Room Tour: Emma’s Kitchen

Emma Chapman's kitchen tour (via Emma Chapman's kitchen tour (via Hey, guys – who’s ready for a little before and after style room tour?! I thought it would be fun to walk you through my kitchen. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% “done” with this room, as no room is ever 100% done in my house. Ha! But my kitchen has undergone quite a few changes since we moved in this past autumn. First let’s take a little walk down memory lane…

Emma's kitchen before and after When we bought our house, there were already SO many things that we loved about it: the overall floor plan, the wood ceilings, wood laminate floors throughout, and so much more space than our last house. We were excited to change a few fixtures and wall colors and then just start making the space ours – which is pretty much what we have been doing.

Three big changes happened in our kitchen shortly after we bought it. First, I had the counters replaced. The brown granite counters were slightly damaged in one area and were just not my taste. I thought long and hard about just keeping them anyway because they weren’t super damaged and most people would think they were totally fine even though they weren’t a color I loved. But in the end, I decided that if I was gonna splurge on something cosmetic, I would do our kitchen counters because I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen for work and for fun. So why not make it a space I truly love. Our new counters are a speckled white solid surface and I LOVE them so far. It makes the kitchen feel so much brighter and super clean, unless dinner is in progress. 🙂

Second, we had the cabinets painted white. We painted most of the walls in our house and that pretty much took up all my free time for a month. So that coupled with the fact that I knew a pro would do a better job played into our decision to have them professionally painted. Saved us SO much time.

And the third big change was one we did a few months after we moved in. Trey and I installed the marble tile backsplash. You can read more about that here.

Emma's kitchen counters Hanging indoor herb gardenHere’s where you can find me for a large part of the week, either at the stove top or washing dishes in the sink. Yes, we have a dishwasher, but usually it gets full and then I have a few other dishes to do. Plus I cook with a number of things you can’t put in a dishwasher like wooden cutting boards and utensils and also cast iron pans.

I LOVE all the extra counter space we have now compared to our last kitchen. I really can’t say enough how much I love cooking in our kitchen.

A lot of readers have asked me if I prefer electric to gas stovetops and I truly don’t have a strong opinion either way. If I were building my kitchen from scratch, I’d probably choose gas (if possible), but I’ve had electric in many of the houses and apartments I’ve lived in over the years. So I don’t mind either. Our house came with electric, and I’m perfectly OK with that. I don’t see us spending the money to change it.

Wine and beer refrigeratorOne update we did for functionality as well as adding value to the house was we removed the (old) trash compactor and replaced it with a mini refrigerator that fit right in, which we use for wine, beer, and usually La Croix. 🙂 We had just had a party the previous weekend when I snapped these photos, so we had more beer in the fridge than normal. I love how this little fridge looks, but I truly appreciate the space it saves in our main refrigerator. We used to have a beer fridge in our garage, but we left it with our last house when we rented it out, so this is a good compromise. 🙂

Painted kitchen aid mixerI am currently trying to keep some fresh herbs alive in our kitchen to use for cooking. I buy herbs so often it just seems silly not to be growing a few that I use most often. I must admit that I don’t have much of a green thumb though, but since I work from home these days, I’m optimistic I can do this!

Oh, and you see that KitchenAid Mixer in the corner? That’s the same one that I tried to paint faux granite and totally failed at (see here)! I ended up repainting it copper because I felt like it went well with our kitchen. I guess it’s sort of a boring choice, but I figured I wouldn’t regret a safe choice after my experimental paint idea didn’t work out so well. Ha!

Modern kitchenn (via I love having a double oven AND that it’s standing height. Makes pulling heavy, hot pans (especially things baked in a water bath) out of the oven so much easier.

You can also see that on this counter is where I leave out our most used appliances: toaster, blender, and gooseneck kettle for making Chemex coffee in the morning.

And yes, I have a rubber band around two of my lower cabinets right now. I need to fix one of the doors as it always stays slightly open for some reason. We pretty much have a long list of “little fixes” that we work on during slow weekends.

