Poppy’s “Happy” Kitchen Makeover in Greece

Poppy's kitchen before makeoverPoppy is a reader who submitted her makeover for my kitchen contest all the way from the island of Crete in Greece. She calls it “a happy space that I love waking up to every morning!” Her kitchen didn’t look very charming or cheery in this before photo, but with a little creativity and color, it does now: 

Poppy's red and white kitchen after makeover

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw how her kitchen turned out. It looks so friendly.

She says her love affair with the color red goes back to childhood–and that it might have something to do with Canada, the country she was born in. :-)

Canadian flag red and white

Her daughter gave her the name Poppy, saying that “when she thought of me, the colour red appeared before her eyes in a delicate and dainty shape, like that of a poppy! It didn’t even need to grow on me; it bloomed instantly and spread rampantly to other members of my family.” (Love that.)

Poppy's kitchen shelves close up

She says, “This may sound strange, but, what I love most about my kitchen is the fact that it took four years to build and thus, I appreciate it so much more. My husband, who is a contractor, got his carpenter to work on the kitchen whenever our funds allowed. Although frustrating, this condition not only taught me patience, but more importantly, appreciation. It’s funny, but, sometimes I think it’s true that the longer you wait for something, the more you cherish it.”

Poppy's kitchen after makeover 2

“A light and bright space, I also love my kitchen because it’s a cheery mix of the two cultures that, in a design sense, stylistically influenced the duality of Canada, where I was born and raised. Rich, earthy colours that echo those of the French countryside are used as sunny accents to complement the creamy white cabinetry and curvy open shelving, popular English country features.”

Poppy's eat-in kitchen green hutch

“A little bit of whimsy thrown in for good measure (that’s the Mediterranean in me–can’t get too serious!), and violà, you have an eclectic, custom-made kitchen that personifies its creator, a Greek Canadian expat, living on the island of Crete.”

Poppy@poppyview.blogspot.com PIC 8

Another “before” shot from another angle:

Poppy's kitchen before makeover 2

And now:

Poppy's red and white kitchen

For more photos and information about Poppy’s kitchen, visit her blog. Thanks to everyone who submitted photos for my contest, and for keeping the comments about them positive and polite. I love seeing where you guys cook!

Julia-simple teal signature

Stay tuned–all this week I’m featuring readers’ kitchen renos. If you missed it:

Kelly's kitchen before reno

6 Dramatic Kitchen Makeovers

P.S. To See More Readers’ Contest Entries: Kitchen Stories

Kelly's kitchen before reno
Originally I thought after I announced my kitchen contest in October, I'd simply show my favorite 10 in November, and we'd choose a winner by…
Chania's cottage kitchen before makeover
Chania submitted these before and after photos of her kitchen in Ontario for my contest and I love how she gave the space some much-needed…

See More


  1. Rachel says

    I love this so much. It’s charming and homey. White kitchens can look so clinical but not with all the beautiful touches that pop with color. This was worth waiting for!

  2. carrie says

    What a charming kitchen! I love it. Nice work. Worth the wait.

  3. Gerry says

    What a FUN kitchen!!! I would love to spend my days in a happy kitchen like this. Lots of color and all the collectables make it so friendly. Glad to see she bucked the depressing gray trend and went for something lively and real.

  4. Sandy says

    Hello from a fellow Canadian. What a sweet kitchen. Can smell the homebaked cookies & fresh coffee brewing. This is absolutely a kitchen anyone would feel right at home in.

  5. Jane says

    I’d feel so cheerful in that kitchen. Unpretentious, personal, and best of all it is welcoming!

  6. ShabbyChick says

    Awww…I love Poppy’s style! So cheerful and friendly feeling! And I love that she’s in Greece, my grandmother came to America from Athens. 😉

  7. Jennah says

    Now this is areal kitchen! Absolutely delightful! I could spend hours here in this beauitful, bright and cheery space. As a fellow Cannuck, I love the whimsy and splashes of colour! Well done, Poppy!

  8. says

    This is my kind of kitchen! Not too big, not too small, bright and happy! Love the pot rack, the clock, the curvy woodwork, the….I just love it all :)

  9. says

    I love Poppy’s white kitchen with the pop of RED! It’s cherry and cosy and just a delight. Cute as a button!

  10. says

    Hi Julia! Oh, what a darling kitchen! I love looking at other people’s kitchen so much. I get ideas and envy quite a bit too.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  11. Kim says

    What a lovely and cheerful kitchen! I would feel happy cooking in there each day.

  12. says

    Hi Julia,

    Thanks so much for the feature! Just got back from a long weekend at my mum’s (no internet!) and was so excited to see your lovely presentation of my favourite room in the house, and the very kind comments! Thanks again for giving us ”contestants” the opportunity (read: reason!) to spruce things up in the most happening room of the house for your brilliant project!

    Have a super week,

    Poppy xo

  13. Esther George says

    How beautiful! I’m loving the splashes of colour it ads to it’s charm. Hi Julia thank you for sharing this happy kitchen. Regards Esther from Sydney dreaming of Crete.

  14. John D'Angelo says

    Lovely! I really like the feeling of relaxation she gave to her kitchen, a place where the smells of breakfast in the morning welcome you. The accents of red and ceramic figures really set it off. Congrats!

  15. amanda says

    Really cute. I love the reverse tiered open shelves and the sorta scallop design over them.

  16. Maddie says

    This sweet kitchen is like a little jewel box. You can’ t help but smile when you look at it.

  17. sandy says

    Poppy, are you telling us the contest got you going? What I love so much are your details. The shelves are wonderful. You are a great example of doing what one loves. Normally I am not a fan of a peninsula …but yours belongs there and now I want one. Heading to your blog to be inspired some more.

  18. Christina from Dallas says

    I love that pot rack. I love the whole kitchen It’s so adorable.Love that clock coming out from the top of the ceiling.

  19. Amy says

    I love this kitchen as well- as soon as I saw the photos I thought of cherry pie cooling on a windowsill. It’s so inviting and cheery, all that’s missing is a bluebird of happiness singing in a tree- and perhaps there was one. It filled me with a kind of nostalgia for simpler times. As others have pointed out, “charming” describes it perfectly. (as an aside, perhaps Poppy’s daughter is a synesthetic?)

  20. says

    This kitchen just gives you a warm hug! I LOVE the touches of red, mixed with the creamy whites and warm yellows. It’s perfect!

  21. Joanne says

    Love the kitchen and its colors but that round wood table is just sitting there in the middle of it. Seems completely in the way and can’t imagine trying to fit chairs around it with the limited space. Take it away and there’s so much more room to move around in the kitchen.

  22. jaime says

    Kitchens aren’t generally a room that makes me smile – but Poppy’s kitchen did just that! What a wonderful makeover. Cheerful, functional, and oh-so-homey.

  23. Autumn says

    I vote for Chris’s Kitchen!! I love everything about it!!