Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust

Today we’re revisiting my Arizona kitchen makeover…we have since sold that second home and had multiple offers so it was a big success for us. While we have gutted and renovated many kitchens as real life DIY home renovators (translation: no crew, small budget, no flipping business), this project was a bit different. Since we didn’t have the luxury of time or access to our power tools at home, the goal was to avoid demo and dust. Hence, Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust tells the story of our upgraded, gently made over, tranquil Arizona kitchen.

Calacatta gold honed marble hex accent wall. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
Hello Lovely Studio – Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Decidedly Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust.

Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust

The DIY journey began here, and our goal for the forlorn, builder-grade, cookie cutter kitchen that came with our getaway home was to make it calm and ethereal, upgrade it without tearing apart, and avoid the headache of dust and construction.

Before image of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
BEFORE

The “after” surpassed my expectations.

Serene chic Nordic French kitchen with Calacatta Honed Marble statement wall. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
AFTER

You may remember we bought this second home as a warm vacay getaway to escape treacherous Chicagoland weather. The home backs to a desert wash, came with a virtually maintenance-free landcape (and irrigation system), and was in wonderful condition.

Behr Classic Silver painted grey kitchen cabinets with Soprano quartz countertop and backsplash. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
AFTER

It simply needed design love and a light touch. Below are some of the elements I incorporated into the kitchen:

Inspiration materials and palette for Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
Rachel Ashwell designed Shabby Chic Couture Linen, Calacatta Gold Marble, Blue-Grey Cabinets, Natural jute rug, and also Pewter finished hardware.

I actually used three different gorgeous Rachel Ashwell designed linen fabrics for the adjacent dining room.

Shabby Chic Couture linen fabrics on vintage chair. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
Shabby Chic Couture linen fabrics to be incorporated…certainly lovely indeed.

The Mood for the Kitchen

My favorite colors are muted, faded, timeless, soft neutrals and blue-greys with plenty of expanses of creamy white. I feel most at home in serene, peaceful, ethereal, white, and bright spaces with abundant natural light. The style is European inspired, traditional, and tranquil.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
Hello Lovely Studio – Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Decidedly Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust.

The kitchen is open to the living room (below) which has Belgian linen and soft blue accents.

Michele at Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper
Hello Lovely Studio (Bemz Custom Belgian Linen Sofa Cover; still loving my HP Elitebook)

Serene Arizona Kitchen Makeover: Sink Wall

I was not a fan of the red painted “backsplash” trimmed in white plastic, mottled laminate counters which matched the floor tile, black appliances, and the dinky crown moulding. But I loved the ceiling height, the layout, the tile, and the condition of the sink and cabinets.

Before image of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
BEFORE: Sink Wall

We chose to re-use the sink and faucet to save money, and what a difference opting for quartz counters and backsplash made!

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
AFTER – Hello Lovely Studio…certainly an improvement indeed.
Calacatta gold marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely Studio. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
Hello Lovely Studio – Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Decidedly Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust.
Before image of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
BEFORE: Sink Wall
Viatera quartz in Soprano. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
Hello Lovely Studio – certainly more serene indeed.

Serene Arizona Kitchen Makeover: Range Wall

While I’m not a huge fan of the microwave over the range, by keeping this configuration, we saved ourselves demo, electrical, and carpentry work which would have been necessary for another arrangement.

Before shot of Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen by Hello Lovely. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
BEFORE KITCHEN: BLACK/RED/GREEN
Kitchenaid smudgeproof stainless range and Viatera quartz in Soprano. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
AFTER – Hello Lovely Studio…certainly a more tranquil palette indeed.

While the black appliances functioned well, they were all wrong for the serene mood.

Before Kitchen Arizona kitchen by Hello Lovely. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
BEFORE: Range Wall

As you can see (above), there were just too many colors, and the space felt unappetizing to me.

Serene Nordic French kitchen with Soprano quartz countertop and backsplash. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
Hello Lovely Studio – Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Decidedly Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust.

Cooling everything down and creating clean simplicity gave it a more pulled together, calm, and custom look.

Serene Nordic French Kitchen with Grey Cabinets, Soprano quartz countertop and backsplash. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
AFTER: Range Wall

Serene Arizona Kitchen Makeover: Frig Wall

I just knew this part of the kitchen could get much better because it was all wrong.

