Honestly, This Dramatic Kitchen Makeover Will Give You Life

Kitchen Makeover
Sarah Sherman Samuel

If you're an interior design enthusiast, there's nothing quite as satisfying as a before-and-after shot of a gorgeous kitchen remodel—except maybe an entire photo series with insider tips. There's just something about seeing all that potential come to life that makes us dream of about our own kitchens making a similar transformation. If this sounds like the inspiration you've been looking for, you're in the right place because this gorgeous kitchen, walk-in pantry, and adjoining dining room situation designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel is as good as it gets. 

When she started working with Eden Pasante, founder of food and lifestyle blog Sugar and Charm, they knew they needed to give the kitchen above a modern update. The goal was to give it some personal style and refinement while also making it a practical space for Passante's whole family, including her husband and two sons. Built in 1933, "I wanted to keep our house the small, charming cottage it is," Passante tells us. But she also wanted to open it up to create a brighter, timeless, and airier energy. So she started from scratch and teamed up with her architect Greg Coleman along with Samuels to achieve this vision.

Take a look at how it turned out for some serious design inspiration.

The Pre-Planning Stage

Contemporary Kitchen makeover
Sarah Sherman Samuel

This design's project began the way most beautiful design projects do: on a secret Pinterest board. "I created a secret Pinterest board and pinned rooms, colors, items, décor and anything that I loved to share with Sarah," Pessante tells us. "I wanted serene colors like sage, white, clays and for the kitchen. We both chose desert gray from Sarah’s line with Semi Handmade" for the cabinets, and that really serves as an anchor for the space.

Contemporary Kitchen Makeover
Sarah Sherman Samuel

"Eden shared inspiration from the beginning, and light neutral colors came up again and again," Samuels explains. So we decided on the cabinet color first and I built a palette around the warm desert gray. Whites, light wood tones, gold accents, and a few small pops of black let the cabinet color take center stage." Once they had the color palette set, they were ready to go.

All About the Remodel

Remodeled kitchen
Sarah Sherman Samuel

The house "was 1100 square feet when we bought it, and we added on 400 square feet during the remodel," Passante tells us. On top of the additional square footage, they also "removed walls, smoothed out the intense plaster, updated all doors and some windows, and refinished the garage." Unsurprisingly, the biggest challenge was the remodel itself. "Getting the permits, finding a contractor, managing everyone to do the work right" all while sticking within a budget makes things even more challenging, especially in the kitchen, a room where the layout and design really need to be functional. 

remodeled kitchen shelving
Sarah Sherman Samuel

On the other hand, because they gutted the entire thing and didn't hold onto any existing pieces, they were really able to start from scratch, which can be pretty liberating as a designer. They started with the cabinets, which really anchor the room. "We first chose the cabinets, which are IKEA boxes, but we used my signature line of cabinet doors with Semihandmade, which gives the space the look of a custom kitchen at a fraction of the price," says Samuels. Then, for the walls, they opted for Fireclay brick tile on the walls. As for the appliances "we originally thought about doing a larger range, but ultimately, I didn’t feel like I wanted to take up the space, so I’ve been super happy with this 30-inch one," Passante says. 

A Balance of Modern and Classic Rustic

Breakfast Nooks with modern and rustic details
Sarah Sherman Samuel

Though they "went through an entire remodel," the Passantes were still able to maintain the "exact facade and charm of the house," which "is a bungalow but also looks like it could be in the English countryside," making for a unique blend of styles that really does reflect Passante's personal aesthetic. She describes it as "clean and classic, charming and modern." Samuel's echoes this, adding that Passante is also drawn to environments with a touch of rustic style and plenty of warmth.

remodeled kitchen storage
Sarah Sherman Samuel

The finished product "is a dance of pieces with modern clean lines and more rustic cottage-like elements that balance each other out to reflect Pessante's personal style," Samuels tells us. And while these bigger ticket items set the tone for the rest of the room, we can't help but notice how much style power the tinier accent pieces are delivering. The open shelving is perfect, too, since it means we get to see the pretty dinnerware and serveware in all its glory. 

Creating Cohesion in the Dining Room

Contemporary Dining Room
Sarah Sherman Samuel

The same balance between casual and formal, approachable and cool, contemporary and classic extends into the dining area. Eden reveals, "Sarah found the most gorgeous, giant vintage rug from Old New House for the dining room and it is my favorite piece in the entire house! It’s stunning and adds so much color and style to the dining-room." The blue hue is saturated just enough to add a little intrigue without feeling out of place while the light wood furniture sticks to the light and airy, almost coastal-inspired vibe of the rest of the home. 

Casual Dining Room Style
Sarah Sherman Samuel

This is also thanks to the many windows throughout the space, which flood the entire home with natural light. "Everywhere you look in the house you can see outside, even in the dining room with two large skylights. We tried our best to create an indoor/outdoor living concept, and I truly feel like it is," Passante tells us. And even though it still feels cozy and inviting, this dining room is actually "large enough to seat 10 people when I entertain," says Passante.  

Still craving kitchen makeover inspiration? There's more where that came from. Take a look at this interior designer's kitchen remodel project. 

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