Kitchen Remodel Before and After : Pictures of Our 1987 Kitchen

The kitchen truly is the heart of the home.  When it came to designing the 1987 fixer upper kitchen remodel it really needed to be the center of everything in this formerly 1980’s style house.  It had been a very nice, functional kitchen, but one that was also a bit cut-off from the family spaces in the house.  It was also a bit dark.  We needed to remove a wall between the kitchen and living room and open things up.  I have shared many kitchen remodel after pictures, but today I am finally ready to share the entire kitchen remodel before and after pictures with the wall removal and everything.  The navy blue kitchen island is really the star of this kitchen remodel.  You won’t believe the transformation!

navy blue kitchen island

Kitchen Remodel Before and After Pictures

Boy did the 1980’s love oak.  And light boxes.  As I’ve said before, this house was impeccably maintained and super clean.  It just needed a little facelift.  Don’t we all after a few decades? 😉  The shape of the kitchen stayed the same because it made sense, but everything and I mean everything had to go…

Kitchen 9

I was so excited to remove the dated cabinets and make way for a light, bright, functional family kitchen with a happy navy blue kitchen island.

Kitchen 8

As I mentioned, we needed to remove a wall between the kitchen and living room.  I can’t imagine having a kitchen cut off from the rest of the house.  Between the kitchen and family room, it’s where we spend 95% of our time, so it needed to be opened up and one big space.  Fortunately, the wall we needed to remove was not load bearing and was an easy fix.  The solid steel door leading out to the backyard was traded out for a single french door to add more light to the room.  More light is what it’s all about.

Kitchen 7

Kitchen 6

When I first saw this kitchen online, I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it.  After walking through with my realtor on day one, I sketched this drawing of the kitchen design (or course with the large navy blue kitchen island taking center stage) both before and after so I could take it home and show my uncle what I wanted to do.  I’m not a professional artist obviously, 😉 but I do like to sketch EVERYTHING out.

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

Even looking at this 1980s kitchen now, I have a hard time believing it used to look like this.  It just seems SO much brighter and bigger now, after the kitchen remodel. 

Kitchen 5

Kitchen 2

I knew that the existing desk in the kitchen would only become a catch-all for clutter in our family, and I needed a bigger pantry…so I pulled the desk wall out and incorporated that entire wall into the new, walk-in pantry design.

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

Kitchen Remodel Pictures During Construction

I’m not going to lie…I look at these pictures and feel some serious PTSD.  It’s hard to believe we began the journey with this #1987FixerUpper a year ago, and to see just how far it has come is really incredible.  (You can catch up on all of the before and after posts here to see the transformation)  This is how I spent most of my time from May-November of last year.  These are the days I was flying up to Utah, every week for 48-72 hours to oversee construction and trying to manage prepping for a cross country move and everything back at home in OC…plus, no one wanted to move so that in and of itself was a major stressor!  It was lots of LONG nights and airplane rides to come and sit in a construction zone while missing my family and feeling like I was burning money.  Just a bit stressful. 😉  I can’t say that everyone is happy to be here, but at least the house is looking a bit better these days. 😉 This was three weeks after we closed on the house. Removing that wall between the kitchen and living room made SUCH a difference!  You can see just how much of a visual designer I am.  I sucked more spray paint fumes during this project than any other.  I had to see everything…and know it was going to be just right.  My uncle Dave and I went over and over and over the size of that navy blue kitchen island about 100 times.  And the table placement as well.  In the end it was time well spent!

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

You can see the last bits of the wall and steel door here as well as an after shot once we removed the wall between the kitchen and living room. Wow! What a difference!

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

I was concerned about the walking distance and ease of movement around the new navy blue kitchen island, so we hammered a 2×4 into the corner where the kitchen island would sit, so I could get used to walking around that space.  It was a great way to confirm that the enlarged kitchen island would not make the remodeled kitchen feel too cramped. 

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

You can see the enlarged pantry and enlarged entrance into the dining room taking shape here.

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

What a difference some new drywall and a freshly skimmed ceiling makes!

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

Once those white kitchen cabinets and navy blue kitchen island base went in, it was love at first sight. 

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

The new much larger pantry. I’ll do a separate post all about this, so I won’t share it all now. 😉

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

The light fixtures are like jewelry in any space.  I had to have beautiful ones to dress this kitchen remodel up.  This chandelier from Restoration Hardware Baby was a must buy!

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

I was all about mixing metals in this kitchen.  I’m not convinced that I am going to love brass forever…well, I will, but I’m more concerned about the people we may sell the house to in the future, so I wanted to use brass in places that were easy to switch out if needs be.  These pendant lights and these sconces were a fun way to bring in the brass.  I used these satin pulls and knobs, and the kitchen faucet and pot filler are both chrome.

navy blue kitchen island

Kitchen Remodel After Pictures and the Navy Blue Kitchen Island Reveal

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

I fell in love with this Bella Statuario slab as soon as I saw it at Arizona Tile.  It is quartz and I love that it’s low maintenance!  We use our kitchen hard and I need things to be very user friendly. (and how amazing does it look on that navy blue kitchen island?!) 😉  This rug is the pop of color that every room needs.  I am SO happy with it and it is SO affordable!!

navy blue kitchen island

This pretty light over the nook is one of my favorites in the house.  It is from Restoration Hardware Baby.  I ordered this table and these chairs for the nook and I am so happy with how it turned out!

