The Best Thing We Did During This Recent Kitchen Reno Was Add Space-Saving Storage

We’ve had a kitchen renovation in the works for months upon months now, and I’m just getting final photos back, but couldn’t resist sharing this one corner over the weekend.

The kitchen before was totally adorable—part of an old house in small town Illinois, owned by one of our freelancers, Ashley Poskin. It had tons of vintage character and charm, but needed a bit of an update, especially because she planned to put it on the market to sell. Our goal was to make it more appealing to potential buyers, without spending a ton of money up front.

Getting this corner into shape required removing that weird bump-out on the wall, and taking down some of the existing built-in features, such as the beadboard, chair rail, ceiling fan, and pantry side shelves. Here’s what the space looks like now:

It’s amazing how just removing all those extra elements really opened up the space. Now, instead of feeling cluttered, the corner is like a breath of fresh air (if fresh air is also pretty functional). The shiplap walls give a hint of the old character, but their subtle uniform lines keep the space visually clean. The basic detail on the banquette fronts does the same. The old floor-to-ceiling pantry is still there, and helps balance out that side of the room (it’s also pretty amazing storage).

The banquette seating was designed to take up less room than a traditional table and chairs (there’s a entire separate dining room next to the kitchen for more extended family meals). It’s a great spot for breakfast and informal dinners, yet tucks up against the wall and out of the way. As a bonus, the lids are hinged so you can open them up, reach inside, and stash extra linens, small lesser-used appliances, and the type of serving dishes that only come out during holidays. Extra storage is always a selling point.

And from there, it’s just about all the fun stuff. A new chandelier adds some nice sculpture and drama, and, you know, light. Otherwise, we kept things neutral with a chunky rug and linen-y fabric for texture, and just a little bit of soft color in the artwork and pillows.


  • Oakton Bronze Chandelier from Crate & Barrel
  • Maui Hand Woven Jute Rug with Wool Fringe from Rugs USA
  • Neutral Linen Banquette Cushion Fabric from Spoonflower
  • Floral Pillows from Roostery
  • Road Trip Art Print by Lynne Millar in Raw Wood Frame from Minted
  • Table is a Thrift Store Find

Stay tuned for more, and the rest of the kitchen makeover this week (once I finally have everything ready and edited to share with you), when I’ll share the background on the whole project, the budget, and all the juicy before & after pics. In the meantime, hope you enjoy this sneak peek!

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