Before & After: A Dark, Dated Kitchen Goes Light and Modern

Before & After: A Dark, Dated Kitchen Goes Light and Modern

Willi Galloway
Apr 27, 2012

Crammed into a dark corner of a Portland, Oregon Victorian home, this 70s era kitchen featured impossibly small counters, poor lighting, and ugly fake brick vinyl flooring. The transformation of this dim, dreary, and extremely dated space into a bright, modern dream kitchen is nothing short of astonishing.

When the homeowners decided to tackle this big remodeling job, they called upon the design firms ORANGEWALLstudios and Vanillawood. The top priorities were counter space, ample natural light, more storage, and a clean, simple design overall. To eliminate visual clutter, and banish the space's dark past, the designers settled on a primarily white palette to accentuate the family's great art collection and a statement pendant (not pictured). High gloss white Benjamin Moore porch paint coats the wooden floor, while the seamless expanse of white on the walls and vaulted ceiling accentuates its airiness. The addition of skylights and windows ensures that the space stays bright and cheerful, even on the rainiest Portland day.

The design effortlessly combines high and low, with Carrara marble counters sitting atop glossy white cabinets from Ikea. Sugatsune pulls dress up the cabinets and bright orange Marais stools from Design Within Reach punctuate the island, which serves as a cooking area (with a Viking stove), prep space, and gathering spot all in one. A stainless Hansgrohe faucet perches above a black Blanco composite sink. Chartreuse FLOR tiles, rather than a rug, protects the floor because the tiles do not slip, are easy to clean, and replaceable.The owners' cookbook collection, a trio of Jadeite bowls, and fresh flowers add pops of color and finish off the look.

Related: How Much Did Your Kitchen Renovation Cost?

(Images: Ty Milford)

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