And the winner is...

200812010739 Congratulations to Wes from South Carolina for their winning entry "The Kitchen that Google Built". Wes was able to do an amazing job on his kitchen through a lot of hard work and searching out the best deals online. He poured his own concrete countertops and did an amazing job transforming the space. The before and after photo's truly are amazing. 3006528614 0956030B4A-1

Second prize goes to "Simple, Modern, Functional". It was a close race for second, and in the end it came down to just 3 votes separating 2nd place from 3rd. 2nd place winner Summer from Scottsdale did an equally impressive job of transforming her space. She was able to turn her dark south western kitchen into a beautiful open modern kitchen for just 10k.

Summer12Sm11-1 A special thank you to all those that entered and shared their knowledge on how to redo a modern kitchen on a budget. I know I have definitely gleaned some ideas for our kitchen remodel.

Affordable Modern Kitchen Contest: One week left


There is officially one week left to vote for your favorite affordable modern kitchen. So far it has been a pretty tight race with The Kitchen that Google built getting an early lead, then falling behind, and now surging back into the lead. Second place has been a tight race between Simple, Modern, Functional and Mid-Century Mod-ification. Ditching the Drywall is still not out of the picture either with a strong fourth place currently. Remember you can only vote once, so make it count.

Vote Here!

Voting Begins today

I'm really impressed with the number of entries that we had for our affordable modern kitchen contest. I have to admit, when we started the contest I was worried that we wouldn't even get 10 entries. Turns out we had more than 10, and all of them were really good. It was super hard trying to narrow it down to just 10 that everyone would vote for. After much consideration, we finally settled on our top 10. Head on over to the voting page to choose which one you think is the best. Remember, you can only vote once, so make it count.I wanted to thank all the people who entered for sharing their kitchens, and ideas on how to make the modern look more affordable. It's inspirational for me to see just what can be done on a budget. I know that sometimes it's not easy sharing your personal style with the world, so I appreciate the effort.

Now go vote for your favorite! Voting ends Nov 30th.

Last Day!

Just a friendly reminder that today is the last day to enter our affordable modern kitchen contest. I'll be accepting entries until midnight tonight and posting throughout the day if I get any more late entries. Voting starts Monday, so if you have a kitchen in the contest, make sure you tell all your friends to come over and vote!

Affordable Modern Kitchen Contest: Abstrakt red

Neville AfterRyan is a guy after my own heart. His kitchen remodel involved tearing down a couple walls before putting it all back together again. The ASTRAKT red really brings some nice color into the kitchen.

We tore down two walls to open the kitchen to the dining room and living room and moved the sink from the wall where the refrigerator is. Ikea Abstrakt cabinets in red were chosen to bring the color into the room instead of through paint. To save on costs we installed laminate countertops and purchased all of the appliances (Thermador and Bosch) from a discounted retailer. The backsplash are bamboo pulp tiles from Inhabit and the lights over the island are from CB2. The main idea of the remodel was to provide more countertop space as well as room for storage.

Approx price: $8,500

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Affordable Modern Kitchen Contest Entry: Omaha Modern

05Here is a great kitchen remodel that preserves much of the great 1920's woodwork.

An equal lover of modern and vintage our kitchen tries to meet in the middle. When buying our 1920's house we knew we were going to gut the 1970's kitchen complete with dropped ceiling, spices wallpaper and wood paneling. Our goals were to make the kitchen look larger and modernize it in keeping with the beauty of the 1920's woodwork that surrounds the rest of house. A three foot opening was widened to create the bar reusing all of the original trim. When we needed more trim we relied on a great local salvage yard. We chose the IKEA AKURUM medium brown cabinets for cost, clean lines, and color choices that complimented the existing woodwork. By placing some cabinets horizontally it gave the kitchen a more modern look. The lighting scheme was also a huge part of the design. Josh went to the extra work of recessing all of the under counter puck lights. We chose contemporary lighting fixtures that bring out the colors of the orange art deco chandelier in the dining room. The layout of the kitchen was drastically overhauled. By placing the fridge in the old ice box niche (fitting I thought) the space is drastically opened up giving us a ton of counter space. Budget was always on our mind, hence the IKEA cabinets. Believe it or not the granite was a steal because it's thinner than normal. We were cheap labor except for the parts we relied on the experts which was electrical (good old knob and tube), redirecting a vent, and putting in a support beam. I think we managed to make the most of our $10,000 budget; it's still small, but now a comfortable place for two to cook.

