Home & Style

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Turns Sleek Contemporary

See this room’s transformation.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Turns Sleek Contemporary

This kitchen was saddled with a majorly dated look and limited storage and workspace, thanks in most part to its 20-year-old cabinetry and an inefficient layout. The owners were ready for an update—and they had already settled on using cherry cabinets and black countertops in the redesign. They teamed up with Paul Bentham from Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, who was tasked with creating a contemporary look and adding more functionality in the space. First step? He got rid of a superfluous pair of columns separating the kitchen from the adjacent living room, then filled in the space with a duo of larger islands that include an under-counter speed oven, dual freezer drawers, and a casual dining setup.

To give the desired materials a modern, unexpected spin, Bentham found cherry veneer with an unusual grain, then carefully laid out the wood veneer to form a herringbone-style pattern, enhanced with an antique stain and sheen that lends a subtle shimmer effect. Next, he split the wall cabinets, leaving a three-quarter inch negative detail painted glossy black. A concealed refrigerator and pantry are recessed into the far wall to maximize storage while keeping the look visually clean. Final touches: Absolute Black granite—which runs down the side of the island to send the focus to the cabinets—and an iridescent tile backsplash.

Take a look at the transformation below.

Keep Up on DC’s Latest Fashions with Our Shopping Newsletter

Fashion finds and deals, and the latest trends for you and your home.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.