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My Sister’s House: A Timeless Kitchen Before + After


    I have two sisters: Amy and Hillary (here we are with our pretty mama). Amy is married to Eric and they have two of my favorite kids ever. They live in a family-friendly older neighborhood in Seattle, are UW graduates and big Husky fans, they love to entertain, work hard and make every party more fun.

    Last summer, they basically redid their entire house. New floors, doors, windows, moulding, hardware, bathroom and the most fabulous kitchen and dining space.

    Amy + Eric have made big and little upgrades to their 1953 house over the past 8 years – finishing out the basement, redoing landscaping, painting the old kitchen cabinets and adding stick-on tiles to the floor (a make-do job before they took the plunge on redoing it completely).  They are busy and active and took their time saving up and planning out before taking on this big renovation.

    When I saw the finished kitchen/dining/living space, I was in love. It is so bright and open and classic and chic. You will be amazed at the transformation!

    I’ve been meaning to take photos so I could share on here, but every time we’re over there, it’s a family thing and we make a mess of their pretty house (like taking over the living room with tables to fit everyone for thanksgiving or cheering for our Seahawks together).

    Last weekend we stopped by to pick up the kids and I happened to have my camera in the car, so I barged my way in and took a bunch of photos. Ready to see?

    Let’s start with the befores:

    When you walked in the entry, the living room was the first room which lead to the dining room.


    It’s hard to tell from this photo since there is already plastic up covering the dining room opening, but from the dining room is where you entered the kitchen.


    The kitchen was cut off from the rest of the house and because they loved to entertain, it made group parties difficult.

    After living in a construction zone with a make-shift kitchen set up in their basement laundry room all summer, their house was finally done. And it looks so good!

    Here it is, in it’s classic, bright, and very chic glory:













    Isn’t it wonderful?!

    They didn’t change the footprint of the kitchen, but by taking down the wall in between the kitchen and dining rooms and creating a half-wall with peninsula between the kitchen and living rooms, the space is now so much more open. They carried the oak floors throughout the kitchen, refinishing the originals and staining the new ones to match. Walls were painted crisp white, the original single-paned windows were replaced, classic white trim work was added and new can lights throughout. The kitchen received all new cabinets (gray on the bottom, white up top), counters are marble (the first etching was so sad! but now they are more relaxed about it), and the brass hardware tops it all off.

    Did you notice the antique mirror in the dining room built-in? It’s my favorite part.

    Just to really appreciate the difference, check out these side-by-side before and after shots:



    The renovation was such a success. It’s beautiful, of course, but I mostly love that by opening up the space, making the kitchen layout more functional and allowing for better traffic flow, Amy and Eric’s house works so much better for the gatherings they enjoy hosting. Because a home, after all, is for enjoying and sharing and no one does that better than my sister and brother-in-law.


    Inspired by: Elements of Style by Erin Gates
    Wall paint: Kitchen/living/hall – Benjamin Moore Simply White (trim/doors are the same color, different sheen)
    Cabinet paint: Simply White (uppers), Benjamin Moore Cape May Cobblestone (lowers)
    Hardware: Schoolhouse Electric, Edgecliff Pulls, Riverwood Knobs, all in natural brass
    Counters: 3cm honed Carrara marble
    Faucets: Grohe Concetto Single Handle Pull-Down Spray Kitchen Faucet
    Dish towel: You Are So Incredibly Awesome from Paper Source
    Doorknobs: Baldwin Round Reserve (I love these doorknobs!)
    Contractor: Adam Hedin / Hedin Construction

    P.S. Come back on Wednesday to see a project we just finished in my little sister’s new house!

    44 thoughts on “My Sister’s House: A Timeless Kitchen Before + After”

    1. I love your sisters kitchen!!! Do you know what size the cabinet pulls are? The 8″?? I’m trying to find something comparable at a lower price – I LOVE the look of the hardware!!

    2. Oh wow! This is gorgeous! My home in Austin is similar in a lot of ways, so I ate this up. From the source list it looks like the upper cabinets are the same as the wall color throughout the house- is that accurate? My living area is an open space and my walls are white (BM White Dove x 2), and I’m hoping to have my kitchen cabinets painted soon but have had a hard time figuring out if I should stick with the same white or go with a different shade. Any insight?!

    3. Love it all! Her dining room is exactly what I have been looking for. Do you know where they purchased it from? We are local Seahawks fans, too!

    4. Thanks for sharing your sisters kitchen. It’s obvious fabulous style runs in the family. Is it possible to share the source for Amy’s sink? Do you think you will do a complete home tour of your sister’s home at some point?

      1. I’d love to do a full tour! I took photos of her bathroom as well, but I don’t have any good befores. I’ll get those from my brother-in-law and then post.

    5. Hi Emily! I have one of those blue chairs (almost identical) on my vision board! Those chairs are gorgeous, where did she get them?

      1. I have decided to postpone until the fall. We’re leaving for a few months and I was hoping to squeeze the class in because I’m just so excited to talk about it, but we decided today that it’s insane. I must wait :) So look for Simplified Decorating in early Fall!

    6. Love this! I love this clean, white/gray/neutral, simple trend…I often wonder with trends if in 20 years we’ll say oh that looks so 10’s! haha!
      Will you address “trend-surfing” in your class? We’ll be selling our house in the next year and are trying to update a bit, but not too much. Like our contractor said there’s no way he’d put in a barn door as they’re on their way out.

    7. Love everything about this reveal! Would love to know where she got the mirror back splash. Been wanting to do that for years but have no idea where to get one.

      1. Google glass and mirror stores in your area. They will custom cut to the size you want. You might even be able to get a mirror the right size by buying one at a store and removing the frame.

    8. Could you find out what grout she used in her kitchen? It’s the perfect shade!! She has a beautiful house, great taste!! Thanks!

    9. This looks very much like what my husband and I are hoping to do with our kitchen this summer, including upper white cabinets and lower grey ones, though probably quartz counters that mimic Carrara marble, because I know the etching would do me in! Do you happen to know what color grout they used between the white subway tile? It all looks great!

    10. Can you tell me a little more about honed marble? We have marble on our island and it isn’t kid friendly- or adult friendly for that matter- water spots show and corrodes easily with acidic juices) I am impressed if this is the barged in look :) mine would have clutter and dishes in sink!

    11. You have one talented family lovely lady!!! Love that you’re show-casing your extended family too – you guys are amazing!!

        1. yes! I’d love to know what cabinets they got. I’m looking at redoing my kitchen that look similar and she has chosen almost everything I would have, but cabinets are really throwing me for a loop!

      1. The dining room chandelier was original to the home. They debated about switching it out, but decided to keep at least one original part of the house!

    12. Very inspiring, open and clean looking! The kitchen is so much warmer with the wood floor. I love the navy chairs and zebra rug too :)

    13. I’d love to attend your online class, but I’ll be at work during that time. Will you be recording so we can watch later?

    14. Oh man, do I love a good before + after! This one is just perfect. Love the subway tile, the brass hardware, the light uppers/dark lowers… basically, all of my favorite things came to life in your sister’s home! I can only imagine how she gets anything done – I’d just sit in my living room and stare lovingly at my kitchen. ;)

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