12 Rooms in 12 Months: The Kitchen Plan + All the Before Photos

By Brittni • Updated on 02/15/2024

Before. Click through for inspiration for a modern kitchen makeover, that will still work for renters! #beforekitchen #kitchenmakeover #kitcheninspiration

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Delta® Faucet. The opinions and text are all mine.

Next on the list for revamps / renovations for the 12 rooms in 12 months series is the kitchen! And honestly, I couldn’t be more excited to finally be working on it.

I’m teaming up with Delta® Faucet to make it all happen. And today I’m sharing ALL the before photos of the space / talking through my inspiration. Click through to see it all and weigh in on my design ideas.

Before. Inspiration for a modern kitchen makeover, that will still work for renters! #beforekitchen #kitchenmakeover #kitcheninspiration

When we walked through the house the first time, the kitchen seemed unassuming enough. It has nice marble and quartz countertops and is a pretty open space. We also liked the fact that we finally had a kitchen island long enough for barstools when entertaining. BUT the finishes and fixture were things that Jeff and I would never have chosen on our own. The dark espresso cabinets, huge brass pendant light, and dark bronze faucet were all things in the ‘not loving it’ category. So, we knew those had to go immediately. Well…not the cabinets. Let me explain…

Unfortunately, there are a few things in the current kitchen that we can’t change because we’re renting – like the cabinets, counters, and backsplash. So we’re opting for other cosmetic changes that will elevate what’s existing and make a big visual impact, inspired by the clean lines of the Delta Mateo Faucet I selected as part of the makeover.

Don’t worry though. There are still plenty of things we can do to visually update the space and we’ll be doing everything we can! Including swapping out the existing faucet and light fixture, changing out the current cabinet hardware, adding decorative elements – like barstools, a cool rug, a pot rack bar underneath the range hood, etc. We’ve already started making some of the changes behind the scenes and I can confidently say that all of the smaller changes we’re implementing will make a world of difference in the end. 

Mood board for a modern kitchen makeover (and all the ideas are renter friendly)! #beforekitchen #kitchenmakeover #kitcheninspiration #renterfriendlymakeover

Source list (above): lighting // pot rack bar // barstools // Mateo faucet // removable wallpaper // rug

Keeping in mind the simplicity and organic style of my dining room, which is open to the kitchen, I want the entire first floor to feel cohesive, while still giving the kitchen its own defined look. And because I can’t change the dark cabinets, that’s going to be a bit of a challenge.

Generally, I’m a light and bright kind of girl when it comes to decor and the fact that the lower cabinets are so dark is kind of killing me. But there’s not much I can do about it, so I’ll just have to design something that works with the cabinets, instead of against them. Here’s my plan…

Before images for a modern kitchen makeover (and all the ideas are renter friendly)! #beforekitchen #kitchenmakeover #kitcheninspiration #renterfriendlymakeover

The island is the area that will see the most change. Like I mentioned before, we’ll be switching out our existing faucet for a brand new Mateo faucet – Single Handle Pull-Down Bar / Prep Faucet with Touch2O® Technology from Delta Faucet. I went with the Arctic Stainless finish to blend in with our appliances, but there are other finishes available as well if you’re interested. More here.

Having a faucet with Touch2O® Technology will definitely make things a whole lot easier when my hands are dirty from DIY projects or when I’m cooking in the kitchen. So, I’m pretty pumped about it. You can touch right on the spout or handle to start and stop the flow of water. I’ve always wanted of these. Can you tell I’m excited?!

Before photos for a modern kitchen makeover (and all the ideas are renter friendly)! #beforekitchen #kitchenmakeover #kitcheninspiration #renterfriendlymakeover

Along with the new faucet, we’ll be adding a new light fixture. I’m opting for a smaller, more airy option that won’t take up as much space visually. But I’m thinking we’ll go with a dark metal finish to tie in the cabinet color and help balance the room. Then, we’ll add a rug on the opposite side and barstools to the bar top side so there’s some seating for entertaining. Haven’t decided on the barstools or rug options yet. Any suggestions?

And as a final idea for the island, I’m hoping to create more of a statement underneath the bar top on that one side. I have a plan to add a (removable) pattern wallpaper underneath to add interest. Which will also lighten up that side of the space and be the bridge between the lightness of the dining room and the slightly more dramatic kitchen. There are a couple of patterns that would work for this and they all have an earthy, cool vibe. They kind of remind me of water in the way the patterns move, so it feels like a perfect fit.

From there, it’s just small changes – like switching out the cabinet hardware and adding the pot rack bar for easy access to utensils we use all the time.

Before photos for a modern kitchen makeover (and all the ideas are renter friendly)! #beforekitchen #kitchenmakeover #kitcheninspiration #renterfriendlymakeover

Before photos for a modern kitchen makeover (and all the ideas are renter friendly)! #beforekitchen #kitchenmakeover #kitcheninspiration #renterfriendlymakeover

Before photos for a modern kitchen makeover (and all the ideas are renter friendly)! #beforekitchen #kitchenmakeover #kitcheninspiration #renterfriendlymakeover

And that’s pretty much everything for now. If you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see in the final room reveal, let me know. I’d love to make this one more interactive with you guys and because I’m still (mostly) in the design phase, I can still make changes and add things, etc based on your feedback if you have any ideas.

6 comments | Click here to reply

One way to ease the space and divert attention from the dark facades is to look at the interior details. Such as the technological and stylish crane, it’s located in the center of the kitchen island and the light chandelier. Green plants on windows can become bright and refreshing spots.


I love the contrast colors, so modern, so daring…


This kitchen looks stunning. Was fascinated by your plan.

Handy Squad

[…] been working behind the scenes on turning all those ‘before’ photos of my kitchen into an ‘after’ in partnership with Delta® Faucet. And now that […]

12 Rooms in 12 Months: My Kitchen Makeover Reveal - Paper and Stitch

Thanks Paige! Excited to share the reveal soon. Behind the scenes, I’ve already started making the changes that will finish everything out. 🙂


I love how your kitchen is coming together! It’s beautiful!


Paige Cassandra Flamm
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