before and after

before & after: industrial yet cozy kitchen redo

by Kate Pruitt

This may be one of the most dramatic kitchen makeovers we’ve seen in a long time and not just because of all the white paint. Apparently, Jodi Mockabee and her family had to design and execute this renovation in just three weeks, and in all that craziness, I can’t believe she managed to pull off such a remarkable (and extensive) redesign. The soft gray plaster walls look amazing with the exposed wood beams, and Jodi managed to create a perfect meld of rustic, industrial and vintage in this gorgeous, airy space. Great work, Jodi! I hope you can sit back and enjoy it now :) — Kate

More pictures and project details after the jump . . .

Time: 3 weeks

Cost: around $15K for whole house (mostly in the kitchen)

Basic Steps: We didn’t have the money or time to drywall the walls and/or take down the current paneling, so we decided to embrace it and do what we could with what we had. I actually love the look of painted paneling, and I knew I wanted a bit of an industrial edge to our place, so plastering became our solution. I should mention that it was a very inexpensive fix! The rest has a bit of a vintage/farmhouse vibe. I love all things vintage/reused, and ever since I can remember, my dream was to have white cabinets and marble countertops. . . . Marble was also an inexpensive option compared to other manmade materials. I was surprised to see that what I wanted most was on the lower end of the scale (that’s usually not the case)! The open shelving was salvaged wood and the L brackets were from the garage, [which] saved a lot in cabinetry!

My advice is to sketch, sketch, sketch! We changed the entire layout of the kitchen and pantry and only had our escrow period to finalize our plans (30 days). I drew up the kitchen in a million different layouts, finally deciding on what is pictured. Without constant revisions, who knows what it would have turned out like. Prioritize what you really want. My light fixture was a splurge compared to the scale of everything, but I knew that would be what tied everything together, so we budgeted around it.

Don’t rush things that don’t need to be done right away. We have plenty to “finish” — lots of trim that hasn’t been done, some décor, window solutions, new windows, etc. But our goal is to do things within our means, so that means patience, which is something I have never possessed great quantities of (sigh). Also, have a chart! We had a chart that would keep us on schedule and on budget so that things could get done in a crazy amount of time. (Did I mention we had to move out of our old place at the same time? Yes, it was crazy.) — Jodi

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  • Grrrreat job! My son in law will be starting a kitchen redo next month and I’m sure some inspiration will be found in your kitchen.

  • This is amazing. Sorry to be dense (I know nothing about plaster), but you just plastered over the paneling, right? And is plaster always tinted grey, or did you do that? The space is just gorgeous.

  • This is really amazing – having taken on a kitchen before, I can really appreciate that incredibly tight turnaround!! I love the choices Jodi made. Also, I have had my eye on exactly the same light fixture for over a year so I’m happy to see someone else loves it as much as I do :) Only thing I’d like to complain about is – more pictures!! Wish there was more to see and admire :) Any chance we could know where you got your cabinets?

    • sudha

      that’s not a slideshow, it’s a preview of the images after the jump. people were getting confused and trying to use those pages as places to leave comments so we went back to using it as a preview only. i never intended to make people click on images like a slideshow (we’re not using that feature to drive pageviews), but rather indicate that there are several images after the jump- which only requires one extra click, rather than several.


  • I love all the before and after pics. But sometimes a ‘mid-reno’ pic is helpful too. Just sayin’.

  • I love this! What an AMAZING change! I am taking one small detail for my own kitchen to fix a problem done by silly contractors! The molding on the side of the cabinets, so SIMPLE and easy! The side of our cabinets are 1/2 inch set in from the wall which makes the baseboard choppy and a pain to clean around not to mention looks stupid. This weekend I am adding molding and a new piece of baseboard. Yea, thanks for all the inspiring ideas!

  • Visionary! I’m so impressed with the people who can see through the mess into a really beautiful home. I also want to know more about the plastering over paneling. Maybe that could be a solution for the loads of bad paneling in my place.

  • I have been looking for very similar wire light fixtures for a long time. I’d love to know where these are from! Please share….

  • Fantastic! Can we see the rest of the house??? I’d also love the source for the light fixture.

  • *what candace said*. Holy smokes that’s amazing. SO much lighter and nicer, and my jaw dropped when I saw that this was a three week transformation! That’s absolutely phenomenal! Great kitchen!

