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Our New Kitchen: Before & After

I had a lovely kitchen.  I really did.  I remember walking into this house 11 years ago and thinking, we can never afford this house.  It’s so grand.  It’s so well kept.  It’s been updated, and it looks out onto a flat back yard (those are hard to come by in our neck of the Northwest).

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It was a white kitchen. I LOVE white kitchens!  They are clean and classic and never go out of style.  I remember when we were looking to buy our first home 15 years ago, the dark cabinets were everywhere!  But now, they are looking “ten years ago”.  Don’t get me wrong.  There is still a time and place for dark.  In fact, we put dark cabinets in our Sunriver home and I love how they work in that space.  Or, do any of you have oak cabinets?  Talk about a beautiful, sturdy wood.  It’s hard to think about painting them, unless you are ok with the texture of the wood showing through; or, do I dare say, think about tearing them out?!  (gasp!) I truly believe, if you want to build something that is always going to look current, keep it white.

The Before


Just like anything, with time, things start to wear down.  (Insert old person joke…LOL)  The door under the sink had water damage.  The undermounted light did not work on the one cabinet.  One drawer front fell off right in my hand!  I said, “If this is not a sign, I don’t know what is!!!”  All these little signs were telling us it was TIME.


We hired our cabinet contractor Dan to come over and share ideas.  He immediately started pointing out all the crazy fluting on the cut-in corners “oh yes, that was big in the 90’s!”  He took notice of “all the busy lines and shadows those moldings create” or “the size and proportion of the doors over the fridgerator”.  Things that I never really noticed, until someone who deals in these details all day, every day points them out.  He has been doing this for 30+ years.  He knows what the current design trends are AS WELL as timeless designs that are going into historical homes.  Dan knows his stuff.


Counter Height

Our BIGGEST (ha!) reason for doing a full tear-out vs. just a mini facelift (counters, backsplash, hardware) was the height of our counters.  The people that built the house, I understand from my neighborhood bunko gals, were tall people and therefore, had the counters built 3″ higher than standard.  Scott and I, at 5′ 7″(ish) and 5′ 4″ respectively, are average (to little 😉) people and therefore, our counters were “not quite our size”.  Think Lily Tomlin in the rocking chair.  We were like little kids cooking in the big kids’ kitchen.  Chopping food or prepping anything on the countertops was quite uncomfortable.  I always used the pullout cutting boards which were about 1.5″ lower than the counter when pulled out. But! One broke (from too much choppin’ I guess!) –it just “dangled”, and so we were down to only 1 working which we didn’t use in fear that it too would break!  (Another sign!)


So, we went for it.  We tore the whole thing out and started from scratch.

The After

Well, here it is!  Welcome friends!  I wish you could be here in person but I suppose we will settle on doing it virtually.  Please, come in, pull out a stool and enjoy your tour of our new kitchen:


Overall, from demo day to final tile install, our kitchen remodel took 6 weeks to complete. That is no HGTV miracle but in the real world, that is pretty darn good.


Can you say: WHITE?!!!  Yep.  Almost everything is white.  White cabinets, white backsplash, pearl white walls, and creamy white grout.

What I love about white is that it is neutral.  For all my Instagram posts of food, drinks, etc., it is a beautiful, clean background for which anything will look good.  Plus, you know how I love to change out my accessories depending on the season.  With a neutral space, I can easily add pops of color depending on the time of year.

TIP: Just bringing in bowls of fruit and/or flowers makes your space feel friendly and inviting.

Brass & Black Accents

We did add a pop with the brass hardware and fixtures.  I hesitated with this decision for a long time. Brass is trendy.  I remember my parents’ having brass bedside lamps that now would be considered “vintage” and actually would look pretty awesome in a mid century home.  Just like in the 80’s/90’s, brass is a very hot trend right now.  I don’t like to be too trendy.  But I also am IN LOVE with this trend!  So, I slayed the Nike slogan and JUST DID IT!  I justified my decision by using the brass in a way that is easy to change out such as light fixtures and cabinet hardware.

TIP: Go trendy with the things that can easily be traded out down the road such as light fixtures or hardware.

With this new layout, we can get 4 BARSTOOLS tucked under the counter.  One for each of our family members.  How cool is that?! Dan had suggested the no back barstools, and Scott agreed.  So, when I found these on Joss & Main for a steal of a deal (compared to my absolute favorite website: Serena & Lily) I had to click them into my shopping cart and check out ASAP!



