My Kitchen Before and After (Thanks IKEA!)

So my kitchen has undergone many transformations since I’ve moved into the duplex in Milwaukee. The first of them can be seen here in a post about cabinets that Matt and I found on the curb and I painted and cut down some countertops to fit (that we also found). I have since painted the kitchen blue, but wasn’t a fan of the serene color in the kitchen. It was meant more for a bedroom or a bathroom. So I decided on Yellow.

paint sample

I decided on Behr’s “Gold Buff”.

blue kitchen 2

Blurry, but here’s what the blue looked like. Not bad, but not for me.

blue kitchen 4

 I think when people take before and after pictures they take really bad “before” pictures so the “after” ones seem that much better. Without knowing, that’s what I did here.


This was not fun. I don’t recommend it. But when you paint, it has to be done. This took 2-3 coats in some areas.

After- Yellow Kitchen

We decided to take the shelves down above the stove and sink and move them to the corner of the room. We were recently at Ikea and for around $15 total we got some bars, hooks, and a hanging basket for organizing above the stove.

Ikea Organizing

I love this little basket.

After Kitchen

We recently got a Reverse Osmosis filter and installed it for delicious, chemical free water. The catch- the drain that runs into the sink has to be lower than the faucet. So after we tried to install the faucet into the countertop, it leaked. It works great now! But there’s those hoses that need to be hid. Suggestions welcome. 

RO Filter

Unsightly hoses…  Small price to pay for delicious water.

Built Ins

I love the built ins. I painted them with a fresh coat of off-white (Sherwin William’s Greek Key) and we got knobs from Ikea for $1 for just 6 knobs. The organizing jars are from TJ Maxx for just $12 a piece, and keep our flour and sugar neatly stored for when we bake. (We bake all of our own bread.)

Found Bookcase

We also found the bookcase last spring when the college kids were moving out of their rental units. It adds some much needed storage. Nothing too fancy, but it works!

Faux Chalkboard

I created this faux chalkboard on a canvas with some black and white paint. First, paint the canvas black and let dry completely. Then take some white paint, and thin it out with water by dipping your brush in water, and mixing with a tiny dab of paint. Repeat until you have the desired consistency, then paint your design!

Chair redo

I found these chairs in the alley (4 of them) on my way home one day this summer and snatched them up ASAP. They are a little wobbly, but some tightening of bolts fixed that. I got this fabric at IKEA for $8 a yard and covered all 4 chairs, with enough fabric to spare for another project.

Curtains from Ikea

I also made this easy, light diffusing curtain with IKEA fabric for just $4 a yard. Note the knife holder and little coffee area we created for extra storage.

Coffee Station

My little coffee and tea area holds sugar, honey, tea packets and a few cups and is conveniently placed above the coffee maker. The tea leaf strainer and a tea kettle were birthday presents from the boyfriend last year.

All in all I think this transformation cost less than $75! I really wish there were an IKEA in Wisconsin… But it’s worth the drive whenever we DO get a chance to go. What have you done to make your kitchen more efficient?

Happy Before and Afters!


3 thoughts on “My Kitchen Before and After (Thanks IKEA!)

  1. Love how simple your kitchen is. We are working on moving to our homestead by next summer after I graduate from college. Tiny house living – so always looking for great, small kitchen ideas. We have a new IKEA that will be open this fall. I can’t wait!

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