This Is What a $34,000 Kitchen Renovation Looks Like
Behold, the gloomy “before” shot. After relocating from New York, owner Stacey Finerman enlisted designer Jill Shadek and Homepolish Build Services to usher the painfully dated galley (pink linoleum counters!!) into this millennium. On her wish list? Shaker-style cupboards, marble counters and an East meets West Coast vibe. With a budget of $34,000, Shadek set about designing a classic, clean and modern space. Here’s exactly how all that dough shuffled out.
Dealing with the crappy, old melamine cabinets was the first order of business. To best accommodate the cramped floor plan, Shadek scrapped the existing bones in favor of high-quality, storage-optimized custom cabinetry (hello, roomy double-uppers). This was the largest splurge by far, but definitely necessary, insisted Shadek.
Once the cabinets were picked, the question of color came into play. Though the client was originally set on a neutral scheme, Shadek guided her toward a more fun direction with this blue-gray tone.
Paint & supplies: $420
Get the look: Farrow & Ball, Pigeon
Countertops & Backsplash: $5,400
Finerman was dead-set on creamy white marble to brighten the space. But wary of the risk of staining—and even more wary of the budget hit, Shadek sought out other options. Their solution? Neolith, a porcelain stone that looks remarkably similar (for about two-thirds of the cost), which they used for both the counter and the backsplash.
Neolith countertops: $1,700
Neolith backsplash: $1,700
Neolith installation: $2,000
Finerman definitely wanted a space that wouldn’t look dated (ahem, like its predecessor) should she choose to sell it down the road. So when it came to selecting appliances, she went for classic and simple stainless pieces.
Bosch dishwasher: $600
LG refrigerator: $1,800
Kenmore oven: $1,500
Kenmore microwave: $300
For finishing touches, the ladies sprang for solid brass pulls and hexagonal knobs (which were definitely on the splurgier end of the hardware scale). They were careful to choose pieces with shallow depth and soft, rounded edges, to avoid bumps and snagged clothing while moving about the small space.
Get the look: Schoolhouse Electric knobs and pulls ($18 each)
Originally, the team picked out some snazzy new hardwood flooring. But as costs mounted, they decided to cleverly pivot, and instead sanded down the original oak floors and gave them a deep, dark stain.
Get the look: Duraseal Quick Coat in Provincial (from $13)
The Manpower: $10,500
For any of y’all plotting a reno, here are some professional labor costs you might not think to budget for. (Stuff like relocating a dishwasher, adding recessed lighting or trimming out your floorboards.)
Finish carpentry: $2,000
Installation of cabinets, plumbing, electrical: $5,000
The Total: $34,200
Thanks to the professional-grade installs, bespoke cabinetry and luxe finishes, this little kitchen clocked in at $10K above the national average. (But bear in mind that this was done in San Francisco, arguably the priciest city in the country.) For a mega-chic, soup-to-nuts transformation, we think the finished product is a total triumph.