A Sophisticated Kitchen Update, No Reno Required

A designer takes her space from 2001 to 2021. HGTV Magazine shows you around.

Photo by: Katie Charlotte

Katie Charlotte

Cheryl Luckett’s kitchen desperately needed help — it had dated vinyl flooring, bland white laminate counters, and zero color in sight. Yet unlike many past-their-prime kitchens, the cabinets didn’t need redoing, just reimagining. “They’re original from when the house was built in 2001, and they were in good shape,” says Cheryl, a designer who lives in Huntersville, North Carolina. “I decided to work around them.” Sure enough, changing everything else totally updated the cabinets. A high-impact backsplash boosted their energy, while punches of orange and yellow jazzed up their honey-oak hue. That and some power-pattern mixing instilled a contemporary vibe. See? You can teach old wood new tricks!

The Details

Photo by: Katie Charlotte

Katie Charlotte


Black and brass pulls by Schaub & Company add sleekness. Cheryl replaced one cabinet with white oak open shelves. “As soon as I did that, everything felt more now,” she says.


The deep blue of the Annie Selke tile enriches the wood’s tone, while a diamond pattern modernizes it. Floor tile (also by Annie Selke) in a subdued hue doesn’t compete. “To me it looks like seersucker, which makes my Southern heart skip a beat,” says Cheryl.


It used to match the cabinets; beadboard painted taupe grounds the kitchen’s new colors. Quartz countertops with gold veining bring brightness, and yellow counter stools from Designmaster Furniture pick up the yellow flecks in the curtains.

Photo by: Katie Charlotte

Katie Charlotte


Cheryl swapped the existing fixtures for white lantern pendants and a black and bronze chandelier, from Hudson Valley Lighting. They’re trendy takes on old-school styles, which ties them to the traditional cabinets.

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