  • i LOVE this kitchen!!! Agreed–the moulding on the cabinets is ingenious, totally going to try that. But I have been DYING for that table–where is it from???

  • This is a beautiful project and it leaves me one question. Why did you replace the vintage stove?

  • Love the table right in the kitchen! Makes me want to turn my small dining room into a library and move the table back to the kitchen. Everything in this space looks beautiful!

  • for lighting questions: similar industrial cage lights are popping up on Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware and the like, and if you query something like industrial lights on Etsy you can find these, as well. Hope that helps.

  • Wow, thank you everyone! It was a very fun project, but three weeks was stressful! I’ll try to answer all of the questions:

    Table: It was made from 1800’s barn wood from a property up the road. My uncle built it for us.

    Cabinets: My uncle built those as well, so I was able to design them exactly as I wanted them for less than IKEA pricing. :-) I know, lucky girl!

    Vintage Stove: It wasn’t working at the time and it was also larger than a standard stove. We really needed the cabinet space as we removed most of the pantry to accomodate the fridge. We also saved $800 on buying all three appliances as a bundle, so that was the deciding factor, although it was very hard to part with it. :-(

    Flooring: Unfortunately it is laminate, I’m not one for a lot of synthetic materials, but price was our driving motive and we needed flooring. It’s by Shaw Flooring, Timberline Lumberjack (we got it for $1.69/sq ft!)

    The infamous light fixture! I have to say it looks even more spectacular in person. It’s a wonderful addition to a space. Source: http://www.shadesoflight.com/industrial-cage-work-light-chandelier.html

    Plaster: We plastered over the cinder block and left the paneling there. Everything that’s white (on the walls, not the ceiling) was dark wood paneling. The plastering process was very simple… they applied an adhesive glue to the blocks and then sprayed plaster. They used tools to flatten it out to keep it flush as the blocks were curved and jagged. There was no tint or sealant used as I preferred the dry and chalky look of it rather than the “stained concrete” look. I also wanted to keep the color as light as possible as sealant typically darkens the plaster.

    I hope that answers all of the questions!


  • love the table and want to know where you found it? also what color finish, and if you used a stain or a wax finish…

  • frickin’ amazing! I need to know about the ceiling? was part of your reno to open up the ceiling or was it already opened up like that? I love how you pushed the fridge into the opposite wall…genius! did you have to build that or was there already a space there? Love it!!!

  • This looks absolutely amazing!!! I LOVE the new lighting and the new color scheme! Wow, what a re-invention to envy.


  • Great job. I am a fan of simple things, like the ceiling. The wood beams with the white ceiling sets the tone for me. Plus, I am learning how great neat, linear design is the way to go.

  • Thanks for the info Jodi!! Sounds like an amazing team effort :) Thanks also for the light fixture link, it’s a way better price than the place I had seen it at! Congrats again!

  • Looks really good, but it looks like they lost counter and cabinet space. It may be very pleasing to they eye, but not really practical.

  • Absolutely awesome. My mother is in the process of getting a new kitchen; I’m trying to persuade her to undergo a ‘before & after’ for my photography portfolio. Despite the fact that she’s keen on getting white paint brushed wood and subtle blues, I think she’s going for a complete fitted kitchen. Nooooo!

  • I, too, wondered why you got rid of that great old stove. I hope it went to a loving home. I’ve been looking for one just like it (is it a Wedgewood?) to put in my farmhouse kitchen. Getting them working & polished up is not difficult – done it once and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

  • Jodi, I love your kitchen! Simple and full of light, I bet you like to spend a lot of time there now. It’s very cool that you share all your tips too.

  • it is so inspiring to see that you did such an amazing makeover in just three weeks! love it!

  • I like a lot the idea of having different chairs with the dining table! brings colours :-)

  • I love this! The mixture of the salvaged wood, industrial pieces and modern midcentury chairs. The walls are something unique, really lovely. Your splurge on the clustered lights was money well spent.

    I’ve been yearning for salvaged wood floating shelves in my space, you’ve only confirmed that I need them!

  • Grace, I wanted to mention that I prefer how you’ve decided to display your pictures so that we can easily scroll thru the post. Many times, I want to go back and relook at something and it’s much easier to scroll back rather than clicking thru a slideshow. The preview thumbnails give us a peek so we can decide whether we want to “read more”. I love apartment therapy and ny times but I do find the slideshow more cumbersome, although I understand their choice (in AT’s case, they have up to 30 pics at times).

