Kitchen Tour

Before & After: Bold Yellow Accents and Walnut Cabinets Make a “Dated” Kitchen Pop

published Jan 31, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Island in kitchen before renovation.

All cooks — whether they’re professional chefs or prolific leftover reheaters — can appreciate a functional, stylish kitchen renovation. For someone like Marcella DiLonardo, an author, recipe developer, content creator, and founder of the blog Modest Marce, a kitchen transformation in her mid-century modern Ontario home was beneficial for both aesthetic reasons and business purposes. 

“I wanted a better kitchen designed for filming, more counter space, and more pantry space,” DiLonardo shares. “My previous kitchen didn’t have a pantry, which is not ideal as a recipe developer. My design goals were to create a Danish-inspired kitchen with a hint of mid-century modernity.”

DiLonardo sought inspiration from Nordiska Kök’s kitchens because she wanted a “European vibe that included natural wood tones and a bold marble,” she says. Founder and Creative Director of Studio Hemma, Meaghan Jones, helped achieve this look by designing the new kitchen layout. 

“[Jones] went above and beyond to ensure I had a kitchen that functioned for both living and work,” DiLonardo explains. “Switching from a tiny island to a large peninsula was her ingenious idea and it might just be my favorite part of the new design.”

How the Upgrade Makes Recipe Development Easier

The peninsula is the perfect space for DiLonardo to test out new recipes (she calls it “a dream!”). But other elements benefit her professionally, too, like the two custom pantries that line the refrigerator and have pull-out drawers (similar to this cleverly designed kitchen). Having all lower drawers in the space has made it easy to access appliances, props, ingredients, and cookware while she’s photographing her recipes.

“Maybe it’s oversaid now, but having all drawers makes life so much easier. No more ingredients getting lost in the back of a cabinet,” DiLonardo says. “Anyone else end up with 10 cans of sweetened condensed milk because they all got pushed back and hidden in a cabinet?” 

For all the functionality in the new kitchen, there’s equal flair, too. DiLonardo wanted the marble to be the space’s focal point, so she installed Ciot’s Viola Monet Honed Marble on the countertops and backsplash. The satin brass hardware, warm cabinets (Swede’s Shinnoki in “Smoked Walnut”), and striking picture window complete the space — which was demolished and finished in just eight weeks.

“I love the warmth the walnut cabinets bring in, the bold veining on the marble, and the fun pop of yellow in the corner cabinet to give it a hint of playfulness,” DiLonardo shares. “The layout functions so much better, and I feel spoiled to work in such a beautiful space.”

The kitchen renovation isn’t the only gorgeous room in DiLonardo’s home. To see more of her space, visit the full tour on Apartment Therapy — plus, take a look at how the space originally looked when she moved in.