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Emily Bowser’s Kitchen REVEAL! Plus The 8 Ways She Really Maximized Her Galley Kitchen Storage

Hello hello! Better late than never? Where has the time gone?? I CANNOT believe we are already wrapping up March. HOW? I was really really hoping 2023 was going to bring a breath of fresh air and some rest for the Bowser household but it has proven to be a challenging and busy year so far. It’s not all bad, we have done some traveling and work has been more consistent than it has been in the past year and a half. However, I bring sad and shocking news for anyone who follows all my cat sagas: A couple days after we got back from Sundance at the end of January, we found out our 7-year-old cat Puck had a large cancerous tumor in his intestine. He got on steroids and gave us another 4 weeks before we made the tough choice to help him transition to the next life. Our house feels more empty than we could have imagined and we all miss him very, very much. He was a challenging and adventurous cat who loved to play fetch, bring me dead (and sometimes alive) mice, fight neighborhood raccoons, had a crush on any woman who came to the house, and in the end, despite his tendency to be more of an independent spirit, made it clear how much he loved and trusted us in the last few weeks of his life. It is wild how much these little creatures affect our lives and I’m hoping our cat luck will take a turn for the positive because I’m not sure how much more heartache I can take. In good news, Puck spending his last days cuddling with us really taught Gremmy a thing or two. I think Gremmy and Daffy were aware something was wrong and they stayed close. During this time Gremmy would come up on the bed and lay close by, which is not something he would do before. This past week Gremmy has been getting on my lap and if you’re one of the few Gremmy super fans you know this is huge. 

Now you may understand why I‘m a little slow in getting these reveals out. The good news is we have shot so much now I just have to write!

I wanted to start with the kitchen because honestly it was supposed to be finished in September! As always, I’m living proof that these things take time. So much time and money and time is money etc etc. You can read the intro to this post here. Cliff notes: It is the last room in the house to be “finished” because it’s been fine after the initial reno that made it safe (there was mold) and liveable. When initially renovating we were WAY out of money so I didn’t get to do what I wanted, I just kept it simple white subway tiles, white shaker cabinets, and black hex floors which felt like they would remain timeless because historically those are pretty timeless finishes but, you know, now it feels very 2015. I wanted to make it feel more “me” while gaining some storage but without doing any major reno, for waste and money reasons. 
Enter my friend Rebecca (a designer, design producer, and entrepreneur) and her company Design By Numbers. We knew each other from working on HGTV’s Build Me Up (RIP) with host Orlando Soria (you may know him 🙂 ). We would all Marco Polo during the pandemic and be annoyed by the fact that my upper cabinets didn’t go to the ceiling (it was often my background and I would force them to look at them while I talked/screamed about the state of our country). It took a while to actually get to it, but I finally 3D scanned the space (more on this is in the process post) and she had a new cabinet box made to replace the one that didn’t go to the ceiling. Now I have more storage space, a working vent, and much prettier cabinets. I had the lower boxes painted and just replaced the doors and drawer fronts. Shall we get to the reveal??

And now with more interest and depth…

To say that photographing this galley kitchen was a challenge is an understatement. Poor Sara. This is the most pulled-back we could get without it getting too fish-eye-ish

As you can see through, the uppers on the left now reach the ceiling AND incorporate the fridge making it feel more integrated. The cabinet style is called “baby shaker” and the color is “Putty”. It’s a greenish, greyish taupe and adds the perfect amount of warmth without being overwhelming in this small space. The simple and modern pulls and knobs are by Rejuvenation. I wanted hits of black to make the floor feel more incorporated into the design, I didn’t want it to feel like I designed this kitchen over 7 years. It was all totally thought through and on purpose 🙂 I had the recessed light over the sink changed so that I could have this beautiful ceramic light by Rejuvenation. It’s both practical in that it gives off much nicer light than the recessed light (had a dimmer put on that switch as well) and obviously makes a much bigger statement than having nothing at all there. 

One more time…

And now…

Over the Door Towel Bar | Ceramic Light | Pulls | Knobs

Soap Dispenser and Sponge Holder | Faucet

I love the way the doors are designed, they trick you into thinking they are frameless. These are good photos to talk about ADHD and design:). It’s funny, some would think that it would be easier to have less visual noise when you have ADHD. I think to some these photos may seem busy, but it all just makes sense to me. I use my kitchen a lot. We both work from home and one or both of us cook almost every meal every day in this tiny space. If things are visible in an organized way it helps me know not only where things are at all times and keep hoarding to a minimum, but it also feels like one less step when I go to cook. It’s hard to explain to people who don’t have the same hang-ups while trying to do basic tasks but maybe my fellow ADHD-ers will understand. I’m actually not a naturally organized or tidy person but I learned early that fewer choices and easy accessibility make my life easier. Liking my kitchen this way makes me think Julia Child may have had ADHD too :). It’s also important that everything that is out is also used often enough that it doesn’t get that weird oily dust from existing in a kitchen. Everything out I use almost daily, with the slight exception of the cutting boards although those are easier stored this way because with my job I often have to grab 5-10 of them as props often. 

