Traditional to Transitional – My Kitchen Makeover Reveal

A few months ago, I didn’t realize a few cracks in our granite kitchen countertops would end up turning into a full kitchen makeover project. Within a week, I went from ignoring and praying them away to deciding maybe their happenstance had initiated the opportunity I needed to update our too-traditional, dark (and let’s be honest – a little dated) cream kitchen. Because it was a little bit of a surprise and it wasn’t on our immediate to-do list, I knew we wouldn’t be gutting the thing (nor did we need to). In fact, after coming up with a full wish-list of potential projects, it became super clear that I was going to need to get creative and prioritize. The overall goal – to brighten up my windowless cream kitchen and make it a little more modern.

Two of the biggest contributors to making my kitchen look less-than-current were the cream, glazed, raised panel cabinet doors and the khaki-colored backsplash. But, after examining my list of priorities, I realized they were two places we weren’t ready to put money into. So instead, I would embrace them, do what I could to update them (or at least their surroundings) and use them as my starting point. Could I accomplish my goals going this route? I was hopeful and proceeded. You can catch all the details leading up to this point here:

KITCHEN PLAN (WHY, WHAT, CHALLENGES)
KITCHEN PROGRESS (THE HALF-WAY POINT)

Let me tell you – trying to brighten a kitchen when you aren’t starting from scratch isn’t an easy feat. Most colors that compliment creams are in the brown family… which is what I was trying to move away from. Picking complementary materials and paint aren’t as simple as choosing something “white” out of a lineup. I quickly learned that without the right tones, undertones, shades, etc., my cabinets and backsplash could easily yellow or contrast against their new surroundings too much, emphasizing that they were out of place. Well, fast forward a few months and I have an updated, more modern (but still cream) kitchen that I love. If you’re working to update your space and have a few work-arounds (like cream cabinets), it can be done.

I shared my story with the following partners who graciously jumped on board to help my vision become a reality. A HUGE thank you to the following:

LG Viatera | Atlanta Stone Creations | Blanco | Amerock | Minted | Select Blinds

*Posts on KelleyNan.com may contain affiliate links. Click HERE for full disclosure*

UPDATING A TRADITIONAL, CREAM KITCHEN

Before we head in, I wanted to share that one of the most notable updates wasn’t even in the actual kitchen. We have a two-story great room (which I love) but there’s a huge, bare wall that’s always looked… well… kind of awkward. Remember that molding project to frame the kitchen from my progress post HERE? Well, here’s the result. The difference of this view is huge; it brightens things up before even moving past that wall and gave a much-needed-break to that boring, wasteland of a wall. It’s an easier update than you make think, too. My carpenter used strips of molding to create the picture frames (like our master bedroom) and built a column to match the columns on the opposite side of the room. Painted with glossy paint, matching my trim, and it all looks like one piece. Plus, no more scuffs under the bar!

Transitional Living Room and Kitchen in an Open Floor Plan

Ok, so let’s go take a peek behind my new trimmed out, separator wall view… One last thing – most “before” photos used throughout are from about two and a half years ago, because #dramatics 😉

So, here is where we started…

Cream Cabinet Kitchen Makeover Reveal

And this is what it looks like today.

Kitchen Makeover Reveal - Keeping cream cabinets and modernizing

You guys… seeing the transformation laid out (along with my slightly improved photography skills haha) makes me want to cry. If you were thinking “how different can it really look without changing cabinets and backsplash?”, this is how different. Here’s how I did it.

MARBLE-LIKE QUARTZ KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS

The countertops were the first major decision. I mean, they were the entire reason we were taking on the project in the first place. I went into extensive detail on making selections in my initial plan post HERE, but I really can’t stress how important (and challenging) it was to select the right white quartz. I had to find something that would marry the traditional elements of the kitchen that were staying, with the new, modern touches I was bringing in. Something stark white or more contemporary with a large, drastic veining wouldn’t have blended. I wanted something that could lend itself to multiple styles, and something that could compliment both cream and white cabinetry. I also needed to veer away from some of the marble-looking quartz finishes that had more blue-gray tones. The LG Viatera Soprano quartz I found has more subtle movement and marbling, has a more creamy base, and has both gray and gold marbling.

*Make sure to pick up samples; depending on cabinets, paint and surroundings, the quartz can take on a different shade. Do not depend on website samples.

Quartz that looks like marble for kitchen countertops

Since I initially shared my challenges, what I was doing, and the countertops I was going for, I have had readers come out of the woodwork, sending emails that they are in the exact same spot – cream cabinets and dark granite. I think updated countertops can be overlooked in the prioritizing and budgeting stage because they aren’t flat against the wall and people may discount their potential impact. Well, I’ve lived with mine for a couple months now and the difference in brightness is crazy with the surface reflecting light to such a higher degree.

Check this out- here’s what the center view looked like before…

traditional kitchen makeover reveal

And this is what it looks like with the Soprano quartz countertops.

Vintage Turkish Runner Rugs in Kitchens - Updating a traditional kitchen to more boho


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As opposed to the potential drawn-out process of painting/replacing cabinets, the countertops only took one day to install. Literally. I share more about that process in the progress post HERE. After Atlanta Stone Creations came out to measure, they were able to demo and install in the same day. There was also zero mess (this isn’t the kind of kitchen project that puts you behind tarps, covered in dust for weeks).

