Bright Makeover for Dark Kitchens

This kitchen is great on paper — granite countertops! Stainless steel appliances! — but in reality, it didn’t suit the homeowner at all. In just weeks, the kitchen went from black, tan, yellow, and brown to, well, you’ll just have to see!

We see so many all-white renovations — which I always love, to commenters’ chagrin — so it’s fun to see a room that’s been redone in bright white and a fun color. Look at how bright the space is now! This green is so gorgeous and so perfect for a kitchen, evoking KitchenAid mixers and milk glass cake stands. I’m especially intrigued by the combination of stainless steel appliances and gold hardware. That doesn’t seem like it should work, but it does, and the gold adds a lovely warmth.

We were lucky enough to get the renovation insights direct from Alexis Joseph, the homeowner and creative force behind Hummusapien, a site filled with recipes, travel guides, and projects.

From Alexis: Our house was definitely livable when we purchased it — but much darker than our style. Black granite countertops, tan walls, brown tile floor, yellow lighting, and so on.

We bought a less expensive house so we could put money into making it our home. As a food blogger, I LIVE in the kitchen, so it had been a long time dream of mine to sip coffee in a bright, cheery kitchen that actually made me excited to cook. I knew the old kitchen wouldn’t bring about that kind of joy. I work from home a lot, so we wanted the overall space to be really welcoming, bright, clean, and warm.

That goal has definitely been achieved!

Here we have a shot of the dining room looking towards the kitchen, as it looked before. Both rooms are a good example of “perfectly fine” spaces we often see here, but Alexis chose to undertake a major renovation to achieve a dream kitchen.

More from Alexis: The kitchen cost around $11k. I designed the space and hired a contractor and a painter to bring the vision to life. The kitchen took about two weeks and the rest of the renovation (new hardwood, knocking down a wall) took another couple weeks. Setbacks included our contractors’ timelines being WAY off (my boyfriend ended up having to move in while I was out of town), us not knowing beginner home tips like which sheen to choose for walls, etc.

It’s rare we get to have a dollar amount attached to these projects, so we definitely appreciate Alexis’ forthrightness!

Those white cupboards really float, don’t they? I also always appreciate it when homeowners are able to reuse/revamp their existing cabinetry, especially when its been repainted in such a gorgeous hue. Alexis, however, might beg to differ.

Alexis says: I LOVE how bright, welcoming, and open the space is. Next time I’d get a sheen on the wall that didn’t smudge so easily, consider getting new cabinets (versus painting the old ones), and not rush as much as we did. We decided last minute to tear up the hardwood floor, which ended up setting everything back. Should’ve made that decision earlier!

The kitchen rug adds such a surprising bolt of color — I would have expected something in cool grays and blues; the warm tones work amazingly well. The new floors in both rooms are simply fabulous. I also enjoy the way the kitchen and dining room light fixtures coordinate perfectly, without matching.

This is the spot to be: a seat at a marble breakfast bar with views out the French doors. It looks like Alexis achieved her ideal kitchen, and learned a few lessons along the way.

Final advice from Alexis: Ask a million questions. Shop for furniture on Wayfair and, of course, Target. Look for yellow-tag deals on appliances. Save money where you can and invest in a few statement pieces. Price check everything … you’d be shocked how much Amazon sells! We got our Delta faucet and Kohler sink from Amazon for a steal compared to other retailers.

Thank you, Alexis! Be sure to check out her renovation post, which includes additional photos and behind-the-scenes stories, as well as resource information.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A Welcome Twist On An All White Kitchen

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