Kitchen Renovation Before and After - J. Cathell

Kitchen Renovation Before and After



Kitchen Renovation Before and After

Words cannot express how much I LOVE my kitchen. It has always been my dream to have a happy light filled space at the heart of my home. When we bought our house, we knew we were going to make a few updates and light was the most important change we wanted to add. I had a vision from the beginning and I couldn’t wait to get started.


Thankfully, when I threw out the idea to my husband to remove the upper cabinets to make room for the window of my dreams he was on board. It was kind of a chain reaction, because if we removed those cabinets, then we needed to remove the cabinets  all the way around. I was fine with it and with that simple step it immediately took the kitchen from traditional to transitional. We also installed custom metal windows that open. We are obsessed with metal windows and the look that it gives a space. I know it’s a trend, but I’m ok with it and I’m not sure I would ever choose anything else.


All of the cabinetry you see is original to the house. It’s amazing what painting and hardware can do to transform a space. The only modification we made was to the island. It originally had legs by the stool area, but it didn’t really match the direction we were taking the space. Our contractor had his cabinet guy come over and make a panel on each side like book ends. It’s all of those minor details that really add up and make the space complete.


One of the most frequently asked questions I get is what kind of stone is that? This is honed Calacata gold marble from AGM Imports. I went by myself to pick it out and I just didn’t overthink it. This is the second time we’ve used marble in our kitchen and I still have no regrets. Does it mark? yes. Am I mindful of that? yes. If I spill wine or spaghetti sauce I wipe it up immediately. Our kitchen is the hub of our home and things are going to get used. If the sun is shining and I get down on eye level with the marble, you will be able to see water stains. Do I lose sleep over it? no. Can you notice the water marks? No…not unless you’re really trying.  I had polished marble at our last house and I will definitely say that polished marble shows more water stains. I love the look of honed though, it’s not reflective and it’s just looks so good in person.

The dimensions of my island is something people always ask about.  For all of you asking, the dimensions are 8′ feet long x 4′ 6.5″ wide and 40″ tall.


We used the same range that the previous owners had, we just removed the metal plate on the back of it and then had the backsplash taken all the way up. The hood is like a gorgeous piece of jewelry and the finishing piece of the renovation. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. Jason Smith at Smithworks designed and built this hood, he is incredibly talented and he nailed the finish. It’s the perfect combo to pull in the beams and the brass finishes in the rest of the space.


This is actually a funny story. Originally, we were going to keep the existing beams and then upgrade them later to the antique beams. The existing beams had a little too much red undertone, so we attempted to stain them a bit darker. Well, that was a massive fail and at that point we just decided to switch out all of the beams in the kitchen and the family room.

Paint Colors

The first plan was just to paint the island darker to weight the kitchen. After the drop cloths came down and I could take a step back I decided just to paint the whole thing Black Fox. It’s just paint, so don’t be scared…anything can be changed. Big shout out to my Aunt Nola for helping me pick the color. I’m awful at paint colors, but my Aunt Nola is the color guru!! She has people stop by her house frequently just to ask her about her paint colors, haha.


Contractor: RLS Construction | Architect: Tim Adams Studio | Actylic Counter Stools (bar height) | Sconces above metal windows: Restoration Hardware | Hanging shades above island | Kitchen Lamp | Wall color: White Dove | Cabinet Color: Black Fox | Hardware: Architectural Accents (unlaquered brass) | Acrylic Stools | Rugs: Antique Oushaks | Faucet: Ferguson | Hood: Smithworks in Atlanta




Leave a Comment


  1. 3.20.19
    Jean Stenger said:

    BeautifUl. I like the light airy look. It nust not be on the sunny side of the house or do you have special windows?

  2. 3.20.19
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine said:

    O the beams are such a perfect unexpected touch to the modern feel!

  3. 3.21.19
    Ginny Neal said:

    i found it difficult deciding which was the upgrade. honestly the top picture with the window treatments and lighter colors was much more to my liking. But to each his own. The darker color palette has it’s own kind of interesting look but not the warm and welcoming place that I love kitchens to be.

    • 3.21.19

      The Before was nice, but it was very dark and because we went with a rustic feel at our farmhouse, we wanted to do something fresher for the city!

  4. 3.23.19
    Gaye Stathis said:

    I Really like your before Kitchen. I think i would have just gotten rid of the fabric on the windows and the SC flag artwork on the hood.

    • 3.24.19

      We liked it too, but what you can’t tell is that it was really dark in there and we needed more natural light. Our farmhouse looks a lot like this with the wood top and beams. We just wanted to a little different fell for the city 😉

  5. 3.28.19
    Tia said:

    Random question. I have scoured the Internet lookin for prices for these steel windows. We haven’t even started our project so its hard to get a quote on these type of windows I’m wondering if u by chance could throw out a number so I can see if they might even be in my price range. I just have no idea! Thnx

    • 3.29.19

      sure thing, I will email you!

