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Emily Henderson

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by Brady Tolbert

Hey Folks, it’s me Brady and today I am taking over the blog (with Emily’s blessing of course) to chat all things kitchen, but mostly to show off how my little galley kitchen went from dingy and sad to bright and happy. Working for Emily does have some major perks, one of which is the ability to makeover some of the rooms in my apartment for blog content and have wonderful brands, makers, and companies that are willing to send through items for coverage and linking so that we can introduce the audience (you) to them. So first and foremost a big thank you to you the readers for reading, Emily for letting me makeover this space, and the wonderful brands for collaborating and sending through some of the piece that you see here. Now let’s get into it. In case you are new here or want to take a walk down “Brady Memory Lane” you can check out my Living Room Reveal, my Bedroom Headboard DIY, and my Bathroom Refresh. But now let’s dive into what this place looked like before I moved in so we can get into the full reveal.


To be completely honest, I loved the kitchen when I moved in. Granted it was not perfect, but it did have amazing light, a totally functional layout, and tons of old character what with the detailed moldings on the walls and ceilings and the vintage shaker style cabinets. My first impression of my kitchen was akin to one of those first dates you go on where you definitely can see the guy has flaws, and that he might have some weird habits that you either have to get used to or change. But, under that wrinkly shirt, the slight unibrow, and the open-mouth breathing there is a totally lovable guy who has plenty of potential. Luckily my first date horror stories are over and I can now say the same about my kitchen. It’s gone from Prince Alarming to a much more palatable Prince Charming.


Let’s start from the ground up. You may have seen on the blog last year (or above in the progress pics) when I decided that it was a good idea to attempt a DIY peel and stick flooring to cover up the old vinyl that was previously there – which I will still stand by as a good idea as it was easy, fast, totally affordable, and gave the space a completely different look. But after living with it for over 6 months some of the tiles did start to peel up which I did have to replace. It wasn’t a huge catastrophe but was definitely a little bit annoying, so in hindsight if I was to do it again I would use some higher quality tiles that have a bit more durability and longevity. To read some more and get some BTS head on over to Architectural Digest for the full story. (I am dying at that last sentence. Arch Digest is covering my DIY flooring people. AD! I can officially die a happy man now.)


My kitchen (as I am sure you are already aware) is quite small, and does lack a lot of storage and usable counter space. So I really wanted to do everything I could to make the kitchen a bit more functional, and create specified areas in the kitchen for everything I needed or wanted to do in there. I will not profess to be a cook, which my mother would hate to hear me say out loud as she is a chef and I am sure would hope that I picked up a skill or two from her other than boiling water and preheating an oven. To this day those are still my two best skills. Although I am working to add chopping, frying, and blanching to the list (the last only because it is fun to say). Until then I have the usual takeout places on speed dial and am real good at cleaning up the dishes after my BF makes a delicious dinner for us. Needless to say, adding more storage for everything (even if I don’t do a lot of cooking) was a good move for me and the kitchen.

Brady-Tolbert_Emily-Henderson_Black-and-White-Kitchen_Vintage_Apartment-Refresh_Wood_Brass_Checkered-Floor_Copper-Pots_Eclectic_Glam_Modern_Traditional_18 Brady-Tolbert_Emily-Henderson_Black-and-White-Kitchen_Vintage_Apartment-Refresh_Wood_Brass_Checkered-Floor_Copper-Pots_Eclectic_Glam_Modern_Traditional_19

When I first moved into the apartment there was one single shelf on this wall above the sink, and not only was it pretty shallow but it was at a little bit of an awkward height (IE I smashed my head into it a few times while doing dishes before realizing that it needed to be pulled out). So I decided to remove that shelf and put in three new ones at better heights (both for my forehead and for storage), then proceeded to fill the shelves with absolutely beautiful things that I am both elated and completely terrified to use.


You see as an almost 30 year old adult (I am not quite there yet), gone are the days of thinking it is ok to eat on disposable dinnerware every night or worse (time to clench your pearls ladies) eating pizza directly from the box. So it was time for me to grow up and invest in some real “adult” pieces. The kitchen is quite small, so rather than bringing in a bunch of color or pattern to create interest and life in the kitchen I wanted to play with texture and keep things within the black and white tones, and accent with wood and brass. As I started shopping for the shelves there were a few things that each piece had to fall into: 1) it had to function well, 2) it had to look beautiful as it wouldn’t be hidden behind doors, and 3) it all had to easily stack. I realize that most people don’t consider a plate’s ability to stack when they are shopping but, as the open shelving was the only place for all of my dinnerware to go, it had to fall within all of those three categories.


The off white plates and bowls which all came from World Market are still some of my favorites as they perfectly combine simplicity and a handmade look to them (also can we all get a round of applause for how perfectly imperfect they look when they are stacked?). I found these black and white glasses at Jayson home and instantly knew they were basically made for my kitchen shelves, so those quickly became my go-to glasses. They are a little bit smaller than I am used to but Jason (my BF not to be confused with the store where I got them) continues to remind me that American portion sizes are a little aggressive and that anywhere else in the world these would be considered a normal and totally usable size. But, I can’t help it that I like to drink a large glass of whole milk with almost every meal (and yes, I do realize that is not normal by any means).


