Before & After: Tobi Fairley Gives a Family Kitchen a Facelift

by hookedonhouses on December 10, 2010

Tobi Fairley-kitchen before small

What really grabbed me about this kitchen “before” shot is how similar the cabinets are to mine. And the fact that this kitchen didn’t look like it needed a lot of work. I was curious to see how designer Tobi Fairley improved on it.

Here’s a shot of the kitchen table, looking into the family room:

Tobi Fairley-kitchen before 2

Okay, not my style, but not horrible, either. I mean, we’ve seen some doozies in the past, haven’t we? But check out how the kitchen looks now:

Tobi Fairley-kitchen after 2

I really love how it’s still a white kitchen, but she warmed it up with new dark wood furniture and floors and a fun mix of fabrics.

Tobi Fairley-kitchen after

What do you think? Do you like the new look?

You can see more photos and get more details about the makeover at Tobi’s Blog (which I love!) and in an article about it in At Home in Arkansas (photos by Nancy Nolan). The family room got an updated look, too, so check it out!

Click Here to See More Before & Afters, like Tori Spelling’s Family Room Makeover and a Vacation Home’s New Rustic Look!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Are You Hooked on Houses?

Get Your "House Fix" with My Weekly Newsletter:

Layout and Design Customized by EightCrazy Design.
karin/ December 10, 2010 at 9:24 am

LOVE the new look!! Amazing what a difference extending the cabinets up higher made! The new flooring and backsplash are fabulous! I bet this wasn’t even all that expensive, but it looks like a million bucks!

karin/ December 10, 2010 at 9:25 am

Forgot to mention how much I love the built-in settee, too!! Karin

Ricki Jill Treleaven December 10, 2010 at 9:27 am

Oh, no, Julia! Those are my cabinets AND my limestone and travertine floors are almost identical! LOL I think the upgrades look fabulous. But after suffering a flood in my kitchen, with four water lines coming into it, I will never have wood floors again.

I really like the subway tiles. They look classic, yet modern at the same time. I want to replace my backsplash with subway tiles, too. Maybe that would be a good winter project. Thanks for posting this :D
.-= Ricki Jill Treleaven´s last blog ..Literary Friday- Belong to Me =-.

Janet December 10, 2010 at 9:29 am

I like both. But the “after” is beautiful. I love dark floors with white walls/cabs. Love Tobi also, she does no wrong in my book. ;)
.-= Janet´s last blog ..Fa La La La HA!! =-.

susie December 10, 2010 at 9:32 am

Wow, what a difference. It is beautiful.
.-= susie´s last blog ..Monogram Chick is Hosting Three Days of Giveaway =-.

MaureenCmodecor December 10, 2010 at 9:35 am

I really like the new look. Noticed that the cabinets have been extended to the ceiling with some interesting decorative and functional detailing. the new use of what was wasted space. The new counters brighten the entire space and the touches of green in the backsplash, fabrics and accesories are perfect choice for kitchens in general. Little repetetive details like the crosswork detail on uppers and on the pendants are perfect finishing touches.

Strictly Simple Style December 10, 2010 at 9:43 am

I didn’t think the kitchen was bad before but after seeing the finished room all of the sudden the before didn’t look so good anymore. What a beauty.
.-= Strictly Simple Style´s last blog ..A Hostess Gift that Gives Back =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints December 10, 2010 at 9:45 am

Oh my goodness. The before wasn’t bad, but the after is amazing. I’m in love. I love those subway tiles and dark floor. The cabinets look so much better. That bench connected to the island…genius!
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..The perfect gift =-.

Lili December 10, 2010 at 9:46 am

Oh! Be still my heart! Can someone please come and pick my jaw off of the floor, now? I was like you, Julia, when I saw the “before” , I thought it was the after! It really did not need a facelift, but at the same time… wow! I would certainly love the first kitchen, but the second one would remind me to praise God each morning!

Kelli December 10, 2010 at 9:46 am

Like you, I didn’t think it looked that bad before, but wow! I LOVE the after, especially the backsplash. We have white cabinets, and I wanted to do something warmer and different from the typical white subway tile. I love the color and definition of those tiles. The roman shade looks great with them. I also love the hanging fixtures over the island. The polka dot fabric doesn’t look quite right to me, but overall, it’s just beautiful!

