Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Historic Wilmette Kitchen Makeover

Sometimes I fancy myself an Ina Garten protege, other times a party planner, and occasionally a decorator. {One of the hazards of being a stay-at-home Mom! Haha!!}  I don't think I could do it as a profession because I'm so picky and have a limited range of what I like, I'd probably drive clients absolutely bananas. But recently I had a chance to play "pretend" decorator for the ideal "clients".  Ok, maybe not "ideal" because I worked for free, but ideal in the sense that they pretty much do whatever I suggest! My brother and his wife and two young boys bought a big, beautiful, old home in charming Wilmette, IL, an old suburb right outside of Chicago on Lake Michigan. I was honored when they asked for my help with their kitchen and living room.  Here is a peek at my ideas + inspiration and some preliminary pics of the kitchen.  We are going up to visit them in July and I plan to take my sister-in-law shopping so we can accessorize and warm it up a bit.    I think the few changes they've made already have a HUGE impact though.  They wanted to keep their current cabinets, floor, counters, sink and appliances.


The Plan...

paint cabinets a warm darker gray + brass hardware
remove wallpaper and paint walls a lighter gray
add fabulous light fixtures over island
add a bamboo blind over sink

add ironstone plates and platters above the window
add wooden cutting boards, ceramic crocks for utensils, baskets to corral supplies on counters
have washable slips made for counter stools
add a little greenery with topiaries or plants

After {STAGE 1}...

I'll share more as they finish it up.  
Amazing what paint and a couple new accessories can do, right?


  1. Tessa, I love all of the changes that have already taken place and I can't wait to see the accessories you and your sister-in-law find!!

  2. You've got GREAT taste, Tessa! You're a most talented stay-at-home mom (and an amazing homemama, too!). I love your ideas. XO!

  3. Who knew that just a little paint, a little bling, and some elbow grease would make such a fabulous transformation! Oh. YOU did!!!!
    Can't wait to see the final result after your visit!

  4. Looks beautiful. I live in Winnetka (just north of Wilmette) and I can relate to the old kitchens that come with these older homes. They have done a wonderful job, with your help, of course. Thanks for sharing, liz

  5. How neat to get to do another home! Looks wonderful. I found you on Kelly's bloglist and I'm your newest follower, stop by sometime when you have a few minutes!


  6. I would let you take over my house any time. Your style is great and I love seeing peeks inside your home.

    The work done so far in your family's kitchen is amazing. It already looks beautiful! Great job. Can't wait to see more photos.

  7. so pretty! you should go into business! I'm on my way to do the same with my sister next week... so much fun spending someone else's money huh? lol. Can't wait to see the rest!


  8. p.s.- do you know where the blinds are from?

  9. It looks incredible! Yes, it's amazing what a little paint will do but picking the right paint is half the battle. Let's see, I think KY is a lot closer to you than IL, so maybe you could try your hand with a second client...!

  10. Wow! Great job! Can't wait to see more : )


  11. I really had to scroll back up and then down again to make sure that was the same kitchen. Wow! Such a nice transformation. Love the updates!

  12. This looks great, Tessa! I love the lighting and the accessories will really pull it together.

  13. What a transformation! It is amazing what can be done without going threw a full-blown renovation. Gorgeous! You have very good taste!

  14. I think we're meant to be friends! We moved from a lovely Chicago suburb (La Grange -- on the west side of the city) before coming to London. Anyhow, I can just imagine how lovely their home is - so traditional and classic - and think your ideas have made the home even better! Kudos!

  15. I am loving these light fixtures! Thank for providing the sources. I will have to check them out for my own kitchen. Can't wait to see the final product once they are done with your decorating plan!