Directly across from the sink is where the new Smeg fridge and my existing stove live, and one of my new favorite places in the kitchen – my coffee center. When Nespresso reached out about working together to promote their new VertuoPlus machine and infusing extraordinary elements into your everyday life, Emily and I figured what better way to show that off then through a kitchen refresh. It just so happened that mine was desperately ready to be finished (ahem started), so showcasing the new machine and talking about the ways I made my everyday kitchen a little more extraordinary seemed like a perfect fit.


Although it has only been in place for a few weeks having this dedicated coffee area where everything is at my fingertips and accessible has made my morning routine so much more enjoyable. The VertuoPlus machine could not be easier to use and the fact that it literally is one touch to extraordinary coffee makes waking up in the morning so much better. It really is just one touch – the machine opens and closes by itself, there is no pulling out the old capsules after you are done, and in just a few minutes you have yourself an espresso or a full cup of coffee complete with that picture perfect “crema” on top that you see there, which I just learned is actually a sign of quality coffee. And not only is the coffee delicious but the company prides itself on being an industry leader in sustainability with their recycling program and making the capsules out of 100% recyclable aluminum, leaving both my mouth and mother nature very happy. Excuse me while I go brew myself another cup real fast.


Above it hangs my favorite and most treasured (yes I use that phrase now) piece of art which was a gift from Jason last christmas. Long story short, he basically is a perfect human and somehow seems to pick up on what I like and dislike in between all my word fodder, and got me an original from one of my favorite artists, Frederic Forest. To say that I sobbed like I had just watched the ending of “House of Sand and Fog” over and over while opening it would be an understatement.

You may have noticed that gorgeous antique butcher block that it all is sitting on. It is a pretty serendipitous story about how this one found its way into the kitchen. I previously had a hand me down island trolly from Ikea that was there (which worked but wasn’t exactly what I had imagined for the space) and I was desperately looking for a replacement for it in the weeks leading up to the shoot. The problem was, it was a difficult size to find and most old chopping blocks have been so worn in that the surface no longer works as a usable countertop. The day before the shoot as I was styling everything out on top of my existing trolly I happened to scroll through a few instastories (one of them being Wertz Brothers, a local furniture reseller/consigner) and this little beauty popped up as it had just come in. I immediately messaged Ryan from Wertz Brothers asking the dimensions and a few minutes later I was racing over there to grab it before it even went on the showroom floor. Needless to say – if you are local follow them and their instastories as they are constantly getting new pieces in at such great prices and you might just find the perfect piece for your space.


Let me introduce you to my friend “stove.” I rarely use him but he does make a wonderful surface to display my collection of antique wooden spoons and boil some pasta on every now and then. Although, to be fair, I did take a cooking class a few weeks back and can’t wait to give these Copper Pots from Lagostina some patina with my best Julia Child impression. My point being, use your kitchen and make it work for you. I don’t do a ton of cooking in here so creating an extra surface for display on half of the stove works for me, and having all my pots and pans readily displayed means that I have a constant reminder of how boiling water and putting pasta in it doesn’t count as a life skill.


Moving on down to the dining area and where I spend most of the time in my kitchen. I really wanted to create a focal point of the kitchen when looking down it from the entry area and because this area directly connects to the living room. So I did what any normal person does and installed a floor to ceiling, wall to wall, gallery wall filled with some of my favorite art. Despite what everyone asks when they walk in, that top right piece above is NOT me, although I will take it as a compliment. The gallery wall started with the large piece in the center from Captured52. As soon as I saw it I loved and knew that it would be the inspiration for all the other art that I paired with it.


When I started pulling all the art, I didn’t really have a theme other than I wanted it all to be tonal, black and white, and I wanted each piece to be something I really loved to look at – and now looking at this as a full collection I guess my three favorite things to look at are abstracts, architecture, and the male form. Go figure. Since there is so much visually going on within the art, I kept things simple by framing almost everything (besides the few pieces I already had) in black and white modern frames from Framebridge but varied the framing style to help it feel eclectic and collected. Some of them got float mounted, some included a mat, and then a few of them were framed without a mat and the picture fills out the entire frame. If you are in need of any type of framing check them out as they do such beautiful work and the process could not be easier.


The amount of light that bounces around this room makes it one of my favorite places in my apartment, and since I installed the chandelier on a dimmer it means that me and my 26 framed friends can lower the custom roman shades from Tonic Living and enjoy an intimate and ambiance filled dinner together once the sun goes down. Just don’t ask me to cook anything too complicated.


For the shoot I styled out the dining nook area with some bread and honey (because who doesn’t love bread and honey with their coffee), and of course some white tulips as they were too beautiful at the market to pass up this last week. The gorgeous cutting board which was gifted from The Wooden Palate who is a husband and wife team here in LA that makes everything by hand. Emily has a few of their pieces and everything they make is so simple and beautiful. Besides, presentation is half the meal so I now have that down pat with this little piece.


And because I know you guys love to see some full pulled back shots that show as much of the room as possible here is a view looking into the kitchen from the entry way.


And then the view looking from the dining area down the kitchen into my entry way and hallway which leads to the bedroom and office area (which are coming up in a full reveal very soon). I just got some wallpaper installed and things are shaping up so stay tuned for that reveal.


