Before and After: An All-White Minimalist Redo Makes This Kitchen Feel Cozier Than Ever

published Dec 6, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
House
Project Type
Kitchen
Style
Minimal
Traditional
Skill Level
Professional
Rental Friendly
No
Before: Kitchen with light wood cabinets and white brick backsplash
Credit: Mel Sinclair

Although big kitchen layout changes are a big investment, they can also come with a big payoffs. There are several reasons why you might want to switch your kitchen and dining room areas or knock down a partition, including more light, better flow, and more room.

For instance, flipping the kitchen and dining room in this MCM-inspired redo made much more sense for foot traffic, knocking down the wall between kitchen and dining in this cottage made the whole space much airier, and flipping the layout of this 1990s kitchen more effectively used natural light from large windows.

Credit: Mel Sinclair

Scotland-based homeowner Mel Sinclair (@its_all_about_the_house) is another brave kitchen renovator who decided to take the leap and swap the kitchen and dining rooms in her home for a more seamless space in the back of her house. “We had to change position of the kitchen to allow us to take down a wall and create an open plan space,” she says.

Credit: Mel Sinclair

The dining room “was quite dark,” she adds, but it did have a window that could work to her advantage, so she hired pros to knock down the wall, put up new plaster, paint, and install a kitchen — which was all much easier (and faster) said than done.

Credit: Mel Sinclair

“I always wanted a white kitchen,” Mel says. “I love the clean minimal design, and the space wasn’t huge, so I feel it creates a vision of it being bigger.”

Pros took that dream of a white kitchen and made it a reality, with white paint, white tiles, white counters ,and white cabinetry.

Credit: Mel Sinclair

Mel adds on Instagram that she’s not planning on changing the kitchen for a long time after this, and white felt classic and timeless. The white on her walls (Coat Paints’ Screenshot) is crisp without feeling cold, and works well with the other white finishes: white marble counters, white cabinets, and white zellige tile for the backsplash.

Mel says she initially had a different plan in mind for the backsplash. “I really wanted a quartz backsplash but had to be realistic [about] costs,” she writes on Instagram. But the textured zellige tile offers up a little bit of organic texture that makes for a gorgeous (and much more cost-friendly) substitute. The vertically stacked layout is a twist on the classic subway tile design.

Credit: Mel Sinclair

Mel’s countertops were the biggest splurge in the space, but they’re also her favorite part. “I think they have been worth every penny!” she says. Her total cost for the materials (not including the professional labor it took to complete the project) was £7,000, or about $8,530.

Credit: Mel Sinclair

Mel’s minimalistic decor accents include the quilted barstools, the black-framed glass doors to the left, the black-and-gold faucet from Amazon, the hooks in the back corner, and a kettle and toaster (the latter two coming in handy for easy meals while the kitchen was still in progress).

“We planned on putting in the kitchen first so we could still use it before we knocked down walls, but building issues didn’t allow this,” Mel says. “This meant no functioning kitchen for six weeks, which with a young family was really hard.” Her kitchen reno advice? “Make sure you have a good back-up kitchen set up to see you through the weeks with no cooler and sink,” she says. (Click here to see her makeshift kitchen setup in she used in the meantime.)

Credit: Mel Sinclair

But the long wait (and the makeshift kitchen) were worth it! “Once the walls were down, things moved quickly and we soon had a gorgeous, bright kitchen we could use,” Mel says. She still plans to add wood texture to the back of the counter for a bit more warmth, but for now, she loves her minimal yet maximal-function kitchen.

“I think for the money we’ve spent on this, it looks pretty fab,” she writes on Instagram.