Shiplap-clad walls and a reimagined floor plan transform a drab kitchen with vintage-meets-contemporary charm.

By Laura Kristine Johnson
January 15, 2019
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This kitchen was in desperate need of a better layout, and some Joanna Gaines-inspired farmhouse design. The homeowners worked on a budget to fix an inefficient layout while adding personality to a builder-basic space. Shiplap walls add a farmhouse-approved look while maintaining a gentle texture that doesn't overwhelm the space. Take a look at these before and after photos that reveal a gorgeous farmhouse kitchen.

Before: Awkward and Inefficient

Track lighting from the 1990s and a swath of brown cabinets gave a ho-hum look to this kitchen within a newly purchased home in Georgia. Dishes dripped water across the floor when traveling from sink to dishwasher due to an awkward layout, and a wall isolated the kitchen from the living spaces.

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After: Bright and Unexpected

Rotating the island 180-degrees and opening up a wall allows whoever is cooking to not feel secluded. White shiplap and painted cabinets brighten the space and add a dose of farmhouse flavor. The homeowners kept the cabinets to the right of the range and had their carpenter build the new cabinets on the left to match. With a coat of white paint, the old and new cabinets were seamlessly tied together.

A medley of mod touches like midcentury brass-and-glass pendant lights keep the kitchen feeling fresh. Moving the hallway door 2 feet toward the backyard creates additional drawer and shelf space to the left of the stove, and nestling the dishwasher next to the sink makes loading dishes easy.

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The homeowners replaced a small eat-in kitchen space with a window seat to accommodate the footprint of a larger island. The homeowners wanted an island big enough for their daughters to do homework and for guests to gather around. However, there also needed to be enough walkway space and room for the appliance doors to open properly.

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Midcentury-style pendant lights with glass shades offer inconspicuous illumination. Since the kitchen ceilings are only 8 feet tall, something translucent over the kitchen island is a nice touch in order to keep from obstructing anyone's view.

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Cardholder bin pulls guide guests around the kitchen while lending an apothecary aesthetic to Shaker-style cabinets. Curvaceous toe-kicks ensure a uniform look between old and new base cabinetry.

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Collections on open shelving shine thanks to a subdued shiplap backsplash. The wood’s white matte finish lends texture and brightness. The homeowners wanted a textured backsplash but didn't want to overwhelm the open shelving with a tile pattern.

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Rewired vintage pendant lights illuminate a custom-built barnwood table in the dining room. Reclaimed wooden beams and posts—sourced from a barn in rural Georgia—usher in rustic charm to the first floor while also offering structural support in place of a load-bearing wall.

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With finishes and designs that disguise their newness, a honed-marble countertop, aged-brass faucet, and apron-front sink channel a timeworn farmhouse feel into the kitchen. Paint, hardware, and architectural elements create a cohesive look between old and new cabinetry, an approach that’s easy on the pocketbook.

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