before and afterkitchen designmy work

Recent Kitchen Remodel – Before & After

By July 11, 2012 22 Comments

I blogged a bit about this project before (here and here and here), but now we’re finished (just waiting on some final little details like seat cushions and window treatments).  I’m so thrilled with how great this kitchen looks – I’ve been so excited to post these photos!

You may recall my previous post about how challenging it can be when you’re remodeling only part of a home, and therefore are forced to work with existing items like honey oak that are outdated but due to budget restrictions they have to remain.  In this case we had honey oak everywhere in the home – flooring, doors, trim, cabinets, and even light fixtures.  I had no choice but to work around it, especially since I had convinced my clients that we could remove the wall and open up the kitchen without creating a domino effect that would force them to tear apart the entire house.  We worked with the existing oak by using a coordinating-but-not-matching darker red/brown finish on the cabinets (matching the darker grain in the oak floors) and selecting granite with a slight gold tone (though not the dominant color as we didn’t want to emphasize the gold).  I couldn’t be happier with the results, and I think my clients feel the same way.

One thing that strikes me the most is how much the original architecture of the home is enhanced by this remodel.   It’s an amazing home, and the beautiful new kitchen fits right in.

Let’s take a look at some before & after shots to get the full effect:



And some details…

  The Lutron designer finish outlet in the island is a much better look than a standard white or black outlet.

 My signature LeMans corner pull-out unit

A specialty crown profile and the Amerock Blackrock hardware add flair to the otherwise simple cabinet style.
The glass backsplash tile added the perfect luxurious touch.
I teamed up with ReVive Remodeling for the construction.  
The custom cabinetry was built by RiverWoods Mill.  
The Red Montana granite countertops are from European Marble and Granite.
And just for fun, this was the proposed model I drew on SketchUp.

Join the discussion 22 Comments

  • Looks awesome! It's always great to see finished product photos. Nice job!

  • Chase Conely says:

    Awesome! Creating an open kitchen is a wise decision. This way, homeowners will have the option to entertain guests while having lunch or dinner. A seating area would be a nice addition to that kitchen — to give family members the option to engage in small talk while preparing meals.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nicole, I love the combination of tne deeper color of the cabinets with the lighter oak floor. We are trying to design around light oak doors and trim also. What type of wood and color of stain are the cabinets?

    Thanks, Rebecca

  • Hi Rebecca, The cabinets are cherry, and the stain is a medium brown with a slight red undertone. Oak has a lot of variation, and I often find that using a finish that matches the darker grain of the oak can work really well. We also selected a countertop that had hints of brown and gold in it (though not the main colors) to tie everything together… I think that's a critical part.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the info. It really looks beautiful! Rebecca

  • You are welcome. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  • jemeas says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • Well, I think you did a fine job on the kitchen despite the budget restrictions. It looks lovely! But what I like the most is how you made do with the existing materials. I know it is hard to remodel with those limitations, but you were able to make it work!

  • Thank you Althea. Working with existing conditions is what makes remodeling so challenging and rewarding!

  • Anonymous says:

    We have honey oak trim throughout our home and we are planning to remove carpet in a family room and front room, lots of natural light in one and much less natural light in the other. What color and type of hardwood for these 2 rooms would you recommend? I do not want to change the baseboard color from honey oak because the entire home has oak trim as mentioned.

  • Hi! It's hard to say without seeing the space, but my first reaction is to look at doing a natural oak floor. Natural oak has slight yellow/gold tones that work with the honey oak so it doesn't clash, yet it subdues that overall golden color significantly, and lightens everything up. The colors would be different, yet the grains of the floor and trim would match, which would tie everything together nicely. Hope this helps!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! Wonderful work. I also have golden oak moulding (base and crown), and window trim throughout my condo (and in the kitchen). I was struggling with the type of wood/stain for new kitchen cabinets. What paint color was used for the walls?

  • Thanks! The kitchen walls are Benjamin Moore BM HC-90 (Crown Point Sand) in the Kitchen/Bath Satin sheen

  • Great work done with creative ideas. It prove useful for all those who are planning to remodel. looking wonderful.

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  • Actually, I'm quite jealous with your kitchen! It's so wide and spacious which is my dream kitchen. Not everyone has deep pockets and most of us have budgets to consider. So, what you showed here is very helpful for people like me, who wants to renovate but only on a tight budget. I'm so happy that I found your blog!

  • Thanks for stopping by Kristopher!

  • Just like my dream kitchen. I envy you for having this, well, you just gave some real ideas here.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great job! We are painting our honey oak cabinets and would like to achieve the same look. Can the same cherry color be achieved using a stain or paint on existing oak cabinets?

  • You won't achieve the same look because cherry is a closed-grain wood and oak is open-grain so the grain will look very different. However, you can work to get a similar color. Staining will highlight more of the grain and let some of the natural grain color come through, where paint will cover more of the grain (though because oak is open-grain, you will still see some of it).
    Rustoleum makes a product that might help tranform the old oak cabinets (if you're doing it yourself):

    Also, see how we transformed my parents' kitchen by painting the old oak cabinets.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nicole! Thank you so much for responding. You did an amazing job with your parents' kitchen! I considered painting our cabinets a creamy white color, but was concerned that then we'd also have to paint all the oak trim, which is something we don't want to do.(We have a very open floor plan.)We also have very nice corian counter tops, but they are a grainy biscuit color that I'm not sure would go with the white cabinets.

    Thank you again for your help!

  • Thanks for sharing your post… keep sharing content about interior designers I'm a frequent reader of your blog.

  • Fantastic! This is an awesome article by the way! I am definitely going to do this post. Thanks for the awesome Idea!
    Kitchen Remodel Orinda