So folks, there is the full kitchen for you. If you are into the look then everything is included below, and if you have any questions about how I pulled it together or about the space be sure to leave comments below. In the meantime head over to MyDomaine to read some more of my tips on how to refresh a rental kitchen and enjoy some of these side by side before and afters while I snack on my bread and honey and sip on my delicious cup of Nespresso coffee.


Kudos to you if you noticed that the before floor in these two pics is different, as I just noticed it last minute. But the story behind the difference is that the top one was installed right before I moved in, and the below pic was taken just before the old tenant moved out.

Emily-Henderson_MOTO_-Brady_Masculine_Glam_Kitchen_Dining-Room_Reveal_Before-and-After_3 Emily-Henderson_MOTO_-Brady_Masculine_Glam_Kitchen_Dining-Room_Reveal_Before-and-After_5 Emily-Henderson_MOTO_-Brady_Masculine_Glam_Kitchen_Dining-Room_Reveal_Before-and-After_4 Emily-Henderson_MOTO_-Brady_Masculine_Glam_Kitchen_Dining-Room_Reveal_Get-the-Look

1. Chandelier | 2. Relaxed Roman Shade | 3. Woman Waiting – Etude by Frederic Forest | 4. Nespresso Machine | 5. Nespresso Glass Mug | 6. Wooden Stand | 7. Glass Canisters | 8. INTENSO Capsule | 9. STORMIO Capsule | 10. Dining Table | 11. Dining Chair | 12. Honey Dipper | 13. Cutting Board | 14. Black Pitcher | 15. Ceramic Coffee Mug | 16. Dish Towel | 17. Rolling Pin | 18. Drawing 264 – Gesturing Man Print | 19. Point of View Print | 20. Letter Board | 21. Brass Shelf Brackets | 22. Brass Knobs | 23. Untitled B&W #1 2012 Print | 24. Freedom Print | 25. Twin Pendant | 26. Smeg Fridge | 27. Hand Soap | 28. Dish Brush | 29. Gold Flatware | 30. Dinnerware | 31. Wine Glass | 32. Leather Strap Cutting Board | 33. Charcuterie Cutting Board | 34. Round Cutting Board | 35. Mini Wooden Bowl | 36. Cork Lidded Jar | 37. Gray Dipped Ceramic Bowls | 38. Black and White Ceramic Cups | 39. Guiding Light Print | 40. Tread Print | 41. Stones Print | 42. Brass Faucet | 43. Leather Strapped Vases | 44. Copper Place Card Holder | 45. Natural Jute Rug | 46. Origami White Vase | 47. White Ribbed Vase | 48. Copper Pots

**A big thanks to Nespresso who sponsored this makeover and post and who we worked with to bring you thiscontent and makoever. Thanks for supporting the brands that allow us to bring you daily original content.  

***Photography by Tessa Neustadt

For more of Brady’s Apartment: Brady’s Bedroom Makeover with Parachute | Brady’s Living Room Refresh with The CitizenryDIY Channel Tufted Headboard | Brady’s Living Room | Brady’s Bathroom Refresh | DIY Kitchen Flooring

  1. WOW! What an amazing space. So well done, Brady! Bravo.

    This might be a dumb question, but what’s the wall color in the dining area? Any specific white? Thanks!

    1. I repainted the entire kitchen/dining nook Super White by Benjamin Moore. xx

      1. Ah. There’s the answer to my query. Thanks.

  2. Slow clap for turning that ugly rental kitchen in to a glamorous dream kitchen. Slow clap, Brady.

    Question – will you take the Smeg with you when you leave? Follow up question: are you happy you spent your own money on a rental kitchen?

    1. I have the same question about everything your replaced – light fixtures, faucet, hardware, fridge – did you keep the old pieces in storage somewhere and will you replace them when you move out, taking the new pretty stuff with you? Or did you get rid of it all the old and will be leaving the new stuff behind?

      1. Yes to all of the above. I have the old fridge, the lighting, the hardware, etc all in a storage locker in the basement of the apartment building. So when (and if) I do leave I can quickly swap it all out and bring the new items with me. xx

    2. I still have to “pinch” myself sometimes when I walk into the kitchen as it makes me SO incredibly happy. Even if it is a rental I couldn’t imagine not making some fixes to the space and I am a firm believer on nesting and loving where you live, so I am very happy I spent the money on a fixing up my rental. xx

      1. But – let’s be real here. How much of your own money did you spend and how much was actually discounted and/or sponsored?

        1. Yes, please. Transparency is always important and keeps things real. How much did all this get covered and what was the total budget for such an amazing transformation?

          1. HA. I agree. give us the dirt 🙂

        2. I’d say most if not all. The one thing i checked out the link for was the shelf brackets. $169 for 2 from Rejuvenate…really?? And the Nespresso “ad” with photoshopped cup, very awkward.

  3. This is gorgeous!

    Can you let us know where the latches on the flat-front cabinets came from? Thanks so much.

    1. Those are actually vintage and original to the apartments in my building. I sadly didn’t have them when I moved in but when a vacant unit came up that they were remodeling, I snuck up there one night and “borrowed” them off of the vacant unit’s cabinets. They have been covered with so many layers of paint over the years I decided that it felt ok to spray paint them gold to match the rest of the hardware. xx

      1. Waaaaaaaait a minute. Reading this comment and the one you posted above, you stole hardware out of another unit and didn’t replace it with anything, but kept the hardware that was in *your* unit in storage so you could take the “good stuff” with you when you left? Wow. Just wow.

