Reader Redesign: Tile For Miles

When Amanda and her husband Ken sent over the amazing before and after photos of their kitchen, let’s just say our mouths literally watered. Here’s their letter:

I really enjoy your blog and your knitty-gritty do-it-yourself attitude, so I thought you might be interested in our own kitchen remodel. We live in a little brick house in St. Louis, built in the 1930’s. The kitchen had been redone in the 70’s and the cabinets were kinda shoddy- plus, we needed A LOT more storage. Last summer we took the plunge and decided to tackle it. My husband and I are both graphic designers and very particular about design but the room came together so smoothly, with very little head-butting. The cabinets are IKEA and go all the way to the ceiling to add much needed storage. The wall with the new island was previously empty, so those 12 inch deep cabinets almost double our availability. We also widened the “nook” where the fridge is by two inches to squeeze in an actual pantry. We hired a friend to do the electric, my brother installed the floor and the tile backsplash, and the counters were professionally done but everything else is our own doing! We had NEVER done a project of this scale. Not bad for learning on the fly, right? It adds so much value to our home and we enjoy every minute of using it. Hope you like it! -Amanda and Ken

Here’s their kitchen before the major overhaul:

And here’s the same space after they worked their makeover magic:

Can you believe that upgrade? Amazing. We love how they maximized every inch of space with ideas like building in that pantry near the fridge and adding that island (flanked by even more built-ins) to extend their workspace. This kitchen just goes to show that if you put a lot of thought into optimizing the space that you have you can end up with about 100 times more function and available stash space without sacrificing an ounce of beauty. Oh and here’s a handy little source list from Amanda & Ken:

  • Cabinets and island table: IKEA
  • Flooring: BR111 from Lowes
  • Lights: Schoolhouse Electric (we live behind a school so we thought it appropriate)
  • Appliances: Fisher & Paykel range, LG microwave, dishwasher and fridge
  • Counters: HanStone quartz in Swan Cotton
  • Backsplash: Glass Blox

So what do you guys think? Didn’t they do a fantastic job selecting those luxe looking finishes and layering both function and form into a formerly blah kitchen? We love that they were able to come together to create something they both adore while doing a lot of the work with their own four hands. And of course we’re obsessed with that gorgeous backsplash of theirs. Yes please.


  1. says

    That’s fantastic! Love it. If you don’t stop showing all these fabulous Ikea kitchens, I may end up having to redo ours. Of course, it could use the update (orig. 1943 w/ lots of paint), but really shouldn’t shift that to the top of the list yet.


  2. Erin says

    Good for them, it’s hard work living through a kitchen remodel as many know.

    I am having a problem with the modern cabinets mixed with the antique lighting mixed with the recessed lighting mixed with the petite country apron sink mixed with the giant industrial pull out faucet.

    But that’s just me.

  3. jbhat says

    Amanda and Ken,

    WOW. What a tremendous accomplishment. Your new kitchen is modern, functional, and extremely gorgeous. It must make such a difference in your daily lives to not have the heart of your home be yucky and dated. Now it’s sleek and simple and so easy on the eyes. I’m so happy for you!

    Thanks for sharing this transformation with the Youngsters and with us.


  4. Angie says

    Just found your blog while searching for brick painting. (We have awwwwful fake brick in our kitchen.)

    We used those Ikea cabinets in our old houses’ kitchen remodel. I miss them so much. I’m insanely jealous of this kitchen!

    If anyone is interested, the cabinet fronts are Nexus Yellow-Brown. Sounds not like a cute color, but they are shiny and beautiful (and one of the cheaper cabinet front options at Ikea)!

  5. Christin says

    Love it! Well done! I especially love their fridge and pantry built in and the tiling behind the stove. Beautiful. I’m curious to know how they like the Ikea cabinets. I hope she stops by the blog here to fill us in. Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. says

    How gorgeous! I’m in love with that green backsplash and totally jealous of the island! What an incredible transformation. I would love to know the final cost, since they re-did most of it themselves!

  7. Val says

    OMG! I love the new kitchen. We just had our 2 bathrooms redone and are contemplating getting the kitchen done. We have been thinking about getting Ikea cabinets too. Such motivation!

  8. Megan says

    Wow! I love it. The new space looks amazing. I would love for mine to look like that. I especially like the shade of green they chose and the farmhouse sink.

    I want a sink like that so bad but I have no idea how to convert my current cabinet configuration to accomodate it. If the homeowners stop by can we get a source for that as well?

    I also have a general question about the stove hood. It looks like they have a microwave with a fan (I’m assuming). Is that enough for a gas stove or do you need to have a hood that vents outside?


  9. Ashly says

    Wow — I’m in the middle of my own kitchen remodel (we’re at the down-to-the-studs-and-can’t-see-the-finish-line stage), and this totally gave me hope that we’ll be done someday! The “after” photos are AMAZING!

  10. says

    Oh wow!! This is just beautiful! I am drooling over your glass tile backsplash – I especially love how you switched it up behind the range. And of course I adore the farmhouse sink! I cannot believe you guys DIY’ed this space – it’s simply stunning :)

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