Kitchen Before & After: A Young Couple, a Fixer-Upper, and a Dream Kitchen Result

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Hayley R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)

Before Hayley and her now-husband got married, they found a “well-kept fixer upper” in their ideal neighborhood. The realtor assured them that all they needed was a kitchen remodel, which sounded not so hard at the time. Of course, we know that kitchen remodels are no small undertaking — and they now know that, too! Fortunately, it all worked out and they have a dreamy kitchen to show for it. See what their kitchen looks like now, and how they did it:

(Image credit: Hayley R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)

Lovely! Here’s what Hayley wrote to us about the project:

We are in love with the results of our new kitchen. The old one probably had not been updated since the 70s and it was in desperate need of being just taken down to the studs. Here were our main layout and styling issues:

  • Problem #1: A long, skinny, incredibly awkward island running right through the middle of the kitchen.
  • Problem #2: A door to our back porch at the back of the kitchen which basically forced the pretty large space into a galley style kitchen. Overall, just throwing off the whole flow of the space.
  • Problem #3: A low hanging window on the left wall that we think was supposed to be for a desk area, but just ended up being a huge problem due to the window sitting too low to put standard countertops down.
  • Problem #4: The ever awesome washer/dryer in the kitchen fiasco. Ummm, no.
  • Problem #5: Dark mexican type tiling running half way through the room. We prayed for hardwoods to be underneath, but unfortunately they were rotting so it all had to be replaced and matched to the rest of the room.
(Image credit: Hayley R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)
(Image credit: Hayley R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)

And here’s how they fixed it!

  • We moved the washer/dryer into a long narrow sunroom that we had, which really did not allow for much use due to its odd length and width.
  • We moved the back door to where the low hanging window was, which allowed for more light with the full window door and a wrap around kitchen look rather than the at first concerning galley style look.
  • We put a beautiful hood vent and floating shelves to match the gray walls where the door once was to provide a beautiful focal point when you walk into the room.
  • We still wanted an island, but did not like the idea of the breakfast bar completing the wrap around as we had seen it in every single cookie cutter apartment we had previously lived in. Therefore, we created a detached island that looks into the kitchen which allowed for a breakfast bar and island mix.
  • There was no room to put a pantry, and we were concerned that just simply doing a wrap around would not give us the space we needed for both food and dishes. We created an amazing “hutch” out of cabinets that gives us an adorable “mini bar” in the middle where we were able to do a fun chevron look with subway and long gray backsplash tiles. This gives the kitchen an extra pop of fun while still remaining traditional and allows us the extra cabinet space we so desired.
(Image credit: Hayley R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)
(Image credit: Hayley R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)
(Image credit: Hayley R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)
(Image credit: Hayley R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)

Despite all the contractor troubles, Hayley said, “we were able to pull through and get the kitchen we had been dreaming about!”

Thanks so much for sharing, Hayley!

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