        1. Err, you can see that his cabinets were missing latches when he moved in. And the presumption is that the hardware, along with the other cabinets in the unit, were on their way to the trash. This is essentially how I replaced my vintage bathroom mirror, and some hardware of my own in my apartment — waited until other units were renovating and removed their leftovers from the trash. A well-trodden path to restoration.

        2. Waaaaait a minute…. So the landlord is going to have to pay a whole $5 to replace two latches on a unit that was already being remodeled??? Wow. Just wow.

          *eye roll*

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  5. I love this SO. MUCH.
    The art, the styling, the working-with-what-you’ve-got (space-wise). The open shelving, the stark contrasts and angles balanced by things warm and soft and round. The reference to House of Sand and Fog.
    Bravo, Brady!

    1. TYSM. I am loving the space so much, but can we talk about that House of Sand and Fog ending? I was a mess. xx

    2. Ditto! Standing ovation!

  6. Wow. Really beautiful and that butcher block…couldn’t be more perfect. I love your style.

    1. Kudos to Wertz Brothers on that one. They have such great pieces and it could not have worked out more perfectly. xx

  7. This is beautiful. Gives me hope for my tiny kitchen that I have lost motivation to make pretty because it’s such a difficult space to cook in. I’m going to have to build a bridge and get over it because it sure would be nice to work in a charming space like this. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Does that dining table light fixture make the ceiling look so much higher or is it just my imagination? It looks like it adds 3′, but I can’t figure out why!

    1. Do it! And I think a combo of the art, shelves, and lighting all help to make it feel slightly higher as they draw the eye line all the way up. xx

  8. love, love, love!

  9. LOOOOOVE. Somehow original, on trend, and classicly timeless all at the same time. I’m drooling. Nice work!!

  10. This is hands-down my favorite kitchen I can remember on the blog! Saving these for the day I have any say in what my kitchen looks like. Great job, Brady! Love your style (obsessed with both your living room and bathroom). Can’t wait to see more of your projects!

    1. Thank you so much! That means a lot 🙂 xx

  11. BRADY!!! It is impeccable! Fantastic job!

  12. Brady – your kitchen is stunning, the open shelving is such an awesome feature!


  13. Where did you get the canisters holding flour/sugar in your apartment? I see links to similar ones, but yours are beautiful.

    1. I got them from IKEA earlier this year and sadly they don’t sell them online anymore. They do still have them in a few stores, but I haven’t been able to track them down anywhere online, unless you buy through ebay or a resell site. Here is the original link: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40305787/

  14. Brady, well done you! I love your kitchen so much, black and white is my favorite (absence of) color scheme! I think it is so clever how you stayed true to the history of the kitchen but made is more current with your excellent selection of accessories, art and lighting! Lots of things I want to put on my shopping list from your post, especially those dishes from world market❤️

    1. You have to snag some of those dishes before they are gone. I love them so much. xx

  15. It looks really beautiful, Brady. Did you paint the cabinets? How was that?

    1. I hired someone to paint the entire space (for sanity sake) although I did think about doing myself. They ended up sanding the entire place to get some of the old paint drips and layers of paint off and then painted it all. It was a day and a half process for them but money well spent in my opinion. If your cabinets aren’t quite so old then it definitely could be DIY’d

      1. Thank you!

  16. What a beautiful space! I love that you were able to make the existing cabinetry work – the new pulls/knobs make everything look modern and fresh. I’m not usually a fan of a simple black and white color scheme, but with all the metal and woods, you made it feel really warm and inviting – kudos!!

  17. Totally gorgeous! Well done.

    May I ask, where do you salt and pepper shakers come from? I love their size and modern aesthetic.

    1. I picked them both up from IKEA a few years back, they called them “spice mills” at the time so maybe you could do some digging and find them online somewhere? xx

  18. AMAZING! love the black and white and friends! Smeg be still my heart… Maybe one day you will be more then a pinterest board and I will actually have you in my real life! Until that day, let me live vicariously through you. (P.S. I didn’t realize that everyone didn’t drink a glass of milk with supper until I was way to old to admit… So drink up! it does a body good… and is in your colour palate, win win!)

    1. Haha, glad someone else enjoys milk as much as I do, and thanks so much for the sweet words! xx

  19. Lurrve it. Source for salt and pepper grinders??

    1. I found them at IKEA a few years back but sadly I don’t think they sell them anymore.

  20. I’ve been dying to see this reveal! Congratulations Brady, you’re awesome! The kitchen looks amazing (and chic) and that gallery wall is hands down the best I’ve ever seen. Love from Portugal 🙂

  21. AHHHHmazing!!!! I didn’t think I could love any makeover more than your bathroom but I was wrong. You truly have the gift. Enjoy it for all of us…

  22. I just love your style and your whole apartment. I mean like a lot.

  23. WOWZA! This turned out amazing! I would love to hang out in this kitchen while my BF cooked me a delicious meal lol. Our kitchens are very similar – must be an LA thing! This is giving me lots of ideas. But my biggest takeaway is WHOLE MILK?! With EVERY MEAL?!

  24. Landlords must LOVE to rent to designers. I assume whoever owns this place is saving all of these pictures for the next time s/he has to list the apartment. It looks gorgeous!

