Before-and-after photos of kitchen renovations show how small upgrades can transform your space

Leslie Rodriguez PhotographySmall updates, like paint on cabinets, can massively improve your space.
  • Kitchens are one of the most important rooms in a home, both because of how often they’re used and their importance in resale value.
  • Although you might think you have to shell out a ton of cash to renovate your kitchen, there are actually a lot of minor changes you can make to completely change the space.
  • Small updates like painting the cabinets, new light fixtures, or modern shelving additions can make a huge difference in how your kitchen looks and feels.
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You don’t have to get new countertops to make your kitchen feel fresh.

Brittany MartinYou don’t have to get new countertops.

Brittany Martin’s kitchen got a total revamp, with the new flooring and cabinetry making the biggest difference in the space.

Although the transformation is dramatic, Martin didn’t replace the countertops, which is one of the most expensive changes in a kitchen.

By keeping the original tile and focusing on the flooring and cabinets instead, she was able to elevate the space and save money.


Small changes like cabinet doors and lighting do more than you might think.

Kathryn QuinnLighting is important, even in a kitchen.

The updates to Kathryn Quinn’s kitchen are subtle, as the flooring and neutral colour scheme are consistent before and after the renovation.

But Quinn gave the space a refresh with new light fixtures and open shelving, as well as by adding a bright backsplash.


A black-and-white colour scheme can look really different depending on how you display it.

Kelsey TerschakYou can modernise a traditional colour scheme.

Kelsey Terschak’s kitchen always made use of black and white, but the classic colours weren’t used to the fullest in the original kitchen.

The tile floor looked dated, and the wood cabinetry gave the room a heavy feel.

By making the cabinets and floors white, the black fridge, countertops, and stove don’t feel heavy, instead giving the space a clean look. The rug adds a subtle addition of colour.


A coat of paint on the cabinets makes all the difference in this kitchen.

Kristin GormanPaint is important.

Both the cabinets and the floor got a revamp during Kristin Gorman’s kitchen renovation, but the cabinets are the standout in the new space.

The colour instantly brightens the space, as well as updates it when compared to the older wood. The flooring and new chairs with the island just further modernise the kitchen.


Sometimes the best thing you can do for a kitchen is to remove bulky items.

Allison MisuliaLess is often more with cabinets.

The big, green cabinets weren’t allowing Allison Misulia to make the most of her kitchen. By removing them from the wall, she opened up the space.

The free shelving makes the space seem bigger than it is, and it ensures Misulia still has plenty of room for storage.

Likewise, the black cabinetry stands out against the white walls and countertops, creating a fresh look.


Adding creative colours can make a kitchen feel more special.

Leslie Rodriguez PhotographySmall updates like paint on cabinets can massively improve your space.

Leslie Rodriguez totally transformed her kitchen, from the appliances to the backsplash.

But the light-green cabinets are what catch your eye at first glance. A pastel can function as a modern neutral in your space, and paint is a really affordable update.

The lighting also makes a big difference in this room, as the dated lamp made the room look clunky. The new fixture sets a lighter tone for the room.


You can keep the integrity of your home’s original structure when you update it.

Michelle FeneliusYou don’t have to gut the kitchen.

The flooring, countertops, and backsplash are all different in Michelle Fenelius’ new kitchen, but everything is in the same place as it was before the renovation, keeping a sense of consistency.

Plus, the traditional glass cabinet above the dishwasher makes the kitchen unique, breaking up the space.

The white just makes the original structures feel new.


Don’t be afraid to get creative with patterns in your kitchen.

Samantha MillerPatterns can be a fun addition.

Samantha Miller’s kitchen pops with patterns.

From the wicker chandeliers to the etched island, the use of texture in the space makes it dynamic, but the neutral colours keep it from looking too busy.

Removing cabinets from one of the walls also makes the room look more open, allowing for more decor, like the ceiling-high backsplash and the plants.


The most important thing to keep in mind when renovating a room is to create a cohesive look for the whole space.

Heidi YonagoCreate a distinct vibe.

Heidi Yonago’s kitchen has a neutral, grey colour scheme, and every part of it flows together.

The sleek, modern look is consistent, whether you’re looking at the countertops or cabinets.

Plus, the light hue stands out against the dark wood of the floor, creating a pleasing contrast.


Investing in big items can set the tone for your kitchen.

Photography by MAZIThe sink is a focal point.

The farmhouse sink is one of the standout features of Zaheda Moosa Parvez’s kitchen, which features fun, blue cabinetry.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on the whole room, but splurging on something like a sink that will last you for years can take the space to a new level.

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