  • Jodi,

    I absolutely think you have amazing talent for designing this beautiful kitchen. I have a bungalow and would love to do a similar ceiling with the beams. How did you do that? Did you need a structural engineer to complete that part. Any info you have would help and be much appreciated!! :)

  • Jodi – beautiful!! I love it. I’m looking for salvages shelves similar to what you put in your kitchen. Where did you find them? Many thanks for any tips!

  • wow its an amazin makeover–so much light -the room looks alive ,inviting and motivating. if only I had your design genius. I have very old kitchen needs updating but the way prices are here I shudder to even think about it. Friend of mine had a top of line kitchen installer do hers–pretty, also pretty pricey too and has now less storage space. By the way I live way downunder In Adelaide South Australia.

  • can you tell me something about the lights that seem attached to the ceiling or even embedded…they look like puck lights ….they are over the counter. Are they puck lights? what wattage and what type of bulb? are they recessed or surface mounted? We have a similar ceiling and are stumped about what to do about general lighting.

  • wow!!!!!!!!!! the light and gray walls and white beams gooo SOOO good together. Love it all!

  • Thank you, all, the feedback is amazing! I am so humbled–I am no where near a designer nor do I know anything about design, so your feedback is very encouraging!

    The beams and the ceiling are original. They are what sold the house for me (obviously, everything else was quite repulsing!). They are a false ceiling, however, so I do know that the builder was able to create the look on his own. I am not sure how he structurally did it. The boards under the beams are sanded pine. I had to paint them as they were too yellow for my liking. The beams stayed the original dark brown stain. Eventually I will get around to doing other before and afters, so you get a better picture.

    ECS, good question. I just wanted recessed lights and the electrician suggested these but warned me that they would show a bit because of the way the ceiling is sloped. They seem to be low wattage as they don’t provide an excess amount of light. They seem to be surface mounted and the light itself is on a pivot-type deal to direct the light downward…sorry, very inadequate at describing them!

  • Love the colors! Please share the subtle blue color of the kitchen door & the gray & white colors used.

  • Jodi,
    I think the plastering is a wonderful idea, and love how it looks so finished against the white. My question (because I think I might copy this in my next house:) How easy is it to keep clean? Since it is not sealed, are you having any issues with stains?

  • Cathleen,

    We haven’t had any issues with keeping it clean, although we have been warned against it. It’s obviously a backsplash behind the sink at the moment and it has had all kinds of sauces splashed on it… It wipes off fairly quickly, however, the true test is when one of my kids takes a pen to it or something. :-) We haven’t had that happen yet. :-) We were willing to risk it as “personality”!

  • Absolutely gorgeous. I love how they mixed a vintage look with a modern look. Two of my favorite styles. Great job! Very inspiring.

  • I love the kitchen! Beautiful! Where did you get the knobs? They really bring in a burst of color!

  • Hi there! found your photo on pinterest and i LOVE your lights. Did you happen to buy them online? If so, do you mind letting me know where?? We have a slopped ceiling as well and i think these would be perfect.

  • Kelly: Thank you! The knobs are from lookintheattic.com, they are the blue milk glass (and a mere $2.49/knob!)

    Shire: shadesoflights.com under Industrial Cage Light Chandelier.

  • Wow…we are currently in the exact same situation, in escrow with about 12k for the fixin and 3 weeks to complete. I have sketching for days and finally came up with something very similar to your layout. Right down to the placement of the open shelves lol…it’s so cool to see your idea in motion like this. You guys did a great job. Will be coming back to look at this for sure.

  • This is fantastic!

    My BF and I have a lot of work we want to do on our townhouse (including new windows and front door: Cha-ching!) We are taking the same approach you are: Patiently saving and doing things as we can. We just redid the downstairs flooring, so it will be a while before we can tackle the next biggie.

    Gosh, I LOVE that kitchen!

  • I have been looking for ideas on covering up brick walls. I have 2 1/2 bricked walls in dining room where a wood stove sat. My husband does not want to take it down and dry wall due to cost. So after seeing you kitchen wall I now have my project. Thank you for sharing your remolding pictures and info. You created a wonderful space with great beauty.

  • Love your re-do! In process now of starting to sketch out my kitchen re-do and I ,too, have a sloped ceiling. May I get a pic of the wall in which Refrigerator is on?
    Southern Thanks:)