This Is What a $34,000 Kitchen Renovation Looks Like

Ever wonder what those swoony, Pinterest-worthy interiors actually cost to renovate? Same—which is why we've started to ask questions. Kindly join us in number-crunching the gorgeous $34K transformationof this San Francisco bachelorette pad.

Reno Addicts, Prepare to Fall In Love With This Antique Cape Before and After

Courtesy of Homepolish

The Project

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.

Vivian Sachs; Courtesy of Homepolish

Cabinetry: $9,000

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.

Vivian Sachs; Courtesy of Homepolish

Paint: $2,500

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
Labor: $2,060

Get the look: Farrow & Ball, Pigeon

Vivian Sachs; Courtesy of Homepolish

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

Vivian Sachs; Courtesy of Homepolish

Appliances: $4,200

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

Vivian Sachs; Courtesy of Homepolish

Hardware: $600

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)

Vivian Sachs; Courtesy of Homepolish

Floors: $2,000

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.

Stain: $115 
Labor: $1,885

Get the look: Duraseal Quick Coat in Provincial (from $13)

Vivian Sachs; Courtesy of Homepolish

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.)

Demo: $3,000
Finish carpentry: $2,000
Cleanup: $500
Installation of cabinets, plumbing, electrical: $5,000

Vivian Sachs; Courtesy of Homepolish

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.