Sophie December 10, 2010 at 9:48 am

I’m really not liking the before… The cabinets are nice but everything else is totally wrong for me.
But the after? That right there is my dream kitchen.

Alison Agnew December 10, 2010 at 10:23 am

I thought it just need a paint job before, but the after is fabulous!
.-= Alison Agnew´s last blog ..Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange Link-Up =-.

Laura Casey Interiors December 10, 2010 at 10:25 am

I absolutely love the after! The cabinets and fabrics are fabulous.

Becky K December 10, 2010 at 10:30 am

I love how the new cabinetry bring the eye up. The before, while I thought it was very pretty, was bottom heavy. Great job on this facelift!

Becky K.
.-= Becky K´s last blog ..Chelsea- Chloe and Gingerbread Men to the Rescue =-.

Trish @TheOldPostRoad December 10, 2010 at 10:39 am

I love that new kitchen! Oh, for a money tree!
.-= Trish @TheOldPostRoad´s last blog ..My Front Door =-.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile December 10, 2010 at 10:41 am

I like everything the about it – the beautiful dark wood, the slightly antiqued white cabinets, that amazing green subway tile.

It’s a stunner. Thanks for featuring it.
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Black chandeliers add some panache =-.

Nichole December 10, 2010 at 10:52 am

I LOVE the new look, and I had the same reaction you did to the Before photos. A truly great illustration of the value that a great designer brings to the table.
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..Most Bizzare =-.

Dawn December 10, 2010 at 11:33 am

I love the “after” – very pretty!

However, I am not a fan of wood in the kitchen and prefer nice tile – easier to manage and you don’t have to worry about it getting wet all the time like you do with wood.

And, let’s face it, the kitchen floor will get wet spills on occasion.

Nancy December 10, 2010 at 11:42 am

The Before looks very “90′s” to me, having had three similar white kitchens in succession during that decade of moving for our family. The squat cabinets are visually arresting as well.
The After looks so much more “custom” and spacious and the darkening of the floors definitely adds a much needed contrast to all of the “vanilla” of the Before. Well done!

Teri December 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

I LOVE it! If I could have this exact kitchen, I would. Blue and green are my favorite colors and I love the table being attached to the island. It’s gorgeous!

Luciane at December 10, 2010 at 11:53 am

I love the new look! It’s so fresh and so “now”. I am, like the rest of America, obsessed with the white kitchen, carrera marble and all! I am really thinking about changing mine, but I need to save some $ for it….. this is inspirational!

Talking about kitchen, today I posted about CELEBRITY KITCHENS! I hope you go take a look!


Luciane at :-)

Maaike Quinn December 10, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Yes, I really like it! Especially the little tiles and the glass in the upper cabinet doors, with all the teapots behind them. Lovely!
.-= Maaike Quinn´s last blog ..Day 16 – Read an Email from FlyLady =-.

Laura December 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Beautiful! I LOVE the fabrics! The polka dot fabric looks so great and really brings the perfect element to the backs of the chairs. Tobi is a master at fabrics. I love her style. She is so great at using soft, beautiful colors that bring a traditional look, but always keeping it current with modern touches. That’s why people that love both modern and tradition love her work! The room is fabulous!!!

Lizzy December 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm

VERY nice change… though I’d probably be tickled to have the “Before” :)

My only “concern” is the pendants hanging over the stove… I’m not sure I’d go with a fabric shade that close to the stove. Yea, it’s a downdraft, but that just doesn’t catch everything…

Still.. beautifiul kitchen.

HollyM December 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Nope. Not a fan of the makeover. It looks like a magazine or HGTV styled space rather than a lived-in, warm and cozy kitchen/family room. To me, it lacks personality. I don’t care for ‘chilly’ tones in my fabrics/flooring/paint. And I’m completely over the trend toward Seventies-type graphic and floral prints. That bench backed up against the island would irritate me, big time. This isn’t better, it’s simply more stylized.

HollyM December 10, 2010 at 1:46 pm

I see I’m the lone voice of negative here. ; ) Ah, well. I’ve been a lone voice before.

