Kitchen Renovation: Great Ideas For Small-Medium Size Kitchens

Welcome to the 248th Metamorphosis Monday!

This week I have another fabulous kitchen renovation to share. Toni took her relatively small kitchen and accomplished two amazing feats: 1. She made it feel and look much larger 2. She converted every square inch in her kitchen into usable, hard-working space.

If you have a small to medium size kitchen and you’ve been wanting to update it and make it much more functional without gutting it and starting over, you’ll find this kitchen renovation hugely inspiring!

Toni beautifully describes her renovation and the thoughts/plans behind it below. Enjoy!


I feel honored that Susan would see my kitchen update as worthy of a post! You see, I love looking at blogs, especially Susan’s and when she recently posted a couple kitchen makeovers, I thought I would share a before and after of mine! I was stunned when she asked if she could feature my kitchen in a post on her blog…..but excited too! So here’s how it all came about…..all because a dishwasher went out!

When my dishwasher gave up the ghost, I went 3 months without it (not a huge deal to me) while I was trying to formulate what to do. I knew my kitchen was in real need of an update, but I felt stuck as to how to improve it other than the counters which had been the same for 23 years since we moved into the house!

About 15 years ago, we changed out the style of the cupboard doors, moved from a whitewashed oak look to this painted finish. I couldn’t afford to completely redo the cabinetry but I KNEW it was time for the counters as I’d had cream, solid surface counters with cream cabinets for too long….how boring is that! I was still in love with my toile/cream red wallpaper (see before pic below) but my decorator friend was insisting it had to go. So thus my journey began.


Kitchen Renovation Before Picture

Our contractor suggested the biggest improvement would be to raise the ceiling and I wanted to add the beadboard.

Kitchen Renovation Before Pictures 2

I did all the shopping, gopher work, and purchasing and my husband and I did all the priming and painting but we only repainted the new areas and didn’t have to repaint the existing cabinets. We were blessed with an amazing contractor who is so reputable in our area, there is a waiting line to have him…..a master of space usage!

Kitchen Renovation Before Pictures 3

I have Arizona flagstone flooring in my outside entry, and then it continues from the front door all the way into my kitchen. It was out of the question cost wise to be able to change that so I wanted a counter that had an organic look, but with tones of color that would work with that floor and yet be neutral. Tromping through more bone yards than I can count, I kept coming back to this granite…..though some might think it dated, I felt it really worked with my floor…..hints of the color but yet still neutral with not too much “movement” so as to compete with the floor. So my choice was made.

Kitchen Renovation with White Cabinets, Granite, Recessed Lighting 13

I had the granite extended into the garden window area which was originally a very ugly surface that I kept covered always! Love that. I found my Kohler sink on an end cap at Lowes….are you ready for the price……brand new, last seasons model for $42.00 SCORE! I went with brushed nickle hardware and a brushed satin Chrome faucet set.

Garden Window in Kitchen

I changed the shape of the back side on the family room side to create a true eat-in bar. Before I only had 7″ behind the stove top and the shape was straight. I’m proud of the fact that with the help of my friend guiding me over the phone, I free handed the shape it was to be! THAT WAS A HUGE STRESSOR!

Kitchen Renovation with White Cabinets, Granite, Recessed Lighting 12

My friend suggested removing the bank of cabinets above the counter and it took me 3 days to get up the courage to give the go ahead.


Kitchen Renovation with White Cabinets, Granite, Recessed Lighting 01

With cabinets removed from above eat-in bar.


Kitchen Renovation with White Cabinets, Granite, Recessed Lighting 03
The contractor also raised the cabinets by creating a whole new footprint for them as they were installed after the 3″ rock floor which made them lower than most peoples, plus it made it impossible to get the dishwasher out, which I guess I should be grateful for now! :o)

We added Lazy Susan 3/4 tiered rounds to each corner which previously was just so much wasted space due to small cabinet door access.

Kitchen Renovation with White Cabinets, Granite, Recessed Lighting 07

We added roll-out shelves to our pantry and double roll-outs to the area adjacent to the eating counter where I store candles, vases, etc. Previously I had to get and my hands and knees and dig to find things. I LOVE THIS CHANGE!

Kitchen Storage

We added under cabinet lighting, and all the lighting have dimmers on them and we are enjoying the soft mood they create at night. The last upgrade was to have a black fridge to match the other appliances because my personal taste doesn’t gravitate to the stainless look.


Kitchen Renovation with White Cabinets, Granite, Recessed Lighting 06

Molding was added around the window and my best friend pointed out the “4th AND BIRCH” sign while shopping. It was meant to be because we are the 4th house on Birch Lane! The valance I made from a vintage tablecloth from my mother-in-law.

Decorative Sign for Kitchen

The yellow corner cabinet was a garage sale find for $10 and holds our vitamins.

Kitchen Renovation with White Cabinets, Granite, Recessed Lighting 08

Kitchen Renovation 2

It’s a small kitchen, but I’m so happy with the changes we made.


Kitchen Renovation Before Picture


It now feels so much bigger and open. I love that people can be in the family room and I no longer have to bend under the cabinets to be able to see them! The project took around 2 months to finish as we had a vacation in the middle of it! But it was worth it!