Pot Rack Bar | Hooks | Pots and Pans

Rejuvenation’s Emery Pot Rack Bar and hooks hold all my everyday pots and pans and a few other commonly used tools. My shelving brackets on the other side of my sink are from IronAbode. They have so many amazing shelf bracket options and are very affordable. They offer the actual wood shelves as well but because of the cost of shipping it just made sense for me to drive over to our friends Ross Alan Reclaimed in the valley and have a few shelves made there. I also got the wood for the top of my DIY lower cabinet from them, which you can read about in the process post if you haven’t already. The counter under that open shelving is where I end up doing 99% of food prep because the space to the right of the sink (above) is generally where clean dishes are “drying” aka probably sitting there until I use them again :). 

Why yes that’s an oil painting that is for some reason painted on a very old and used cookie pan. You can’t really know that without seeing it up close but I wanted the internet to know because it makes me so happy that it’s on theme. Fun fact, I found it at a flea market in Seattle. On the same trip, I found the string of vintage buoys that hang above my bed

I switched out my faucet for an unlacquered brass one from an Italian-based company Francone Bespoke Taps. I bought it to research for a job. Unlacquered brass in America isn’t cheap and at the time I purchased this one it was only $363, which was more affordable than it is now, but I would still say it is a quality faucet and I’ve enjoyed it. I’m sure they realized they weren’t charging enough/could charge more because it is very nice.

I want to mention my paper towel/ towel holder. I love it because it keeps me from just reaching for a paper towel without thinking. Because of pet messes and cleaning out my iron skillets, I like to have them on hand but not too on hand, you know? Another product I want to shout out is my soap dispenser and sponge holder. I want to be a solid soap person but I’m sorry, I’m a Dawn girl until I die. It just works so much better and I use it in so many homemade cleaners so I’m going to buy the huge Costco tubs of them a couple of times a year and decant them into this dispenser. 

Shell Bowl | Magnetic Knife Rack | Knives | Magnetic Light | Shelving Brackets | Gold Dishware | Mixing Bowls | Green Plates (similar)

In keeping with the “put everything on the wall” theme, this magnetic knife rack holds my favorite slicing and dicing knives by Shun. I own more knives than that but they must have been dirty? If you look carefully, above the knife rack and attached to the bottom shelf there is a wooden work light. I’m calling this out for anyone like me that prefers to have their house seem like modern electricity doesn’t exist. Both Andrew and I are very sensitive to harsh light and have dimmers on essentially every light in the house but when making dinner, candlelight-level lightning isn’t really safe when using a sharp knife. After Andrew cut off half his thumb while chopping veggies last year I researched and found this simple (and cuter than it needs to be) magnetic light that recharges with a USB cord. I don’t use the rotatable piece, it comes with a flat magnet sticker as well that I screwed into the bottom of the shelf so it wouldn’t fall off, as those stickers seem to do eventually. This way we can keep most of the lights chill but have a work light where prep is happening.

I’ve owned the Gold Oak Kaloh dishes from West Elm for years. They’re just simple and good. So good in fact that I actually own twice as many as are seen here for large parties/when I inevitably break one. The mixing and serving bowls on the top shelf are from that line as well. The pretty ceramic cups were a gift and the green dishes and black mugs are vintage Hearth and Hand 🙂 The onion and garlic bowl is a Jayson Home concrete shell. Is it food safe? Who knows. Tell me how I’m going to get cancer in the comments. 

Peep my amazing hedge out the kitchen window. Would it even be a blog post from me if I didn’t somehow bring up the only thing in my life that has ever just worked the way it was supposed to, my glorious 20-foot tall hedge?? I used to need a curtain here because my window looked directly into my neighbors but now I can look out to a sea of green. Some people have children, other people have hedges. Truly my pride and joy.

Switch Plate | Tea Kettle | Salt and Pepper Grinders | Pitcher (similar)

I decided to embrace the fact that my kitchen was renovated in this decade so therefore I feel like I have 1 million plugs and switches in a tiny space. Instead of hiding them, I gave them some bling with Rejuvenation’s switch plates. Then the tea kettle is by Fellow and those are vintage Nissen Denmark salt and pepper grinders, you can find them pretty easily on Etsy. I’m fraid the pitcher is old from Target and unavail at the moment.