Since the install, I have heard some nightmare stories from some of you about not using a quality quartz (not all brands are created equal!), using a fabricator who didn’t put thought into where seams were placed, having to have tile ripped up, etc. In fixing our builder’s mistake (stupid cracked granite), quality was my top consideration. I wanted it done correctly. I started researching, looking for best experiences and top reviews (which is how I found Atlanta Stone Creations), and then asked local friends I trusted (who coincidentally, also recommended them). As much as they held my hand and took all the worry away, I think my favorite part is the beefy, mitered edge island that they are known for. If you aren’t familiar with a mitered edge, that island slab is actually not that thick – it’s only available in two to three cm (I went with three around the perimeter). The mitered edge is where they take the quartz, cut it at perfect 45 degree angles to make it look super thick. I’m crazy about ours but I will say – if you aren’t in metro Atlanta and want to go with a mitered edge, definitely make sure to see some examples of what your fabricator has done previously. Ours looks like one perfect slab and is worthy of *all the heart eyes*. 😉

How to make a traditional kitchen with cream cabinets more modern

UPDATED CABINET JEWELRY (THE HARDWARE)

Just because I wasn’t changing the cabinets didn’t mean I couldn’t change the cabinet hardware. Because I committed to not changing/painting the cabinets, I stuck with uniform pulls, in the same spread as my former pulls, across the kitchen. After researching and sampling several pulls, I quickly figured out I was drawn to the way two-toned hardware looked against my cabinets. Even those THESE are clear (I went with the gunmetal finish), they are so much more substantial and sleek than the more dainty ones I switched out. Plus, the finish kind of accentuates the glazing, but in a subtle (almost pinstripe way).

An updated cream kitchen with more modern finishes


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I think they’re gorgeous; Dave thinks they look like “dilithium crystal” – I have no idea what that is but bottom line, we’re both happy 😉

Modern Clear Acrylic Hardware Pulls for A Traditional/Transitional Kitchen

I even upgraded our paper towel holder to coordinate (y’all would laugh if I showed you what we were working with before haha).

Best Paper Towel Holder for Modern Kitchens - Clear Acrylic


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I really struggled before in using some of my wooden and woven accessories, baskets, etc. in the kitchen because it made it feel even more dark and weighted down. Now, with the new light backdrop, I can actually bring in some of my favorites.

Easiest ways to update a kitchen


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TRANSITIONAL CONE PENDANT LIGHTING

Once upon a time, I had little bitty lanterns that weren’t doing a whole lot of anything. I switched those out a few months ago to a glass lantern with champagne finish which helped, but their purpose was to blend in with the old granite. Once we switched to the brighter quartz, they felt too heavy. Here’s where we started…

Cream Cabinet Kitchen Makeover Reveal

And here is what may be my favorite view today.

Styling a kitchen island and other modern kitchen updates

Those Goodman pendants aren’t cheap but you may remember in THIS post – I found one “open box” from a lighting retailer on eBay and then purchased the other new HERE. (These are the medium, paper shade, antique nickel chain finish.)

Cream kitchen cabinets with updated fixtures and more modern finishes


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THE SINGLE-BASIN, UNDERMOUNT, STAINLESS STEEL SINK

Another huge improvement that I almost didn’t take on – switching the sink. We had a double-basin undermount before and in theory, two compartments sounded better than one. That is, before I had to use it and couldn’t actually fit more than one pot in at a time, lay pans flat, etc. I was interested in the idea of one big basin but it was actually the curved cut-out that I decided was “dated” that made my decision. Trying to bring in edges and elements that were more streamlined, straight, and sleek were huge in updating the overall look of the kitchen. Because the countertops would have to be cut anyway to the specs of the sink, there was literally no better time. It was now or never.

before kitchen sink remodel

And this is why changing the sink would be one of my top three, non-negotiable changes if you are looking to bring a little more sleekness (and function) to your kitchen.

How to update your kitchen sink

Blanco recently came out with a single basin with side drain; I have so much room (33″) and zero reservations about ditching the two-compartment basin I had previously. I also had no idea how much I would love having the grate on the bottom – not just for washing pans without having them sit in their own dirty-water-run-off, but for colanders, too.

I liked the design concept of my previous faucet (pull-down sprayer, goose-neck) but was happy to find one that was a little more streamlined, especially since the sink is basically the center point of the kitchen/living room area. There’s no hiding! There’s a lot of power behind that nozzle.

Beautiful under-mount single basin blanco sink with side drain

The sharper edges and clean lines made a 100% improvement aesthetically, but also made tackling those dishes a little less terrible 😉

Updating an out-dated cream kitchen with white quartz countertops

Sleek undermount kitchen sink - stainless single bowl basin

THE PAINT: BENJAMIN MOORE EDGECOMB GRAY 

We’ve talked about the paint dilemma. Extensively. No matter which direction I considered, it seemed like a double edge sword – too dark of a paint would lighten the cabinets and make the space look too dark. Too light of paint would brighten the space, but the contrast between the walls and cabinets would make the cabinets look like short, yellow boxes. When I painted the samples of Edgecomb Gray on my walls, it looked WHITE compared to my former paint color (which made me nervous), but after following through, it came across as a pale warm greige that almost matches the tone of the cabinets. Mission accomplished. Remember this heavy look?

