Elsie’s Kitchen Tour (Before & After)

Elsie Larson's Kitchen TourHi, friends! It feels so good to finally be sharing my kitchen tour with you. It has truly been one of my favorite renovation projects ever!

I know it might feel like you’ve already seen this tour because it’s been photographed for domino and shared throughout its many phases these past (almost) two years. That said, this room got stuck in the 90-percent-done purgatory for over a year! Those pesky little unfinished details were driving me crazy, so finally we finished every last bit of it, and today I can FINALLY call this room “completed”.

Now, I want to share every little detail of our process with you. But first, a walk down memory lane! Here are our before and after pics! You can see ALL the before pics here.

Before- Elsie's kitchen When we first viewed this home, we fell in love with it immediately. I never doubted that this could be our dream kitchen. But I also had no illusions that it would be as simple as a little paint job… I knew it was going to be a fairly major renovation. I had my heart set on open upper cabinets and a light, bright kitchen that we could use and love for years to come.

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Here’s our kitchen today (!!!) It’s come a long way, and we spend SO much time in here, it feels more than worth it!

BeforeBeforeHere’s another comparison shot.

After deciding to go with open shelves on the top and swapping out the counter top range for a stove, it became obvious to us that we might as well get all new cabinets. We chose an affordable option from a local cabinet store. The open shelves were custom built for our space… and don’t forget it once looked like this. Haha!

The gold hardware is one of the first things we picked out for the house. It’s from Rejuvenation.

Our light is from Lucent Lightshop. I discovered them through Little Green Notebook and have used their fixtures all throughout our home. The theme of brass fixtures really ties the spaces together.

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour We went with quartz countertops. I feel like I’ve talked a lot about these. But just in case you haven’t heard—quartz is AMAZING. It’s pretty, but more importantly, it’s incredibly durable. I highly recommend it for kitchen counters (and anything high traffic really). And the other cool thing about quartz is that they are making new patterns every year. I cannot WAIT for you to see the pattern Laura used in her kitchen.

Anyway! The color we chose was more grey than I thought it would be from the samples. But in the end, I think it’s a good contrast. I wouldn’t have intentionally chosen grey, but I don’t hate it.

And, honestly, home renovations are a series of compromises. It’s impossible for everything to turn out just like your imagination. Some things are good surprises, some not as good. But in the end, all that matters is that you finish the renovation and LIVE YOUR LIFE in your home.

We also chose a classic subway tile laid in a straight herringbone pattern for our backsplash, and we chose to take the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling. I love the seamless feel of it! We originally went with gray grout, but after some time I couldn’t live with some visible imperfections, so we recolored the entire backsplash with a miracle grout pen (It really IS a miracle).

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour This area of the kitchen is both functional and pretty. I love it when it can be both! I use ingredients and dishes from these shelves every single day. I love having organization where everything feels like it has a home. Paint pen organization DIY here. The white milk glass tiki mug as a vase makes me so happy.

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour I shared all about our recolored appliances here. They were worth every penny and are holding up perfectly. It saved us thousands to cover regular appliances rather than buy colored ones, and they really give the room a more custom look. Before we had the pop of color, I was insecure it looked like “every kitchen on Pinterest”… which isn’t the worst thing ever, but I do value originality. So having something that’s unique to our space has been really cool.

Oh, and you can see the sweetest little fixture up above our sink from Cedar & Moss. It’s white and gold and the perfect small fixture for above a sink.

And that hanging planter is from here (I customized it to be just three planters and used the extra one in another space). I store my Vitamix right between my fridge and my sink. This is perfect because I am currently on a health kick and I use it 3x a day (at least), so it’s very convenient. My lesser used small appliances (food processor, etc…) are stored in lazy susans in the corner cabinets.

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour I learned so much about organization from The Home Edit and still have almost all of their systems in place to this day… just a little more lived in. We really use our kitchen a LOT (like a lot, a lot). But honestly, I have never once regretted the open shelves. They’re not always perfectly styled. But I’m OK with that. The openness that it creates more than makes up for any exposed clutter.

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour OK, let’s take a second to talk about the faucet. I get so many questions about it! It’s this Delta faucet. I do love it. It’s very practical, the best faucet I’ve ever had. I embraced mixed metals in our kitchen (it’s almost impossible to go ALL brass in a kitchen, or at least highly un-budget-friendly), so I picked some key pieces like the light fixtures, the faucet and the hardware in brass and let the rest be stainless steel.

