Megan and Christopher Eilers weren't crazy about the kitchen in their Mattituck home, but they didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth. The two rent their farmhouse from Megan's uncle and aunt. "They were kind of hesitant when we said we wanted to make over the kitchen," Megan remembers. The old kitchen was long, lacked storage, used living room lamps for lighting and had old-fashioned linoleum flooring that was scratched from the couple's dogs running across it. "The kitchen was rough-looking and hard to work with," says Megan, 33, who got help with the makeover from designer Lori Guyer, owner of the eclectic White Flower Farmhouse in Peconic. The two took up the gauntlet thrown down by Megan's husband. Christopher, 29, had challenged the pair to get it done for less than $2,000. Total: $1,775 (Guyer's usual fee for a room makeover of this type would be $1,000.) -- SYLVIA E. KING-COHEN
PAINT, $70. Includes Behr Off White ($20) from The Home Depot and Hale Navy and Kendall Charcoal (for the island) from Benjamin Moore ($50 for two cans) at Ace Hardware in Southold.
HANGING LIGHTS, $477 (for three). These include the one over the table ($169), over the island ($149) and at the sink ($159), all from barnlightelectric.com.
GLASS-FRONT CABINET, $75. From a yard sale in Greenport.
CABINET $40. From the defunct Trading Post in Greenport.
STOOLS, $100 (for two). From overstock.com. (January 2011)
TABLE and BENCH, $250. Wood ($50) is 150-year-old walnut from a tag sale. The base ($200) is made of plumbing pipes. It was created by Mattituck’s Randy Eilers, Christopher’s father, as a gift to the couple.
WINDOW TREATMENTS, $4 (for three). This is from a linen dust ruffle in a thrift shop in Southold. Fabrication by Megan Eilers.
GROCERY SIGN, a gift. Made by Guyer, who collects and repurposes antiques and other items to create decor and home accessory items at her store, White Flower Farmhouse in Peconic. (January 2011)
TABLE and BENCH, $250. Wood ($50) is 150-year-old walnut from a tag sale. The base ($200) is made of plumbing pipes. It was created by Mattituck’s Randy Eilers, Christopher’s father, as a gift to the couple. (January 2011)
ISLAND CABINET, $50. It was left in a house in Southold that was being sold and was offered to Guyer for the store, but didn’t fit. (January 2011)
POURED-CONCRETE SLAB for ISLAND TOP, $100. Done by a neighbor as a gift. (January 2011)
Flooring, $365. They achieved the wide-plank look by cutting 10 sheets of plywood ($200) into strips. They then glued ($20 for six tubes) and nailed them to the existing floor. They used a mix of half paint and half water to give it a washed look. Finally, they sealed it with Varathane. Materials included Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore ($25) and Varathane Floor Finish ($120 for two gallons). “Even if the dogs scratch the floor with their claws, it doesn’t hurt the look of it,” Megan Eilers says. “The trick with the sealant is to push it into the crack with a well-soaked lamb’s wool brush. Then you don’t have to worry about dirt and other things falling into the cracks.” Guyer says thinning the paint allows the grain of the wood to show. Materials from The Home Depot in Riverhead, installed by Guyer and Eilers. (January 2011)
SHELVING and BRACKETS, $10. Shelves made from old wood found in the barn. The brackets were from a restaurant that was going out of business. Guyer and Megan Eilers installed them.
METAL CUP HOLDER, $15. Made from plumbing pipe and fittings. From Ace Hardware. (January 2011)