Kitchen Makeover Reveal

This is what it looks like now.

How to update a cream kitchen with raised panel cabinets

For the first time in this house, I actually painted the ceiling a little differently than the walls. I took the recommendation of the paint store owner and cut the ceiling by 50%; it definitely lightened up my shadowy spaces- hallelujah!

COUNTERTOP ACCESSORIES & KITCHEN EXTRAS

Like I mentioned before, with my old, dark, speckled countertops, I felt I had to steer clear of any warm woods, dark materials – even things like yellow olive oil – to try to balance some of that darkness away. Now, I can put my eclectic mix to use and put my collections on display. Mixed finishes and organic materials are totally in; I bet you have more pieces hiding in your cabinets than you realize.

I’m crazy over the planter I ended up using as my utensil crock. I scored it at At Home recently, not knowing exactly where it would go, and threw my utensils in there to corral them while I was waiting on the actual utensil crock I ordered to arrive. It ended up being a classic Bob Ross “happy little accident” because once the actual marble crock I’d ordered arrived, I decided to stick with my planter.

How to style kitchen counters

This little salt cellar my mom gave me a few years ago is what started my love affair with olive wood.

How to decorate kitchen countertops


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How to style kitchen countertops

How to Make a Traditional Kitchen with Cream Cabinets More Modern with Marble-Like Quartz

The lighter space let me share more eclectic finishes in general – white washed woods, warm wood, cane, mixed metals, white ceramic, etc. Remember that pretty olive wood bowl (one of the first things I purchased)? These sweet little art prints were among the first items I selected a few months ago, too (one in a 5×7; one in an 8×10). During my last trip to visit my mom, I snagged this cane stool she had out of sight on her upstairs landing, and last week, I picked up a turquoise planter and took a few minutes to coat it with fresh, white, satin spray paint.

How to style a kitchen stationery desk


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Kitchen art and stationery desk ideas

The original art I had selected a few months ago for the back wall was totally wrong; it was relocated to the sitting room and I instead brought in THIS fresh piece. It’s subtle but just what I needed in that awkward space between the garage door and stationery desk cabinets.

How to style a kitchen island

Soprano Quartz Countertops - Marble Counter Look-Alike

Soprano Quartz by LG Viatera in Cream Kitchen


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Quartz countertops that look like carrera marble

I used to have bulky faux wood white blinds on this door. They were constantly in the way, the cord was a wreck, and they would never stay anchored. I’ve been dying to outfit this door in the same cordless, woven shades as our upstairs bedroom deck door and along with a quick fresh coat of door paint, WOW. Yes, the look is an improvement x 1 million, but it functions SO MUCH BETTER without having blinds sway and thrust back and forth every time the door shuts.

Cordless Woven Shades for a Window Door

You guys know the story on the barstools; I love them and yes, am still using that one on the far right as a daily office chair haha. It’s worked out to be the perfect, prime spot to consider living room/kitchen projects/orders as I’ve been working on the two spaces. Those two round mirrors in the living room will soon be replaced with this large rattan mirror I ordered (set to arrive in December) to carry the bar-stool vibe over a little bit.

Visual Comfort Goodman Pendants with Paper Shades and Antique Nickel and Rop Bar Stools

Cactus Planting Ideas - Succulents in the Kitchen

THE BREAKFAST NOOK

The breakfast nook is a space that has been evolving since we moved in and honestly, even though we have made some changes that have made a big difference, a lot of the same pieces remain. Proof that you don’t have to nix everything to create a different vibe. You may or may not have ever seen what this space looked like in the beginning – this is circa summer 2015…

breakfast nook makeover reveal

And here’s what that same space looks like today. Same table, same sideboard, same curtains…

Transitional Breakfast Nook with Large Oversized Round Mirror

Because this has been an evolving space, y’all have seen most of the updates but the large, oversized round mirror was a new addition. I actually had a round mirror in its place, in a brass finish, that was significantly smaller. After getting this 48 incher, the former looks like a dinner plate haha. If you go back to the very first photo I shared in today’s post, this mirror did everything to reflect light, fill the wall space, and give this entire area a fresh look. Fewer, larger pieces > several smaller pieces.

Transitional Breakfast Nook


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Breakfast Nook with Beaded Chandelier and Edgecomb Gray Pain

I also finally added a third row to my black and white travel gallery wall – you can see more on this project from the initial post HERE.

Breakfast Nook in Edgecomb Gray by Sherwin Williams with Black frame gallery Wall

And after my palm was down to one half-brown frond, I took that as permission to replace it with this faux olive tree. It takes some spreading and situating right out of the box, but once she’s set, she’s pretty 😉

Greenery in the kitchen

How to style a Sideboard in the dining room or breakfast nook

Kitchen makeovers can get expensive (and totally out of hand) quickly. If you don’t have the budget to make a change, don’t. Focus on bringing in quality improvements as you can. Start with the countertops; it will make a bigger difference (and add value) than you think. Replace your sink at the same time. Painting the walls is one of the most affordable updates you can make. Accessories can be collected over time. Pulls will make you re-love your cabinets and can be switched at any step of the process. Same goes for lighting. I bet you’ll even uncover some areas and pieces along the way that you’ll have a whole new appreciation for, once their surroundings start transforming.

