Tuesday, February 2, 2016


My kitchen renovation

This old kitchen is not so old. We built this home in 1998 but I've been wanting to update with new countertops and backsplash and white cabinets for a classic, timeless look.  My kitchen project began a few years ago when we added the veranda across the back of the house. I replaced the doors with the french four pane doors you see in the photo below. While dragging my feet with this project, the microwave just quit! I decided to just go ahead and replace all the appliances.  I replaced all of my black appliances with stainless. I moved my fridge into the garage and donated the others. Last summer we finally started the kitchen demo and and finished the work last fall. A few setbacks,  one was the wrong countertops were delivered and had to be sent back and that took a little over a week. I think we did pretty good time wise. The main part of the project took about six weeks including the week waiting for the right marble.
Please join me for a look back on my kitchen renovation project. Be warned, it may be a little long.

After the facelift

This old kitchen,"before"
Breakfast area looking into kitchen.
Notice the flat cove molding on top of cabinets

 Entrance into kitchen from back foyer, my second front door

Kitchen and breakfast area

Open shelves opposite the kitchen sink

The "Facelift"
Selecting the perfect countertop 

Granite, quartz, marble, and sandstone, endless options. 

Meet Travis. He was so nice and patient helping me find just the right slabs of white carrera marble. I thought about granite and love it but decided to follow my dream and go with marble. I decided on white carrera with soft gray veining. I didn't want a dramatic kitchen and using a marble with bolder veining would not provide the look I was after. Although I love bolder veining I was going for classic, timeless and neutral. A kitchen I could change on a whim with accessories and color. I painted the walls a medium grey, Benjamin Moore smoke embers. The grey is a good contrast with the white cabinets and adds a light and airy feel to the room. I also carried the color into the family room, back foyer and hallway, back bath and the powder room off the main foyer. I plan to paint the remainder interior this year.

Using templates to layout the countertops

Demolition day for countertops and backsplash

I kid you not, it was like moving!

Hanging plastic over doors and openings

Meet Dwayne, my cabinet man. He custom built my cabinets all those years ago and  he was the man to "tweak" the changes I wanted to my cabinets. Here he is removing the flat cove molding and replacing it with crown molding. It was primed for painting so one less step for the painters. Dwayne is such a talent, he can do anything with wood!

I wanted my center island painted black. I love how the black contrasts with the white cabinets. The very plain island needed something so I ask Dwayne to build raised panels. Primed and ready to paint. 

Marble countertops installed

The tile on the countertops and backsplash were a nightmare to remove! A good portion of the drywall went with it and had to be patched. 

Subway tile backsplash being installed

Tile work finished

Painters are here! They started with the island and here is the French hutch getting a coat of primer. The hutch and island are the same color. The square colors on the walls are color samples. I looked at so many grey colors, then narrowed it down to six paint samples.

Stained shelves get a coat of primer after sanding. All cabinet doors were removed and painted at the painter's shop.

This old kitchen, "after"

My dream kitchen come true! I love how the black island anchors the kitchen. The contrast of grey walls, white cabinets, black island and hutch and the stainless appliances has exactly the look I love. 

New light fixtures

Remember those open shelves, I asked Dwayne to cover them with new doors. A new home for a Quimper collection.

Curtains are custom, linen in a darker silver/grey and natural

Kohler apron sink and Pfister bridge faucet

Chandelier from Horchow

The French Hutch painted black

Grey porcelain hardware from Lowe's



I really have enjoyed this new look. No, not perfect but a look I love and hope to enjoy for years. Not exactly a DIY, but my husband and I did all the planning, hired all the subcontractors and Jim replaced all the under counter lighting. We did it on a budget that didn't break the bank. A few more"tweaks" to go before I'm finished.  I'm still looking for the perfect chairs to go with my antique table and plans to refinish the floors in the kitchen and family room. Our sweet springer spaniel, Bentley, left his scratch marks on the floors, but that's ok! New rugs are also on the wish list.  I am still enjoying finding just the right look, this may take awhile!
If you are still here, thank you. I do appreciate everyone of your comments. Hope you will leave a comment so I will know you stopped by..


  1. Emily, it's wonderful to see the process. I know it is a pain while to live through a major redo, but just look at the beautiful result. I love the black island and hutch as accents. The white marble counters are a look I love. We have a dark rusty red granite, which I loved in 1995. Now I think white counters would be so much better as they reflect the light and help these older eyes.
    The Quimper must be very happy. ;-)

  2. Your kitchen is so pretty! I love the gray with the marble. It's classic, and you will never get tired of it! I like your dainty little pulls, too. The Quimper cabinet is gorgeous. I like how you have your collection showcased in the cabinet.

