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The Best Part of This Once Dysfunctional Kitchen Is Its Baking Corner

Bright white kitchen with wooden island and gold hardware.

Nicole Dianne Photography

Little storage, no pantry, and an awkward blockade of a wall were just some of the main concerns when it came to designer Jessica Jones’ kitchen remodel. The home, located in Placerville, California, was built in the early 1980s, and the family purchased it in November 2019. 

“We moved from the East Bay and wanted land and it backs up to the lake” Jones says. Besides the evident drawbacks of the kitchen, they fell for the home’s vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and beautiful woodwork. The home had good bones, and Jones' family knew they could create something both stylish and family-friendly. 

Jones and her baby in the kitchen.

Nicole Dianne Photography

Jones aimed to take the old 80s orange-brown cabinetry and blue laminate countertops and swap them in for more sophisticated, muted choices. “We wanted an earthy, European modern look that would be open-concept and bring in elements that would complement the exposed beams,” she says. “Plus, a large Italian range as the center of attention.”

We wanted an earthy, European modern look that would be open-concept and bring in elements that would complement the exposed beams.

The odd dining room, originally placed in an under-the-stairs nook you could hit your head on, according to Jones, would become a pantry with hidden play space for their now two-year-old daughter. 

Under the stairs pantry.


But once construction started, there were plenty of unforeseen obstacles. “We found dead rodents in our walls and we had to completely re-drywall the entire house, which took up a chunk of our budget for the kitchen,” Jones recalls. Furthermore, moving and renovating the fixer-upper with three dogs and a toddler in tow made the 18-month renovation that more challenging. 

Today, the kitchen features Semihandmade’s DIY Shaker doors and drawers for a more custom look on a budget. The look was finished off with brass hardware, a Hallman Double Oven Dual Fuel Italian Range, botanical wallpaper from Wayfair, and a DIY’d hood utilizing wood framing, drywall, and paint.

White kitchen sink and window.

Nicole Dianne Photography

Then, there’s a baking corner, set off from the main kitchen. It’s where Jones makes her daughter’s favorite banana bread and holiday cookies. The refrigerator and microwave, alongside storage, her KitchenAid mixer, and utensils are all located here, making it an unconventional but highly functional and surprising space. “It ended up working very well,” she says. 

Under the stairs pantry storage.

Nicole Dianne Photography

The family moved-in in July 2020, and Jones’ main piece of advice to all those looking to DIY their own kitchen remodels would be to measure, measure, and measure again.

“We started designing before we had the layout,” she says. “With the pantry, the measurements weren’t correct, so I would triple measure everything so you don’t have to go back and change things.”

Husky dog in the kitchen.

Nicole Dianne Photography