Kitchen Remodel: Before and After!
Oh haaaay. I am finally showing you the before and afters of our kitchen remodel! Woohoo.
You guys! This might be my most requested post ever.
I go into a little bit of detail in the post, but you can see from the pictures that while the layout is the same, there are some big changes.
And this is the first of a few posts to come, so leave any questions below! I’ll be going in up close and personal about the appliances I chose and doing some video walk throughs in the coming months!
For a few months, we entertained the idea of taking down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room (the wall on the left side in the photos above) and almost decided to do it. It would have given us so many more options for things we wanted (and when I say “we,” I really just mean me because Eddie could care less about the kitchen and just wants to make sure he can grill a burger, truly), but ultimately we knew that no matter what, it wouldn’t be my dream space. I was super pregnant when we moved in here and while I really love our house, I have no idea how I overlooked some important kitchen details. Maybe I just loved the rest of the house more! I chalk it up to crazy pregnancy hormones and book-release date hormones.
We also figured that putting that much money into the kitchen is something we wouldn’t get back any time soon (it seriously required restructuring a lot of the house) and we don’t know if we will stay here. So we decided to work within the kitchen skeleton that we had and I’m really glad that we did.
A few reasons why we wanted to change things:
The darkness. I don’t even feel like these pictures do justice for just how DARK this kitchen was. I swear it took a toll on our moods, haha. The gloom and doom shade on the walls (which you are probably familiar with if you watched my vlogs before Christmas) coupled with there being NO natural light in the kitchen and with the darker cabinets and counters made the area so, so, SO dark.
Like, I’m not talking about dark for my photography. I still don’t photograph things in my kitchen, nor could I ever, because there is no natural light and unless we chop off the top of our house and install skylights, it isn’t possible.
But just LIVING in this space with so much darkness was crazy. Eddie also LOATHED the pendant lights above the bar area and hated having them on – like they almost hurt his eyes. So at times, it would be even darker!
The two-tiered counter. This was so useless for us. It lessened the counter space, made it so impossible to entertain and cut the room in half. It appeared that we had a lot of counter space, but it wasn’t utilized well. It was all choppy. I’m so short that I could barely set large pots on that top level. The countertops were also different shades and super dark. Not that I’d never choose dark finished or counters – I actually don’t mind them. But these were so warm and dark. I live for cool tones.
And most importantly, I wanted a space to be able to shoot videos and do projects that required me IN the kitchen. Spoiler alert: I did this last Friday. (!!!!!!!) That was impossible before. I have no desire or plans to have a studio kitchen and wanted to make a space I loved workable and enjoyable!
The main thing I wanted was lighter cabinets, a one-level center island and a cooktop in the center.
Yes, I am in the camp that wants an all-white kitchen. I always have. Even before pinterest existed! Going full blown white wasn’t really an option here unless we want to redo a lot of other things in our home, so we went with this color call chai. Makes me want to eat the cabinets. CHAI LATTE yes please. It’s a taupe-y shade.
And obviously, a change of paint color! I believe the color on the walls now is called west highland white.
(I had a ton of trouble trying to capture this entire island with my lens! Going to get a wide angle one for better pics and videos of the kitchen soon. This one above is just with my phone.)
So, we moved most of the appliances to the opposite side of the island and put the cooktop in the center. This cooktop is AMAZING. Holy cow. It boils water in moments. I’m going to give you a really in depth look at the appliances in a few weeks! I did partner with KitchenAid for my appliances and let me tell you… after having years of subpar appliances, these are insane. I knew I wanted to go with KitchenAid because my cousin Lacy’s condo was done entirely in KitchenAid appliances and I’ve been obsessed for years. I can’t even take how much I love them.
The bar stools are from Wayfair and are called the Ocean City Swivel. I love that they swivel the entire way around! Wayfair graciously sent these to me to have in our kitchen.
Having the counter down to one level has opened up this room SO much. Our entire bottom floor is an open plan and it’s so much brighter, lighter and airy. We love it! Everyone who comes in is like “oh my gosh, this looks so much brighter and bigger!”
And that’s that! I think with remodeling there are always pros and cons since you are working with the space you have. We are NOT remodeling people and I doubt we will ever remodel anything ever again while living it, but I am loving this space now for entertaining and sharing! The mood in our kitchen is so much happier now. xo
[special thanks to KitchenAid for partnering with me for appliances! I can’t wait to tell you more about them because they are changing my LIFE. and thanks to Wayfair for partnering us with us for the barstools!]