Bre December 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I didn’t see much wrong with the before kitchen, but the after is such a nice improvement! I love the color scheme with the cabinetry. And I love the darker floors! I’m such a sucker for a before and after :)
.-= Bre´s last blog ..Try It Buy It- Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel =-.

Nathan December 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I love the new look. I really like that builders and homeowners are starting to continue cabinets up to the ceiling.

Pat December 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I would take the before! It really does look even more wonderful with the make over. Such talent!
Now I have to go back and reallllly scrutinize the pictures. I’m changing my zoom level to 125 now!!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..My Brother and I Are The Same Age =-.

Val December 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm

It looked good before but now it looks great!!!
.-= Val´s last blog ..50 Pottery Barn Giveaway!!! =-.

Claudia December 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I love before and after pictures. This kitchen is gorgeous. I love the backsplash and the color of the curtains and the beautiful chairs. I always think white kitchens are great.
Thank you for sharing.
.-= Claudia ´s last blog ..Advent Calendar =-.

Mia's Pearls December 10, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I LOVE the new look! Dark wood floors and white furniture looks so good and I love the spotty fabric on the chairs. :)
.-= Mia’s Pearls´s last blog ..Black and White- My baby =-.

Kim December 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I like the new cabinetry, flooring, and countertops, but I don’t care for the curtains or tile backsplash. The fabric pattern reminds me of some old outdated 60′s or 70′s Lin Aluminum flooring. Other than that, it looks nice.

Kelly December 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I liked the before better!

Decor Arts Now December 10, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Hi Julia,
Best thing she did was take the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. Love it!
.-= Decor Arts Now´s last blog ..December 10- 2010- NOW AND THEN- Art Nouveau in the West Village =-.

Holley December 10, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I love it. I adore the fabrics and the dark wood. It makes it seem so much cozier!
.-= Holley´s last blog ..Good Heavens! =-.

Tobi Fairley December 10, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Thanks so much for this great post on my recent before and after project. I truly appreciate your compliments of the project and I’m so glad you are a fan of my blog. I am now a fan of yours too!!

Thanks also to all your readers for such great feedback and lovely compliments.
Merry Christmas,
.-= Tobi Fairley´s last blog ..A Little Holiday Inspiration from Southern Living =-.

Kristin@Bringing pretty Back December 10, 2010 at 8:35 pm

WOW! It looks so much different without HUGE changes. Gorgeous.
have a pretty day!
.-= Kristin@Bringing pretty Back´s last blog ..V &amp I have Suspicious Minds =-.

anna see December 10, 2010 at 8:39 pm

LOVE the new look! Looks like the cabinets are glazed to be less stark. I am contemplating painting my dark cabinets white, but I want my kitchen to look like the after, of course! But, considering my house looks nothing like this stunner I amy be out of luck. Thanks for sharing!
.-= anna see´s last blog ..Trash Talk- Mars and Venus Style =-.

Nancy Hood December 10, 2010 at 8:54 pm

love the new look! Merry Christmas, sweet friend!! Thank you for working so hard to bring us such fun posts and so many photos! That’s not an easy task :)
.-= Nancy Hood´s last blog ..Wishes &amp Wants for Christmas! =-.

Billy December 10, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Wouldn’t rip it out, maybe some upholstery work.

Nita December 11, 2010 at 1:03 am

Okay, I do like the new cabinets, and the main difference is that the new ones are antiqued. I wish I could antique mine, but they are like yours, Julia, except that shiny melamine type material that was expensive to buy for the owner before us. Had I chosen new cabinetry, it wouldn’t have been shiny.

Kristin December 11, 2010 at 3:33 am

Ooooh, what a beautiful result! I absolutely love it!!!
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..Waking up in Paris wonderland =-.

down-sizingboomer December 11, 2010 at 8:06 am

That gives me some ideas for our new kitchen in our new digs.
.-= down-sizingboomer´s last blog ..And The Winner Is =-.

Lindsay Ross June 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I am with HollyM. I liked the before better. Not a fan of the 70s fabrics. Liked the cozier more lived in look of the first better.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: