Thinking Outside the Kitchen Reno Box

Here are 5 budget ideas you may not have considered for transforming your kitchen:

Reinstall Cabinets Higher & Add Open Shelving

I love to study Joanna Gaines’ flips, and this is one of her most ingenious ideas.  By re-installing cabinets higher, she maintains closed storage while also making the kitchen feel taller. The open shelf beneath adds character to the kitchen and is a useful spot for that stack of everyday white plates.

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Warmth + High Contrast

Another Joanna idea here!  Her color recipe for kitchens seems to be a warm element (usually wood), mixed with a high contrast element (something black or dark gray), in a sea of calming neutrals.  It is such a winning combo!

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The majority of the kitchen being an airy neutral feels soothing and clean.  Touches of a dark color sprinkled about makes your eye bounce around as you take the space in.  But the real key is finishing it with the warmth of wood, which adds richness and depth.

If you are looking to add a warm element to your kitchen, there are many creative ways to do so, including accessories such as cutting boards, wooden bowls, and textural baskets.  For a bit more money, you can add wood trim and shelves or install cork-type wallpaper.  Or go all the way with butcher block countertops and a wood backsplash or ceiling.

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Furniture Instead of Cabinets

Want to tear out your cabinets but don’t have the money to replace them?  Perhaps some store bought shelves can help.  Architecturally interesting shelves can be secured in place for a fraction of the cost of installing new cabinets.

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Architectural Pantry Doors

They add lots of character and with inset mirrors will appear to lead to another wing of your home (not a closet for your cereal boxes).

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Two-Tone Your Cabinets

Though this is not a new idea, it is vastly under-utilized.

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Any of these ideas inspire you?  Know of other ways to elevate the look of your kitchen on a budget?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Modern Downtown Loft


Take the complete virtual tour:

In the heart of downtown Austin and steps from Lady Bird Lake, this luxurious condo features 1,459 square feet of city views and timeless design for only $318K. The ash wood floors, granite counters, stainless steel Kitchen Aid appliances, travertine tile, and glass seamless shower speak to the home’s understated elegance. While the Low-E windows with double-paned inserts, 2005 A/C with 10 yr. transferable warranty, Rain Soft reverse osmosis water filtration system, custom solar & blackout shades, Phantom retractable screening, and Elfa closet organization speaks to its function and practicality.  Additionally the homeowners enjoy 2 reserved parking spaces (1 covered, 1 uncovered), 24-hour conceirge, fitness center, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

2 Bedrooms & 2 Bathrooms

Showings: Jill Crecelius, 512-567-5998,

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Sabine on Fifth Registration Deadline Today

If you plan on participating in Sunday’s auction at Sabine on Fifth, make sure you register by 5 pm today.  We’ll be there and are extremely interested to see what the condos go for.  If you missed our blog with lots of information on the auction, you can view it here: or call us at 512-567-5998.

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One-Stop-Shop Printing


If you’re looking for company who will design, print, address, stuff, stamp, and mail, look no further than Ranch Road Design and Printing. We love working with them not only for the convenience factor (all those hours saved licking envelopes!) but also because our priorities are their priorities. Our designer, Carolina Monterroso, listens to what is important to us (whether it be quality, price, or a certain feel) and instead of telling us what we can and cannot do, she finds creative solutions to achieve our marketing goals.

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Emailing Large Files For Free

Often times when you are sending marketing material with high resolution photographs to your printer, your files can be too large to email. The solution is The service is free as long as you send a file under 100 MB. uploads your files to its server and then sends a link for downloading (good for 7 days) to the person you’re emailing. It has saved us so much time and hassle! Of course, it doesn’t have to be used just for sending marketing designs. is great for emailing contracts, hoa docs, etc.

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