Design & Renovation Client Projects / kitchen / Kitchen remodeling / Portfolio

Stone Ridge Kitchen Reno Reveal

Today, I am elated to share my first design client’s kitchen renovation! Everyone has got to start somewhere and I am thrilled with the final outcome and so pleased with the start of a new chapter for my business.

You might remember me introducing the Stone Ridge Kitchen Reno earlier this year. While it finished up in a timely manner, just about 8 weeks total, it seemed that one distraction after another kept me from setting aside time to write and produce this blog post.

Before & During Recap Video

Because it has been quite a while, I created a short before and during recap video.

This wall divided the kitchen from the family room.

But it was the island I immediately knew had to change from the initial consultation. It was clear it was the oddly shaped elephant in the room. Not only was it esthetically unappealing, the space was roomy enough for the island to be normal. And in this case, normal was desirable.

The homeowner was a nearly dream client. She hoped the wall between the kitchen and family room could at least be made smaller. Beyond that she was completely open to all of my design ideas and suggestions. After getting a sense of her style, we created a Pinterest board to further explore a joint vision of what the kitchen could become. The only concern and limit was budget, and rightly so. We worked diligently to crunch the numbers here and there to get just about everything on our list. If she were renting this home she wouldn’t have any trouble asking for premium rates I’m sure. My friend said that PCF property management was helpful with her home rental if you’re interested learn more

The main inspiration for the kitchen design centered on this faux copper painted ceiling in the eat-in kitchen area.

She liked the ceiling and I thought there was no reason it couldn’t be an interesting element in the design. Where others might have seen it as a liability, I saw it as an opportunity for inspiration. I love incorporating existing elements into my renovation designs. The challenge satisfies my problem solving nature and allows the home to keep it’s history. In the end, the design is more unique and therefore definitely becomes a benefit to a project.

The Design Plan

Here is the after, completely finished but before the install of all the styling and decorating.

As beautiful as this is, I think the photo below demonstrates the power of decorating and staging. The followuinthis stunning kitchen not only comes to life, but feels like home.


Just as we had planned, the wall between the kitchen and family room came down and a header was added to provide support. That subtle division was important to not disturb the existing ceiling detail in the family room. With the wall down, the once overlooked architectural details of the ceiling and the angled windows in the family room and even the eat-in kitchen could be fully appreciated.

Except for the upper cabinets on the dividing wall and the new island, all of the existing cabinetry remained the same.

The old cabinets and the new island were painted in a deep shade of grey, Peppercorn, by Sherwin Williams.

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All of the cabinetry was topped with a clean marble inspired quartz and provides a bright, inviting contrast to the darker cabinets. Hard wood floors were laid throughout much of the house to match the dining room and formal living room, unifying the whole first level.

The New Island

A brand new island was built and installed to fit the footprint. I designed it with a cook in mind, adding plenty of drawers for easy of food prep and storage. (The old island had no drawers at all. So not only was it awkward it was dysfunctional too!)

All of the plumbing and appliances remained in their existing location.

The only exception was a sublet shift in the oven and a new drawer microwave was added to the island. Keeping the existing footprint, while still making dramatic improvements, was huge cost savings and allowed us to stay on budget.

The Copper Farmhouse Sink

To me, the star of the show is the new copper farmhouse sink. It was definitely a bit more pricey than your average farmhouse sink, but it was essential to the design of this kitchen.

Crackle Subway Tile Wall

The added dimension of the crackled tile from the counter to ceiling draws the eyes up and creates a beautiful backdrop for the sink.

The tile has a subtle variation in color that is quite charming and provides a complexity not given by a plain subway tile.

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Eat-in Kitchen

This area demonstrates the transformative power of paint. The walls, the light fixture, the table and chairs and even the antique milk can all received a fresh look inexpensively.

Proof that a little DIY is good in any space or renovation.

The client had assumed this painting that once hung on the removed wall was destined to be put aside for another day, but I thought the pop of color was perfect here. It brings style to what was once an area overcrowded with furniture and opens the space up.

The small wall to the right of the laundry room was home to an outdated desk, which the homeowner only used as a dumping ground for mail.

In it’s place I added more streamlined shelves. They still provided a place to set keys and possibly mail, but took up less space visually and allowed for an easier flow around the new squared up island.

Pendant lights, as well as additional can lights were added to properly light the kitchen.

The graphic vintage inspired wool runner ties the red, green and gold colors of the painting into the kitchen.

The clients are thrilled with how their southern sensibilities were highlighted in this renovation. The New Orleans bistro style dinette set was paired with lantern style pendants to create a traditional look without being dated or stale.

Not only is there plenty of seating in the family room, but the additional bar top seating provide plenty of space for guests.

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Once the kitchen was complete the client’s husband happily remarked that now the house was perfect for hosting football parties!

After spending a full day here photographing for the blog, I was a bit sad to walk away from this beautiful renovation. Knowing that the client was beyond happy with the results left me feeling both proud and pleased.

Thank you to my client for this, my inaugural large scale for-hire project. I can’t say if it was all in the planning or freshman luck, but every detail went almost exactly as planned! This renovation was a dream come true for both of us.

I am so grateful to have found my calling. I can not wait for the next opportunity!


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  • Daphne Monistere
    June 6, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Thank you Leslie! My husband and I are completely happy with our renovated kitchen. All time and effort spent was very much worth it. I am more than satisfied and can’t wait to do more! (other rooms) You were so very helpful and it has been a pleasure to work with you. I feel like I’ve learned so much.
    Thank you for a wonderful experience.

    • Leslie
      June 6, 2018 at 8:09 am

      Thank you, Daphne! You were a dream client! Thank you for trusting me with your renovation. I love every detail and it pleases me that you feel the same. I look forward to working with you again!!

      • Dawn
        October 21, 2022 at 6:40 am

        What color are the cabinets?!

  • Marty Oravetz
    June 6, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Wow, what a gorgeous space. Love it all.

  • Lisa
    June 6, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Leslie, you did an amazing job with this space! I love how you incorporated that gorgeous copper ceiling into the whole design, the sink and other copper elements are such a beautiful, warm contrast to the Peppercorn color on the cabinets and it all flows so well into the living room space! You are so talented and I can’t wait to see more of your work!!

  • Aleta Dempsey
    June 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    It’s beautiful! You did an incredible job, Leslie. Perfection!

  • Denisr
    June 6, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Wow! For an inaugural venture, fantastic! I do have one minor question – why isn’t the wicker shade hung higher, giving the illusion of a larger window?

  • Kristin
    June 9, 2018 at 9:31 am

    What a beautiful space you created! Love the island pendants and the copper ceiling. I would like to see a more oversized chandelier in the space. Forgive me for putting in my 2 cents!

  • Knoxville Asphalt Paving Contractors
    November 23, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Your styling and decorating skills is indeed awesome. Keep sharing your ideas.

  • Sarah
    July 20, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Hi, I love this kitchen. It has been my inspiration for my own. Can I ask what subway tile you used as the backsplash? I love the subtle variation of grey it provides the space.Thanks!


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