Karin is a pet photographer from Minneapolis and apparently when she’s not snapping pretty pictures of pooches, she’s busy creating a pretty darned awesome kitchen. We know you guys like to a see non-white kitchens when those come in, and this one is actually an all wood one. Check out her letter below, which I’ve peppered with some of Karin’s awesome before & afters. Well, and one demo-tastic during shot.
Hi Sherry and John! You’ve been an inspiration for my husband and I as we purchased our first home last summer and immediately started tearing it apart. After years of renting, we finally took the plunge and purchased our first home. We wanted something open and modern with lots of natural light. Thanks to our HGTV-watching experience, we had a good handle on what to look for versus things we could change ourselves. When we came across a semi-neglected house, it had all the “must-haves” for us and we went for it. This house was actually by far the least expensive of the ones we saw, allowing us to make some pretty big changes.
Although the before images don’t convey this too well, the kitchen/dining area was dirty, tired, and needed a lot of help. Cola (I think?) was spattered on the walls, the carpet was had a minor flea infestation, and most of the tiles in the kitchen were cracked.
Jeff and I salvaged and donated what we could and took a sledgehammer to the rest. We did as much as we could ourselves (and with the help of family) and called in the pros when it was truly necessary (installing 600 pounds of structural beams, running a gas line to the stove, etc.). We have learned so much… and more! And to save some money we shopped around for discounts (the dining chairs are from Overstock and we actually DIYed the dining table with legs from Ikea).
I frequently referenced many how-to’s on YHL (hello backsplash!) and you two helped instill a sense of fearlessness to tackle many “scary” projects with no previous experience. Thank you and take care! – Karin
We love how light and airy this kitchen feels (proving that wood cabinets can still add up to a nice bright kitchen). Karin has tons of extra pictures on her photography blog along with a source list. Oh, and since we’d be remiss not to end with a shot with dogs in it – here goes nothing!
What’s your favorite part? The dogs? Me too. Although those dining chairs, stools, and pretty island lights have Sherry oohing and ahhing, and I love the sleek cabinet hardware and that cool waterfall edge on the island’s countertop.
am i really the first to comment???? this is an awesome redo, congrats!
Loving the clear globe lighting, the counter tops (very chic), and the adorable doggies. Beautiful makeover all around!
Rene @thedomesticlady says
I love the light birch cabinets!!!! Great job. And my husband just finished watching/reading up on your penny tile tutorial before he laid our new bathroom floors. You all are so helpful:) And that’s why your readers love you, well that and your sense of humor. happy hump day.
Aw, I’m so happy to hear that! Happy hump day back atcha!
I love their collection of terriers! A Westie, a Cairn, and a Scottish I believe. So cute!
Ashley F says
I agree! I think it’s the ‘trifecta’ of dogs to own :)
Beth W. says
According to her website, the white one is actually a wheaten colored Scottie. I have a Westie, so I was curious. :) So cute!
I like the kitchen, but I love the two Scotties! My favorite dog ever!
I love the white wrap-around on the island. And the dogs, definitely the dogs.
Beautiful kitchen. But those dogs! They steal the show.
Erin @ The Impatient Gardener says
That last picture is pretty much the most adorable thing I’ve seen all day. Awesome kitchen reno too, of course, but ooohhhh, those adorable pooches!
Leigh Anne says
What an amazing vision! I certainly hope to keep the same open mind during our house hunt and ask ourselves WWYHLD? :)
I love the light fixtures and how the one over the table mirrors the ones in the kitchen but they aren’t the same. Very cool!
You know what I love about this most of all? That it’s a raised ranch! In my area, most people own raised ranches and I never see how people renovate/modernize them online. Love it!
[email protected] says
Beautiful! Love that backsplash too! And the adorable pups:)
Jackie K. says
this kitchen reno is amazing. i thought the second photo was an ‘inspiration’ shot… not the ACTUAL thing. hot dog. makes me realize i could go to town on the house we own (we move too frequently to warrant it… i’m burnt out still from updating rooms in the last three homes we’ve had… over the last 4 years!).
Love this! I grew up in a house with this exact layout, and as an adult I’ve thought back and imagined how great it would be with an open floor plan! Looks so great :)
Beautiful kitchen, the dogs are my favorite though!
ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com says
loving this! so bright and cheery! and those dogs are adorbs!
I love the puppies! How sweet that they’d pose like that.
Also – is there source info on the lights? Those bubble-ish fixtures are gorgeous!
West Elm. So pretty right?!
Karin Newstrom says
Thanks for sharing! My trio of rescue dogs are honored. :) They say “woof!” to Burger!
Aw, thanks for sharing the eye candy Karin! Burger sends some suspicious sniffs followed by fulla-love licks right back.
Sarah | The Cyclist's Wife says
This looks so fabulous! I’m wondering where their microwave is? Great, great job.
Good question! Hope she drops in with that info!
Karin Newstrom says
The microwave is hidden on the back side of the island. There is a cubby sized and wired to hold a built-in microwave, but for now our small hand-me-down microwave is sitting in it since it wasn’t a high priority given the scope of our other projects. I should remember to check Craigslist more often for one that will fit. :)
So smart! I love how thought-out this whole project was Karin!
Liz S. says
Yup, the dog shot (no offense to the kitchen, haha)!
From one Westie mommy to another. Beautiful kitchen, but I am loving those dogs. If they are anything like my Annie, there is a lot of intelligence sitting there and a whole lot of stubborn.
