This Twice-Remodeled Kitchen Showcases an Evolution in Modern Style

When it comes to remodeling, let instincts be your guide—as this homeowner did not once, but twice.

Time definitely changes things, and this do-it-yourselfer has the kitchen to prove it. The kitchen Aniko Levi and her husband, Miki, got when they bought their Richmond, Virginia, home was straight off a builder-home checklist: oak cabinets, laminate countertops, basic appliances. What it had going for it: an efficient floor plan that connected the kitchen to the breakfast area.

before kitchen dated cabinets
Aniko and Miki's kitchen before renovations. Aniko Levai

The couple lived with the space for three years then took on a complete remodel. The wood replacement cabinets they chose included to-the-ceiling wall units and a base for an apron-front sink. They installed a glass mosaic tile backsplash, new laminate countertops, and upgraded appliances to get the modern kitchen with the warmth they wanted.

before kitchen tile modern wood cabinets
The kitchen after the first renovation. Aniko Levai

Fast-forward seven years after the first remodel. Aniko's style had evolved and she wanted the kitchen to reflect that. She liked the layout and the cabinet design but yearned for a lighter look. Her plan called for new countertops, new flooring, and gallons of paint.

For Aniko, home makeovers are routine. The creator of the blog, Place of My Taste regularly updates her house with husband Miki. One of their biggest projects, the kitchen gut job, suited them for years—until it didn't. In six weeks they made it over into their dream kitchen. "Our new kitchen reflects our style, and it's cohesive with our home," Aniko says.

open kitchen dining area
Lincoln Barbour

They removed all the IKEA cabinets long enough to paint them and replace the laminate floor with porcelain tile. Using a busy pattern made Aniko nervous, but she couldn't get this unique design out of her mind. "I went with my gut," she says. "I still love it every day."

open shelving kitchen wood counters
Lincoln Barbour

The couple swapped laminate countertops for new butcher block, inspired by a piece they had stashed in their garage.

And the busy glass tile backsplash? Believe it or not, it's still there but painted white. "We love the look of the backsplash," Aniko says. "It looks completely new."

Aniko brushed oil-base primer and latex paint on the backsplash, thoroughly coating the glass tiles and grout. The lower floating shelf (one of two shelves that replaced a cabinet) caps the backsplash.

kitchen black cabinets farmer sink
Lincoln Barbour

Added during the first update, the apron-front sink simplified the new countertop installation: no sink cutout required. A touch-to-operate faucet in matte black upgrades the look.

black kitchen island patterned tile
Lincoln Barbour

Before Aniko painted the island, she removed the toe-kick to expose the feet. "We thought it would look interesting and a bit different," she says. The furniture-look piece can be moved to clean the floor.

black kitchen island utility hanger
Lincoln Barbour

Aniko mounted a towel bar to the underside of the island countertop to make that side work harder. S hooks keep hot pads and a cutting board in view and within reach.

Updated by
Lindsay Berger

Lindsay Berger is a prop and wardrobe stylist, producer, and more. She owns her own company, JL Productions, where she focuses on styling. She has covered numerous home stories for Better Homes & Gardens, from home tours to DIY how-tos. Lindsay is also the set designer and art director for As Seen on M.E., an online secondhand clothing retailer.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles