Project Rewind – My Favorite Takeaways from the 6 Kitchens We have renovated!

February 10, 2021

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With our upcoming kitchen remodel (our number one project on our 2021 to-do list), we’ve had kitchens on our minds. So I thought it would be fun to look back at the 6 kitchens we’ve renovated and documented in the past and revisit them and maybe even pick out a few things (if any) I would still implement in a kitchen today.

1. Utah Kitchen 2013

I think it’s important to note this was 2013! And our first home! And I used a rejuvenation sconce over the sink! There are a lot of things here I would do differently today– but the floor the ceiling marble tile around the pantry–*chef’s kiss!* and I’m still a sucker for walnut butcher block counters. If you don’t want it to be your sole countertop, integrate it into an island or accent counter. I love the warmth it adds to this day!

2. Yale Kitchen 2015 

We finished the kitchen in our previous home in 2015 and I never stopped loving it. I STILL love it 6 years later. As you can see, we used walnut on the island and DIY white concrete counters on the perimeter. I love the idea of mixing countertops. Having something different on your perimeter than your island is as fresh as mixed metals.

3. Pittsburgh Kitchen 2016

In 2016, we traveled to Pittsburgh to tackle a 6 day kitchen renovation and it’s one of my favorite before and afters to date.

My favorite takeaway is art belongs everywhere–especially the kitchen. We reached out to the owners (okay, it’s my aunt and uncle) just this week to see how their kitchen has held up and they so graciously gave us some feedback to share with you!

“I love my kitchen, remodeled and designed by Chris loves Julia a few years ago. It is sleek, and modern, and very open and bright. It is gorgeous.

I come from a large italian home, therefore very family –oriented. It’s understood that I will host for holidays, and pretty much any event (Kentucky Derby, Academy Awards) The kitchen has inspired the creative cook in all of us, and we’ve all added a few touches, or appliances to make the area our own. The kitchen actually hasn’t changed – most of it has stayed as pristine and lovely as the day it was completed. My pride and joy!

Something stuck with me not long after it was remodeled. I was asked ‘what do you like best about your kitchen?’ and at the time, I blurted out ‘the cabinets with the pull out shelves (IKEA)’, pausing, and adding,” no, wait – I mean the lighting!’ referring to the modern urban ceiling light fixture.

Later I wanted to call her back and tell her ‘it’s the appliances, definitely the appliances.’ This went on with me. I still do it because I love every little detail big and small.

Tomorrow when I do my weekly baking, I’ll wipe down the butcher block counter-tops and whisper to myself ‘oh, I like you the best!'” -Betsy Worrall

4. Baltimore Kitchen 2017

The following year, we were hired by Lowe’s to do a 3 day makeover for one lucky winner. (These timelines kept getting shorter!) We flew to Baltimore with our dream team and completely transformed this 100 year old kitchen.

My favorite takeaway: If there’s brick to be exposed–do that! And! a shelf under upper cabinets is completely charming and functional (we’ve implemented it in our own kitchen since!)

We also reached out to these sweet homeowners to see how it has worked for them since the renovation. Here’s what Aura had to say!

“We’re approaching four years since Chris and Julia (plus soon-to-be-born Polly!), Scott and Kim, Daniel, and Brandon renovated our kitchen over the course of just a long weekend. We’re as in love with the result today as we were the day of the reveal. The taller ceiling with beautiful beadboard is a noticeable feature that continues to wow us. It makes the room feel bigger, brighter, and connected to our adjoining living room. Our island was another game-changer from the project. We’ve enjoyed having a space to prepare meals, eat casually, and clean up easily (the island houses a dishwasher we sorely missed previously). We’ve used the island to fill fresh pasta, prep homemade pizza before it makes its trip to the oven, stage a buffet when hosting, and unpack groceries close to the fridge. The “butcher board” counters have held up remarkably well for the material, though we admit are due for a refinishing (it’s on our to-do list!). Julia nailed the balance of open shelving and traditional cabinetry, and we’ve been delighted by how easy it is to access our daily glasses and dishes. It’s a testament to the team’s design and craft that not much has changed since 2017. Over time, we’ve swapped the stools (we still use the originals if we have guests) and enhanced the interiors of our pantry and cabinets by adding in storage solutions for our microwave, sheet pans, cutting boards, spices, etc. We’re looking forward to loving this space for years to come.” -Aura Weiner

5. Fullmer Kitchen 2019

In 2019, we tackled the Fullmer’s kitchen. It was such a fun renovation to do with our best friends and the result was warm and fresh.

We used the wood cabinets from our Semihandmade line (in Cove) here and I still love the idea of wood cabinets and I think they are only starting to trend more. I also still love a tiled hood and statement chandelier over the island instead of pendants.

Here’s what Kelsi had to say about her kitchen almost 2 years later!

“I have tried to think of one thing I would want to change in this kitchen and the truth is…there isn’t one thing I would change! I told Julia everything I dreamed of in a kitchen and she even added things I didn’t know I needed and here we have my perfect kitchen. We don’t have a pantry in our house and I don’t even find myself wishing I had one there is so much storage. My favorite parts are the Cleaning cabinet and the toaster cabinet and the fun hidden drawers where I can hide the knives and my treats. The layout is just so functional and I still find myself staring at it a year and a half later. Oh and the wall of dreamy tile never gets old either!”  -Kelsi Fullmer

6. Idaho Kitchen 2019

In the same year, we did a phase 1, $1000 makeover of our kitchen in our new house and it has served us so well during this interim before a full renovation of this space.

