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DIY Kitchen Remodel: 70s Kitchen Remodel Before and After

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Today I am sharing the amazing 1970s kitchen transformation at my childhood home. This DIY kitchen remodel is a complete transformation from the dark, outdated kitchen of the past. In this post, I’ll guide you step by step through this 70s kitchen remodel before and after with lots of photos & tips to help you with your own!

It’s hard to believe that after all the dust, dirt, debris, and more dust and dirt this kitchen appeared before our eyes.

Holy smokes, I never thought we would see this day, but oh my, the transformation is amazing. I won’t bore you with a lot of words and details because if you are like me, all you want to see are pictures.

DIY Kitchen Remodel: Complete 1970s Kitchen Remodel

Here is it! Can you even believe how different this light and bright modern kitchen looks compared to the kitchen I grew up with? This wasn’t just an update: this was a total kitchen makeover!

From the cabinets to the floor to the kitchen island to the countertops…everything has been changed, and we truly couldn’t be happier! This white kitchen is like a dream come true. Honestly, it feels like a totally new kitchen!

The pendants are from Restoration Hardware / Harmon Collection (here is a link to similar ones if you are interested in buying a more affordable option)

70s kitchen remodel before and after

If you’re new to the site, our kitchen has gone through two transformations in the last five years. Five years ago, this is how the original kitchen looked. A 1960-70’s outdated space with dark stained cabinets.

For those of you who were adults in the 60’s and 70’s, you know this was in style and considered “the kitchen” to have. At least, that is what my parents tell me. I am not sure I believe them.

The kitchen below is the one I grew up in, and have so many memories in this space. The kitchen is the most important room in the house for a reason, right? So many memories!

70s kitchen with brown cabinets and outdated appliances for 70s kitchen renovation before and after.
white kitchen cabinets reveal

The new kitchen with white cabinets above is night and day from our previous 70’s kitchen.

What went into this 70s kitchen remodel

This kitchen saw 2 updates. The first one was a cosmetic makeover and then finally, a few years later, we gutted the kitchen adding new cabinets and the works!

One of the first things we did was paint the existing cabinets painted white to freshen up the space. (As you can tell, I still love white cabinets all these years later!)

We installed new countertops and added a backsplash. Here is how the kitchen looked prior to this recent renovation.

Our old kitchen was about 220 square feet. That makes it a pretty small kitchen: it was a simple, small L-shaped kitchen. We kept the old laminate flooring, which saved a little money, and we were able to hide some of it with a large rug.

1970s Kitchen Remodel

This quick refresh was really lovely (see below – this was the first kitchen update), and I was happy with it at the time, but we always knew we wanted to give it a total remodel eventually. It took some time, but we finally gave it a complete overhaul. Now, it’s our dream kitchen!

modern cottage white kitchen reveal 70s kitchen update.

Then we tore down this wall below, opening the kitchen up to over 500 square feet.

DIY Kitchen Renovation {ripping down wall}. Bye Bye 1960's kitchen

After wall was torn down:

removing a kitchen wall from 1970s kitchen for diy kitchen remodel.

After:

Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

Kind of nice, right?

Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

The cabinets are stunning and coordinate perfectly with the super-white quartzite countertops. They totally make this DIY kitchen remodel!

The Xback counter stools can be found on Amazon and are sold as a set. 

Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

I love how the wooden tray from HomeGoods looks on the quartzite counters.

Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.
Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

I love how the classic cherry color of the counter stools warm up the space.

I used a blue/green paint color called Drizzle by Sherwin Williams on the walls.

The paint is actually a little bit darker than what you see. The sun was beaming through the windows which makes it a bit lighter.

Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

What a gamechanger!  This entire space has been transformed. Here are just some of the tasks on our to-do list for this DIY renovation:

  • Replace the old kitchen cabinets (the Diamond cabinets are absolutely perfect)
  • Install new appliances
  • Add pendant lights
  • Install new flooring (I love these tile floors)
  • Change out the countertops (we also added a breakfast bar to the kitchen island)
  • Expand the kitchen
  • Install a mudroom
  • Add a fresh coat of paint
  • Replace the backsplash
  • Install new hardware of the cabinets
  • Replace the kitchen sink
  • Install task lighting

Get your FREE Printable Kitchen Tracker here.

This was a complete kitchen remodel project: pretty much every single element of this kitchen had to change! Whew!

What our 1970s kitchen looked like before

Let’s take a walk down memory lane again. To help you understand exactly how much this DIY kitchen remodel changed this space, here’s a reminder of what our old kitchen looked like before.

Here is the view from the old dining room that was lined with metallic mirror! This is what the dining room looked like almost 35 years ago!

metallic glass wall in dining room 1970s dining room

Here is a shot that shows the wall removed opening up the dining room into the kitchen. 

dark outdated kitchen makeover

Here is another shot of the kitchen after we just painted the cabinets white four years ago.

DIY Kitchen Renovation {ripping down wall}. Bye Bye 1960's kitchen

Here is the same angle with the newly installed Diamond cabinets and the wall torn down.

Now, the kitchen has completely entered the modern world of design and is open to the dining room and family room. We are loving the open concept!

Our diy kitchen remodel reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

Isn’t it crazy what tearing down the wall did for this space?

We also installed 10 new recessed lights which made a huge difference in lighting at night.

As my dad says, the light shines off the top of his bald spot on his head. ha

Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.
Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.
Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

The complimentary faucet is from Symmons and is called Serrano.

Our diy kitchen remodel reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.
Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

I love how our spray painted hood came out.

Our 70s kitchen remodel before and after. This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.
Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

Here is one sneak peek of the inside drawers. I will be dedicating an entire post to the storage features soon. You can find my favorite pull out kitchen drawers, organization trays and more on our Amazon Storefront.

