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before and after

before & after: kitchen makeover

by Kate Pruitt


I love kitchen makeovers that combine raw, minimalist materials with a handful of fun, quirky elements. It’s been a while since I’ve seen wallpaper in a kitchen space, but I have to say, I love it! There are tons of great DIY ideas in this kitchen makeover from painter Lily Martine Baxter. For example, Lily wanted leather drawer handles, so when her search yielded no results within her budget, she simply wrapped leather around basic Ikea handles for a lovely solution at less than half the price. It’s touches like the handles, the wallpaper and the simple white subway tile that make this kitchen a perfect mix of colors, textures and styles. Since it comes from a painter, I’m not too surprised at the successful melding of all these elements into a beautiful, unified whole. Great job, Lily! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)


Brought to you by CB2, who’s giving you the chance to win a $15,000 Novogratz Room Makeover. Now through June 15.

Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 3 months (not including pre-planning and design)

Basic Steps: We started by looking at magazines and books to figure out what style we liked and what we thought would fit into our home and the existing architecture. We really wanted to create a balance between the old house (1937) and the new design of the kitchen. Then we worked with our contractor to create drawings of our plan. With the drawings in hand, we started to select the materials and finishes for counter tops, cabinets and everything else. Having a good set of drawings is key, and it really helped us visualize the new space.

The cabinets are custom built with the paint color “Secret” by Benjamin Moore, satin finish. The counters are soapstone. The backsplash tiles are from Heath ceramics. We live in SF and are lucky to be able to go to the warehouse to shop the seconds and overruns. We got very lucky and actually found the exact tile that we wanted in the overstock room (on the second visit). This does not always happen, and I would suggest shopping for the tiles first if you are going to buy seconds and seeing what you like and what is there rather than rolling the dice like we did and picking what you want and hoping to see it show up in the overstock room.

The wallpaper is called “Chinatown Toile” in soft red by Flavor Paper. The butcher-block top on the peninsula is made of walnut, and my dad made that for us. I got really into the idea of having leather handles and then was on a hunt to find something. The one that I found was so far out of budget, at something like $50 per handle, that I took a trip to Ikea and found some very basic stainless handles and glued the leather on myself. The Ikea handles were about $3 each. The rug in front of the sink is one we have had for a long time; it is from Peace Industry, and I love all of their felt carpets. We used the same appliances from the old kitchen because they were in good shape.

Our advice is to spend time selecting the materials you want in your kitchen; you will be in that space a lot, and you want to enjoy all the hard work that went into creating it. If you are working with contractors, make sure you have checked with their references before you begin working with them. — Lily

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