Kitchen Remodel Before and After Pics

Kitchen Remodel Before and After
Our house was nine years old when we bought it in 2001 and, after having lived here for twelve years ourselves, we decided to update the original kitchen in late 2012.

Refreshing our kitchen had been on our to-do list for at least five years, which gave me a lot of time to thing about what I wanted.

Here’s a before shot, looking from the eating area into the kitchen.


The bones of the kitchen were good, but the surfaces were worn and dated. They included:

  • Popcorn ceiling
  • White laminate countertops
  • Fruit wallpaper in jewel tones

There was also a big fluorescent light box that needed to go. The opening was ever slightly too big for the plastic panels, which were prone to come crashing down at random times.

Here’s the after pic of that same view.


The changes we made included:

  • New textured ceiling
  • Granite countertops in Giallo Ornamental
  • Wallpaper replaced with paint (Benjamin Moore Beigewood)
  • Cabinets repainted (Benjamin Moore White Dove)
  • Lanterns replacing the box light over the island (we also added more canned lights and new under cabinet lighting)

Here’s the before view from the kitchen into the eating area.


And here’s the after. This light fixture was changed out. We also discovered that, once the wooden blinds were removed, we liked the windows that way. I put up drapery panels on rings that can be closed when we want privacy, but usually they’re open like this to take better advantage of the view.


It’s difficult to see in the picture below, but another problem we had was that the refrigerator opening was too short for many fridges and the cabinet area to the right of it did not have the best design; it had mostly become a dumping ground.


So the existing refrigerator cabinet was raised up a few inches and crown moulding was added at the bottom to accommodate a taller fridge. That also created a height differential between the refrigerator cabinet and the cabinet next to it, which I thought created some interest.


Speaking of the cabinet area to the right of the refrigerator, it was re-worked to be more efficient. We gained some shelving, a microwave space, and an additional drawer.


Another other area we had re-worked was the island. Our contractor decided it was easier to just pull out the old one and re-build it vs. trying to work with what we had.

Our new island is about six inches longer than the old, but the big score was organized storage. Hallelujah! Our old island was one big jumble of pots and pats. Now we have a couple of pull-out drawers instead.


I also requested some vertical storage for cutting boards, cookie sheets, etc.


We had them replace the sliding door on our appliance garage (the one that pretty much took two hands to operate) with a regular cabinet door matching the rest of our cabinets.


By the way, I had a couple of contractors tell me it would be nearly impossible to match the doors we had. They suggested refacing or replacing all of our cabinets. While that would have been nice, it wasn’t in the budget. And the cabinets we had were mostly fine. We kept interviewing contractors until we found one that was on board with what we wanted to do.

The rest of the changes were pretty cosmetic and were made to add some character to the space. I had glass put in the cabinets on either side of the sink.


That turned out to be a pretty simple change done by a woodworking shop. I saved the wood sections that they took out in case I – or a future homeowner – want to replace them.


We had crown moulding put around the entire kitchen.

kitchen crown moulding

Also, new cabinet hardware.

IMG_5977And some more new lighting.

Kitchen entryAnd a couple of extra touches.


A champagne bucket – bought at an estate sale – and pressed into service as a utensil holder.


These plates I begged off my Mom ;), but she originally bought them at Target.

Most of these pictures were taken last winter, but having lived with it a year, we still really love the result.

Related post: No-Sew Kitchen Cafe Curtains.

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  1. Bobbie Turek says:

    Hi Julie! LOVE “Creating This Life”! I really wanted to go to Mary Carol’s Open House but was unable to. How great to be able to view your pics. I also love your kitchen remodel, as well as your other home pics/projects. We have similar taste, and I depend on other people’s creativity, so thanks for sharing!

    Keep blogging!

    1. Hi Bobbie! So nice to hear from you. Thanks for your nice words. I’m so happy to have you as a reader.

  2. I love your new kitchen look, Julie. We hope to redo our cottage kitchen in a couple of years and I’m thinking your microwave idea with the drawer underneath would work well for us too. I discovered your blog after Googling MCG fall home tour. So glad I discovered you!

