A happy kitchen before and after

It’s a good day at the Pyper household. The twins are outside “working” on their playhouse, and I’m inside cleaning the kitchen. This is the happiest room in the house, so today I’m going to show you its journey from dark and dumpy to pretty darn sunny.

When we bought the house, the kitchen was red and dark.

A couple months in, my husband and in-laws painted it gray while I was out of town, which was a major improvement.

Still, the kitchen floor was terrible. The white grout was stained black, and we had three-inch thresholds at all doorways because this tile was stacked on linoleum stacked on fir.

Not to mention we had a huge pillar smack in the middle of the room that was concealing (not very discretely) a sewer-vent pipe.

Also, the kitchen cabinets were cheap and falling apart. I was missing three doors by the time we remodeled. Our appliances were about to die (I prayed the dishwasher would just hang on until we moved out, and it did!).

Our sink leaked, we had a major ceiling leak by the back door last winter, and the pantry was a waste of space.

I spent a lot of time figuring out just what I wanted in a kitchen: cozy and cottage-y with just a touch of babushka. I wanted something that looked like a house you’d walk into in the Eastern European countryside.

So here’s the “after”:

First, the massive construction: We bumped out the south wall six feet. In the new wall we made sure to place new windows in the same size and spots where they had been originally.

The pillar was removed, and a breakfast bench was built in. The seats are hinged, so I can store stuff inside.

We saved the hardwood floors, which aren’t perfect but are delightful and warm. And no more thresholds!

We chose inset cabinet drawers in a warm white with simple black porcelain knobs. Our countertops are quartz.

Of course, the tile is the showstopper. It’s so warm, and we had just enough to do the whole south wall and behind the stove.

Our island holds the microwave, which I am loving! If you are on the fence about putting your microwave there, do it!

And the appliances are such a treat. We went with the Frigidaire Professional line, and we could not be more impressed. They’re super easy to keep clean, and they make it look like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen. Which I don’t.

And our new pantry is such an improvement over the sad closet we had before (see below).



I still have work to do in here, like choosing a rug for in front of the sink and a table for the breakfast nook, but for now, I am a happy camper. Yesterday we made dinner as a family and didn’t run into each other even one time!

I know yellow is a color you either love or hate, but I think everyone should run with colors they love. And I love happy, golden yellow.

I’ll post a source list later this week—thanks for your patience! But if you have questions, please leave them in the comments. 

7 thoughts

  1. New word of the day: babushka!
    I totally agree about doing what makes you happy. I LOVE the yellow tile. And I think that even if something isn’t exactly someone else’s style, they’ll still pick up on the love and thought that went into it and admire it!


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