This Designer Overhauled a Mismatched Kitchen and Infused Midcentury Charm

Modern wood kitchen with blue pantry.

Design: Michelle Boudreau; Photo: Lance Gerber

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 homeowners love to hang and converse with family and friends while preparing meals,” designer Michelle Boudreau says. “Yet their previous kitchen didn’t have enough countertop space or storage. It was also a mix of different styles from farmhouse—with its wooden ceiling—to a bit modern with its cabinetry. They also dreamed of a bar area where they could make and serve cocktails while they entertained.”

Meet the Expert

Designer Michelle Boudreau is the owner of Michelle Boudreau Design in Palm Springs, California. She is passionate about modern design, architecture, and culture, so she strives to maintain the original integrity of her projects while showcasing them in a new light. 

Before:

Before shot of empty kitchen with small island table.

Courtesy of Michelle Boudreau

“The old kitchen felt very cold and lacked personality," Boudreau notes. "It had a dark, greyish-brown concrete floor, black granite countertops, awkward lighting including a yellow drum pendant and multiple mismatched sconces, and too few cabinets for dinnerware and cookware.”

After:

Modern kitchen with open bar and orb pendant lights.

Design: Michelle Boudreau; Photo: Lance Gerber

“The vision was to create a warmer and more functional kitchen that had a lot of personality,” Boudreau shares. “We chose to go with blue base and walnut top cabinets for a mix of richness and warmth. You’ll find hints of brass throughout, including on the oversized island pendants that are the jewels of this room and honor the metal that graced many midcentury homes.” 

Marble island in modern kitchen.

Design: Michelle Boudreau; Photo: Lance Gerber

What Changed:

  • Color theme:  Soothing blues, warm woods, brass touches, and bright whites work harmoniously in this space. 
  • Countertops: The durable quartz stone has soft grey veining and syncs with the gray concrete tile floor.
  • Cabinets: A mix of cool blue and warm walnut cabinets balance out the look and mood of the space.
  • Center island: Thin blades of brass can be found on the dark navy island, creating dimension and a modern linear pattern that moves with the light. 
  • Backsplash: Fresh white ceramic tile has a thin brass inlay and provides a clean contrast against the painted and wood cabinets.
  • Ceiling: The dark and blemished beams and tongue and groove ceiling were painted a fresh white to brighten up the space. 
  • Ceiling pendants: Extra-large round pendants are sliced in half to reveal a crescent-shaped brushed brass fascia. 
  • Wall planks: Midcentury walnut millwork adds dimension and pattern to the space with its brass inlays between the slats.
  • Bar: The bottles rest on a glass base and provide easy access to the owner’s spirits of choice. 
  • Stools: The leather-covered stools have a thin metal base that allows sightlines to the bar’s brass facing. 
  • Refrigerator: The refrigerator has discreet panel doors that create a pantry look and sits next to a wine column fridge that can hold up to 200 bottles.
  • Floor: A light-colored and large format concrete tile flows seamlessly throughout the space; a brass inlay is strategically placed between the tile at certain locations. 
  • Wall paint: The white walls were painted in a velvet matte finish for a smooth look (Dunn Edwards White Picket Fence).
  • Chairs: The dining chairs are covered in a tropical palm print that celebrates a colorful Palm Springs lifestyle.
  • Credenza: Three shades of blue were used in this colorful custom piece that stores dinnerware and other items.

Shop the Look:

Modern wood paneled kitchen with bar and stools.

Design: Michelle Boudreau; Photo: Lance Gerber

Crescent Light Pendant
Lumens Crescent Light Pendant $1965
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“The two halves of these pendants are made of an opal acrylic which produces a beautiful ambient light,” Boudreau says.

Variel Bar Stool
Juniper House Variel Bar Stool $492
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“These leather topped stools have an industrial edge and elicit the perfect amount of midcentury modern," Boudreau notes.

Tropical Ananas Linen Fabric
Schumacher Tropical Ananas Linen Fabric $210/yard
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"This fabric is similar to the one I used on the chairs. This nostalgic palm print pattern introduces a lively blue and coral pop of color,” Boudreau shares. 

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