Before image of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen. Come read about Hello Lovely's Before and After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust!
BEFORE: Frig Wall

But it was pretty upgrades and sweat equity to the rescue rather than deconstruction and a re-design.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
AFTER – Hello Lovely Studio…certainly far more simple and serene indeed.
Progress image of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen
DURING: Frig Wall
calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio – Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Decidedly Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust.
As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio…certainly an improvement indeed.
Swedish Wood Electric Candelabra
Evergreen Bucket
Courtney Lamp Base
Capri Blue Candle in Mercury Glass
Flameless Candles & Remote
Antiqued Brass Candlesticks
Round Bronze Accent Table
French Country Lamp
White Ruffle Spread + Shams
French Laundry Basket
Metal Martini Table
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Farmhouse Dining Table
Helmsley Bronze Door Hardware
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Turkish Cotton Blanket
Gertrude Wood Bench
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
San Jose Handleset for Front Door
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Oak Laminate Flooring
Knotty Alder Interior Door
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Louis Ghost Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
Rustic Wood Candleholders
French Linen Dining Chair
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
PARIS Framed Print
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
Faux Bois Candleholders
Grainstripe Pillow
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute Area Rug
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
Belgian Linen Sofa
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Polished Carrara Subway Tile
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Magnus Table Lamp
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Round Woven Placemat Set
Antiqued Sunburst Mirror
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Boheme Madera Bench
Round Marble Side Table
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Wicker Patio Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool

Serene Arizona Kitchen Makeover: Statement Wall

I got really lucky with my statement wall in this kitchen because there were no wall cabinets to remove which meant no demo here either!

Before shot of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen
BEFORE: Back Wall

We covered the wall in a calacatta gold honed marble hex mosaic tile I fell in love with. I knew you would notice it as soon as you walked through the front door.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
AFTER – Hello Lovely Studio…certainly less busy indeed.

Originally, this is what you would see across the room:

Before image of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen
BEFORE: Breakfast Bar

We used white grout for a very soft, interesting painterly effect that doesn’t feel trendy or too bold.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
AFTER – Hello Lovely Studio…certainly more airy and bright indeed.

It was just the right amount of movement and lyrical lightness the space needed.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Hello Lovely Studio – Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Decidedly Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust.

Smart Kitchen Design Upgrades: Viatera Quartz Countertops

We ditched the existing beige laminate countertops for a very luxe and hardworking LG Viatera quartz in a color called Soprano. (Read about why I chose Viatera for our Chicagoland home right here.)

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio – Viatera Quartz in Soprano…certainly lovely indeed.

The day these Viatera quartz countertops were installed was one of my favorites since the old counters were holding down the quality of everything as well as stealing light from the space. 

Serene kitchen in Arizona with light grey blue cabinets and stainless appliances. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio…Viatera quartz in Soprano backsplash is lovely indeed.

Since I have always admired the modern minimal look of a quartz backsplash, we continued the quartz on the backsplash as well.

Serene chic simple European inspired kitchen with grey cabinets and Viatera Soprano quartz
Hello Lovely Studio – Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Decidedly Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust.

Soprano is a gorgeous choice to complement calacatta gold marble.

Serene modern farmhouse with Viatera Soprano quartz, Calacatta marble, and Swedish style by Hello Lovely
Hello Lovely Studio

Smart Kitchen Design Upgrades: Calacatta Gold Marble Mosaic Tile

Here are some detailed shots of the 2″ hex mosaic tile we chose for the statement wall in the kitchen.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio

As you can see, there is beautiful variation with luscious caramel, creamy off white, light grey, and darker grey veining throughout.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Detail of calacatta gold honed marble tile – Hello Lovely Studio…certainly lovely indeed.

I chose not to use this marble mosaic tile on the backsplash in the remainder of the kitchen for two reasons. (1) I wanted it to feel special, and (2) I wanted to avoid grout in areas where things would be splashing…like at the sink and range.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Smart Kitchen Design Upgrades: Professional Style Stainless Appliances

I love this appliance collection from Kitchenaid! It has a special finish called Smudgeproof, and what a difference that makes!

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio
Nordic French Kitchen with Detail of Frigidaire Pro gas range and Soprano quartz countertop
AFTER

I’m crazy about sexy commercial style handles on stainless appliances so these babies seduced me.

Serene simple chic Nordic French kitchen with stainless refrigerator and Soprano quartz countertop
AFTER: Frig Wall
As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Smart Kitchen Design Upgrades: Quality Cabinet Hardware

The cabinets we inherited came with no hardware so when we upgraded to the magnificent, hand-forged bronze cabinet hardware from Top Knobs (Aspen Collection)…ooh la la!

Progress image of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen
DURING: After Painting Cabinets

What a profound impact, beautifully timeless pewter finish, and function this simple DIY upgraded addition made.

