before and after

Before & After: Sarah’s Kitchen + Bedroom Renovation

by Grace Bonney


Today’s second makeover comes from Sarah Sandidge. Three years ago Sarah and her husband Jay bought a 1930s home that was, in her words, “tragically outdated”. The layout felt crowded and awkward, but they saw potential in the spaces so Jay worked weekends and week nights (while Sarah was pregnant and caring for their two year-old) to renovate their space over the course of two years to get it where it is today. Today we’re sharing two spaces that got a major modern work over: the kitchen and bedroom.

Sarah has shared her makeover details after the jump, as well as photos of the bedroom makeover. I hope you’ll enjoy them. Thanks so much to Sarah and Jay for sharing this with us.

*Both sets of before images are from different angles than the “after” shots so I’ve tried to explain that in the captions. I know that drives some people nuts, so I apologize ahead of time. Sarah and Jay had their hands full with this project (and their kids!) so the before shots weren’t their priority at the time.



When we first moved in, everything was blue! Blue carpet, blue wallpaper, blue drapes, and all the same shade! So that was our first act. Getting the surroundings back to “normal”. Then we started working on structural issues. We opened up the wall between the dining room and kitchen. We removed the staircase leading to the upstairs room and moved it to the front of the house where a coat closet used to be. Then we finished some of the attic space upstairs to add a completely new master bath, closet, and office space. We removed two sets of nasty sliding doors that went out to a rickety, rotted deck my husband simply pulled up with his hands. Fixed some major leaks and put new carpet down. Now we have a huge, beautiful master suite that is our getaway once the kids go to bed.

In the kitchen, we completely rearranged the layout. What was once a very strange set up combining the original kitchen with an add-on, is now a lovely space to work in. We actually used metal cabinets that we found in the basement laundry room. We had them sanded and powder-coated for a modern look. Then after almost a year of hesitation and deliberation and living with splintery plywood for counters, we finally decided on butcher block counter tops from Lumber Liquidators. We absolutely love them. They really warm the kitchen up.

We decided to leave some “rough” edges throughout the house. The window over the sink for instance has chipped paint on the trim and is the only wood window in the house without paint. We wanted some “memorials” to help us remember where we came from I guess! And perfection isn’t really our thing. We like our house to look “lived in.”


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