before and after

Before & After: Brooke and Adam Fish’s Dallas Makeover

by Grace Bonney

I will always remember the day I moved from my first apartment to my second in Brooklyn. As I put my bags down, the movers said, “Woah, your old place was way nicer than this one.” The renter’s remorse immediately set in and I realized I’d made a huge mistake. I still shudder when I think about that moment and Brooke from Fresh BiB in Dallas knows how I feel. When she and her husband, photographer Adam Fish, bought this mid-century modern home in Dallas, they thought they’d seen everything. But after moving in, Brooke explained that she felt very differently, “After the deal closed, I saw the house for a second time with window and flooring contractors. I burst into tears! I was terrified by the actual condition of the home. It was more of a mess than I originally thought; I was sure we had made a huge mistake. The home was infested with fleas and the insides of the kitchen cabinets (which I thought we could salvage) were black after years of wear.” But rather than panic, Brooke and Adam took a deep breath and celebrated their nine-year anniversary by taking a sledgehammer to their old kitchen. The final result is a bright, open kitchen that is just waiting to be an entertaining hub. And the Fishes didn’t stop there — they made over just about every part of their home (with some help from Brooke’s father-in-law), including a modern fireplace makeover that’s inspiring my own at home right now. Brooke and Adam were kind enough to share the pictures of the two major projects (the living room and kitchen) with us today, and we’ll be sharing more of their home soon. So stay tuned! Click through to see their home makeover… xo, grace

Photographs by Adam Fish

The Fish family kitchen makeover, before & after.
The kitchen before. The cabinets were black with dirt and grime, so Brooke and Adam knocked them out to start over.
The cabinets weren't the only thing that needed updating, the floor and paint needed an upgrade, too. Click to the next slide to see the after!
The new kitchen is brighter, lighter and has a working island in the middle that brings extra counter and dining/seating space to the room. (They also removed the huge inset portion of the ceiling from the old layout.)
The Fishes decided to add open shelving and a dark accent wall to add some depth to the space and break up all the white paint.
The living room faces the newly opened-up kitchen, but needed the same facelift and update. The fireplace felt too dark and heavy for Brooke and Adam so they gave it a bright makeover with a can of paint...
The new fireplace not only got a bright coat of white paint, but the wall to the left of it was moved and a passageway to the kitchen was opened up to help with the flow of the home.
The opposite side of the living room had old carpeting and needed a modern look.
The newly decorated living room stays true to the home's mid-century roots, but has the clean lines, open feel and bright color palette of the kitchen.

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  • Thank you so much for featuring this home — not just because it’s an amazing transformation (gorgeous!) but because the homeowners had some doubts about the space and overcame them. I’m a year and half into owning a home and am in the middle of an “oh my god, what have I done” phase after finding out more of what is actually going on with my house, and it’s incredibly helpful to hear stories about other folks experiencing that same feeling and getting through it (with incredible transformations after).


  • Info on the floors, please. Is that stained concrete? Thinking of ripping our carpet up and staining the slab

  • I love this renovation! I’d love to hear/see more about the new floors. It almost looks like stained concrete. Great job Brooke and Adam!

  • This is so great. Love the dark wall with open shelving. Tell us about the kitchen floor. It looks like acid-washed concrete, but hard to tell. Bravo to a fantastic makeover.

  • I wish there were more pictures showing the kitchen island. I am curious about what the other side looks like!

  • I’m in love with this home! Can you tell me where you got the light fixture over the kitchen table?

  • Beautiful and inspiring transformation! Another fan of that great Johnny Cash painting here.

  • thanks so much for all the kind words. It was a long hard labor of love. The light fixture was scored on Craigslist with 6 other George Nelson pendants. We kept 3 and sold the rest. They were reclaimed from a restaurant tear down!

  • love this! so bright and beautiful. I’m curious about the beam in the living room. did that get painted? I have a dark, ugly one that I’m thinking about painting, but wonder if it’s worth the trouble…it’s so high off the ground!

  • fantastic work! I really love the waterfall edge done in the butcher block…so great! and, the painted fireplace looks fantastic….so much texture!

  • Brooke and Adam, you’ve transformed this house magnificently! Both rooms are so fresh and thoughtfully put together. So glad you got past the fleas etc. and bravely forged ahead anyway–the results speak for themselves. I can’t wait to see the rest of the house! I can empathize with your feelings of self-doubt. My low-point halfway through our massive reno involved sobbing alone on a pile of 2x4s in the front yard after finding out the porch was infested with ants and had to be torn down. It felt like the final blow at the time. In retrospect, I think the trials and road bumps that accompany old-house renos make you appreciate the final results that much more.

  • You guys are so awesome and kind. LINDA – the floors are polished concrete sub floors. LIZ – the other side of the island is all drawers.
    MINDY – the beam in the living room was painted. it was chocolate brown and we painted it white so that it would almost disappear and the focus would be on the high ceiling and Nelson pendant lights that we added.
    NICOLE – thank you and I feel your pain! I couldn’t agree more.

  • I think this is one of my favourite makeovers I’ve seen on DS. As an artist, it’s so refreshing to see art with so much personality and substance that’s the feature of a room (rather than background noise chosen to match the decor). Love it.

  • Love this! We bought a Dallas MCM the year before last, and are still in the middle of the, “what? another project that needs doing?!” phase. Did you keep the cabinet pulls from the old kitchen?? We have the same cabinets, but no pulls. Hope when we’re done it looks like this!

  • Hello! Your fireplace looks amazing! I have an awful faux stone fireplace that needs painting! What color did you use? Please and thank you! Cheers! mala