Approx price: $10,000


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Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: The kitchen that google built

3006528614 0956030B4AThere is no doubt that the internet can be a great resource for any remodel on a budget. I would wager that I spend almost as many hours researching products online as I actually do installing them. Wes stresses how important google was for a resource for him too.

Our kitchen suffered from an inefficient layout (no counter space) and the adjoining rooms weren't getting used as much as we'd like because the floor plan wasn't very open.

After DIY remodels of both of our bathrooms in the past 2 years we decided we were up to the task of tackling the kitchen (so we gutted the entire thing and started over.)

We replaced old appliances (oven, stovetop, fridge and rangehood) with energy efficient ones. We replaced old laminate glue-down tiles with laminate wood flooring to match the rest of our house. We opened the doorway between the kitchen and dining room from 3 feet to 7 feet (dramatically opening up the space) and opened up the kitchen footprint by combining an unused adjacent room. New lighting was installed and electrical updated. Every surface was replaced... walls, ceiling and floors. New cabinets and diy concret countertops.

The keys to our affordable kitchen were planning, the internet, smart purchases and ikea.... and the internet... did I mention the internet.

As weird as it might sound, I can't imagine tacking this on my own without the power of google. Any time I had a question, felt stumped, or needed a photo or video reference along the way I was able to get help on the internet. Sites like,, youtube, froogle (for price comparisons) and countless other blogs and community sites all served as the ultimate reference library and source of inspiration. The availability of information online was solely responsible for giving me the confidence to tackle pouring our concrete countertops myself.

Patience, planning and flexibility also helped when researching and waiting on deals to become available. Our LG fridge was nicer than the frigidaire we planing on purchasing but was available at half its original price due to a model closeout deal plus the extra 10% plus rebates Home Depot was offering when we stumbled upon it.

• Our sink was purchased on ebay (HUGE savings) • backsplash tiles from an online supplier ( • cabinets and some accessories from ikea • dishwasher was reused but relatively new (from a bandaid reno on the kitchen a few years back) • range was a special purchase sale item at hhgregg (almost half of retail) • laminate flooring was special ordered but on sale 20% off (had to find a good match for our existing flooring in the rest of the house)

The photos I'm attaching are the latest we've taken... we still want to get some art up on the walls (specifically around the desk area) but we're very happy with how it all turned out.

Before during and after photos are up on flickr

as well as some progress posts on our blog

Approx price $9,000

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This desk looks like it is a counter top on top of two ikea uppers (maybe over fridge cabs?). I totally want to steal that idea.

Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Ditching the Drywall

Img 5887Brandon did a beautiful job on his kitchen redo. Replacing a bunch of the drywall really helped to warm the space up and gives a nice contrast to the stark white of the ABSTRAKT and Corian kitchen.

Our kitchen design is the result of three principles:

1. Maximum sight lines. In our small home (860 sf), opening things up so that adjacent rooms "lend" their space to the room I'm in makes me feel less confined. By removing the wall between our dining area and kitchen, we can now see from the front of the house to the back.

2. Hatred of drywall. Yes, it's kind of irrational, but I really dislike drywall. Using walnut veneer plywood for the walls in the kitchen allowed me to keep the drywall out of the kitchen, while providing some essential warmth to the white-and-metals palette we'd chosen. Another benefit was that having plywood walls allowed me to mount the cabinets to the wall without requiring blocking between the studs or using anchors.