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour I love this pulled back view because you can see the hanging plant we just added between the kitchen and breakfast nook. It really adds an extra something-something and visually separates the two rooms.

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Magic Hands print by Jennifer Ament. This little cart holds our coffee and tea stuff. We drink tea every single night (unless it’s a wine night).

Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour Elsie Larson's Kitchen Tour All in all, this has been a dream project for me. I never thought I would get to live with such a beautiful kitchen, let alone design one! It has been so incredible to see it go from point a to point b. I’m sure there will be a few small tweaks here and there, but it definitely feels done, and (Gah!) you have no idea how good it feels to say that!

Thank you so much for following along. I am doing my best to list every item here, but if you have any questions, just let me know in the comments. Love you guys! xx -Elsie

Sources: Gold Hardware/Rejuvenation, Quartz Counter/Stone World, Fixture above sink/Cedar & Moss, Chandelier/Lucent Lightshop, Faucet/Delta, Hanging Planter/Amazon, Espresso Machine/Breville, Tea Kettle/Kate Spade, India Cookbook, Towel/Turkish-T.

Related DIY—How I recolored my appliancesPaint pen organization, 10 Organization Tips with The Home Edit.

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Collin DuPree, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Love the bright light, and the wooden accents..i love the mix of gold/brass and wood in an all white room..
    can you tell me the names of plants used in the hanging planters near the sink? thanks.

    Hems

  • I suspect that when the previous owners did that kitchen, they were very proud. The cupboard handles are real statements. It IS beautiful, in its own way.
    Yours is luminous and feels much bigger. At least more room to breathe.
    Personally, I hate open shelving. I had it in an apartment before it was stylish. Everything was covered with dust. It was to much to keep up with, so I just got used to washing whatever I needed, rather than washing everything every week and then not using 90% of it. In our kitchen, we have just three hanging cupboards, and if I were to do it all over again, I would make that wall floor-to-ceiling cupboards. And everything low would have drawers. Because I hate trying to get the stuff in the back of those low cupboards.
    On the other hand, those open shelves mean stuff in the corners isn’t lost/unreachable. So that’s a plus.
    And, for somebody with your aesthetics, open looks great.

  • Beautiful transformation! I’ve had my eye on the light fixture you used over the sink for quite some time with the idea of putting it in my office – http://www.cedarandmoss.com/lighting/spectra – but my concern is that it won’t throw enough light. Have you been happy with the amount of light it throws and do you think I’ll be sufficient for a 10×12 room? Do you suggest a certain light bulb to use for optimum light?

  • Hi Joanna, That is actually a thrift find that has been with us through 3 moves now… It’s not even that special, but I can’t find anything I like better. :)) xx- Elsie

  • If you are worried about even light, choose frosted bulbs. We use frosted in almost every fixture in our home and it’s great! This was one of the only exceptions just bc those half gold bulbs are so cool. I definitely recommend this fixture for something like how we used it here. But for a big room where it’s the only light, my personal opinion would be that it’s too small for that. Hope that helps!
    xx- Elsie

  • This space looks amazing, you guys did a great job. I can not even imagine the time it took to redo the grout with one of those pens, that is commitment. My favorite part of this kitchen is the open shelves. They give the space the airy feel you were going for and it forces you to keep the area clean.

  • Wow Elsie, you’ve done such an amazing job!

    I love seeing before/after pictures, it’s makes us realize that pretty much anything is possible!

    I hate to ask, but well, I might not be the only one.

    Could you tell us more about the jars where you store you almond and cashews? I shop in bulk (i.e. no packaging) and usually use Ball jars, but I need something much bigger and airtight for flour. I see these two container and do not recognize the brand (although the almonds one reminds me of something I’ve seen at Target.

    I’d love it if you could share this info.

    PS: This is what my shelves look like now 😉 https://www.instagram.com/p/BQTAp9oFvj2/?taken-by=consciousxchloe

    Thank you so much!

    – Chloe
    http://consciousbychloe.com

  • I agree with almost everything everyone above has said but the thing I must comment on is the tiki mug. It’s genius, and even more so because it just sits there and one might not even notice it until they do and they are like ‘how did I miss this dude before..?!’

