Before and After: Traditional-Meets-Trendy Kitchen

Oak cabinets, oak floors, and giant oak trees out the windows kept this kitchen in the dark. See how a creative home makeover helped bring in the light.


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Kitchen before
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Before: Drab & Dreary

    From oak floors to oak cabinets, this kitchen was boring and outdated. New surfaces were brought in first to get the makeover started.

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After: Bright & White

    Every surface in this kitchen was updated -- except the original oak floors -- using shades of white and gray paint. White painted cabinets, along with white marble-look countertops, were key to lightening up the space.

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Big Impact

    Anchor a kitchen island by painting it a darker shade than the rest of your cabinets and by adding a countertop made of a contrasting material. Here, the island cabinetry is painted a beautiful blue.

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Repeat-Worthy

    Give continuity to a design by repeating elements. Here, Xs on cabinet doors, island end caps, and host chairs team up with Os on the knobs, rug, shade, and chandelier trim for style impact.

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Cramped Kitchen

    The preparation area of the kitchen had a poor flow and needed an update to better utilize the large space.

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Making Space

    Moving a wall back 24 inches made room for a new base cabinet -- perfect for a serving station -- and added smart storage. On the back door, two shades of paint give the illusion of raised panels.

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One Roll at a Time

    A single roll of wallpaper makes a big design splash. Use it on an accent wall rather than throughout the entire kitchen to prevent it from being overwhelming.

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Curtain It Off

    Visually mark the dividing line between the kitchen and dining room with curtains hung from the ceiling. Open, they create the feeling of two spaces. Closed, they hide the kitchen's work area.

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Traditional Meets Trendy

    Color and pattern amp up the style in this dining area. Black French doors add drama. A tufted rug and grommet-studded geometric curtains introduce pattern. Pairing a classic farmhouse table with modern laminate chairs makes for a country-meets-city vibe.

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Custom Designs

    A bit of whimsy was added to a plain chandelier with swags crafted from wooden balls in three sizes. Do it yourself by inserting eyehooks into the balls, stringing them together, and hanging them from the fixture.

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Sitting Pretty

    Pump up the pattern in the space even more with flirty, fabric-covered seat cushions. The green-and-white color adds flair and blends into the fresh room design.

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Fireplace Facelift

    Paint remakes this fireplace. By covering the orangey brick fireplace with the same white used on the kitchen cabinets, the stuck-in-the-'80s look of the dining room instantly moves ahead two decades.

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Mantel Decor

    The fireplace mantel art helps set the mood in this dining area. Swap out these casual, nature-influenced pieces with different decor accents based on the event or season.

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Old Meets New

    The contrast between old and new, country and city, makes a space interesting. This artwork, inspired by an apple snack, is reverse cut from yellow crafts paper and glued to foam-core board -- for less than $10.

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