As Seen on The Drew Barrymore Show

As Seen on The Drew Barrymore Show

The Drew Barrymore Show took on their biggest makeover yet transforming the kitchen and main floor of Victoria Osei, a nurse and mother of four to enhance the flow and functionality of her space while providing a bright and cheery place for her family to gather. Check it out below!

Kitchen Transformation

The kitchen makeover featured a full scale remodel of the kitchen to improve the flow of space, and completely transformed the dated cabinetry and appliance placement. The kitchen serves as a place to gather, entertain, and give back to the community, and the Design by Drew incorporated Nieu doors in the Slim Shaker Style, in Winter White.

Kitchen Remodel Tips: Where to Save vs. Splurge

Kitchen Remodel Tips: Where to Save vs. Splurge

A kitchen remodel can get expensive! Many homeowners spend tens of thousands of dollars on their kitchen remodel just to make basic changes. If you’re on a tight renovation budget and want to get the most out of your remodel, it’s important to know where to save vs. splurge.

By spending money on big-ticket items, and saving money where it doesn’t need to be spent, you can get the most bang for your buck – and the highest ROI if you decide to sell your house. Here’s what you need to know. 

Save on Cabinet Boxes 

Semi custom cabinets can cost as much as $650 per linear foot. That kind of cost could break your kitchen renovation budget quickly. Fortunately, you can save money by purchasing budget kitchen cabinets from a supplier like IKEA. The less you spend on the cabinet boxes, the more you’ll have to spend on the custom cabinet fronts.

Don’t want to buy new cabinet boxes at all? Use the existing cabinets in your kitchen, but remove the doors from your lower and upper cabinets. Old cabinetry often has perfectly good cabinet boxes and can be made-over with new doors or paint.

Splurge on Custom Fronts

By installing new custom fronts on your cabinetry boxes, you can achieve the look of custom cabinetry and save a lot of money at the same time. High quality fronts can make your cabinets look brand-new and high-end. Work with a custom cabinet door supplier to purchase cabinet doors that you’ll love for years to come.  

Scandia doors in Sweetly Sage took this kitchen from dated to contemporary.

Save on Painting (Do it DIY!)

Painting your walls and cabinets yourself is one way that you can reduce the cost of your kitchen remodel without sacrificing value. Apply a fresh coat to your walls and new paint to your cabinets to make them stand out! 

Remember to use a  semi gloss paint on your kitchen walls to make them easy to clean – and semi gloss or glossy on the ceilings. Newly painted cabinets look great, but over time, paint can chip if the paint isn’t applied correctly. Be sure to prep the cabinet surfaces to ensure that the paint is long-lasting and durable. 

Splurge on Stainless Steel Appliances

New appliances like the dishwasher, refrigerator and stove are all important parts of the kitchen. For high efficiency and longevity, buy high-quality appliances. Look for the ENERGY STAR rating before making a purchase. 

Stainless steel appliances are popular with home buyers right now, so if you’re planning to sell your home soon, leave room in your renovation budget for attractive appliances that will make your kitchen stand out.  

Save by Using Existing Layout

Homeowners spend a lot of money updating their kitchen designs. Moving appliances and plumbing from one location to another requires invasive changes that can cost a lot of money. Unless you’re seeking a perfect work triangle or a brand-new kitchen design, you can save money and reduce cost by using your existing layout.

Leaving your existing cabinets, kitchen island and appliances where they are, you can potentially save thousands of dollars. If you’re seeking a more efficient kitchen triangle, talk to your contractor about smaller changes to improve your efficiency, like swapping appliance locations within your existing layout. 

Splurge on Quartz Countertops

For many homeowners, installing new countertops is one of the best parts of the kitchen remodel. While granite countertops and marble countertops are popular for their natural properties, quartz countertops are the new king of the kitchen.

