From Em: Today we have a kitchen reveal of a friend, collaborator and fellow blogger, Barrett Prendergast. We were hanging out a couple of years ago chatting about how we could collaborate on her kitchen and while I had NOTHING to do with the design of this (she did it all and did an awesome job) I agreed to produce/publish the reveal when it was all done – win/win. So a couple of weeks ago Bowser and Sara went over and shot Barrett’s awesome kitchen (you must read until the end and see the befores) that works wildly better for her and her soon-to-be three sons + husband. More on her below. Follow her and hot tip – she also runs Valleybrink Road where we buy our gift boxes throughout the year for friends/family/clients – they are wonderful.
Hi everyone. Barrett Prendergast here. I’m the founder of gifting company Valleybrink Road and lifestyle blog Barrett and The Boys. I’m so excited to be sharing the story of our kitchen renovation with you! To be honest, my husband and business partner, André Vippolis, managed the entire project, dealing with all of the nitty-gritty details, and is still recovering from the stress of it all. It was a WILD ride, and we learned SOOO much. Before we jump into all the design details and obstacles we encountered as construction newbies, let me give a little background.
André and I bought a small Spanish bungalow in an area of Los Angeles called Atwater Village ten years ago. Initially built in the 1920s, the house was a flip. It had been tastefully redone with a combination of Ikea and Home Depot products and finishes. After losing out on so many places and looking for what seemed like forever, we were so grateful to get a home with great bones. We fell in love with the breezy feel and open kitchen vibe. The kitchen was simple, with white cabinetry, a farmhouse sink, grey countertops, and an island in the center. The kitchen had some strange design choices, including a desk nook and a stackable washer/dryer smack in the middle of one of the walls. Still, there was tons of potential for a future redux.
Over the years of living in and using the space, we started to dream of all the things we would change. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had an actual range with a vent? Can you imagine what we could do with six burners and a large oven? For two people obsessed with food, cooking, and entertaining, the kitchen’s 24″ cooktop was a challenge. You could never cook two things at a time, as the burners were so close together and the pots didn’t fit side by side or diagonally. We were also desperate for more storage. And, as we had one child and then another, it started becoming harder and harder to find a place to store anything. We thought, wouldn’t it be nice to trim down the poorly designed island so we could have more flow and movement while cooking and hosting. And on and on.
So, a year ago, we decided to finally take the plunge and create the kitchen of our cooking dreams. But on a budget. Our goal was a bright, spacious, functional cook’s kitchen that was kid-friendly and great for entertaining. The most important things to us were:
1) High-quality appliances
2) Increased storage and a large pantry
3) An island where our kids and friends could gather comfortably as well as be utilized for prepping and cooking.
4) A home espresso machine setup
5) Increase the natural light in the space
6) A big sink and quality faucets
We had a relatively clear vision of what we wanted the space to look like (constantly pinning away). To save money, we had an architect’s assistant prepare drawings for us based on our mood board and the goals mentioned above. We were also able to partner with many incredible brands that helped bring the kitchen to life on a budget. And, while it took much longer than expected, we made it through and are in love with our new kitchen! Here’s how it all came together.
Sconce | Tea Kettle | Blue Dipped Ceramic Bowl (similar) | Vinegar Dispenser (similar)
Appliances: As we mentioned above, we had been dreaming of having appliances that were more conducive to cooking. We decided to go with Thermador as their appliances are solid performers with a good reputation among cooks. They have a great ultra-low simmer feature and the ability to have more burners with high BTUs on their ranges. The design of their Pro Harmony line is clean and modern without looking too high-tech. We were also able to get a free dishwasher and rangehood with the promotion they had running at the time we made our range and refrigerator purchase.
