Sophie’s Kitchen Renovation


Do you remember Sophie?

Sophie Before


Or maybe these 2 great bathroom renovations here & here ?

Well, Sophie’s parents decided that their kitchen needed some updating as badly as their bathrooms did, so back we went.  It hasn’t even been a year that they were with living in ‘reno mode’!  But I think you’ll agree, it was well worth the headaches (think living in the basement, 7 wks of toasters, hot plates, a mini fridge, and lots of restaurants – hmm, that part might be alright…)

Before & After Kitchen Renovation


And of course, Sophie sure has changed!

Sophie After (2)


Okay okay, Before & After KITCHEN – focus.

Kitchen renovation After


I’m always in favor or getting rid of bulkheads because so often, it’s not actually serving any purpose, and allows for taller upper cabinets.  In this kitchen, the bulkhead was in the cooking area and then just ended awkwardly in the eating area:

Awkward Kitchen Bulkhead Before


But, in this case, a very small portion of it actually was necessary….and of course, not a portion we could just conceal with the cabinetry.  So here’s how we worked around it:  We decided to add more bulkhead – yes, you heard right….where the bulkhead had to stay it was concealed it with cabinetry header, and then a bulkhead was continued all the way around the eating area.   SO much better than that odd, awkward bit before, and for sure the most times bulkhead has been used in one paragraph.

New Bulkhead around Kitchen


The footprint of this kitchen really couldn’t change, there just wasn’t enough space.  But that definitely doesn’t mean small changes with big impact couldn’t be made.


Before the reno, this kitchen had 4 entries.  Seriously. The only thing missing was a rabbit hole.  Exit door to backyard, and interior entries from family room, entry hallway, and dining room.  So this doorway into the family was closed off:

Doorway in Kitchen to remove


allowing 3 more feet of pantry space:

New Pantry wall


The pantries were designed to be ‘stepped’ in their depth so that the eating area and entry from the hallway didn’t feel crowded (8” depth end cabinets & 12“ depth middles):

Varying pantry depths


We also shifted the doorway into the dining over towards the eating area by 8” – this added 8” of space in the U shaped cooking area.  Doesn’t sound like much, but 8” is a lot considering the overall width of the ‘U’ was only 54“ inside – and 8” is always appreciated, isn’t it?

Kitchen renovation Increased width


Mounting the cabinet hardware horizontally instead of vertically visually aligns the uppers with the lowers, which are mostly drawers, except for the pull out racks beside the stove.


Sophie eating the props


Kitchen renovation After 2


The centre fixture in the cooking area was removed, and 6 pot lights flood the whole area with light – no more counter shadows!  Under cabinet lighting adds another layer of task lighting.  The fixture over the table is very large, but it is open and so light that it’s a beautiful choice.


Large scale light fixture


The cabinet doors are a simple profile, and the whole kitchen feels so much larger with soft white cabinetry.  A 2×6 honed backsplash is outstanding in its simplicity;  the countertops are Caesarstone Emperadoro, which adds depth and beautifully ‘grounds’ all that airiness, and is a shade subtlety repeated in the 12×24 floor tile.


kitchen backsplash


The floor tile in the kitchen continues through to the front entry, powder room, and laundry room, so those spaces got updated as well.

 Hallway B&A

Nothing wrong with the powder room, but it was old, and with everything else getting gussied up, it needed it.  I’m always a fan of adding some drama, some wow, some impact in the powder room – it’s a small space that really, is pure function, there’s not a whole lot of space or opportunity to ‘decorate’.  So bolder wall color, larger scale art, maybe some fabulous wallpaper – all ways to fancy up these tiny spaces.

 B&A Powder Room


Cynthia & Keith are so pleased with their main floor renovations, and so happy to be ‘back to normal’ again.  A big thank you to them for being so wonderful to work with – I loved being part of this project with you!  


Kitchen Renovation After 1


Kitchen renovation 3

Paint colours in this project

Powder room Benjamin Moore Metropolis

Kitchen walls Sherwin Williams Mega Greige

Kitchen cabinets Benjamin Moore White Heron

Hallway Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter



If you’re planning to re-decorate, re-design, or renovate, I can help you create the extraordinary. Fall in love with your home again.

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  1. Gorgeous! I’d love to redo the bulk of my house, and it was just redone like 10 years ago! (By someone else, of course.)

  2. Michael Baeumler says:

    Another wonderful design Tracy. Simple yet so elegant.

  3. Stephanie DeFazio says:

    HOLY MOLY!!! Looks fantastic but really…..bread on the counter displayed like a fine bed and breakfast. LOL

  4. Smashing remodel!! Absolutely love it!!

  5. Pat Phipps says:

    Awesome work … A completely different bright but warm existence

  6. Another amazing transformation, Trace – just gorgeous!

  7. Very Zen like now. So much better!!!

  8. WOW, what a transformation! AND THE STORAGE!!! The owners must be thrilled!

    • Tracy Black says:

      The storage is so fantastic in that kitchen Dani – visually and functionally a major transformation! Thanks for visiting! xoT

  9. Just gorgeous and thanks for posting your paint colours too!

  10. Beautiful transformation Tracy,
    The thought of working around that nasty bulkhead gave me the shivers and I love the stepped cabinets… very clever!

    • Tracy Black says:

      Thanks Cynthia – I never would have imagined liking a bulkhead before this project! xoT

  11. What a difference! I am in love with the pantry……

  12. This is such a stunning makeover! I love it!!!!

  13. AMAZING!!! So fresh and looks so much larger now. Wow, what a fantastic job. I just don’t have an eye for these kinds of details (like the stepped cabinets – brilliant!) but it really adds up to one amazing reno. Congrats!

    • Tracy Black says:

      Wow, thanks so much Julie! In a small space, it’s great if you can maximize every inch! Thanks for visiting! xoT

  14. Whoa! look at all that pantry space! I’m drooling. That light fixture is also gorgeous. Likely another few years before we get to tackle our tiny kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. WOW! It’s beautiful and ever so sophisticated. LOVE IT!

  16. love it.. would love more detail about the backsplash and the tiled floors… so beautiful… great job!!

    • Tracy Black says:

      Hi Patty – thank you! Of course – here’s what I have – the floor tile is 12×24, called Arte Bianco; the backsplash is Botticono honed 2×4. xoT

  17. WOW, i love it, so fresh and gorgeous

  18. Love your new lighter colors and your kitchen is amazing. You did a great job on redoing everything. Beautiful. Hugs, Marty

    • Thanks Marty – this is a client project, not my own (though I wish I could re-do mine!) thank you and hugs back! xoT

  19. Julie @ Being Home says:

    Gorgeous! What an innovative way to create pantry space. LOVE those cabinets! Amazing work, Tracy! 😀

  20. This looks awesome, I love how you brought everything together with the floor tile… extra storage = brilliant!

    ~Laurie @ Vin’yet Etc.

    • Thanks Laurie! The floor tile was step one in the ‘list’ of choices – so all the shades in there created the palette! xoT.

  21. Gorgeous. I could use some of your magic. We have tons of space, but it needs, what did you say, to be ‘gussied’ up.

    • Mara, I’d love to help you ‘gussy’! Plan your space wisely, make everything functional. Oh, and then add magic. Thanks for visiting! xoT

  22. Where did you purchase the kitchen cabinets. These are the exact ones im looking for!

    • Hi Iliamar, it is such a gorgeous kitchen – it was custom, an amazing local company called EnRich It made this kitchen. If you are in Southern Ontario, you will find them online! Thanks, xoT

  23. For the paint in the powder room, what sheen is it? Flat, satin, semi gloss.


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