These low-maintenance countertops are designed to last. Unlike other types of stone like granite and marble countertops, they require no sealing. They’re naturally stain-resistant and need only to be cleaned regularly in order to look and perform their best. If you hope to entertain guests after your new kitchen renovation, quartz countertops will make you proud to host guests in your home. 

Anika of Anika’s DIY Life explains steps to properly prep your cabinetry for long lasting paint results.

Know Where to Save Vs. Splurge on Your Kitchen Remodeling Ideas? Get Started Today

Your kitchen makeover doesn’t need to break your budget. Get started on your kitchen remodel with low cost, high impact changes. Remove some upper cabinets for decorative shelving to make your space feel larger, or buy new fronts for outdated cabinets.

Stay tuned for future renovation and decorating ideas to help create your dream home.

IKEA is a registered trademark of Inter-IKEA Systems B.V. and is not affiliated with Nieu Cabinet Doors.

8 Tips for Planning your Kitchen Renovation

8 Tips for Planning your Kitchen Renovation

Deciding to renovate a kitchen is a big step. Aside from the financial commitment there are several decisions that need to be made before the first hammer is swung, and most of these decisions will have an impact on the budget. With homeowners tackling more DIY projects to save big on home improvements, a DIY kitchen renovation is a project that will have a big impact on your home for years to come.

1. Do your research

Doing some research into the different options for a kitchen renovation can introduce new kitchen ideas to a homeowner that may have otherwise been overlooked. The usual sources such as Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube are great places to start and can provide motivation and direction on style and color palettes.

Big Box hardware stores introduce cabinet types and finishes and are a great place to see a wide array of options under one roof. Good research should expose all the options available for a DIY reno, but also give some guidelines as to cost of materials. It’s important to learn which parts of the reno you can tackle yourself, and which should be hired out to professionals.

A open concept kitchen with white shaker cabinet doors and large windows.
Find photos that inspire you and highlight the elements you want in your own space.

2. Prioritize your kitchen reno needs and wants

As fun as home renovation shows are to watch, they can set some unrealistic expectations for the average homeowner. Renovations that provide a big wow factor for an on-screen reveal might not offer the best solution for a typical family or its budget. Make a list, and consider all the things that your current kitchen is not doing for you.

Do you need more storage, more countertop space, a better layout, modern lighting, a gas range or all of the above plus a $25,000 Gaggenau Wine Cabinet? Prioritize your needs over wants and then see how the two lists mesh together. Determining costs for each often helps refine the list and define priorities. If it’s not in the budget this year, decide which items can be purchased at a later time, without requiring re-work to your kitchen.

3. Determine kitchen finishes and costs

Once you’ve done your research and built a list of priorities, it’s time to build pricing for each element of your renovation. Sourcing three prices for each item is a good idea especially with big-ticket items like countertops and appliances. Cabinet box and doors prices can vary widely depending on the materials and finishes.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

At the low-end of the budget are vinyl wrapped doors constructed using either one piece or five pieces of material. At the high-end are solid wood doors, usually stained to show off the wood grains. A good middle ground is painted MDF doors as they offer an excellent balance of durability and price and are available in several styles including the ever-popular Shaker.


Countertops are available at all price points as well. Though inexpensive, laminate countertops have come a long way since the 80’s and are available in several finishes and textures, some of which look an awful lot like actual stone. Concrete countertops are another DIY project, but the results can vary, and the look is something that needs to be designed around.

For stone countertops the two most common materials are Quartz and Granite. Quartz is a manufactured product using a high concentration of quartz crystals and resin. Quartz is a popular choice as the manufacturing process ensures a consistent look throughout the countertop, allows for a variety of styles, and provides a durable, non-porous work surface. Granite has lost some ground to quartz over the last decade due to Quartz’s strength and durability. Granite, being a natural stone cut down to slabs from actual rock formations, can vary widely from piece to piece as the veining and quartzite formations make each piece of Granite a unique piece of art.

