before & after: our kitchen


a few months ago i finally threw my hands up in the air and admitted i needed some help pulling our house together. no one likes a whiner so i’ll spare you my complaints about oddly cut-up rooms and slanted floors and just say that my brain had run out of design ideas. enter, carl and russell of repop ny. carl and russell started offering re-design services (using mostly your own furniture) out of their brooklyn shop and after hearing rave reviews from robin at the clinton hill blog i decided to try it out. [painting above by zoe pawlak]

after an initial visit the guys picked up on the fact that we have a lot of orange accents in the house (something i didn’t even notice) and decided we should really run with that, seeing that i’m not afraid of bold color. after talking paint shades and lighting, i left for a day of meetings and came home to find carl finishing up a total transformation of our kitchen.


before, our kitchen was a sad little white room with nasty cupboards (above), patchy walls and absolutely no storage space. but carl and russell brought in color (benjamin moore’s ‘tomato red‘ to be exact), a fantastic vintage mini sputnik, new shelving from ikea and turned my sad little room into a vibrant space that is now my favorite in the entire house.

it’s still a tiny room and pretty hard to photograph so i did my best to schooch against the walls and get some wider shots. so, that’s it! i just wanted to share our little mini makeover. thanks to carl and russell for all of their help- sometimes it really pays to admit when you’re stumped and work with people who have great ideas. stay tuned for our living room makeover next.


[image above: my diy peg board pot rack, knives and dish rack- after]


[image above: the best “after” shot of the overall kitchen i could manage (we have a very narrow hallway). turk is lounging in his favorite morning sun spot]


[image above: sputnik lamp from repop ny, shelves from ikea]

  1. jo says:

    it looks amazing! you are absolutely right that sometimes it helps to bring in reinforcements. thanks for the much-needed inspiration!

  2. kristin says:

    your kitchen is beautiful! i absolutely am in love with the orange!

  3. Kat says:

    I am glad to see people posting their concerns about the painting over the stove and happy to know it is moved when cooking but as an art conservator in training, I must add that the direct light of the window and the uneven heat given off by the pilot light will also significantly shorten the life of the painting. The room looks great aside from this but a kitchen is really not the place for art that is loved.

  4. Condo Blues says:

    I love the orange. Even better that it was an unnoticed accent color elsewhere in your home. I think that sometimes everyone needs a second set of eyes to point out something that’s not so obvious to you. In this case the love of orange. I really need to do this myself. My kitchen has me stumped.

  5. Two Tall Girls says:

    Fantastic!!

  6. Karen says:

    Just what I need too–makeover help!
    Know anyone in Los Angeles that offers the same service to small budget artist types?

  7. retrofanatic says:

    Julie, I too am in Seattle and I’m about to do my kitchen and I have a fantastic person who I work with. She does all independent work and on a case by case contract basis. She def. has a retro/refit sensibility about her too.

    sarah littlefield
    designer
    inside:out interior design
    206.850.9644
    sarahjanelittlefield@gmail.com

  8. jadeite says:

    How did you do the peg board, or where did you get it? How does it support the weight of those heavy pans? I am agog, and will be doing up my own (first) place in a few months. I would love this!

  9. Heidi says:

    I love the diy peg board pot rack! I was going to get a pot rack to go over my kitchen island (which I haven’t found yet), but I might opt for the peg board. Great idea!

  10. I usually don’t like orange walls but the orange you picked is perfect. I love it. That bird art is pretty cool too. Great Job!

  11. Erin says:

    I too love the orangey tomato red color on the walls. It makes so warm and welcoming, the way a kitchen should be no matter the size.

  12. Kudos to you on going for the bold! In a small space, sometimes the best solution is to go with a color that you love – great choice!

  13. Carrie says:

    Love the Wayne Pate print! What a lovely bright kitchen, makes cooking even more fun…

  14. lindsay says:

    I love the pendant lamp! I adds alot of character to the room :)

  15. Katie says:

    I also have a bold orange kitchen and am so excited to see that you do too! At first it can seem like a bit much but the cheery color makes it the perfect place for cooking and gathering. Friends always comment on how fun and energetic the orange makes the space. We used Benjamin Moore’s Tangy Orange.

  16. lavender says:

    Gorgeous! I love the orange! In our last apartment we had a food theme going with all of the paint colors (mac & cheese, shrimp, chocolate, green grapes…), and this reminds of what fun that was. I agree about the art, though. I know when cooking & washing up it’s nice to look at a painting, but the art will suffer in the long run. (The lemongrass Dutch oven is the color I loved before slate, re the ombre post…it’s a joy with the tomato red! So organic.)

  17. Vanda says:

    Finally, a painted peg board! I keep seeing them in white and could never figure out why people wouldn’t paint them!

    Love it!

  18. Shashi says:

    The orange is so pretty with the sunlight coming in from the window. Nice job!

  19. jHill says:

    love it. i used to have a peg board on the back of the door in my bedroom to hang all my little things. soooo useful.

  20. angie says:

    GORGEOUS. deliciously bold. the paintings are especially lovely. *a

  21. April says:

    We have the same color in our kitchen, which we had painted when we moved in in 2000, right after we got married. When I came home from work the painters said they had started the kitchen and I said, “Oooh! How does it look?” and the guy replied, “Hey, it’s your kitchen, lady.” But I have loved it all these years. Now I want to paint the dated oak-looking cabinets. White, I guess?

  22. Babies says:

    I think you have done wonders with your kitchen, it looks lovely.

  23. i suwannee says:

    saw you in the new domino! woohoooo! everything looked awesome!!

  24. Alison says:

    I feel like I saw the Wayne Pate print on Mad Men in Pete’s apartment. Maybe I’m having false memories. I want one in orange! Love orange. Love your orange kitchen!

  25. raya says:

    It look so good! I noticed it in your Domino feature – congrats by the way! I love that you left in the morning and came home to a new kitchen…sounds like a good day : )

  26. Love the color! Also loving that peg board for your pots and pans. We have a huge metal baker’s rack in our kitchen, and while it’s a great storage device I often think it takes up too much room.

  27. julia says:

    love it! where did you get your gold hardware on the cabinets?

  28. Suzanne says:

    Once again testimony to how color can totally change the look and feel of a space!
    I love that your cat has a high sunny spot to look out of!

  29. Sunshinemom says:

    Beautiful work! I like your peg board. Not feasible for our climate though – In tropical climate dust and grime gathers everyday! Liked too many of the make overs and no time to write a comment on each one, but your work is rocking!!

  30. kate says:

    Who did the painting above the stove? I adore it!

  31. BrioArt says:

    I too love the artist above the stove…hurry and post, we must find this person! :)

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