This Designer Created a Forever Kitchen for a Couple That Loves to Entertain—Here's How

Makeover of white kitchen with large gold pendant lighting.

Design: Kim Armstrong; Photo: Michael Hunter; Graphic: MyDomaine

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“My clients plan on retiring in this house and with that in mind, they wanted a more spacious and better-functioning kitchen to entertain their extended family who live in the area,” interior designer Kim Armstrong says. “Plus, they wanted a more curated feel, something that was more reflective of their personal design style.”

Meet the Expert

Interior designer Kim Armstrong, owner of Kim Armstrong Interior Design in Rockwall, Texas, is known for her fearless use of color and pattern, eclectic style, and thoughtful approach to design.

Before:

Before shot of bland white kitchen.

Courtesy of Kim Armstrong

“The husband is the chef in the family and really wanted a better workflow so he would have more space while preparing meals,” Armstrong shares. “In the prior kitchen, there was a lack of storage, the fridge and pantry were small, and the traffic pattern was tight. It also felt dark and isolated, even though it was an open concept design.”

After:

Bright sunny kitchen with blue cabinets.

Design: Kim Armstrong; Photo: Michael Hunter

“We completely overhauled the floorplan, blowing out a wall and incorporating an underused home office to expand the space,” Armstrong notes. “We then took some square footage from the garage to create a deeper pantry and increased the window size over the sink from 32” to 84” to let in more light. Next, I added one-of-a-kind items that would make the space feel special, including the antique corbels on the vent hood and the pantry barn door found at a salvage yard.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: Blue undertones create contrast against the room’s white and wood architectural elements. 
  • Cabinets: Flat paneled inset cabinets are paired with weathered nickel handles and glass knobs. 
  • Countertops: A taupe quartzite countertop is durable and easy to maintain.
  • Lights: Brass and glass schoolhouse style sconces add light over the sink, oversized brass lanterns make a statement above the island, while a single opalescent iridescent bell-shaped glass pendant suspends over the table.  
  • Sink: A porcelain farmhouse sink is paired with a large polished nickel gooseneck faucet. 
  • Center island: Carved wood arches offer up a unique design element on the face of the island while reclaimed wood adds warmth. 
  • Stove hood: The hood was designed with antique corbels, reclaimed wood, and herringbone planks for visual interest. 
  • Chairs: Lucite ghost chairs add a modern touch to the space. 
  • Barn door: A farmhouse door from the late 1800s maintains some of its original hardware. 
  • Bistro area: The round marble and iron vintage table is from a pub in London and the vintage Moravian chairs were a nod to ones seen in a Swedish restaurant. 
  • Appliances: Integrated panel-ready appliances are hidden within the cabinets. 
  • Floor: Wide-plank hickory wood floors keep things bright and sunny underfoot. 
  • Rug: The vintage 1940’s rug adds a pop of color to the floor and ties into many of the colors in the room. 
  • Wall art: A vintage hotel sign hangs against the shiplap pantry wall.
Custom range hood with antique wood.

Design: Kim Armstrong; Photo: Michael Hunter

Shop the Look:

Rustic farmhouse kitchen with barn door.

Design: Kim Armstrong; Photo: Michael Hunter

Katie Small Conical Sconce
Circa Lighting Katie Small Conical Sconce $429
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“I love the patina on these brass pendants and the simplicity of their design,” Armstrong says.

One Moore Stool
Design Within Reach One More Stool $475 $332
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“These clear chairs work in any setting, are easy to clean, and have a back for comfort,” Armstrong notes.

Metal Vertical Welcome Sign
Parisloft Metal Vertical Welcome Sign $20
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“I love signs as they can be bold, graphic, and set the room’s tone,” Armstrong says.

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