a kitchen intervention

This is the short story of what happens when a really bad kitchen happens to a really cool person.

You might know my friend Anne Turner (remember this post and this post)… the girl has style, impeccable style.


I can only imagine that this kitchen was totally killing her.  Spec grade maple cabinets with green laminite countertops, mix-matched appliances.  She was way cooler than that kitchen.  But we can't have it all at once… she had just moved into this new (old) house, she did some facelifts here and there, but a kitchen renovation is expensive.  So she and her husband Neal lived with it for awhile.



That is, until she couldn't take it any longer.  And started the renovation…


She raised those cabinets up, added crown, ripped out that tile, well… here see for yourself:








And my favorite shot of all:


I think this might just be my favorite photo of 2008… and it's just icing on the cake that I love the girl who dines at this table and cooks in that kitchen! 

You may be thinking these photos look familiar… because you might have seen it in the last issue of Cottage Living November/December 2008… and when I say "last" I really mean it… it was the last issue.  They went out with a bang…

You can read more about Anne Turner's kitchen renovation here.

Some credits and info:

Photographer: Erica G. Dines {website not working}
Paint on walls: Farrow & Ball "Lime White"
Paint on cabinets: Uppers; same as walls, Lowers; F&B "Mouse's Back"
Window sashes and doors: F&B "Stoney Ground"
Hardware: Restoration Hardware, Ephram 6" pulls
Countertops: Black honed granite from Dupont at Lowes
Wood Countertops: Walnut butcher block from AWP Butcher Block
Appliances: Kenmore Pro, Sears
Tile/Splash: Ann Saks, Capriccio in antique white (it has a great wavy finish to it that makes the tile)
Pendants in kitchen: Restoration Hardware, Harmon Pendant in dark brass
Dining table: vintage
Dining chairs: Zentique
Dining room chandelier: vintage (from her brother's 1940s house in Montgomery, Alabama)
Floors:Lumber Liqudators 2 1/4" white oak select stained with half formula of Special Walnut
Fabric behind French doors: Lewis & Sheron
What year was your house built? We think the 40s
What year do you suspect your kitchen was last updated? oooh, maybe early 90s

And I almost forgot… the Faucet:  Price Pfister!

PS- I'm waiting to hear back from Anne Turner on the color of those dining room walls… will update as soon as I get that info!

Paint on Dining Room Walls: Pratt & Lambert "Sierra Night"



  1. Gorgeous!! I love it! My dream is to paint my cabinets white and rip out the backsplash. I also love the green lower cabinets. I have one question…how do they reach the microwave? They must be a really tall family :)

  2. There is not one thing I don’t love about this makeover. I love how they re-used the cabinets and didn’t do any demo.

  3. This is perfect! My husband and I have been looking at kitchen redos and haven’t been satisfied with anything we’ve seen so far. This, however, is both do-able and potentially cheaper. Plus it’s amazing. Good job!

  4. OMG I want to show up on her doorstep with sleeping bag in tow and move right into that fabulous kitchen!!! AGHHHH It’s fabulous.

  5. This is the kitchen that had me freaking out about the grout, which led to my frantic phone call. I love this kitchen it’s a beauty!!
    P.S. After seeing this I wanted to raise our cabinets which Greg quickly nixed. I saw the wisdom in it when he pointed out to me that I wouldn’t be able to reach ANYTHING..

  6. ansley b. says:

    I want to stare at the Sierra Night walls and that chandelier all day long!

  7. I have seen that kitchen, and it is a wonderful redo. I could never tire of looking at all the wonderful things they did.

  8. wow – what a dream kitchen. i’m in a similar situation: we just moved into a new (old) house…all the way down to the green laminate countertops. any idea how much the rennovation set her back?

  9. Yes- I fell in love with her kitchen (and LR!) in that last issue. I’m still really searching for my new favorite magazine… (I can’t believe how much Cottage Living ending has upset me!)

  10. EEeeeeeek! I just fell in LOVE with a kitchen. I have similar tile waiting to be installed as a backsplash in my kitchen – I can’t wait. Wowsa, what a beauty!!

  11. are you sure that’s the same kitchen???? I can’t believe how different it looks and they didn’t have to demo anything…. I love everything about this new kitchen! Gives me hope for my own that with a little (lot) money it can be nice! :)

  12. That shelf along the bottom of the cabinets is to die for. And that butcher block counter… impeccable. This lady really does have amazing style, for realz.

