15 Inspiring Before After Kitchen Remodel Ideas (Must See!)

Guess what? We are starting our complete kitchen demolition this month and we have been immersed in kitchen remodel ideas for the past 2 months!

I will be writing a lot about our kitchen remodel and adding links here once it’s finished. However, I am not going to wait to share all the amazing kitchen remodel ideas gathered through our own kitchen design process. So here comes a two-part series on our favorite kitchen remodel before and afters!

small kitchen remodel before: dark wood cabinets

Part one (today) will focus on actionable ideas that are DIY friendly, part two (in a couple of weeks) will focus on kitchen design and planning ideas. Now let’s start Part One:15 Achievable Before After Kitchen Remodel Ideas.

1 . Small kitchen remodel on a budget

This budget friendly small kitchen makeover has so many great kitchen remodel ideas which we will be covering throughout this article.

*Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Beautiful all white farmhouse kitchen remodel ideas

To make the small kitchen feel bigger, Christina painted the dark kitchen cabinets white, and replaced upper cabinets with open shelving. The attention to details such as hardware, light fixtures, subway tile backsplash, and kitchen decorations really elevate this beautiful farmhouse kitchen design. (Source: Christina’s Adventures)

2 . Paint kitchen cabinets: big impact with minimal effort

If your kitchen layout and cabinet quality is good, you can transform a dated kitchen by simply painting the cabinets.

old dated kitchen remodel
Two-tone white and blue modern farmhouse kitchen before and after

One of the most stylish kitchen remodel ideas is to paint the upper kitchen cabinets white, and lower cabinets with an elegant color. This dramatic kitchen before and after by Makamashishop is a great example.

Want some great kitchen cabinet paint color ideas? Here are 25 of our favorite designer paint colors for kitchen cabinets!

Transform your kitchen easily with 25 beautiful kitchen cabinet colors and favorite designer kitchen paint color combos from farmhouse to modern glam! Paint color names for each kitchen with great designer tips! - A Piece of Rainbow

25 favorite designer paint colors for kitchen cabinets!

3 . Open up the kitchen peninsula

An L shaped peninsula is a great kitchen design feature. In this case however, the upper cabinets make the space feel heavy and cluttered.

kitchen remodel ideas before: remove upper cabinets above peninsula and open up the space
beautiful white kitchen with deep green painted kitchen cabinets

With open shelves, bright new countertop, and gorgeous painted lower kitchen cabinets, this remodeled kitchen space by Percival.house feels much more spacious, and offers a much better socializing experience.

4 & 5. Peel and stick kitchen backsplash

Some of my favorite kitchen remodel ideas are also renter friendly.

rental kitchen remodel before: no backsplash

A removable wallpaper or peel and stick vinyl tiles can add lots of beauty and style to a generic rental kitchen. It is also an easy and inexpensive solution for homeowners who are not ready to install a newer tile backsplash.

easy DIY peel and stick "tile" backsplash is one of the best rental kitchen remodel ideas

These two beautiful examples of peel and stick blue tile or subway tile wallpapers are from Spoonflower (painted tile backsplash) and The Craft Lady(subway tile backsplash).

There are so many wonderful choices on Amazon these days great for DIY enthusiasts and renters.

6 & 7. Turn a wood kitchen cabinet door into a glass door

all wood kitchen cabinet doors

If you want to make a kitchen feel more open, but are not 100% sure on open shelving, consider removing the wood cabinet door panels and adding glass inserts . There are different ways to DIY a glass door, check out the tutorials at Confessions of A Serial DIYer and HGTV(below).

DIY dated kitchen cabinet doors to chic glass doors!

8 . Add details to kitchen island and peninsula

small kitchen remodel before with dated cabinets
paint kitchen cabinets to white and navy blue

In addition to painting kitchen cabinets, you can also make your kitchen more beautiful by adding some design details such as beaded panel or board and batten to the back of a kitchen island or peninsula. (Source: Chris loves Julia)

9 . Varieties of kitchen lighting

kitchen remodel ideas & before and afters: how to paint kitchen cabinets, add open shelving, select backsplash, hardware, lighting, kitchen decorations, and styles from farmhouse to modern!
farmhouse fixer upper kitchen remodel with shiplap, open shelves and pendant lights

This Fixer Upper inspired kitchen remodel combines practical task lighting such as recessed lights with decorative pendant and wall sconce. (Source: Painted By Kayla Payne )

10 . Warm materials

all white kitchen before
white washed wood modern farmhouse kitchen remodel

This modern farmhouse kitchen remodel feels clean and bright with a mostly black and white palette. The whitewashed wood cabinets,  brass faucet and light fixtures, and wooden kitchen accessories warm up the space beautifully. ( Source: Studio McGee)

11 . Functional kitchen decorations

beautiful kitchen open shelf styling and decorations with white and blue ceramic dishes

We all love beautiful dishes, cookware, and cuttings boards. When remodeling a kitchen, take them out of the cabinets and drawers, and create some perfect spots to display those treasures. This white farmhouse kitchen offers many beautiful ideas in styling an open shelf.

