Before & After: Teal Cabinets Instantly Brighten a “Dark, Dreary” Kitchen

published Jul 7, 2024
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Dark brown wooden cabinets in kitchen with green island before renovation.

In the world of kitchen remodeling, there are entirely DIY projects (like this ‘80s kitchen makeover), while some transformations require professional help (and there’s no shame in that!). However, some unique makeovers are so hands-off, they take place while the homeowner is living in an entirely different country — at least, that was the case for Sonia Blair’s Latin American home. 

Blair owns a home in Mazatlan, Mexico, but lives in Colorado, too. She couldn’t be involved in the renovations, so she rightly trusted couple Sophia Boccard and Socrates Figueroa of 35 Agave Co., who left the hustle and bustle of New York City corporate life to fulfill their passion for remodeling homes in Mexico (their first project was actually featured on Apartment Therapy here!). 

It was up to the Boccards to take Blair’s kitchen makeover ideas and turn them into reality, even persuading her to take some color risks — and when it came to color, Blair had some strong options. “They requested a kitchen with ‘NO BROWN,’” Boccard says. “So much so, we even did micro cement to give the floors a polished concrete look.” 

Blair says the original kitchen was “dark and felt very boxed in,” and Boccard echoes that, describing it as “extremely dreary.” The goal was to make the space feel airy and match Blair’s personality. The existing kitchen had good bones, and they wanted to transform the room “without spending an arm and a leg,” Boccard shares. Blair’s design ideas were simple: “I knew I wanted to repurpose as much as the materials I could, add open shelving, and add glass to some of the cabinets to create less of a boxy feel.” 

After updating the existing cabinets, it was time to pick a paint color for them. Blair admits that it was “lots of trial and error with paint samples and looking for tile and countertop materials and color.” Luckily, she had Boccard there to encourage her to take a bold direction. “It’s not every day that someone decides to paint all their cabinetry green,” Boccard says. 

They landed on Behr’s “Midnight In The Tropics” for the cabinets, which adds such a pop to the cream-colored walls. Even though they replaced the existing tiles, countertop, and island, the makeover is a testament to the power of paint and simple additions. “I love everything about the kitchen,” Blair explains. “I especially love that from another country, 35 Agave Co. and I were able to make all my dreams come true.”