    1. Hi Beth, thanks for the nice comment. A girl who Googles MCG fall home tour is my kind of girl.

    1. Thank you so much. 🙂

  3. Julie, your kitchen is wonderful! I smiled when I saw your original pictures because that’s pretty much the same kitchen I had in the past. Wasn’t that wallpaper just the best? It’s strange how our taste changes. You made great changes in your kitchen that can only come from living with it for a little while. Love it all!

    1. Haha Stacey. When we bought the house in 2001 I was SO excited about that wallpaper.

  4. I love how your kitchen turned out! It looks fantastic and I am totally jealous of your island storage. I can see why you are enjoying all of your changes!
    Found you at Blogger Homes. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Julie (great name). And speaking of names…Lilacs & Longhorns…love it!

  5. Oh, I am sooo envious! I want it all 🙂 We have builder’s orangish oak cabinets and formica, and hard to access lower cabinets. Love those pull out pan drawers. Very nice!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. If I had had to pick only one improvement in the kitchen I think I would have picked those. My old pan situation was driving me crazy.

  6. Love the champagne bucket for the utensils! The kitchen is beautiful – that’s my favorite combo – love love white cabinets! Wishing you and your family many wonderful meals and lots of laughter in your beautiful kitchen!

    1. Thank you, Lourdes. What a nice comment.

  7. I followed you here from ‘Blogger Homes’. Love your new kitchen!!!! Just gorgeous. Reworking the space next to the frig was just inspired. Really good job.

    1. Thank you, Diana. I had a really good contractor and cabinet maker who worked with me on the design. So happy they could make it happen.

  8. Botanic Bleu says:

    The kitchen make-over is magazine-shoot worthy! All your changes add to a gorgeous kitchen, but the microwave area is probably my favorite re-do part. My favorite part of your kitchen is not a re-do, but those beautiful windows over your sink, especially the curved top window.

    When I can get figured out how to sign into my bloglovin’ account, I will begin following you there.


    1. I love that window too, Judith. So glad the original owners chose it. And I’m very happy to have you as a follower. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Shelley. 🙂

  9. I just LOVE all the changes and LOVE the paint color. Did you make your drapes? I am guessing not since you don’t sew, so where did you get them? They look fabulous!

    1. Hi Pinky. LOL, you’re right, I didn’t make them. They’re from Ballard Designs. Paint color is Beigewood by Benjamin Moore. Thanks for your nice comment.

  10. LOVE the fresh new updated look! We are also in the KC area, undergoing a major kitchen renovation, and I’m newly blogging about that and other life stuff. So glad I stumbled onto your blog, I’m adding you to my Bloglovin’!

    1. Gina I checked out your blog and I love your home! So charming! Thanks for being a CTL reader. – Julie

  11. I’m popping over from Met Monday after seeing your most gorgeous kitchen redo! Oh, it’s lovely and I’m sure you’re enjoying it so much.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Jennifer. I really appreciate it.

  12. Love your kitchen transformation! Could you give an approximate cost for what you had done? Your kitchen is about the same size as mine and I’m contemplating doing the same update vs total cabinet replacement. Got a quote for refacing that was $22k – I swear that’s more than new cabinets!! Ridiculous! My daughter used to go to William Jewell and I would always stop at Nell Hill’s – love that area of the country! I’m a Midwest gal originally from Cincinnati, now a Dallas transplant for the last 35 yrs. Will check out your blog. Thx!

    1. Hi Kate. Nice to hear from a former Midwest gal. We have some great friends that grew up in Cincinnati and I spent my first year of college at Baylor in Waco, TX, so we have some more connections as well. The total cost of the renovation was right at $30k. I’m an obsessive record keeper so that was absolutely everything, including new appliances, light fixtures, draperies, etc. Good luck with your remodel. We opted to keep our original cabinets too after seeing the price tag for refacing and/or new ones.