121 Comments on “Kitchen Remodel: Before and After!”
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Super chic result!
We are building soon and I’d love to know exactly what these countertops are! Looks great!
hi sarah! they are quartz and the shade is santiago!
Really, really beautiful, Jessica! I can’t believe how BRIGHT + AIRY the new space is. Well not new space, but you know what I mean. We hope to do a remodel someday when we build an expansion on our house and you better believe I’m pinning the crap outta your island. OMG that is what dreams are made of!!!!!!!!!!!! xx
thank you love!!
Love all your choices! Especially love your new lights. GORGEOUS!
thank you maryea!
AMAZING transformation, I love your taste and I especially LOVE THE STOVE TOP!!!!
thanks steph! the cooktop is definitely life changing!!
Oh my gosh, such a change! That before and after of your range made my heart sing. My apartment flooded just after I signed the lease and before I moved in, thankfully after six weeks with no living room or kitchen at all I got a super nice remodel of a nasty 1980’s kitchen, these pics remind me of that joyous feeling! haha
thanks so much! oh my gosh – i can’t even imagine going through that!!
LOVE everything about this space! It is so fresh and inspiring! I especially loved the tiling about the sink – perfection!
thanks ashlyn! i go back and forth on the tile because when i chose it, it seemed a lot brighter and lighter and whiter, and sometimes i think it takes on a warm/darker tone with the lighting.
Ahhhh yay!!! It looks gorgeous! Love how bright and happy it is. And I’m OBSESSED with the stovetop and the placement of it! I totally feel you with the dark kitchen..mine is very similar to how yours was. Can’t wait to hear more about your appliances :)
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Jaw-dropping! It’s STUNNING! I love it. I’m not even a person that’s into a lot of white, but how gorgeous!! The backsplash is perfection, I love the lighted cabinets, and those light fixtures – OMG! Congratulations!!
I won’t use anything but Kitchenaid appliances. I’m head-over-heels for them. My whole kitchen is KA in Empire Red. My coffee maker is on its last legs (but I’ve had it since 2004!), and they don’t make a similar model anymore so it’s going to be devastating when it goes. Haha.
thanks sarah! they really are incredible! I LOVE the idea of all red appliances. um hi, can i get some in hot pink please?
It looks amazing!!!! Oh my gosh, so happy you shared the pictures. Also love that you have the ovens side by side in the island (as opposed to double on the wall)!
thank youuuu. :) i knew i wanted (err, needed?) two ovens but we didn’t have a place to stack them!
Wow! It looks SO good!! You guys did an amazing job. My mouth literally dropped open when I saw all the Kitchenaid appliances on the backside of the island. BRILLIANT!!
thank you robin!
I love how bright and open it is…and those ovens!
Gorgeous! If we ever get the chance to redo our kitchen (similar colors to your “before” pictures, haha) I know where to come for inspiration!! :) Enjoy!!
thank you melinda!
Gorgeous! Can’t wait to hear more about the appliances! I absolutely hate my stove but wont replace it until we redo the kitchen. And I LOVE the chandeliers! What a great look. I hate the ubiquitous three pendant lights over an island look.
thanks so much val!
Absolutely beautiful! I also sometimes daydream about a white kitchen (I love how light/ bright they are) but also have the reality of living with a toddler and baby on the way. This is a perfect compromise of having the light/ bright effect without going all white and trying to figure out how to keep that clean. Plus, the added color just gives it a little something extra. I agree with others that the tile is spectacular. So fun, thank you for sharing!
it definitely is trickier to keep this kitchen looking clean with a toddler! i hear ya rachel!!
Beautiful kitchen. Where is the vase from??
thanks marissa! it’s from mackenzie childs!
