Julia's Kitchen Kitchen Decorating & DIY Room Makeovers

Julia’s Kitchen

Last year, I showed y’all glimpses here and there of a kitchen remodel I was doing for a client named Julia. The kitchen was finished up last fall, but I never showed you the final kitchen (or even bothered to get “after” pictures) because I lost the “before” pictures. I know that’s crazy, but I just really prefer BEFORE and after pictures.

So when I finally found the “before” pictures last week on an old hard drive, I called up Julia and scheduled time for my photographer (who just happens to be my mom) and I to come get some pictures. I’m excited to finally show these to you!!

The idea for the new kitchen all started with a table and chairs–the quintessential 1950’s chrome/Formica/vinyl dinette set–that Julia inherited from her mom. It wasn’t in great shape, but it had sentimental value, so Julia wanted to have it restored. And then she needed a new kitchen to put it in.

Here’s what the dinette set…and the kitchen…looked like before we got started…

The dinette set that started it all.  It was very faded, the vinyl had worn and torn spots, and the chrome finish was badly damaged.
The floral balloon shade and floral wallpaper looked very busy in this space.
I’m pretty sure the appliances were original to the house, and the cabinet doors were very thin.
One of Julia’s biggest complains about the kitchen was a lack of countertop space.
Even though the kitchen was a decent size, it just felt small and dark with all of the busy patterns, the dark floor, and the popcorn ceiling.

So basically, everything had to go…except the table and chairs.  But they needed a facelift–new Formica, new vinyl, and new chrome.  The challenge was creating a new, updated kitchen with new, updated finishes and fixtures in a design that would incorporate a 1950’s vinyl/Formica/chrome dinette set in bright red (per Julia’s request) WITHOUT creating a theme room.  I don’t do theme rooms.  At all.  Ever.  (Well, okay…maybe for a kid’s room, but even then, I’m veeeeeerrrrrrryyyy particular.)

So, I used a black, white, gray, taupe and red color palette and created a kitchen that the dinette set seems perfectly at home in, even though it’s not a “diner theme” room.  And I even gave a nod to the 1950s black-and-white checked diner floors by bringing in checked fabric on the window.

Here’s how it turned out…

The new kitchen feels bright and open.  No more warning signs for claustrophobics needed!
The wall above the sink was removed to make the space feel more integrated into the family room.
On this wall, the built-in oven and floor-to-ceiling cabinet on the far left was removed to give Julia more counter space.
This dinette set isn’t really a style that I personally love, but I’m actually quite fond of how it looks against the black/white/gray checked draperies.  And the $30 warehouse pendant light is one of my favorite touches.
After looking for artwork for this wall with no success, I decided to DIY some artwork.  Click here for the tutorial.  And I love those big white mats and wide black frames!
And another look at the little sand-filled vase and flower arrangement that I did.  Click here for the tutorial.
The china cabinet was originally brown, so we had it painted black with a slightly distressed finish.
I’m a big fan of black kitchen cabinets!  And now Julia’s cat, Snickers, fits right in!

And that’s it!  I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  It was different from anything I’ve ever done, but I loved the challenge.

And just for kicks (and because this post isn’t nearly long enough yet, nor does it have enough pictures yet), I’ve added a few “quick view” before and afters below.  Just move your pointer on and off of the picture to see the before and after of each view.

Quite a change, huh? I’m so glad I finally got to share this remodel with you!! Hope you enjoyed seeing it. 🙂



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64 Comments

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    February 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Unrecognizable!

  • Reply
    Liz
    February 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    WOW! SIMPLY WOW! That does not even LOOK like the same space! Amazing and inspiring!

  • Reply
    Teresa
    February 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Wow! Absolutely amazing.

  • Reply
    Graziela
    February 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I'm in love! It's absolutely beautiful!

  • Reply
    Mary
    February 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    You did a great job incorporating the table without going all retro. So easy to change the look with different accessories with basic black, stainless, and granite. Question: what was to the left of the old wall oven? Did your client lose much cabinet storage when the wall was taken out?

  • Reply
    Upscale Downhome
    February 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Stunning transformation! All I can say is WOW! Like you I don't care for theme decorating and you did a wonderful job of using her retro set but giving her a classic kitchen that will last many years. I do love the black and white buffalo check curtains, too. I really would love to know where the $30 pendant light was from??? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    February 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Mary, to the left of the wall oven was (I think) a broom closet, if I remember correctly. No, she didn't lose much cabinet storage, because all of that area (the old broom closet) was remade into a fantastic pantry with all of the slide out shelves and fancy schmancy storage thingies. I think what she gained was a ton of organization and usable storage space, which made up for any cabinets that she lost that were being used inefficiently. Hope that makes sense!

  • Reply
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    February 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Upscale, I've seen those pendant lights at Home Depot and Lowe's. They don't even come in a box…just wrapped in plastic and stacked on each other. 🙂 I think this particular one is from Home Depot, but I couldn't guarantee that.