We are slowly moving everything back into place, getting use to the new drawers and locations for all of our pots and pans and serving platters and….!!!  Can I just tell you that I LOVE having our dishes and bowls in drawers in the island?  The location is RIGHT ACROSS from the dishwasher for easy unloading AND the kids can get to them much easier!

All my dozens of glassware fits in …ummm…3 cabinets (Yes.  I have a THING for stemware 😉 ) and the lazy susan corner rack keeps all our daily strainers and bowls and bakeware organized.



I can’t believe how everything FITS in our dishwasher.  How efficient the racks are and how clean the dishes get!  Three racks!  We tell the kids to empty the dish washer and “one does the top” and the “other does the bottom” but they forget that we have that flat upper rack that is NEW! Yes!  These new dishwashers have a top rack for long flat things like serving spoons, silverware, or your knives.  So cool and so very efficient.


The STOVE!  I am in awe at how fast our burners light, how quickly the gas heats up a pan and how consistent the oven bakes.  Being in quarantine, we have been doing a LOT of cooking.  We’ve already whipped up homemade bread, multiple pizzas, macarons, lasagnas, etc.  So far, we are very, very happy.

Custom Pullouts

Dan was big on custom pullouts.  Half of these specialty items I would have not thought about unless he suggested them. The spice rack was a MUST!  I had this at my first house and the racks didn’t fit in the drawers of this house.  Such a bummer.

The second photo is a pullout that Dan custom built to fit our knife chopping block so it (and the paper towels) don’t have to sit out on the counter.  The last two pullouts were suggestions from a friend.  I went and toured her newly remodeled kitchen to get ideas and tips before we started making our final decisions.  Having a place for EVERYTHING is pretty awesome.

How Many Times Can One Say LOVE 🙂

One thing I can tell you is that I LOVE IT.  I love being in it. I love using every drawer, every cabinet, every appliance.  I love how everything is organized and has a place. I love all our choices and how they all came together. I don’t know if I would change a thing.


Once in a while, we will hear little series of chimes and dings that we truly do not know what they mean or even what appliance they are coming from! LOL! But in time, we will figure it out (or go nutty figuring it out!).  It is new. It is our baby.  It is home.

Need Help?

Are you planning a remodel?  Big or small, I would love to help!  Give me a buzz and we can set up a time to go over your thoughts, where to start and how to get you the space you have been dreaming of!  I am not a big spendy designer–I love things on sale and I don’t like things to cost more than they need to (remember my tile contractor story from the remodel timeline post HERE?).  Think of me as your friend and consultant that is there to guide you through some tough decisions.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!  Next time, cocktails “at my island” in person, ok?!  I promise!

xo! Melis

Product Details:
  • Hardware: Mission Drawer Pull & Medium Oval Cabinet Knob/Rejuvenation
  • Light fixtures: Stella Faceted Pendants/Ballard Designs
  • Counters: Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo/EleMar
  • Faucets: California Faucets/Chown Hardware
  • Backsplash: 3×6 Tencer Tiempo Hand Made Simply White/CFM installed by Accent Tile & Marble; Grout: Weathered wood
  • Flooring: Maple, Natural water-based finish/Fabulous Floors
  • Appliances: Thermador 36″ Dual Fuel Range, Thermador Emerald 24″ 3 rack dishwasher, 42″ Vent-a-hood, Miele 24″ Speed Oven/Basco, beverage cooler (previously owned) & Bosch 21cf French Door Fridge Pro Handle Stainless/Standard Appliance
  • Paint: Cabinets: Benjamin Moore Dove White, Walls: Benjamin Moore Sea Pearl & Chalkboard paint (black wall)
  • Stools: Linndale Counter Stools/ Joss & Main

14 thoughts on “Our New Kitchen: Before & After

  1. I love your new cabinets! And I’m so intrigued by putting plates and bowls in a drawer instead of a shelf or cupboard. We want to remodel our kitchen… eventually… but in the meantime it’s fun to be inspired by before/after kitchen remodel posts like this one!


  2. Start that Pinterest board for ideas! It helped me tremendously with all the little details. And the drawer: 100%! With kids, the dishes in a drawer has been a dream!!! To access AND to help empty the dishwasher. 🙂 Thx for reading and commenting! xo!


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