    Nice job, My Friend!

  3. Your kitchen is absolutely stunning!!!!!

  4. Oh, my goodness.... I truly love a space that reflects time....mixing the new with the old is what makes it so inviting.... you've really created a gorgeous space.

  5. Emily, I love it! It is perfect.I relate to everything since I did the same thing last April, May, June! It is like moving!!!!! So many dishes and to think I'm always wanting more is shameful! I love your marble and wanted it but my husband lays lemons down to beat the band! So I ended up using quartz.
    It's no small job coordinating a project like this. Love the island painted black! Your cabinets look great painted and I love the glass doors. Your Quimper is exquisite and makes a lovely statement. I love the colors you selected. I would have lost my mind trying to decide on paint colors. I'm jealous of your kitchen window and like the fabric and style of your curtains. So glad you posted about your kitchen redo. Maybe I'll get the energy to post mine. You have inspired me.

  6. It's awesome. I enjoyed seeing your kitchen reno and I loved seeing your Quimper collection. I love white marble countertops, and the two black pieces in the room add so much to the look of the kitchen. A lot of great ideas in this post.

  7. Oh Emily, it is Gorgeous! Love the simple black and white, so perfect. LOVE your light fixture and the glass doors for your Quimper collection...kitchen remodeling is not for the faint of heart, but I bet you do a happy dance every time you walk in there! Bravo!!

  8. Wow! Emily it looks fabulous! You'll love the marble. It does etch over time but that only adds to it's character. Your fixtures and hardware is gorgeous! You must be so excited;) Congratulations on you re-do!

    1. Leslie, I love marble, the white with subtle veining just makes the kitchen! Thanks so much...

  9. This is really just perfect. Updating without a gut job, with timeless finishes. You got everything exactly right. LOVE!!

  10. Emily you did a fabulous job!I can attest that the before and after is a great improvement and I liked the your before was wonderful! Great job - many would benefit from your expertise!hmmmmmmm.

  11. This is all simply gorgeous. I especially love the marble with the subtle veining. Some of the counters I see are so high-contrast, that when you walk into the kitchen, that's all you see. Your new fridge looks a lot like ours. We are very happy with it. Seeing your Quimper everyday must make you really happy!

  12. Hello, your kitchen makeover is gorgeous. I love the white cabinets and the black island. The countertops are lovely. I know you will be enjoying your new kitchen. Great psot, thanks for sharing. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  13. It all looks so beautiful...I know you are just thrilled to death to have a brand new look. Just gorgeous...my girl has white cabinets and black island and she loves it...I know you will, too.
    I'm going to try to email you a pic of a dreamy kitchen I love, too....
    So good to hear from you.....:) xoxo

  14. Your kitchen remodel is beautiful. Your sink, faucet, tiles and counter tops are to die for. Oh and those glass front cabinets, Wow and another Wow...Black island and free standing French Hutch filled with Quimper. All of it is, Perfect, just perfect........

  15. It's all very beautiful, Emily. I love white kitchens! The light fixture over your island is gorgeous!

  16. It's just magnificent - wow - I'm in love with it - a dream kitchen for sure !

  17. Wow - Just lovely!! What a bright and cheery transformation. I LOVE your new kitchen light fixture over your island, and I would never had thought of painting it black - but it's perfect!! Enjoy your new kitchen

  18. Oh my gosh Emily, your newly updated kitchen is stunning! I love the black island and also the French hutch painted black. The lighting over the island is fabulous, as is the chandelier. The counters are perfect with the cabinets and subway tile. I know you will spend many hours of enjoyment in your renovated space. ❤️

  19. I love an elegant looking kitchen and this is an awesome example! I thought you were going to be doing all the painting yourself at first! Good thing you had experts because you really did a lot!!! I especially like your light fixture over the island. So gorgeous. You have excellent taste! Congratulations on a perfect job!

  20. What a dramatic transformation - it's absolutely gorgeous!!! You must do a double take every time you walk in the kitchen. I love the counter tops, marble is just such a beautiful stone and adds a sense of timelessness to the remodel - it never goes out of style. Congrats on an amazing kitchen remodel!

  21. I love your kitchen - the white cabinets, the cupboard with the glass door, the subway tile, the marble and that black island ... all are wonderful.