Refrigerator | Wood Veneers | Custom Cabinets
Appliance Pulls (in satin brass) | Cabinet Pulls ( in stain brass)
Storage: With our goal of increased storage in mind, we decided to dedicate one entire wall in the kitchen to the pantry, fridge, and extra shelving for cookware, ceramics, dinnerware, serving pieces, etc. Initially, our laundry was along this wall in the kitchen, along with a random desk area we never used, leaving very little room for the pantry or any other storage. We decided to do floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and a built-in fridge to get the most storage and shelf space while keeping as much as possible put away and out of sight. We opted for custom cabinetry from AT Designs and chose GL Veneer’s Premium Rift Cut White Oak veneers for all the cabinetry and Emtek hardware for all the finishes. The neutral tones of the veneer bring a lot of soft warmth into the space. By having cabinetry that goes floor to ceiling, we were able to triple the amount of storage we originally had in the room. Rather than having cooking appliances on the countertops, like our Kitchen Aid Mixer or Vitamix, we can now store these items out of sight and bring them out as needed.
Flooring | Stools | Ceramic Pitcher | Footed Bowl (similar)
Space: Cooking, especially when you get in the flow, is almost like a beautiful dance. You might be sauteing something, then spin around to grab more ingredients before making your way back to the stove to finish it all off. When space is tight, it’s more difficult to find that cooking flow. After years of cooking in our kitchen, we knew we needed more space to move around while still maintaining the island. Removing it would have significantly reduced how much usable countertop space we had to utilize. Also, the island is where everyone gathers. Our kids and friends always love to spend time in the kitchen with us when cooking, so we wanted to create a comfortable place for them to sit and connect with us. We chose Article Esse Stools in White Oak with a leather seat for the island seating. They are comfortable and fresh-looking, while the oak color and leather complement the kitchen’s tones nicely.
With cooking and prep at the top of mind when designing the kitchen, we wanted to make sure we had enough usable counter space and that the material would be durable. We opted for Caesarstone countertops in London Grey. We chose this for its balance of performance, price, and quality. It’s less prone to staining and easier to clean and maintain than more porous natural stone such as marble. The London grey color has cool tones that compliment the warmer tones of the GL White Oak Veneers and the FireClay Tiles in Milky Way we used for the backsplash and shelf wall. We loved the contrast between the subtle texture of the handmade tiles and the smooth quality of the countertops. We also brought in the most beautiful indoor plants from Folia Collective as an added touch on the floating shelves, and by having them line the top shelf, our countertops and island still have a lot of usable space.
Espresso Machine | Espresso Grinder
Home Espresso Machine Setup: Two small children mean hectic mornings, and often for us, not great sleep. We need our coffee! We’d always been in the habit of getting a cappuccino outside the house after a morning Americano from our trusty Bialetti. We decided it would be great to learn to make our coffee drinks and have them whenever we wanted. So, we knew that our new kitchen would have an espresso machine setup plumbed in when we remodeled. This way, we would never have to fill and clean a tank multiple times per week. We partnered with Pasquini Coffee Co. to make our coffee dreams come true. They set us up with a beautiful Bezzera Duo De machine and a Mazzer Mini Electronic A grinder. We had the machine panels custom powder coated white and selected the grinder in white as well.
Skylight | Ceiling Flushmounts | Plants
Light and Lighting: Adequate natural light is so crucial to both of us when we are cooking. We also wanted the space to feel calm and inviting. The kitchen ceiling was always high and on a slant but had faux-wood beams across it. So, we ripped out the beams and decided to add a solar-powered skylight from Velux right above the island. It brings beautiful natural light into the kitchen throughout the day, along with touches of blue skies. It also opens, which helps with air circulation if it gets hot or a little smokey when cooking.
As for lighting, initially, we were thinking of adding pendant lights above the island but then decided to keep the space open and airy, adding two additional surface mount lights around the skylight instead. We chose Cedar and Moss Swift surface lights for the ceiling and RBW Dimple Flush Mounts as sconces on each side of the archway for accent. We added LED strip lighting under all of the lower floating shelves, which has turned out to be a beneficial detail when cooking at night. Also, switching out the dark engineered flooring in our entire house for a lighter engineered wood floor from National Hardwood, #304, made all the difference in how bright and light everything now feels.