Breakfast nook ideas with round glass table and mirror

Thank you all for hangin’ in there with me as I worked my way through our kitchen project; it’s still the same space – just a better, more updated version of itself.

Beyond the kitchen and breakfast nook, you can peek into the living room where some other updates have been gradually happening; I’ll be sharing more soon so be sure to subscribe to my emails at the bottom of the post and catch all the details 😉

Two story great room with kitchen bar with Paper shade goodman pendants

LIKE THIS POST? CHECK OUT A FEW OTHER ROOM MAKEOVER REVEALS

SOURCES & DETAILS

Paint Colors: Walls- Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray | Ceiling- Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray (at 50%) | Trim/Moulding- Sherwin Williams Creamy

Fabrication & Installation: Atlanta Stone Creations

Hard Surfaces: Countertops- LG Viatera in 3″ Soprano (with mitered edge island) | Blanco Quatrus 33″ Sink | Blanco Empressa Faucet (stainless) | Amerock Glacio Cabinet Pulls (3 3/4″ gunmetal) | Flooring: Nottaway Hickory in Weathered Saddle (5″  Planks) | Cream Cabinets: Color Unknown | Backsplash: Puebla Travertina Beige (3″x6″ tiles)

Lighting: Cone Pendants (medium, paper shade, antique nickel finish) | Wood Bead Chandelier

Furniture: Bar Stools | Breakfast Nook Chairs | Cane Stool – Old | Faux Olive Tree | Sideboard – HomeGoods | Breakfast Table – Old (DIY) | Step Stool (painted)

Walls/Art/Windows: Cordless Shades (Bali White) | Large Circle Art in Matted Frame (champagne silver frame)  | Apple Art (5×7) | Pear Art (8×10) | Large Round Mirror (black, 48″) | Travel Gallery Frames (Ikea Virserum) | Curtain Panels (98″)

Kitchen Accessories: Wood Paddle Boards (medium & mini) | Olive Wood Bowl | Large Organic Shaped Island Vase | Pinstripe Napkins | Acrylic Paper Towel Holder | Olive Oil Bottle | Olive Wood Salt Cellar | Stainless Pepper Mill | Oversized Spoon Rest | Stationery Desk Tray | Island Tray (SIMILAR) | Rubber Tree Planter (painted) – Home Depot | Breakfast Table Pitcher | Clear Glass Bud Vases | Raw Edge Marble Sink Slab Board | Small Wood Bowl (at sink) – Local Boutique | Wooden Vegetable Scrub | Small Olive Wood Board (SIMILAR) | Round Marble Board | Two-Toned Marble Board – At Home Stores | Rectangle Marble & Wood Board | Utensil Crock (planter) – AtHome Stores | Tribal Cacti Planter | Wavy Platter on Buffet | Blackberry Bowls | Gold Flatware | Cake Stand (SIMILAR) | Runner Rug (Vintage) – tons of styles from the shop I used HERE | Soap – HomeGoods | Small White Colander

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120 Comments

  1. 9.25.18

    Oh Kelley, it looks amazing!! What a difference!! I love everything but especially the new counters. I’m living with laminate counters right now so anything marble-like is only a dream for me. I love everything you chose for this kitchen makeover and your photos look amazing!!

    • 10.17.18

      Jenna, I am so so happy we made the switch. I knew I would like them but didn’t know how much of a difference they would make. I get it though- had ours not cracked, we would not have taken on a kitchen makeover! Thank you so much for your sweet words xoxo

  2. 9.25.18
    Sarah said:

    Kelley!!! It’s absolutely stunning! I can’t believe how different the spaces look with the changes you made. So, SO, good!!!! The cone pendants and barstools are my favorite. Or the counters. Or the hardware. I can’t pick!!

    • 10.17.18

      Sarah, YOURS IS RIDIC!! Thank you so much for your encouragement (and for being there during my decision meltdown haha)

  3. 9.25.18
    Sharon said:

    Yay! I’ve been waiting. It’s looks so beautiful, now I’m going to get my coffee and take my time enjoying it.

  4. 9.25.18
    Joni King said:

    WOW! Amazing Kelley Nan! I love everything especially the cabinet jewelry! Your accessories, pictures and arrangements are awesome, way to go! And as always, your photos are amazing!
    Hugs!

    • 10.17.18

      Joni, sending you so many hugs. THANK YOU! xoxo

  5. 9.25.18
    Tamara said:

    Kel what a fabulous makeover!! You’ve outdone yourself again, my friend!! Honestly I can’t pick a favorite part but if I had to – I think it’s the lighting! Or the stools?!? And the new trim and millwork!!! It is like a whole new space and your choices are absolutely perfect! I just wish I could see it in person! Xo

    • 10.17.18

      Tam, THANK YOU!! I am so excited for you and all your upcoming updates!

  6. 9.25.18
    Nancy said:

    This isn’t one of those posts where I had to keep scrolling back and forth to see what had changed and why it made such a difference. I’m so impressed that you pulled this together, because i couldn’t possibly have done that. Love it. And now I’mGoing back and reading all your posts, so if your hit count goes way up today, it’s mostly me,lol.

