Kitchen and Dining Room Before and After

My make-it-work kitchen makeover is finished! I have a slew of before and after photos for you. Some of the befores are from when I started this recent decorating wave and some are from when we first bought the house, to show how far this space has come. I try to capture the same angle whenever possible. Let’s dive in…

Kitchen and Dining Room After.jpg

So much better than where we started…

Kitchen and Dining Room Before.jpg

The kitchen cabinets were professionally painted Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White. They turned out exactly as I hoped. There’s plenty of color and pattern elsewhere throughout the first floor, so I’m happy to have this space simply feel clean, bright, and cohesive. An added bonus is that paint, wood filler, and caulk conceal the previous owner’s DIY installation flaws.

Before:Kitchen Island Vertical Before.jpg

After:Kitchen Island Vertical After.jpg

Now that the cabinets are white, I considered replacing the counter stools with something wood and/or woven (like these gorgeous leather ones from CB2), but we really like these metal ones. They’re indestructible: our cat can’t claw them, I use them as stepstools all the time, and the handle cutout on top is really nice for moving them around. They’re from Overstock; all of the sources are linked at the bottom of this post.

Before:Kitchen Before.jpg

After:Kitchen After.jpg

Sorry, it looks washed out here – it was a sunny day and I’m not a great photographer. I trust you come here for realness and not professional-grade photography!

Before:Kitchen Island Before 2.jpg

After:Kitchen Island After 2.jpg

Speaking of photography: do you know what’s impossible to photograph? A freaking window. But I love the way this area turned out. It feels so much more intentional now that there’s a bit of decoration and proper moulding (for details, see Kitchen Progress: Faucet, Hardware, and Window Trim).

Before:Kitchen Window Before.jpg

After:Kitchen Window Clock and Hanging Cutting Board.jpg

This is a north-facing window, which I covered in frosted film (the view isn’t great) – it’s relatively low-light, but it’s enough for a potted pothos and an assortment of plant cuttings that I’m rooting in water.

Kitchen Window Hanging Planter.jpg

Kitchen Window Sill.jpg

Speaking of plant cuttings: my mother always has plant starts on her kitchen window sill as well. She’s been reusing an old Eggling shell my brother gave her 20 years ago. So, in honor of my mom, I asked my friend Jenni to include a few eggshells when I commissioned these plant drawings from her.

Framed Plant Drawings.jpg

I know you’re supposed to remove the glass for better photographs, but it took a thousand hours to get this grid perfectly aligned and there was no way in hell I was going to take them down to do that.

Moving along, I bought a new dishwasher, refrigerator, and slide-in gas range from Abt. We love having the fridge on top, and we have an ice maker for the very first time! What luxury.

Kitchen with White Cabinets.jpg

Before:Kitchen Range Black.jpg

After:Kitchen Range White.jpg

You may remember that I debated getting a white vs. black vs. stainless range (see Kitchen Decision Making). Obviously, I landed on white, and I’m happy with it. The grate helps it blend in with the existing countertop. The control console looks a little like it belongs in a hospital surgical suite, but it’s fine. I do like that the knobs are on top, and I really like the way it looks from the front.

Before:Kitchen Island Cabinet Before.jpg

After:Kitchen Island Cabinet After.jpg

You already saw this coffee + toaster nook in a previous post: Kitchen Progress: Butcher Block Shelf.

Before:Kitchen Cart Before 2

After:Kitchen Butcher Block Shelf over Trashcans

And this door makeover was documented here: Kitchen Progress: New Door, Trim, and Threshold Tile.

Before:Kitchen Door Before.jpg

After:Glass Door with Ceramic Tile Transom

Moving on to the dining area, which is adjacent to the kitchen. I’m using the same rug, chairs, and table from our last place (seen in our Apartment Therapy tour). The light fixture is the same as the apartment as well – that’s one thing still on my to do list. I need to have the junction box relocated above the table before I buy and install a permanent fixture.

Before:Dining Room Corner Before.jpg

After:Dining Room Corner After.jpg

I found the landscape lithograph prints for $5 each at an antique store in my hometown (Jefferson City, Missouri). The moulding around the dining room was installed by a previous owner.

Landscape Prints.jpg

The big splurge in this room is the Danish corner cabinet, purchased from SharkGravy.

Danish Corner Cabinet.jpg

That ZZ plant is turning into a beast – it’s almost overgrown this space. To the right, you can see a wall-mounted bottle opener and cap collector, which I installed at our last place as well (see Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener).

A couple more shots of the cabinet, because I love it so much.

Danish Corner Cabinet 2.jpg

Danish Corner Cabinet Key.jpg

We keep bottles on top – shout out to my sister-in-law Kateri for this vintage Kentucky Tavern decanter. No one needs to know there’s Fireball in there.

Danish Cabinet Bar.jpg

Dining Room After.jpg

One parting shot. I’ll do a follow-up post to share some details and decisions I want to call out. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to address them in that post!

Dining Room with Midcentury Table.jpg

Sources:

For more information about this project, check out these related posts:

12 thoughts on “Kitchen and Dining Room Before and After”

  1. It’s so beautiful and airy, Marti! And that huge window in the dining room. All the tweaks, even down to changing the wall clock are great. #Kitchen goals. :)
    Did you make a decision not to make the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling? Is that what the cool kids are doing?

    1. Great question! Sorry for the delayed reply. I thought about adding a filler piece to the top of the cabinets (I do really like that look), but our ceilings slope – I decided it would look too odd.

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