A set of four square samples of quartz for a kitchen countertop replacement.
Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors, styles and textures, and is a durable work surface.


Appliance pricing ranges from affordable to “costing more than a new car” and come with a wide variety of different features and capabilities. Online consumer reviews are a great source for evaluating appliances. Seeking brands with a good reputation and a beefy warranty is usually a good investment.

4. Finalize your kitchen renovation budget – add 20% for “just in case”

Equipped with your research and product costs, take another look at your budget. Like many, you may find that you’ve exceeded your initial renovation budget. If so, and expanding the budget is not an option, dive into each element of your kitchen renovation and determine where you can save. Big cost reductions can be found in removing elements altogether, like not installing that island or keeping an older appliance. 

Savings can also be found by choosing less expensive finishes; opt for quartz countertops instead of marble, or laminate instead of granite. Where possible, you might choose to pay for items in installments to avoid the stress of a big bill in a single month. Building in a contingency to your renovation budget of 10-20% is good practice and can help cover any unexpected surprises that come up as renovation progresses.

A piggy bank on a wooden countertop with white kitchen cabinets in the background.

5. Figure out what you can DIY to lower costs

Really want to stretch your budget? Take a good look at your renovation and see what you can tackle on your own. Hiring a contractor means offloading the heavy lifting, but at a high price. Doing It Yourself is  a great way to maximize your budget and the savings can be put toward selecting better finishes. If you are unsure of your abilities, do some research. YouTube and Instagram’s biggest contributors are homeowners turned DIY guru’s who tackle DIY projects and provide tips and instructions to their followers. You will likely be surprised at what you can accomplish (and save) by picking up a drill and going for it.

6. Green is good, determine what can be repurposed

In older homes, some fixtures including cabinetry, are much better built than what is available today. The same logic applies to hardwood flooring and some bathroom fixtures. Take a hard look and see what you can live with if it were given a bit of TLC and revitalized. Bathtubs can be re-glazed and hardwood floors sanded and refinished. Cabinetry can be sanded, painted and reborn with new doors and drawer fronts. Even if you decide to replace, your items may have value on the used market or be donated to a worthwhile cause like Habitat for Humanity or ReStore.

7. Spend on quality kitchen upgrades

Buy quality whenever you can. Spend money wisely by choosing quality where it counts, usually countertops, cabinet doors and appliances. Quality is important for both real estate considerations but also living in your home long-term. By opting for as much quality as you can afford, you are likely to get the most mileage out of your purchase. Things like expensive pull-out racks for pantry cabinets or in-cabinet organizers can always be added a year or two down the road once your budget allows for it – often for the same price as when your kitchen is being installed. Gadgets are neat but can chew up a budget, instead, spend on the best countertop and cabinet doors you can afford.

An image of kitchen appliances in a showroom style including fridges, stoves, ovens, coffee makers, and more.
Choosing higher end appliances can expand the time between replacing units.

8. Make a renovation plan and stick to it

You’ve done the research, picked your finishes and figured out how much DIY you can handle. Stick to the plan and your budget should hold. The excitement of a reno can lead to a lot of “it makes sense to do it now” type of project add-ons, which can add up quickly, so stick to your plan as much as possible. A kitchen completed on budget will give you and your wallet peace of mind, and a space you can enjoy for years to come.

The 8 Tips for Your Kitchen DIY Renovation:

1.      Do your research

2.      Prioritize your needs and wants

3.      Determine your kitchen finishes and costs

4.      Finalize your budget, then add 20%

5.      DIY to save costs

6.      Green is good

7.      Spend on quality kitchen upgrades

8.      Make a renovation plan and stick to it

5 Reasons a Cabinet Refacing Project Might be For You

5 Reasons a Cabinet Refacing Project Might be For You

Are you dreaming of a kitchen remodel?

Many people dream of a new kitchen but get stressed thinking of the inconvenience, the cost, and the mess and complications of a large renovation.

