dorey- if you ever have a bad instinct I wouldn’t do it! We have yet to have a bad experience but there are some scary things that happen in the world, so trust your gut and take precautions whenever you can!
CL related, but not home related…
*My husband and I always travel in pairs to pick up items, and if something feels off, we listen and then contact the seller/donator saying that we have had a change of mind.
*We tag team, too, when people come to purchase or pick things up from us.
*My husband has a great technology background, so he’s caught and reported a number of scams. We looked at renting a place where we will be living across the country, and a tiny red flag went up. It turned out the person advertising the place wasn’t the owner, was in another country, etc. Thanks to hub’s talents, we realized it and didn’t loose money.
The perk to this one was that hub’s mom found the MLS listing, so we contacted the listing agent. She had a friend who was remodeling duplexes and is totally legit. As a result, we now have a place to live that is completely real and honest!
Yes, good stuff comes out of it.
*Last night we sold my car on CL. Again, there were a number of scams which the hub found out. We listened to our gut, and the family who bought it was the nicest group of humans. They respected that it was below KBB price and paid what we asked.
*When it comes to selling stuff, I believe that the post needs to be clear and attractive. Look at what is out there, what catches one’s eye, and think about what would make it appealing and simple to the reader to want *your* item.
Hope this helps.
Great advice all around!
Hi Gayle! once that pesky server is fixed our Kitchen post shares all of our favorite Craigslist and discount suggestions – from using eBay as a resource for coupons/gift cards to searching specific model numbers on Craigslist to know exactly what you’re buying. Now if the website would only cooperate…
Lisa in Seattle says
OH MY GIDDY AUNT. I can’t pick one thing – I love it all. Maybe some extra special lurve for the floor and the vent hood.
The whole thing is gorgeous!
Love the back splash tile and windows/doors. The range is pretty sweet as well. The fact that they scored that on Craigslist is awesome. In fact, the savings in total is the best part.
Nicole Y. says
I want that runner! Maybe in a brighter color? But I want it! :)
Ginny @ Goofy Monkeys says
The new kitchen looks AMAZING!!
Heather G. says
I think I need that rug and the tile they used for the backsplash! What an amazing redesign!!
i pinned this kitchen on pinterest 7 weeks ago! (except the photo i pinned had a cute couple and a baby in it, too. hah!) i loved the cabinet color and the subway tile. when i saw this post, i thought i recognized that kitchen. i love it!
I love the runner, the glass doors, the sink, the fact that they have an outlet built into the side of the island, the floor tile. Basically, I want them to adopt me so I can move in!
“their site has crashed due to traffic” That’s too bad, I’ll be back to see the bathrooms!
I love the idea of a carper runner instead of a bunch of individual rugs! Our smaller rugs always end up moving all around the kitchen floor lol
Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons says
OH. MY. GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m in love!
Cara @ Live The Home Life says
Love the subway tile. Very nice reno!