Sink | Faucet | Beverage Faucet | Kitchen Towel (similar) | Glass Canisters | Pot Brush (similar) | Dinner Plates | Salad Plates | Cereal Bowls |
Sink and Faucet: The combination of being parents and foodies causes us to spend a great deal of time at our kitchen sink. With this in mind, we knew we wanted something larger than our original sink and more durable. We decided to go with Kohlers’ Strive stainless steel sink. For the faucet, we chose their Crue Kitchen Faucet in brushed brass so that it would complement the Emtek brass pulls throughout the kitchen. Having a larger sink has been a gamechanger for cooking and cleanup.
Here are the before and afters:
And, that’s about it! Thank you for letting us share our little kitchen journey with you and hopefully it inspires you to design some of your kitchens with cooking and entertaining at top of mind!
*Design by Barrett Prendergast
**Styled by Emily Bowser
***Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
I love it! It looks so polished, yet casual. The top shelf with plants frame that side of the kitchen so nicely. What is your solution for a drying rack? Is it tucked under the sink until it is time to dry the pots?
This is beautiful. It’s astonishing to see how much change you made while not extending in any way, or enlarging the island. The full wall of pantry cabinets is beautiful, and having in integrated fridge makes a huge difference to how streamlined and restful it looks. I also love that even though extra storage was a priority for you, you still made room for plants!
Amazing transformation, it looks so much bigger! I am helping my brother design and build a new house on Kauai. He wants slab front cabinets like you have, but he really wants to go handleless and just do routed edges on the fronts instead of pulls. It’s been really difficult to find materials that will ship to Hi. Can you please share how you did the routed pulls with those veneers?
Wow, fabulous work! The new wall of built-ins with the fridge streamlines the space so beautifully. It was smart to hire an Architectural Drafter to help you with your plans since you already knew what you wanted. Not quite architects “assistants”, drafters are professionals in their own right, with a unique set of skills honed through years of work and experience. 🙂
Just looking at the photos has slowed my heart rate 25%. And that’s a good thing. Cooking can be so chaotic, a calm kitchen like this is the perfect background. And I have a Thermador cooktop that has seen EXTENSIVE use over the past 10 years and it’s completely undaunted. Great quality, no extra fol-de-rol.
Love it all, but that white outlet in the island really bothers me! So much beauty and care in this kitchen, but that detail was definitely overlooked.
Just a thought – I think it bothers you in a picture, but you wouldn’t notice it in real life at all. We’re used to seeing those items photoshopped out. When you’re living in it, your eyes would just glaze over it.
Beautiful! I love that this is such a functional kitchen, while still being attractive. We just redid our kitchen and the layout is similar, although ours is smaller. Having clear “zones” for cooking, cleanup, and food storage makes it so much easier to move around and get things done in there.
I love how clean and still organic it looks! I’m very interested in your sink faucet set up. Is that a hot water dispenser? I’m in the market for one but am having trouble finding one that will match the main faucet. Can you walk us through what yours do and where you got them?
Beautiful reno! You’ve done so many things that I really want to do to my kitchen- rift white oak, beautiful hood, wall of cabinets incorporating the refrigerator, brass hardware. Clean, bright, and simple!
It looks much bigger and soothing. Very zen.😊
Have to say though, that I really liked the bright door in the before photo!
Agreed, it’s absolutely gorgeous, and a blue door would be a fun addition, even if the white were painted. Maybe someday when she’s looking for a change!
Beautiful! Is there any specifics on which type of flooring? thanks!
Its beautiful, but the before was perfectly fine too. What a waste and harm to the environment to rip everything out
The first sentence is fine. The second? I’m so tired of this. This is someone’s home, and a space sacred to them that they are proud of and were kind enough to share with us. You don’t like it? You should stop reading design blogs. That’s what happens here- new and remodeled spaces.
p.s.- gorgeous space and thanks for sharing all the details of how you got to the final design.
