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Tour My Kitchen with Melissa Haberman

A bland-to-grand kitchen makeover needn't break the bank. Smart strategies like low-cost cosmetic updates—and a little elbow grease provided by family and friends—make a big impact.

Melissa Haberman's kitchen was drab, outdated and "hideous"—her word, not ours. "When I bought my house 3 1/2 years ago, I knew the kitchen needed work," she says. "But with the average kitchen remodel costing $25,000, a complete overhaul was out of the question."

Dated cabinets, insufficient space and an impractical buffet area were on her hit list.

"When considering my new kitchen, I thought about aesthetics and functionality," she says. "I needed more counter space, so the rolling island was a must. And I loved the clean, bright look of some high-end all-white kitchens, but needed to adapt that design to fit a modest budget.

"While I did hire someone for the most intensive work, my dad and I did a lot ourselves," Melissa says. "There's something about the quality time between father and daughter, even while working on a home improvement project, that made the experience extra special."

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Photo Gallery of Melissa Haberman's Kitchen >

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