Kitchen Mini-Makeover for Under $4,000
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Alyssa Valentine of Courtney & Kurt Real Estate Team shares her strategy for a budget-friendly makeover of a 1940s kitchen

Mini Makeover: The Backstory

Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a carry-out queen, there’s something special about really loving your kitchen. After all, it’s the entertainment center of the house and often one of the most expensive to make over. So perhaps you’ve just bought the perfect house but it needs a little love. Or you’re finally sick of those old counters but don’t have the time (or budget) for a full overhaul. Here are a few easy, budget friendly tips from a “mini-makeover” I did a few years back to help you love the one you’re with – kitchen, that is!

The back story … I bought this sweet 1940’s traditional in 2009 after it languished on the market for months, mostly because of all its outdated (read: ugly) features, including the circa 1940’s kitchen complete with crappy linoleum floors. Since we didn’t have a ton of extra cash after buying the house, a full kitchen remodel was not in our immediate budget. And so began our mini-makeover!

Update #1: The Floor

The stained, faded and scratched linoleum floor in the kitchen had to go, immediately. We chose Marmoleum tiles for their versatility, bright colors and ease of installation, i.e.: this is DIY for beginners. Plus you can lay them over old linoleum – even better! The tiles were easy to install and cut allowing us to effortlessly work around the edges and corners of the room. With YouTube videos as our guide, it took us two evenings to get it done and for roughly $400, we had transformed the look of our kitchen. Check out Linoleum City for their selection.

Update #2: The Dishwasher

Hello dishwasher, goodbye drying rack

We HAD to have a dishwasher but our 1940’s kitchen wasn’t playing along. The counter depth wasn’t going to accommodate a modern machine so we had to come up with a work around. We ended up sacrificing two lower cabinets and built a frame around the dishwasher thereby “extending” the cabinet. Painted all the same color and you’d barely notice. Au revoir, dear drying rack!

Update #3: New Counters

Pre-fab slabs of marble and engineered quartz

There is something sweet about the tiled counters of a 1940’s traditional until the grout is stained, the tiles are cracked and chipped, and the original cast iron sink starts dropping into the base-cabinet below. It was time for new counters.

I heard about Mingguang Stone Inc. in El Monte where you can pick up pre-fab slabs of marble and engineered quartz (similar to Caesarstone) for $200 each. Fabulously, each slab also comes with a 4-inch back-splash, which makes replacing your counters very affordable. Make sure you pick the precise slabs you want and inspect them before they’re loaded onto a truck for delivery. The cut and install (I hired a guy at Mingguang) was around $150/slab, and I figured I would need two, maybe three slabs, which would put me around $1,050. Plus I picked up a modern single basin, undermount sink from them for $150.

Update #4: Paint

Since the new counters would highlight the old painted cabinets, I decided a quick paint job was in store. I tested six different sample colors before deciding on the final. Let me stress how important it is to test your paint colors first! We hired a few handymen who did the entire kitchen including the walls + ceiling for $850.

Now, For The Reveal

And there it is! Mini makeover complete for just under $4,000! Want more info? Feel free to send me a message here.

Happy rehabbing!

Originally from Erie, PA, Alyssa graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Theater & Drama. After living in Chicago and Lake Tahoe, Alyssa found her way to Northeast Los Angeles. The diverse landscape and architecture drew her into a now 10+ year career focused on an authentic + client-first approach. As a perpetual student of interior design trends and renovating over 10 homes, Alyssa maximizes her client’s property value through design tweaks + improvements. When not hanging with her family, Alyssa can often be found scouring the flea markets and consignment shops of LA.

Courtney + Kurt Real Estate Team

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