  • Reply
    Julie
    February 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    You are amazing!!! BTW- I am painting my bottom cabinets a similar color to yours! I have paint samples up right now! Can't wait!

  • Reply
    Jennie
    February 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Kristi,
    All I can say is – You've got SKILLZ!

  • Reply
    vahutton
    February 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Absolutely amazing! JUST LOVE IT!

  • Reply
    Nancy U
    February 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I really like your choice of granite. It provides an intermediate color and keeps the place from looking like a 50's diner. It also makes your design a lot more flexible. If Julia decides she wants to change here accent color it's not in something permanent, like a stove or tilework. Great job?

  • Reply
    Nancy U
    February 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Oops. Sorry about the ? mark. It should read
    Great Job!

  • Reply
    J
    February 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Wow, that was some amazing transformation. I agree with not being a fan of the 60's style table and chairs but it gives a nontraditional twist to an otherwise beautiful traditional room. good job!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 24, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Great design work, Kristi! I noticed that you used mostly drawers in the kitchen….I do that, and I think it is the most practical use of space! Great transformation, and opening it up to the family room was a great call. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and it's great that you saw potential in the old dinette set. Looks great!

  • Reply
    Cathy Greggs
    February 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Amazing transformation!

  • Reply
    The O's
    February 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    OH.MY.LORD….I'm in awe! I love it!!

  • Reply
    Susan
    February 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    That is stunning! I love everything about the new kitchen; I adore the china cabinet.

    From a "blog" perspective – I love the way you have the "before" and "after" pictures – I would love to know how to do that!

    Congratulations on a gorgeous remodel – I bet Julia is thrilled!

  • Reply
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    February 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Susan~
    I've been asked how to do that before and after thing so many times, so I'm finally giving up my secret. 😀

    I just wrote a blog post (the one immediately following this one) that outlines the steps to take for adding a "quick view" before and after to your blog post.

  • Reply
    Kim-A Creative Spirit
    February 25, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Kristi, this is a before and after that is A MA ZING…. Beautiful job!!!

  • Reply
    My Cottage Charm
    February 25, 2011 at 1:59 am

    yep..you rocked another re-do! 🙂 Love how you incorporated that vintage table and chairs! I'm with you, it's not my personal thing, but it looks amazing in that setting! (and you could easily just take out the red and the table and chairs and have a lovely, timeless kitchen!)
    Great job!
    missy 🙂

  • Reply
    interior designers colorado
    February 25, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful decorating ideas with us, I will consider these!

  • Reply
    Double Glazing
    February 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for posting this article. I am so impressed and amazed with your work. I enjoyed reading it and I got many ideas in remodeling my home. I love it. You've done a great job.

  • Reply
    Laura
    February 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Hi, Kristi. Great, dramatic remodel. I love the picture shelf. Can you tell me what you used for the picture shelf? I would like to put one around my grandkids bedroom to hold their pictures and arwork.

    Thx, Laura

  • Reply
    Laura
    February 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I meant ARTWORK! Yipes

  • Reply
    Cammee
    February 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I have been waiting for the finished product on this project. It is fantastic! It feels like a completely different space.

  • Reply
    ~*~Felicia~*~
    February 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    This is absolutely incredible!!! Makes me want to take a sledgehammer to our kitchen…if only we weren't leasing! lol I love it! It doesn't look like a theme room at all!!!

  • Reply
    Pamma
    February 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Absolutely fabulous! Beautiful, chic, classic with a twist—all that beautiful red! And when they go to sell it, no way these changes will get in the way…very smart!
    Best regards,
    ~Pam
    pamspaintparlor.typepad.com

  • Reply
    Mark
    February 26, 2011 at 5:44 am

    OMG I cannot believe what a difference this is. The before was HORRIBLE (no offense to homeowner). Absolutely loving the pops of red in the after. I find red really adds warmth to a kitchen. Here is another good example of it's use in the kitchen http://www.aliceindesignland.com/blog/inside-look-modfrugal.html

    Again, kudos on this project!

  • Reply
    Tracy
    February 27, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Wow! Just wow! I'm painting my kitchen cabinets now because I can't afford all new cabinets. I'm inspired to get off my patootie and finish them!
    Tracy

  • Reply
    The DIY Show Off
    February 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    OoOoOoOhhh WoW, Kristi! Whoa! What an amazing and beautiful transformation! It's awesome! You did a fantastic job! I love every detail! So much hard work but what a true labor of love. I love your bold/retro new look. I love how open and fun it is.

  • Reply
    monic
    February 28, 2011 at 4:38 am

    I really liked your post, hopefully this post is useful for me and other readers. keep the spirit and success always

  • Reply
    ME!!!
    February 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Oh my gosh, Kristi, you worked a freaking miracle in that kitchen! It's completely unrecognizable in the best way possible.