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

navy blue kitchen island

These counter stools make sitting at enjoying my navy blue kitchen island all day long comfortable, since they have backs on them. The price is great on them and they are super cute.

I am completely OCD about protecting the wood floors…we have them in our CA house too and I insist that everything is covered so they stay in good shape.  These little covers for the chair legs are my best friend.  They are barely noticeable on your chairs since they are clear, and they save the floors from getting scratched to pieces.  And, they are super inexpensive an important investment in keeping things looking their best while you stay sane.

navy blue kitchen island

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

navy blue kitchen island

I consider navy to be a neutral, so choosing to do a navy blue kitchen island in this kitchen remodel was not a scary thing for me.  I don’t see it as being a bold choice, I see it as simply adding a little personality to a room that otherwise might be lacking some interest.  It is a safe color that you can mix and match with just about anything to create a look that you want.  I mix things up frequently in this kitchen.  You can see it dressed up for fall here, in pretty neutrals, and here, all ready for Christmas with pops of red and pink. 

remarkable behind the scenes 1987 kitchen makeover pictures

A pretty remarkable kitchen remodel transformation, right? I love nothing more that seeing the potential in an older home and remodeling it and bringing new life and memories into it.   So, what did we do?  What products did we use?  What are the paint colors?  I know…you want to know all the important stuff.  So here you go:

You can shop all of the items from our kitchen here:


Wood: Oasis Hardwood Carmel Collection Marina

Trim and Doors  – FJP Building Supply

Cabinets – Better Craft Cabinets

Appliances – Mountainland Design


Walls: Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams at 25%

Trim and Cabinets: High Reflective White by Sherwin WIlliams

Island and Pantry Wainscoting: Salty Dog by Sherwin Williams


New Electrical (wiring, switches and plates, added can lights, pendants and chandeliers throughout)

New Plumbing


New Drywall Throughout

Skimmed Ceilings to Remove Texture

New Insulation

Added all New Trim

New Paint

New Flooring

New Lights

New Windows

New Cabinets

New Countertops

New Hardware

New Pantry

New Tile Backsplash

New Appliances

New Windows

Thanks for visiting the blog!  You can find our most up to date home tour here, and all the posts on our remodel here.  Have you signed up for our newsletter?  Don’t miss out on getting all of the latest from Pink Peppermint Design delivered right to your inbox.  Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and get access to our entire library of over 50 free printables.  And, if you’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest come join me there too.  I love to share tons of daily inspiration.

Happy Designing!


Creative Director at Pink Peppermint Design
Tammy Mitchell is the founder and creative director of lifestyle blog Along with being a homeschooling mom of two kiddos, she is also an in-demand prop and event stylist, photographer, interior and graphic designer. On Pink Peppermint Design, she shares creative DIY projects, easy entertaining and gift ideas, inspiring interiors and events. She lives in Southern California, with her husband and two children.

navy blue kitchen island

14 thoughts on “Kitchen Remodel Before and After : Pictures of Our 1987 Kitchen”

  1. Wow, it really is a remarkable transformations. Love how it came together. It looks like you planned all the storage so thoughtfully. Beautiful.

  2. Hi Tammy! I just purchased a new home and I want a Navy island and under cabinets. Would you mind sharing what the name of the color you used? You kitchen is gorgeous!

    • Oh my goodness Chelsea! I’m sorry that this comment got lost in a weird folder! The navy I used is called Salty Dog by Sherwin Williams. I hope that helps. Congrats on the new home!!! 🙂

  3. Hi! I’ve literally loved everything about your kitchen! It looks so clean, warm and elegant! Do you mind sharing the white you used for your cabinets please? I am going to use salty dog for the blue island just like you and want the same kind of white for the cabinets. I want basically want to duplicate your kitchen lol

    • Hi Ariana!
      I’m sorry I missed this! The white is high reflective white from Sherwin Williams. 🙂 I hope that helps! Good luck with your kitchen remodel! 🙂

    • Hi Jeanne!
      These floors are engineered hardwood. We ended up going with a product from Oasis hardwoods. It was there marina collection color carmel. We love them. They are super durable, even with two big dogs and snowy winters. I hope that helps! 🙂

  4. Hey Tammy,

    Do you know the dimensions of your kitchen? I’m try to figure out how close it is to ours so I can get a sense of spacing.

  5. Hi Tammy,
    I’m thinking about changing my dark brown island to navy blue in my kitchen. I currently have white cabinets on the perimeter. Now that you’ve lived in the space for 4 years, what are your thoughts on the navy island? Do you still love it, or are you getting tired of it over time? Thanks, Amy


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