Hello Lovely Studio

Low Cost Kitchen Makeover DIY: Under-cabinet Lighting

We put inexpensive battery-operated puck lights beneath the cabinets for easy mood lighting.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Hello Lovely Studio
As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio

Low Cost Kitchen Makeover DIY: Grey Painted Cabinets

This kitchen receives strong southern light, and since I wanted a blue-grey color for the cabinets, I chose a color that may actually be considered a medium grey. With so much light, it reads light grey in this space.

Progress on Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen
Cabinet paint color: Behr Classic Silver

The paint color is Behr Classic Silver, and you can order samples from Home Depot with free shipping. I used a satin finish.

Hello Lovely Studio – Before & After DIY Serene Kitchen Makeover: Decidedly Smart Upgrades, No Demo or Dust.

During…

Cabinet Doors Back On!

After…

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Hello Lovely Studio
Serene simple chic Nordic French kitchen with quartz countertop
 Photo: Hello Lovely Studio
Serene Arizona kitchen with grey cabinets and Kitchenaid appliances. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Low Cost Kitchen Makeover DIY: Shaker Trim Around Window

Adding a simple wood trim around the window made a huge difference for me and probably cost $10. If we had kept the house a little longer, I would have added plantation shutters to many of the windows.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Low Cost Kitchen Makeover DIY: Beadboard Panel on Breakfast Bar

Just like our main house, we installed horizontal beadboard paneling on the breakfast bar. For less than $20, you get a more durable surface and cottage charm.

Serene modern farmhouse with Viatera Soprano quartz, Calacatta marble, and Swedish style by Hello Lovely
DIY Kitchen Renovation: Simple and Serene Kitchen Makeover With Smart Switchouts Too.
Serene chic simple European inspired kitchen with grey cabinets and Viatera Soprano quartz
DIY Kitchen Renovation: Serene, simple, chic kitchen remodel with Viatera quartz countertop and backsplash.

Low Cost Kitchen Makeover DIY: Riser & Crown Molding on Cabinets

With 9′ ceilings in here, I knew we could add a piece of riser moulding to the top of the cabinets and then top it with a beefier crown.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

This is a low cost way to customize cookie cutter, builder-grade maple cabinets that look like a bunch of boring boxes.

As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio

Other Ways We Saved Money

We kept the existing footprint. I didn’t even think of changing it because I knew that would mean headaches, dust, and surprises!

calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Worked with the existing flooring. While I love wood floors, the linen color of the existing porcelain tiles worked with the plan for a serene kitchen so they stayed.

calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely Studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio

Kept the existing stainless sink and faucet. I seriously considered adding a farm sink in here, but since it would involve re-working the sink base, carpentry work, and plumbing changes, I used the perfectly fine stainless features we inherited.

calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Shopped local estate sales and Ikea for decor. I had so much fun picking up little things to try from Ikea and shopping estate sales. (The frames for the prints and succulents came from Ikea.)

calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely Studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio
As real life renovators, we made over our ugly Arizona kitchen with no demo or dust with smart upgrades and swaps. Light grey cabinets, Viatera quartz counters (Soprano), and calacatta marble hex accent wall - Hello Lovely studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Calacatta Gold Mosaic Tile

For a calacatta marble hex mosaic option with predominantly light grey and white tones and without the gold and caramel, this option is a glorious one too:

Paint Colors Used in Kitchen

Wall Paint Color: Valspar Salute (7006-12). Cabinet Paint Color: Behr Classic Silver.

Serene Nordic French kitchen with grey cabinets Soprano quartz countertop and backsplash
AFTER: Sink Wall

Behind the Scenes Glimpses

To give the exterior wall of the kitchen extra wow factor and interest, we installed gorgeous Calacatta Gold marble hex wall tile, and I knew it would be perfect paired with the Soprano quartz which has swirls of caramel and grey.

Calacatta Gold marble hexagon mosaic tile from the Builder Depot
DIY Kitchen Renovation: Calacatta Gold Marble Hex Mosaic Tile

Calacatta Gold has a range of natural variation in the marble, and I love how the creamy white/grey/caramel tones play off the cool blue-greys elsewhere.

Progress on Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen
Installation of Calacatta Gold Marble Mosaic Wall Tile

While it may have been too busy a choice if used for the backsplash elsewhere, as a statement wall, it makes a bold statement without being overkill.

Progress pf Calacatta Gold marble mosaic wall at Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen
DIY Installation: Calacatta Gold Marble wall tile

There are plenty of other simple elements in the space that keep the overall look calm, yet the interest of the natural stone minimize the boring factor.

