Save My Reno: Sarah and Jon’s Mid-Century Modern Victorian Kitchen

As a young couple living in a gorgeous Victorian semi in the city, Sarah and Jon, along with their baby Henry (the most adorable wee one ever) wanted to strike “kitchen reno” off their to-do list before Jon had to return to work after paternity leave.

The only problem? That meant getting it all done in just three weeks. Solution? Seb, myself, and a good attitude. (Missed the episode? Watch it here.)

Their kitchen certainly wasn’t original. It was technically “updated”, but done so with questionable, run-of-the-mill, 80s finishes. And alllll the shortcuts were taken. The layout left more to be desired, the shallow purple counters were practically useless, and the “flooring” was just thin sheets of peel and stick faux wood. Need I say more?! It was one of the most dysfunctional I had ever seen, but the potential was huge.

Sarah and Jon already had a great sense of style in the rest of their home. They collected milk glass, turned antique finds like meat grinders into accessories, and had a great selection of authentic Danish mid-century modern furniture. So their kitchen was a real sore subject for them.

Initially, Jon planned to renovate it himself, but after taking on the entire basement (which he did a bang up job with) funds got tight and time ran short. Ain’t that always the case with home renos!? Luckily, Seb and I swooped in, and with their help, we got to work, but not after some high tea. Pinkies up, pals!

As a designer herself, I resonated with Sara a ton on this project. She knew what she wanted, she had a clear vision and she communicated it well, which made my job more of a fun collaboration. I think I even referenced us as “two peas in a design pod.” And while I didn’t work as closely with Jon, when I did get a chance to run into him, he never without a big smile. It’s clear where Henry, their adorable little babe, got his grin from.

Design-wise, their Victorian came with as much charm (hooray for exposed brick walls) as it did pains in the butt: plaster walls, and plenty of them. At first, our plans meant keeping all walls up and in tact, but after we started, Sarah and Jon quickly decided there was no time like the present to take a sledge through the walls now and I’m so glad they did. Living through a renovation and with a little one isn’t fun. So while it’s dusty already, you may as well do all the things you plan to![lgc_column grid=”50″ tablet_grid=”50″ mobile_grid=”100″ last=”false”][/lgc_column][lgc_column grid=”50″ tablet_grid=”50″ mobile_grid=”100″ last=”true”][/lgc_column]


In the end, it all came together to create an eclectic and transitional space that blended their love for mid-century modern with the Victorian style of their home. Bold elements like the handmade cement tiles (LOVE) and Sara’s beautiful graphic drapes were balanced with the larger and neutral permanent features such as the flat-panel cabinet fronts and light quartz counters, and everything was warmed up with wood accents. 

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The walnut shelf we integrated into the upper cabinets was one of my favorite aspects of the build, and finding the walnut barstools on clearance was serendipitous! Another favorite of mine was the extra-long cabinet pulls on the lowers. And who doesn’t love decorating with bagels?!


What’d you guys think?! Be sure to check out the before and after photos and 360° room tour for more! And my partner Seb’s post for more.

Shop The Look:

  1. Barstools
  2. Porcelain Plates
  3. Brass Cage Pendant
  4. Foliage Artwork
  5. Brass Faucet
  6. Blue Graphic Drapes
  7. Cement Tiles
  8. Striped Tea Towels
  9. Milk Glass Decor
  10. Walnut Cutting Board
  11. White apron sink

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