Before & After: Katie’s Big Easy Kitchen

updated Jul 15, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

New Orleans-based interior designer Katie Logan rents out a small apartment on the bottom floor of her house on Airbnb, and we’re awfully glad: Not only is it a relaxing place to stay in the Big Easy, it’s nice to look at! Seeing the before photos, we’re inspired by the cute space she was able to create without a lot of money or time.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Katie, who runs an interior design business in New Orleans and founded See Scout Sleep, an adorable line of earth-friendly and modern dog bedding and accessories, also runs a great blog called A Love of Good. This is a one-bedroom apartment on the bottom floor of a house in Mid-City that she’s turned into a space to rent out on Airbnb (plenty more photos to view of the rest of the place); she lives in the upstairs apartment. After staying in this rental on our last trip to New Orleans, we had to get the details on how she transformed this space:

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
A general note about this project is that we had no money and no time. We were just going to paint the kitchen cabinets, but when we got in there, the bottom cabinets had to go. They were gross! All I could afford was Home Depot cabinets. They still cost like $400 and we had to paint them, but once again, we had no time and really, once you start adding up material cost, it is hard to build them yourself for that. Yes, they are crappy cabinets, but nice hardware and paint make a huge difference and they are CLEAN.

The countertops are constructed from select pine. We used this same trick in our apartment upstairs. I hate laminate and do not have access to an Ikea for their insanely cheap butcher block countertops, so this was our solution. Pine is soft, so you get some nicks and dents over time, but I actually love the way mine look after a few years of use. I think people put too much emphasis on countertops being this indestructible material. It is a work surface that needs to be easily cleaned. Anyway, off the subject. You just laminate the boards together with biscuits, stain (or not), and seal with a few coats of polyurethane. The thick nosing is key to making them look more expensive than they are.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
The smoked glass doors on the upper cabinets really set the tone for the kitchen. I have a love/ hate relationship with them. They are somewhat hideous, actually really hideous. Many would say, “Katie, why don’t you just leave them off?” Well, because I secretly hate open shelving. I think it looks beautiful, but am I the only one who has dust in my home? Plus, if you are going to do open shelving, I think you need to install shelves, not just take the doors off existing cabinets. It never looks right to me. Which is why I kept the smoked glass doors. I decided to paint the entire kitchen dark in hopes of disguising the smokiness. I had bought that insane light fixture years ago and it never had the right home until it met its long lost cousin, the ugly smoked glass doors. They really were made for each other.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
All of the hardware in the entire place came from Home Depot, and there is not a single surface that did not receive a coat of paint. We bought Home Depot paint (Behr). I was born and raised on Benjamin Moore paint, but I have found recently that I love Martha Stewart’s color selection. All of the colors have been toned down just enough. All the trim in the apartment is her Bone Folder (creamy trim that looks good with everything) and in the kitchen we used Shale (a wonderful purpley, blueish, grey).

Thanks, Katie!

(Images: Katie Logan)