Reader Redesign: Bring Your Tuxedo

As much as we love a white kitchen, there are so many other fun options out there, like my sister’s wood cabinets + white appliances combo and “tuxedo” kitchens (a combo of dark and light cabinets). So when Rita’s makeover landed in our inbox, we couldn’t believe how much she changed her space for the better, and especially liked her two-tone cabinets. Here’s her letter:

Hi Sherry and John, We recently finished renovating our kitchen. The challenge was creating a kosher kitchen (two sinks and separate spaces for meat and dairy) while keeping it looking clean and uncluttered and keeping the cost down. The original kitchen was beige-on-beige laminate with very little counter space.

The only thing that wasn’t torn out was the window above the sink! The wall between the dining room and kitchen was removed, the dinette area was deleted, and that’s where the breakfast bar now sits. The large picture window was made shorter to accommodate the long counter with a second sink.

This kitchen is all about contrasts… white upper cabinets and dark gray bottom cabinets, a rough reclaimed wood dining table and shimmery capiz lighting fixture, sleek white counter tops and a dark limestone tile backsplash.

The cabinets are shaker style Diamond cabinets from Lowe’s (I’m thrilled with the quality). The brass pulls are Martha Stewart for Home Depot and the counters are quartz. Light fixtures over the breakfast bar and sink are from Schoolhouse Electric. The natural light that pours into the kitchen most of the day is awesome although I still need window treatments–I’m thinking of roman shades.

The new pantry sits where the original refrigerator used to be.

There are also two “sides” flanking the stove–one for meat the other side for dairy.

Here’s one of my favorite things–I found the idea on Pinterest.

It was totally worth the months of plaster dust and living with no sink or stove for a while.  Our new kitchen is not only beautiful but a pleasure to cook in and I feel blessed to be able to work in it everyday. Thank you, Rita

No, thank YOU Rita! Because in addition to that awesome cabinet color combo, you have actually made me – a dude who likes power washing – appreciate gold hardware. And Sherry’s pretty much in love with everything, but the gold fixture over the sink (speaking of which, you can read all of the full sources on her blog) did her in. Thanks again for sharing your kitchen! What do you guys think? Got a favorite part? Who’s digging the secret TV?


  1. Kim from Milwaukee says

    Bravo! Very well done! I love when people are not afraid to customize their home for their own needs and wants and not worry about ‘resale value’. This is brilliant! Thank you for sharing this home reno, John, and congrats on your new home as well. Looking forward to all your ideas and projects to come.

  2. says

    Gorgeous! Very well done Rita!

    I have two toned cabinets as well. My inspiration was the “color conundrum” you all did with the kitchen with smurf cabinets and terra cotta tile floors. Do you remember that? I loved that kitchen once the cabs were painted. That seems like forever ago!

  3. Sarah Jane says

    In a word, GORGEOUS.

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m newly inspired about my kitchen, black and white, and brass.

  4. says

    Shaaaa….whaaaat??? This redesign is awesome and yes I nearly had coffee come up that wrong tube when I inhaled at the wrong time when I saw the secret TV idea. I immediately looked up at my own cabinet above the microwave with the thought “Your days are numbered bro!” Great job Rita!

    My best, Lynn
    *I think the space for meat and dairy separate are great for us of any faith too cause it’s just plain sanitary! I should really start implementing that….hmm….

  5. Kate says

    Oh wow! I’m obsessed with brass hardware and I’m so glad to see it being used around more. I have been so scared that putting it in my kitchen would bring bad 80s images to match the horrific brass light fixtures in my house. This is the way to do it.

  6. Clementine says

    I think this is my favorite kitchen ever (which is really saying something for a Pinterest/blog junkie like me!). Very, very nicely done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *