Guest Post: Amanda's Affordable Eat-In Kitchen

You might remember today's guest poster, Kara Pasley from the last time she stopped by. Need a refresher? Pop back to the fab dining room makover she and her husband shared earlier this year. Who could forget the mason jar chandelier? Today Kara is walking us through a more low key (read: affordable) makeover done for another space. Over to you, Kara...

A few months ago a client asked me to redesign her new apartment. I've worked with Amanda before (giving her MUSIC STUDIO a complete overhaul and creating a ROCKIN' GUITAR SPACE for her students). From our former projects I knew Amanda is a gal who loves color, character, and unique ideas. So you can imagine how excited I was to get started. Let's look at the kitchen/dining room area.

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The small kitchenette area already had this fantastic Mexican-inspired tile that was the jumping off point for the rest of the space. The cabinets stayed that bold fire-engine red because bright colors are a cornerstone in Mexican design. BUT let's say we had to start from scratch- a quart of red paint and some tile tattoos from MIBO is all it would take to bring us right back to this point!

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Since we had a great base to build on, the accessories were what made the difference in this space! Adorable cafe curtains, a sweet little spice rack, a fitting tea towel, woods accents, and new knobs all work together to set a beautiful scene.

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The hand carved and mismatched knobs add a ton of personality and pop. Because there were so few cabinets we could have splurged, but I lucked out and found these little pieces of art on sale at Anthropologie for $3 each!

The large butcher block cutting board serves dual purposes: to cut up veggies and hide the not so attractive countertop.

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We took the door off to open up the space and to provide room for three rods hung on the wall. These rods serve to hold all Amanda's pots and pans- freeing up her cabinets for food.

Now the dining area needed some real work both to function and to be beautiful. Space was scarce and storage was non-existent, two major problems for a girl downsizing. So, what do you do when you have more stuff than storage. You go up, up the wall that is.

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These shelves not only provide ample storage space for everything Amanda might need in her kitchen/dining area, they also create a colorful focal point which is right up Amanda's ally.

We kept the old unattractive table which fit in the room perfectly. A cute little tablecloth is all it took to cover the ugly part of the piece.
Two modern white ikea chairs make this space perfect for a candlelight dinner or a friendly game of checkers!
The previous light would have worked just fine, but I didn't feel like it had that charm factor that Amanda was after. So, I covered the glass shade with a croqueted piece of fabric that looks absolutely adorable, if I do say so myself.
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When the light is on at night the fabric creates beautiful shadows on the ceiling! Sometimes, its the little things that really make a space special.
A chalkboard (made from an old cabinet door) and some linen curtains hung half way down the window complete the sweet little space.
Here's the budget breakdown!
Knobs (Anthropologie and REstore)- $21
Spice Rack (garage Sale)- $5
Butcher block (Amanda already had)- FREE
Parrot Tea Towel- $8
Pot Rack Rods- $15
Over-the-sink shelf (Bed, Bath, and Beyond)- $10
Rolling Cart (Craigslist)- $10
Brackets (IKEA) and Shelves (LOWES) - $50
Chalkboard (Old cabinet doors and leftover chalkboard paint)- FREE
2 White Chairs (IKEA)- $40
Table cloth, curtain, and croqueted fabric (garage sale)- $4
Accessories/Items on shelves (all from Amanda's stash)- FREE
TOTAL COST: $163!!!


  1. Such a cute & cozy little space. I would've never thought to cover the lamp with fabric, and I heart the knobs!

  2. Anonymous10:51 AM

    Kara's work always looks amazing. I absolutely love the high shelving and the contrast of the darker wood. In the first kitchen picture, the cabinets have a hot pink look to them that I kind of dig. Now that would be a fun idea.

  3. I like the fabric on the little cart thingy...


  4. Red cabinets are so cool...I love the red chalkboard as well.For a small space it really doesn't look overbearing.


  5. I absolutely love this post. I would have never thought of taking the door down. The best idea was the lace over the light fixture. It really gives the space romance. Good job!

  6. Ooh this is so much fun!

  7. The spice rack on the side of the cabinet looks out of place and like it was just stuck on there. I think it would look better painted the same color as the cabinets; it would look built-in then and not stick out so much. Just an opinion of course.

  8. I want this kitchen!!!

  9. Ashley2:46 PM

    Great work! I also love how you give the cost breakdown and where you purchased the items - that helps us DIYers so much!


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