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Before and After: A Fresh and Bright Kitchen

Most of my Before and Afters feature homes or furniture pieces that have seen better days and undergo a transformation that brings them back to their former glory or gives them a new look altogether. But sometimes a home or furniture piece is in great shape, but just isn't the right style for its owner. That is the case for Carrie Deane Corcoran, whose kitchen, in her Colonial Revival in New Canaan, CT, was featured in This Old House. While it's perfectly functional, the kitchen was simply designed in someone else's style, and furthermore, wasn't efficient. Corcoran gutted and sold the contents of the room, which had good quality cabinets and a marble counter top. Then, she brightened it up with white cabinetry and pale marble, and made the kitchen more efficient with things like freezer drawers and a tiered island. To see the transformation,


Beautiful, right? While I certainly wouldn't complain about the former kitchen, I do find the new kitchen a bit more sophisticated, and I've always been partial to white kitchens. What do you think?


Join The Conversation
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
Very nice the second time around. I'm a huge fan of white white white.
Kelly-O Kelly-O 8 years
I prefer the before too, although it's not my kitchen. I also wonder why the island didn't change to match the new cabinetry. I mean, if you're going to all that trouble and expense, you'd think they would get the whole thing going together. (And I do look at that and think "what a waste" but again, just me and my style/outlook.)
sarah-lynn sarah-lynn 8 years
I liked the before kitchen - it just looks so much warmer, and with a few decorative touches it could have been easily brightened up. And can I just say that I feel way poorer just driving through New Canaan? The houses there are absolutely gorgeous!
Sunflower732 Sunflower732 8 years
I love the"after" kitchen! The before looks like an older persons kitchen to me... All the oak cabinets. The white is great, although a little splash of color like a cool blue or a lavender would have been nice. Gotta go for what you love if you have the funds... She has to live with her kitchen everyday as long as she owns the house!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
I LOVE the new kitchen!!!!
bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
i like the old kitchen as well, its really pretty in natural wood. I don't like all white kitchens.
limelindsey limelindsey 8 years
I actually hate both. They both look like they are trying way to hard to be this magazine ideal of a kitchen, and lack personality. Also, why doesn't the island match the rest of the kitchen in the "after?" Very strange.
desidesi desidesi 8 years
love the before it just seems so wasteful
amybdk amybdk 8 years
it's HER kitchen! if she has the funds, why shouldn't she have what she wants? i am a fan of the redone kitchen. very bright.
mellybean mellybean 8 years
i agree, lizrocks - seems like she could have made some more reasonable changes instead of tearing up a perfectly good kitchen.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I agree hippiecowgirl, for some reason the before picture fits the kitchen.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
I like it a whole lot more now. I am partial to white kitchens, and the wood cabinets just closed everything in. I also really don't like when the wood finish on the cabinets and floors don't match. Great improvement overall!
lizrocks lizrocks 8 years
Wow. Recycling products aside, that seems really wasteful.
hanako66 hanako66 8 years
beautiful! I am partial to the after...I love white kitchens. The first kitchen was lovely, but the wood darkened the room.
rodmyhome rodmyhome 8 years
i don't know--while the wood cabinetry in the Before picture is certainly beautiful its a little overwhelming with the massive kitchen island. using white completely opens the space up and gives a sense of airiness. the contrasting kitchen island adds a touch of color, a bit of flair, and effectively highlights the unique piece. i'm getting a lot of clients asking for funkier design schemes now--especially people who leave NYC for the roomier suburbs of CT, NJ & NY. they want to keep some sense of the urban hipness they cultivated during their city years. Rod
riff riff 8 years
I know they recycled/sold a lot of the contents, but it still feels unnecessarily extravagant to me. Looks to me as if they could have painted the cabinets, modified the existing island, changed some fixtures and hardware and gotten most of the same look without all that waste. Must be nice to have too much money on your hands.
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 8 years
I think it's weird that the island doesn't match the rest at all. Different stains and everything. I get the appeal of the butcher block counter tops, but I'd stick with the before.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 8 years
altho two sinks? ehhhh & i'd want the fixtures and the drawer handles to be the same...
roxtarchic roxtarchic 8 years
as long as the FLOOR isnt white.... (we have a white tiled floor and i cant TELL you how i DESPISE that bloody floor)... and i happen to really LOVE the new kitchen... i like that the island isn't "matchy matchy"... it feels comfortable... and i think white, for a kitchen is brightening, i think the island balances it. i'd rock that kitchen!
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I like the functional stuff in the new kitchen like freezer drawers and the tiered island, but I prefer the overall 'before' look.
carrieann9016 carrieann9016 8 years
I love the before!!! I don't like all of the white. I like the wood cabinets!!!! Maybe it's just me though.
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