  25. Your dining room is one of those rooms that I just stare at and wish I had the talent and courage and imagination to do something so brilliantly dramatic. Stunner. Absolutely perfect.

  26. Love the kitchen update Brady!! Can you tell me where the brass pot rack & hooks are from? I’ve been eyeing something similar for my kitchen.

    1. It is actually the GRUNDTAL rail and hooks from IKEA which I spraypainted gold. Super easy DIY and much cheaper than buying a brass one! xx

  27. Wow! Your kitchen is stunning! I love, love, love the dining area. The gallery wall is perfection. Well done, Brady.

  28. One of the best makeovers I’ve ever seen, Brady. So many things to look at, I’m sure I’ll revisit again many times over. (P.S. That little soap niche is fantastic. I think I’d have rented the apartment just for that.)

    1. THANK YOU! That is so sweet. I got very lucky with all the original character in this apartment, although truth be told I typically keep a sponge in there to wash the dishes with, but for the shoot I swapped out the dirty sponge for a pretty bar of soap. xx

    2. Hahahaha ditto to the soap niche love!

      I must be nearing period time b/c this kitchen made me cry. #weirdestcompliment

    3. I was scrolling down, wondering if anyone else had mentioned the soap niche. I love it and I agree that putting a sponge there will keep it cleaner (no soap scum). I also love the little line of aqua tiles. That smeg fridge–wow. Up til now, I considered smegs to be beautiful, but kinda dinky–however, I now see that in this kitchen it’s perfect–counter depth, more narrow, and *taller* than a standard fridge. The butcher block is another item on my wish list. I’ve never found an affordable one. Note to self: if I ever have a galley kitchen, I need a tall, narrow fridge and should save a spot for a cart that can replaced by a fabulous butcher block in future.

  29. What a great surprise to finally see this reveal today! Starting the day off right 🙂
    I’m so in love with everything – the smeg (ahh!), the butcher-block (what a perfect fit spatially and stylistically!), and the shelf brackets (so dainty and lovely), lights (so mescaline and sexy), hardware (shiny! ahh!). I just love it all!!!! Wowza!
    About vinyl floor – I too took the cheapo route with peal and stick vinyl in my laundry room. I learned that if it is applied with an extra layer of glue (i just used construction adhesive) that they stick down and don’t come back up! I’m not sure that works in a rental but my cheap tiles have held up fine…it was just the adhesive that sucked.

    1. I actually did this recently when I had to replace a few of them, so hopefully it holds up a little better.

  30. Fucking breathtaking!

    1. HA. DItto!!!

  31. Everything is so gorgeous. I need to get moving on my rental kitchen that hasn’t quite met it’s potential. Question, (as I am struggling with this) did you paint the cabinets and walls all the same white? I’m assuming you painted the cabinets because they look amazing?

    1. Yes, they were all painted Benjamin Moore’s, Super White. xx

  32. Nice job!…..The antique butcher block is the star of the show. It elevates the whole room and gives it such soul. What a lucky find!

  33. WOW! Just wow…. This turned out so gorgeous! I think I pinned every single photo

  34. Your kitchen is really nice and the gallery walls are amazing! I just ordered Gesturing Man for atop my husband’s dresser. I can’t wait for it to look as good in our master as it does in your kitchen.

  35. Brady, So great to see a non cookie cutter kitchen. In awe of your ability to make such a phenomal transformation within the constraints of the original space. Beautiful. One question…where is the microwave for heating up take outs?

    1. I know it will sound insane, but I don’t have one! Typically when it comes to takeout I inhale it before it even has time to turn into a leftover 🙂 xx

  36. I love it! So cozy and bright! May I ask what you used for hanging the hats on the wall in the hallway? I’ve been look for a nice vertical hat rack…Thanks!

    1. It was actually a vintage rack that Emily had that I willingly inherited/stole during one of her purges. But you could get the same look with a few simple wood hooks installed on the wall. xx

  37. Very nice, Brady, but I have say I have a real pet peeve about painted-over hardware. I realize you might not be able to do this since the metals probably won’t match your shiny new brass, but just for the record, if you put the hardware in an old crock pot (that of course will not later be used for food) with a tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent, fill it with water, and let cook it for a few hours, the paint will fall right off and you can shine up your hinges and latches and put them back good as new. It’s an easy fix for a sloppy mess. Congrats on your new kitchen!

  38. Love this kitchen!!! I wish I had tall ceilings to put art work like that in it… (immediately adds to pinterest)..

    my question is the flooring. You mentioned you would have gone with a better vinyl…where does this unicorn vinyl live? i’d live to do something similar to my bath but when i do my usual google search i can’t find anything. Plus if you have a brand you’d stay away from that would be great to know too. Thanks!

  39. So I do a lot of looking at pictures of interiors and this is consistently one of my favorite rooms ever. Of all time. Its on the top five favorites. Seriously, if you had any idea how many spaces I look at per day, thats a really big deal. Kudos mah-man.

  40. WOW! You know, your style isn’t what I love for myself, so it is a huge kudos to your talent that I LOVE your kitchen. I really think it looks amazing. I also love, love, love how you worked with what you had, and just made it so much better, instead of gut rehabbing it. I can’t even believe it is the same kitchen. Lovely job!