Kitchen Renovation with White Cabinets, Granite, Recessed Lighting 04


Toni, thanks for sharing this wonderful renovation. It turned out beautifully and I love your finished kitchen!

Looking forward to the Before and Afters linked for this Met Monday!

One on sidebar


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  1. What a lovely remodel! Great job. I do believe that window needs a couple pots of fresh herbs. πŸ™‚

  2. What an amazing kitchen renovation Susan! I love her raised and beaded ceiling along with her granite choice for her flooring!

  3. Love the kitchen redo. I like all the little details. Thanks for hosting.

    Shannon ~

  4. Great kitchen renovation. Thanks so much for sharing this Susan, and thank you for hosting this week!
    Have a wonderful week.


  5. Thanks for hosting! Have a lovely week!

  6. I’m planning my very small kitehcn redo, so I’ll certainly enjoy a week of inspiration!

  7. Thanks so much for hosting!!


  8. Susan, thanks for hosting! Toni’s kitchen is amazing. I love the new ceiling; such a difference! Anyhoo, have a grand week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  9. Toni,
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful kitchen renovation. It looks absolutely beautiful. Great job.

    I have a question for you. I am redoing my kitchen & adding an eat in kitchen bar. I have been looking to add some decorative “corbels”, I suppose they are called, under the overhang in the bar area where the stools would be. I noticed you had 2 on yours. They look perfect. Can you tell me the dimensions on your and where did you locate them? I find them to be so costly in my area. It’s nothing more than a piece of wood that will be painted, & I hate to pay so much money for something like that. Your thoughts?

    Thank you so much.


  10. What a great makeover! Love love love the beadboard ceiling! thanks so much for hosting every week Susan,
    Happy Halloween!

  11. Thank you for hosting Susan! What a great transformation!

  12. Love this redo, Susan! Small changes really made a huge difference in Toni’s kitchen! Thanks for hosting and have a great week πŸ™‚

  13. OUTSTANDING, Toni!! This renovation made me smile…we are” DIY personified” so I know (reading between the lines.) Having just waited twenty nine years to have a kitchen (JUST FINISHED) in our tiny cabin I feel your happiness. franki

  14. Beautiful kitchen! Thanks for hosting! Have a Happy Halloween!

  15. What a wonderful transformation of her Kitchen….It looks spectacular! Thanks for hosting a great party, it’s keeping me busy clicking away! πŸ™‚

  16. 4th and Birch – you are a beautiful kitchen! Love all of the beadboard detail.
    Thanks for sharing,

  17. Susan, thanks for sharing Toni’s great kitchen reno! What a difference those changes made and I think that her stone floor is fabulous! Hope you have a great week!

  18. Gorgeous makeover!


  19. Susan, what a fabulous update! The ceiling is wonderful; what a great idea! Thanks for hosting another great party!

  20. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says

    Hi Susan,
    I tried to add a link, but it would not let me. It says I didn’t have a back link to this post, but I do…:-(.

  21. Beautiful kitchen! Thanks for hosting! Life to the full! Melissa

  22. This is gorgeous, Toni! I especially like the eat-in bar. Thanks for sharing!

  23. So pretty! You did such a wonderful job mixing the old and new! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Wonderful transformation, such a pretty kitchen! Love the pull outs…such a nice feature!

  25. What a fantastic kitchen makeover. It looks so much for light, bright and modern. Thanks so much for hosting.

  26. Wonderful renovations! I love those cabinets with the pull out shelves – so easy to find things! Everything looks bright and inviting! Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Leeena

  27. I love the new look! Good job!

  28. Toni…I can see why Susan invited you to share your kitchen renovation. It’s just gorgeous. I have the same granite, only in brown, in my kitchen along with a terracotta colored porcelain tile so I could identify with what you were going after. What a difference in the kitchen without the cupboards over your cooktop. This is certainly a job well done!

  29. Her kitchen renovation is amazing. Love the paneling on the ceiling. Thanks for hosting the party again this week!

  30. I love how that kitchen turned out! Thanks for hosting gain this week, Laura

  31. A new kitchen is such a happy, happy thing! I love the beautiful garden window!

    Susan, I was able to open your post and link up no problem today! HOORAY!!

  32. Hi, Susan! I love looking at kitchen transformations, and this was great! Thanks for hosting.
    Dee πŸ™‚

  33. Love it!
    Love the raised ceiling! Gave me inspiration to do that to ours!
    Can you please let me know what color paint you used on your walls…the creamy yellow?

    Happy Holidays!

    • Are you speaking of the walls in the Family Room (you see up above the eating counter or the color of the cabinets? Family Room walls are Behr (Home Depot) called Mustard Grain…Flat interior Behr Premium Plus
      C Yellow Oxid 1 12 0
      L Raw Umber 0 8 0

      It’s a little more intense than in the picture because there is a lot of light from the patio door shining on it. Susans Sugar Cookie color is a great creamy yellow (in her office).
      Let me know if this was what you were looking for.

    • Our contractor glued and nailed the panels up and I’m so happy as there is no sagging at all.

