Before and After: The Best Part of This Full Kitchen Reno is the Ceiling

published Jan 22, 2020
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It can take a long time to find—or make—your dream kitchen. Arianna Danielson and her husband have been married for eight years, she says, “and everywhere we’ve lived, we’ve never had a nice kitchen.” Relatable!

In their current home, the kitchen is at the center. “I was tired of having it be a place I hated to be in,” Arianna says. The before was functional, but dated, dark, and with a fair amount of wear-and-tear that they knew they’d have to deal with. “I knew we needed a change!” Arianna says.

Arianna knew she wanted something with an eclectic, vintage-inspired, and… not open. “Open concept is super trendy, but closed concept is so underrated,” Arianna says. “I love our closed concept kitchen. When we have parties or company over, we can hide the after dinner mess and enjoy our friends!”

The project took about nine months, with all of it DIYed by Arianna and her husband. They started by ripping up the old tile, replacing it with marble-look porcelain. Since the cabinets were in good shape, they kept them all and gave them a dramatic deep teal paint job (Behr’s Thermal); though Arianna considered scrapping the uppers in favor of open shelving, in the end she knew she didn’t want to sacrifice that much shelving. New lucite drawer pulls are a seriously glam upgrade. Matching pink tile on both the countertop and backsplash is a little retro and a lot fun.

Another charming throwback touch: glass blocks to fill in the old pass-through between the kitchen and living space.

Next, they installed a new sink (from Signature Hardware) and industrial-style faucet. New appliances by Cafe pop in a crisp white finish. But the real fun comes overhead, where Arianna installed Art Deco-inspired wallpaper and luxe-looking flush mount lights. “I think my favorite thing is our wallpapered ceiling,” Arianna says. “It’s so fun and we definitely took advantage of the fifth wall!”

Open shelves make the coffee bar area—formerly just base cabinets—even more functional. The sconces are from Hudson Valley Lighting Group. Together, the whole space is a dreamy, color-packed escape. “I love the eclectic feel,” Arianna says. “It’s such a fun space and feels like us!”

Her best advice when working on your own cook space? “Don’t worry about trends and just do what works for you,” says Arianna. “Most all kitchens these days don’t have upper cabinets because that isn’t ‘cool.’ But hey, we have a lot of stuff in here and I needed those and that wasn’t an option!”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.