Client Design: Kitchen Refresh “Before”

My friend/client lives in a charming Victorian home on the loveliest tree lined- picturesque street in town.  Her landscaping is impeccable and exterior gorgeous!

She requested that over time we refresh and modernize her interiors while still keeping the integrity of this late 19th century home.  She, like many, has a minimal budget yet wants a completely new look.  Impossible you say?  Never.  I think this is where people are mistaken.  With a few cosmetic changes and PAINT you can achieve a whole new look.

She wanted to begin with the kitchen.  Although small, this is a space that she actually entertains in.  She has an adjacent family room, but says “everyone migrates in here!” I am sure many of you can relate:).  Although lovely, she grew tired of the “french country” look and felt the yellow, red and black was outdated.  She wanted to lighten and brighten! #mykindagal;) I’m also going to see if we can somehow add more seating (window bench?) for guests.

Here are some before pics…


(my client wants to keep the original antique light fixture)

The kitchen has “good bones” and finishes to work with.  She has not made changes since she purchased the home well over a decade ago.  The cabinets, granite, appliances, fixtures and backsplash were there when she moved in.  It is not in her budget to change these, however, she really doesn’t need to!  With paint, textiles and styling, we can change and modernize the space while not interfering with the home’s lovely Victorian roots;)

Below is the preliminary design board.  I will add artwork and decor.

She already chose a paint color before my design help (BM-Bleeker Beige) so that became the neutral backdrop for the space.

*Remember she could not change or replace appliances, finishes or furniture*

Like me, my client loves blue and white #bonus so I pulled a favorite John Robshaw print- Prasana Bluebell for window treatments. I have wanted to use this for quite a while:)  I love the crisp, fresh (modern) movement it adds to an otherwise traditional floral.  This alone will make such a huge difference (if she chooses it;).

When designing with white cabinets it is important to add warmth and texture so the space doesn’t feel too “one note”, flat or sterile.  She doesn’t want to change the hardware, however a gold tone, or polished nickel (as opposed to chrome or brushed nickel) would give warmth as well.

So you may be asking “how do you add warmth if one cannot change fixtures and finishes?  My favorite go to for this dilemma is add natural elements and texture.  This can be in the form of wood/bamboo blinds, natural shelving, cutting boards, bowls, textiles and decor.   All these elements tone down all the white.

Her granite is not what she would have chosen, but it is fine. It  actually adds the much needed warmth to the white cabinets, brushed nickel hardware and appliances as well.

We shall see how this space evolves!  My client/friend has a good taste and knows what she likes!;)  I cannot wait to share the changes we make and share them with you all!

Have a Great Week Friends!



  1. Kristen N Lenhardt
    April 4, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    I can’t wait to see the changes!

  2. April 4, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    Thank You Kristen! I cannot wait to get started!

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