Our DIY kitchen renovation reveal {before & after}
Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash.

Be sure to check out the full gorgeous mudroom makeover featuring pull out drawers for hats and mittens and coat hooks behind closed doors!

Our kitchen renovation reveal {before & after} / mudroom wall makeover
Our 70s kitchen remodel before and after reveal / mudroom makeover

I absolutely love these barn doors! It’s such a nice way to separate the spaces, and the warmth of the wood balances all of the white really nicely.

Our diy kitchen remodel reveal {before & after} / mudroom makeover.

Isn’t it crazy what tearing down the wall did for this space? Open kitchen layouts like these really add a modern look and make the kitchen so much more usable and enjoyable to be in. Doesn’t the kitchen look taller, too?

We also installed ten new recessed lights, which made a huge difference in lighting at night.

As my dad says, the light shines off the top of the bald spot on his head. Ha!

When I was writing this post and editing the pictures, it was funny because my dad said, “How come the kitchen isn’t that clean now?” I would need to kick everyone out and forbid them from entering the room for that to happen again.

Our Favorite

More DIY Kitchen Remodels

This is just one of the kitchen renovations & projects on this blog! See others plus our current kitchen below:

Update: See Kitchen Mudroom Wall

Although this DIY kitchen remodel took a lot of work and time, it’s been getting a lot of use! I’m just so thrilled with how much this changed the whole floor plan of this house. Before, it felt like such a cramped space, but now it’s light and bright.

Honestly, all this hard work is worth it when you love the look of your kitchen. I’m so glad we were able to finish this project, and hope it helps you with your own 1970s kitchen remodel!

Disclosure: Our DIY kitchen renovation series is sponsored by MasterBrand Cabinets. I did receive complimentary product; however, all opinions and words are 100% my own. 

 

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

36 Comments

    1. Carol Bajema says:

      Its absolutely beautiful Jess – I love every detail.

  1. It looks gorgeous, updated, and very tastefully done. I wish the After photos showed this kitchen how it might really be used: instead of all the flowers in vases that will get in the way of prepping and eating, how about showing a coffeemaker, toaster, napkin holder, bowl of fruit, etc.? (unless I just don’t see them in the photos). Otherwise, it’s just a pretty photo of an unrealistic kitchen. I know from your blog that you’re very hands-on and family oriented. I’d love to see more pictures of this awesome kitchen in full use. I hope you post more pictures with people in there, dishes out, etc. Do you have a spice drawer? Cabinet for your trash can? Where do you keep your dish or hand soap? (even with a dishwasher, one needs liquid soap). I’d love to see tips on how to keep this kitchen looking showroom-beautiful yet livable. I don’t want to have to hide appliances and necessities that get used throughout the day. Thanks!

    1. Funny you should say that! My next post that shows all the storage features inside the cabinets will show you all the day to day stuff :). We purposely designed the inside of the cabinets with pullouts so that we could get lots off the counters. Although, we will have a toaster oven soon. Our old one broke and haven’t replaced it yet :). We also just hung a set of huge barn doors on the far wall that you haven’t seen yet (in these pictures) where we are installing shelving and all the small utilities and coffee pot (we installed electrical outlets) will go behind those doors that slide shut. Stay tuned! You have only seen a bit of the kitchen. Oh, and we do always have fresh flowers everywhere. Both my mom and I love picking up inexpensive flowers at our grocery store weekly. Puts a smile on her face ;).

  2. Absolutely fabulous! Love everything about it. I’m sure you’ll have many happy gatherings in this kitchen. If I had a kitchen like this I might even cook! lol

    1. Thanks so much Karla! You are right, I now find myself cooking more because I love this space!

  3. THis is absolutely beautiful and I love how it turned out. So clean and no clutter on the counters. The cabinets are gorgeous and the removal of the wall really opened things up. Nicely done.

  4. Antonella says:

    This is such a great transformation. What a huge change. Looks great!

  5. How excited you must be. Very nice!!

  6. Oh my stars it’s a white & bright beauty!!!!! The new layout is incredible. So wonderful for your family to have a nice, big space to gather & cook in. I’d still be standing there mooning over it. Congrats and enjoy!!!!!

  7. Pam MacConnell says:

    Please show is a floor plan – even a quick sketch will do. Can’t really understand the layout especially regarding the two islands!

  8. This is absolutely AMAZING!! Love everything about it…esp. the touches of natural wood mixed in with the white! LOVE.

  9. You’ve done such a beautiful job with your kitchen! We’re in the process of renovating our daughters home – it’s a true labor of love!

    1. Thanks Sarah! That is so cool! Living in a renovation isn’t always fun but it’s so worth it in the end. I can say that now that we are done 🙂

  10. Ah the dark cabinets, I remember when we moved into our first house when I was a kid, it still had those same color brown dark cabinets, PLUS the Harvest Gold fridge and stove/oven. When we replaced the stove/oven combo, it had the original tile underneath. My mom eventually painted the cabinets white and replaced the appliances.

  11. diane lavoie says:

    What a transformation ! just beautiful.

  12. Cheryl Siciliano says:

    It is so beautiful Jessica. We were on vacation and a live pipe burst. I am looking at a complete renovation of the kitchen and basement. I am so intimidated by the process. Thanks for sharing. I have a similar style and I will be taking the wall down to the dining area if I ever find a contractor. How did you decide on a contractor and did you hire a kitchen design consultant?

    1. Hi, my dad is in the construction business so we used his company he works with. We also used the designer from Masterbrand Cabinets 🙂 Yes , it’s a very intimidating process but I would just suggest researching your local companies and get referrals. We love our new kitchen! I think if you go on the Masterbrand site, they may also have a referral section as well .

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