Before & After: A “Family CEO” Updates Her Kitchen

by hookedonhouses on January 17, 2013

Julie's white kitchen before makeover cvrJulie is a blogger known as “The Family CEO” who tackles topics like how to pay for your kids’ college (something I’m especially interested in right now since my son is a Senior). She submitted her recent kitchen makeover for my contest and says, “Here’s my first piece of advice on kitchen remodels: don’t schedule one during Thanksgiving or Christmas.” They survived the reno over the holidays, though, and here’s how the room looks now:

Julie's kitchen after makeover cvr

She says, “Our island storage was just one, large space, which meant a lot of towering (and often crashing) stacks of pots and pans. It was removed and a new island was built. We got shelves that slide out for pots and pans, divided vertical storage for cutting boards and cookie sheets, and we discovered we had room to make the island six inches longer, which gave us more countertop on one side of the cooktop.”

Julie's Alabert Cokies plates in kitchen

The white Formica countertops were replaced with granite in Giallo Ornamental.

Julie's kitchen after makeover (1)

The Breakfast Nook Before:

Julie's breakfast nook before makeover

The Breakfast Nook After:

Julie's breakfast nook after makeover

It’s amazing how much bigger the windows look with the new curtains and without the blinds.

“When we took the wood blinds down for painting, we decided we loved having the windows bare. So I scrapped my plan of buying roman shades for the windows and put up drapery panels on rings instead. They’re easy to close at night for privacy, and during the day we can take advantage of the light and view. We’ve had several friends and family ask us if we got new windows.”

Julie's kitchen after makeover (4)

“The main lighting in the kitchen was a large, fluorescent box light. The plastic that covered the light tubes was prone to come crashing down. We replaced it with 4 canned lights and 2 pendant lights over the island.”

arched window over sink redecorated kitchen

Thanks to Julie for sharing her kitchen remodel with us! For more photos and information about the project, visit The Family CEO. To see the other kitchen contest entries, click here. And thanks for keeping the conversation about fellow readers’ rooms positive and polite!

Julia-simple teal signature

All week I’ve been featuring readers’ kitchen remodels. Miss any?

Chris Kauffman Bedford Grey kitchen Just Beachy (2) Pic 1

Chania's cottage kitchen after makeover 4

Josie's kitchen after reno 1

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CSD January 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

What a difference counter tops and paint can make. Love the new curtains and light fixtures.

Kathy ???? January 17, 2013 at 9:11 am

What a nice space, amazing how just a few tweaks completely transform…… Thanks for sharing…… Bon appetit

Kathy ????

Kathy :) January 17, 2013 at 9:13 am

Ha ha wonder what’s up with all the ? marks after my name

hookedonhouses January 17, 2013 at 9:18 am

I wondered that, too. Thought maybe you weren’t sure who you were today? Ha. Always nice to hear from you, Kathy! :-)

tara dillard January 17, 2013 at 9:16 am

Chaos to serene. Amazing how getting rid of the wallpaper, blinds, valences created so much GOOD without having to buy a thing!

Happens often with my clients, “Wish we had gotten rid of ______ years ago.”

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Luciane at January 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

It’s beautiful, Julia & Julie! :-)

I love the materials she choose and the paint color. Beautiful work!

Have a blessed weekend.


Luciane at

Alie B January 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

I love this environmentally friendly reno. Julia, I really appreciate that you are showing some kitchens which have been redone without abusing the landfill and the budget. I also love that the homeowner didn’t change up the pretty furniture, which adds charm and character. :-)

Screendoorgirl 3 January 17, 2013 at 10:40 am

Wow! Beautiful job.. I’m glad she kept the wood chairs, it keeps everything homey and warm. Love the windows , too. Thanks for some great inspiration!

Aria @TheUglyBarnFarm January 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

Beautiful! I especially like the breakfast nook, as it’s not too fussy and has a calm elegance to it. Looks like the perfect place to have that morning cup of tea. :)

Jean Leonard Cox January 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

Well done and so beautiful. I would only hope that my kitchen transformation would be half as lovely!


ShabbyChick January 17, 2013 at 11:24 am

This is so pretty. I really love the grey granite! (But I’m still in a love coma after Chris’ house yesterday…) 😉

Julie @ The Family CEO January 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

Julia, thanks so much for including me in kitchen reno week! It’s been so much fun seeing all the befores and afters.

Kelly January 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

What a beautiful kitchen! And I love Love LOVE the silver loving cup as a utensil holder.

Robin January 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Looks great! Love the windows and curtains. The countertops and paint are wonderful too. I’m interested in the chandelier in the third picture from the top. Looks as though it’s made from wine glasses.

Julie @ The Family CEO January 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Robin, it’s from Pottery Barn. You can see it here:||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_–_-

I hung my wedding crystal in it, which had been stored away, so now I see it every day. I love it.

hookedonhouses January 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Thanks, Julie!

Robin January 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Thanks Julie! Your house looks lovely!

Eileen January 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Beautiful! I love the back splash! Can you tell me what the paint color is? Thanks

Julie @ The Family CEO January 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Eileen, it’s Beigewood from Benjamin Moore.

Eileen January 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Thanks! January 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm

It’s funny – I used to love wallpaper, but now I much prefer the more serene look without it. Love the new look in the kitchen.

Kelly January 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

What a difference. Love it!

