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What It Takes to Transform Your Kitchen Without Gutting It

Sarah Sherman Samuel is a master of cooking up sophisticated spaces that are totally magazine-cover-worthy (as in, they actually end up on Architectural Digest covers). She’s also a pro at working within constraints like, say, a strict budget, and that’s especially true when it comes to kitchens, which can be pricey to make over. Here, she shares her tips on cranking up the heat in the most cost-effective way.

Q. How do you tackle ugly kitchens without spending all the money!?

A. “One way to make an entire kitchen renovation more affordable is to tackle some of the work yourself if you know a bit about what you are doing. I wouldn’t recommend it to a total novice, but doing demolition and going with ready-to-assemble cabinets can save money big time. There is also a company called Semihandmade that creates different styles of doors and drawer fronts that can update a basic kitchen in a flash. For renters, swapping out hardware and painting existing cabinets (with a landlord’s permission of course) is an easy way to change the look of the whole space on a budget.”

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