  13. This was a spectacular make over. You did a marvolous job. You commented that the drapes in the eating area were from Ballards, which ones?. I’m currently looking for some in our eating area.

    1. Hi Missy. They were Ballard’s grain sack drapes, although I think they’ve since been discontinued.

    1. Thank you, Michelle. We still really like the wall color a year later.

  14. I came over from Susan’s. What an excellent redo – just a great use of space. I also love the color. I said it makes me want to bake something – such a warm and cozy color.

    1. Haha Madonna, it does feel warm to us too. Thanks for the comment! BTW, checked out your blog. Great recipes!

  15. Gloria in Pgh says:

    Dear Julie: I saw your kitchen re-do on “Between Naps on the Porch” and love what you did! I know that I need to update my kitchen but I don’t want to do the wholesale gut and build from scratch. I like the footprint of my kitchen but I want to freshen it up. Like you I need to replace a laminate countertop. Would like to keep my existing cabinets because they are fine but would like to do things like pull out drawers and maybe one of those pop-up things for stand mixers. Can I ask you about your cabinets. Did you have them professionally repainted or did you do it yourself? Thanks for sharing your experiences and pointers with others.

    1. Hi Gloria. I totally get where you’re coming from. We had the cabinets professionally painted inside and out. Since we weren’t replacing, I wanted them to at least “feel” new and we’re definitely not DIYers. LOL. Good luck with your kitchen update. If you have any more questions about my experience don’t hesitate to ask.

  16. What does it take to get rid of that light box? I have one and do not know if there will be a huge hole that needs drywall or if the plastic and box are easy to replace. Can you give me some info;

    1. Hmmm, Dianne, we weren’t the ones actually doing it so it’s a little hard to know how to answer your question. I don’t know what was actually there once they pulled it down. I don’t think There was a huge hole though. Sorry I’m not more help.

  17. Julie, your kitchen is simply beautiful! You made wonderful design and color choices throughout…I’m so jealous! I’m in the process of deciding to paint our cabinets white, also. Thank you for your paint color choice there. I’ve been searching for a set of the lantern lights for above my island, also…do you remember where you may have purchased them? Those I must have! :)) Have a wonderful holiday!

    1. Jill, they were made by Savoy House and the style is Oxford. I got them through Capital Lighting, but I think they discontinued them after I bought mine. Thanks for all your nice comments!

    1. Thank you, Jeanette. It’s very nice of you to take the time to say so. 🙂

  18. I love the look of your beautiful new kitchen, congratulations! The layout is simaliar to ours and I would love to use some of your ideas. However I have been afraid of putting in an island that it may take up too much space. What are the measurements of your kitchen?

    1. Sorry it took so long for me to get this info for you. I measured the area of the kitchen where the island sits (I left out the eating area and the small area that juts out in front of the pantry), and the approximate countertop-to-countertop dimensions are 9 ft. 4 in. from the sink to the pantry side and 11 ft. 4 in. from the bar area to the stove.

  19. What a transformation with stunning results! My kitchen cabinets are also White Dove so it’s nice to see them paired with another colored wall and countertop. Love your design and accessory choices, too. Beautiful work.

    1. Love that White Dove color, Zolane. I agonized over which white to choose…who knew there were so many?

  20. Visiting from BNOTP and your kitchen redo is certainly magazine-worthy! Kudos on a beautiful update! I love the “less is more” look above the cabinets and the overall look and feel of your kitchen. A Francophile I’m not, it’s nice to see that you don’t have antlers or animal heads on your walls and haven’t grain sacked everything! I was never crazy about white cabinets, however, the more I look at your pics, the more I’m leaning toward white! I noticed (and love) your beveled subway tile. Can you share where you purchased yours?

    1. I’d love to. And I dug through my kitchen file, and can’t find the exact tile I ordered. Ugh! Sorry! I ordered it from a local tile distributor, and the good news is that every tile shop and showroom I went to had a couple of choices of beveled subway tile, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.

  21. Cindy Pina says:

    what color paint is your kitchen?

    1. Cindy, it’s Beigewood by Benjamin Moore.

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