Reader kitchen after the remodel
Photo: Ryan Kurtz

Best Kitchen Redo: After

Who: Nancy and Gregg Alling
Where: Toledo, Ohio

What They Did: Custom-built nearly every element in their updated traditional kitchen.

Why They Won: They stayed on budget (if not on schedule) and achieved a workable layout while designing on the fly.

Their Story: "Nancy agreed to buy our 1968 house if I remodeled the kitchen within the first year. It was the original kitchen, boxed in and cramped. We had a modest budget, and when I found out how expensive cabinets were, I decided to make them myself. I'd never built kitchen cabinets, but I've done lots of woodworking, so I figured I'd get the hang of it. It was very time-consuming to cut and assemble the pieces and make all the joinery, but I stuck to it. I built the boxes, doors, and drawers, incorporating niches for our microwave, fridge, and TV, and adding special drawers for cookware, lids, even Tupperware. All the cabinets are hand painted. Instead of replacing the window above the sink, I added muntins that match the ones I routed for the glass-front cabinets. I also made the black-walnut countertops and finished them with stain and 10 coats of varnish. It took a full five years to finish. Nancy did some great cooking with the kitchen all ripped up!"

Tkae a video tour of the Allings' kitchen.

Shown: The owners gutted and slowly rebuilt their kitchen, adding homemade cabinets, counters, and dozens of custom touches.
Ask TOH users about Befores and Afters

Contribute to This Story Below