    • 10.17.18

      Oh, Nancy, reading this made me smile SO big. Thank you for your kindness; it means a lot that you can appreciate the changes. Sending you a big hug today. xoxo

  7. 9.25.18
    Donna Henson said:

    Absolutely STUNNING – I know it was worth the wait. Thank you for sharing

    • 10.17.18

      Donna, THANK YOU for taking the time to visit and to leave such sweet words. xoxo

  8. 9.25.18
    Haneen said:

    Kelleyyyyyy! I seriously started having to take notes in my head of everything I wanted to comment on because there was TOO MUCH!!! Love the scale of the new pendants! Much better fit! Love the new counter stools! Love the simplicity of the new round mirror! Love the hardware! Love the bright counters! Love the trim work! And I will 100% be getting that paper towel holder! Lol! #obsessed Love you and your talents!

    • 10.17.18

      Haneen, you are awesome!! How are you liking that new PT holder?!

  9. 9.25.18
    Carol Heartfelt Whimsies said:

    Kelley—
    Oh my goodness—your genius design skills have wowed me again!
    Absolutely incredible update!

    • 10.17.18

      Carol, you are the best. THANK YOU!! It was a journey, for sure 😉 xoxo

  10. 9.25.18
    Tracie McLaughlin said:

    Love the makeover, so classic and beautiful. I’m interested in learning where you got the marble tray that your dish soap and little flower vase sits on (left of the sink) and the bowl and dish scrubber (right of the sink).
    Thank you,
    Tracie

  11. 9.25.18
    Nicole said:

    Those countertops are perfect ??, i like how subtle and soft they are 🙂 . The trim work makes such a big difference, too! Chairs are ??, love the new chandelier over the table, and all the rest of the small details bring everything together. Looks great, well done! ????????

    • 10.17.18

      Nicole, thank you so much! And I am so glad we went through with the trim work!

  12. 9.25.18
    Sandy said:

    This is beautiful! The before is very similar to my current kitchen situation. Hoping to go with a similar lighter quartz like yours in the near future!

    • 10.17.18

      Sandy, had ours not cracked, we wouldn’t have taken on the project just yet. However, now having lived with them a few months, I can’t tell you how happy they make me! It’s also crazy being able to see the crumbs and messes without guessing haha

  13. 9.25.18
    Cecilia from Georgia said:

    OHHH, Kelley!! I have enjoyed following your kitchen makeover and was so excited this morning to see the reveal. Everything is just lovely and looks so comfortable. I loved the glass lights over the bar but the new ones are pretty too. You are absolutely the bomb!! Girl, I just want to know which Goodwill you take your donations to so I can go shop there! Thanks for sharing your talent and beautiful home.

    • 10.17.18

      Haha Cecilia! You are awesome. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

  14. 9.25.18
    Allie said:

    I was taken away from the moment I read the first words “kitchen makeover.” So beautiful! I absolutely love the new hardware and the accents to the kitchen bar area. The new trim gives it so much dimension. I just cant’ pick a favorite thing. So in love

    • 10.17.18

      Allie, thank you for taking the time to visit and for leaving such sweet words. You are so appreciated!

  15. 9.25.18
    marley said:

    Kelley! Love Love LOVE!!!!! I inherited the exact same granite countertops when we moved in years ago. We painted cabs in the interim and cannot wait to add quartz. Your space confirms what a difference it can make! Every single update you made is fabulous! The lighting and the CHAIRS! Gah! All so good and inspiring! Kudos girl! xo

    • 10.17.18

      Marley, how exciting! Be sure to take befores and afters so you can scroll back and forth and see what a change they make!

  16. 9.25.18
    Michelle said:

    Your kitchen looks great! I have a question..do you know who your cabinets are by? They look exactly like mine (minus the trim color)..I haven’t been able to find much on my cabinets and I want to fix something on mine! Thanks!

    • 10.17.18

      Michelle, thank you! I’m so sorry, I don’t 🙁

  17. 9.25.18
    Cindy said:

    Love this so much. Thanks for sharing. Our dark builders cabinets have dark busy granite. Replacing the countertops is a huge inspiration. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home and your wonderful talent.

    • 10.17.18

      Cindy, having them crack was a blessing in disguise; I wouldn’t have guessed that in our case, they could lighten everything so much – more than even having painted our cabinets!

  18. 9.25.18
    Pamela said:

    Perrrfection
    You are 1 talented lady

    • 10.17.18

      Oh, Pamela, I am so flattered by your kindness- thank you!!

  19. 9.25.18
    Maggie said:

    Kelly, I’m going to be very honest here and tell you that when I first looked at the before and after shots, I was sort of confused. Like huh? What’s the big deal? Well, my dear, as I scrolled through this post and paid attention to your comments, my eyes were opened! The importance of what looked like mere details (hardware, for example) became obvious. The importance of the marbling and nuance in the “white” countertop color became obvious. The significance of careful and purposeful planning became obvious. This is one very well thought-out kitchen and the results are a gorgeous compilation of that. Congratulations on an incredible transformation. May you enjoy it for many years! And thank you for the invaluable lesson of the importance of paying attention to details!

