Desperate Kitchen Makeover: Urban Farmhouse Kitchen

Kitchen Cousins John and Anthony head to Portland, OR where they transform a dated and impractical kitchen into a stylish, functional space that brings together elements of city and country.

Urban Farmhouse Kitchen

The Cousins reworked a drab kitchen with a distressed layout to create this open and multifunctional space with loads of custom features and family friendly design. This kitchen is in the home of Ben and Jamie Morris in Scapoose, Oregon — about 30 minutes north of Portland.


Prior to the renovation, this kitchen, though relatively large, wasn't working for homeowners Ben and Jamie and their three children. The fireplace with large brick surround – which Ben referred to as a "hot mess" – was obtrusive and non-functional. The floor was covered with old linoleum and the countertops were '60s era tile with overly wide grout lines. Ben and Jamie's renovation wish list included an updated look, a more open floor plan and a family-oriented space that would incorporate a work area for the kids.


The homeowners like their home's location which is far enough outside the city to feel like part of a farming community, but close enough to still feel connected to the urban lifestyle of Portland. John and Anthony's design plan called for creating a look that reflected both city and country life. The old, non-functioning fireplace is clad in handmade tile and reclaimed wood. Lower cabinets and floating shelves are added, reworking the space to become a visual focal point in the new kitchen.

BEFORE: Island or Continent?

The existing island was massive and impractically long. It took up a huge footprint in the kitchen, overwhelming the space and inhibiting access and free movement. 

AFTER: Space Redefined

Anthony and John removed the island entirely and focused on utilizing the exterior walls, creating a galley style kitchen with cabinets and countertops around the periphery. A portion of the new layout is dedicated to adding a proper work desk and study space — where the kids could do homework under the watchful eye of mom.


The old space was dark and dated, the placement of the refrigerator was awkward and the counterspace next to the sink so limited that there was scarcely room to wash dishes.


John and Anthony brightened up the space with white cabinetry, updated lighting, a farmhouse sink and white engineered quartz countertops. The white quartz ties in visually with the cabinets and is easy to maintain. The new counter layout offers plenty of prep area. The old greenhouse window above the sink was removed and replaced with a large picture window for taking full advantage of the view.


As seen in this shot, the obtrusive brick fireplace and large island created a distressed space and difficult to use. The kitchen floor was covered with two layers of old linoleum, and the adjacent space in worn brown carpet.


The new space is radically transformed with a much more functional and efficient use of space. The statement piece in the new kitchen is the tile ornate backsplash in a toile pattern. The tile was handmade by Tempest Tile Works, a specialty tile maker in Portland. The clay is locally sourced, and the images are printed on the individual tiles with via a screen-print process, similar to silkscreening on fabric.  For the flooring, Anthony and John removed the old linoleum and carpet, replacing it with a vinyl floor made to look like wood for a unified look throughout. 


This plain, poorly defined space adjacent to the kitchen served essentially as makeshift play area for the kids.


John and Anthony turned the space into a stylish dining area. The table is hinge-mounted to the wall and can fold up, creating a flexible and multipurpose space.



Urban Farmhouse Kitchen

A black and white photo print serves as the backdrop for the casual dining area. When the table is in raised position, the exposed surface reveals a family portrait photo.

Urban Farmhouse Kitchen

Since the backsplash tiles are hand printed, each one is slightly different, so special care had to be taken in matching adjacent tiles to achieve a continuous pattern.

Urban Farmhouse Kitchen

For a custom feature in the study area, Anthony and John created a wood cut-out wall map of the United States with the state of Oregon highlighted. The wood frame for the map, like the custom shelving, was made using reclaimed wood salvaged from old wooden fencing. The wood was re-milled and refinished for use as flooring, paneling or shelves.

Another Desperate Kitchen Rescued

The remodeled kitchen has plentiful prep surface and lower-cabinet storage. The vintage-look cabinet hardware is rustic yet elegant, adding a feminine touch.

If you liked this kitchen makeover, we think you might also enjoy this one: Jersey Farmhouse Kitchen. And visit the AMDK home page for lots more photo galleries, videos and more.

Shop Related Products

Next Up

Streamlined Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

With a few simple steps and basic materials, you can take the look of your kitchen cabinets from humdrum to high-end.

The $70,000 Dream Kitchen Makeover

Here's how to get the most out of your luxury makeover.

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation Costs

Expect nearly a third of your budget to go for cabinets and hardware.

10 Incredible Kitchen Makeovers From Fixer Upper

Missing Chip and JoJo? We've got your Fixer Upper fix.

How to Give Your Kitchen Cabinets a Makeover

Refinishing your worn kitchen cabinets can be a cost-saving alternative to replacing them.