Before and After: This Kitchen Redo Is a Breath of Fresh Air

One of the main issues facing this kitchen was its general darkness. Despite the two windows, the space was darker than desired, and the color scheme—”honey maple cabinets with the reddish brown granite counters and black granite flooring” with brick-red walls to boot—made it even more cave-like. White paint to the rescue—but also plenty of black paint.

Tim Ouyang of Bay On A Budget did a fantastic job updating this kitchen for clients. It’s so much brighter and spacious-feeling than before.

The lower cabinet paint is Black Boudoir by BEHR and the walls and upper cabinets are Polar Bear by BEHR, both from Home Depot. (Interestingly, the BEHR paint swatch for Polar Bear looks very creamy/beige-y, but it reads as bright white here.) That champagne-gold faucet by Delta from Faucet Direct is so lovely, with all the warmth of gold but none of the brassiness or overt yellowness. The hue also works better with stainless steel appliances than a true gold would. The fact that the faucet perfectly matches the KitchenAid mixer is *chef’s kiss*.

The upper cabinets were removed primarily to let in more light, which was a smart move. The natural light can now flow in unimpeded and bounce off the newly white walls on either side.

While losing cabinet space always feels like a tiny tragedy—especially to folks struggling with near-zero storage space—this kitchen had a lot of storage. That was a major unbroken, even looming block of cabinets, so it’s not a surprise that some of them were removed.

The open shelving is beautifully styled, and while perhaps they will always look this minimalist, the shelves are large enough to accommodate a serious amount of storage. Dinnerware and glassware could be stacked, and rows of mugs and wine glasses could look charming. Even if the shelves were used purely for serving pieces (platters, bowls, boards, cake stands, and so on), that would free up a bunch of enclosed cabinet space for less-display-worthy items such as mismatched tupperware.

In a recent Before & After post, an awkward-seeming kitchen desk was removed, and it totally seemed like the right way to go, but here a desk was added and it looks great and useful. Part of that is because it’s as far away as possible from the work triangle, and another part is because a spot by the window is a natural place to sit and read, write, or work. But it’s also just really well done, and seems like it would really come in handy, especially if this home doesn’t have an office (as most homes don’t). This is a great place to write a grocery list, pore over cookbooks, pay bills, open and deal with mail (there’s probably a recycling bin somewhere nearby), and copy down recipes for dinner guests.

Thank you, Tim Ouyang of Bay On A Budget!

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