    • 10.17.18

      Maggie, your comment speaks volumes and I so appreciate your honesty and kind words. I am so glad you understand the transformation and the choices I made – both for maximum impact and budget. Thank you for sharing your insight and for considering all that went into it. Wishing you a wonderful week, Maggie! xoxo

  20. 9.25.18
    Marissa said:

    Giiiiiiiiiiiirrrrl! You NAILED it! The 3″ mitered edge is always a winner! Such great selections ALL. The. Way. Through! Way to go, Kell!

    • 10.17.18

      Marissa, that edge rocked my world haha. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

  21. 9.25.18

    Beautiful transformation, Kelley Nan!
    It is always amazing how a few well thought out changes can totally update and refresh a space! Great job!

    • 10.17.18

      Kathleen, I so appreciate you stopping by! THANK YOU!

  22. 9.25.18

    You made stunning choices, and everything looks gorgeous.
    You must just be in heaven! It’s all so very lovely!

    • 10.17.18

      Shannon, thank you so very much! We are loving it! xoxo

  23. 9.25.18
    Dina said:

    So Beautiful!!!
    Where are your white dishes with raised dots on the edge from ? Love them !

  24. 9.25.18
    Randi said:

    Bravo Kel!!!! It looks amazing!!! I love your trim work and those counters tools are amazing!!! Wishing I could pop over and see it in person!!!!
    Xo

    • 10.17.18

      Randi, COME NOW!!! haha Thank you so much, dear friend xoxo

  25. 9.25.18
    Barbara said:

    Oh my gosh, your kitchen is beautiful. You did a great job. If you talk with your vendor on the quartz countertops, please ask them where I might locate them in Dallas. I have creme cabinets but lots of light. I have been looking for quartz but have not found anything near as pretty as yours. I truly enjoy watching your blog.

    Thanks,

    • 10.17.18

      Barbara, oh my goodness, thank you!! I believe they have a locator on their site but you can also contact fabricators in your area and ask if they carry LG Viatera. They are wonderful!

  26. 9.25.18
    Jennifer said:

    Wow! I’ve been looking forward to seeing how this turned out. It’s impossible for me to pick 1 favorite detail because everything works so beautifully together. It is so much brighter & sleeker looking! Well done once again!

    • 10.17.18

      Jennifer, thank you so much! I am so pleased with the result and thrilled that the areas I focused on translated. Wishing you a wonderful week!

  27. 9.25.18

    Kelley!! Your kitchen looks incredible. Love the countertops and everything looks SO amazing.. I’m so happy for you. Good job my friend!

    • 10.17.18

      Kristy, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Wish we could have you and Jeff over for wine, cheese, and dinner!

  28. 9.25.18
    Noél Emswiler said:

    Love the update and how well it integrates old and new. The sight lines into the other areas look beautiful. We gutted our kitchen last year and I know how painful it can be to make the right choices. Well done!

    • 10.17.18

      Noel, congratulations on your new kitchen! This was mild compared to what I’m sure you went through. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your kind words.

  29. 9.25.18
    Erin Lee said:

    Gorgeous!!!
    Does your Francesca Chandelier provide enough light?

    • 10.17.18

      Hi, Erin! We have soft incandescent chandelier bulbs as we don’t need much light in that space, but if you used a (still soft) LED, it would amp it up a bunch!

  30. 9.25.18
    Bonnie said:

    Kelly, Your kitchen looks lovely! I am confused about advice you gave on replacing the countertops first. I was told that if my cupboards were going to be replaced down the road, I shouldn’t change my countertops because they couldn’t be used with new cupboards. Just a thought…

    • 10.9.18

      Hi, Bonnie! Thank you so much. If you are planning to actually REPLACE cabinets, yes, I would do that before doing countertops, backsplash… anything. The suggestion I intended was that if you are looking to make over your kitchen on a smaller scale, countertops are a great place to start as they will make a drastic difference. But, if you are planning a full gut job, yes, I would wait 😉

  31. 9.25.18
    Catherine Parsons said:

    Your kitchen turned out beautiful. Congratulations. Loved the Star Trek reference. ☺️

    • 10.17.18

      Catherine, so funny you caught that! I still have no clue what that means! haha

  32. 9.25.18
    Lisa Thompson said:

    It is ALL totally beautiful, Kelley! You have such a keen eye for color and balance. The before/after shots are ??! Very well done! ?

    • 10.17.18

      Lisa, thank you so much! We are absolutely thrilled with it. <3

  33. 9.25.18
    Jennifer said:

    Beautiful Kel! It looks AMAZING and I’m so happy for you! LOVE those stools so much! I’m glad someone I know and love can enjoy them since I didn’t have a place for them. 😉

    • 10.17.18

      Haha Jen! I just saw some other stools that don’t fit here and I have no reason to have but want someone else to have them so badly!! I can’t wait to see your project!

  34. 9.25.18

    Love, love, love, all heart eyes over here. It is gorgeous. We are looking at making some changes to our existing kitchen, and like you I cannot justify redoing all of our cabinets and backsplash (they were custom years ago, but have held up beautifully). I am thinking making just a few changes similar to yours is all that is needed. After spending another week in my former MIL’s teeny tiny kitchen with no dishwasher, 20 year old microwave and dated appliances and knowing she cooked up a storm and was happy makes me rethink going all out when it’s not really necessary. And, thanks for linking all your great accessories. Two were just what I was looking for.