  34. Wow! What a beautiful job of updating the old kitchen. I love the details, and black appliances are my favorite too. Sweetheart and I just finished an update to our kitchen and I have a few more details to finish before I reveal it on Before and After. Susan thank you for hosting this wonderful party each week.
    Betty @ My Cozy Corner

  35. First time linking up! Grabbed your button, too!
    Great kitchen!
    [email protected]

  36. LindaSonia says

    where’s the refrigerator???? Great job!!

    • Linda, good question! It was visible in a “before” picture I didn’t use in the post. If you’re standing looking toward the window over the sink, it’s behind you and to the left with additional kitchen cabinets over it. If you were standing in front of the window over the sink, with your back to the window, you would see it past the ovens in the wall to the left before you exit out of the kitchen. Hope that makes sense.

      • Actually the second sentence Susan wrote is correct. There is a pass through into the dining room just to right of the double stove and there is a cubby area for the fridge on your right…..not ideal. So I went with a french door fridge and a freezer on the bottom which is working well there. I had a white fridge before and was concerned about it feeling like a big black hole with a black fridge and yet my range top and oven/microwave were only about 4 years old so I knew they needed to match. I’m very happy I made that decision. It’s a shiny surface and so it reflects light and doesn’t feel like a dark hole at all.

  37. Beautiful kitchen! Well done! I love a good make over!

  38. Holy maceral what a wonderful transformation!!! It looks fabulous and thank to you both for sharing it! Love that she removed the cabinets over the couter, that MADE the room, to me.

  39. Where does she have the refrigerator?
    I love this new layout—would work in my house too.

  40. Beautiful kitchen! Love the ceiling. πŸ™‚

  41. WOW what a beautiful kitchen makeover!!

  42. Susan, That was a wonderful kitchen makeover. Thanks for sharing and for hosting. Have a blessed week, Ginger

  43. Hi Susan ! What a difference a few changes can make in the total look and feel of a kitchen ! It looks so much larger, doesn’t it? I think Toni did a great job with this space.

  44. Katherine G says

    Beautiful kitchen! great choices! – one question – is there a downdraft exhaust system on your cooktop, or do you have a hood that I am not seeing? (Or do you just never smoke up the kitchen as I do??) I had to replace my cooktop, and was limited to the same mfr, as so few companies make cooktop with downdraft exhaust systems – and I didnt want to block my view with a hanging hood. Love your cooktop.

  45. Tori,
    Just learned that we have a mutual friend! (your decorator friend)! Small world!
    [email protected]

  46. Gorgeous kitchen remodel…I just love how people use their vision to transform an existing space and make it their own.

  47. What an incredible make-over for her kitchen, Susan! Please tell Toni thank you for sharing it with us? I’m amazed at the difference.
    Thanks for hosting MM this week. I rarely have anything to share but sewing these Halloween costumes for my granddaughter seemed to fit your parameters for the party.

    Hope things are going well for you. When is YOUR GRANDBABY due???

  48. I just want to say a BIG thank you to all of you who commented on my kitchen remodel. It’s a huge encouragement to me in going with my gut desires because there is often a tension between that and the current trends. At the end of the day WE live in our homes and we each should exercise the freedom to have our homes be a reflection of our tastes and personalities. I’ve desired bead board in a kitchen for almost 40 years and I finally got it! Thank you for your affirmations of our work.

  49. Wow, that’s quite a beautiful transformation in Toni’s kitchen – removing the upper cabinets opened the room right up. Thanks Susan for hosting another great and popular party!

  50. SharonFromMichigan says

    Toni – I love your kitchen. How beautiful! I agree with you on the black appliances, I’ve never really cared for the look of stainless steel either. You have created a beautiful inviting comfy charming kitchen – your selection of countertops and your decorating are stunning. Thank you for sharing with us.

  51. Lori Chmiel says

    So glad to see someone else doesn’t have Stainless appliances… I thought I was the only one! phew!

  52. Toni, I love love love your new kitchen! You did a fantastic job and I know how hard it is to say just rip out that cabinet or change this, when it has been that way for so long, but you made very good choices. I love the sign that was a true find, I love things like that, that have special meaning and Yes it was meant to be! Isn’t Susan the greatest she is such a special and great person and has such a classy blog! I never miss a post always something great to see!

  53. Penny Shaffer says

    Hello, I love your new kitchen. I too have a small kitchen and storage is key. Can you please tell me where you found the mustard yellow corner cabinet with tin inserts on the doors? I have been searching for a small cabinet to fill in my corner (wasted space) and cannot find one short enough to fit between the top cupboards and the countertop.
    Thank you very much!

  54. What size are the ceiling boards

  55. Toni your kitchen turned out great! Do you miss the storage that was over the bar area? Do you miss that cute shelf that was over the kitchen sink window? When we put in a skylight I used bead board much like you did and I also have it in the dining area. I have black appliances and love them. My previous white fridge looked like a big white box, but for some reason the black blends in more and less intrusive although takes up same space. I chose the double French doors with freezer below too. I like it except for the snack tray that runs the width of the fridge. Things get lost in the back too often. Thanks for sharing your kitchen!

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