It is a waste, looks like they ripped out and threw every single thing in that perfectly fine kitchen. If she doesn’t want honest opinions, she should stop posting on design blogs. Its not a “sacred space” if you’re peddling it for eyeballs and sponsor money
This is not Emily’s space. It is the home of her friend who renovated a space to suit them and their family. That is their right. What does criticizing someone and making them feel like crap do for the environment? We have no idea how they live, or what choices and daily steps they take to lessen their impact on the environment. I’m sure Barrett cares about the planet and what kind of world she’s leaving for her children.
It is my right to use single use plastic, and gas guzzle and cut down every tree in my home. But if I’m putting it out there as something to admire and emulate (and earning sponsor money in the process), I should be willing to take some criticism. Its ridiculous to require that every comment should be positive and supportive. If you have a rational argument about how this remodel is environmentally sustainable, I’m willing to hear it
And whatever happened to Emily’s sustainability quest for this blog?
Rupali has a valid point and every right to express it. Many people who enjoy design blogs simultaneously feel uncomfortably pressured to have an up-to-the-minute home. There’s nothing wrong with speaking up for the alternative: loving and living with what you’ve got and feeling good about not being wasteful. To me this seems like the perfect forum for raising awareness about the environment and helping people think twice before renovating.
C’mon, man… there gets to be a point where this sort of comment is just ridiculous on a design blog. This is just a tour of someone’s kitchen, and they lived with the old one for a number of years before they eventually changed it, as people do. Buying multiple homes, remodeling brand new spaces, buying new furniture and decor to restyle a place constantly… that sort of excess consumerism I can understand provoking a comment like yours. But it sounds like you expect people to live in their house until it’s falling down around them, and then to only source secondhand drywall and screws. Yeah, that’d be great for the environment, but content would run dry real quickly on a design blog if that was the only kind of remodel they’d be allowed to feature. 😛
But the kitchen wasn’t falling down around them! The cabinets looked perfectly fine, nothing wrong with the countertop. Do we really want to encourage everyone to trash perfectly fine kitchens because they want better flow?
Isn’t a design blog about reno and design? You may want to peruse different sites if you expect a design blog to not feature redesigned spaces. Also, a helpful thought for you may be, “good for them, not for me”.
Unlikely anyone, let alone everyone, is going to trash their perfectly fine kitchens on the basis of a (really rather beautiful) kitchen reveal!
But how do you know she trashed it. Barrett often resells things on her instagram from her home. And I see people on places like facebook marketplace selling older cabinetry and countertops all the time! The main problem here is in your assumption–you don’t actually know!
Yes, agree. A lot can be recycled. No need to get so angry when all the facts are not known. Do the detractors here want a microscope focused on their carbon foot print?
I had the same thought when we embarked on our kitchen renovation, which entailed replacing a perfectly fine kitchen. It certainly wasn’t falling down, or unusable, it had dark countertops that disguised everything from ants to coffee grounds, was a narrow galley style and had cheap black appliances that were older but functional. So I sent pictures to our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and learned they were more than happy to come by and gently demo our kitchen for free. They harvested the cabinets, countertops, appliances and even the wavy track lighting fixture. They did an amazing job and allowed us to make the changes that touch our day a hundred times.
There are plenty of people in the world that hold onto and don’t make changes in their homes for many reasons. I don’t think you’ll find many of them on this blog. I’m sure there some cool blogs out there that focus on restoring and making tweaks to existing rooms.
Cheryl, thank you for your response! The whole comment thread was worth this – I hadn’t heard of this before and will definitely look into it when we remodel our kitchen 🙂
Exactly, dissenting opinions lead to expanded knowledge.