3. Compromise. My wife's aesthetic is not as adventurous as mine, so the kitchen is neither as out there as it might have been if left to me, but it was still led more by form than by function. It does function well, however.

I did everything in the renovation except the electrical and any plumbing that required solder. There was absolutely nothing worth salvaging in the old kitchen, so I gutted the room—subfloor, studs, and joists. The old sliding door leaked, so I reframed the opening, replaced the damaged section of the subfloor, and installed a new door. We also removed the old, disused terra cotta flue that took up about 2 square feet in the corner.

The cabinets are Ikea; Abstrakt white for the base cabinets and Avsikt for the uppers. Appliances are a Fisher & Paykel refrigerator (truly cabinet depth and relatively narrow, it was the linchpin of the layout); Thermador 30" range (from our old house); and Asko dishwasher (also from the old house). We used Home Depot for the Corian counters with an integrated sink. Behind the sink and range, we installed sheets of tempered glass as backsplashes that would not obscure the walnut.

We chose Flor polypropylene carpet tiles as an experiment, partially because of budget. They've held up well, but I think we'll eventually put in oak strip flooring to match the rest of the house. If we do, I will miss the color pop they give.

A detail that I'm proud of is the 1-inch reveal where the wall meets the ceiling. Instead of soffits or running the upper cabinets to the ceiling, I held them back to give a sense of openness. The reveal is created by an aluminum extrusion from Fry Reglet. It also captures the top of the plywood so that I didn't need to have a finished edge.

The renovation took months, mainly because I didn't make all of my design and materials decisions before the sledge hammer first flew. I'm now in the midst of renovating my bathroom, and even with the decisions made ahead of time, it's still slow going. I guess it must be me!

Approx Cost: $7,000

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After Img 5886 Img 5891

Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Lucy Ave Kitchen

B274971The second entry to day should be no surprise for regular Grassrootsmodern readers. The entire construction of Salt Lake's affordable modern home "Lucy Ave" was blogged about here. I have actually had a chance to see this kitchen in person, and it is beautiful. In case you missed it the first time, here is a little more info from Jacob.

Our primary money savings is attributable to the cabinets. Ikea as we all know are a great value and make modern an affordable option. We chose the Abstrakt to try to give our kitchen a more minimal look. Anything else would have been too busy as we do not have any symmetry in our kitchen. We were also able to get a special deal on appliances. We were able to get higher end appliances for the price of what ordinary appliances would have cost. We also did not spend much on countertops. Countertops are probably the most expensive material in most homes. We may upgrade them later but for now the laminate is just fine. We chose a black granite sink that was about $275.00 and has held up very well. Doing it mostly myself also saved a lot of money too.

Approx cost: $10,000

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Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Bungalow on a budget.

200811060756Before After We have two Salt Lake City entries today. The first is a great bungalow update on a budget. A little fresh paint and countertops give this kitchen a whole new look for not a lot of money. They are currently trying to choose between rubber floors or natural linoleum.

While our kitchen isn't quite finished yet, I figured I'd throw it into the ring anyway. We bought a 1920's bungalow with some really nice original woodwork throughout the living and dining room. The kitchen, however, was in serious trouble. It was ugly and non-functional. There wasn't enough storage, counter space or even a place for a fridge. Because of this and our very small budget, my focus was on making it a usable kitchen with some modern touches. I did all the work myself, including the plumbing and electrical upgrades. Since we couldn't afford to replace them, we painted the original cabinets and added some inexpensive unfinished oak ones to match, moving the sink and creating more work space. New dishwasher and appliances, counter tops and hardware really livened up the space. The cost estimate includes what we are planning on spending on the much needed floor. We are currently torn between a natural linoleum and rubber tiles.

Approx cost: $2,400

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Affordable Kitchen Contest Entry: Eco Modern

001Eric from Portland knows how to leverage his skills. By doing some freelance webdesign he was able to get this amazing kitchen for the cost of materials only. Not only does the kitchen look great, but it's jam packed full of unique green products.