This was a great transformation. You might let Karin know that when I clicked on the link to her website my virus blocker came up and said it had detected a virus.
Oh no! Anyone else having that issue? I wonder if it’s one of her blog plug-ins acting up (we had an issue with our Instagram plug-in, it wasn’t a virus, but blockers thought it was for a second and then said nevermind – haha!).
Theresa M. says
Yep, same thing happened to me. :( Just glad I got to see this great kitchen.
Ana Silva says
I love the doggie shot. They are so cute!
The dogs. And that island. And the whole lightness of everything. So fresh, congrats to them!
I love when people manage to do something really modern that still feels warm and homey (like this). I like many of aspects of modern design, but a lot of times it comes off really stark and cold. Great job!
Pat S says
Yep, the dogs. :D But the kitchen looks great, too.
Adorable dogs and gorgeous kitchen! For those of you in the Twin Cities, Karin is an amazing photographer. She just photographed my corgi last weekend and I highly recommend her for your doggy (or human) photo needs. She handled my grumpy girl like a champ.
I have a 10-year-old grumpy corgi girl myself! Corgi love!
Beauuuuuutiful kitchen! It turned out so open and bright, I love it. Any chance we could hear more about what those must-haves were when Karin and Jeff were house-shopping?
Great question! Care to comment Karin?
Karin Newstrom says
Sure! We focused on the big things we learned from house hunting shows – location (to avoid bad commutes and airplane/freeway noise, which we both previously dealt with), lot size (for the doggies and gardening), and layout. We were looking for at least 2 beds, 2 baths, office/studio space, and a garage. Being a photographer, I am obsessed with light, so we wanted someplace that gets a lot of sun and hoped to find a place that had a more open floor plan or was capable of being opened up. Lastly, we were actually on the lookout for a place that was not updated, so we could redo projects that genuinely needed updating vs. things that were simply not to our taste.
This house was so unremarkable when we saw it, but when we were reviewing houses that night, we realized it actually ticked all our boxes and had so much potential, especially for the nice price of a foreclosure. :)
Thanks, Karin! Great tips – and you two had some serious vision to see this diamond in the rough. Thank you for sharing :)
My favorite part? The waterfall island! It’s such an amazing transformation!
crystal barnes says
The dogs had me. Awesome kitchen, though it still has that white kitchen vibe. I’d love to see something in rich wood tones.
Jennifer A says
A fantastic kitchen is ALWAYS improved by a cairn terrier in my opinion…. our kitchen wouldn’t be the same without our spunky cairn Harry!
I love how open and fresh it looks now! I am always amazed at people who do big renovations like this! I don’t know that I’d have the vision for it!
I love this redesign! We have almost the same layout as you guys but thankfully not as much work was needed when we moved in. We did redo the kitchen and I have to admit your new layout is exactly what I dream of doing!! Unfortunately for us the walls you knocked down are where the bulk of our cabinets, sink, and appliances are so tearing those down and reworking the kitchen layout was out of our budget at the time. I still think about it though and luckily now I have your gorgeous redesign to satisfy my daydream when I need it :). We have a black lab and he gives tons of
loveable sniffs to all your doggies!
So frustrating. I like the before shot, save for the lighting, the handles and the range/hood. It actually reminds me a lot of my kitchen. Makes me worry about reselling my house one day, but… oh well.
the kitchen sorta kinda reminds me of Dana’s Kitchen at House*Tweaking. (which is my favorite kitchen in the blog-o-sphere) I love love love the reno!
Now that you mention it I can totally see that! Hers is lovely too!
I pretty much love every part of this! The dogs just made say “awww and hahahah” out loud! Great Re-design.
Laura C says
Lovely! Thanks for sharing.
Wow! Amazing! Would love to get the details on their diy dining table pretty please. :)
Me too! If Karin feels like sharing I hope she drops back in :)
Thanks! The table legs are from Ikea and the top is a piece of Maple plywood. I doubled up the thickness around the edges, attached the pieces with wood glue and screws, filled in gaps in the layers with wood putty, sanded, and polyed. The table top rests right on the legs. The hardest part was deciding what size to make the table!
Gorgeous!! It came out stunning Karin.
How about, I love everything about this makeover! I’m not a fan of wood cabinets — yes, I have a white kitchen — but this could make me change my mind. Great job! Oh, and the puppies…too cute!
Yes, the dogs! I love terriers. Makes me miss my carin I had growing up.
I noticed she had Jonathon Adler’s vision/3 word deal going on: open, modern, and light – which they achieved!
We just moved into a new house last week but we picked a house that didn’t need any reno – with three very young kids (6,3, and baby) we can barely paint a room so that about all we can manage. We’re so happy to have more than 1 bathroom now!
Thanks for sharing!
Love the J-Ad three word deal!
Any idea where the stools are from?
West Elm. Aren’t they cool?!
the dogs. hands down. and the backsplash. but mostly the dogs. if they don’t put a smile on your face, nothing will!!
I absolutely love the light wood with the white and definitely how they opened up the space. Oh, and the dogs are pretty cute, too. ;0)
Love to see a beautiful wood kitchen. Echo the bright and airy comments. We are firmly in the interim demolition stage of our project & it’s good to be inspired to know it won’t always be like this:
There will eventually be an after. :-)
Such a major difference! I love the globe lights and honey comb backsplash!
Meredith Jones says
The second pic with the adorbs white dog sitting there with his head tilted is so darn cute. I LOVE the cabinets! I’m usually all about white, but these are so fresh and warm at the same time. Great job!