Installation of Calacatta Gold mosaic tile for statement wall in Hello Lovely Arizona kitchen
DURING: DIY Marble wall tile installation

Before the crown molding was painted…

Progress image of Hello Lovely Arizona Fixer Upper Kitchen
DURING: DIY Crown Molding Installed & Tile Going Up

Detail of honed marble:

Detail of Calacatta Gold marble hex mosaic tile at Hello Lovely Arizona kitchen
Calacatta Gold Marble Mosaic Tile after Grout

Before/After Arizona Kitchen

Thanks so much for checking out this before/after. Do let me know if you have any questions, but keep in mind I can’t take any photos since we sold the house!

FIND THE RESOURCE GUIDE WITH LINKS TO construction materials, decor, appliances, and paint RIGHT HERE!

Did you miss my last post with adorable fall finds? I shared some lovely pinnable quotes and this poem which I adore:

Poem by Mary Oliver about autumn. Song of Autumn.

Thanks so very much if you have a moment to vote, and do find the nomination of Hello Lovely for Best Written Blog RIGHT HERE!

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Shopping for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE (not just items mentioned in posts) keeps decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Click HERE to also discover lovely cost conscious furniture and home decor!

Thank you kindly, Viatera, The Builder Depot, and Top Knobs
for providing beautiful materials in this kitchen makeover.

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10 Comments

  1. September 1, 2019 / 11:54 am

    Happy Labor Day weekend! Oh my, I can’t even imagine tackling a renovation project from halfway across the country and making it a DIY project! And doing it dust free no less. I hope you got to enjoy the home a bit before you sold it. Glad it ended up being a great investment! Love all your choices, beautiful and dramatic before and afters!

    • Michele
      Author
      September 1, 2019 / 6:14 pm

      Thanks, Celia! We did enjoy that home for those 2 years, and it was all sort of an experiment from the beginning…how much time would we get to spend there and how would it be to retire there…? I discovered I would rather be cold in Illinois with my honey than balmy while alone in the desert, and his schedule isn’t flexible as mine is. I also discovered the floorplan wouldn’t work as a primary home in retirement. But the desert landscape appeals – the amenities of the community were perfect – and sunshine everyday made me so happy. Maybe a modern French farmhouse built slowly over a few years in the desert…we shall see. πŸ™‚

  2. Joanna
    September 1, 2019 / 2:49 pm

    My preference is a light coloured kitchen, as well. We spend a fair amount of time in our kitchens, so they should reflect our aesthetic. By surrounding yourself by light reflecting walls and stainless steel appliances your mood is lifted. I love what you’ve done with your Arizona kitchen. It’s a calming space yet the Calcutta Gold Mosaic tile adds a touch of drama.
    I’m excited to see your finished laundry room! I know whatever you do will be a dream. Mine is similar to your laundry room, so I plan on going to school on your design.

    Blessings
    ~Joanna

    • Michele
      Author
      September 1, 2019 / 6:06 pm

      Thanks, Joanna. We have made progress on it this weekend so maybe I’ll be able to share later this week. We opted for no demo just like the Arizona kitchen, but there has been a lot of dust with some additions. I wouldn’t call it a dream – more like a simple, achievable, frugal strategy to customize and do it ourselves. It is already so much more welcoming, and now is the fun part: adding a few pretty touches. πŸ™‚

  3. Margarita
    September 1, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    Wow! What a beautiful make over this is and it has your signature look all over it which I love. I can’t believe your work in progress pictures look so clean.

    • Michele
      Author
      September 1, 2019 / 9:23 pm

      I loved this project so much, and I picked a horrible time of day to shoot pics so thanks! It really is just me, my husband, and our folks occasionally helping us with these DIY projects…no fairies swooping in with hammers and cash! Ha! Thanks so much for making this fun to share. πŸ™‚

  4. Marilyn S.
    September 1, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    You are Goldilocks ! It’s always just right. I can’t say this enough I never ever tire of looking at your houses. I always see (or am directed) to a new detail. Thank you for pushing through and sharing with us day in and day out.

    • Michele
      Author
      September 1, 2019 / 9:20 pm

      Hahahaha – you’re so lovely, Marilyn. Thank you for this encouragement. Pushing through is soooooo dead on! Hahaha. I love having you here, and I’m so grateful to be joined on the journey. xox

  5. Rhonda
    September 6, 2019 / 10:57 am

    What an amazing make over kitchen! I too moved from cold Chicago to Phoenix. I miss home so much.
    Your remodels are simply the BEST!

    • Michele
      Author
      September 6, 2019 / 11:14 am

      Thanks so much, Rhonda. It was a labor of love, and I wish I could just collect houses…ha! You are so smart to relocate to Phoenix…truly! Wanna house swap when you need a Chicagoland fix? πŸ™‚

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