We were on a serious budget,” says Kris Galmarini, who, together with her husband, Bob, tackled the kitchen of their 1962 brick home. “The house had never been updated, so it was in a time warp.” Determined to do the job themselves, the couple asked handy friends for lessons in drywalling and flooring and listed more expensive projects, like new countertops and lighting, in order of must-do priority. The biggest ticket (and most “pressing”) item? “A new range,” laughs Kris. “The old one was a vintage, push-button model. The cat would jump on it at night and turn it on—it had to go.”
1. Knocked out the wall that separated the kitchen and living room.
2. Tore out faux wood paneling and replaced it with drywall.
3. Traded old laminate for new wood floors. (Half of the new flooring was donated, and they struggled to match it; when they couldn’t, they incorporated a second, same-color wood that added texture with every fifth board.)
4. Installed butcher-block counters from IKEA.
5. Added trim to cabinetry, painted it vintage green, and changed out hardware.
6. Installed new lights and fans.