  • Love the kitchen! How did you come to the decision to keep the dishwasher white? Did you think about applying color vinyl to it too or changing it out for stainless? Would love to try this method in my next kitchen.

  • I LOVE the new look of your kitchen! So cool to see the transition!
    Your blog has always inspired me, thank you for being so cool 🙂

    If you ladies get a chance, please please check out my blog Girl Nesting! Thanks! I would love to hear what you think…
    http://www.girlnesting.com

    xo!
    Jahaila

  • Hey Christy,
    We picked a new white dishwasher because we wanted it to blend with our cabinets. I didn’t consider doing it in vinyl because I don’t consider it as much of a “fun” piece as the stove and fridge (and I think there is already enough color) and I didn’t get stainless this time just because I wanted it to blend in and disappear.

    xx- Elsie

  • Elsie, you definitely made a post when you bought the house with before photos criticizing and ridiculing the design elements and stating how tacky everything is. So I doubt that you could say you loved the kitchen but wasn’t for you…

  • Beautiful, Elsie. I have to ask how you’ve managed to not accumulate a wide, colorful assortment of plates, mugs, and glasses like I have. (Although I know you have colorful glasses elsewhere.) Did you purge them? Are they hidden? Whatever you’ve done, that’s dedication. If I populated open shelves with my stuff it’d look like the kitchen section at Goodwill.

  • Hi. I love your kitchen makeover! I’m just curious, do you have a microwave? If so, where do you keep it?

  • Hi Jillian,
    We don’t have a microwave, we’ve actually never had one in any of our homes. We’re so used to it that we don’t miss it at all.
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Eve,
    I did purge my dishes (two houses ago) and have been collecting all white every since. I do have some styling stuff (for blog photos) that is colorful and it’s stored on the bookshelves in my office. So, yeah, it’s basically hidden away. I actually really prefer neutral dish ware 99% of the time. It makes it easier for me to narrow down what I buy or collect too.
    xx- Elsie

  • Your kitchen is NOT like every other kitchen on Pinterest and I will never get tired of looking at it. Never. Some great pics, I really love the shot from your dining room and hope you guys will try more like that. It is kind of like a teaser to see just a peek of another room while also creating a natural vignette.

  • It is gorgeous!

    Could you please explain the rationale behind not recoloring the dishwasher? I understand mixing metals, but I am unsure I understand mixing appliance colors. Thank you!

  • In love with this kitchen. Ironically, I bet it’s now one of the most pinned kitchens on pinterest, if I had to guess 🙂 Just wondering- do the original owners ever weigh in on these photos or share what they think?

  • Oh my goodness your kitchen is STUNNING!! What a transformation! I love the gold cupboard handles you’ve chosen and what a great idea to get your appliances covered. So gorgeous! Xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

  • Pretty sure the cashews are stored in the hermetic jars from the container store. I have a bunch of those bad boys and love them.

  • Hi I would love to know where you purchased the turkish dish towel draped over your sink.
    Lovely kitchen!

  • Where did you get the milk glass Tiki?! I collect Tikis and gave never seen one like it. I wants!!!

  • It’s so gorgeous, I love it. And some set designer HAS to use the before kitchen as a model kitchen for some period drama from the 70s – that old kitchen, as dated and crazy as it was, was kind of spectacular (would not want to live with it though!). So crazy that it wasn’t updated in all that time! Beautiful job!

  • Wow Elsie thats some vision! Looking at houses myself and i always look at the kitchens and think, no that just wont do! But your transformation has given me the attitude to think more not what it looks like now. but what it could look like!.
    Looks so fresh and clean, its gorgeous!

    Love the Turquoise stove and fridge/freezer!

    – Kylie
    http://firstforeverything101.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Mandy, your criticism is unjustified. If you click on the link Elsie posted to the her older “before” post, you can read what she originally said there:

    “….the couple that lived here before us actually built the home themselves and lived there for forty years. I LOVED how they had it decorated. It was super cozy and very seventies. It reminded me of my own grandparents’ home in some ways. Good vibes. We fell in love with it pretty much instantly.”

    She goes on to say what she re-iterated in this post: that they wanted to make the kitchen their own.

