Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Bright and Fun Kitchen Reveal

I received a call late last year from a friend of this amazing client, and the conversation went a little something like this:  
"Hi Nicole, my name is Dr. Cobb. You don't know me, but I saw what you did with Debbie's kitchen. I remember that original kitchen very well, and if you could do that, to that kitchen then I need you in my life!"
Well, of course we had to meet. She was even more charming and welcoming in person, and so began our journey of many, many months to transform her kitchen, truly the heart of her home. 
Dr. Cobb aka Ms. Barbara, a retired elementary school assistant principal, is a serious cook. For 28 years she'd thrown down some serious meals in a space she'd never really been happy with. It was functional for sure, but said nothing of her sunny and bubbly personality so I knew that had to change.
Since y'all know I love knocking down walls, as evidenced in many of our previous kitchen renovations, we first considered removing the wall dividing the kitchen from the dining room to open the space tremendously. 
But it would mean a clear line of sight into the kitchen once you opened her front door and after many revisions, and sensing that she simply was not comfortable with such an open concept, we decided to leave the blueprint as is. Here's how we started:

Dropped ceilings, outdated cabinets, laminate counter tops, linoleum floors, the list goes on and on. The first order of business of course was to demo everything and start over. The first rule of thumb of any kitchen design is to maximize storage, so taking the cabinets all the way to the ceiling from 30" cabinets to 42" cabinets was a must. That alone pretty much doubled her storage, and allowed her to bring in items that had been in storage in her garage.
A birds eye view of the sink area. 
As you can see, we went with a very similar cabinet color except these are solid wood and offer much more storage via Lazy Suzanne's and more much organized drawers and cabinets. 
Once we agreed on our cabinet finish, we went shopping for our tiles and we both fell in love with this Manhattan porcelain tile from my go-to tile store, Floor and Decor. It is a stunning, yet detailed tile so we had to be careful to select a counter top and back splash that could work in harmony.

You'll notice a flood of lighting in this space, far cry from the dull glow she had from the fluorescent lights under that dropped ceiling. I go heavy on lights on my renovation projects because I cannot emphasize enough how critical good lighting is. Here we installed recessed cans, under cabinet , lights over the sink and LED strips in the pantry. 

I fell in love with that fabric used for the window treatment on one of my many trips to my favorite fabric store, Designer Discount Fabric. I knew right away it was a winner and didn't even offer a Plan B. The minute I showed it to Ms. Barbara she fell in love as well. 

Ms. Barbara shops a LOT so she needed a refrigerator that could handle her penchant for stocking up on food items. This was a second model. The first we selected was not deep enough and thankfully the good people at the Home Depot were willing to switch it out weeks later. 

One of the main reasons for keeping the layout in tact as well, was this gas range. Relocating a gas line can be a costly endeavor so keeping the new cook top in this space just made sense, though clearly she now has a more swanky cook top with six burners to boot and a new microwave overhead, again freeing up valuable counter top space.  

Just some of the things that make her happy, including a few books from her vast collection of cook books. We first revealed this stunning Brizo faucet we purchased from Ferguson over on Instagram. It's a far cry from the original faucet.  

We saved a lot of money by not doing custom cabinets, but even stocked cabinets can be customized. The very talented Roy, who took the lead on this project, turned this end cabinet into a display area for her spices. 


The gallery wall is both functional and personal. A much needed cork board holds her everyday to-do list, recipes and coupons and also hides the unsightly electrical panel. Keep in mind that that cork board can be easily removed for quick access to the panel, as is required by the code. Photos of her 4 year-old grandson Jeremiah - an avid reader - and that kitty artwork is my nod to her beloved cat Trixy, who tolerated us throughout this renovation. 

As always,all photos were taken by the amazing Shaggy of Circle Ten Media
The lady herself, radiant about her kitchen and beaming because she thinks she has a chance at winning our upcoming oxtail cook-off. I'm kinda known for that and my mean pot of stew peas Ms. Barbara, so I hope you're prepared to lose, in your very own kitchen to boot. See you soon and thanks again for allowing us to transform your kitchen into the space of your dreams and for being so patient, warm and welcoming to the entire team. 
P.S. You can see many more before and after shots over on our Facebook page. 
P.P.S. Happy Hump Day everyone!
P.P.P.S Happy birthday to my amazing husband, Patrick and a solemn moment of silence for all those who perished in the 9/11 attacks, including my dear friend Michael.  


  1. Amazing job! It looks fantastic! That kitchen is so beautiful. I would definitely love cooking in there.

  2. OMG!!!! You ladies are magicians!!!!! Fantastic, love all the yellows and the lay out!!! Perfect for Dr. Cobbs!

  3. Wow! I love it! That backsplash tile just makes me smile! I love seeing before and after photos! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Fantastic job Nicole! Love it and how happy it feels in there.
    xo Nancy

  5. Kitchen are tough & you did an amazing job! Back splash rocks! Her smile says it all! WTGG!!!

  6. What a happy smile! Beautiful choices and what a transformation! Another job well done!

  7. Such a happy, vibrant kitchen! Chalked full of personality. Good job! I start my new kitchen designer position today. eek!

  8. Wow! Talk about transformation! I love the glass accent tiles, I love the cabinets, I love the floor tiles! It looks totally different! Such an amazing change!

  9. I love a happy kitchen. Great makeover and great tips on stock cabinets. Happy Bday P.

  10. oh my gosh you do an incredible job with this kitchen I just cannot believe the difference it's like a reality tv show on HGTV

    Ali of Dressing Ken

  11. Amazing transformation!!! This gold cabinet tops are AMAZING!!!!!! xxx

  12. Talk about before and after. OMG! What a stunning transformation! Kudos on a job well done!!

  13. Excellent Share! Well I sincerely enjoyed studying it. Awesome blog over here!

    Best end of tenancy cleaning in London

  14. AMAZING JOB!!! I love the backsplash and all the details!! I can't wait to buy a hous e just so you can decorate!!

  15. AMAZING JOB!!I love the backsplash and all the details! I can't wait to buy a house so you can decorate it!


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