  41. Not only did your kitchen turn out gorgeous, but it looks twice as big now! Amazing.

  42. Are there some kind of God lamps you have added to this apartment? Why is it SOOO bright in the reveal photos? THIS is a good before and after. That kitchen before is like every crappy apartment kitchen and the transformation is CRAY. I could use more color, but that’s me. It feels very rich gay artist that lives in West Village Manhattan in the late 80’s. I love it. I will be stealing this lighting idea. Thank you.

    1. The brightness can be credited to a new coat of white paint and some amazing photography by Tessa 🙂 And I am very into the description you give it… guess I need to move to NYC. xx

  43. AND I JUST NOTICED YOU HAVE A SMEG. I am obsessed.

  44. So charming. Very creative and it’s about as good a remodel as I’ve seen done by people who owned their homes. I have a strange question about your hats… what did you use to hang them on? I’m looking to do something like this and the only hooks I can find that I like are about $30 each…

    1. It’s a vintage one of Em’s that she lovingly passed down to me (AKA I stole it during one of her purges). It isn’t the most functional as hats constantly slip off of it, so it might be better suited for purses but I love it and it works perfectly for the space. xx

  45. Brady This is one of the best afters I have ever seen. So beautiful , tasteful and classic. Well done dude
    I love the fact that you kept what was there and made it work that paint is glorious.

  46. Look so amazing, not that I’m at all surprised! But question, I’m curious to know how your landlord feels about the changes? Like with the flooring, new faucet, painting, etc. I mean there all immense improvements so I’m sure not mad about it. But Whenever I’ve asked landlords about even the remote possibility of changing anything they look at me like I have 3 heads!

    Additionally, any tips for opening that dialogue with your landlord?!
    Anyone, weigh in!


  47. OMG this is amazing. One of the best posts to date! I cannot even make a legit comment because it is too good!

  48. Absolutely love all of the lighting choices! Such a great space.

  49. The twin pendant lamps are gorgeous but way out of my price range, have you seen anything similar at a more affordable cost.

    1. They would have typically been out of my price range as well, but I was very fortunate that Rejuvenation was willing to send it through for coverage on the blog. I haven’t seen anything too similar but I will definitely pass it along if I do.

  50. That stripe of mint/green tile is sublime. Older is frequently better!

    But, real talk: all these LA based designer people doing up other people’s homes and their own – you realize you live in earthquake country, right? Open shelving is cute and all, but . . . .

    1. My smart-alecky answer: most of the things on the shelves are made of wood, LOL.

    Please tell me where you bought that larger black/white print — where the subject can’t bear to see the world!
    I need it in my new house 🙂

    1. It came through Captured52. You can reach out to them directly on their site to see if they still have that piece available. But if not they have such incredible large scale prints you can’t really go wrong. xx

  52. Seriously stunning. Like, I want to take a picture of your kitchen and put it in my kitchen to remind me what a kitchen can look like. Just beautiful Brady. Amazing work. I hope you enjoy it so much!

    1. Haha I have a picture of Justin Beiber inside one of my snack cabinets so maybe mentally I have the same thing going on as you do with the inspiration pic?! xx

  53. Amazing transformation! Beautiful!

  54. So good! Congrats

  55. My husband and I just moved into a small apartment (so we can save money to buy a house in a few years) and our kitchen strongly resembles yours, with the tile counters, bad floors, and little storage space. It’s encouraging to see this transformation. It gives me hope that we can make our kitchen a sight I don’t cringe at for the next few years!

    1. Do it! It is worth the small investment to really make the space one that you love.


  56. O M G!! My favorite kitchen of all time!!! In total L O V E !!!

  57. Aaahhh! I love this so much! I want to sit at that table looking at all that art all day long. Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses half my stove for display space and the other half for boiling pasta. 🙂

  58. wow, seriously! when I saw the before pictures I could not imagine that you would create such a glamour space! I am in love!

  59. So so SO beautiful Brady!

  60. Amazing renovation of a bland rental kitchen! I would never choose black and white but this works and is beautiful. Basic changes like painting existing cabinets and swapping out light fixtures, changing one appliance, adding counter space with a butcher block and changing out the floor are all doable for renters. Your light fixture choices, art and those chairs (!!!!) take it over the top into Hollywood glam. Beautiful job working with what you have and making your home truly your own without doing a gut rehab!!!

  61. Brady, this is truly outstanding. It’s clear you busted your tail to transform this space and carefully considered every last, tiny detail. It is so smart, refreshing, layered and stunning. Everything. Jesus.

    Emily, get your sponsors to buy this man a house. We need to see more of him, please. Bravo!

    1. OMG! Comment of the day 🙂 Hey Em… I highly agree with “ES” xx

  62. Brady. Killin’ it.

  63. SO BEAUTIFUL! Only thing missing is one of those tequila bottles…the black, perhaps? 🙂
    I had a checkerboard floor and open shelving in my last house, and this makes me miss it all so much. Timeless and lovely, really.

  64. So good.

  65. This is really glamorous work, Brady. I’m going to be using it as inspiration for my own rental kitchen- I don’t have to stick with what I’ve got! Thanks for giving me some moxie to tackle it.

    Why did the stove shift to next to the fridge? Was it to continue the white/black theme? The beautiful butcher block sitting in between the two would have been a temperature buffer. Oh, and if you find a kitchen trash bin as glam as the rest of this room, please give us an update!

