In our last home, which we sold in July, we had totally redone the kitchen from the studs up. And I loved, loved that kitchen. It was small, but it was the one part of our house that really felt new because it had new windows, ceiling, floor—everything. (Remember, the house was built in 1942!).

But the process of renovating was not my favorite and I knew we didn’t want to take that on again with a new baby on the way. (Made that mistake last time in a huge way.) So when we shopped around for our new house, I wanted to make sure I found a kitchen that didn’t need much.

Then we fell in love with and bought our new home, but the kitchen—although totally spacious and with the biggest island that I adore—was just a little not my style. I guess I was looking for something identical to our last kitchen. I kind of detest a microwave, so having one front and center in this kitchen bothered me at first, but that is something I decided I could look past. Maybe we’ll change it in the future. (I had ours hidden in the pantry in our last kitchen!) I knew I’d miss the cabinets going all the way up to the ceiling, but again, that’s something I could ignore for now and truthfully, it’s not a big deal at all.

Overall, the kitchen was great… but the easier things to change? Lighting and counters… those could be changed now! And those are two aspects of a kitchen that can make the biggest difference.

Here’s a before picture of how the kitchen looked when we bought the house. 

We updated the counters to Cambria Quartz in the “Swanbridge” finish and love them. It has been amazing being able to set a piece of fruit or a tomato on our counters and not have to worry about it staining or etching the counters, like we always worried about with the Carrara Marble in our last kitchen. Although the granite that was in the house was beautiful, the bright white counters feel more “me” and made a huge difference.

This was from the day we moved in, by the way. You can really see the details in the countertops if you look past the grainy picture quality. πŸ˜‰

Next, the lights. The island is pretty huge and the three little pendant lights above it didn’t feel substantial enough. I had our builder remove the middle fixture so that I could hang two large lanterns above the island instead. And this change was what made the BIGGEST difference!

Here’s how the kitchen looks now…

The lanterns, just like the one in our dining room, are from Candelabra. I picked them up locally at their sister store, Lyndon Leigh, but the two stores share one website, which you can shop from home!

Well, it’s funny how you notice things after you post pictures. Like the laptop sitting on the couch and the refrigerator that is counter depth, but isn’t pushed back all the way. Oh well, such is life. πŸ™‚

Sorry for the overload of pictures, but you can really see how lighting has made a huge difference in our kitchen. I don’t think I ever truly realized how much good lighting is like earrings… if you forget them, you just don’t quite look “done.” Or maybe lighting is like eyebrows? Ok, not going to get started with the similes…

I read somewhere in an interview with a well known interior designer that if you’re going to splurge in any one area, do it on the lighting. So, so true!  These lanterns gave our kitchen that special hint of pizazz that it was really missing. And they are a great distraction for me from the things I dislike about the kitchen. Now, I don’t even see the big microwave when I look at our kitchen. My eyes go right to our pretty lanterns and the atmosphere they create in our kitchen. Overall, I’m obsessed with the way it all turned out! Sources are below, but let me know if you have any questions in the comments!


lanterns    |    countertops    |    stools    |    rug     |    large cutting board    |    similar smaller cutting boards





  1. Rachel
    October 25, 2017 / 9:00 am

    Loving your new house posts! You always have the prettiest palm leaves. I’m assuming you get those locally, but wondering if you know of any resources where we can buy those if palm trees aren’t in our area.

    • holycitychic
      October 25, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      Thank you, Rachel! I got all of these out of our yard. I’ve gotten faux palm leaves from Pottery Barn before… as well as online craft stores. πŸ™‚

  2. Kristen Gallimore
    October 25, 2017 / 10:08 am

    It is so beautiful!! You should have been an interior designer because I love all of your home choices. Where do you find the greenery that you put in the little vases throughout your house? I also would love to know where you got your picture frames. Thanks!

  3. Lauren
    October 25, 2017 / 10:30 am

    How perfect are your pillows? I know you’ve probably linked them before but where are they from? They are perfection!

  4. Amanda
    October 25, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Absolutely stunning! LOVE the countertops and lights!!

  5. Laura
    October 25, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    Do you do your own photography, or do you work with someone locally? Also, I adore the frames you used for your wedding pictures. Where did you get those?

    • holycitychic
      October 25, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      Hi Laura! I own all photography unless otherwise noted. I take all of our home photos… like these. πŸ™‚ And those frames are old, but they are from Target. xoxo

  6. Kelley
    October 25, 2017 / 9:59 pm

    We just moved in to a new house as well. I hateeee our granite counter tops 😐 it’s all I see when I look at our kitchen! Wondering what an undertaking it was to have the countertops switched out – super expensive? Yours are gorgeous!

  7. Erika Romfo
    October 26, 2017 / 6:33 am

    Beautiful!! I love your style and decor! Can you tell me where you purchased the runner that you are standing on in the third to last photo? I love the colors in it! Thank you so much!

  8. October 26, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    Love, love, love! I am dreaming of the day I have an open concept kitchen!

  9. October 26, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    Love it!! The lanterns are amazing. And I love the 2 photos descretely tucked in there.

  10. Cricket
    October 27, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    It’s amazing how styling a room gives it such a difference. Before very boring….now, we all want it. You have a great eye for color and style, and simplicity, but not stark. Love your styling. Will follow you now. Thanks….CQ.

  11. Leah
    October 28, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    Do you like your knobs and drawer pulls? Trying to figure out what I want for our new home and am going for a similar overall look and feel! πŸ™‚

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