Before and After: A Dark Kitchen Gets a Bright, Elegant Makeover

Updated 05/04/19

It's always striking just how dramatically the right design can completely transform a room. Designer Alexandra Kaehler recently worked her magic to bring new life to a dark and outdated kitchen space. Built in 2004, the original kitchen interior was brown and lifeless, showcasing traditional hardwood moldings but not inciting any energy. Kaehler had already worked with the client on other rooms in their home, including the family room, office, and mudroom laundry room.

"It was so much fun to tie the kitchen into the rest of the work we had done in the house," Kaehler tells MyDomaine. To do this, they gutted the entire space. "The very brown kitchen was totally ripped out, and we got to start over," she explains. The new light-filled space is hardly recognizable when compared to the original photo. Kaehler gave the new kitchen a sleek, white design that balances both modern and traditional elements.

Swipe the button to the right to see the before and after, and then keep scrolling to see more photos of the finished space.

Heather Talbert

The kitchen's striking range top was the only existing piece that Kaehler worked with. Everything else in the kitchen is brand-new.

Heather Talbert

"The airy brightness" is Kaehler's favorite thing about the space, "especially coming from what it used to look like!" she says. She also notes the contrast of how dark the kitchen was before. "Now the space feels alive and vibrant."

Heather Talbert

"White just felt classic and timeless," Kaehler says of the color scheme, "but we wanted to bring in color through the window treatment and runner. Purple and chartreuse were a great choice off of the family room. They complemented the white cabinets but still felt somewhat subtle."

Heather Talbert

Kaehler admits that the only challenge of this project was getting the hood mounted to the wall. "It was crazy," she says. "Otherwise, nothing. These clients are such a joy to work with. They have a defined aesthetic, one I know well from working with them over the years!"

You have to see these five striking kitchen makeovers to believe them. 

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