Welcome to the area where Gremmy essentially lives because this is where he gets fed and thinks if he sits there food will magically appear. Also ever since I put this Jean Palmer Home vintage rug here all the cats have loved hanging out with me when I’m in the kitchen. 

Wine Rack | Rug (vintage) | Lamp (unavailable) | IKEA Unit | Cabinet Pulls | Wood Countertop

This is my perfect-size IKEA hack cabinet with Ross Alan Reclaimed top that you’ve seen in the process post. It houses all my cookbooks and our pantry things. I bought a wine rack for this area because we buy natural biodynamic wine in bulk for, you know, savings…and drinkings, so it’s not unusual for us to have too many wine bottles at any given time. I moved this old West Elm lamp from my living room into here because it’s perfect for giving off ambient light and being easy to clean. They no longer sell it but the link is there if you want to try to find it used online. I’m not going to link all my cutting boards because that would be wild. A lot of them are vintage, but if you have a question about any of them, ask away below!

Shelving Unit

Did I say I was going to do my laundry room? Let’s pretend I didn’t 🙂 INSTEAD let’s talk about the whole original inspo for doing anything with this space. I talked about this in the intro but this weird shape at the end of the kitchen has been tricky. There’s about 12” of wall on each side of the doorway to the laundry room and the IKEA hack was great for the right side, but because you needed space to walk past the edge of the counter you see on the right here, I needed something slim and tall on the left. Enter the Hart Modular Walnut Shelving Unit from Rejuvenation. I was also so happy to have some more open shelving to keep some of my pretty things I use when we have company and also a drink station for our everyday coffee and/or matcha…addiction. It’s visually helpful that the shelving unit is floating, it *feels* lighter and I hung it so that it would be even with the counter across from it.

peep sweet daffy in the laundry room window!

Rail System | Matcha Maker | Coffee Grinder

I loved the Brookeside Rail System, also from Rejuvenation, in Sara’s kitchen reveal and it very practically holds bar/coffee/tea accouterments so I don’t have to dig through drawers for tiny things. The bottom cabinet holds our fancy dishware. Head over to IG to see an up close and personal tour of this very hard-to-capture in photos corner :). The Cuzen matcha maker and Fellow coffee grinder (I bought mine refurbished) are everyday appliances so they stay on the counter, luckily they are as pretty as they are practical.

French Press | Glass Canisters

Look how pretty that walnut is! You can see here that the shelves are entirely adjustable.

If you are a French press person, I highly recommend this very inexpensive ($20!), extra large (34 oz!), double-walled (so it stays hot!), stainless steel (unbreakable!) french press. Save your money for a good grinder. I was shocked at how much that is a game changer. No need for expensive coffee makers in my opinion. Unless they are very fancy, and in that case, yeah probably buy those if you have the $$. Here’s a link for the simple canisters, but please don’t make me link everything on the rail system 🙂 if you have a question about something specific, ask away below!

If you are curious about the Cuzen matcha maker, it stores, grinds, and whisks whole matcha leaves. Apparently, this is the best way to consume matcha. They have a whole section of their website where they break it down. All I can say is it is convenient and delicious. I’ve taken to midday matcha with homemade cashew milk and have cut down our coffee consumption considerably.

Step Ladder

Let’s turn around and look from the laundry room through to the new and improved dining nook. When you don’t have a lot of square footage, you have to go vertical. In the couple of inches between the IKEA cabinet and my kitchen cabinets I have a slim step ladder to reach my upper cabinets (now that they go all the way to the ceiling) and the top of the open shelving as well.

Let’s get into the dining space! As you may have seen, I revealed this space back in 2019. It’s a teeny tiny space, 7’5”x7’7”, that connects the living room to the kitchen. We needed to be able to fit a table but you also have to be able to walk past the chairs without tripping. Here’s a pic from that reveal:

Putting in an L-shaped bench helped a lot with being able to make the most of the space we had but here are the issues we still had: 1. The vintage table that I loved was just a bit too big. It was 48” wide and we had to cram it just a little too much into the corner to make it so that we could walk by. 2. I made a mistake and didn’t consider the fact that the vintage table had a lip, about 4 inches all the way around it, so in reality I should have lowered the bench a few inches to compensate for that. It wasn’t impossible to put your legs under the table or anything, but you couldn’t cross your legs for example, it was just a little too smooshed. 3. My vintage chairs also stuck out a little too much, as you can see the back has a sort of handle that would get caught on your hip as you walked by if you weren’t careful. Don’t worry. They live in my office now. I love those damn chairs. 4. The loose pillows were driving me crazy. They were always thrown around and messy looking 5. The banquette was getting scuffed to hell by our feet.

