before and after

Before & After: The Power of Removing a Wall

by Grace Bonney

One of the best parts of having your own space is being able to save up and work hard to make changes that suit your personal style and needs. I always love seeing home makeovers come together that involve DIY elements and people making their own design decisions, so this kitchen makeover from Brittany of Brittany Makes is close to my heart.

Brittany and her husband saved up to turn their small kitchen into a bigger, brighter workspace by turning three tiny rooms (a kitchen, dining room and living room) into one open-plan room. By taking down two walls, they gained more counter space (including a free-standing island) as well as room to maneuver around while cooking and cleaning up. I love the dark paint, marble counters and gold accents, but I mostly love that they kept this space realistic and as affordable as possible by buying materials and decorative details from IKEA, Target and Home depot and doing as much of the work as they could themselves. The floors were stripped down to the 50-year-old subfloor (I’m dealing with that in our home, too) but Brittany is waiting for a second round of saving up to tackle that final project. I really love seeing a space come together in stages so I can’t wait to see what floors they choose. Click through for more images after the jump and full sourcing here! xo, grace





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  • Everything about this kitchen is perfect! The lighting, the dark contrast of the cabinets, the gold hardware… perfection!

  • Wow! This turned out beautifully. I am always amazed at the ability some people have to look at an outdated or small space, and visualize it as something like this. Amazing.

  • Wow, this looks great! What an improvement! I really love how they kept the space above the sink open and clean, too.

    I have a friend who remodeled their kitchen in a very similar way as this and they used distressed bricks in a herringbone pattern with light colored grout for their flooring. I am also curious to see what they end up choosing here!

  • Beautiful! I love the dark lower cabinets with the white uppers. I went to Brittany’s blog and the description of the process is great.

  • Such a stunning transformation! The hardware on the cabinets is so good – I can’t believe they got everything from Target, Ikea, and Home Depot!

  • Flawless! I love every inch of this space. The lighting and hardware really make the space. What an amazing job!

  • This reminds me of Emily Henderson’s kitchen…. I wonder who did it first. Because the lights, hardware, Counters and Lower cabinet hue are exactly the same.

  • What is with all the over exposed photos? You can’t make out the detail of the walls, wall corners, corner of the ceiling, the upper cabinets. It’s like there is a snow storm above the countertop. Please please please take the exposure down a notch! What I see I like – but I’d like to see it ALL. (By the way, I’m 55 – some of your readers are over 50. Your photo editor should be over 50, or have someone on the staff that is older so they can say “I don’t understand this photo!”)

    • Hi rktrixy

      I’m not having any problem with the viewing of these photos and haven’t heard from anyone else about them (at any age). That said, we’ll keep this in mind and try to make sure everything is balanced.


  • absolutely love this kitchen! It’s rather erie how similar the details are in this kitchen to our recent remodel. Needless to say, I absolutely love their taste and the layout is absolutely amazing!

  • Could not find your resource info and would love to know the brand of the stove. Great job on the renovation. Love the deep farmers sink from Ikea…I have that as well.

  • Hello! I love the style and remodelation. Can you please guide me where and how to find the gold brass cabinet handles. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

  • Under NO CIRCUNSTANCES remove walls from your house without consulting a civil engineer or architect. You could REALLY damage your house’s foundation. If you plan on removing a wall to “brighten up your home” please consult an expert first. I mean it.

    Removing walls can cause cracks in them overtime and increase danger and is NOT a recommended ladida casual makeover.

    If you happen to live in a building then don’t be insane and tear down your walls. You’d be threatening not only your family but many others… It is a good idea to turn three small rooms into one gorgeous piece but don’t do this without consulting an expert.

  • I love this kitchen and think it will serve as a source of inspiration or flat out imitation for us. Twoish questions: 1. How long can a room survive with just a subfloor? What are the dangers to it being exposed for so long? 2. Do you think the two-toned cabinet look will look outdated in a few years?