Updated Traditional Kitchen

Designers Allison Smith and Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors start with the basics to update this traditional kitchen from dreary to pretty.


Hi, I'm Jessica Thuston, Executive Editor of Southern Living. When you're rethinking your kitchen, you can make a big style statement even in a small space. This kitchen started out really dark and dated, low ceilings, low light. These homeowners were able to completely revamp it and make it look really open and airy by adding only 120 square feet. This is a classic southern kitchen. It has all the elements that are timeless and will never go out of style. White cabinetry, white marble counter tops. [MUSIC]. Polish nickel hardware, and a white subway tile backsplash. It's a perfect marriage of vintage and modern styles together. So, it feels supper relevant for today and a youthful fun family. In this kitchen, we love this big statement hood. And these homeowners were so smart and got the look for less, by having their cabinet maker build a hood for them out of wood that matches the cabinetry. And then had a metalsmith add the silver metal straps with studded detail along the edges. And it's a huge look for a lot less money. [MUSIC] I love the light fixtures in this kitchen. It's always important to have a pair of hanging pendants or light fixtures over an island, but these are so unexpected, because they're an over-scale lantern in sort of a verdigris finish. [MUSIC] The subway tile back splash in this kitchen is so classic. It's a vintage look, but it looks a little bit more modern when you add in white marble counter tops. When you're rethinking your kitchen, layout of appliances is so important. We always tell people to think about that triangle. It's often called the work triangle, where you've got the stove, sink, and refrigerator. And in this one, there are three different points, which make it great. It makes everything accessible. In this case, they added a microwave at one end of the island. They also positioned it lower to the floor, so it's just accessible for everybody. [MUSIC] A white farmhouse sink is always classic. I think it works because it just looks great in any application. There's an island in this kitchen that actually stands in the exact same spot as the island was before. It was really important to the homeowners in this kitchen to have both a dining and a prep space. And so, since they were short on space, they were able to attach a dining table to the end of the island to create both a dining area and also work space for the kitchen. The designer added three upholstered chairs along the end of the table, which really give it a more dressed up, finished feel. And have a really fun sort of orange-red print, and add a lot of energy to the room. At the same time, they're comfortable for dining and everyday. This kitchen has custom cabinetry. One of the great ideas here, is two different colors. There's white cabinets along the perimeter of the kitchen, and then the island they painted a soft gray color, which is a really nice pop against the white. [MUSIC] The designer was able to carve out a little tiny area for a desk and a chair, and a bulletin board. Sort of serves as a command central for this family. [MUSIC] When you have a white kitchen, it's great to always add some energy with bright, fun colors in fabric and window treatments. A pair of Roman shades in this kitchen, have a really fun red and white batik inspired print on them, which add a lot of youthful energy to them. They're also hung as close to the ceiling as possible, which make those windows look a lot bigger than they actually are. [MUSIC] Reclaimed oak floors add just a great natural warmth to this kitchen. They range in size from eight to 12 inches wide. And that sort of random pattern just gives a really nice sort of homey feel to this space. [MUSIC] What was once a dark and dated kitchen is now open and vibrant, thanks to fun fabrics and color, and creative design details. Check out Southern Living for more kitchen makeovers and design inspiration.
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