Before and After || Katie’s Simple Kitchen Refresh

(A Note from Jen: I particularly loved this before and after for it’s totally approachable vibe.  We would have loved to have gutted the kitchen in our house in LA, taken down walls, and opened things up while adding high end appliances and new floors, but was actually pleasantly surprised by what we were able to do here to brighten up the space with a budget of around $1200.  Katie’s kitchen is a perfect in between of that very small scale project and a complete overhaul like this kitchen.  While major kitchen renovations tend to fall in the $30,000-$75,000 range, for this kind of a refresh you can expect to spend between $5000-$7000, with the largest costs coming from the tile and countertops. Keep reading for all of the details from Sara!)  Hi friends! It’s Sara again, here to share a fun and easy, kitchen before-and-after with you guys. This time around, I wanted to show you I kitchen I recently worked on, which belongs to my friend and client, Katie Kaighin, the brilliant mind behind Little Yellow Flower Design. Katie, her husband Jim and their three young girls live in a beautiful, traditional home in Pemberton Heights here in Austin. Because the home is older, it is loaded with charm and character, so it was really important to take that into consideration when we approached updating her kitchen.

Take a look at what Katie was working with before:

She had dark red paint with no backsplash to be found…so it had gotten pretty dirty over time. She also had wall-to-wall stained wood cabinets, which provide a nice amount of storage in the small kitchen, but feel heavy and weigh the room down.  The key to this update was to stay true to the existing floorplan and complete the update easily and quickly. This is where a light renovation can help things out considerably. Katie planned on keeping her appliances, cabinets, and existing kitchen hardware, so we focused on changing out the countertops, painting throughout, and adding in a tile backsplash. You’d be surprised what a little lipstick can do!

This is where I should jump in and say, Katie is not just an incredibly talented florist, but she is also a master geologist, so she was insistent on a natural slab of quartzite for her new countertops. She fell in love with a piece that was light gray with deep, dark gray veining. Let’s just say it was a real stunning chunk of rock!  Using the new quartzite countertops as our focal point for the updated kitchen, I chose a soft gray for the walls to help brighten the space and make it feel more open but a dark, ashy gray for the cabinets to bring out the countertop’s veining. Then it came time to pick the kitchen backsplash and again, since the room is on the smaller side, we wanted the tile to blend seamlessly with the wall color but bring in some texture. This geometric diamond pattern accomplished just that.  Lastly, we added in a few accessories and that’s it! It was quick, easy and updated the kitchen, but the room still blends seamlessly with the rest of the home.


Design – Sara Barney for BANDD Design

Countertop – Calcutta Quartzite from Architectural Granite and Marble of Austin

Wall Paint Color – Sherwin Williams Argos || Cabinet Paint Color – Sherwin Williams Peppercorn

Backsplash Tile – From The Tile Guy in Austin, similar here

Range – Viking Ranges

Roman Shade – Pottery Barn Riviera Stripe


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  1. Love the after!!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

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