I looked and looked for a table that would be smaller but not *too* much smaller, I still needed it to be a proper dining table that could easily seat at least 4 people (this is also sometimes a workspace) so I couldn’t have it be a bistro table, for example. When working in small spaces I find that it’s hard because you need every inch but one inch too much is too much, you know??

I found this beautiful, high-quality white oak table by Sundays Furniture. It was perfect because it was 42”, so still big enough, but a  6” difference in a space that’s only 7’ is a lot! They had lovely, comfortable, durable chairs (with easy-to-clean seat pads!) as well so I reached out and the rest is history. And if you are interested in getting anything from them they are offering 10% off with code EMILYB10. Ok wanna see??

Table | Chairs | Runner | Ribbon Art | Chandelier | Roman Shade

What a mood change huh?? I bought a cheap-ish runner off of Etsy. It was $300 and the perfect width where I could split it down the center and make 2 pieces out of it to attach to the sides of the banquette. Don’t worry, it was not vintage. I’ve attached it with Velcro under the cushions and along the side so I can take it off to clean it. Cushions are the same as before, custom, made of green canvas that has held up well. The new pillows along the back are two body pillow inserts with custom cases I had made from vintage wool army blankets. They stay in place much better and offer more support. As you can see, no need to change the window treatments from Barn & Willow, the amazing ribbon art of Angela Chrusciaki, or the understated but perfect Schoolhouse chandelier. The Round pillow is vintage West Elm, sorry!

As you can see, there’s a little more space for the chair to be pushed out, but still able to get around. The chairs can also push in a lot more than seen here if necessary. The cushion on the chair is a must for me. We love hosting dinners and there is nothing I hate more than being uncomfortable or being concerned that our guests are uncomfortable. So far no issues with the cats tearing up the cushions accidentally or on purpose. They are also completely removable and easy to wipe down. The table is super sturdy. It’s solid white oak with a steel base so it’s not going anywhere, not even if Daffy tries her hardest 🙂

The tulip style also gives us the most legroom, especially if we are squeezing in a bunch of people for game night. It also gives us the flexibility to be able to push the chairs around easily.

Vase | Branches (unavailable) | Candlesticks | Candlestick Holders (similar)

This vase is my favorite from CB2. It’s currently on sale and you should buy it, you won’t regret it. I’m sorry to report that the very good faux branches are from Target last year and I don’t think they carry them anymore, same for the candlestick holder. As always though, I will implore you not to waste your money on candlesticks that drip. I usually buy Yummi brand – they don’t drip and they come in a lot of sizes.

Don’t worry! The cat “hide-y hole”, as we call it, still exists. It now even has a camera so we can spy on them with motion-activated lights 🙂

Table Lamp | Vase | Black Tray |

This is where we did the lamp switcheroo, I’m using the Avena Table Lamp from Crate & Barrel here now. The tray on the vintage entry table is by Ferm and the pretty vase is from Jayson Home. The whole vibe change by bringing more depth over here kind of blows my mind. Of course, now I’m thinking of how the living room needs a little facelift in light of all this…someone stop me. Seriously. Next up…HOT TUB! See you all soon!

RIP Puck 🙁

*Design and Styled by Emily Bowser
**Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

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1 year ago

Great post and evolving renovation! I was worried at first that the hexagon floors were deemed ‘too 2015,’ but I’m glad they were kept because I love them. Great hacks and links to products both high-end and accessible (but so well chosen). The dining nook is excellent and your cats are sweet.

I have a glass backsplash in my kitchen— is it possible to screw racks and bars into glass tiles?

1 year ago

I’m so sorry for your loss! It’s so hard to say goodbye to our cat friends. <3

1 year ago

GORGEOUS, STUNNING, BRAVO! I love to see small spaces done well and this one has so much soul. I particularly love the unexpected color combinations!

1 year ago

Thank you for this, Emily. Except for the news about Puck, I was so glad to start my morning with this post! This is a perfect example of how necessity is the mother of invention! Your creative solutions add so much soul to the space. I wish we could see more of this in design social media. Enjoy your sweet fur babies 🙂

1 year ago

Love it all. Especially the light over the sink and the new table. Great taste. Smart design.

1 year ago

This space is such a vibe, as the kids say. I love your style and your styling.

