before and after

Before & After: Full Home Renovation

by Kate Pruitt

I’ve been dreaming of renovating a full home for a long time, and I would hope that when I do get the chance to do this, I would make smart decisions like art director and designer Beth Chapleau has done here. To keep her budget in check, Beth decided to transform some of the existing elements with fresh colors: the cabinets in the kitchen are now a sleek black, and the freshly white walls reflect tons of light into the rooms. The look is minimalist but still cozy, and the spare decor allows each piece of furniture and styled vignette to pop against the neutral background. For a modest budget, Beth has revitalized and modernized the home, making it the perfect neutral base for continued collecting and daily living. —Kate

Read the full post after the jump…

Time: 8 months

Cost: The kitchen cost roughly $3000 for the new appliances, and the reno (new upper cabinets, countertop, backsplash, paint, light fixtures, handles) cost around $1100.

Basic Steps: I decided to save some money by painting the existing lower cabinets because they were in good shape and I liked the door style, just hated the oak. I replaced the upper cabinets because I couldn’t stand the cathedral arches. I tried tiling for the first time with a classic white subway tile backsplash and light grey grout. I replaced the cabinet hardware with more modern looking pulls and swapped out the tacky fluorescent light for a modern/industrial glass globe pendant.

For the rest of the house: painting was the first thing I did before and shortly after I moved in. The house was dark before and I wanted a clean, light and modern look. I love the original wood floors, even though parts of them are in rough shape. They tell a story. I’ve been lucky with my vintage teak furniture, most having been bought through Kijiji (not sure if America has Kijiji, basically an alternative to Craigslist) and vintage shops. I’ve kept all of the original features of the house, which is why I fell in love with it in the first place (the crystal door knobs and hardware, french doors, grates, etc.) And lastly, as an interior design grad, I have a great love of classic design pieces and began collecting chairs a few years ago… my walnut Eames LCW, Eames molded plastic chairs and vintage tulip chair are definitely a sign of my chair addiction.

My advice: have patience! Things always take longer than you planned and sometimes you have to improvise. Plan things out, being a graphic designer, I draw plans and elevations out to scale before I start anything (the Lowes lumber associates laugh when I bring out a drawing of plywood sheets with the cuts planned out). Curate, clutter drives me nuts… I think a lot of people need to edit what they put on display. —Beth


  • Living, dining, office and bedroom are painted in Behr’s Falling Snow (matte)
  • Kitchen, and hallways are in Benjamin Moore’s Owl Gray (matte) (the perfect neutral grey, I love this colour).
  • Front door: Benjamin Moore’s Overcoat (semi-gloss)
  • Stairs/hallway: Benjamin Moore’s Overcoat (Matte)


  • Upper cabinets: IKEA Appalad cabinets
  • Lower cabinets: Painted with Benjamin Moore’s chalkboard paint
  • Countertop: IKEA Pragel Walnut laminate
  • Backsplash: Daltile white 3×6″ ceramic tiles, Platinum colour grout
  • Cabinet pulls: IKEA Blankett pulls
  • Light fixture: West Elm Globe pendant
  • Appliances: Fridgidaire Gallery collection (Fridge, Dishwasher, Range and OTR Microwave)
  • Thermostat: Nest (Love it!)

Dining room:

  • Vintage teak dining table
  • Eames white molded plastic chairs
  • Vintage teak credenza
  • Living room:
  • Loveseat/Chaise: IKEA Karlstad, Isunda Grey
  • Vintage Danish teak lounge chair
  • Custom walnut plywood shelves


  • IKEA Besta cabinets
  • Custom walnut plywood floating desktop
  • Eames molded plastic chair in Greystone


  • IKEA Malm bed and headboard
  • Vintage teak highboy dresser
  • Hallway:
  • “Fauxdenza” made of IKEA Appalad cabinet and walnut plywood top, IKEA Grip pulls
  • Oh Chair, Umbra

Upstairs hallway:

  • Eames molded plywood lounge chair (LCW) in walnut


Suggested For You


  • Do you have to prime the ikea cabinets prior to painting with the chalkboard paint? Any tips you could give would be amazing!

  • I’ve heard some complaints about the blankett handles and am thinking about installing them. Are you still happy with them? (great remodel BTW)

  • Hi Amy and Matt,

    I didn’t prime my cabinet doors but they weren’t Ikea cabinets. I just cleaned them prior to painting.

    I haven’t had any issues with the handles, they’ve been great.

  • Hi Beth, love the make over! I’m wondering how your ikea laminate countertops are holding up?? Would you recommend them? I’m thinking they would be lower maintenance than butcher block.. Thanks :)

  • Im so thankful I found your blog! We purchased falling snow to paint all the rooms and living space but I was worried maybe we will be toooo white. Buy your pictures show it can be cozy and light and airy!
    Thank you

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