The things I still love? A free-standing cabinet absolutely has a spot in the kitchen and I LOVE glass front cabinets. LOVE THEM. Will absolutely do it again. I also love the idea of all of the cabinets painted one color and even the backsplash. It feels bold even when the color is soft and nearly neutral.

I’m still working on designs for our new kitchen, but I can confidently say that it will include a lot of my takeaways from these!

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What do you think?

  1. LOVE this. Great information! This was super helpful!

  2. Lauren says:

    Don’t for your A-frame kitchen! (I <3 all of them!)

  3. Wendy says:

    Love your style! We are currently in the midst of a kitchen remodel. What is the fridge in the Pittsburgh kitchen?

  4. Mary Elizabeth Guimbarda says:

    I’m super curious of your pros/cons of having two 30″ ranges side by side. I am planning a remodel and I cook A LOT. I was looking into a 48″, but after looking at the costs, the double 30″ seems more economical and gives me more room to cook. Any negatives to it?

  5. Julie says:

    Nice jobs. I get why you do it, but please don’t style the Kitchen Aid on the top shelf anymore. I cringe every time I see those pictures. There should be minimal functional consideration when styling.

    • Suzy says:

      I’m confused by this comment. Why is this bad? I keep my KitchenAid on a high shelf and use it almost daily; it’s just where I like keeping it. It makes me happy.

    • This is probably a case of “what works for some people won’t work for everyone.” Julia is 6′ and Chris is even taller — getting the kitchenaid off the shelf isn’t as big of a deal for them as it would be for someone who’s even my height (5’8)

      Perhaps it IS functional for them?

  6. julie says:

    These all look so beautiful. You have had great style and taste since day one. I am wondering why people would refinish their butcher block tops though. I have a butcher block portion in my kitchen island and this is where I cut all my veggies, slice all my home made bread daily. All I do is put mineral oil on it to keep the wood conditioned. It is so much nicer than having a little cutting board. My garbage can is situated in the cabinet right under it and all the waste and crumbs I just scrape right into it. I couldn’t live without a wooden countertop again.

  7. Colleen says:

    The impact that paint and moving cabinets around is phenomenal in your current kitchen! I’m thinking of using the color SW Thunderous on my older cabinets to freshen them up! Thank you for making DIY a little less scary for the rest of us! You guys rock!????

  8. Meghan says:

    Can we just take a moment and talk about how you did six kitchens (seven with the cabin!) in tenish years?! We have only renovated two in that timeframe and I thought I was exhausted:) Bravo!

  9. Holli Read says:

    All of the kitchen look great in their own way!! Love different elements in all of them. Would you share the paint colors you used on the cabinets and walls in your temporary kitchen re-do ( the last one). I also LOVE the glass front cabinet!!! Where did you get it?

  10. Brittany D says:

    So crazy! I started following you right after you redid your first kitchen! I can’t believe it has been that long. I love every single one you guys do! So inspiring! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your new house kitchen!

  11. Have you ever had trouble with butcher block around the kitchen sink? says:

    Have you ever had trouble with butcher block around the kitchen sink? I have a friend and it started molding on the side of the sink.

  12. Kassie says:

    Love them all! The mix of black, white, and walnut is just spot on perfect. And I definitely think for your latest kitchen, the monochrome look can be so clean and classic. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  13. Amanda says:

    I’m currently redoing my kitchen and kind of kicking myself that I’m not waiting for you and Shavonda Gardner to do yours since I’m sure they’ll inspire me. I love the main elements I’ve chosen, but I’m inspired by the way you style your kitchen as well. I love the addition of art to your aunt’s kitchen.

  14. Danielle says:

    I remember loving the direction you were going to do with the cabin kitchen too. All of these kitchens have been an inspiration to me in my home.

  15. Eileen Malec says:

    I’ve admired that art in the Pittsburgh kitchen for awhile now. It’s your sisters work, correct? It’s exquisite, especially with the cabinet color. Can she sell art prints of it, please?!?
    If only you knew how closely I studied the Fullmer kitchen for my own. My husband didn’t have a lot of opinions regarding our kitchen, but now that the backsplash is the Bedrosian Cloe tiles, he’s obsessed with them and we both agree it’s the favorite element to our kitchen.

  16. LavandulaLady says:

    Everything you touch turns to gold. :-) Is there a dishwasher in the Fullmer kitchen?

  17. Jennifer says:

    The Fullmer kitchen- cannot believe that is the same angle! I have followed them for awhile now (actually found you through them, not the other way around funny enough) and could never figure out how the kitchen was reconfigured from their stories. The photos in this post are INSANE. That’s a stunning before and after!

  18. Annb says:

    Wow, did you have to move any walls particularly the left 1 on the Yale Kitchen? Looks more spacious on the after even with the appliances. ???? All beautiful remods

  19. Such an amazing portfolio of work!! I think the Fullmer’s is my favorite one you have done so far!! It’s so good!

  20. C Allen says:

    Love that you still love them. What would you do differently? You didn’t say.

    • Julia says:

      Because we don’t live in these kitchens (but one!) I didn’t want to make those that do second guess their kitchen you know?

      • Daisy says:

        The year is 2021, I am planning a facelift for my kitchen – and it won’t be unlike your 2013 design – blue cabinets, nickel hardware, open shelving and I already have globe glass pendants (which I don’t love, but they are Rejuvenation from previous owners and changing them seems wasteful). All this to say – I think it is amazing how your designs don’t really age and feel timeless.

  21. Your second kitchen is still my favorite! I think it’s all the windows and the classic colors!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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