Jen January 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

beautiful kitchen so many cute ideas

Donna January 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Amazing transformation. Such an improvement. That wallpaper was driving me crazy. It looked like it was put up so crooked.

traci January 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I really like the color of the counters. Nice post to show how you can make a big difference by just changing a few key parts to a room. I think sometimes people go overboard and spend more than they have to for projects like this.

Lisa Smith January 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm

What a beautiful job! She did a terrific job of updating an already lovely space. I, also, love to see creative uses for things….I am going to polish up my champagne cooler as soon as I get home!!!! (I usually use if for flower arrangements these days, although maybe I need to remind my husband of it’s first “purpose”! We could use a little popping of “the bubbly” it’s so dreary right now!)
Hope you, Julia, and your family are all clear of the flu now and enjoying a new 2013!

Wanda January 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I really love this one most out of all the ones you have posted. I think because for me it is more true to being a reasonable attainment. I will most likely never have the funds to do a $20-60,000 reno, but this one seems like it would be manageable. I love the white cabinets and the light granite.

Lisa January 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

It’s absolutely beautiful! One of my favorite touches is the lush wreath in the center of the kitchen window. So cute! I love the light fixtures, too. Great job!!

Erin January 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm

What a great update! I really like so many things about it. If that breakfast room wasn’t already the favorite spot in the house, I bet it is now! My hand still cramps at the memory of removing 80’s wallpaper from a former kitchen & nook, so bonus points for all the work I know that was! I love the lanterns above the island. I’m going to pop over to her blog because I’m hoping to see a picture of the island reconfiguration. I, too, have an island with two cavernous cabinets and I’m forever stacking/unstacking it! PS- Up until now my silver champagne bucket has only been put to work for holidays and parties when it’s full of flowers or greenery. Usually it sits on a shelf looking pretty, but I’m inspired to put it to work daily on my kitchen counter. Love that touch! Thanks for sharing!

maryrose January 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Beautiful kitchen remodel! I just love the wreath in the window over the kitchen sink. So sweet!

Kim January 18, 2013 at 2:45 am

What an incredible remodel. This is one of my favorite before and after kitchens. I love the little details that were done. They really made a big difference.

Lorne Marr January 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

Hmm it sure is more glossy – which is nice.

But I am not sure about the glossy + old, cozy nook chairs combination, looks pretty badly matched to me.

Though that’s just me, I can perfectly understand that for someone else this is a beautiful and a perfect remodel.

Keep up the great work!

Julie @ The Family CEO February 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Hi Lorne. Actually, I agree with you. That is our former table and chairs and I would like to update them at some point. Probably a mismatched set, with some of the pieces painted.

Debbie May 3, 2013 at 6:23 am

Hi Julie, I LOVE your old dining set! Keep it if you like, it’s elegant & clean, compliments your gorgeous floors, and is so warm in your new kitchen. Your renovation is a great inspiration for my kitchen. I love what you have done with the windows!! I too have blinds and I’m so tired of cleaning them and eventually replacing them because the strings wear out. It’s amazing how much more light there is when the blinds are removed!

Love the champagne bucket idea too! I found one on Etsy that is tarnished with a gorgeous patina which matches my cherry cabinates & antiqued brass handles. I think you started something because several people mentioned your champagne bucket, & I’ve seen it in another picture for another kitchen redo.:-)

Great job on your kitchen! It’s beautiful!

Christina from Dallas January 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

How did you get rid of all that wallpaper? I have wallpaper in my bathroom and I want to remove it but don’t think I can talk my husband into hiring someone. We would have to do it ourselves.Any tips?
I love the makeover. Removing that wallpaper makes all the difference!

Julie @ The Family CEO February 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Christina, I’m not going to be much help. We hired it done. We’ve removed wallpaper in the past and my husband said never again. LOL

carol jane January 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

The new kitchen is lovely. The paint color is to dark, and not so cheerful. I would have chosen something prettier. Thats just my opinion.

Tracie January 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Very nice! Makes me want to take all our blinds and shutters down! It looks pretty snowy outside (lovely!). Do you notice the area being literally cold without the blinds? I love the wall color and lamps!

Julie @ The Family CEO February 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Tracie, yes, we do. Although in the winter that spot was always a little cold with all the windows surrounding it. I may need to do some insulated roman shades at some point, that would warm the area up a bit at night. Good question!

Julie B. January 23, 2013 at 11:38 am

This is beautiful! Already had a great size and layout, so at first I was wondering what she could do to make it better. Amazing what a little lighting, paint, and countertops will do! She did just enough to make a huge difference. Love it.

debbi in Texas March 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I love everything about the new kitchen remodel. I too thought the windows were replaced; they are definitely worthy of staying unadorned for the light and view.

Mark Sindone April 9, 2013 at 1:34 am

I absolutely love your new and refreshing kitchen! This is especially for the wallpaper. The previous patterned wallpaper was fine but looks very cluttered and messy. The plain brown walls make the kitchen look modern and more spacious. They go very well with the nude tone drapes too. The granite counter top is light-colored, thus again making your whole kitchen look airy and spacious. As for your island storage, it would be good if you could share with us pictures of the shelves that will slide out and also the vertical storage for cutting boards. I would gladly implement those same ideas for our kitchen because extra storage in the kitchen is always a necessity!

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