I’m not sure you actually read the post before running straight to the comments to criticize. The homeowner didn’t just remodel it for looks – in fact, she says that it was tastefully remodeled before they bought it – but instead remodeled it because the function did not meet their needs, hence it was not “perfectly fine.” If you’re not okay with someone replacing things to improve function (after several years of careful thought and consideration) then I’m not sure what you’re doing here on a design blog. You also don’t know that the materials were wasted – I’d have to guess that as good of shape as everything was in, someone happily bought it from her or she donated it. I appreciate your concern for the environment, and I think there are many times where this comment would have been warranted, but this doesn’t feel like one of them. Maybe try giving people the benefit of the doubt before making assumptions and judgements?
absolute dream kitchen
It’s nice, but I loved the before too. With tweaks it would have been gorgeous and practical too. For me the before showed off more architectural detail, more craftsmanship, which for me equals to quality and high end design. The after is more about the furniture, very modular and modern look as of it was a completely different house. I’m not sure if it’s veneer, but it does look like the modular furniture I had growing up in Europe. It was actually super practical and had great lines like the kitchen here, but my room showed off more furniture and less architecture (there was not much architectural detail). I’d love a mix of both, like in pre-war european (and parisian)apartments. You can mix clean lines and old architecture successfully here. The new kitchen is nice, but it looks like a completely new built and that charm that many people talk about was completely removed 🙁
I think the old beadboard cabinets were just those melamine ones from Ikea. If these new ones are custom, then they are much better quality. I do love the modern cabinets with that great original arch though!
The old kitchen was flipped with Home Depot/Ikea stock, though. It wasn’t original to the house.
Gorgeous remodel! Thanks for all the great ideas! One question — where did the trash & recycling bins go?
Love it all! Especially the beautiful island and range! Great job, Barrett and Andre!!!
The kitchen is beautiful. That skylight added SO MUCH. And the new floors are a massive improvement not to mention how much better the use of space. I hesitate to bring this up, but you really need to water your plants!
I was wondering how exactly they do water those plants? Seems like a ton of work must be involved to do it properly.
I have a similar plant situation going on on my open shelving in my kitchen. It’s actually not that bad– every other week or so, I get a chair and take everything down, stick it in the sink with an inch of water, and let the root zone get saturated. Then I pop all the plastic containers back in their ceramic pots on the shelves. When the plants start to get droopy, I know it’s time to water.
Two questions: Where did you move the washer/dryer? Where is the microwave?
Looks like anything that wasn’t aesthetically pleasing (trash cans, appliances) was deliberately included for the before photo and taken out of the after.
I think you need to take a break from the internet, man.
I agree with you on all your comments. And to me, the open shelf concept in a kitchen is just weird. It looks like you don’t really eat or cook there, and have a maid to keep them “perfect”.
I disagree. I love the open shelving in my kitchen. It is very functional and to me looks great. If you have tons of clutter that needs to hide behind doors that is a different problem
i love my open shelving! and i have six children, eat and cook in my kitchen, and certainly don’t have a maid to keep it perfect. i think it’s personal preference.
Ooo lah lah! Lovely!
That’s a dream. I love the lightness of it. and how much function (for your needs) there is, despite it not being huge (maybe my european background, but I found the size of many NA kitchens simply too much. And that scale comes with a heaviness, too). Nor do any of the pieces overpower the whole thing, or stand out so much, that it’s all about them. As for details – I love those little lamps, and that they are not submerged in the ceiling.
Me too! I loved that little detail. For some reason, I just really hate the look of recessed lighting.
What a beautiful redesign, and such great functionality especially with all that storage to hide away appliances. Dreamy!
I don’t always read the comments section, and now I remember why. I’m always up for a good ‘ol debate. But for me, “touring” these homes is an escape. I enjoy the beautiful pictures and appreciate the creativity involved in a remodel. And I get inspired! (Or not.) I don’t know when it became ok to be mean. Please keep sharing content like this. Beautiful kitchen!
