before and after

before & after: a tale of 2 kitchens (and a bath)

by Grace Bonney

our first before & after post of the day is all about 2 great kitchens. first up is lisa fontaine of picnic. she recently remodeled her berekely, ca kitchen and bathroom with dramatic results. i am loving the tile in both rooms and the clean modern look she’s got now. and all that light in both spaces? i’m so jealous…great work, lisa!


lisa’s bathroom:


CLICK HERE for the second beautiful kitchen before & after after the jump!

next up is maria of vintage simple. maria said it took about four months worth of weekends (and a whole week in december during the holidays) to get her kitchen where she wanted it. she ripped out “hideous” tile countertops and replaced them with ikea butcher block counters, took out the lower cabinets and put in place unfinished, off-the-rack oak cabinets from lowe’s (which they painted and distressed), put in a new farmhouse sink (ebay), faucet (ditto), and appliances (craigslist, friend’s cast-off, lowe’s). whew! for the upper cabinets, maria took out a couple of doors and added period details with moldings, brackets and trim, then covered some of the remaining glass doors with pretty fabric and painted the fronts of a couple of solid doors with chalkboard paint. then they added beadboard all around and put up vintage tin tile for the backsplash and as a detail on the vent hood over the stove. in the unused space next to the fridge wall, they made a built-in bench and hung a vintage chandelier (but painted it blue-gray) and an old beveled mirror, and bought a round table from ikea (“some day, I hope to be able to afford a Saarinen one, but for now, docksta will have to do…”). the result is really gorgeous and i’m so impressed with all of maria’s hard work. great job!!

[have a before and after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your images]


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  • Wow! What a beautiful renovation! I’ve been looking at doing a few updates to my kitchen like update my aging appliances, but the cost makes it a little difficult. However I did find this web site Appliance Art (http://www.applianceart.com) that sells appliance covers. It’s not as nice as getting a new appliance, but it def makes in improvement in the overall look of my kitchen.

  • Thank you for all of your comments! To answer your questions in regard to my kitchen and bath (the first one)…
    kitchen faucet- KWC, Eve Mini
    kitchen cabinets- formica laminate
    kitchen counters- Concreteworks in Oakaland, concrete
    bathroom tile- Island Stone, glass linear interlock in reed
    bathroom pulls- Sugatsune, SN-95

    x + o

  • Kitchen #2 is inspiring for a kitchen reno I am in the process of. Maria, you mentioned you purchased your farmhouse sink off ebay. do you know know the brand or company? I am looking for a similar sink. Beautiful work!

  • Lisa Fontaine: Love the kitchen & bathroom! That inset bath shelf is amazing. What type of toilet did you use? It’s great looking!

  • after looking at lisa’s beautiful kitchen, I can’t help but question it’s inclusion in a B & A. Usually, before and after projects retain some of the “potential” and charm of the original. Lisa’s kitchen, while really quite beautiful, has been COMPLETELY gutted, so that not one element of the original kitchen is there. It seems to be a total makeover. The fun of B & A is to see something that I could do too, if I learned to have a good eye for potential like the submitters do. Lisa’s project requires a good eye for design, knowledge of materials, and a substantial checkbook. I’m not sure it fits. Is there a better place to post this beautiful spaces?

    • Jackson

      The point of the before and after column is to show inspiring makeovers, big and small. Most of them will be something easily replicated by readers, but I think you’d be missing out on a lot of inspiration if you only stuck to lower budget, easy replicated projects. So I like to have a mix. Regardless of budget I think there’s always something inspirational you can pull from projects-even if you can’t replicate the entire look.


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