Before & After: A Kitchen Ditches Its “Hippy Vibe”

published Nov 6, 2015
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(Image credit: Submitted by Allison)

We bought our house a few years ago. Nate had wanted a tree house and I’d hoped for Mid Century modern. I definitely wanted a home we could slowly remodel to fit our needs. We purchased our place from a wonderful man who adored his home. He’d spent many years updating it and left it with us in wonderful condition. The owner before him built it in the 70s and there are lots of little details that we adore.

I’m just now learning more about them…from our painter! Small town. It was a 6 sided house until the previous owner added onto the bedrooms. We loved it the second we saw it. We couldn’t believe our luck in finding it…on Craigslist! I still pinch myself over that.

It’s a big change we are making from its original hippy vibe but we hope to do the previous owners proud.

(Image credit: Submitted by Allison)

This had been a possibility for a few months now but it was only a couple of weeks ago, when our contractor came by to rough out a bid, that we realized we could consider starting the remodel that spring instead of summer.

I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted- modern kitchen, acacia wood floors, bright walls, dark beams, bright pendants, walnut cabinets, white countertops, geometric tile, a new floor-plan. However, my husband hadn’t even seen all of the photos of what I had in mind so I could then get his input and start to make it OUR design. I had images in my mind, a rough itemized plan, ideas for housing while we tore our place apart, and a full page of Pinterest folder pins to keep track of design ideas.

I quickly narrowed down my concept and pitched it. My husband added his fantastic input and we came up with what we felt was a great floor plan and aesthetic – modern meets industrial meets inviting comfort.

The greatest challenge in this house is the actual footprint. It’s a 6 sided house. No 90 degree walls. A giant stone wood stove sits in the middle of the living space, greatly limiting where furniture can be placed. I’ve changed the room around at least 5 times in the 3 years we’ve lived here but this time we needed to nail it. We’d be adding permanent built-ins and electrical placement that would stick us in one spot for good. Unnerving. We’ve spent WEEKS going over and over our ideas and just tonight finalized it- 3 weeks before demo.

There were a ton of decisions to make and with our tight budget, we decided to do some updates ourselves, like using IKEA cabinets and building them with me covering design and some project management. We had a contractor who oversaw the subs and did a chunk of the work. I’d been envisioning all of this in my mind for months but actually sitting down and executing a plan is a whole other story. There are 1 million tiny details that you only notice when you visualize each part of the space. Filler pieces for the cabinetry. Replacing light switch covers to match paint. Outlets, cans, cabinet height, etc.


  • Demo entire kitchen and add IKEA cabinets and custom walnut fronts (saves us 10k) and 7 foot island with seating
  • Pull up and replace all flooring with Evoke laminate (CHEAP and strong)
  • Rework most of the electrical, add cans, add pendants over island
  • Tile under cabinets
  • Add modern bay window off sink
  • Move fridge and microwave
  • Replace door onto deck with full glass modern
  • Paint walls off-white, ceiling white, beams brown, soffit gray
  • Demo rock under wood stove and pour 12″ high polished concrete
  • Paint stone around stove off white, replace wood transition piece
  • Raise up stairwell wall and custom build existing bookshelf to incorporate TV
  • Create 3’x6′ custom framed chalkboard to attach to side of wood stove stone

Thank you Allison! You can see more of Allison’s remodel on her blog Mindfulnest.