Custom cabinetry made of bamboo and Sustainable plywood guts. The backsplash and inner core layer of the counter top are made of Sourghum board covered in not so eco boating epoxy for water resistance. The counter tops are paper pulp top and bottom with the sourghum board core. Built by Bren Reis at cost was mostly materials as Bren and I agreed on a trade where i provided him with webdesign and logo and he provided is expertise in cabinetry.

Approx price; $3,500

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Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Apple Green and Stainless

Img 0836Even though I tend to be fairly conservative with the use of color in my house, I definitely have an appreciation for those that are more daring. Jon used one of my favorite colors, apple green, combined with stainless steel to make a bold and beautiful kitchen, all for under $4,500.

We installed all new Ikea cabinets, new stainless microwave and stove, new Ikea butcherblock counters and stainless steel double sink. We also bought stainless back splashes from Online Metals and installed those ourselves... finished things off with a bright(!) apple green coat of paint.

Approx cost; $4,500

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Affordable Kitchen Contest Entry: Texas MCM

8901 Sandpiper - 5 - SendWith one week to go we are getting some great entries, like this one from Texas. Larry was able to pull off a very nice look for under $8k including appliances. I especially like the double sided upper cabs.

I bought a circa 1955 Mid Century Modern house in 2006, and the kitchen needed replacement. I used my carpenter to demolish the old kitchen, and got the kitchen cabinets from Ikea. Appliances are from Sears. The double-sided upper cabinets are a custom installation of standard Ikea cabinetry.

Approx price $8,000

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Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Underdover Modern

Img 0923Sometimes the hardest part about doing a big remodel is being able to visualize what it is actually going to look like when it's done. Luckily for Ryan, he happens to be a pro at photoshop, so he was able to whip up a digital version of his kitchen before the hammers ever started swinging.

Our blog is full of pretty extensive info. We had no idea what we're doing. I'm an artist, love modern design and know Photoshop...and that's how we pretty much figured it out. We really shopped around for deals on cabinets, faucets, drawer pulls, tile and flooring. Even if a reader of your blog didn't want to do EVERYthing we did, I think they could find bits and pieces of what we did quite helpful.

Our project extended a bit outside of the kitchen (entry door, stairs, etc) which added to the cost. But we completely gutted it and did every piece brand new.

I've been lazy about posting good finished pics of the kitchen. If you guys dig it, let me know and I'll make sure to get them up. You can see everything on our site though in much more detail.

Approx price: $26,000

For more info make sure you check out Start1 Before Kitch Ortho photoshop design

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Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: San Francisco Update

5 AfterThe next entry in our Affordable Modern Kitchen Contest comes from San Francisco, were with a little elbow grease and some skill Sam was able to update his kitchen to a clean new look for under 10K.

We bought an old (1913) house in San Francisco last year. It was in terrible shape, so I basically had to gut the kitchen and start from scratch. I used pros for cabinets, plumbing, electrical and floors, but did most of the remaining work myself. I kept costs down by ordering supplies myself. Also, we found a great handyman and I was able to work with him on several projects (built in bench, custom table). I did all of the finishing wok myself (paint, trim install, plaster, doors). We're still working on the house, but I think the kitchen has come together very nicely! You can see before and after pics on flickr. The pics are pretty recent-ish, but since I took them we've made a few more improvements...I wonder if we'll EVER be done with this house!

Approx cost: Under 10K

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Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Mid Century Mod-ification

Img 4209This entry hits close to home, about a mile away at most. Tristen and his family have been going through a very similar remodel as ours, only their house is cooler, he's got mad design skills, and their done. Yes I'm a little jealous. They did a great job on the kitchen and the whole house. Check out their blog for more info.

