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For Lindsey Drennan, renovating her 1950s Birmingham home has been been filled with learning opportunities. The Alabama native, who shares her progress on Instagram and through her blog, The Modern Renovator, has gone room-by-room making changes. 

When it came to the kitchen, which Drennan believes was redone 10 years ago, she was easily able to reface the current IKEA Akurum system

Cost-Saving Planning

“I bought it before the housing market went crazy,” she says. “What drew me to it was the size and it’s a good middle ground for a fixer-upper. It was in good condition yet needed a lot of cosmetic updates.”

Drennan has been slowly renovating each of her spaces, including her office and laundry room, plus added new shutters and landscaping to the exterior. The kitchen, which had dated white farmhouse-style cabinets, was a full IKEA kitchen with butcher block counters and black hardware. The plan was to replace the fronts, hardware, fixtures, and add a modern white Subway tile backsplash. 


Calm and Muted

The kitchen wasn’t her style, thus she planned to upgrade the kitchen herself affordably, placing new Semihandmade DIY Shaker fronts and the tile backsplash herself. The design, which was initially inspired by kitchens she’d seen on Pinterest, would have a black soapstone countertop for a modern edge and green lower cabinetry painted in Benjamin Moore’s Saybrook Sage.

“I knew I wanted green for the bottom and tested a few different samples,” she says. “I wanted something, calm, muted, and not too saturated where I would get tired of it.” The cabinets also compliment the other green tones in her home from her painted green desk to green front door.

Upper cabinets in Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, along with the white stacked tile, keep the kitchen feeling light and airy. 


Simple Storage Solutions

Drennan had to get creative when it came to upping the storage in her small kitchen. She crafted floating shelves from extra white oak and put together a corner cabinet utilizing two Semihandmade fronts.

“You have to place special hinges to make it fold at the right angle,” she says. “The fronts came pre-drilled, but Semihandmade send me a diagram so I could make the holes where they needed to be and put on the hardware correctly.”

Insider her drawers, Drennan loves using bamboo organizers, a simple, inexpensive way to keep things clean.


Sticking To Budget

Drennan added new black Amerock pulls and knobs, fronts, a backsplash, light fixtures, shelves, and more for just under $5,000. “The Semihandmade fronts were only $1,000,” she says. While she did have to buy a new dishwasher, which did add to the overall cost, a Semihandmade panel cleverly conceals it, making the overall design appear seamless.

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