It’s been a full year since my husband, Austin, and I bought our fixer-upper home in Des Moines, IA. We’ve been working room-by-room to transform it into a more livable, beautiful space. When we moved in, we were charmed by the kitchen’s retro feel with metal cabinets and the enamel drainboard sink. We switched out the appliances, adjusted the layout a bit and added butcher block counters. We made the kitchen work well enough for the first 6 months, but by July, it was obvious that the rusty cabinet sides were disintegrating faster than we anticipated. Since Austin and I weren’t exactly planning to gut our kitchen and start over so soon, finding a frugal way to do it all took some creativity. I came up with a design that used hardware store stock materials and required we do most of the work ourselves with the help of family.
The greyish-green lower cabinets, charcoal floors, a black sink and recycled glass countertops are some of my favorite elements of our new kitchen. I love how cohesive the space looks even though a lot of the material decisions were made in the moment in the store aisles. There are definitely spots that tell on us that this was a DIY project but as a whole, the space feels finished and refined. I’m incredibly proud of us and this kitchen. I hope you enjoy it! —Lauren
Photography by Austin Day