    • 10.17.18

      Lauren, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Yes, such a hard call to make over a perfectly nice space (that’s why I’m glad the crack gave me a reason ;)) but am 100% so happy with the changes we did make. Best of luck in landing on the changes that will allow you to love what you have, all over again! xoxo

  35. 9.25.18
    Joanna said:

    I never thought it would be possible to update a kitchen without changing the cupboards fronts, at the very least. You managed to marry the old with the new marvellously.
    The new larger pendants make a statement where the little ones were lost.
    I’m loving your larger round mirror! I agree! A few large pieces are much more appealing than several small ones. Go big, or go home! ?

    • 10.17.18

      Joanna, thank you so much for saying that! I was apprehensive when I started and as I went along, became more confident with my direction. You are wonderful xoxo

  36. 9.25.18

    I’ve been waiting ALL day to sit down and read and pour over ever little detail of your kitchen. Kel, it’s amazing!!! Anyone can create a pretty new kitchen from scratch but it take serious design skills to take what you already have, decide what goes and what stays (on a budget) and then bring in all of the pieces that will make it one gorgeous, cohesive space – you totally nailed it! LOVE your barstools and lighting and love those countertops – so so perfect. I can’t wait to see it in person!!!!

  37. 9.25.18
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    Oh…my…goodness! You know how much I loved your “old” kitchen. I must say I was a bit sceptical when your original vision was formed. Why fix what is already, so good? Turn to now, and I can’t believe the transformation you have created. Love the textures and the light. Most of all, I love how the new look is so “you”. So very well done. Bravo, Honey!

    • 10.17.18

      Haha Nan! Thank you so much; I can’t wait for us to cook, bake, and enjoy doing all the things in it next month!

  38. 9.27.18
    Nadine said:

    Kelley! I love every single piece of your new kitchen! It’s so bright and fresh. Absolutly beautiful! You are so talented. Can’t wait to see your next project!

    • 10.17.18

      Nadine, thank you so much! I’m working on the living room now and have a few others up my sleeve 😉

  39. 9.28.18
    Bree said:

    Kelley, it’s stunning!! I’m so excited for you and Dave! I love the counter top you chose and I really love those bar stools…definitely one on my list for the new house! It’s perfect and congratulations!! xoxo

    • 10.17.18

      Bree, thank you, thank you! I am beside myself to see some planning peeks of your new home!

  40. 9.29.18
    Kristie said:

    Kelley! Gorgeous kitchen! Love every detail! Wondering if you had considered the farmhouse sink by Blanco as well? Would love your thoughts on that style of sink. We’re about to order and I’m back and forth.

    • 10.9.18

      Hi, Kristie! Because of the position of our sink, an apron front sink wasn’t an option but I do know others who use them and they are gorgeous!

  41. 11.1.18

    I love what you did here. This is such a great post. You didn’t throw the “baby out with the bathwater” but still created a very fresh updated look. I hope you plaster this all over Pinterest. It deserves to be seen and seen again. Well Done!!

  42. 11.7.18
    Melissa said:

    OMG I loved this post! We have these exact same cabinets and backsplash and I have been struggling with how to get away from all the brown and move towards more grays. I am loving Sherwin Williams agreeable gray on the first floor of our house but we used SW Amazing Gray in the kitchen and I just don’t think it sits well against the cream cabinets. I am looking to change our countertops so this post is a huge help for me in deciding what color to do! Can you please come help me with the rest of my house?! Haha I love your taste!

    • 11.13.18

      Melissa, that is awesome! I totally feel your struggle- I love how the Edgecomb Gray turned out against it; best of luck in your kitchen journey!

  43. 1.21.19
    Vicki said:

    Kelley, I’m new to your blog and love your designs and posts! A while back you posted a partial update on your butlers pantry light. You were exchanging it but didn’t have the capos light. Did I miss the post with that update? I’ve been looking into using capiz lighting as well and have a question for you… my living room fixture metals are a combo of oil rubbed bronze and antique brass. Would the capiz clash with this because of the nickel outline of the petals? Or does it have an antique brass/warm coloring? Any help would be much appreciated!!

  44. 3.15.19
    Mary Lynne said:

    The changes you made and the explanations of why you made them are just EXCELLENT. Thanks for sharing. Can you give the brand and/or model of the faucet?

  45. 6.22.19
    Jackie Green said:

    Hi Kelley! I’m so happy that I stumbled on your blog. We did a gut Reno of our kitchen a few months ago, and my new custom antique white shaker cabinets were more creamy than I expected…. I’ve been overwhelmed for months trying to match a quartz marble countertop. Our new fabricator who carries most brands thought the LG soprano would be the best fit, and your blog helped us to confirm this for us. He is coming today to measure and bring the sample! Thank you for sharing and I hope that you still love your gorgeous kitchen.

    • 8.13.19

      I hope you love it! We’ve had it a year and are so happy with it.

  46. 7.9.19
    Mary J. said:

    Beautiful kitchen! Do you think the Soprano quartz would go with white cabinets and white subway tile, even though counter is creamy? Thank you!