    Elsie’s style choices are often very different from my traditional tastes, but I don’t read ABM because I want to dress/design/be exactly like Elsie + Emma + Laura, et al. Rather, I read it because they inspire me with their creativity and they do such a great job keeping things positive. It’s a refreshing change from much of the internet.

    Elsie did an amazing job with her kitchen renovation and I really love the changes that she made; she accomplished her goal: it definitely reflects their style now. Thank you for sharing with us, Elsie!

  • Hey Hillary,
    I don’t recommend the stove brand we chose, so I never link it here. You’d be better off just picking one with good reviews from home depot or lowes (ours was from a small brand and it’s beautiful but it has some quirks).
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Elsie!

    Everything is absolutely gorgeous! Where are your stacked white dishes from?!

  • Beautiful Kitchen!!!

    I have a coffee craving every night and I’m trying to switch to hot tea. Everything at my grocery store looks very blah. If you know of any any cool tea blends to try out please let me know.

  • Wow, the transformation is something else! We’re about to embark on a kitchen remodel of our own, and we’re leaning towards a color scheme much like yours (except for the appliances, we’re sticking with regular stainless steel).

    Curious about quartz, and how it compares to granite.. Is there a big price difference? What kind of maintenance is required?

    Thanks!

  • I have never had granite, so I’m not the expert. But from my understanding the price is comparable. The reason I picked quartz is because it comes in many more color and marble pattern options that fit my style. I believe the care and durability is very similar.
    xx- Elsie

  • Can you please share about your open shelving? Did you buy them? Make them? Please provide details. I’m currently redoing my kitchen and would like to do open shelving. Thank you.

  • Your kitchen is amazing! I would love to get open shelving one day. I absolutely love your coloured appliances (I’m a big fan of mint) it’s both modern and retro. It’s just such a great room! Congrats on having finally finished it.

  • The before is just kitsch enough to work and be amazing, but also need some major updating. The after is a nod to the before and totally works with Elsie and Jeremy’s aesthetic.

  • You’ll be glad you don’t have stainless when you bring the kiddo home. My parents have stainless and it shows every single fingerprint (and there are two adults only living in that house).

  • Sorry if this is a repeat, but I was wondering what is the brand and style of your kitchen sink? Love your kitchen, it’s just beautiful and thanks for sharing!

  • You did a fantastic job of incorporating color without overpowering the entire space. It still feels spacious and clean, however it has that extra Elsie touch that is unique to you.

    Laila from Townhouse Palette

  • I cannot even deal with this space – SO GORGEOUS. Literally obsessed with every single detail – the open shelving, the gold and copper accents, the mint fridge and oven?!? One day when I own a home can you please come design it?? Haha, but seriously.<3
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  • Could you please tell me the name of the specific quartz you choose? The link does not disclose. Thank you!

  • Elsie your kitchen is STUNNING!!! I love the open shelves–I have them in my own kitchen and I love them. It forces me to keep things neat and just have my day to day items out on display.

    Looking forward to more room tours!! Your house is such an inspiration. 🙂

  • Hi Mandy,
    The post you are referencing is from 2013 (it was not from this house) where I made the huge mistake of criticizing the decor. I DID edit that post as well as apologize for my words and have regretted it ever since.

    I just went through your comment history via your IP address and I just want to recommend that you no longer visit our blog because it seems like you’re not enjoying it very much.
    -Elsie

  • I love that utensil basket! I’ve been on the lookout for something like that for so long and they’re so hard to find! I think it looks great, but if you ever find your perfect utensil holder I’d be happy to take this one! Great job on the kitchen, Elsie! Must be fun to cook in there! It’s beautiful!

  • This kitchen is my DREAM!! The only thing I would do to make it MINE would be to use natural wood for the open shelving, but I adore your aesthetic and am so glad you made it your own!! I am definitely printing this post to add to my dream house notebook. We are building a custom home very soon, and I am basically using your blog as inspiration. Thank you so much for being so vulnerable in sharing your life to the entire world. I cannot express how grateful I am for you to allow me to be a part of your family in this way. Also, we are in the process of fostering (just to foster, not necessarily to adopt) but I am tickled pink to know you are adopting a child in need.

