Laura’s Kitchen (Before + After!)

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) I’ve gotten on a pretty good roll lately of finishing rooms to where I can show you my before + after room tours (like our bedroom, guest bathroom, and front/dining room), and today we are moving onto one of the most used rooms in the house – the kitchen! Technically, this is “phase 1” of our kitchen remodel as we have some big plans that we are saving up for, but I’ll tell you more about that at the end of the tour. Ready to see what it looked like before??

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) As you can see, there are a couple of BIG differences in the space. I’ve painted cabinets before in our last kitchen, but all they needed was a light sanding to rough up the surface and I could paint right on top. These cabinets, however, had been poorly refinished at some point, and there were globs of polyurethane dripping down the doors. So every surface (front and back) had to be sanded down to the natural wood before we could paint. It took almost 3 days, and I thought it would never end. It was probably the hardest remodel project I’ve ever done (if you don’t have to sand down to the wood, it’s really not that bad), but once it was done and I knew I had saved a couple of thousand by doing it myself, well, I guess it felt worth it! But barely…

We also had that tile flooring removed (I really was not into the tile choice) and put down oak flooring instead (that’s what’s in the rest of the house) and stained it to match with the custom stain color I created. The new floors and bright cabinets make such a difference!

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) I wanted to do brass fixtures and hardware in the kitchen to update the feel, so I got these beautiful brass knobs from Schoolhouse Electric for the doors and these brushed brass pulls for the drawers. We had a pull down faucet in our last kitchen, and while I loved the idea of it, it was a terrible faucet and I didn’t know if I wanted another one if they were all that bad. Elsie bought this champagne bronze faucet for her kitchen, and it only took me using it one time to be converted back to the pull down idea. It works so well and is lovely to look at!
Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) That’s my camel teapot I bought after my trip to Israel. His name is Bruce.

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) Since I couldn’t find a runner short enough for that spot in front of the sink, I attached two of these bath mats together with rug tape that I’ll replace after each washing (or you could sew them together… just feeling lazy!).

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) I love how this starburst light medallion DIY adds some interest to the ceiling while keeping with the overall mid century and gold theme. It was so easy to make, and I love how it turned out!

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) Since I knew that we eventually wanted to replace the backsplash in our bigger kitchen renovation, I decided to take a chance on painting the existing brown backsplash to update the kitchen in the meantime without spending a lot of money. I’m happy to say that so far, the paint is holding up perfectly and it’s nice to have a little pop of color against all the black and white.

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) This cabinet peninsula used to be bar height instead of counter height, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense to us. There’s not a lot of counter space for prep work and cooking, so we would much rather have a usable counter-height peninsula than a higher bar one. So we had it shortened down a few inches and it’s much more useful that way. Once we added in the darker floors, the original black granite countertop seemed too visually heavy, so I replaced it with a white tiled DIY countertop instead. The shorter height with the white paint and tile really makes that area feel a lot lighter.

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) I love this framed wallpaper sample that I hung up a few weeks ago. The black and white pattern is perfect for the space and the wall planters help add some greenery as well (side table, serving tray, and trash can from Target, BTW).

Laura's kitchen before and after (click through to see more!) So, you may have heard a little bit of complaining about prep space for cooking. We have about 2 square feet of prep area between the cooktop and the sink in that corner. We would love to add some more countertop real estate soon. The tiled countertop is great for setting purses and mail on but not so good for food or messy substances with the white grout lines, so we’d like to eventually expand the peninsula to be an “L” shaped countertop that goes along the wall where the coffee station is now. That will give us more room for cooking and more cabinet space underneath. Right now all our food, spices, and baking supplies are in the peninsula, which only has two shelves and is less than a foot deep. Everything is stacked 3 rows high and all falls out when you open the doors. Let’s just say that this phase 1 is SO much better than when we first moved, but I’m looking forward to some more improvements! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Todd Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
  • Gorgeous!
    That minty green colour is the perfect pop of colour. Adds contrast, character and brightness. Love it!!

  • When did you go to Israel? Ie’d love to hear about it! (As an israely, not for travel tips 😝)

  • Can you tell me where you got your milk server that looks like it’s glass but is in the shape of an old school school lunch box-sized milk carton? Thanks!

