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Our $100 Kitchen Makeover

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

The day we bought our property was an incredibly exciting one. Thirty-six acres of beautiful Colorado mountainside and it was all ours. The property came with a late model three-bedroom modular home with decks all around, an off-grid one-room cabin, a full mechanics workshop, a root cellar that also housed a cistern, a chicken coop, goat pen, beautiful terraced gardens, and established fruit trees. Everything we could want to live out our Colorado dream and embark on a self-sustaining homesteading adventure.

We plan to someday build our dream home nestled between those ponderosa pines as well as put in a few guest houses for extra income. But, for right now we have an older modular. And, it’s just what you would expect. Faux oak paneling and tacky wallpaper throughout. And, for anyone who knows me, you know I can never live in a space that isn’t beautiful. To quote Delia Deetz, from Beetlejuice - “...I must express myself. If you don't let me gut out this house and make it my own, I will go insane and I will take you with me!” Luckily for me, my husband is a patient man who knows better than to get between me and my creative freedom. As we relaunch this blog and begin to make new posts, you're going to see a lot of project updates as I painstakingly transform this home for the lowest possible budget and (hopefully) prove to you readers, that you can make anything pretty with a little creativity and some hard work.

As soon as we took possession of the house, I knew that the kitchen would be the first spot to tackle.

Let’s Start With That Good Old Oak Paneling...

Oak anything is a hard pass for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dark wood, but the orangey/yellow of oak is severely off-putting for my personal taste. Then, move past the oak and oh that wallpaper. Again, personally, I don’t do floral, that’s not to say I don’t love plants, and as we get to know each other you’re inevitably going to be exposed to my plant and garden obsession but, I digress. Back to the crime at hand, those glass-front cabinets, white Formica countertops, dingy stove hood, and all the way up to those light fixtures that make me think of boobs, and all the way down to that diamond linoleum. I can’t even.

I’m not going to get into all the dirty details on this post, but it was a down and dirty job that I slapped together in a single weekend. (Note that these are not affiliate links.) So, let’s start with the budget breakdown:

Paint, lower cabinets - Magnolia Home color Arches $53 a gallon (but I only used ½)

Paint, upper cabinets - Magnolia Home color Panna Cotta, $53 gallon

Counters - Contact Paper in Blue Fog Marble $24.34 per roll (1 roll)

Cabinet Lining - Peel and Stick Wallpaper from Hoak Home $8.43

Drumroll Please…

For a grand total of: $111.34 I took twenty years off of my kitchen. (Wouldn’t it be nice if it were so cheap and easy to take twenty years off of me?!) I still need to put in new flooring, custom light fixtures, and custom window treatments, but again each of those projects will be done as a DIY for the lowest possible budget.

So, now you know what it cost. Wanna see what $111.34 got me? Again with the drumroll…


All in all, I’m really happy with the results. There will be more tweaks and changes as we get fully moved into the house, but for today at least, I have a lovely kitchen.

I know that as I started posting these pics on social I got a lot of requests and curiosity regarding the counters. Contact Paper, what? Believe it or not, this is such a popular DIY hack that Contact brand has actually been creating specialty papers designed for this purpose. As you can see, they aren't the same price as the original product which is between $4.99 and $9.99 depending on the style, but the product is designed thicker and sturdier to withstand the abuse a countertop might take. I was planning on doing a tutorial for this process, but the counter I was planning to use for the tutorial got in a fight with me and well, it kinda won so that post will have to wait until the next time I have a counter to redo. Until then this is a great tutorial from The Nifty Nester.

Until next time friends,

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