before and after

Before & After: Jenny’s Kitchen Makeover

by Grace Bonney

Unless you’re a millionaire, buying a home usually means compromising in one area to get something you want in another. When Jenny Haas and her husband Will were looking for homes, Will fell in love with a home that needed some major work, but had a lot of character. Jenny said she was willing to go for it (tackling renovations while pregnant is no joke) as long as he was willing to start on the kitchen first. So after they moved in, Will worked on creating the family’s dream kitchen. After a few months (and many microwaved breakfasts of pop tarts and oatmeal), Jenny and Will now have their dream kitchen and a brighter, more open space where they can cook and entertain. Their open shelves are the sort of airy, organizational style I love, so this one is going in my favorites for sure. Click through to see the full transformation! xo, grace


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  • I LOVE this kitchen. The before and after shots are amazing. What an inspiration to know what can be done with such an original eye sore of a kitchen. I can’t wait until I have a home to tackle like this! Well done, y’all.

  • Amazing transformation. What a difference some paint can make. It looks so much bigger and brighter. Keeping the cabinets and painting them white is such an inspiration for people who can’t afford to do a total gut job. Love the natural wood accents and the marble countertops are divine!! Great job. Very encouraging.

  • Did they hire a professional to redo the drop ceiling? Does that usually require a professional? We’re looking at buying a house but a lot of the houses in our budget have drop ceilings. I’m trying to gauge the amount of work and/or money it takes to redo them because I’d always prefer a DIY.

    • If our experience is typical, then removing that ceiling is quite ‘easy’. Ours was only suspended by wires, so my husband took it down in one night (yea!). That left us with a very cracked ceiling to re-plaster and a need for new lighting, but I was super happy just to have that extra height.

  • Nice interiors and good ideia. Really liked. I believe that the lighting is a huge issue in any kitchen. Not only the natural but also personalized one. I used one from a design brand I meet at iSaloni last year and the result was amazing.

  • Beautiful, Jenny! Lovely job, and timely inspiration (just today we are having our new kitchen ceiling downlights wired!). Would you mind sharing the source for that gorgeous dining table? And, if you don’t mind, how many people does it seat? We are looking to upgrade our 6-seater…thanks!

  • Love the concealed hardware on the open shelving. Did you buy the shelves or are they custom and if so do you have a minute to explain how you made them? Great job!! Love it!!

  • I love this kitchen renovation, and am inspired to look at my own kitchen in a different light. What material are the countertops?

  • Great use of the space. You saved the old cabinets correct? Also love the floating shelves with the subway tile backsplash! We did the same thing during a similar remodel on a tight budget and I think you would really enjoy the results. My wife and I do all our own work, she is the designer, I’m the craftsman, and we are both realtors. Please go check out our work and let me know what you think! http://urbanduo.com/category/portfolio/east-way/

  • Love this! It’s giving me some serious inspiration for when we re-do our kitchen. Love how the oven is placed. I have a similar layout to the left half of the kitchen (our oven is in the corner though), but I love how placing it where they have it opens up that corner for more counter space. Taking note of that!

  • Absolutely, it’s very well done and quite a transformation. But the majority of kitchen before/afters on here tend to fit a mold these days: white with open shelving and, as often as not, a Persian/Turkish/Tribal carpet on the floor. Would it be possible to see a wider range of options for those of us who are perhaps already over this trend and want to move on to new colors/forms? Thanks so much for considering. Design*Sponge remains our go-to for remodeling inspiration.