  13. That kitchen is stunning!! And the whole moving-the-cabinets up? Genius!! I dare say, the whole thing is even more “Urban Grace” than “Cottage Living”?? You two are kindred spirits. Long-lost design twins? You should join forces and rule the world!!

  14. When I saw her kitchen renovation in CL, I read it from start to finish, studied each image and detail, and loved every second of it! The pendants are divine, and the shelf under the upper cabinets is perfect for the petite like me. Love it all! When can we see the rest of the house?!

  15. such great details. love the subway tile, the butcherblock counter, and the cabinet color. although i’m too short to have this kitchen :( and if my microwave was on top of my fridge i don’t think i’d ever be able to make anything! ha!

  16. What a gorgeous kitchen! I fell in love with that space when I saw it in Cottage Living. I suggested raising our cabinets to my husband as well, but he pointed out that with our very high ceilings, raising the cabinets would require a ladder just to reach the upper shelves. ~sigh~
    I love the idea of painting the bottom cabinets a darker color. I love that look!

  17. i have had the biggest crush on that kitchen since seeing it in cottage living. love it!

  18. I loved this kitchen renovation and I am mourning the loss of Cottage Living. Do you have any idea where Anne Turner is headed next? I saw that Haskell Harris is blogging at Garden and Gun.

  19. Oh my husband is in so much trouble :). I have been telling him that we could do this exact thing with our kitchen….now I have proof! Absolutely gorgeous, and I too am so sad about losing Cottage Living.

  20. Oh that’s spectacular!! My kingdom for a restoration hardware here in Australia. A-M xx

  21. I absolutely LOVE it! Beautiful!!! Now I want to see every room in the whole house!

  22. Oh, Erika! This is amazing. I love the contrasting cabinets on the top and bottom. That’s genius!

  23. This is AMAZING!!!!
    This is exactly what my dream kitchen looks like (in my head, anyway)… I love it and I am totally saving these photos in my file!
    Thanks for sharing. :)

  24. Oh my gosh. What a small [design] world. I coveted over this spread in Cottage Living, and saved the tiny pictures I could find on their website into my photobucket. I was just thinking earlier this week how I wish I had larger photos, because I plan on doing the duel-toned cabinets in a future kitchen. (Yes, I plan decor in homes I don’t even own yet).
    THANK YOU! I’m so utterly jealous of the creative and talented people you have in your life (and the talent you have as well). Is it too late to become an interior designer at the ripe age of 25? Hmmm…

  25. Impeccable timing. I’ve been trying to convince the husband to tear through our low-kitch ceiling. You’ve helped me win the argument that we can actually retain our current cabinets AND get more storage space via a shelf below them.
    A huge bummer about Cottage Living. I appreciate you letting us know where the different staffers end up so we can continue to follow their ideas.

  26. OMG, its seriously perfect! If I ever had to think about the perfect kitchen, this would be it. I LOVE everything about it, its beau-TI-ful!!!

  27. I have definitely pulled this out already for my tiny kitchen that one day I hope to re-do. I am a first time commenter but I love your blog and I am an Auburn girl too! Keep it up!

  28. Mary Grace says:

    Off the top of your head (no since in thinking too hard) can you think of any similar cabinet colors by Benjamin Moore? I absolutely love the combo, but BM is all my little town carries.

  29. There’s not much more I could say about this one… everyone above me has taken my words. It’s an absolutely beautiful renovation and I would love to stop by and visit with AT in her kitchen. We would have hot tea and lemon scones {don’t worry, I’ll bring it all with me} and I won’t bring any of my kids…. the only thing Turner would have to agree to is showing me the rest of her lovely cottage. I’ve seen what I believe is the LR with the beautiful collection of art work above the sofa {also featured in CL}! I hope that AT can bring all of her style, class and love for a renovation to her new job and perhaps that will convince me to purchase a subscription! Thanks for sharing Sister! And you too AT! I love it! When can I come?!

  30. What a phenomenal renovation! Her kitchen looks absolutely gorgeous now.

  31. Absolutely stunning! Definite inspiration…
    thanks for sharing. The images on your blog always inspire me.

  32. I loved this feature because it wasn’t a crazy rip everything to the studs and spend 100 grand kind of thing. This is exactly what our kitchen needs. She did a beautiful job. Hopefully, she’ll land somewhere safe and sound!