Can you share a little more about the cost of your renovation? Did you have a set budget? Did you hire a general contractor? I always question the projects you see on HGTV.
oh gosh, we are SO not the people to ask – we are not remodeling people at all – like i can’t even watch HGTV without getting stressed out. we did have a set budget and knew we absolutely didn’t want to go over (and we didn’t!) – it was on the lowest end of what we felt worked for the size of the kitchen and the amount of cabinetry (the most expensive part!) that we had. since there were a lot of things that couldn’t happen in this kitchen to make it my “dream kitchen,” my goal was to make it something i love along with being use-able for my work! i got 5 estimates from contractors/companies. i didn’t even allow myself to look at any higher end things, aside from the chandeliers which did end up being the biggest splurge. we did hire a kitchen design company with a contractor – we are not handy enough to do anything ourselves!
basically i wanted to do sort of a bare bones remodel, keeping the same kitchen and just changing those few things i mentioned in the post.
one of the major things i knew i didn’t want to change the flooring (it’s throughout our hallways and downstairs powder room) because it would add on around 10-15k to change. and i like the current floors, so they managed to work around that with a few hiccups.
i honestly never watch HGTV so i don’t even know what kind of budgets they set! (except for when i see a “first time home buyer” have a budget of 950K and want to gouge my eyes out. ;))
Congratulations. Considering that your entire profession revolves around the kitchen, I’m so glad you will feel happy in that space. Kitchen renos are *the worst* in my opinion, and I’m excited, too, that this is over well in advance of baby #2.
A practical question. We are totally gutting, and revamping our addition, which houses laundry/pantry/computer room/kitchen. I’d like to do more lower drawers in the kitchen. But I wonder how to keep my countless little ones from opening them. The rubber band trick keeps them out of the (unbroken) cabinets currently. Did you think about this? Any opinions? In 6 weeks I’ll have a 4 kids: 6, 4, 2.5, and newborn, so it’s really only the newborn I have to be concerned with for pulling things out of drawers.
4 kids!! i love it! that is my dream. so max stays out of the drawers for now, so i don’t really know the answer to this question! with the drawers in our previous kitchen i just used some of the things that stick on the cabinets and drawers to keep them shut, but he even managed to remove them. i almost feel like there is nothing that works except for the old school childproof locks that my parents had to drill into the insides of the cabinets and drawers. i know we will be getting into this more shortly with a new one on the way. :)
Thanks for your reply – perhaps the answer is regular cabinets, but then some pull-outs within them.
And, I love the fresh flowers. My Mom always had fresh flowers in the house, and it’s a tradition I’m working to incorporate into our home.
P.S. Only crazy people have 4 kids. ;)
Safety 1st makes magnetic locks. Once installed, you can turn them on/off. We have them on all of our cabinets and low drawers. They work great!
Beautiful!!! Where are your countertops from?
thanks sarah! the countertops are quartz and the shade/pattern is called santiago.
Jess! I am definitely one of the people who hounded you for this post haha… I mean, at least your readers are giving you direction, right? So excited for more details on everything, but in the meantime, one big question – can you tell me a bit about your choice to move the cooktop to the island and the sink to the back wall? My setup is brand new and the same, but our last home had the sink in the island and I miss it… loved cleaning up while chatting with guests. Now I feel like the dishwasher is being punished. Thoughts? What made you do it? Did the dishwasher location change too?
hi! hahah thank you!! okay so two main reasons:
first, my grandparents built a house when i was maybe 13 or so and she had her cooktop in her island. i loved it! it’s been in my mind ever since. also sidebar, her countertops were aqua and it was amazing.
second, for work purposes, it makes it easier for me to be able to shoot videos, shoot photos – etc – i have either turned down a ton of things because of the layout of my previous kitchen (completely unideal for videos) or have borrowed/used other people’s kitchens for things for years, which doesn’t sound horrible until you’d see all the things it requires me to lug to the person’s house (like 2 car loads), as well as totally removing things from their kitchen (especially if it’s brand centric) for a shoot!
ideally, i would love to have my sink with a window above it, overlooking a backyard or something, you know? while i didn’t hate having the sink in the island, it made the things for my work completely impossible. also, i usually don’t do any cleaning up when i have guests (and suffer at midnight cleaning things up, haha!) so i wasn’t too worried about that. if anything, i’m cooking more when they are over, so i’m right in front of them!
and yes the dishwasher did change! it was next to the sink in the island before – now it’s next to the sink against the back wall. :)
Ohh of course that makes sense. Thanks girl!
Oh Man. So Gorgeous! Those appliances tho…. *heart eyes emoji* They are BEAUTIFUL! But what I am dying over is the feature wall behind the sink! Holy STUNNING! The tile! The open shelving! The lighted glass door cabinets! I LOVE IT! Growing up we had a totally 90’s kitchen with super warm oak cabinets, beige floor and backsplash tile and it always felt dark and dirty. I have been obsessed with Ina Garten’s kitchen for as long as I can remember: white whiles, cabinets, and black counter tops. I always wonder about the practicality of black counter tops though for a non-Ina person (will it always look dirty because you can see every grain of everything?), and god bless pinterest, I am starting to climb onto the “white marble counter top look” bandwagon. Long-winded story short! Congrats on the gorgeous new space!
thank you so much hannah!! so, i also LOVE black countertops with a white kitchen! i would love to do that someday. i didn’t do it here because i was afraid that it would still be too dark since the kitchen doesn’t have any natural light or windows. i have heard that black countertops are hard to keep clean too!