Coffee cartI keep all our coffee making items in one area, just because it makes it that much easier to get coffee going in the morning. This is probably my favorite daily ritual.

Emma's kitchen before and afterWe still use our bottle opener that I added to the side of the counter last year, and also our marbled knife holder. I’ve been thinking about making some kind of dog bowl holder because they often get moved around as the dogs eat or drink from them, and then I sometimes trip over them. I’m very smooth like that. 🙂 So, yeah, if you know any good solutions, let me know as I’m on the look out.

Modern kitchenn (via Emma Chapman's kitchen tour (via The most recent update, that honestly made a huge difference visually, I shared about here. We added some wallpaper to the front of the barstool area. Our house overall has a kind of modern meets rustic vibe, and I think the wallpaper totally made this room feel EXACTLY like that. Which makes total sense if you know me and Trey because we are basically city people who like camping, so, there you go. 🙂

I’m sure I’ll be adding and changing up little things in this room over time, which I’m sure I’ll share. But for today, thanks for letting me take you on a tour of our kitchen! Feel free to drop by anytime. 😉 Happy Friday everyone—hope you have a great weekend! xx. Emma

Sources // Wallpaper: Hands by Pottock, Stools: Target, Coffee cart and herb planter: IKEA

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

  • Super Love your kitchen design!It definitely inspired me to try some things I normally wouldn’t have done on my own.

  • Super Love your kitchen design! It definitely inspired me to try some things I normally wouldn’t have done on my own.

  • I love how you always make everything brighter! In decor, fashion, crafts… in life!

  • Oh my this is literally my dream kitchen! It’s dynamic and happy, if a kitchen can be happy, anyway…

  • It’s called Bistro White (Valspar) but I would go get a bunch of white samples and tape them up on your cabinet to look at for a few days. Lighting in houses can be so different, for example my house has skylights and this changes the lighting/vibe in my kitchen a great deal. So you’ve got to find the white that works with your space and it’s lighting.

    Good luck!

  • Hi, Emma. I really love it, it is refreshing.. can you please tell me what paint you used for your cabinets? I am trying to pick a white paint for mine as well, and I like the one that you used it is white yet soft.


  • So yeah… that’s basically my dream kitchen! Love how bright and cheerful it is! The marble is so gorgeous and that wallpaper is so fun!
    Congrats Emma, that’s one hell of a kitchen!

  • Can you share where you got your mini fridge that replaced your compactor?

  • Beautiful! May I ask what brand/shade of paint you used for your mixer?

  • So jealous of all the counter space, cabinets and the bright and fresh look! I love the transformation from the before. I’d be in that kitchen all day every day too!

  • Oh Em, I love what you’ve done! It’s fun and sophisticated and that wallpaper is WOW!

  • Woah! That’s some 360 degree change. From dark to happy, bright and illuminated. Great job on this one Emma!

  • In love with so many things in this kitchen! First of all, I love that it’s actually a doable DIY! You guys did a lot of it yourselves, and it looks so good! I’d probably opt for a professional to paint my cabinets too, just for the sake of making sure they were done right!

    I love the openness, and the bright white does give it such a clean, chic feeling. And then that wallpaper! So. Much. Love.

    Thanks for sharing!
    A Whimsy Wonderland

  • The kitchen is very clean and tidy

  • You are very hard-working, the kitchen neat and clean, you are the best

  • What about moving the feeding bowls to the laundry area or a part of the kitchen where your cutting boards are on floor? I was thinking some sort of wood slats where your bottle opener is, to hold the cutting boards? Perhaps the bottle opener could still be incorporated in the same spot where it it?

  • I love how much brighter it is!

  • The copper details are wonderful, and it’s amazing how bright and cheerful you made it!

  • Wow it looks fantastic ! Really creative . I’m in love with the the bar ????


  • What a difference! I love the yellow accents and the floor is to die for!! x

  • I read your blog a lot but rarely comment but….

    OH MY FRICKIN GOD I love your kitchen. It’s perfect. Perfect. Can I move in with you?!?

