The Kitchen | After

Last spring we embarked on another little kitchen refresh in our 1950s ranch house.  Yep, these days it takes me a whole year to post afters.www.tphblog.comBefore I take you on the tour, here is how the kitchen looked when we viewed the house before buying in 2007:

ranch 017

What I love about this kitchen redo is minor change equals major impact.  The first kitchen changes happened in 2008.


This isn’t a huge kitchen renovation.  We only switched out the refrigerator and the dishwasher so all appliances are the same finish, stainless steel.  We kept the existing granite countertops and tumbled marble backsplash–although the color of the marble actually was pink and didn’t coordinate well with the granite, which complicated my paint selection process.  I wanted to go white on the cabinets, but it just didn’t look right with the marble and granite so I chose Sherwin Williams Brainstorm Bronze.  We kept the existing cabinets and just replaced the doors with a shaker style and added millwork to the soffit to give the illusion of cabinetry to the ceiling–this dramatically affected the feel of the room by making the ceilings seem higher.

The 2008 changes were an improvement to the previous kitchen arrangement, but after a few years the wall of upper cabinets and the mullioned-kitchen window were making me feel closed in.  And I loathed that pink tumbled marble.  We did our best to keep as much as we could to minimize costs but do enough to make a big difference.

We removed all the upper cabinets and soffit that spanned the sink wall and installed a new kitchen window.  It was amazing what this did to open up the space–so happy!

I had planned to put basic white subway tile on the wall for a classic and affordable solution, but when I asked for designer Sherry Hart’s opinion, she suggested this gorgeous 6 x 12″ white marble.  She pointed out how well it went with the granite–coordinating with the grays and the browns speckled in the countertop–and, most importantly, it modernized the kitchen and distracted from the ho-hum granite.  The marble cost twice as much as the originally-planned subway tile, but it was so worth it–Sherry said it would be, and she was right!  I love it, the scale and the subtle veining.  The marble elevates the kitchen in a way the white ceramic wouldn’t have.

I was so thankful that I could confer with Sherry about these changes.  Having another person with a trained eye and immersed in the business to weigh in on the options is so valuable, and I would encourage anyone to hire an interior designer–even if it is just for consultations.   Mistakes can be avoided, beautiful discoveries and options revealed.

I’m still surprised that I went with a navy for the cabinets.  I had narrowed down my choices to gray or navy but knew deep-down I’d play it safe and go with the gray.  But then as I wondered if I could pick a gray to blend with our mismatched stainless appliances, this now-famous kitchen was published in Canadian House & Home.chg

I think officially those cabinets are black, but they look navy and I was sold.


The brass handles were a surprising Home Depot find!

Chris, the contractor, custom made the red oak shelving where closed upper cabinets used to be.  I’m an open-shelf convert.

The table has been with us for 12 years now–originally all-over pine and then a brief stint in orange.  I stripped the orange and used some leftover gray paint for the table base.

Chris also made the bench for us–great for kids.  On the matter of new chairs, my first gut feeling was to do the Panton chair.  But, of course, I had to look at a million and one different chairs to finally realize that indeed I wanted the classic chair.  They are surprisingly comfy.  And Ol’ Big Red, the chandelier that I bought from Ally, makes me so happy.

So there you go, finally, yellowed and unstyled photos of our kitchen refresh!

Here are the deets:

Paint | Benjamin Moore Polo Blue

Handles | Artesia Liberty at Home Depot

Pendants | Sfera 8 from Rejuvenation Lighting

Chairs | Vitra Verner Panton at All Modern or the knock-off

Tablecloth | Handmade for MyColor Paint Party

Rug | eSaleRugs

Artwork | Yours truly (my daughter did the orange still life)

Cat | Heaven sent

Please don’t hate me because I don’t have the marble tile info…I will update here if I can dig it up.


  1. Your kitchen looks fantastic, Angela! Every choice–from the cabinet color to the marble backsplash to the red chandelier–is great one. It looks like a unique, fun space to eat and be a family and nothing at all like the original 2007 look.

  2. wonderful. I’ve been longing to ditch my uppers. you make it look so good.

  3. Very Nice! This just shows how some paint and hard work can improve just about anything. Your kitchen is amazing thanks for sharing!

  4. Peggy says:

    Much fresher than the original kitchen. I’ve loved every update you’ve done in there.

  5. You know how much I LOVE this room! Every detail is awesome, and you have such a great eye for making simple yet earth-shattering changes!

  6. So glad I got to see the kitchen in all of it’s glory!!! It looks so good!

  7. Amazing! Just shows how some hard work and paint can help!

  8. That tile is fabulous and those cabinets – WOW! I really love the way it opened up your kitchen after removing those cabinets and replacing the window. You have a great sense of decorating. It looks fabulous!

    I’d be interested to know the paint color you used in the adjoining room – that looks like a pretty close match to the marble tile, and a great contrast to the blue cabinets.

  9. This article is truly a good one it assists new net viewers,
    who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  10. Ryna Crites says:

    Words cannot express how happy I am to stumble upon this blog!! We have the same counter tops and I have been struggling to figure out how to modernize our kitchen. Your kitchen is a dream and an inspiration!! Thank you so much!

  11. What is the name of your granite? I think I may have the same or similar and I too cannot change the granite, but I’m looking to refresh the space!

Speak Your Mind