    1. I actually never tried the butcher block in between the two, as when I moved in the stove was always right next to the fridge and there is a vent directly above it and the gas line behind it (although I am not sure if the vent hood is actually functioning). I think I also decided that I didn’t want to walk right into a stove when entering the kitchen, but maybe I will have to try to move things around one weekend. xx

  66. it’s so nice brady. i’ll come to LA and make pasta FOR you in that kitchen. 😉 i love the table, chairs, gallery wall, butcher block, copper pots, and that so much of the original kitchen is still there. 🙂

  67. Brady, this kitchen is PERFECTION. This is my favorite room in your apartment and possibly my favorite kitchen on EHD. It looks incredibly sophisticated and elegant, yet totally real. I definitely plan to reference this for my future forever kitchen remodel. KUDOS!

    P.S. Whole milk is incredibly delicious. If I didn’t limit my liquid calories, I would totally have it with every meal.

  68. Brady, I love all your work (still obsessed with your tufted headboard), this kitchen is absolutely stunning. I especially love the butcher block and the way you transformed the open shelving with all the gold hardware! it is so glamorous. Can’t wait to see more!

  69. Obsessed with this kitchen! Gorgeous, and so my aesthetic! A few questions, how is that Smeg fridge? Is it too small? does it have a water filter in the inside? does it make ice, and defrost? I also love the artwork above the stove, who is that by? amazing work! thanks for inspiring me!

    1. Thank you so much! The SMEG is amazing and I love it so much, keeps everything at the perfect temp and it looks so good in the kitchen. It doesn’t have a water filter or make ice, although it does defrost. They may have other models that have those options but this worked perfect for me as my old apartment didn’t have a waterline for the fridge any way. The artwork was actually vintage that Scott Horne passed along to me. I’ll let you know if I can track down the artist. xx

  70. I love this so much! Thank you for taking a space and making it amazing without major demos! And I appreciate that it’s suited to your (real) life.
    That little cube holding the Instax is adorable. Any sources? Or direction on what to search on Amazon?

    1. It is linked up in the get the look, but it is a copper placecard holder from CB2. They come as a set of four and I used them for polaroids rather than place cards 🙂 xx

  71. i just say thank to someone who created this website

  72. This is one of my favorite kitchen remodels ever! What a great space and explanation of the ideas behind the space! It also makes me feel infinitely better about the black and white peel and stick tiles that we put down during our Master Bath remodel (not what we planned) when an emergency occurred and our house which was a mess from the remodel was going to be filled with people a few days later 🙁 This happened 20 years ago and the tiles are down until the Apocalypse ( they probably contain some element we can’t use anymore but boy are they stuck) and we’ve never gotten around to doing anything about them #reallife They are classic black and white with a faux zebra rug on top so what’s not to love!! And I’m falling in love with floor to ceiling gallery walls too!! I’m about to go back through all of your links and read your apartment refresh posts!! Well done.

  73. wow….. it’s very amazing …. loves you

  74. i will share this post to all people to know this

  75. i will share this post to all people to know this

  76. so so beautiful!! love everything!! so so inspired!! 😍😍😍😍

  77. I love your Brady voice. I don’t know if you regularly write for the big, but it’s so great when you come in and take over. Also, need to know what you did for your little pot rack please. Curtain rod?

    1. Thank You! That means a lot 🙂 The pot rack was just a simple pot rack from ikea (with hooks) that I spray painted gold to match the other hardware in the kitchen. xx

  78. Love it so much! So glad you kept that amazing old sink and cabinets. My house was built in 1929, but sadly the kitchen and bathroom have already been “upgraded” (but was ugly so I didn’t feel guilty changing it again) so I didn’t have any of those charming details. I am always a little jealous of original kitchens like that!

  79. Gorgeous makeover! Love that SMEG fridge. Also very excited to see you use and mention Tonic Living — an awesome little Canadian company that is BIG on style and fabulous on service (no, I don’t work for them)!!

  80. Did you paint to? Or is Tessa just making it look much, much brighter and whiter in her photos?

    Love your gallery wall. And the chair focal point as you look “to the entryway and hall”.

    1. The entire kitchen was painted “super white” by Benjamin Moore which brightened everything up an bounced the light around. xx

  81. I have been a major fan and follower of this blog for years now, and loooove pretty much all of what goes on here, and this is one of my favorite makeovers!!! I think that is partly because your “before”is so similar to the kinds of places I have lived (and still live) – old, small apartments that have some charm but have lost luster. I love how you turned it into something really special. Super inspiring!

  82. So good. Love pretty much everything. Good job Brady.

  83. Brady – Holy-Moly how are you this cool? I love your kitchen, it turned out great!!

    I second the vote to buy this man a house so he can blog about every room makeover.

    Would you mind sharing what brand/color of spray paint you used to cover the latches and ikea rod? I’ve been looking for a similar color and finish but they all turn out really shiny. (Also fellow spray paint lovers tip – spray some paint in a throwaway paper cup and use a small paint brush to touch up the exposed silver screws or the parts that may have flecked off during install).

    Last thing I’ve been wanting a nude line drawing for a while but couldn’t seem to find any I loved until I clicked over to the Frederic Forest link – his stuff is AMAZING! It’s just what I had been searching for so thanks for the share!

