before and after

before & after: light + bright kitchen makeover

by Kate Pruitt

I know that all-white interiors are a bit polarizing — some people find them calming, peaceful or energizing, while others feel oppressed or bored by the lack of color and contrast. I can see both sides of the coin, but there’s just no denying that white brings in the light, and that’s a good thing. This beautiful kitchen makeover in Seattle, created by Portland-based interior designer Casey Keasler, is a great example of how to harness white’s light-gathering properties. Though this redesign includes more industrial elements, lighter wood floors, lovely minimalist wood counters and steel shelving, the open walkway and gleaming white surfaces work together to create a warmer, more welcoming space that could comfortably accommodate a decent-sized gathering of cooks and diners. Nicely done, Casey! — 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.)

Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 4 weeks for construction and 2 months of design and sourcing

Cost: $35,000

Basic Steps: Since a kitchen is such a big part of my client’s life, I wanted to have everything ready to go before construction began so there were as few delays as possible. Together we spent a lot of time discussing how the kitchen would function and how she wanted to use it, priorities regarding the design and how the overall aesthetic should feel.

To begin, I had a quick discussion about what my client wanted to achieve. From there, I created a pin board with her. Since we are in two different cities, Portland and Seattle, this was a quick way for us both to share inspiration. After the style was defined, I started sketching a layout and ideas of how the kitchen would look both in plan and three dimensionally. Most everything was shared over email, Skype and Pinterest. I made about three trips to Seattle throughout the process to make sure things were going as planned.

The cost included new wood cabinets to match some of the existing ones; replacing the old wood floors with reclaimed Douglas fir that we sourced from Craigslist; a new Viking range; adding a hood and exterior vent and gas line; new lighting; painting all the walls, cabinets and trim; new butcher block counters; a new subway tile backsplash to the ceiling; cabinet hardware; a custom built-in pantry; and a custom Carrera marble breakfast table.

Kitchens are a beast to remodel. Regardless of how little you cook or use your kitchen, having it out of commission for even a piece of toast or a glass of wine is an encumbrance. My best advice is to be as prepared as possible before demolition; ask a lot of questions, get to know your subcontractors, and have a contingency planned into your budget for the unknown. — Casey

Paint: Worldly Gray (walls), Snowbound (trim), both by Sherwin Williams
Lighting: George Pendant form Rejuvenation and Halfway Classic Swing Arm (no longer available)
Hardware: Restoration Hardware
Sink: Riverby by Kohler
Faucet: Parma from Danze (This is my go-to industrial inexpensive faucet.)
Range: Viking
Bar Stools: Tolix Tabouret Stools
Sofa: Ikea

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  • besides the cabinets i really like the before too despite a disjointed layout. the after is quite stark but stunning.

  • The new one is more beautiful (much), but I far prefer the original’s layout. In fact, I’d love to have the original layout for MY kitchen; sigh.

  • I love this. I adore all white kitchens. A kitchen (and bathrooms) are meant to be clean! Nothing aids in cleanliness, like white. Well done.

  • Wow…what a wonderful change! The transformation makes it look a lot more open and airey. Also, love the Modern touch you added! Great Work!

  • I’m fond of the all-white kitchen with its streaming light and incandescent glow. Though, I like how the beams in the before picture stand out. I wish the latter design would’ve highlighted this lovely feature. Also, it makes sense to have changed the layout of the kitchen for a more modern and functional design, but I kind of like the old layout too… just my taste I guess :)

  • PS: I love the reno. Just wish the after photo was taken on a grey Seattle day to reflect the true difference.

  • Beautiful, but got to vent the pet peeve (here and elsewhere) : photos should be taken from the same location and angle for true comparison (here the vantage point for before is at the fridge, after shot taken much further back contributing to the open feeling, but would rather have the side by side comparison to see how much more open it *really* feels post-reno) and as someone else pointed out, before and after photos should have same lighting (any photo with the before lighting would make the subject look dingy and dull, and the beautiful after lighting/exposure is very flattering). I am a fan of good design, less so of styling if it isn’t honest. That said, the after really does look lovely, I like the open sight line and uncluttered feel.

  • Yeah, I kind of liked the before pictures better. I don’t dislike the new kitchen but I agree with Emily – YAWK!

  • Grace and Kate, as always, it’s been a dream of mine to have a project on Design Sponge. Thanks for making my day!

    Hi everyone, thanks for all your feed back and points on lighting and photography. Some answers to all the questions.

    @tricia – the marble top and u-shaped legs are custom.
    @heather and @katie there are two dogs. One black and white and one all black. Both are a camera hogs.
    @kat – the dog’s food is in the now larger pantry.
    @casey – waffling design – you are so right, lighting is huge, there was very little in the old kitchen and we added in more appropriate fixtures.

  • The before and afters are backwards! The warm refreshing before rooms look so much better than the stark white and black and white of the after photos!

  • wait, you can remove my previous comments and leave out my comments. I believe they are true, but someone went to alot of work to take away the color and natural freshness of these kitchens, and someone else might like them, do not want to rain on any parade, what purpose and who does that help?

  • I’m in the before group. it’s just a fantastic space though, with that floor and ceiling having beams like that. so open anyway. lucky you. if only more places were like that rather than cubic.

  • I love this makeover. Casey really has a way with design and color. She is extremely talented in interpreting her clients’ vison perfectly.

  • Wow! You do beautiful work. I’m a friend of your mom’s. I’m so impressed. You could have a hey day with my kitchen!

  • Hate to say it but I much preferred the ‘before’ with the lovely old cooking stove, etc…. But I’m old and English!

  • All I’m seeing is a purposely messy room with bad lighting and an after shot where everything has been cleaned up and the light is turned on. Sort of like those bad before and after wrinkle cream ads.

  • Er, how much of it is the new design and how much of it is because you took the after pictures in day light?

  • I can’t even tell what’s going on in the after picture. The light is blinding me!

  • Looks lovely but $35K!!!!!!! SWEET LORD. I mean, maybe I’m being naive, but that makes my brain bleed a little bit.

    Don’t get me wrong, it looks like it’s be a dream to cook in, and it’s so bright and light! But yeesh, that price tag!! That’s an apartment in Berlin!!!

  • Would have been good to clean up the kitchen before the “before” picture. And maybe wait until daytime? Hardly a fair comparison.