Reader Redesign: When The Walls Come Down

If you send us an email with the words “1950s ranch,” “knock down walls” and “kitchen makeover” you’ve officially piqued our interest. And when you attach before & after photos as stunning as Jessica’s, well, end of story. I’ll need a moment to pick my jaw up off of the floor. Here’s her letter:

Hey guys! I know how you love a good before and after and thought you might be interested in ours. We bought our 1950’s ranch just over two months ago and have been working around the clock to get her in tip top shape. We recently wrapped up the kitchen remodel and DIYed everything but the countertops.

Since moving into our house we’ve knocked down major walls separating the kitchen from the rest of the home, updated the electric and plumbing, installed new hardwood flooring, replaced all of the upper and lower cabinets, and added a butcher block island. We updated to stainless steel appliances, soapstone countertops, and installed a subway tile backsplash. We also added recessed lighting, pendants, and under-cabinet lighting throughout. Oh, and there was a new addition (baby Lizzy) to the family just days before moving in. Whew. It’s been a wild ride.

There’s just something special about walking into a room that you’ve literally re-built from the ground up. The industrial vibe streaming from the pendants and metal stools makes me a little weak in the knees.

Hope you enjoy this space as much as we do! – Jessica

Enjoy is one word for it, Jessica. Envy might be another. Amazing job! Thanks so much for sharing your makeover with us. Jessica’s also got more pics on her blog, plus a full budget breakdown and source list for you too. In the meantime let’s play the favorite part game. I’m really into those great pendants and the butcher block on the island. Meanwhile, Sherry loves the cabinet hardware and wants to pet the subway tile (who’s surprised?).

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner, so click here to see if it’s you.


  1. Danielle says

    Thanks for sharing! We just moved into our 1950s colonial and I’m dying to update the original kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. says

    I used to actively dislike ranch style houses (having grown up in an ancient craftsman style home that I adored), but posts like this and so much of what you guys do have made me want to search around for a nice, woodpaneled dark cave house of my own to transform. That’s pretty impressive.
    Oh, and just preordered the book! Hooray!

  3. says

    That’s amazeballs. And almost exactly the layout of our house. Only ours is a rental, so I don’t think they’d approve of us knocking down a wall or 2. Hopefully someday :)

  4. Nicole says

    Wow, nice work, especially with a new addition to the family. I have a six month old and can barely keep my house clean!

  5. lauren says

    WHAT?! That is awesome!! I moved into a 1950s ranch style house with a little enclosed kitchen 6 whole months ago and haven’t done 5% of what they’ve accomplished. Maybe in 10 years I can submit mine too…

  6. says

    ooh–I love that island. but my favorite part is showing it to my tends-to-not-care-for-too-many-updates boyfriend how much they did in only two months!! awesome! :)

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