I think I speak for just about everyone when I say I LOVE before-and-after photos. It’s so gratifying to see the side-by-side comparison, monumental changes and massive visual improvement. But what’s often overlooked is that little word “and” that nestles between “before” and “after.” What that little word represents is the hard work, tireless hours and foresight it took to actually make that change a reality. Whether it’s a body transformation from a diet and exercise regimen or a structural and design renovation that happens to a house, there is always a ton of effort that goes unseen.


Having been through countless home renovation projects, I can really appreciate the blood, sweat and “
and.” In doing so, and in these days of technology and social sharing, I always make sure to document and photograph the start of every project to capture the “what was,” ensuring the “what is” is something to marvel at and revel in.

Last summer I acquired a fixer upper that was easily one of the worst houses I’ve tackled to date and turned it into a home that became an enjoyable point of pride.

Part of this project took the VERY dated kitchen and incorporated a few modern enhancements. Before adding any accessories or touch ups, we started with the structure by reconfiguring the flow and removing the L-shaped bar, giving it a more open concept. Sure we lost a few cabinets initially, but we also relocated a furnace that lived in a kitchen pantry. Voila! Instant storage space! Here are some of the other updates made:

  • All of the appliances were upgraded
  • One of the double ovens was removed to allow for a dishwasher
  • Replaced the patterned linoleum flooring with a light grey 12×24 porcelain tile
  • Sanded down all of the original wood cabinets and painted them a modern grey with a hint of silvery blue
  • Ripped up the countertops and installed white quartz. Quartz is one of my faves! (New post coming soon on that!)
  • Removed the inset light fixture and replaced it with track lighting
  • Added a brand new dual pane window
  • Installed a brand new kitchen door that leads out to the backyard
  • Faux brick backsplash was painted a nice graphite charcoal color to add a unique visual element
  • A fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling completed this kitchen makeover

Saying I’m happy with the way this one turned out would be a gross understatement! Onto the next set of “before” photos. Can’t wait to share their “after” counterparts!

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