1 year ago

Fabulous! Warm, functional and fun – thanks for sharing!

1 year ago
Reply to  paula mills

Me again. Question: Where do you actually put all the non-perishable food though? At my house we’re busting out of our galley kitchen with cans, cereal boxes, spices, napkins, storage containers, etc.

On one hand, smaller kitchen probably benefit the most from the feeling of open shelving, but then there’s no where to put anything.

1 year ago
Reply to  R

She mentioned that the IKEA cabinet hold pantry items.

1 year ago

BOW WOW!!! you are so inspirational to me. i love every choice you made!! so beautiful and smart and interesting (just like you)!!!!

1 year ago


1 year ago

I’m so sorry about Puck. We’re never ready to say goodbye to our pets.
Beautiful job on the kitchen (and your entire house). I love the mix of high and low/vintage and box stores. It feels curated and full of personality. I’m always so inspired by your choices and your creative storage solutions. I also appreciate seeing the spaces evolve over time.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel

Yes indeed, “curated and full of personality”!

1 year ago

Beautiful! Three cheers for working with the black+white already there AND making the space more usable. 👏🏻

The “lip” on your previous table is called an apron.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dani

ah! That’s the word I was looking for!

1 year ago

Absolutely beautiful! The warmth you layered in is just lovely! One question, where did the microwave go that was over the range!?!? What magic did you perform to hide it?! OR, did you use even MORE magic to give it up entirely?! The people (or at least me) want to know!

1 year ago
Reply to  LJ

ahahaha! Well, that is actually a good question.
My contractor took it. It was a very fancy microwave that I didn’t even deserve to have because I never used it in all the ways I could have. It was too big for the space and didn’t do a good enough job being a vent for the oven. We currently DO NOT OWN A MICROWAVE. Its been about 4 months. It’s…ok. I think we will buy a tiny cheap one. Not often, but sometimes, you just need a microwave. We can reheat most things on the stovetop or oven but not *everything* and definitely not as fast as a microwave. What I’m thinking is putting it in the lower cabinet to the right of the sink. I’ll have to cut a hole between the cabinets so I can plug it into the same outlet as our garbage disposal. It will be a little bit of a thing to rehome some of the things in the cabinet because it is our only big cabinet but it already got emptied out a lot by the pot rack so I think I will be able to make it work.

1 year ago
Reply to  Emily Bowser

One thing to consider about choosing the same outlet as your garbage disposal… if you use a switch to turn the disposal on and off then it won’t work. You have to turn on the switch to operate anything plugged in to that outlet box. (I learned this by trying to use the disposal outlet in my kitchen for my dishwasher too!) On a side note… we have been without a microwave for years and it’s been fine. Good luck 🙂

1 year ago

Another Bowser post I’ll be coming back to again and again! So many wonderful layers of goodness in your spaces and in your writings. I am so very sorry about Puck and also for your WHOLE FREAKING YEAR. It’s hard to believe how much has happened to the poor cats this year. Sending good vibes for Gremmy and Daffy for many healthy years to come (and you all of course). Thanks for sharing your awesome spaces. I just love seeing and hearing how things evolve and how you tweak the spaces over time. (Are we ever really ‘done’?) The kitchen and dining are perfection! Also I love hearing about your hedge and I totally did notice its beauty out the window!

1 year ago
Reply to  JA

Thanks, the year with the cats has really been a lot. You get cats because they are easy and live forever, like, WTF??

1 year ago

I love everything about this! Congratulations on making a functional, cozy, all around spectacular space from such a small footprint that shows that bigger is not always better. You truly have great vision and design skills.

1 year ago

So good. Love your explanations too for your choices. I thought so much cleaning with so much out and pets but you already thought of that, no problems! Interesting re: the adhd. Never been tested but resonate with some of that. Fewer choices and out-no wondering where that thing ran off to:)
The flush light. My very favorite. Dang for being so $! Creative design and so warm! Love.
Also you designed very balanced for fashion and function/how you life. Somehow this accounting for usage makes the space feel more alive.

1 year ago
Reply to  Kristi

Yeah even the idea of looking for something can make me just shut down and order food to be delivered. Where I see my ADHD the most is how overwhelming “simple” tasks can be.

Monique Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Kristi

There are some great ceramic semi-flush lights/pendants on Etsy, that cost quite a bit less. I do also love the FOLK pendants myself!

The ADHD thing made me laugh. If you open a cupboard at my house, something will probably fall out. I can’t seem to make myself focus enough to Marie Kondo my way through. However, the countertops are always clean, and I don’t like stuff on the surfaces. So, ya. I get it.

