Kitchen {Before & After}

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I promised Snapchat I would get this B&A up by today, and look at me making good on my promises. So I guess I forgot to post last Friday. Um, oops! I have no excuses. But hopefully today’s post will make up for it. Finally, finally, finally the Kitchen is complete!!! 8 Months after it all began. 8 Months. Like REALLY Ikea??? This week we finally had the correctly-sized countertops installed, wrapping up the renovation. Let me tell you, this kitchen has been DRAMA. Cabinets installed, cabinets ripped out. Lighting installed, lighting ripped out. Backsplash installed, backsplash chipped off and re-laid. Countertops installed, countertops ripped out and re-sized. Sigh. Why is it so hard to follow instructions?!

I sat down with a kitchen planner from Ikea the day I was admitted into the hospital for Juni’s cesarean (I was admitted the afternoon before the morning of the surgery) and we basically planned the entire thing out that morning. It was literally the last thing I wanted to do right before driving to the hospital to prepare for Juni’s birth. Unfortunately, it was the only day the guy could come out and I knew I wasn’t going to want to deal with planning the kitchen after Juni was born, so there I was. We are glad we made the decision to hire the planner because all of the mistakes ended up being his fault and no extra cost for us. FYI: I can confidently say I will never use Ikea again to plan and install any future kitchens for us. It was 8 long months of poor communication. Never again! (They probably don’t want to see us ever again either.)

The upside? I LOVE the new kitchen and it is a dream to cook in! Before, there was no storage, everything was run down or permanently stained and dirty. The appliances didn’t work well (if at all) and the design was DATED. The kitchen was closed off from the rest of the house, like a tiny, dark room. It was dreadful. We removed the wall separating the kitchen from the living room, closed off one of the doors in the kitchen and extended the cabinets and countertops out making the space feel much larger. I chose cabinets that would run up to the ceiling to maximize storage. We also added a dishwasher (left of the sink), which has made life a bit easier for me! The countertops were raised to modern height standards, so I no longer have a sore back from bending over while cooking dinner. I chose a design that was light and bright to make the room feel bigger. It worked! Even though this kitchen is still on the small side (according to American standards), it doesn’t feel like it. Everything finally has a place and there is plenty of counterspace for several people to be in the kitchen working at the same time. Speaking of countertops, I worried that the butcher block would be super high-maintenance, but so far it’s been fine. You do have to be more careful with hot pans and standing water, but it’s really not been a problem for me. We bought some extra stain for yearly maintenance of the wood and will probably refinish in the next couple of months.

A little note about the new flooring: It wasn’t something we had planned on replacing in the beginning, but we ended up having to rip out the old tile for several reasons. After visiting every tile shop in Vienna and hating everything that was in our budget, I moved my search online and chose this beautiful stuff sight-unseen. I ordered a pallet and said a little prayer that it would come in looking like the photograph online. It came in looking even better! I think I got lucky! In my opinion, the tile completes the whole look.

I hope you have enjoyed this much-anticipated Before & After! It’s our best yet, I think. If you haven’t been following along on Snapchat, the living/dining is also complete! I only need to get in my studio and work on some large-scale paintings to finish off the decor. For that reason, it might be another couple months until I reveal that B&A, just FYI. Hope you have a great weekend and I will see you back here next Friday! xoxo T

If you want to look back at the full Before + Inspiration post of this room, click here!

Also, if you have missed any of the other completed Before & After posts, click any of the links below:

Attic Master Bedroom B&A, Guest Room B&A, Studio B&A, Bathroom B&A, Kid’s Room B&A, 2nd Floor Entry & Hallway B&A.












  1. Jean Daly says:

    Sort of unbelievable!! Love it!!

    1. Tessa says:

      Thank you! I love that you saw the original in person!

  2. Kristen says:

    Wow, this is an amazing before and after! I’ve been looking forward to this post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Tessa says:

      I have also been anxious for this to be done! Glad you enjoyed the post!!!

  3. Mama Dawn says:

    Beautiful photos and kitchen! (and to think we were there for the jackhammering in June, and the Fix it Ikea try in December, but it was worth it! It turned out so great! xo

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