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How Designer Elizabeth Cooper Blended Farmhouse and Coastal Styles in a Cozy California Kitchen

makeover of the week - Elizabeth Cooper kitchen redo

Design: Elizabeth Cooper Interior Design, Photo: Tony George

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.

Our vision for this project was to create a timeless kitchen reflective of 1916, the year the house was built,” interior designer Elizabeth Cooper says. “Classic details, such as a vintage oven, antique light fixtures, board-and-batten walls, a Dutch door, and a beamed ceiling, all contribute to an early twentieth century aesthetic.

Meet the Expert

Interior designer Elizabeth Cooper, principal and founder of Elizabeth Cooper Interior Design in New York and San Francisco, is known for mixing pops of color with modern art, antiques, and unique finds. 


makeover of the week before image Elizabeth Cooper

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Cooper

Removing the corner cabinet allowed us to line the back wall with windows, filling the room with natural light and fresh air," Cooper notes. "We kept the windows curtain-free to reveal the beautiful California pine trees outside. “Adding three shelves in front of one of the windows created additional storage space for plates and bowls.”


makeover of the week - Elizabeth Cooper sunny bright kitchen

Design: Elizabeth Cooper Interior Design, Photo: Tony George

The homeowners are originally from a beach town in Connecticut, so we wanted to produce a similar aesthetic on the West Coast using a style we call farmhouse coastal, which resulted in a space that’s sunny, authentic, and welcoming,” says Cooper.

What Changed: 

  • Color theme:  Crisp white hues paired with rich grey shades create a timeless and classic look. 
  • Cabinets: Brass pull hardware compliment the shaker-style cabinets. 
  • Shelving: White shelving blends in with the walls and provides essential storage for glassware, plates, and bowls. 
  • Countertop: Grey-veined white Carrara marble is fancy, yet subtle enough to work with a farmhouse style. 
  • Tile: An 8” strip of Carrara marble under the windows catches spills and splashes while 2” x 4” subway tiles appear above the stove.
  • Center island: The warm mahogany top on the custom island contributes to the farmhouse feel. 
  • Ceiling: The x-form trestle supports add visual interest and create an illusion of height. 
  • Sink: A fireclay apron sink is reflective of twentieth century style.
  • Sink faucet: An old school faucet with an unlacquered brass finish will develop a patinated finish over time.  
  • Lights: Three ceiling lights mix industrial and nautical style and play nicely with two pendants in the room.
  • Oven: A restored vintage range is paired with a box shaped board and batten hood.
  • Stools: Dark stained walnut stools contribute to the old-world feel and add contrast to the lighter woods on the floor and island. 
  • Table: An oak farmhouse table seats eight and features a warm and weathered patina. 
  • Armchair: The armchair, covered in a bright print, provides a pop of color and a comfy seating option.
  • Caning chair: Bauhaus chairs made of cane and wood add a modern yet vintage vibe to the space. 
  • Dutch door: A vintage-looking new Dutch door adds 20th century character to the room. 
  • Floor: Natural colored hardwoods epitomize classic farmhouse style and play off the warm yellow hue of the brass hardware.

Shop the Look: 

Makeover of the Week - Elizabeth Cooper kitchen makeover breakfast nook

Design: Elizabeth Cooper Interior Design, Photo: Tony George

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