I have black granite countertops and while I love the look of them, they do show everything!! I’m pregnant with my first kiddo and I’m honestly dreading the day their fingerprints will be all over them because I know I’ll never be able to keep them clean! Plus, my kitchen does not have a lot of natural light so like Jessica said, the countertops make it hard to brighten the space up!
Wow! The kitchen looks great! I’ve been waiting for you to post some pics!!
The white does make the kitchen look a lot brighter! The was one of the things I hated at my old place…the kitchen was so dark! I spend a good portion of my time in the kitchen and there is nothing more depressing than being stuck in a dark space all day (…especially in the winter!)
I never really thought about the two-tiered counter, but it would really cut down on your useable space wouldn’t it?!
I love the dual ovens! Do you find it a lot more convenient having two?
The backsplash looks great too. Plus, loving the MacKenzie-Childs vase and Seriously Delish on the shelves!
Can’t wait to get more details on the process!
the double ovens have CHANGED my life!! so my mom has never had doubles, my grandparents did. i think the only time she used them was on holidays or while entertaining. they are obviously perfect for that! if that’s all you’re doing, i don’t know if they are worth it. but for me, who is cooking multiple different things every day and trying to shoot pics of food the moment they come out, it has been life changing. i use both ovens pretty much every day!
thank you so much ceilidh! xoxo
also random but i was making a bunch of food to give my SIL after having her baby and used both ovens for that too. ha! it cut my cook time in half.
This turned out gorgeous Jessica!! We’re planning a kitchen remodel at our house and I’ve been a bit scared but seeing these pics the excitement is setting in. I’m with you on the all white cabinets – I’ve always been obsessed too! ;)
thank you so much christy!
Omg your cook top/oven wall is the stuff dreams are made of! So gorgeous! I am totally with you on the all-white kitchen. Every time I see someone remodel or build a kitchen with dark cabinets and colors I’m like “WHY would you do this?!” Haha. Thanks for sharing your beautiful kitchen!
haha thank you brianna!
Wowza! Gorgeous kitchen, Girl! I’m so happy for you and I can’t wait to see what deliciousness you’ll be cranking out next from your new kitchen!
thank you tori! xoxo
This is gorgeous! I love how you switched things around and I’m looking forward to hearing more about those ovens (2, right?) and the appliances.
thank you angela! and yes, 2 ovens. they are life changing!
This turned out so beautiful, I especially love what you did above the sink! I also love the cabinet color. Is it slightly purple, or is that just the lighting?
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thanks kristina! so funny – it is just the lighting, but the color of the cabinets (it’s called chai, sort of like a taupe shade) can range from a cream, to a gray to even a cool purple depending on the light in my house. even one side of the cabinets can look completely different from the other side!
It’s gorgeous and your last sentence about not remodeling anything while living in it…I moved into my 1912 house at the beginning of last summer (2016), and lived through a total gut and remodel for 6 months that brought 1912 up into the Pinterest timeframe and it was the hardest, longest, worst 6 months ever! Yes I love my house and I’m sure you love your kitchen but living through it, ummmm never again, right!
The backsplash is gorgeous and I love the off-white shade. I went with the total bright white but now that I see off-white fleshed out and ‘in person’, it’s soooo pretty! Glad your appliances are rockin’ it! I know, boiling water in about 30 secs with a super powerful range is like no other! CONGRATS!!!!!
YESSSS so hard right?! how did you do it! ah!
Loooove it! So happy I got to see it in person too:)
me too! xo
This turned out gorgeous!! Quick question – what brand is the chai paint? I promise I tried Googling, but there are a lot of variations and they tend to have more of a pink tone on my screen than your cabinets do. I also want an all white kitchen, but this looks to be the perfect compromise without having to gut everything else. :)
thanks megan!! you mean the chai cabinets? i am not sure because they were already just listed as “chai” when i was picking things out in the design room (like we didn’t buy them unfinished and then have them painted.) if it helps, the brand of cabinets is kraftmade!