      • 9.14.19
        Caty said:

        I am obsessed with your kitchen. Such an improvement over the first. I commend every design decision you made. Were about to gut our kitchen and add an all stEel glass addition. Unfortunately as you know, steel can be quite pricey. Our quotes to do a steel look window thats actually aluminum are still cost prohibitive sadly. Would you mind emailing me what manufacturer you went with and sharing the unit price of one of your windows? Ive only priced through one manufacturer so am wonderIng if its dramatically Different from one compny to the next. Thank you so much!!

  6. 4.23.19
    Katie said:

    Gorgeous kitchen! Please share where you found/purchased the ginger jar.

  7. 4.26.19
    Grazia Ochoa said:

    Its stunning renovation. your choices are chic and expert. i am particularly impressed with your desire and willingness to share details 🙂 Thank you!

  8. 8.5.19
    Laura said:

    You did such a beautiful job! Can you kindly share your kitchen ceiling height? Thank you so Very much!

  9. 3.29.20
    Erin glenn said:

    Good morning. Love yoUr kitchen. Can you tell what brand of windows that are in the kitchen and did you use a semi gloss or eggshell on the cabinets?
    Thank you so much

    • 10.28.20

      Hello! We had our windows custom made from our builder, RLS construction. As for the cabinets, let me look up that detail about the finish!!

  10. 3.29.20
    Andree S Griggs said:

    I love your kitchen!! What paint finish did you use on your cabinets? Aslo, does that room get a lot of light. Just wondering if the White dove turns more grey?

    • 10.28.20

      Thank you!! I used black fox on my cabinets, it does get a TON of light and that’s why it’s one of my favorite rooms. It always looks white to me!

  11. 7.8.20
    Ellen said:

    Your new reno is beautiful but were You worrieD about losing storage by removing all those upper cabinets? Im trying to see where you added more CABINETS to make up lost storage? Thx

    • 7.18.20

      I wasn’t worried about storage at all because I have a ton of lower cabinets and storage on both sides of my island, I also have an additional working pantry that has upper and lower cabinets where I keep things that I don’t use every day like my platters and glassware.

  12. 9.11.20
    Maria said:

    I love the transformation! Good job! Your kitchen layout iS very SIMILAR to mine and we are getting Ready to venture into a remodel on our 21 yr old home here in South FLorida . Your kitchen Gave me some great ideas! I want to remove most of my upper cabinets as well, but i have to ask…dId u just purge of alot of stuff that those cabinets housed ? Or did u build in extra storage somewhere else?

    • 9.13.20

      With all of the lower cabinets I had a ton of space all the way around the island and the floating shelves really keep what I would have kept in the upper shelves. I also have a room off of my kitchen with a coffee bar and more cabinetry too.

  13. 2.2.21
    Shari said:

    Love, love, Love the rEnovation! We are about to Update our florida kitchen Too! I see The walls are white dove and the Cabinet paint is black foX. What is the white Cabinet paint on the shelVes? Thanks!

    • 2.2.21

      Everything white is WHITE DOVE! I like to make it easy 😉

  14. 4.21.21
    Kristen D said:

    I love it all! Can I ask what brand your range is?

  15. 5.9.21
    Hoodsly said:

    Love what it turns out into! It’s beautiful!

  16. 5.17.21
    Veronique St-Maurice said:

    Stunning!! I’m in love with your kitchen! Can you tell me what’s the dimension of your kitchen? Thanks

  17. 10.20.21
    Lisa Kalezic said:

    Hello I wanted to know if your kitchen custom windows have screens? also where did you order them? Price would be great as well…
    thanks so much! Love your design!

  18. 12.30.21

    I love your hood. What kind of material is it made out of? I love your taste!

    • 1.12.22
      Jess C. said:

      Hi Jackie! Thank you so much! I’ve loved this hood. It’s got a few materials ad was custom built. If you take a picture in to your contractor, that will definitely be able to help you get the look!

  19. 1.25.22
    MaClay said:

    I absolutely love your island lights! They are exactly what I’ve been looking for in my kitchen! Do you have a link for them or can share where they are from? I tried the link provided in the blog post, but it kept telling me an error.

    • 2.14.22
      Jess C. said:

      Hi MaClay! Here is a link. Let me know if that works for you this time 🙂

  20. 5.2.22
    Hoodsly said:

    One Word! Beautiful

  21. 2.27.23
    Cathi Overbey said:

    I was unable to find the kitchen pendants. The page didn’t load. Please send me a link.

    • 7.12.23

      IT’s the Laban pendant but I’m having a hard time finding it online now!

  22. 7.5.23
    Clayton, Sara said:

    Hi! Would you mind sharing your hardwood floor stain? thank you!!

    • 7.11.23

      They just matched it to what was here when we moved in, I’m pretty sure he said it was a standard color.