1 year ago

Wow! Love seeing the combo of serious functionality + a small kitchen/dining area. Great post!
Especially loved to hear how you got in a little more counter/shelf space in the skinny hallway to the laundry room. Very creative and it looks great.

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago

I’m so sorry to hear about Puck. Furbabies mean so much – he had amazing humans to love him.💓🐾

Bowser, I am totally in awe of y5pur IKEA hack! It’d look great in any room!
I love all the textures, textiles and clean lines.
The wooden light under the shelves immediately caught my eye and I was intrigued trying to work out what it was… I’m with you about bright lighting (well, and noise sometimes). That light makes sense.
I say “Welcome to my cave” when I’m light sensitive and people drop over to mood lighting and candles in tge middle of the day !! 🤣🤣🤣
Kittys’ scratching post getting a workout is cute!!
It looks like a highly functional kitchen with heaps of form, too!

1 year ago

What is the source of the kitchen/laundry floor tiles? Also, where did you get the wall cat scratcher? Love all the wood & warmth this redo brought – love “busy” kitchen walls!

1 year ago
Reply to  Natalie

Hey Natalie! The hex tiles are really the most basic thing, you could probably find them anywhere. I got them so long ago at some random tile place in the valley so I couldn’t tell you exactly. They are 8″ black hex tiles and we matched the grout best we could. They really are probably just these:

Elizabeth Sims
1 year ago

Emily, bravo!! I’m just in love with the rich colors and custom details (those back cushions!) in your breakfast nook. Truly creative and unique while being thoughtful and well-executed. I’m a designer and was taking notes ; ). Love an Emily Bowser post so much.

1 year ago

the nook looks amazing!! i need to know more about these pillows!

1 year ago
Reply to  CL

they really are just body pillow inserts from Target and wool army blankets I bought off Etsy. Had the upholsterer I use make a case with a zipper. I got lucky and the size of 2 body pillow is exactly the size of that wall

1 year ago

Lovely personal space. Always so so happy to see one of these types of reveals. My favourite thing on this blog.
Would love to see/ learn more about the hedge! I look straight into my neighbours too.
So sorry about Puck. 😔. That’s very sad.

1 year ago
Reply to  Sally

The hedges are Ficus Nitida and I got them from a local place called Planta Nursery. We bought 22 of them and planted them about 3 ft apart. ” from her previous post abt the backyard:

1 year ago
Reply to  Jessica

Thanks Jessica!! Much appreciated. 😊

1 year ago

I so appreciate this post. Great problem solving tips and product/sourcing ideas and I love the befores and afters – and that they include additional updates/improvements on first set of renovations. Seeing the process is so helpful. Your home looks beautiful! But I’m so sorry for the loss of Puck. It’s so hard to lose our cats and dogs. Especially unexpectedly/too soon.

Vicki Leis
1 year ago

I have done a very similar kitchen, black hex floor tiles, neutral cabinets & walls, black cabinet hardware w/brass kitchen faucet. Next step is heavy grouted faux stone backsplash. You have inspired me to keep the process moving, adding layers and details, beautiful job!

1 year ago
Reply to  Vicki Leis

Nice! you can do it. I mean the great thing about having a neutral kitchen is you can just change out hardware, lighting or accessories when you get bored!

1 year ago

I love how Daffy and Puck (may his memory be a blessing) are showing off the scratching post in parallel in the respective final shots and that Gremmy also got a modeling opportunity. I hope Daffy is doing ok after her health scares last year and that Gremmy has truly discovered how much he likes being a spoiled housecat. (But none of them are spoiled – they are fairly compensated for the user experience they provide).
I also love seeing the space(s) evolve over time (makes it more helpful and attainable then a one-off magazine “reveal”), but mostly: Bowser Cats ™.

1 year ago
Reply to  Kat

“Fairly compensated for the user experience they provide” is going to be my mantra. Love it!

1 year ago
Reply to  Kat

Yes, honestly we could never pay them back. Even when they are bad it’s mostly entertaining.

1 year ago

Love this update. So many great details and it’s such a highly functioning relatively small kitchen. I support normalizing doing expensive home projects in stages as you save and keeping everything you can to prevent waste.

Looks like you have a Lomi in your laundry room. Do you mind sharing how it is working for you?

1 year ago
Reply to  Kimberly

it works great, love the Lomi, especially if you have a garden and/or your city doesn’t compost. LA *just* started doing compost which is WILD but I still use it for fertilizer for my plants.