  33. Melissa Thornell says:

    I love this kitchen and dining room as well. I will get the chance to enjoy both when I get to B’ham tomorrow. Turner is not only a good decorator, she is one AWESOME sister in law. (love that Neal as well)

  34. wait wait wait…is her maiden name thornell?? if so..I TOTALLY KNOW HER AND WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH HER!!! i knew i recognized her. she did a super great job. i believe by “knowing you two” i may have just elevated my personal style credit…by association. very cool. and i want that copper bread box.

  35. Definitely more than your typical before & after- this is amazing! Its a gorgeous, and I’m sure much appreciated, kitchen!!!
    Thanks for sharing the specs. I love the paint colors, and its always so helpful to see them in a room setting!

  36. Uhh, if I wasn’t so darn short I would be emptying my cabinets as we speak. I might just have to mark this post to enjoy the pics on a dreary day. Thanks for sharing.

  37. OH MY GOODNESS!! I love this kitchen! WOW- can I do the same thing?! I was just telling my love today as I was cleaning the top of the cabinets I wish we would have gotten the taller cabinets. The space was wasted and collects dust.
    To paint cabinets- do you need to have a professional do this? Doesn’t the paint chip? How are the bottom open shelves staying on the wall?
    Sorry I don’t mean to ask all of these questions and for you to answer them. I’m just so darn excited on this kitchen! To know I can redo our kitchen without spending a whole lot of dollars. Yahoo…
    Have a golden weekend my friend! xoxo

  38. Love the color palate, and the different choice of finishes for the upper and lower cabinetry. Beadboard ceiling very interesting.

  39. That is so funny because I am reading along and thinking wait—I just saw that in a magazine…and here it is your friend. Beautifully done! Love shelf.

  40. Love it!!! That Anne Turner can NOT possibly be from Dothan! :-) She is so stinkin’ hip. I can’t wait to copy that cabinet raising idea when I get the chance. Absolutely beautiful!!

  41. very, very, very, very lovely

  42. What an amazing transformation. I love before and after images!
    Thank you for providing the product information. Wall color is always a challenge for me. It is always nice to see what a color actually looks like in a complete room. Farrow and Ball colors are my favorite.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  43. I love her work and have been following everything she’s done that’s been in Cottage Living. Too bad they are now defunct. Did she lose her job or get to stay with Southern Progress with one of the other publications? She is so talented.

  44. Love this! So cool about the Washington Post, happy new year! xo Abbey

  45. How wonderful for me to see this on one of my favorite people, Anne Turner! I had already seen the redo of course and think it is absolutely FABULOUS! Anne Turner is one of the most talented desigers I know….and Such a great person to top it off! Wonderful, wonderful post, Erika! I am forwarding it to mom, Nancy, just in case she hasn’t seen it!

  46. Very clever, in fact ingenious. I have never seen cabinets raised like that! I love the look of cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, and quickly glanced over at my own cabinets that are not all the way to the top, and are in need of a paint job. Alas, I am too short to manage it.

  47. I love this kitchen and blogged about it as soon as I saw it! There are so many little details I love about it. I am in the process of finishing up painting my den which sure seems to be a similar shade to her fabulous dining room. I want that chandelier ;)I remember her living room as well. Maybe (hint) you could do a series on her other rooms ;). Please let us know where she lands next. She is so talented.

  48. I didn’t see the last issue so I was so excited to see this post!!
    AT did a fabulous job – I can hardly believe the transformation.
    Very proud of my fellow graduates!

  49. AWESOME! I grew up with AT and she’s always been amazing – just like her momma! I would love to see it in person! AT, if you read this – click on my name and comment on my blog and let me know how to get in touch with you girl! Great job, love the high cabinets, but given I’m 5 ft tall, would NEVER work for me!!!
    Kellie Thompson Patton

  50. Love the cabinet color combo – do you know if they painted themselves or had them done professionally?

  51. A copper Kitchen Aide????!!!!! My heart be still……. This kitchen is night and day. Unrecognizable. She is a very lucky girl!

