By painting the existing cabinetry, replacing the countertop, and swapping the ceiling fan for pendant lights, designer T. Keller Donovan transformed his Florida kitchen on a tight budget. Here, he shares his time and money-saving tips for getting a dream kitchen - without having to demolish the whole room.
Before: The 1970s-Style Kitchen
Designer T. Keller Donovan was up for the challenge of renovating a dark and drab Florida kitchen into a brighter, more modern space. "All that '70s oak made me claustrophobic," he says.
After: Light and Airy
Instead of replacing the cabinets, Donovan painted the existing ones white, and to save on budget, he kept the floors. But he did decide to replace the all-black appliances. "They just don't work in Florida," he says.
Donovan replaced the ceiling fan with two pendant lights because they "give me concentrated light just where I need it for chopping and arranging food on plates." The lights look a lot sleeker than the bulky fan, too.
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After a fresh coat of paint, Donovan slipcovered the island with a white Corian top and two ends. "It's more of a focal point now that the corners are defined," he says. He picked Corian because it's instantly calming - the material is cool to the touch.
To make the kitchen more open and to match the new stainless-steel appliances, Donovan added metal shelving from Ikea. "It feels so airy with open shelves. I can visualize every single thing that's going on the table, and I'm not constantly opening and closing doors," he says.
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This sleek Franke Kubus sink not only matches the appliances, it's well-designed and functional, too. "You can drain dishes on the grid or wash lettuce and it's not sitting in a puddle of water. The coriander slots right into the sink. The 20-inch faucet has a pull-down spout and only requires one hole, which looks cleaner," he says.
More from House Beautiful:
- See the Kitchen of the Year
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55 Ideas to Update Your Kitchen
- Beautiful Designer Bedrooms
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