    1. TYSM. What do we need to do to get a gofundme started to buy me a house so that I can makeover the entire thing?! For the spray paint I used rustoleum metallic (in the gold color) http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Specialty-11-oz-Metallic-Gold-Spray-Paint-1910830/100155951. It did have a little bit of a weird finish at first but dried solid and has seemed to hold up great. So glad you love Frederic as much as I do! I am obsessed with his stuff.

  84. When replacing the kitchen faucet, did you have to change out the cartridge or tiles?

  85. I’m seeing three different floors, and while I love the graphic quality of the black/white squares, I am loving that vintage tile in the before. What’s confusing is that there is another before that looks like white tile with black diamonds in the corners which I am not a fan of. did you try that tile before the black/white tiles?

    1. You have very good ideas! I mention above in the before/after side by sides the story behind it. But the first pictures were taken before I moved in, the second set was right after I moved in and then the reveal photos are obviously what I have now. The vinyl floors the landlord put in before I moved in were a slightly off white color and I wanted to update it a bit and bring it back to that classic black and white pattern, which is why I swapped them out. xx

  86. I have to say, I immediately felt dread when I saw the original pictures, fearing the fantastic original cabinets would be pulled out and replaced with something contemporary (like they so often are). I was SO excited to see you were able to update and modernize while still paying respect to the original character and integrity of the space. Well done.

    1. I am sure my landlord never would have let me replace the old cabinets, and I love the old shaker style of them, so a good sanding and a fresh coat of paint is all it took to update them. Glad you liked the way they turned out. xx

  87. Wow I really love this. The floors, the copper pans, the nook, the black on white – awesome!

    http://lifestyle360 .co.ke

  88. This is a gorgeous kitchen reveal! If you don’t mind, where did you get the “be weird, be happy, etc.” art/poster? Thanks.

  89. I have to say I am so happy to see you kept the vintage parts of the kitchen! When I saw the before, I had a feeling of dread that all those original cabinets and detail were going to be torn out and “updated.” Thank you so much for keeping the charm and history of the place while still making it your own! It’s beautiful!

  90. Brady – wowowow incredible taste this looks beyond stunning. The before looks identical to my old 1918 apartment in Beverly Hills I left last year. You really have massive talent good luck to you!

  91. Great job – seriously, perfect mix of style, high end/low end and DIY – you have impressed me. Enjoy your space and your 20s but I have a feeling you’re just going to get better with age!

  92. I absolutely love that your art work goes all the way to the floor. The kitchen is beyond gorgeous.

  93. Totally great! Every thing is stunning! Wow!!! Great work Brady!

  94. I don’t comment often on blogs, but this kitchen is everything. Absolutely beautiful. Chic and sophisticated. I love it all.

  95. Amazing change. And I really enjoyed the way you highlighted, instead of trying to hide, the brand sponsorships. Excellent.

  96. stunning! Love the black/white/gold theme. I agree, even in a rental it is so important to do what you can to feel at home. My landlords have always approved of what I wanted to do and I left the place looking better than when I moved in for not a lot of money. Paint and spray paint are my go-to refreshers for so many things. Wertz Bros is da bomb, I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons there when I lived in LA!

  97. Looks beautiful!

    Silly question maybe, but where do you cook? Seems like most of the counter space is occupied.

  98. As a small time landlord (my husband and I have 7 homes we rent) I would be totally open to having a renter improve their space, if they come to me with a plan. A thorough plan with products, colors, time frame, and contractors with references. I often buy the paint when a renter wants to spruce up, if they have been responsible with the house in the past. And by being responsible I mean calling me at the first sign of a leak, letting me know if the yard guy hasn’t shown up, getting the rent in on time.

    When someone moves out it’s true we can raise the rent, but most of the time we want you to stay. And a “turn” which is what we call prepping the house for the next tenant, can be time consuming and expensive, even if we miss just one month’s rent.

    Brady has an advantage because he has a portfolio and connections but if you do your homework really well and present your idea in a professional way, most landlords can see the advantage of you living in a home you love.

  99. Brady- I love your kitchen! Congratulations on the AD article! Your kitchen is stunning.

  100. amazing! very impressed and proud of a fellow renter renovator 🙂 HOWEVER, as an also soon to be 30-year-old, let it stand for the record, that we are *never* too old to eat pizza directly out of the box 😉

  101. Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that on the mobile version of your sight, the photos are teeny tiny. I usually read on my computer and it’s normal there, but when I look on my phone, the photos are small and take up about a fourth of the width they’re supposed to. Just a heads up.

    1. Site* 🙄

  102. WOW! Do you RENT that place or do you own it?

  103. Holy shiz, Brady! Really phenomenal work. Even though I’m a color whore, I love how you kept it simple with white, black and natural elements. Super sophisticated and welcoming.

  104. This is gorgeous!… The simplicity and the overall impact in your compact space is just perfect 🙂

  105. This is just awesome! I looked like any other kitchen in LA and you transform something so ordinary into an extraordinary space! congrats!

    1. I meant “it” looked… grammar issues

  106. Love this post and kitchen so much. Perfect mixture of high and low budget items. Love seeing the use of Ikea 😉.

    Thanks for the great content and inspiration.

    Congrats on the perfect butcher block find!

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