  52. Oh my gosh. This is my dream kitchen!

  53. This is absolutely STUNNING. Anne is incredibly talented (and so are you, by the way — I browsed your portfolio and I am completely in love with your style).
    We are house hunting at the moment but our budget can only afford houses that need a little help — usually in the bathrooms and kitchen. Luckily it will be a fun project anyway but I do not have any concept of how expensive a renovation of this quality and beauty would be. Do you have any idea what it would cost for labor and materials (excluding appliances and the pantry)?
    Thanks for posting this kitchen. It’s simply beautiful…

  54. So beautiful! If you have any info on how she redid her cabinets (it lookes like she filled in the holes and then drilled for new hardware? ), especially if she painted the insides, that would be great. Thanks for posting!

  55. Great! look,,, I love the kitchen hardware,,, I’ve been wanting to change my outdated ” fake brass”knobs. But not go with the “new” brushed nickel, silver, which will be out date in no time. This looks great!

  56. I LOVE that they were able to reuse the cabinets, it’s the best I’ve ever seen that done– and those horizontal pulls!! Such a nice touch. But this is your work, right Erika? you never gave yourself credit so I wasn’t sure…

  57. WOW – she did one amazing job – the results are so great! And functional – love it!

  58. that is GORGEOUS! I LOVE it! Smart lady!

  59. Anne Turner Carroll says:

    Wow! I’m thrilled at all of these wonderful comments about my kitchen! Erika asked me to spill the beans on exactly how I painted our cabinets. My husband and I did do it ourselves…not sure if i’ll ever do it again! We sanded them down (at least to get the shinny finish off), primed them, and finally painted two coats of the final color. Truth be told, if you can hire a professional i would highly recommend it!

  60. AMAZING!

  61. Thanks for posting these pictures. I think this is my dream kitchen. Nothing too fancy; just simplicity and good taste at it’s best! I happened to come a cross the last issue of Cottage living in Wal-mart this weekend and picked it up just so I could save this article in my idea notebook. Thanks for your wonderful pictures and ideas.

  62. gorgeous!

  63. What can you do if you are stuck with those Spec grade maple cabinets and can’t change that?? !!AHHH!!!!

  64. What kind of topiaries are those? They are so unique…

  65. Shannon H. says:

    Funny question:
    How are the open shelving attached to the walls? I see no brackets. Please share the secret!
    And what material was used for the shelves?
    I must do this in my kitchen! Thanks.

  66. Kelly B says:

    Beautiful! Do you have any idea where the shelving came from?

  67. Great article. I have bookmarked this site to come back and read more later.

  68. Charity says:

    I LOVE this kitchen so much. I used to subscribe to Cottage Living and I was devastated when they stopped printing. I have this issue and loved this kitchen the first time I saw it. I am getting ready to move into a new house and I can’t wait to use these ideas!

  69. This kitchen came out amazing! The soft grey on the lower cabinets is a great idea. Beautiful!

  70. This is great! I love it when an ok kitchen is turned into an awesome custom creation! Hope to have one myself one day.

  71. I come back to this post so often to look at these inspiring pictures! I know one of her rooms was in Southern Living and I loved it, too. Erika, I would love to see other rooms in her house – can you hook your readers up??

  72. So happy to have tracked down this project after I clipped it for a friend! Brilliant renovation! And so happy to see your friend landed at a new mag after Cottage Living – is it Southern Living?

    I wonder how hard it is to find a copy of Southern Living in New York! I think Mr. Ross has a column there, now… Two reasons to find it!


  73. gorgeous!! love the idea of raising the upper cabinets and putting the shelving below. just beautiful!

  74. We are looking to start a project just like this! The before is exactly what our kitchen looks like!
    What is the paint finish that she used on the cabinets?
    Did she have them professionally painted or was it a DYI project?
    If it was DYI, what technique/product did she use to prep & paint the cabinets? Chemical peel? Airbrush? Roller?

  75. Some really excellent ideas and information!! Kitchen is lovely!! Thank you……

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  1. [...] Looking in from the dining room, bronze, nickel, and antique brass have all been used – and they work together wonderfully!  They are almost as amazing as the before and after of this space, which you can see here. [...]

  2. [...] that she lives, like, right down the road from me.  I know?!  Small world!  Anyway, she featured this kitchen on her blog – it’s actually the kitchen of a woman who worked for the now defunch Cottage Living [...]

  3. Yellow Drapery Fabric

    a kitchen intervention | Urban Grace Interiors the blog

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