Budget Breakdown: An '80s Kitchen Gets a Fresh Look For $42K

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By Anna Squier
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a designer gives his brother and sister-in-law a kitchen, dining, and laundry room makeover that supports their growing family's needs.

Over a year ago, designer Francis Dominguez of EFE Creative Lab, a boutique architectural and interior design studio based in Miami, took on a project close to home—renovating a kitchen and dining space for his brother, sister-in-law, and their growing family. The objectives included improved functionality, plentiful storage, and an enlarged laundry space. Without adding additional square footage, Dominguez unveiled a modern, practical home that would suit the family's needs for a grand total of $42,045.

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Budget Breakdown: An '80s Kitchen Gets a Fresh Look For $42K - Photo 1 of 12 -
The re-organized layout provides an open, continuous flow between cooking, prep, and dining spaces.

The re-organized layout provides an open, continuous flow between cooking, prep, and dining spaces.

The characteristic 1980s decor of the original home had to go. The closed-in kitchen layout, flat panel cabinets, and dated Formica counters were replaced with timeless finishes and fixtures. Previously cramped quarters were transformed into a bright, open expanse in an updated layout. By knocking down walls, Dominguez was able to add extra linear footage of cabinetry and counter space. By reorganizing the arrangement of the appliances, he also made room for a peninsula complete with a waterfall edge. 

The existing kitchen was cramped, dark, and outdated.  The '80s finishes and small floor plate needed to be updated in order for the space to be functional.

The existing kitchen was cramped, dark, and outdated. The '80s finishes and small floor plate needed to be updated in order for the space to be functional.

Before, the dining room was closed off from the kitchen.  The existing sliding glass doors were filled in to make way for a larger laundry space.

Before, the dining room was closed off from the kitchen. The existing sliding glass doors were filled in to make way for a larger laundry space.

In the open kitchen-dining combo, deep blue colors, brass accents, and marble textures blend to create a contemporary aesthetic.

In the open kitchen-dining combo, deep blue colors, brass accents, and marble textures blend to create a contemporary aesthetic.

For this growing family, storage was of utmost importance. To address this concern, Dominguez added a custom built-in with two large pantries, and a bench to the dining area. Laundry space was a must for this family of five, so modifications were made to the back porch area to introduce a large laundry and pantry space that blends in with the whole kitchen design. 

The custom built-ins create the perfect breakfast nook, complete with a built-in bench and pantry storage on both sides. A new window draws additional daylight into the space. 

The custom built-ins create the perfect breakfast nook, complete with a built-in bench and pantry storage on both sides. A new window draws additional daylight into the space. 

The deep blue color is extended into the dining space, and provides a colorful accent to the back wall of the seating area.

The deep blue color is extended into the dining space, and provides a colorful accent to the back wall of the seating area.

The  newly expanded laundry room is accessible via a blue door, directly adjacent to the kitchen and dining spaces.

The newly expanded laundry room is accessible via a blue door, directly adjacent to the kitchen and dining spaces.

The enlarged laundry room provides just enough space for the growing family.

The enlarged laundry room provides just enough space for the growing family.

White shaker cabinets, marble countertops, and a marble backsplash transform the space. Trendy brass pulls, knobs, and lighting fixtures accent throughout. Sherwin Williams Moscow Midnight was used underneath the peninsula, on the dining room wall, and on the door leading to the new laundry room. The rest of the walls are painted a subtle Sherwin Williams Pearly White. The beautiful space was completed just in time for the arrival of a new addition to the family. 

White shaker cabinets, some with glass inserts, combined with brass knobs and pulls, are a modern uptake on a simple style.

White shaker cabinets, some with glass inserts, combined with brass knobs and pulls, are a modern uptake on a simple style.

A continuous waterfall edge of the marble countertops creates an impactful statement at the peninsula.  Iron and wood bar stools are an industrial accent in the chic space.

A continuous waterfall edge of the marble countertops creates an impactful statement at the peninsula. Iron and wood bar stools are an industrial accent in the chic space.

Open shelves provide a location to display decorative accessories.

Open shelves provide a location to display decorative accessories.

Project Credits:

Architectural & Interior Designer: Francis Dominguez, EFE Creative Lab, Inc. 

Builder / General Contractor: Dream Home Real Estate

Cabinetry: Panda Cabinets 

Cabinetry Install: Eddie 

Photographer: Alejandro Rodriguez, Iconic Virtual Studios