Kitchen renovations: the number one room remodel in North America.

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s no wonder that kitchens are the number one room to remodel in North American homes.

How does cabinet refacing work?

Refacing cabinets (aka replacing cabinet doors and drawer fronts) instead of renovating your kitchen gives you the update you are looking for while saving 50% to 60% of replacing all your cabinets.  For DIYers cabinet refacing is a straightforward process of removing your existing doors and installing new ones in the style and color of your choice.

A cartoon image of a couple sitting at a table, wondering what to do about their kitchen.
Redoing your kitchen can be overwhelming until you know all of your options!

5 Reasons Cabinet Refacing May Be For You:

1. Your kitchen layout is just fine

You don’t want to spend money on changing the layout of your kitchen, but you do need a change. Changing the layout and moving electrical, water, gas and HVAC elements is expensive. If your existing kitchen layout works and you see little benefit in changing it, then refacing is for you.  By leaving the cabinets where they are and just replacing the doors, you avoid the time and cost (and mess) involved in a larger kitchen remodel project.  

2. You have a limited kitchen renovation budget

Watching home renovation shows can make one feel like they need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to have great kitchen renovation. We get asked all the time “What is the cost for cabinet refacing?” DIY refacing can replace the doors in a small kitchen for as little as a few hundred dollars. When your savings grow, you can replace the countertop and backsplash. No need to do it all at once.

3. You have DIY skills

DIY cabinet refacing is a relatively straightforward process for a DIYer.  It can be as simple as unscrewing the hinges on your old doors and attaching the new ones. We have found that most homeowners, however, will replace their old hinges with new soft-close, concealed hinges and perhaps update the knobs or pulls. Adding new drawer boxes, panels, toe-kicks and trim can add to the complexity of a DIY refacing job, but cabinet refacing tools are found in most homes. Screw drivers, a drill and a measuring tape will be the most basic items needed. For refacing jobs involving panels and trim, a circular saw or table saw will be needed. Check out our Nieu Door Guide for everything you’ll need.

4. You have countertop blues

You installed a new countertop last year and now the doors look dated. Or maybe you just bought the house and the previous owner had an expensive countertop installed, but the doors are not your style. Countertops, especially Quartz or Granite can account for a large portion of a kitchen remodel project and they can sometimes sink (pun intended) a renovation budget. Rather than replace a new countertop you may be better off leaving the countertop in place and just replacing the doors. Remember, when refacing cabinet doors you can change the color to better suit both your style and the existing countertop.

5. You plan on selling

Time for a move and want to maximize your selling price? Kitchens we are told are what sells a home. Cabinet door replacement can update your kitchen to be on trend, with the knowledge that the money spent may both increase your asking price and decrease the number of days on the market. The added benefit of being able to list your home for sale with a recently updated kitchen will surely attract more home buyers than one with the original builder’s kitchen from 15 years ago.  

Is cabinet refacing for you?

Cabinet refacing is not for everyone. If you have some bigger layout issues that only a full-scale remodel will fix, and you have the available budget, then go for it! But if some or all of these points sound familiar, a DIY kitchen reface might be the solution you seek. See our How To section and videos for more information on if refacing might just be for you. 

A couple more things…

It’s more efficient and eco-friendly

Tossing perfectly usable kitchen cabinet boxes into the garbage does not feel good. Sure, some areas recycle and make new products from wood waste, but that process can consume a lot of resources like water and electricity. If there is still life left in those cabinet boxes why not let them shine-on with swanky new cabinet doors. 

Cost for Cabinet Refacing

Refacing your kitchen can save you 50-60% over replacing your cabinets.  To see what your cost for cabinet door replacement might be, use our online order form where you can input your door measurements and generate pricing in real-time. You might be surprised that you can afford both a new kitchen and a family vacation this year! 


  1. It saves time.   
  2. It saves money.   
  3. It transforms your kitchen.