You can even use wooden cutting boards, layered along countertops, to disguise electrical outlets when they aren’t in use.

12-14. Rethink kitchen cabinet doors

DIY small kitchen remodel before:how to paint kitchen cabinets, add open shelving, select backsplash, hardware, lighting, kitchen decorations, and styles from farmhouse to modern!
farmhouse sink, mint painted kitchen cabinets, open shelf

Have you thought of kitchen cabinets without doors?

Instead of removing upper kitchen cabinets and building new open shelves, you can simply remove kitchen cabinet doors and let the cabinets become instant open shelving. ( Source: Our Storied Home)

white farmhouse kitchen with open cabinet shelves

Here‘s another gorgeous farmhouse kitchen with open cabinets.

Glass cabinets look open and light, while keeping out dust!

This lovely kitchen cabinet with glass doors offers a good alternative, especially in dust and grease prone areas. See kitchen #4 and #5 on how to convert solid cabinet doors to glass doors.

15 . Beauty is in the details

white L shaped kitchen remodel before
small beautiful kitchen with cement tile floor, white square subway tile backsplash, forest green cabinets, farmhouse loght fixtures, brass faucet, wood open shelves

This kitchen by Studio McGee is very small in square footage, yet really grand in design. All the details come together in such beautiful harmony : the clean white tiles and farmhouse sink, warm wood open shelving, rich brass faucet and hardware, glam forest green cabinets , and stunning cement tile floor.

You may also love: 21 gorgeous and achievable entryway before and afters!

21 amazing DIY before after entryway makeovers! These dramatic transformations will inspire you to create a beautiful, functional and welcoming entryway! - A Piece Of Rainbow

Happy creating! See you next week!


  1. Using open shelving as an amazing new idea for your kitchen when remodeling it sounds quite interesting to me. Something like that could make our home kitchen feel much fresher when we look at it from a broader perspective. I’ll use that idea for sure when I work with a kitchen remodeling expert as soon as possible.

  2. Customizing a kitchen peninsula really sounds like a great idea if you can combine them with new cabinets. This way, we could get some amazing storage while keeping the area looking as open as possible. I’ll definitely use this idea when I work with a remodeling contractor in the area.

  3. GREAT article and in-depth look at so many alternative kitchen remodel options that I’ve seen out there ! For people like us who are looking for fixer uppers, this is exactly the resource I was hoping to find.
    Thank you!

  4. I liked how you displayed a great way of setting up a kitchen peninsula to act as a brand new kitchen space. Serving guests has become a favorite past-time among my family, and one of our most fun activities has been getting them to try new recipes that we learn on the internet. Because of this, we wanted to renovate our kitchen to have a better place to do this, so I’ll keep these tips in mind while looking for a contractor that can help us out with the renovations.

  5. Great inspiration on how to remodel a small kitchen space. You are right about paint having the biggest impact for the least amount of work.

  6. I like the second remodel you showed with the white upper cabinets and dusty blue lower cabinets. My husband and I have been considering something similar for our own home remodel. We don’t really need to replace cabinets, but we do need to replace appliances, backsplash, and flooring. We’ll have to find a contractor to help us with the remodel, when we’re ready!

  7. I really like the way you write about Kitchen Color Trends. Thanks for the informative post, I learned a lot from your article about some great kitchen colors.


  8. I love what you said about creating a kitchen peninsula. My friend wants to remodel his kitchen, I’ll share this post with him because his kitchen looks a lot like one of the before photos.

  9. Hi Ananda, I read your complete post and almost I already aware most of them except your 3rd point that is about open L shape kitchen peninsula. But my favorite point is “to change wooden kitchen cabinets into glass door”. Can I borrow these 2 points? 😊

  10. All of the kitchens are so beautiful. I know the trend is to get rid of uppers and have shelves instead but I am a fan of having the storage. Great read though.

  11. Loved this post! It’s amazing how simple things like painting the walls/cabinets a different color or adding new light fixtures can really change the look of a whole room.

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