  • Reply
    monic
    April 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I really liked your post, hopefully this post is useful for me and other readers. keep the spirit and success always

  • Reply
    ~*~Felicia~*~
    April 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    This is absolutely incredible!!! Makes me want to take a sledgehammer to our kitchen…if only we weren't leasing! lol I love it! It doesn't look like a theme room at all!!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Great design work, Kristi! I noticed that you used mostly drawers in the kitchen….I do that, and I think it is the most practical use of space! Great transformation, and opening it up to the family room was a great call. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and it's great that you saw potential in the old dinette set. Looks great!

  • Reply
    interior designers colorado
    April 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful decorating ideas with us, I will consider these!

  • Reply
    Lee Hynes
    April 30, 2011 at 4:54 am

    OMG it was Gross! what a transformation, did you have the chairs recovered?

  • Reply
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    April 30, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Yes, the chairs were recovered in new vinyl, the table was resurfaced with new matching Formica, and all of the metal was re-chromed.

  • Reply
    Lindapyatt
    May 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    can you come visit me a few days so I can pick your brain! lol
    AWESOME JOB!

  • Reply
    KML
    June 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Love the counter tops and colors you chose. That makeover is so drastic, would never know it's the same kitchen! Great job!! Always looking for tips forKitchen
    Makeovers
    ! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Oneida Kitchen Remodeling
    June 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Wow.. I am just loving the looks.

  • Reply
    East Coast Girl
    July 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Love this!! Great Work.

    East Coast Girl

  • Reply
    plumbing
    August 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    The aesthetic design of you kitchen is essential as the kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in the family home. So you really need to make it feel warm and welcoming to your family and friends, and of course you will want o put your personal style on it.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    August 18, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Wow, I absolutely love it. And I share your love for the black cabinets, too. Love the pops of red. It is exactly what I am doing in my little kitchen. So great!

  • Reply
    Chase Conely
    October 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Amazing. The first thing you will notice is the change in colors. It really strikes you as something wonderful, no? The whole kitchen is almost unrecognizable…  

  • Reply
    Tentoesinthesand
    October 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Amazing!!!  The remodel is just fabulous!! 

  • Reply
    faux wood blinds
    October 18, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Wow its a good combination of colors….liked it 🙂

  • Reply
    Teenaceresa
    October 19, 2011 at 4:18 am

    awsome work,very clean and organized..impessed!! teena ceresa

  • Reply
    Bill
    October 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    OMG! that is truly remarkable. absolutely beautiful! so much work had to be done, and I think you did an excellent job. Was the table just refinished? it looks like the same table, but not the same table at the same time, haha. i guess you did THAT good of a job!

  • Reply
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    October 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you, Bill!  The table and chairs are the same, but she had them completely restored–rechromed, new Formica top, new vinyl upholstery.  It looked like a brand new dinette set when she got it back.

  • Reply
    Cdsmith1956
    October 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Can you please tell me where you got the red vinyl material that was used on the table and chairs.  I am looking for something like this.  My vinyl chairs are faded.  Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    [email protected]

  • Reply
    Ashley Knott
    November 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Oh my gosh, I am in love! It is crazy how similar my kitchen is set up, and I have a red themed kitchen as well! I have some ugly ol' cupboards (not quite as ugly as Julia's were) but pretty yucky! I am terrified to paint them though! I am a beginner at DIY so it's a little risky for me to ruin my kitchen cabinets! Fabulous job though!

  • Reply
    The Shady Porch
    November 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I been wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets and I had been thinking of painting them black…this makeover encourages me…that it would look fabulous! Maybe I will actually take the giant leap after the holidays. Beautiful job!

  • Reply
    Chayamw
    November 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Love it! Is the floor tile or laminate? I am working on my new home and your site has me jumping for joy ( and for the great ideas!)..you are truly gifted.

  • Reply
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    November 30, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Thank you so for your sweet comment!  The floor is porcelain tile.  🙂

  • Reply
    Christine kellogg
    December 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    This is unbelievable! Gorgeous!! I am loving those black cabinets…did you paint them??? Do you have a tutorial for that?!?!

  • Reply
    Ruth Gilson
    January 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Where did you find the light above your table? I love it!

  • Reply
    Jackie Toye
    February 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    It’s probably a cliche by now, but … Shut the Front Door!!!
    I would just sit in my new kitchen with a hot cup of tea (and a cup warmer, so I can stay) and just stare at it …..

    Awesome Job!!! You should be very proud and happy 😉

  • Reply
    Janet
    March 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    It looks great! 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela
    February 1, 2013 at 2:26 am

    You did an amazing job here Kristi! The kitchen transformation is jaw dropping tbh. I don’t like the the dining set but it definitely gave flavour to the black and white scheme of the room.

  • Reply
    Janice
    June 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Could you give me info about the new cabinets? They are amazing!

  • Reply
    Why I NEVER Buy Ready-Made, Store-Bought Draperies or Curtains
    November 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

    […]  Julia’s kitchen, with the draperies hung high and wide, making the window look much larger than it actually is. […]

  • Reply
    Georgianna English
    November 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    My favorite color scheme! Love, love, love the ’50’s dining set. You made a very busy narrow kitchen look amazing!

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