{Before & After} From Dark + Dated to Light + Bright Kitchen Reveal

A couple months ago I started a kitchen remodel with one of my favorite clients (am I allowed to say that?! ha!) She found me after we both got our puppies from the same breeder last summer and we were added to the same Facebook group. I posted a picture of our dog, Lincoln, into the group and she eventually found my instagram and realized I was an interior designer in Grand Rapids, where she also lives! Gotta love this aspect of social media :)

Anyways, she reached out to me via Facebook to see if we could get the dogs together and have a consultation for her home. When I went over to her house, she explained how sad her house made her because just two years prior to this, they hired another designer in the area to help them decorate and update the builder grade kitchen. I was honestly sort of surprised, too, because of how my client described the way she wanted her home to feel. She kept repeating "light and bright, cozy, yet not dark at all. Beautiful, comfortable and fresh. Just like your instagram!" ;) Ha! I loved her already.

What the other designer did was the opposite of all of those things! I am always puzzled when people don't get what they want when working with a designer. My main goal is to listen to what my client's want and then help them make well-informed design decisions based on my skill and knowledge, but also based on how they tell me they want their home to look and feel. The feeling aspect of the question is really important to me because our homes are where we LIVE. It's where our most joyful and most tender moments take place and because of that, these four walls are precious and should be a reflection of you, your family, and be the backdrop to living a meaningful life.

No disrespect meant to this other designer (I don't even know who it is), but this backsplash she had them put in...does it read light, bright, updated, and comfortable/fresh to anyone?! My poor client was distraught, so I was quick to remind her that this can be fixed! Every step of the way she was SO happy with the progress. Even JUST changing the backsplash was the biggest improvement!

Here's what we started with:

We changed out the backsplash and the countertops first, since we didn't want the installers to mess up the freshly painted cabinets. This order worked really well for us and I highly suggest doing this if you're doing a kitchen refresh that includes backsplash and painting cabinets.

The subway tile we chose has a pretty sheen and little bevel detail to give it some depth and texture. We went with a light gray grout to pick up the gray tones in the beautiful new quartz countertops.  

Before, the kitchen was dark and had a very orange-y shadow because of the orange cabinets. Now it's light and bright, just like my client wanted! To avoid it being sterile, I headed over to her house last week to decorate and style the countertops. Keep scrolling to see how it turned out.

The wall color here is BM Stonington Gray at 75%, which we chose strategically for its blue undertone. The previous color was a medium to dark gray with a subtle green undertone, but with the skylights they have in the room and the way the recessed cans and windows were positioned in the room, the color went VERY green in the afternoon and evening. They hated it and wanted something that would look more like a TRUE gray. So we found a lighter gray paint with a blue undertone to help counteract the green shadows in the living room. It worked like a charm and now they love their wall color throughout their main level! You can see here it really is a true gray.

And now with it styled...

We kept it simple by doing a few key vignettes and also pulled in the colors from the living room which the kitchen opens to on the left. The blues and greens marry the two spaces perfectly. One day we'll get them all professionally photographed so you can see the whole space!

 pineapple cutting board / blue spiral bowls / patterned bowl (sold out, but here's a link to the collection)

tea pot / small victories cookbook / 30 minute one pot meals / host cookbook 

So there you have it! A few key pieces in thoughtful vignettes across the counter to bring some interest and homey-ness to the kitchen! The goal was to bounce some color intentionally around on the counter top, but still have it feel like a white, neutral kitchen overall. I love how it turned out, and most importantly, so does my client and her husband! 

Remember how I mentioned we met through out puppies?! It'd be a diservice NOT to show them to you here ;) 

 Lincoln, Jake, Quinn

Ahh, melts my heart! 

Hope you enjoy your week, friends!

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Thank you for stopping by! If you have a specific question, please email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns.com. I always reply to emails! Have a blessed day! xoxo

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