How One Designer Gave a Dingy '70s Kitchen a Dazzling Update

Navy and white kitchen makeover with gold fixtures.

Design: Stephanie Lindsey; Photo: Cate Black; 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.

“The house was built in the '70s, and the kitchen had never been updated," designer Stephanie Lindsey says. "My clients needed it to be functional, but also wanted a little glam and lots of natural light. With four small children, they knew they would be spending a lot of family time in this room."

Meet the Expert

Interior designer Stephanie Lindsey is a co-owner of the Etch Design Group in Austin, Texas. She strives to design transitional and modern spaces that offer a delicate balance between purpose and beauty.

Before:

All wood kitchen with dark lighting.

Courtesy of Stephanie Lindsey

“The original kitchen was very drab with dated brown cabinets, worn beige tiles on the floor, and a white and black tile countertop," Lindsey notes. "Nothing in the room spoke to the family. There was no aesthetic appeal whatsoever.”

After:

Luxe navy kitchen with gold fixtures.

Design: Stephanie Lindsey; Photo: Cate Black

“There are so many unique elements to this open design kitchen, but nothing overwhelms — the room’s colors, textures, and furnishings all work together,” Lindsey shares. “I was able to include high-end finishes yet also provide things like performance fabrics to make this a fashionable yet functional space. And of course, the La Cornue range is the room’s showstopper.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: A classic navy and cream combo pop against the room’s brass finishes. 
  • Cabinets: The simple white cabinets on each side of the window feature glass fronts that mirror the backsplash design. 
  • Cabinet hardware: Modern 6-inch satin brass pulls coordinate with the other brass elements in the space.
  • Countertops: Durable white quartz keeps things fresh and bright atop the blue bottom cabinets. 
  • Light fixtures: Modern lantern-style brass pendants provide task lighting and a focal point over the island. 
  • Windows: Larger curtain-free windows allow in lots of natural light and a view of the landscape.
  • Backsplash: The marble tile has a brass mosaic pattern that adds a luxe feel to the room. 
  • Sinks: The large farmhouse sink tackles the big cleaning jobs while the smaller island sink is used for meal prep.
  • Chairs: The brass-framed barrel back chairs are covered in a cream performance fabric. 
  • Carpet: The rug adds texture and color against the white cabinetry. 
  • Range: The chic white and brass La Cornue range set the tone for the entire kitchen design. 
  • Ovens: The top oven has a functional two-door configuration for everyday use, while the lower one serves as a secondary oven for bigger gatherings.
  • Floors: Dark walnut-colored wood floors add warmth to the space.

Shop the Look:

Gold and white backsplash in navy and white kitchen

Design: Stephanie Lindsey; Photo: Cate Black

Gebara Handle Cabinet Pull
Signature Hardware Gebara Handle Cabinet Pull $24
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“I love that these stylish pulls work in almost any style kitchen,” Lindsey says.

Modern Geometric Square Metal Frame Pendant Fixture
Cuadro Modern Geometric Metal Frame Pendant $80
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“These three pendants create an ambiance and soft glow when guests gather around the center island,” Lindsey says.

Emery Fabric Bar & Counter Stool
Restoration Hardware Emery Fabric Bar & Counter Stool $1,240
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“I love these counter stools because they have a kid-friendly fabric that’s easy to clean,” Lindsey says.

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