  • I love love love your kitchen! The countertop and the ceiling especially 🙂
    The problem with the opening door might be a pretty easy fix actually. Have you tried loosening hinges a bit? It might be something else of course, but from experience – that’s probably just hinges screwed on too tightly.
    Please continue sharing little home changes updates, that’s my favourite thing 🙂

  • I love all of the white with the wood. Total difference. So glad you went with new counters. They look fabulous.

  • I haven’t tried it myself, but I found this cool dog food bowl storage diy;

  • Oh wow! I absoluely love your kitchen! It’s crazy how much changing out the worktop and the kitchen cabinets can do so much for a room! Our kitchen needs a refit as we have 20 year old cabinets in there that are starting to look a little worse for wear, so we’re planning on changing out the most damaged cabinets and getting new doors fitted to the rest.
    xo April | April Everyday

  • Wow, the tile wall & backsplash are gorgeous. And a LaCroix fridge?!? I didn’t know it was my dream, but now I do! 🙂
    I have a general question about your stove/cooktop situation. I know it wasn’t part of the reno (appears it was the same in the before image),but I am shopping for my first house (!!) and am wondering if you find any downside to not having a hood over the cooktop? It looks like your nice, tall ceilings probably help a lot with air movement, but I’ve been hesitant to consider kitchens that don’t have one. Are you able to cook over relatively high heat without filling the room with cooking odors? Your kitchen looks beautiful, and is definitely swaying me away from my no-range-hood bias! 🙂

  • Thrifty Decor Chick has a good pet bowl tray DIY:
    Great job on the kitchen/dining area. So bright and airy!

  • Amazing! What a complete change– I never would have imagined something so light and bright from looking at the old picture. I love the pops of yellow too!

  • So great!!! I’m not fully sold on the white kitchen craze (mostly cause I am messy and just feel like it would be more to clean) but certainly in your house it really really fits and looks amazing!

  • I have been dreaming of a kitchen renovation and this is so inspiring… though admittedly impossible in our tiny space. #kitchendreams

  • Love the kitchen!! So nice and bright!

    What about making a rectangular wooden box for the dog bowls. You can cut out circles so that the base of the bowls is hidden within the box and just the lip of each bowl sits on the surface of the box. Hide some rubber stoppers beneath it to keep it from moving if kicked. Then you can get creative with how you paint the box… like maybe little potted cactus’s 🙂

  • I love all the changes you made, the fridge for the compactor is great! Such a fresh clean space!

  • Love all the changes you made!

  • You should check out this DIY. It is functional but also beautiful, may be a good solution for your problem.

  • It’s so light and bright now, I love it 🙂 I am a little curious why you didn’t take your tile all the way up by your sink window though.

  • I bet you could find a three ring metal planter holder somewhere that could work for the dog bowls. Then you could just attach it to the side of the counter. Or, Nifty did this DIY tutorial the other day for a mason jar planter (which you could use for those herbs your growing) but I bet it could be adapted for the dog bowls as well!

  • Wow! What a transformation, that kitchen looks so beautiful and airy now!! Loving the white cabinets!

  • So gorgeous!! My wife and I made a dog bowl stand for our pit bull mix Samson. He has much less acid reflux when the food is higher, and it protects our floors! And damn it of course Typepad is having image issues, but here is the post: If you click on the broken links, you can see the real photos.

  • I have to comment and say how much I love this! It’s a very “real” post about personal design choices, and I love that. The wallpaper is so fun, I immediately think business in front, party in the back! After 4.5 years I FINALLY replaced my kitchen counters to something white. The old granite like yours was dark but in fairly good shape. We’re so glad now we finally made the investment in something cosmetic, it has mad a world of difference.

  • Love your kitchen! It’s so bright and cheery. 🙂 I’m looking for a practical way to “hide” my kitchen sponge, and I noticed you don’t have one visible. Any tips? (It’s also cool if it’s just hidden for the shoot… I’m just hoping for a solution!)

  • such a great change! I’m drooling.


