a kitchen transformation (dark to light)

The clients:

A young family.  He loves Jeff Lewis–modern, elegant & masculine.  She loves cottage with a touch of rustic glam.


The dilemma:

This is their “now” house–maybe live there three years or so.  How do they make it their own, but still have it be not-too-personal so it will appeal to a large market when they plan to sell?


What they have to work with:

Dark-stained cabinetry, an angular island with a raised bar, not much lighting and, shall we say, not the best tile.




Our plan:

Keep it neutral, but not boring….

Biana Quartzite countertops (sleek and white like marble, yet not as porous.  We LOVE marble, but perhaps not the wisest choice for resale.)

2″ x 8″ white ice glass tile.  The glass gives a pearl-like shine and the herringbone pattern is not your everyday backsplash.  Your tile guy will hate this pattern, but it is so beautiful!

warm gray throughout the house–BM Revere Pewter

creamy white cabinets (not-too-gray)–BM White Dove

neutral & warm island–BM Northern Cliffs

dark hardware & dark linen shades for the pendants add some contrast & elegance  (Shades of Light fixtures)

Knock down the breakfast bar feature in the island and keep the surface flat.  Coincidentally, because they did not have to tile any backsplash in the island the price to cut it down was really a wash.

Where did they save money?

Keeping the cabinets & just painting them

Keeping the stain of the wood floor (not our favorite shade–nor the clients’), and working with it

Going outlet malls and doing the shopping themselves–they just bought the plan from us.





That tile is a little bit Jeff Lewis and a bit glam, don’t you think? :)


I know Anisa’s family in Canada reads the blog, so please know that we are thinking and praying for y’all.  Her grandfather passed away yesterday.  She loves him so!



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  1. Gorgeous!!! I am thinking of doing the same thing in my kitchen, so this gives me some great ideas. Praying for Anisa!

  2. Beautiful tansformation! I would love to do this to my kitchen, but have yet to be able to sell my husband on the idea of painting our maple cabinets! Sending thoughts and prayers for Anisa and her family…

  3. Thank you Julie for the sweet post and thank you all for the prayers.
    Family is the greatest gift and I am grateful for the time I had with my grandfather.

  4. I lost my grandpa last November. I miss him so much. He helped so many people and made such sacrifices for those around him.

    I hope Anisa and her family can find comfort and strength remembering special moments of his life.

  5. Vera Kingsley :


    Thank you so much for the kind words and photo of Anisa and her girls with Dedo. What a gift to so many that knew him, he exemplified Christ’s love in everything! And what a blessing that Anisa and her family were able to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with him here just two weeks ago! Thank you for all your prayers.

  6. What a precious picture of Anisa and her family. So sad to hear of her loss.
    That kitchen turned out beautifully…great job.

  7. The kitchen looks so much better! A totally unrelated comment: We were singing Our Great God at church yesterday, when I noticed that it was co-written by Casey Darnell. I’ve been familiar with the song for awhile, but had no idea who it was written/sung by. I was so excited thinking, “I’m pretty sure that’s Anisa’s husband!”

  8. Hi! Just found you thru HD’s blogger contest. I LOVE THIS – great great job!!! I just ordered some glass tile options for my own kitchen and am debating on frosted vs clear. i love how the clear looks here!!!!

  9. I love how this kitchen turned out! Those oversized black pendant lights are fabulous. The counter tops and glass tile back splash are right up my alley as well. One question: why does everyone hate the bar-height island? I can see how a counter-height island gives you more uninterrupted counter space, but you can also see all the dirty dishes in the sink. Also, I love sitting up high on a bar-height stool – it puts you right at eye level with the cook, which is fun while you are keeping them company. I wonder if anyone else feels as I do?

    • I hear you! They are so practical. I think we love the clean lines of a flat island. Also, builders used a lot of raised islands in the ’70s, ’80s & ’90s, so a flat island can either harken back to an earlier time or look modern (in my opinion). Thanks for reading, Julie

  10. This kitchen is beautiful. I love the tile and paint color. So elegant!

  11. I guess it would be kinda’ personal to include cost?

  12. Praying for Anisa and her family…

    WOW! What a transformation! I am sure both are truly satisfied with your great plan! Kudos to them to for the execution. :-)

  13. Praying for Anisa and her family…

    WOW! What a transformation! I am sure both are truly satisfied with your great plan! Kudos to them to for the execution. :-)

  14. Super job! Wow, what a difference!

  15. What a wonderful transformation. It is amazing how paint can change the total look of a room.

  16. What a wonderful transformation. It is amazing how paint can change the total look of a room.

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