Kitchen Reno

The Reveal

Kitchen Reno

Last Saturday — precisely four weeks after Mark and his brother demoed our kitchen — Ben and Mike put in a 10-hour day and largely wrapped up the renovation. Once again, they had plenty of help:

Here’s how things looked before and after:

Note how we used to use the top and sides of the refrigerator for storage and hung keys from a bulletin board over the island (which also housed a desktop organizer filled with miscellanea). Clear plastic shelves, shown at top left next to the larger window, held alphabetized spices in labeled glass jars — an OCD project I obviously undertook before having children. Not pictured: the hanging shoe bag we crammed with oversize utensils and craft supplies.

Now we have wide drawers that accommodate all of our stuff (and, bonus, don’t fall out of the cabinets and spread sawdust when you open them), including ones for keys/junk/phones and spices:

Appliances formerly parked on the countertops are tucked into a cabinet and compartment in the island:

And the freestanding round table everyone was always bumping into has been replaced by a beautiful hickory-topped one Ben crafted and attached to the island:

Speaking of craftsmanship, as former owners of cabinets crowned with blocky soffits, an over-mount sink ringed with moldy caulking, toe kicks that fell inward when you tapped them, and laminate countertops with sawed-off edges, we are particularly appreciative of details like these:

Juxtaposed with the new elements are the home’s original plaster walls, baseboards, and door moldings, and the sweet little vintage flue cover we found inside the sink wall and displayed just above where it used to hide.

So, what do you think of the final result? I am dying to hear your thoughts!


Kitchen Designers/General Contractors/Cabinetmakers/Child Whisperers/Incredibly Hard Workers: Block Brothers Custom Cabinets

Assisting Carpenter: Barrett Made

Cabinet Hardware: Handle It!

Dining Chairs: West Elm

Glass Pendants: Fogg Lighting

Faucet and Sink: F.W. Webb Company

Himalaya White Granite Countertops and Subway Tile: Morningstar Stone and Tile

In-Drawer Electrical Outlets: Docking Drawer

Painting Contractor: Jed’s Painting Co.

Red Birch Flooring: Atlantic Hardwoods

Runner: Crate & Barrel




  1. Barbara Martin

    WOW, Sarah! I love it. Looks fab.

    • Sarah Stebbins

      Barbara — you read the blog! Thank you. We will have you over asap. Thank you for the kind words.

  2. Kate

    Amazing transformation!!! I absolutely love it.

    • Sarah Stebbins

      Thank you Kate! You have amazing taste so this means a lot coming from you. xo

  3. Andrea Verdone

    OMG so this dream kitchen is pretty much my entire Pinterest board (right down to the outlets in the drawers and the colors/tiles)! Your team did an AMAZING job!! Seriously, when the time comes for us to do our kitchen I’m pulling up this blog and telling them to follow suit! #MaineHomesInJersey

  4. Sarah Stebbins

    Andrea—this is high praise coming from an experienced home renovator like you. 🙂 Thank you! xo

  5. carolyn

    I see your wonderful style everywhere in the kitchen! It seems to me that you really got the look you were aiming for, and it is so beautiful. Colors, style, everything with its own place – it’s perfect! I love the details you highlighted; those are things I might not have noticed specifically, but they add to the feeling of a job well done, down to the last tiny touches. You obviously had a great team working together!

    • Sarah Stebbins

      Thank you so much for the kind words Carolyn! They mean a lot. xo

  6. Christine Pekar

    My thoughts of the final results….SPECTACULAR!!
    From all my visits to your home and knowing your kitchen before, it always puzzled me on how and which way this renovation would be done with the all the challenges you had to face in this room. Five entrances, a bathroom and windows. How could this large space be manipulated into the successful kitchen it worked out to be.
    I am totally impressed and congratulate you on a beautiful job well done. I can say one thing about this… I see Block Brothers Custom Cabinets coming to my home soon.

    • Sarah Stebbins

      Thanks Chris! 🙂 It was a giant puzzle and I think Block Brothers’ solution was brilliant. Can’t wait to have you for dinner in the new space. xo

  7. Nancy

    Sarah, it is positively beautiful! Loved the boys in the sink!! And such a sweet touch to keep the flue cover. Enjoy all that this new kitchen brings. ?

    • Sarah Stebbins

      Thank you Nancy! It have loved reconnecting and it has been a comfort having you cheer me on during this journey. Please send photos of your new home. I would love to see. xo

  8. This kitchen is a dream! You must feel like you’re living in your magazine.

    • Sarah Stebbins

      Thank you so much Kate! And thank you for sharing my posts on your page. I just saw that you were doing that and now need to follow you! xo

  9. Joyce Mahoney

    Your kitchen is lovely. Ben will be doing our kitchen soon. We are very excited! I see your hardware came from Handle It. What brand/style are your handles? I like the clean look. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sarah Stebbins

      Hi Joyce! Thank you for the kind words and how wonderful that you are working with Ben. We had such a great experience with him. Our hardware is by Elements (Slade collection/satin nickel). We used three different sizes: JA 984-96 SN, JA 984-128 SN, and JA 984-192 SN. The pulls are lighter (and cheaper) than others we looked at and I thought the lack of heft might bother me, but I haven’t given it another thought. Good luck. I’d love to see photos of your kitchen when it’s finished!

  10. Rockyrd

    Wow! what a beautiful kitchen. I can appreciate all the hard work and design decisions. In one of the later photos/articles it looks like the walls have been painted? What color is it? To my eye (and computer) it looks like a gray beige? My auto correct will not allow it together. You mentioned you did not like the finish of the paint as it shows marks and water splatters.

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