It’s funny, fridges are covered up with built-in cabinetry but the coffee machines are kept open on the bench. This is not exclusive to Barrett’s kitchen, which I think is on the whole lovely, but I find the coffee machines and related ephemera more visually busy/messy than a refrigerator, yet it’s the latter that’s covered up. I’m not a coffee drinker, though, so maybe I’m missing that perspective (and maybe you can’t hide the machines behind a cabinet door, perhaps you need open air for venting? I don’t know), but it seems crazy to me to cover up everything else and leave the coffee gear out. Anyway, a lovely kitchen besides that.
I get what you’re saying, and one thing is with an integrated fridge, it still has the same functionality (ie, you can access it just as easily), but with a more seamless design. If a coffee machine was put into cabinet, it would have to be taken out each time to make coffee – so not as functional. Plus, the espresso machine and grinder are gorgeous – which is part of the whole point, probably. It’s definitely a “thing” to have a pretty/high-end/interesting coffee machine out on the counter, though. 🙂
I hear you. I actually would love nothing at all on my counters. Sadly, I’m not the kind of person who will bother tucking away the coffee machine and toaster oven that I use daily (nor do I really have the space to create hiding spots for them). So on the counter they go. There’s always that push/pull between functionality and aesthetics in a kitchen.
Yep my toaster and kettle are on the bench of my rental kitchen too! Just seems crazy to me to spend $$$ on a kitchen renovation and not come up with a solution to this? I mean, they could have kept the machines where they were and built in a cabinet door/wall around them — still accessible yet covered away when not used. Anyway!
I love your kitchen and every detail and also the beautiful floors… when I look up 304 it is a dark hickory engineered floor?
Did they find a storage solution for the trash cans or are they just not in the after pics?
Beautiful kitchen. On the exposed tile edge, is that just a grout/caulk line? I’m asking because I will have a similar situation in my remodel and I can’t seem to find a definitive answer to end pieces or grout line…
I believe there is a product called Schluter Trim that is made to cover the end edge of tiles such as in bathrooms and kitchens. Check it out – hopefully that is what you can use. It is also widely available and not super expensive.
It truly terrifies that this article is described as a lower ‘budget’ reno. The 4K espresso machine would be half our entire kitchen reno that we’re planning. This kitchen is beautiful and functional but it is only lower budget for those with disposable income.
Same. With a TON of free stuff from brands. It’s a lovely remodel but perpetuating a notion that this is somehow “budget” is really just… not cool.
Flow when cooking is a real challenge and kitchen layout can make a big difference. We can all work on lessening our impact in different ways. I hope this family has many years of delicious home cooked meals in using this kitchen. The streamlined thoughtful storage may help reduce food waste and prioritize eating in. I like the light bright feel. I have some open shelving and many closed and think having some everyday dishes and cooking pots accessible on open shelves helps me wash less and keep my work zone small. I bet having the skylight reduces their need for lighting. We should all strive to pass on our old furniture and other things. If it’s unloved- pass it on and try to limit the new you bring in.
This kitchen: “on a budget”
Also this kitchen: custom cabinets, free high end appliances, sponsored espresso machine
Don’t get me wrong, it’s gorgeous, and I’m inspired. But inspired in the sense that it’s pretty to look at but unattainable in all of the particulars. At least for me. She has every right to reno her kitchen according to her taste and means, but as someone with ordinary means, the word “budget” felt like an insensitive bait-and-switch.
Lots of interesting ideas of designing a cooks kitchen. Thank you for sharing this useful information
Amazing! Did you find another spot in your home for the washer and dryer? So lucky! We really wanted to move ours but there was no space on the second floor that we could put it. Helps so much with gaining more storage space in the kitchen.
The author said she designed her kitchen on a “budget.” I’m curious what her budget was and if she was able to stay within her budget. Absolutely, absolutely love the way her kitchen turned out. I just remodeled my kitchen as well but my budget could not afford the cabinets I wanted. 🙁 Still happy with how mine turned out, but that’s why the budget comment stuck out to me.
Reminds me of Georgia Ezra’s kitchen, one of my favorites. Great job.