Who: Ilene R.
Where: Colorado Springs, Colo.
To stay within budget, my husband gutted the space and tore out the loft. Our contractor, Gary Seminak, was wonderfully frugal. He built cabinets and reinstalled the old drainboard sink and found room for a laundry closet. With the help of a good friend, we finished the walls and ceiling with polyurethane and lacquered the cabinets. The project was completed when my husband built an island using stock cupboards, beadboard and a butcher-block workbench top—an antique store find that we refinished. We now have a bright, open, and functional kitchen with a wow factor!
Who did the work: I did some of the work myself, but a contractor did most of it.
Cost: $5,000 to $10,000