Before and After: This 1970s Kitchen Feels MUCH Taller After a Dramatic Makeover

published Jan 28, 2024
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While some rooms are made for all things bold and colorful, there’s something to be said about a black and white color scheme, too. It’s sleek and timeless, and if you want to add a pop of color, you can do so with accessories. 

DIYer Olga Fermin (@artfulhousee) transformed her “dated” 1970s kitchen into a sophisticated room that’s certainly the heart of the home, and she went with a modern black and white palette. 

“[The original] kitchen was very dated and dark; what bothered me the most were the brown countertops, and the yellowing of the cabinets,” she says of the space, which she shares with her husband and daughters. “As soon as we saw the house when we first moved in, I immediately knew the kitchen needed to be remodeled.”

The space had a skylight and high ceilings, which Olga knew would work in her favor. She had wanted to give the kitchen a moody yet modern vibe so the skylight would really complement a dark color. 

Credit: Olga Fermin
Credit: Olga Fermin

The white granite countertops and backsplash are a timeless (and seamless!) choice.

“We started by removing the old backsplash, then we removed some of the upper cabinets to achieve a more modern look,” Olga explains. “A few months later, we finally got our countertops installed.” 

She decided to go with granite countertops and backsplashes for their durability and affordability, and even found her countertops on sale. The countertops were installed by The Home Depot

And Olga liked the way the countertops looked so much that she decided to go with the same stone for her backsplash for a seamless, elongated look — and this was after she pivoted away from a more busy black and white tile design.

“Going with granite as a backsplash was [the] best decision ever,” she writes on Instagram.

Credit: Olga Fermin
Credit: Olga Fermin

Black cabinets and walls add drama.

For the cabinets and walls, Olga used Benjamin Moore’s Black. Painting the cabinets was an easier project than she initially thought — there was no sanding needed, thanks to a thorough cleaning and priming process. 

However, if she was to start the project over, she would consider adding a drywall beforehand. Painting the walls black can enhance any imperfections, and a few repairs were needed as the darker color was added.

Credit: Olga Fermin
Credit: Olga Fermin

The range hood features a clever design solution.

Olga is very proud of her design vision — in particular the range hood. The leafy portion of the hood is actually more angled and chimney-shaped, but Olga was looking for a more modern silhouette. She had her contractors create sleeker, straight panels to surround the angled hood and stretch all the way up to the ceiling, and the design decision makes the room feel taller. 

Overall, the renovation took around a year and cost $10,000, consisting of both DIY and professional help. 

The family “absolutely loves” their new kitchen and for those who are looking to renovate their own space to this scale, Olga says that patience is a virtue. “Be patient; renovations take time. Think about how the space can make your life easier.”