    Side note, I’d love to get a better understanding of your diet (aside from the out-to-eat indulgences). The reason I request this is because all of your jars contain very healthy items!! I’m wondering how you use them?? Slash, your body is #killer so you must be doing something right!

    Anywho, I adore you and Emma and your team. Keep on keepin on!!

  • Earlier, she responded to a similar comment stating she didn’t view it as a “fun” kitchen piece and wanted it to blend in more and not be too busy 🙂

  • What a gorgeous kitchen and amazing transformation! That tiki-guy plant holder is the bomb. I wanted to add something about one of your hanging planters…It looks like one I bought last summer at Target. It’s lightweight concrete with a metallic finish on the bottom. I came home one day to find the rope had broken. The planter was broken on the floor and made a huge mess. It chipped a tile and ruined a beloved plant. I have another one that I took down immediately and swapped out the rope for picture hanging wire. It still looks good, and it’s been hanging securely for almost a year.

  • This is truly a breathtaking kitchen! Knowing your appreciation for vintage, Elsie, I’m sure you had a hard time ripping out those cabinets, but I’m so glad you did. The result is stunning! I think the open shelves work perfectly and I didn’t even notice that you had to make decisions about what ended up being brass or stainless steel. Love it! <3

    P.S. I've taken several of your online blogging classes - THANKS A MILLION - and as the DIY blog pros, I would love for you guys to check out a DIY I posted today on updating a globe I had as a kid. I'm still really new at this, but I think you've helped me grow and gain a lot of confidence, so thank you for that. http://www.shessobright.com/2017/03/08/updating-a-globe-from-my-childhood/

  • Omg what a huge transformation! I can’t believe how different your kitchen looks from the before/after photos. So in love with the new kitchen!

  • I love you sharing your thought process. And the appliance coloring is FANTASTIC!!! I covet all the Smeg photos – but who has the dough? Enjoy your beautiful space, sweetie.

  • Where is the little coffee and tea cart from? Everything is absolutely gorgeous and so original. Love.

  • Love, love, LOVE it! Whan an amazing job you have done Elsie. Thank you for sharing it with us. Quite inspiring!

  • Thank you! I will never understand why people continue to read blogs when it only seems like they have something negative to say. Move it along….

  • I just read through all the comment to be sure you didn’t already address…can you give details of the wear of our your faucet!? I have an oil rubbed bronze and so disappointed with how it’s wearing :/

  • Hi Nicolette,
    This faucet is not real brass, so it’s aging flawlessly. I have some things that are real brass that have aged a lot more, so I understand the dilemma.

    If it gets too bad you can always get it replaced (or just replace it I guess- depends how much you love the shape of it).

    Augh! I hate it when that happens! xx- Elsie

  • This is just so beautiful! Can you tell me what tile you used for the floor? The whole room is just lovely. Well done!

  • I have SERIOUS kitchen envy! And loving the style you’ve gone for throughout this house – it features quite a lot of my pinterest boards!

    I just wanted to ask how often and rigorously you clean your open shelves? Do you do a quick wipe down each day or leave it longer and do a full-on clean? I’d love open shelves in our kitchen but being less than five foot tall and often having mobility issues, cleaning can be problematic at times!

  • Hi Elsie, I love everything you’ve done in your home, especially your kitchen! We’re house hunting in Chicago and even the great homes that have been updated don’t match my taste. Did you ever find a reference anywhere for what to expect financially with committing to a renovation? The houses here go so fast, it’s hard to even get a second viewing to bring in a contractor. I’d love your insight if possible!

  • Love love LOVE your kitchen! I keep coming back to this post for inspiration since I’m currently redoing the kitchen in our new home.

    What color did you use on the cabinets? Is it the same Sherwin-Williams “Marshmallow” you used on your walls?

    Thank you!

  • Hi elsie, i also live in the Nashville vicinity and currently in high school, i came across your blog today and instantly fell in love! from the looks of it you have a amazing eye when it comes to interior design , I love how your rooms are so simple but fun and different at the same time. I would love to go into the flipping house/ blogging industry and i would love to just spend time with you or even apprentice under you just for the summer! i get that is a lot to ask but i would love for you to take me under your wing and teach me you techniques, or even maybe get tea or coffee a couple times.

  • This is absolutely beautiful! So minimal, so beautiful. Definitely a dream kitchen. Well done renovating this. Time well spent