    • 7.10.19

      Mary, thank you! I do but I would bring in a sample and look at a full slab!

  47. 10.18.19
    Julie said:

    Love your kitchen!! I’m curious though, when you use “Creamy” on your trim out in the main area of the house and then “simply white” trim in your bedroom, which of those colors do you use for your doors?

    • 11.5.19

      Julie, the doors are whatever color of the room they are facing. Some of my doors (like the bedroom) is painted Simply White on the inside white the outside was left Creamy 😉

  48. 3.6.20
    Cassie Smith said:

    I know my comment is too late but you really had a nice kitchen. I was looking for an inspiration myself, since I needed to renovate my kitchen since it is really outdated. I am planning to have a my kitchen countertop look like this https://www.caesarstoneus.com/about-us/information-inspiration/design-to-inspire/waterfall-countertop-everything-you-need-to-know/. I’ve read that it is on trend lately and really gives your kitchen a chic modern style design.

    • 3.9.20

      Thank you so much! It is always fun to make changes to what I think is the most important room in the house. I wish you the best of luck!

    • 3.9.20

      Cassie, it is so exciting to plan a change. I wish you the best of luck and hope you have fun in the process. ❤️

  49. 5.27.20
    Joyce Iacono said:

    Hi, what color are your Kitchen cabinets? Are they Simply White by Benjamin Moore. Mine currently are and was looking at Soprano Quartz, but so hard to tell if they look good together. Let me know 🙂 as far as I see your kitchen update is perfect.

    • 5.29.20

      Hi Joyce, Thank you so much for stopping by! I am so sorry, but I do not know the exact color of the kitchen cabinets. They are cream in color. I appreciate your kind words and hope this helps.

  50. 6.5.20
    Valerie Ek said:

    you are the first person I decided to follow and I really love your style.
    I am finally updating my cream kitchen and soprano quartz was one of my top choices. two yrs later, what do you think is on updated option for 2020?
    I missed the all white kitchen phase and am trying to finally be a little ahead of the trends. I would appreciate your opinion. thx!

  51. 7.19.20
    Amanda said:

    Hi Kelley! I am so thrilled that I happened upon your blog… your home is beautiful!! I am in the same boat as you were… cream cabinets that we aren’t willing to pay to replace, and tormented by the decision of what color quartz to put with them! Our “guy” doesn’t carry LG, but I think we found a quartz with similar color and marbling (Caesarstone Frosty Carrina). I have a question for you about your paint. Is the Edgecomb Gray in the kitchen also what you used for the breakfast area and living room walls? If not, what color(s) did you use there? Thank you!

    • 7.20.20

      Amanda, Thank you so much for stopping by! The kitchen and breakfast room were originally Perfect Greige. They are now both Edgecomb Gray. The living room is Versatile Gray by Sherwin Williams, its original color. Hope this helps and have fun making your kitchen updates!

  52. 9.5.20
    Cheri said:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Do you remember which faucet that is? I’ve been searching for a perfect one!

  53. 1.3.21
    Katherine said:

    This is amazing! We just bought a house with cream cabinets and I assumed our only option was to repaint them. But just like your kitchen, this one doesn’t get a lot of natural light and the granite is even darker than your old countertop. Our cabinets are cream with cherry glaze. It looks like yours also have a glaze so hopefully that’s okay – any thoughts? I ordered a sample of the quartz you used – excited to see!

    • 1.3.21

      Hi Katherine, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! Yes, our cabinets are glazed as well. You are so smart to order a quartz sample! That will give you the best key on how it will look. I am still very happy with the changes we made!

  54. 1.8.21
    Purlin AI said:

    Thanks for sharing this informative post. Those designs were unique, combining several design trends is not a bad idea. I like it

    You also Visit modern homes california

    • 1.11.21

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by!

  55. 2.20.21
    Camille said:

    Love your kitchen. We are in the process of updating ours (our current one looks almost identical to your old one) Question about the mitered countertop (which by the way is genius) Is the seam on the corners obvious?Also since it drops the sides of the sides did your drawers still easily clear the countertop when opening them? Also how much dopes it add to the cost?

    Thanks!

    • 2.22.21

      Camille, Thank you for taking the time to stop by! The corner seams are not obvious. I would ask the fabricator for samples of their mitered edge work from the past. The company that installed ours had a lot of previous experience with this type of work. That said, it is a very intricate process from what I understand and it can add on a substantial amount of cost. Some of that will depend on the size of your island. They should be able to give you a quote on the difference, but it could add a couple of thousand dollars. It doesn’t create an overhang. There are actually pieces of quartz running underneath that it sets on, so it is still flush. Again, a knowledgeable fabricator should know exactly how to do this. Please make sure you ask lots of questions.

  56. 2.22.21
    Lisa Perkins said:

    Hello! I love, love, love these kitchen posts and I’m ready to steal all of your ideas! I have to say though, your cabinets look white in the posts… Is that just the lighting I assume? Our cabinets are a true “cream” color.

    • 2.23.21

      Lisa, Thank you so much for your sweet note. I am so flattered! My cabinets really are cream. The changes I detail in the post did lighten up the room, which I thought was needed. xoxo

  57. 4.18.21
    Universal Stone said:

    Love the transformation! It looks beautiful! https://universalstonenc.com

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