One thing I like about Better Homes & Gardens is that it’s one of the more “realistic” shelter mags out there. They frequently feature the types of houses that a lot of us regular, non-celebrity folks live in. It doesn’t look like every room in the magazine has been created by a high-end designer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we can’t all afford Martyn Lawrence Bullard.
This small kitchen makeover that they featured is a good example. It’s in a 1935 Cape-style cottage in upstate New York, and as you can see by this next photo, its beginnings were humble:
See that basement door on the other side of the fridge? They moved it around the corner to make room for more counter space (the floorplan is pictured here).
The homeowners really wanted black soapstone for the countertops but couldn’t afford them. They went with a laminate look-alike instead. (This is what I mean by realistic. You don’t see laminate in many shelter mags, do you?)
On a side note, what’s your feeling about open shelves? Seems to open up a small space like this, that’s for sure. But I’m not sure if I could live with them. If you have them, let us know how well they’re working for you! A BHG reader left this comment about hers on their website:
Everything in my kitchen is dusty within a day or two, and soon gets the greasy film as well. I see open cabinets everywhere, and I wonder if people really like them after they have used them a while.
The other side of the room has the sink. Here’s how it looked before:
I’m not loving every choice they made in this kitchen–the lighting isn’t my favorite–but it’s inspiring to see how they remodeled it with a small budget. And it’s a much happier, brighter space now, that’s for sure.
My favorite part of the makeover has to be the breakfast nook. It was stuck in 1975 before:
What do you think of this makeover? You can see the rest of the photos and read more about the details and how they did it at Better Homes & Gardens. The story was designed and produced by Donna Talley; photos by Bryan McKay.