Our kitchen remodel was just a portion of an entire house renovation. The existing kitchen felt tiny and cramped. It was also completely dated. We had the whole house dry-walled, and I put down new Brazilian Koa flooring throughout, so those costs are not included in the approximate cost. I reframed an existing wall so that there is a long pass-thru into the living room. The cabinets, counter top, sink and faucet, and stove backsplash are all Ikea. To gain more space in the kitchen I moved the bar cabinets where the sink is out 6-8" which makes a significant difference. We kept the stove and sink in the same locations to save the money re-plumbing and re-wiring would have cost us. We originally wanted to do a tile backsplash, but couldn't find a tile we liked at an affordable price.We ended up using stainless end panels from a different style of Ikea cabinets. Instead of using corner cabinets in the kitchen, we turned the "corner" cabinets so that they face into the dining room and living room and provide storage for those rooms. We used energy star appliances and low-VOC paint to finish out the space.

Approx price $5,000 + appliances

Keep reading for more great pics. Img 2648 Img 4219 Img 4224 Img 4226

Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Brooklyn Co-Op

Dscf2729This may be the smallest entry so far, but it packs plenty of punch. Ayan has made good use of the small floorplan in his Brooklyn Co-op.

My wife and I bought a co-op in Brooklyn earlier this year. The kitchen looked like it was all original from the late 50's, and in pretty rough shape. We gutted everything, including knocking down 2 partition walls, doing a pass through into the living room, and stripping lots of wallpaper. The cabinets are Ikea, counter tops are granite from a local shop, back splash is glass tile, and floor is cork, which we laid right over the existing linoleum. The appliances are all new GE.

Approx price, $6,000 for materials, $5,000 for appliances.

Keep reading for more pictures including a before shot that puts it all in perspective.

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Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Simple, Modern, Functional

Summer12Sm11This second entry is very inspiring. Summer did an amazing job at opening up the space, and making it feel much larger. Here is how she describes her new kitchen;

Three simple words to describe my kitchen would be simple, modern, and functional. For the small space, I used white cabinets to make the space feel bright and open. Instead of using lower cabinets, I left the space open to also act as a dining table. An appliance garage allows me to hide my small kitchen appliances, yet they are still easily assessable. To make my kitchen affordable, I bought my cabinets from Ikea and priced shopped ebay and local stores for the appliances. I chose white appliances to blend in with the white high gloss cabinets. I lost a lot of storage without the upper and lower cabinets, so I added floating steel shelves to hold my dishes. It also allows me to give the kitchen a splash of color. My biggest expense was the laminate countertops. They would have been much cheaper if I chose not to add the apple plywood exposed edge, but I couldn’t resist! I have attached some before and after pictures.

Aprox cost $10,000

More pictures, plus some amazing before and after shots after the jump.

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Affordable Modern Kitchen Entry: Modern Bungalow

Kit1Here is our first entry for the Affordable Modern Kitchen Contest. Check out the sweet DIY concrete countertops, and read about how they got a Sub Zero refrigerator for $640.

We purchased this all original 1946 1190sq ft bungalow in late 05' and knew that the kitchen needed to be completed quick... Seeing as we are both kind of broke we planned to get the most design for the dollar... We gutted the kitchen and removed one load bearing wall which opened the space up a bunch. Then we ripped up the carpet to find the original white oak flooring. We re-finished the floors in a dark stain and installed some cheap white IKEA cabinets. After the cabinets where installed we made some concrete counters in our basement (yes we took a mixer down there) and I spend about 15 hours polishing them... After that we found a great sub zero 535 for $600 on craigslist but it had a white front panel. I ended up having a sheet of brushed stainless cut locally and I installed it for new look at a cost of $40.00... In the end it was as modern as we could make our 1946 bungalow and still fit with the rest of our home.

Aprox total cost: $4,000

More pictures, including before and after shots after the jump.

Kitb1 The before shot offers some good perspective.

Kit3 Sweet frig for $640.



Please excuse me while I pay some bills...