before and after

before & after: lauren’s kitchen + kevin’s room + j.c.

by Grace Bonney

today’s final before & afters are devoted to kitchens, bathrooms, home exteriors and a seriously sweet pink living room. first up is lauren from pure style home. she rescued both her kitchen and nook from serious blah-dom with wallpaper, wainscoting, a chalkboard fridge and a beautiful chandelier. well done, laura! click here for more info on her process.


[have a before & after you’d like to share on design*sponge? shoot me an email right here with your (low res please) images]

CLICK HERE for kevin’s living room makeover and j.c.’s home exterior and bathroom upgrades after the jump!

we got a peek into designer kevin o’shea‘s manhattan apartment earlier this fall, and today kevin’s sharing a peek into the apartment transformation he completed for a client this past spring. this pink room is my favorite but you can see the full makeover right here. thanks, kevin!


last but not least is a series of makeovers from architect j.c. schmeil. j.c. recently completed a remodel/addition project in the zilker neighborhood in austin and i’m really loving the home’s exterior and bathroom makeovers. i love the new sleek modern front…thanks for sharing, j.c.!

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  • Oh how I love before and afters! Theser are such dramatic changes adn look so great. I especially love the living room – from pink to… pink! but it works so much better. It takes guts to repaint so close to the original.

  • I can’t believe how gorgeous they’ve made boxy houses look!!(both this and the previous post) Very inspiring, there is hope!

  • Lauren – what a super job on the kitchen! It looks so different afterwards but upon closer inspection it all seems DIY-able. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder that it doesn’t all have to go in a reno.

  • Oh no, how can you cover the firplace with a tv?!? I don’t like at all this solution…sorry…

  • I love the kitchen but where did the range hood go? I’m looking to do something similar to mine but my hood is in the same position and I can’t figure out a way around it.

  • That kitchen is fabulous. And the sitting room is so cozy. But I would move the tv out of the way of the fireplace. Fireplaces need to be seen and adored!

  • wow ripping out the cupboards for open shelves is such a great way to open up that kitchen and display some pretty dishes! i’m kind of wondering why kevin didn’t just mount the tv above the fireplace, but surely there is a reason! still, it is a very beautiful room.

  • i love that kitchen…. and the exterior! what a transformation by only a little bit of paint and a simple addition!

  • haha I have the same pink and black shower tile in my 3×3 shower. good to see that SOMETHING can be done, too bad I rent.

  • I love the kitchen makeover – I don’t think I would have been able to envision that result! And I love the idea of painting the old dishwasher . . . I might just have to do that in my kitchen . . . hmmm . . .

  • love it, a good mix of vintage and modern, but (in my humblest opinion) the living room is throwing me off. the vintage mirrors would look better over the fireplace, move the tv and the “pink” wall needs one good statement piece.

  • I really don’t understand the unadulterated love of chalk board paint. That seems like something you would enjoy for a few months and then regret because it always looks grimy.

    I do love the exterior transformation on that house, especially the landscaping! As someone who is thinking of buying a house like that, it gives me hope that I can turn it into something great.

  • I adore the kitchen and nook makeover. I have to say that I for one have had chalkboard paint on the wall in my dining room for 5 years and haven’t grown tired of it yet. When it gets a little residue, just whip it off with a damp rag and it’s good as new again.

  • I understand putting the tv in front of the fireplace. We have a fireplace in a (rented) duplex that is unusable but dangerous for our 1-year-old, and it takes up the best wall in the already small living room. Beautiful, but not at the expense of an entire wasted wall when we will never be able to use it.

    I love the kitchen, so pretty. I wonder why you completely did away with the range hood though? Or am I missing something? My current kitchen has no range hood or fan and I can tell you it is not conducive to cooking.

  • the kitchen is so much better now – made me realize yet again that today’s “normal” kitchen, replete with tons of cabinets all matchy matchy, isn’t the best solution for everyone, particularly those of us who want a little personality in our kitchens

  • The kitchen remodel looks great. BUT, from a practicality standpoint, I don’t recommend putting open shelving over a stove top if you cook a lot. I use very little oil cooking & even still, whenever I saute vegetables in even the tiniest amounts of oil, all of my nearby cabinets are covered in a fine mist of oil residue. I accidentally left the cabinet open once & it was a pain to clean the sutff stored inside. So, keep the hood over the stove & don’t put open shelves directly over your stove top.

  • Dee- we just used chalkboard paint from home Depot & it was really simple.

    Olivia- I ditched the range hood. I originally thought of getting some type of fan installed but we haven’t needed it & now I think we’ll pass. Worse comes to worse we pop open the window.

  • This is very inspiring…living in an apartment that is just BLAH you get the idea that you can’t get decorating and make a dramatic change until you get a new place……these places are remarkable!

  • love love love the first 2!!! it’s amazing what you can do with just a little work and a lot of imagination!

  • Love the site. I’ve been thinking about doing a remodel and got inspired. I just got a Design-In-A-Bag because I don’t have your design skills. New kitchen here I come.

  • Oh, I love the after pictures for that kitchen! Chalkboard paint on a refrigerator is a perfect idea! What better place to write your lists out and let the kids play? Kudos :)

  • I love almost everything done…

    My special favorites are the chalkboard fridge because I always thought if I ever had the opportunity and had a white fridge I would chalkboard paint it, im so glad to see what it would look it!

    I love the exterior aswell..

    But I am wondering about a few things. Yes the kitchen is way more beautiful then it was, but what about all the storage your now lacking? sure the kitchen before was kinda blah, but you did have tons of extra storage.

    and Im not completely sure about the placement of the tv…I can probably understand there was no other place for it…I dont know, the livingroom still looks great though.