  • You wanna know about dog bowls? Here you go:
    *rubber mat sold at any pet store (ours is Barkley and Boots from Target)
    *bowl holders sold at pet stores (ours is from Petco)
    *a rug mat (the somewhat tacky kind that go between a rug and the hardwood floor – we got ours at IKEA) cut to fit under the bowl (I had to hotglue felt to the bottom of the bowl first)
    *a tray with small walls (similar in structure to a pyrex dish, which also works), can put bowl in as is or fill tray/dish with large smooth stones or other decorative, dog-friendly items/substance). Can also use rug mat under tray if your dog is particularly aggressive or strong (I’m looking at you, Steve).
    I find all these options work better with flat bottom ceramic bowls with straight walls. (Also, my dog hates drinking out of a metal bowl because SIR IS PICKY – we have to take a bowl to the dog park since he won’t drink out of the metal ones there, but he will try to pee in them, OF COURSE)

    I think it’s time for a pet update from everyone on the ABM team! With all the moves, how are the fur babies doing?

    I LOVE the changes in your kitchen!! I think the counters were the right decision. And that mini fridge is amazeballs. Lots of happiness in this post!

  • Emma, I think your kitchen might be my favorite room reveal ever on ABM! I love the skylight and wood ceilings and how you really brightened the space and made the good bones in the house shine. Awesome job!

  • Wow it came out great. I would have never thought of putting the wallpaper in front of the barstool area. I am starting to do renovations at our house and the number 1 thing I want to add is a mini fridge for our drinks.

    Cute Kitchen.


  • Yellow Brick Home has a fantastic dog bowl station DIY!

  • Hi Emma, I’d advise you to put a rubber mat under the water bowl.I ruined a spot on our floor because I had the bowls sitting on it with no water proof protection underneath.

  • WOOOW I love the way you changed the kitchen!! Amazing *-* I would like to have mine like this!!

  • This hand patterns looks amazing. Bold but somehow still delicate.

  • It looks so great! I love the wallpaper next to the yellow stools. Also, if you figure out a solution to that dog bowl problem, please share! I’m always tripping over/kicking my dog’s bowl and it drives me crazy (and hurts my toes…)

  • WOW!! What a difference. Love everything…. the ceiling is awesome. (didn’t notice it with the dark cabinets)

  • I love the new kitchen. It’s great how you kept some features like the cupboards but just painted them over. 🙂

  • I got it a few years ago, I believe it’s a Caitlin Shearer but I was just checking her etsy and I’m not sure she’s selling on there anymore but that’s where I got it back then. 🙂


  • Hey emma! the regal lady above your coffee cart, where is it from? I’m in LOVE!


  • Thank you so much, Emma! Yes-I’m in FL and think it might be a little higher here but so worth it (the more I read about doing it myself the more I’m leaning towards having it done professionally!) I have a huge kitchen with really tall cabinets and can picture myself spending many days and nights trying to DIY this! ha! Thanks again for the info. 🙂

  • How bright is now the kitchen, it looks completely a different place. The combination of the ceilings with the white surface are simply prefect!

  • Foster and Smith has a lot of dog bowl options. They are pretty traditional, but I bet a quick DIY would fix that!

  • It was a little over $2000 (including all materials, like paint). Keep in mind I have a LOT of cabinets, but also I live in Springfield, MO so I would imagine hourly rates painters charge will vary greatly across the US (or other countries). Hope that helps—keep in mind it’s def something you can do yourself but it will be time consuming with removing doors, hardware, and if you paint inside of cabinets as well.

    Good luck!

  • Emma, This before/after is amazing! I love how bright everything looks now. It’s crazy to me that dark kitchens were so “in” at one time! Would you mind sharing how much it cost to have the cabinets painted? I know it varies by location but would love to have a ballpark figure as I’m trying to decide between painting mine or having them painted! Thank you!!!

  • Wow, it’s night and day.
    I like the way you did the tiles all the way to the floor. Nice touch.
    Even though it’s pretty modern, I think it won’t look dated years from now.
    And so much brighter and happier than before!!!

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