Budget Friendly Kitchen Makeover Plan

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My parent’s kitchen is a time capsule to the ’90s, so I am taking on the challenge of giving it a facelift. See my whole plan for this budget-friendly kitchen makeover below.

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Last July I attended my very first blogging conference called Haven. It was such an eye-opening experience and I finally got to meet some fellow bloggers that I had only spoken to online. I also just so happened to be the winner of one of the sponsor’s amazing prizes–a room makeover! Yep, me winner of a room makeover. Okay, so first of all, I NEVER win anything. Not even a free ticket on those lottery card scratch-offs. Really. So when they called my name to announce that I had won this room makeover, I was in shock, to say the least!

Then I realized that my husband and I live in a rental home. Now, yes I know that you can easily give a room in a rental house a facelift and most landlords would thank you, but I didn’t want to spend all the time and the prize money on something that we were just going to hand over to the next tenant. Nope, sorry I am that selfish.

So since my husband and I still have yet to find the home and property we are looking for, I decided that I would use this wonderful prize in my parent’s kitchen. It is quite literally a time capsule of early 90’s kitchen decor and is in desperate need of a facelift. Even though we are being supplied paint from Behr and hardware from Liberty Hardware, this kitchen makeover is still going to be extremely budget-friendly.

The Before:

Take a long hard look at this kitchen! If the blue gingham counters didn’t get you then wait until you see the cow wallpaper. Seriously this kitchen is straight from the early ’90s when that honey oak and blue country style was all the rage.

I remember all of the hours my mom spent pouring over wallpaper catalogs. Remember those? I was probably 5 or 6 when my parents decided to redo their kitchen–so a good 25 years ago. My mom would drag me to the local hardware store to check out their gigantic, heavy as a ton of bricks, wallpaper catalogs. Then we would sit at that country gingham blue counter and look at wallpaper after wallpaper trying to get just the right combination of base and border.

Of course, there are cows. For a long time, my mom collected all things cows. Now there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of an obsession. I mean I get it, but when the entire space is covered from head to toe in cows, you know there is a problem. There are cows on the wall, cows on the wallpaper, cows on top of the cabinets. There are even cows (and chickens) on this cute little shelf.

And packed away in the cabinets are more cows! There’s a cow cookie jar, cow sugar and creamer jars, AND cow salt and pepper shakers. Cows, cows, and more cows. And to be fair, quite a bit of roosters too. So it was a little surprised when my mom said that she didn’t want any blue or any COWS in her new kitchen. You don’t have to tell me twice! Although I’m a bit partial to blue, I’m happy to see the cows go!

The Why:

So why makeover my parent’s kitchen? Well if the before didn’t convince you, let me tell you a little bit about my parents. My older brother and I had a pretty good childhood. We weren’t rolling in the money by any means, but my parents worked hard and made sure that we always had everything we needed. We even got a lot of things that we didn’t necessarily need but like any kid, were convinced if we didn’t have it we would surely die.

My dad has always had a very labor-intensive job that had him working with his hands and on his feet all day long. In fact, I don’t think the man knew how to stop working or take it easy because even on his days off he was always working on something around the house. A few years ago he suffered a very serious injury to one of his feet and that has really set him back physically although mentally he still thinks he can do everything. Me helping with this little makeover will really help take a load off of his shoulders for him to concentrate on other things, like their basement remodel that is also going on or finishing the brand new shed he just had built for his at-home business. Yes, when they decide to remodel, they really go for it!

My mom has always been the rock of the family. If you have a problem, you go to mom and she will solve it or at least make you feel better about it. She has always put me, my older brother and my dad before her, and will probably always continue to do so. That’s what moms do right? Even though she worked a full-time job, she always made sure she made us dinner each night, and I have many fond memories of sitting at those blue gingham counters watching her cook. She’s the one who gets all of the credit for teaching me how to cook and bake.

Mom has talked about redoing their kitchen for years! I knew that I could at least use this room makeover and do this much for my parents. My mom can get the kitchen she’s been talking about, and my dad won’t have to do all of the work (although I’m sure he will have plenty to say while he’s “supervising”)

The Plan:

The one thing my mom told me I was not allowed to do was to paint her solid oak cabinets. She has a very strong aversion to painting anything solid wood and I totally get it. Once you paint those babies there is no turning back. So for this design plan, we are going to work with the honey oak color cabinets and trim the 90’s gave us and instead focus on paint color, counters, and adding some bling to those cabinets.

Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover focus:

Oh, and did I mention that I plan to get all of this done in a week’s time? Since my parents live a good 7 hours away, I can’t exactly do this in bits and pieces. Luckily they have already removed the wallpaper and patched the walls for me!

Make sure you are following me on Instagram to see all of my stories and progress updates as they happen!

See the after here

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More room makeovers:


  1. My parents’ kitchen is very similar and love the plans you have for yours. Do you have a pic/blog post of the finished product?

  2. What a nice thing to do for your parents. I bet this update will make a huge difference in bringing this kitchen out of the 90’s and into the present. BTW – I do remember those wallpaper books and borders. I think I had those borders in one of my military housing kitchens…lol.

  3. Amanda, this is so exciting! Love your selections and can’t wait to see the after pictures! Your parents are going to enjoy having you there with them for a week too!

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