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Before & After: E&C’s House Tour

Happy Wednesday, friends! We’re back from our crazy random roadtrip to Chicago to buy a car! But more on that later this week. I’ve got something awesome to show you today.

I’ve been itching to show you this fantastic before & after. My brother and his wife live here in OKC and undertook a massive DIY project last summer that overhauled their entire kitchen and main living areas of their house. And yes – you read that right — they did it themselves. All that time and effort (not to mention surely blood, sweat, and tears) were worth it as the makeover is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

E & C live in a house built in the mid 1990s and true to that period, it had all that glossy brown wood trim and cabinetry. Standard builder stuff. C has amazing style and wanted something more light and bright. She envisioned all white cabinets and Martha Stewart-esque detailing. Lucky for her, E has a great eye for detail (we think he gets it from my mom), not to mention some serious know-how when it comes to carpentry.  The two of them combined to create the perfect storm in their house.

E added cabinets to the top of their existing cabinets, making the room feel twice as large as it had previously (an already large space).  They also removed the taller bar height countertop near the sink and made the counter all one level.  A farmhouse sink now occupies the space where the previous stainless steel sink was.  All of the tile was ripped out and replaced, both on the floors and on the backsplash.

The timeline on this project was long. It took 2 months for them to do the entire carpentry and painting. Then it was another month of getting tooling to match the old doors. Finally, one more month was needed to get all the curtains made and tie loose ends together.

In the end? Totally worth it. Check out the After below!

All of the draperies in the house were made by C. Artwork on the  nook shelves and throughout the home by Jones Design Company.  Oh, and the silverware mounted on the linen frame below? I love this — it was my brother’s college silverware(!). I couldn’t believe it when she told me that! I love that nod to his bachelor years.

The cabinets added to the top of the existing cabinets flow seamlessly together. Glass cabinet doors reveal attractive servingware.  Granite countertops were special orders.


Artwork via Etsy.

Their biggest advice after going through the whole DIY process was that the surface prep was everything, especially when it came to the cabinetry. E stressed that no one primer is the best; rather,  you have to pick the best one for the item you’re painting. Attention to detail is also key.

In the hallway, a well-designed bulletin board with nailhead trim for kids’ artwork, family schedules, mail organization, and general notes of encouragement.

But before they launched into their kitchen overhaul, they got their feet wet with their study/music room. When I asked if they had any tips for others wanting to DIY projects in their house, E remarked that he thought it went really well for their kitchen overhaul that they were able to get their “rhythm” together by starting on other rooms. Work out the kinks, if you will, before tackling the biggest (and potentially most important) space in the house.

A formerly dark space was overhauled by the addition of moldings to the otherwise-builder-grade (read: boring) doors. Lantern light fixture was a find from  Artwork on the walls is a mishmash of family photos, handmade silhouettes, and finds from Etsy.  Upholstery was also done by C.

The living room was the final frontier in the makeover. The space transformed from a wellworn family room to a chic and relaxing space with beautiful details.  Again, all drapery was handmade by C (can you tell she’s a ridiculously talented seamstress yet? I keep telling her she needs to be blogging!)


They removed the original fireplace insert that was surrounded by builder-grade tile and papered it with pages from old books.  If you look closely, you’ll notice one page from Jurassic Park. ;)


Pretty spectacular makeover, isn’t it? I love how serene it all feels – which is perfect when you have three kids running around! Sometimes you need a little serenity amongst the chaos!

Got questions on the DIY? Feel free to ask them in the comments and we’ll work on getting them answered.

Thanks E&C for the awesome tour!


Dig a little deeper

  • Mom /Glenda

    Because I saw the workers coming in very late hours
    Extremely tired and dirty
    They never ever gave up
    I am so very proud of them!

    • RachelShingleton

      I’m proud of them too! And yes – you guys were so awesome to help facilitate the makeover by letting them come stay with you! xoxo

    • Chrysi

      Glenda/Mom: Whenever we are asked how we were able to do it all, especially with young children, we tell them we couldn’t have done it without YOU. From bringing us meals, to babysitting the kids, and most importantly, letting us stay with you for over a month so that we could escape the chaos and mess and have a fresh, clean place to rest our weary bodies. Thank you!

      Rachel: Thank you so much! Now we have some excellent pictures of all our work.

  • Mom /Glenda

    The sterling silver knife fork and spoon were given to Earl at his baby shower

    • RachelShingleton

      No way! Ok, I love that even more!

  • Angie M.

    Holy Smokes! Their home is beautiful! Well done!

  • Brigette Zorn

    I love this house!! Rach — did you take these photos? They are gorgeous.

    • RachelShingleton

      Yes, I did! Thank you!

  • brigzorn

    I love this house!! Rach – did you take these photos?! They are gorgeous.

    • RachelShingleton

      Yes, I did! Thanks!!

  • Reseth

    I am so proud of E and C! I’ve spent quite a few nights drinking coffee and studying the bible in their home. What a stunning transformation. Love all the personalized details. I’m inspired!

  • Mane Message

    Amazing!! What a great job. Thanks for sharing.

    • RachelShingleton

      Thank you, friend! Glad you enjoyed!

  • Amanda

    So pretty! Can you give a source for the black and white fabric and for the couch?

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  • denise

    This is gorgeous! I desperately want to understand how you matched the new doors to the old ones. I would love to do something similar (10+ft of height with over 3ft of space above existing cabinets), but want to match to my existing doors. I’ve googled for months–so please, share your wisdom/experience.

  • Pingback: Big Reveal: Our Kitchen Makeover! PLUS: A Giveaway | Pencil Shavings Studio()

  • LL

    What paint color did you use on the kitchen cabinets?

  • rosa

    Can I trouble you to share the name of the fabric used to make the living room curtains?