1 year ago

Thank you for sharing your beautiful kitchen and my heart is with you about Puck; it’s a tough but brave decision to make about helping a pet move on gracefully.

Does anyone know if the plant in the coffee area is real or faux? I’m hoping it’s an amazing faux *fingers crossed*

1 year ago
Reply to  Cat

Looks like this Faux Trailing Variegated String Of Hearts Houseplant from Pottery Barn:

1 year ago
Reply to  Cat

Hey Cat,

I believe it’s the same plant Bowser used in her multipurpose room reveal, AKA Andrew’s former dungeon – still my favorite photo of all time on this blog. I ordered the plant, but it was backordered for months. Well worth the wait! Here is the link:

Emily, the runner on the banquette is brilliant, and all your changes to the kitchen and dining space add so much warmth. It’s all really lovely.

Very sorry to hear about Puck. You gave him such a good life. 🖤

1 year ago
Reply to  Heather

DINGDINGDING. You are correct. It is from CB2. I somehow own two, I think I inherited an extra from a shoot – but honestly, love them so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Roberta Davis
1 year ago

That’s all so awesome! I love the light over the sink! and the new dining table! You really know how to make a space look interesting- but this one is very practical, too!

1 year ago
Reply to  Roberta Davis

interesting and practical is honestly my design aesthetic so thank you very much!

Roberta Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily Bowser

well-deserved, Emily!

1 year ago

I’m fascinated by kitchen design, especially smaller spaces that need a lot of ingenuity and creativity to be functional and nice to be in: this is a beautiful example! I appreciate all the clever solutions and I’ll consider them when I’m working on the kitchen in the 1907 house we’ll be moving into. It’s smaller than this one and we can’t do a full renovation but I’m going to do everything I can to maximize storage, function, and style.

Big Bowser fan
1 year ago

So sorry for your great loss. Ty for sharing another lovely space. How did you hang the cutting boards?

1 year ago
Reply to  Big Bowser fan

lol your name. Honestly, mostly just with long nails. There’s a few heavy ones that I used anchors and screws. I kept all the nails and screws black to keep it uniform. If you’re asking how I decided to put which one where: Oh, I dunno. Intuition and some patching putty 🙂

Big Bowser fan
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily Bowser

Haha! Ty for answering. You may not see this, but on the off chance, did you add keyholes to the backs of the boards that didn’t already have holes or the ones you hung horizontally? Probably there is an obvious solution I’m missing here.

1 year ago

This is a wonderful kitchen! I thought I wouldn’t like so much stuff showing, but you have an amazing eye for detail. Thank you for all the links; I have saved many, sigh. My sympathies for your loss as I too have adored cats.

1 year ago

You rocked this kitchen!! So much personality!! Function and beauty and style!!

Serena Weits
1 year ago

I love the “baby shaker” cabinets. I tried to Google that term but a bunch of baby stuff with shaker style comes up. We’re these custom or can I order them somewhere? Beautiful choices! Thanks, Serena

1 year ago
Reply to  Serena Weits

Yes! I think the link was missing this morning but you can head to to find out more about the cabinets and/or reach out to Rebecca and her team there. You can read more about the process of how the cabinets work on the process post

1 year ago

Lovely! I too have a ‘designed to be classic but actually very 2015’ kitchen – I’m not mad about it but this post has given me so much inspiration for making it warmer and brighter and more me. Love that this kitchen and this post is about both function and beauty – that’s what makes great design.
I freaking love the banquet + tulip table + MCM chairs thing – there’s no where in my house where that look would work…but one day!

1 year ago
Reply to  Lily

I get it. I still DO think all these things are classic and will stand the test of time. I think what has made it hard is house flippers finally got hip to it and instead of putting in obnoxious finishes that will be over in 2 years they went more classic and SO MANY kitchens got this same makeover at the same time. It’s hard to be mad at white subway tile, there’s nothing wrong with it at all, and that’s good. Good. Not great but it is good and I’m ok with that. Just means I have to style it a bit more to make it interesting.

Cris S.
1 year ago

Great job Emily – warm and modern in equal mix. And gives me hope for my ADHD daughter too. Thank you!

1 year ago

First, big hugs. Our Max (Chiweenie dog) has a lot of health issues, so we’re taking day by day. It’s HARD.
I especially like the dining area. It looks so cozy and moody now. Very inviting.
More than anything I’m loving seeing the cat activity. One of my new neighbors has two cats that me and Max are getting acquainted with. Maybe I’m turning into a cat person? At least, a dog AND cat person!

