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A Custom DIY Kitchen Remodel

A Custom DIY Kitchen Remodel

Open kitchen with island and bar stools, white cabinets and hanging pendant lights
Written by Victoria Van Vlear
Photography by Yelena Larson

Moving into a 60-year-old home can be a challenge—but one this couple was willing to take. When blogger Yelena Larson and her husband Tim bought this 1963 home in Connecticut, they had their work cut out for them. “This home had not been remodeled since the day it was first built, so we are remodeling each room one step a time,” Yelena says. Here’s a peek at their finished DIY kitchen remodel, and how they did it.

DIY kitchen renovation with hanging industrial pendants over island
Industrial pendants hang over the large island. The Larsons designed and built their own range hood for over the stove area.

American Farmhouse Style: What was your vision for the kitchen?

Yelena: My vision for this kitchen was to transform it from dark to light, to create an open layout and to be “magazine worthy.” Those were my three wishes! I wanted to incorporate my love for modern farmhouse style in this kitchen. I also wanted something different and unique, something that you don’t see too often. I wanted every part of this kitchen to have a function with no wasted space. 

Before shots of DIY kitchen renovation
When the Larsons moved in, the kitchen hadn’t been changed since the house was built in 1963. Definitely time for some upgrades!

AFS: The changes you made to the kitchen are pretty dramatic! What exactly did you replace or change?

Yelena: What didn’t we change? We started by taking down a wall to create an open floor plan. We changed the kitchen layout to accommodate all of our appliances and their functions. We changed the windows and added a bigger picture window over our new farm sink to give more light to the kitchen. We changed all the cabinets, the floor, countertops, added more light, added a kitchen island, coffee bar and eating station for our dogs. The only one thing that remained the same was the door. We kept the original door and just painted it black.  

Window with side door painted black and open shelves with countertop
This charming coffee area has an extra countertop to provide more work space in the kitchen.

AFS: Did you do the work yourself, or hire it out?

 Yelena: We did all the work ourselves. I designed it, my husband built it. My husband has an extensive knowledge in remodeling and woodworking.  Besides doing all the work, my husband had also custom-built the wooden bar that comes out of the island. He built the coffee bar countertop and shelves, the window sill, the beams, all the wooden signs and he handmade the hood over the stove. We definitely saved a lot of money this way!

DIY kitchen renovation farmhouse style with white bead board, island and bar stools
Yelena and her husband redid almost everything in their DIY kitchen renovation. The results are stunning!

AFS: How long did the remodel take?

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Wood countertops are paired with white cabinets beside large black bar stools

Yelena: The remodel took a few months. Since we both work full time, our DIY kitchen remodel was only happening in the evenings and the weekends.  

end of island with open shelving and dog eating station
Even the dogs have their own space in the kitchen for eating, with a handy raised open shelf that will also help keep the mess to a minimum.

AFS: What’s your favorite part about the DIY kitchen remodel, now that it’s done?

Yelena: I love everything about it.  I love how open it is, I love how functional it is. I honestly still have to pinch myself to see if I am dreaming.  I never in a million years thought that I could have a kitchen like this. But if I had to choose one thing I would probably say our dogs’ eating station with the running water. I mean we got a new kitchen—it’s only fair that our dogs get a new kitchen too!

sink and island with bouquet of flowers on top
The off-white of the cabinets bounces the light around to offer a larger feel to the space.

Want more DIY renovation inspiration? Check out this farmhouse bathroom! Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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