    We didn't know what we were doing when we chose the granite for our counters. It isn't bad, but if I had to do it over again, I would have gone with a blue granite or else white marble.

    Enjoy your lovely space and thanks for Sharing Your Cup!

  22. Absolutely wonderful transformation! My kitchen is very similar, white with black...still haven't finished it completely to my satisfaction, but hopefully one day, lol! I love the painted hutch, too, gorgeous. Cheers!

  23. What a lovely transformation! The kitchen is perfectly beautiful. I love the light fixture over the island. The scratches from your Bentley?......I'd just consider it patina!

  24. That is indeed a splendid before and after, so much work put in, and the result is outstanding.

  25. This is an amazing transformation. The colours are perfect, the countertop is wonderful.

  26. Dearest Emily,
    You live in a complete new kitchen and all the work and moving things out was so worth it!
    Fabulous results.
    As for the daffodils, the soil has been the very same in previous years, so that should not be the culprit for producing only foliage... Hope in the future they will resume blooming like they did in 2013, as seen in the vase on the tray.
    Hugs and Happy February to you.

  27. WOW!!!! Emily you did a fantastic job with this huge undertaking!

    It's so updated, light and bright and fabulous. Congrats - oh to get a dream kitchen, that's about as good as it gets. Love it. ♥♥♥

  28. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! You did a magnificent job in this awesome and BIG to say the least kitchen renovation. It's amazing and I can see you 'cooking happy' for very many years my friend. Our big kitchen renew has 5 years and I still sigh with it, lol...
    Enjoy it.

  29. A gorgeous redo! I am glad you shared with us today. HPS and enjoy your weekend.

  30. Your kitchen turned out beautiful.. So So pretty. It must be a pleasure to cook in that gorgeous space.

    Enjoy your new kitchen.


  31. Absolutely dreamy, Emily. Your choices are so similar to many of my own pinterest saves for our dream kitchen. Love it all!
    Tell me, was it very difficult painting the hutch? I'm thinking of changing ours to white or gray once we move in to our new home.
    Enjoy, dear friend.

    1. Marcia, the hutch was an easy change. A light sanding, a primer coat and the final coat. After that it would be easy to give a distressed look. Have fun with it!

  32. The countertops were a perfect choice, and probably the same choice I would have made. In fact, just about all your choices are right up my ally.

    I bet you smile whenever you walk in there; ).

  33. Oh my gosh this is one gorgeous kitchen! (My dream kitchen, as a matter of fact!) You're right, the gray, black and white all compliment each other beautifully. I'm sure it was all worth the wait...I'd be please as punch! Here's to many years of enjoyment! Thanks for sharing over at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home}

  34. Oh Emily, I am so happy to see your remodel of your kitchen and how you shared your steps like the backsplash removal. Your kitchen looks beautiful, love the black base on the island. My cabinets were in too bad of shape to save. Your marble counters are a very similar color to my quarts. We are now in the process of getting cabinets installed. We had a new hutch built with glass shelving and doors for display that is similar to yours. Love it all, beautiful.

  35. Just thought you'd like to know that I am featuring this post at the Vintage Charm Party tomorrow morning! Hope to see you there! xo Kathleen

  36. Just putting this on for a feature today Emily!! Enjoy that new kitchen! It is gorgeous!

  37. Your kitchen is gorgeous! It's so fresh and new...I'm just loving the light fixture over the island.

  38. I LOVE the old look and the NEW! For me, it would be hard to pick which one to live with.

  39. Hi Emily! I found your link on Life With Linda who I've followed for years. I've enjoyed looking through your blog posts this morning and came across this post on your kitchen makeover. Amazing! I'm so in love with Country French and you've made a dream kitchen using your love for it. The transformation is so interesting and well thought out. I was trying to decide what my favorite part was and the list was like the Dead Sea Scrolls! But when I saw the kitchen window coverings I totally fell in love. What a perfect finishing touch! The seeded glass light fixture is such a great touch. The hutch is incredible and finished with one of my loves in Country French... vintage copper! After the Christmas holiday I'm starting on our tiny condo kitchen by transforming the boring cabinets using Annie Sloan paint. Black on the lower cabinets and dark red on the uppers which will compliment our decor in the attached family room. So 2020 will be a fun time recreating my kitchen. Thanks for so many little ideas Emily! Happy & blessed holidays to you & yours, Edie Marie

  40. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. lewisville home remodel ideas

  41. An additional popular most loved utilized for kitchen redesigning are substantial counters. www.kitchensgoldcoast.com




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