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How One Designer Relocated the Kitchen in a Victorian Home For Better Flow

makeover of the week - Jean Stoffer Victorian Kitchen makeover

Design: Jean Stoffer of Jean Stoffer Design, Photo: John Stoffer of Stoffer Photography Interiors

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 homeowner’s house was on the same block as this 1902 Victorian," interior designer Jean Stoffer says. "One day, the husband went out for a walk and noticed people in the yard taking pictures. He discovered the house was up for auction —that night! Having always admired the home, he bought it outright, without ever having seen the inside."

Meet the Expert

Jean Stoffer, a Michigan-based interior designer, is known for her unique kitchen designs that combine a traditional approach with a timeless, modern vibe. 


makeover of the week - Jean stoffer victorian kitchen before

Photo courtesy of Jean Stoffer of Jean Stoffer Design

The kitchen was located in a cramped north corner of the house, cut off from other rooms, and was in major disrepair,” Stoffer says. “We relocated it to where the dining room once stood on the east side of the house, then moved the dining room to the adjacent back parlor, so the owners could see their children playing while they worked in the kitchen. The old kitchen was gutted before I was hired, only the windows, doorways and floor were left.”


makeover of the week - jean stoffer kitchen from victorian to modern

Design: Jean Stoffer of Jean Stoffer Design, Photo: John Stoffer of Stoffer Photography Interiors

The new kitchen is filled with light, thanks to its three original cathedral-shaped windows,” Stoffer notes. “We added ceiling beams to create visual interest, neutral-colored cabinets to keep things timeless, and a black, white, and brass colored mosaic backsplash to add some color and amp up the design.” 

What Changed:

  • Color theme: Soft taupe and white hues create a calm and neutral feel.
  • Backsplash: A hexagon shaped stone tile by the range is paired with scalloped marble over the sink.
  • Floor: The 2 ¼” wide oak floors were refinished in a walnut stain.  
  • Island lights: Two large pendants made of bronze, antique brass, and white glass, are suspended over the center island.
  • Sink lights: Brass shaded library sconces placed over the sink provide task lighting, while two single bare bulbs are surface-mounted at the intersection of the beams.
  • Countertops: Low maintenance honed quartz in an almost black hue on the island has the look of soapstone, while a white veined quartz on the perimeter countertops could pass as Carrara marble.
  • Center island: Pink hued white quarter sawn oak is stained in a sandy/gray shade; the island sits on brass feet for a more formal look.
  • Stools: Leather seating is paired with a brass base to add texture and a bit of modernity to the space. 
  • Windows: Going curtain-free allows in natural light while exposing the beautiful glass and molding. 
  • Sink: A fireclay apron sink is representative of the home’s time frame.
  • Cabinets: The minimal flush inset cabinetry is painted a timeless and versatile soft taupe.  
  • Cabinet hardware: Polished nickel pulls on the perimeter and aged brass knobs on the island combine for a traditional yet fresh feel. 
  • Shelving: Open shelving create a visual break from the solid cabinetry and provides a functional spot for glassware and plates. 
  • Range hood: Patterned after a French kitchen hood, the brass is hand-rubbed and will darken over time. 
  • Accessories: A minimal approach to accessorizing includes English-inspired elements like linen towels and botanical prints. 

Shop the Look:

makeover of the week - jean stoffer kitchen makeover vingette

Design: Jean Stoffer of Jean Stoffer Design, Photo: John Stoffer of Stoffer Photography Interiors

hicks large pendant
Thomas O'Brien Hicks Large Pendant $819.00
chi counter stool
Burke Decor Chi Counter Stool $429.00
Linden Cup Pull
Stoffer Home Linden Cup Pull $16.00