1 year ago
Reply to  Paula

nothing better than a cat/dog friend combo. I thought I was only a dog person. If you spend time with a cat you like it’s a slippery slope. Watch out.

1 year ago

Adding my thoughts and condolences for your loss of your dearly loved family member.
This is probably my favorite kitchen design, maybe ever, if only for all the creative ways you’ve used the space to its best advantage while creating a super functional, storage filled, yet still BEAUTIFUL space. Really appreciate seeing a well designed space in which the laundry is also seen from the kitchen, as I’m dealing with that in my own space– there is nowhere to relocate it and no way to conceal it. You’ve made it harmonize with your kitchen space so that it doesn’t scream LAUNDRY AREA AHEAD! ha!
So many great details and choices.
Always love your posts and how you take us through the process.
Echoing the other comments re: how much more relatable and realistic these types of staggered reveals can be.
Homes evolve slowly, just as our lives in them do.
Looking forward to your next exterior update!

1 year ago
Reply to  Lesley

Thanks Lesley! I wish I had the bandwidth to have done something in the laundry room. I really want to find a wallpaper or something that inspires me but I just haven’t found it yet. It would also be nice to make a countertop over the washer/dryer for some extra work space, especially with it so close to the kitchen but, you know. $$ and time. I’m very much looking forward to showing you all the outdoor updates! Thanks!

1 year ago

Well done. Could you suggest a good place to get quality but interesting cutting boards (other than digging for vintage)?

1 year ago
Reply to  Lulu

honestly – etsy. They have a good mix of old and new

1 year ago

This is beautiful, and so many creative solutions. Can you provide a link to the iron curtain rod over the DIY cabinet? Thanks!

1 year ago
Reply to  Lesley

you know, I got that off Etsy when I moved in 7+ years ago. I just looked through my past purchases and shockingly it’s still avail:

jody kennedy
1 year ago

Beautiful! Will you share the source of the Black hex? So handsome!

1 year ago
Reply to  jody kennedy

I said this above, but I don’t have it. I walked into a tile place in the valley and ordered it 7+ years ago. It is 8″ and i think similar to this:

1 year ago

I love everything about this renovation. It looks practical, relaxed and not ‘styled to death while spending enormous amounts of money’ as some of the posts here. Just one thing that I would not choose myself is brass-colored details like the tap and in some of the shelving. To me it is not a timeless choice but is a trendy choice that may end up looking ’so 2015-2025’.

1 year ago
Reply to  Caro

Interesting. So funny how people see things differently. I find brass to be very timeless, especially unlacquered. The good thing is, none of those things are too hard to change.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emily Bowser
1 year ago

I love this so much, especially the dining room refresh. Probably will be stealing some of that look for myself. You worked with you had, and everything is SO beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

1 year ago

So well done and I love how thoughtful the placement of every item is. What a unique and interesting and very functional space! I also love how your cats are incorporated into the design – the “hidey hole” is just the best! Bravo!

1 year ago

You are so creative! I love all your spaces. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your kitties with us!

1 year ago

updated dining nook is incredible! one of my favorite ideas of all time from the blog.

1 year ago

Beautiful kitchen Emily!! Thanks for sharing your progress along the way, too! You write like you’re talking to friends. I always enjoy your posts!

Will you please share where your cafe curtain rod is from? Thank you!

1 year ago

this is such a stunning re-fresh, love the warmth that was brought in with all the modifications, you killed it! x

1 year ago

I love this so much! We love ALL your work–you’re so talented–but seeing how you are dealing with your own home has been extra-inspirational! Also: We’re so sorry for your loss; Puck certainly won the lottery of wonderful, loving homes & families. Additionally: We loved reading the great reviews of your husband’s film! We’re fans of you all!

This is beyond amazing. I have too many comments and too little time. All I can say is I’ll be back to study each picture more later. So so good.

1 year ago

i might be the only person who wants this, but i would die for a post all about your cutting boards and any tips you have for building out such a gorgeous collection!

also i never thought i would say this but the new cabinet fronts and color are *cool.* like they’re not trying too hard to be one thing or another, they just are a little unexpected and gorgeous!

1 year ago

I was soooo looking forward to your post Emily!!! Yay! Nice improvements and I’m really liking that little ”hidden” working lamp, as harsh lighting is not my thing either. The dining space looks so cozy as does the kitchen with the rug that cats love. Well, just love seeing ANYTHING you do!
I’m so sorry for Puck.

11 months ago
Reply to  Nina

I love it all, EXCEPT the wine rack (heat rises). I especially like the look of the distressed cabinets. I want to redo my kitchen but not put the old cabinets in the landfill. Terrific job!