    The bathroom is fantastic and I love the color.

  • Love the reno, very inspired. I think that people who tear out cabinets and replace them with open shelving must be MUCH better at dusting than I… Great in theory, but I don’t have time to wash each displayed item before I use them.

  • I love this new kitchen! My kitchen is like their old kitchen and the new is an idea for my future kitchen!

  • I love the open shelving in the kitchen but have always been afraid that that type of shelf would not hold the weight of plates and heavy items. Now I know I can try it out in mine too!!!

    Very nice job updating your home while keeping many of your original pieces!

  • I just love this kitchen! Very inspiering for those of us who are on a budget. I have a fridge that I would like to paint, anyone has a link to a how-to page??

  • Hi! Just wantd to address a few function questions on the kitchen: For the reader who wondered about the grease from cooking oil on the shelves, it hasn’t been a problem for us & we cook almost every day & use lots of olive oil… I think this is because the shelves are set higher than standard cabinets usually are from the counter. (We’re tall and I wanted it to feel really open & to have a lot of breathing space on the counters.)

    And as far as the storage goes, it all just gets piled up there. The fact that we use all white & metal keeps it looking clean & uncluttered, but there really is a ton of stuff up there when you look at it. Everything fit easily from our old house in which we had uppers. (I think the trick is that I just don’t buy things that I don’t love & wouldn’t want displayed. On these shelves, the more I add, the more I love it.) For our not-so-pretty things like appliances & food: I keep them in the little curtained pantry…

    For the fridge painting: just clean it & paint with chalkboard paint. That’s all we did.

    also, thanks so much for all the super-nice comments!! :)

  • ooooooooo….the very IDEA of a chalkboard fridge has all the hair on my neck standing up straight…..*shudder* count me in with those who don’t “get” chalkboard in living spaces..

  • Its good to know there is a pantry for food otherwise I dont know where you would put it. I used to live in a 1940s bungalow that had NO pantry so it was really difficult to store things like cereal or canned goods with a limited amount of cabinets.
    You do have alot of stuff stacked on those shelves so I suppose you didnt lose that much storage, but whatever you lost in storage you made up for it in the sheer beauty of a more opened kitchen.

  • Thank you for sharing Lauren! I love love love the chalk board frig. Not only because it’s fun but it’s the only affective way I have seen to update an old frig.

  • amazing makeover, very inspiring. thank you for sharing. i love the chalkboard fridge, have thought about it but never tried it. now i really want to try it. Thanks.

  • I am curious to know more about the compact tub featured in the bathroom remodel. Does anyone have a good source for these?

  • Love, love, love the kitchen!! It makes me wonder how open and modern ours would be without those boxy cupboards. I love the idea of painting the fridge with chalkboard paint. Especially when your fridge is cheap and old and doesn’t match. SO smart! and take it from someone that cooks three meals a day…the hood is not a necessity!

  • I would love to try 2 things in my small kitchen. 1) taking down my cabinets in exchange for open shelves, but I’m so nervous it would make my small space look cluttered, and tips?
    2) chalkboard paint fridge! love!

  • That kitchen reno is genius. And hardly any money spent!

    I love that pink living room, but I can’t get over that tv/stand in front of the fireplace! That’s just wrong.

  • I saw this post last night, and within minutes was in my car to buy chalkboard paint. Our fridge was here when we moved in and is VERY ugly, so we had nothing to lose! I LOVE IT! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I just came across this blog and am completely enthralled. I am so pleased to see that someone had the good sense to rip out the hideous kitchen counters and replace them with simple, clean functional lines. Just beautiful.

  • I read the Pure Style Home blog and have seen that kitchen before but couldn’t leave a message to let Lauren know how much I love it. It looks homey, simple, and cozy all at the same time. I always wonder if Lauren and her husband are tall, as the 2 shelves are very high, with the lowest one being the height of the top of her fridge and the higher one being much higher than that.

  • Love the kitchen! Can I ask where you got the plants/pots? They would be perfect for my kitchen, but the type of plants/trees and weathered pots are so wonderful, and I’m not sure how to replicate – thanks!!

  • I would love to know the color of the front of the “modern pagado” house? It really sets off everything else going on.

  • I love the kitchen, but could never deal with all my dishes being out in the open. The pink room is nice, but that tv in front of the fireplace is a deal breaker for me. And, am I seriously the only one that thinks that house now looks like an elementary school? The entrance is over the top. I do like the paint color, though.

  • I’m confused by the potted plants. Are they live plants? If so, are they in cache pots? I’m wondering about how you water them since I don’t see any saucers to collect excess water. Most of my plants have saucers and they’re not the most attractive items in the world. Any suggestions out there for how to reduce their use without trading up to unusually large cachepots?

  • I have an awful fireplace and an open living room at the house I am living in now, is there any way I can get suggestions about how to improve it?

  • I understand the functionality of covering the fireplace with the television, but I think from a design perspective it looks awful. Why not mount that flat screen above the tv? It wouldn’t be as pretty as the mirror, but it would be better than awkwardly sitting in front of it.

  • Can you tell me the brand and color of paint used on the pink accent wall with the gold-framed mirrors? I am in love with that color.

  • Can you tell me what the color is that you used on your kitchen cabinets. Wow, very cool spaces you guys have created.

  • I’m DYING to get info on small bathtubs! Can’t tell exactly how big the one pictured above is, but I’m hoping to find something to fit into a 42″ x 30″ space.
    Anyone got any tips?

  • I do love “before and after” posts because the transformations just inspire me to either do the same or come up with my own ideas. Among all these, I would say that Kevin’s living room makeover is the best. The changes are so dramatic! Thank you for sharing this post. This is again an added inspiration for every reader.