Considering a kitchen remodel? Incorporate these smart, budget-friendly ideas from professional organizer Shira Gill.

By Marla Christiansen
Updated September 24, 2018
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Outdated Kitchen Before Renovation
Before the remodel, the kitchen was in need of a refresh—both in style, and for purely functional reasons.
| Credit: Vivian Johnson

Renovating your kitchen can be a huge undertaking with a ton of variables to consider. Carefully deciding which features to include in your kitchen remodel is essential to keeping your budget on track and preventing costly improvements down the line. To help us figure out which elements won't go out of style and will actually help keep our families organized, we reached out to professional organizer Shira Gill, who recently completed her own kitchen renovation. As a working mom with two kids, Gill has found the key to creating a kitchen that's beautiful, functional, and won't break the bank. She proves that, if planned properly, a kitchen renovation will last you for years to come and actually increase the value of your home. If you’re considering a kitchen remodel in the near future, take note of which elements Gill believes are indispensable to an enduring, well-organized design.

Outdated Kitchen Before Renovation
Credit: Vivian Johnson

The Kitchen Before the Makeover

Before the remodel, the kitchen was in need of a refresh—both in style, and for purely functional reasons.

Open shelving in beautiful, organized kitchen
Credit: Vivian Johnson

Think About Open Shelving

"Instead of spending our entire budget on custom cabinetry we opted to remove our cabinet doors and freshen up the space with a few coats of bright white paint," says Gill. The open shelving provides an aesthetically pleasing view of, and instant access to, all of the family's daily essentials.

Paring down to the essentials makes it simple to maintain a neat and tidy kitchen. By ditching all chipped and mismatched plates, bowls, and mugs, and investing in durable ceramics and glassware, Gill created a uniform and streamlined aesthetic. "We stock, and display, only eight of each item—so we have everything we need at arm’s reach, but nothing more," she explains.

Kitchen Renovation Ideas, Organized Junk Drawer with scissors and batteries
Credit: Vivian Johnson

Create a Junk-Free Junk Drawer

Ditch the junk and create a functional, organized utility drawer. "This mini-makeover will ensure that all of your household essentials are easy to find at a moment’s notice—ours is stocked with batteries, tools, and basic office supplies," says Gill. Luckily, you don’t need to splurge on custom drawer organizers. You can measure and puzzle-piece your own modular drawer organizers together to create drawers that can’t help but stay organized.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to ditch the bulky packaging to bring tidy to the next level.

RELATED: The Trick to Organizing a Messy Junk Drawer

Kitchen renovation ideas organized refrigerator
Credit: Vivian Johnson

Refresh Your Refrigerator

Instead of splurging on a new refrigerator, Gill gave her existing fridge a boost. "We started with an extensive clean-out followed by a complete organizing refresh using sleek storage bins from The Container Store and custom labels from The Home Sort." 

Kitchen remodel idea, expand the countertop for a dining nook
Credit: Vivian Johnson

Expand the Countertop

"Our kitchen was the natural center of our lives, but the layout of our home constrained our ability to comfortably gather there," explains Gill. She wanted to design a kitchen that facilitated gatherings and fostered a sense of togetherness. "To achieve this, we opened up the kitchen wall and created a peninsula with seating that extends into the dining room," she says. "Not only does this new arrangement make the whole space feel brighter and more inviting, but the counter has become a favorite destination for snacking, socializing, homework, and projects," she adds.

Kitchen renovation ideas, organized pantry
Credit: Vivian Johnson

Build a Package-Free Pantry

Create a stylish and sustainable pantry by eliminating packaging and plastic whenever possible. "We use large glass canisters with scoops to store grab-and-go snacks for the kids and corral other non-perishable items by type in stylish baskets," says Gill. Her top tip: "Clip-on labels ensure that order prevails!"

Kitchen renovation ideas, beautiful dining room with table
Credit: Vivian Johnson

Pick Timeless Over Trendy

You can create an elevated aesthetic without breaking the bank if you focus on clean lines and timeless design. "We chose modern light fixtures from Rejuvenation and Cedar & Moss, modern hardware from Schoolhouse, and classic white subway tile," says Shira. "Instead of splurging on tile floors, we opted to extend the oak panels from the rest of the house into the kitchen for a cohesive look." A vintage Turkish runner (found on Etsy) adds a little color and warmth.

Inspired by Gill's style and organizing know-how? Join her virtual makeover program, or get inspired by her Instagram account