Kitchen makeovers: Before & after

You’ve seen them, the kitchens your friends upgraded that look like a scene from Folsom Prison Blues. Everyone is entitled to their own taste, or so I’ve read. I’ve rounded up some before & after shots of kitchens that were remodeled. The before shots are on the left-side of the image, with the new kitchen captured in the right frame. Some are genuine disasters. (I’m including successes, too.)

Man-cave or kitchen?

Photo by Remodeling Your Kitchen

Photo by Remodeling Your Kitchen

In this case, the kitchen cabinets weren’t even swapped out. Certainly a cabinet refacing effort was in order if you were going all dark. The “after” kitchen looks just a little dreary to me.

Backsplash for the design challenged

Photo by Susan Jablon Mosaics

Photo by Susan Jablon Mosaics

Susan Jacobs Mosaics does attractive tile work, but I’m not convinced the backsplash here does more than upset my equilibrium. It looks like your television screen when the satellite goes out. I would count this project among some of the obvious remodeling mistakes I’ve seen on the web.

Before & after success

Photo by Singer Construction

Photo by Singer Construction

Singer Construction nailed the dismount on this kitchen makeover. Before the company got its hands on it, this kitchen looked like the inoculation center at my veterinarian’s office. The company, located in California’s Orange County, says it can complete a kitchen remodel in seven days. Wonder how long this one took them.

Do-it-yourselfer Triumph

Photo by That Really Frosts Me

Photo by That Really Frosts Me

Blogger Kerri earns the right to crow following this make-over she completed on this nauseating kitchen in her Texas home. She and her husband re-hung the cabinets and added crown molding. Read more about the project at her blog, That Really Frosts Me.

Amazing Grace

Photo by Design Sponge

Photo by Design Sponge

Grace Bonney has captured some clever makeovers at her Design Sponge blog. Have a gander. I trust her. The site announces that it won’t accept free samples, products or compensation for its editorial efforts.

Bathroom Designs: All Is Vanity

“There are no grades of vanity,” Mark Twain once wrote, “there are only grades of ability in concealing it.”  I find it entirely amusing that we choose to call the work center where we make the best of our physical imperfections a bathroom vanity. I would guess that the first bathroom vanity was created when Ruke, a hairy cave dweller, dragged a stone next to a water basin where he could cut fat to smear on his face. The Encyclopedia Britannica poses the theory that it wasn’t until the middle 19th century that people had bathrooms in private homes. You can bet that by then, people in palaces had mirrors and vanities galore.

Today’s vanities range from the outrageous to the historical—from gaudy to simple. There are even diminutive, battery-powered vanities created for camping! Here are a few design ideas for us vain folk:

Spies R Us

black box

Alape’s “Metaphor” vanity looks as if it was designed by the weapons team for James Bond. Love the chrome-plated towel holder!

Shape Up

shape vanity

The Shape Vanity by  Villeroy & Boch is “understated” and a warm combo of wood and metal. I love when the bowl is installed atop the unit. (Pretty vain of me to think wood is earthy and therefore superior.)  See other cool examples at Architonic.

Ye Olde Style Vanity


For those who prefer their vanity served up in classic style, this Chelsea Sink Cabinet  combines a cream granite surface with a porcelain bowl, finished with a solid wood or hardwood veneer.  Home Decorators has an extensive collection for those who want to go old school.

Ye New Whatever School

what is it

China-based Dameson Sanitaryware Co. sells this medium-density fiberboard/solid wood combo set with a glass top and ceramic basin–available in white and black.



Nova Linea pops completely out of the box with this dual-sink model combining classic and fusion ideas. The original Italian creation may simply change your own personal notions of vanity.

I’ll stop here with these examples.  As Michel de Montaigne once remarked, “There is perhaps no more obvious vanity than to write of it so vainly.”

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