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    Beautiful job Laura!

  • WOW. this is absolutely gorgeous! from the tribal rug, to the splash of teal, right down to the camel teapot, everything just works so well together! well done xX

  • This kitchen transformation is absolutely AMAZING. I can’t believe you sanded for 3 days! My attention span for sanding is like 3 minutes. I find it the most mind numbing and boring thing in DIY. Arghh just hate it so much. I’m glad it’s saved you thousands of dollars. I think that would be my only motivation as well – though I think I would space it out over 3 weeks…

    And the color of the backsplash is sooo pretty. I think this makes it! And all the other million beautiful details you’ve added to it!

  • I love the fixtures! Where can I get the gold knobs, gold faucet, gold lighting?
    I’m re-doing my kitchen soon.

    Please help!

  • The bright backsplash makes such a big differences! We have a kitchen that needs SO MUCH work, but we really need to save up for it and be practical – so for now I’m enjoying the little changes like having added a little rolling kitchen cart, etc. Your kitchen looks great now, but I’m excited to see the next steps too!

    http://danielleandco.com

  • Cute kitchen but the oven above the dishwasher is not a great plan. Hot ovens and plastic tub dishwasher won’t do well with each other. Keep em separated.

  • This kitchen is inspirational. 🙂 Definitely changes my perspective when house shopping… You can transform any room!

    Can’t help but notice you got rid of the microwave! Do you have one at all?

  • Beautiful transformation in your kitchen! Great job phasing your renovations into manageable parts. Love the clean and modern design and small eclectic touches … the camel teapot is awesome! I love tea and I’m sure it’s such a great conversation starter 🙂

  • This kitchen is gorgeous! SO light and bright and clean! I love the pops of teal and blue in there too …
    Definitely my kind of room!

  • Wow…. great work. This kitchen looks really beautiful & comparison between After and Before is awesome, Any one can see how hard wokr has done to get a awesome look of this kitchen.

  • I loved your new kitchen Laura! I used to love your old kitchen too. It inspired me so much and made me want a kitchen with pastel colors as well.
    But this one turned really pretty too. I loved the black and white combination with a little color. And that kind of blue is actually my favorite color right now.

    Loved the wall planters too! Great job! 🙂

    http://www.loveandeverythingblog.com

  • Wow, so much brighter and more modern, looks great! For phase 2, to improve the functionality, I would consider eliminating the peninsula and adding a pantry on that adjacent wall, as well as moving the refrigerator to that same wall if possible. Not sure if there is enough room to move the wall oven there as well, or eliminating the wall oven and getting a cooktop/oven combo. That would give you at least 5 feet of counter space on the sink side of the kitchen, which would be more convenient for food preparation. It would obviously require floor patching where the Peninsula used to be and also eliminate the sight line from the hallway to livingroom, not sure if that is agreeable to you or not, but having a longer continuous stretch of countertops seems worth it to me, I cook a lot.

  • So cute ~ love it all. I would have never thought that backsplash was painted!!

    Bruce is cute! 😉

  • I really like how you transformed the space, you have a great eye for detail 🙂 what I’m most interested in though (shame-on-me): where is the gorgeous jacket from that you’re wearing in the picture? 😉

  • I love it! You have inspired me to paint our cabinets. I’ve never done this before. What kind of paint? What shade of white? And is it easy to wipe clean?

  • I love your kitchen! I hope when I look to buy my first home I can see the potential in a bad kitchen like you did!

  • Is that coffee pot vintage? It’s beautiful! Love the kitchen makeover, looks beautiful!!!!

  • From dull to bright. This is definitely the most noticeable change in this kitchen. I think anybody would love to have a kitchen like this and spend time cooking in such a beautiful space. I would definitely adapt these tips on my next kitchen remodeling. Another addition that I would want to have for my own kitchen are window shutters despite the common misconceptions about it featured in this article. https://yourhomestyleguide.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/common-misconceptions-with-window-shutters

  • Great transformation. I was wondering if you can tell me where the counter stools are from. Thank you!

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  • Looks great, but to give more counter space why not get rid of the peninsula and add an island bench in the L shape. That’s what I have in my kitchen which looks a bit like yours and it works a treat!

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