Two ovens??!?!? I’m so jealous! My Grandmother had an all white kitchen and I’ve always thought it was the chicest thing ever.
One day I’ll be able to afford my own home, but for now I’ll live vicariously through your dreamy kitchen while I decorate cakes on my laminate apartment countertops.
thank you josie!! the 2 ovens have definitely been game changers!
Oh my gosh, the looks of those new appliances are making my heart sing. Can’t wait to hear all about them! I’m currently living the tiny studio life, but I can’t wait to design a kitchen of my own!!
thank you mansee!
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It looks absolutely gorgeous! I think we are kitchen twins. Ours looked so similar to yours (pre-reno) before we repainted the cabinets… Wait for it… West Highland White! Now I want to paint the walls chai latte. Delicious! Enjoy your beautiful new space!
hahaha i love that!! thanks so much erin!
Hello Jessica! Your kitchen renovation looks beautiful. I especially love the new cabinets, but I was wondering how you access the top cabinets (the smaller ones that touch the ceiling) and whether you feel comfortable storing heavy or breakable things in those cabinets. I’ve been debating doing something similar in my kitchen to increase storage. However, my home has 11′ ceilings, and I’m nervous about climbing that high to reach dishes.
hi miche! thank you! so i only have things that i use sparingly in those higher cabinets! i have a 4-foot fold up stool that works perfectly if i need to grab something, but i haven’t even used anything that has been up there since the remodel. think super large pots, holiday platters, crystal, etc. because of the nature of my job, i have a TON of props and those are actually stored on shelves in my basement. i mainly use the higher cabinets for storage of things i don’t use every day, or even every month!
Omg, I cannot deal with how insanely gorgeous this remodel is!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!!
thank you leanne!
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So beautiful! I love how the appliances and sink are rearranged. It looks like they make much more sense the way you placed them! Wouldn’t it be great to design a dream kitchen and move back in once its all complete! Wishful thinking haha :)
it’s a beauty; can’t wait to see the edible gloriousness that erupts from that space. looking forward to that video, too.
thank you julie!
WOW!!! I am so happy for you, Jessica. Your new kitchen is stunning! My mood would totally do a 180 if I could walk into that every day. Cook on!
thank you cindy!
Beautiful! Can you share where you got the light fixtures?
thank you vera! the lights are called the chanson chandeliers and our kitchen design studio ordered them from currey & company, i believe! http://www.curreycodealers.com/p-7095-chanson-chandeliersemi-flush.aspx#.WYr9Vnd95E5
Just gorgeous!! Where did you buy the pendant lights? They are beautiful as well!
thanks andi! the lights are called the chanson chandeliers and our kitchen design studio ordered them from currey & company! http://www.curreycodealers.com/p-7095-chanson-chandeliersemi-flush.aspx#.WYr9Vnd95E5
I love it! It is so you.
thank you alicia!
Your kitchen looks awesome, love the classic subway tile! I don’t see a microwave did you not put another one in?
thanks claudine! the microwave is in the island – if you look at the second picture from the bottom, you can see it on the left side! it does have the option to be a convection oven if needed (my cousin had this one and it’s amazing!) but so far we just use it as the microwave!
What a beautiful kitchen remodel!! I love that you didn’t go stark white, which can look a little cold sometimes. The chai cabinets and countertop give it a bit of warmth! I love the kitchenaid appliances, especially the fridge! Can you share what make/model it is? We are doing a kitchen remodel soon and are choosing appliances. One question, it looks like you didn’t go with an extractor/fume hood. Is there a particular reason why? Just curious.
hi jessica! the fridge is this one i believe: http://www.kitchenaid.com/shop/-%5BKBFN402ESS%5D-408096/KBFN402ESS/ – it is counterdepth, which i think is amazing if you are a non-food blogging regular person – ha, for me it’s a little tough with having a food blog because there is not a ton of storage, but i love how organized it keeps us! it has been perfect so far.
as for the hood, we didn’t want one because our kitchen opens up to the family room and it would have cut off the room completely (sort of like how the second tier of that counter did before!) – and also i still wouldn’t have been able to film with a hood. but with the cooktops you have the option of getting a downdraft vent!
I love it and I swear I NEVER thought of putting multiple ovens under counter! I was stuck in the double wall ovens train forever! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!
Beautiful! I am INSANELY jealous over all the ovens!!!!!!