6 Envy-Inducing Kitchen Makeovers From Sarah Sees Potential

See how Sarah Richardson, designer and host of HGTV's Sarah Sees Potential, transforms these disaster kitchens into gourmet spaces fit for a chef.
Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
April 01, 2016

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Before: Kitchen or Hallway?

Cooking was a chore in this small galley kitchen.

After: Bright, Fresh and Open

Sarah removed a dividing wall between the kitchen and living room to create a beautiful, open plan main floor. To give the updated space a cottage-style feel, she added charming antique corbels to the support beams and accented the abundance of natural light with cheery white paint.

Before: Dark and Damaged

Outdated fluorescent lighting highlighted the low-grade, damaged cabinetry in this small kitchen.

After: A Brand New Feel

Sarah traded the old fluorescent lights for chic, antique wedding cake fixtures to complement the new marble-clad kitchen island. To make up for storage lost when the kitchen's left wall was removed, extra cabinets were built into the island and installed along the right wall into the mudroom beyond.  

After: Youthful Features

A fun mosaic tile backsplash lends youthful charm to the bright space and complements the sleek stainless steel appliances.

After: Cottage-Style Dining

Antique-style wicker chairs, a traditional hanging chandelier and charming avian wall prints satisfy the owners' love of vintage cottage decor. A gorgeous built-in sideboard adds extra storage and is a chic way to display vintage finds.

Before: A Dismal View

Even the ceiling tiles were crumbling in this outdated kitchen.

After: Gourmet Showpiece

With new bright white cabinetry, cream wood flooring and stainless steel appliances, this once-dated kitchen is now an open plan, gourmet showpiece.

After: 360 View

A beautiful and functional new kitchen island now looks out into the living room of the open plan main floor. Taking full advantage of the small space, Sarah packed a large sink, a second stainless steel oven and plenty of extra storage into the island's design. Two support beams, accented by gorgeous antique white corbels, are all that remain of the wall that once separated the kitchen from the living area.

Before: Unnecessary Hallway

The cramped floor plan poorly utilized valuable space.

After: Smart Small Space

The once unused hallway is now a chic and functional bonus mudroom. To match the home's cottage-style decor, Sarah brightened up the small space with pale blue wall paint and filled it with shabby chic accents. See the home's gorgeous renovated living room >>

Before: Bungalow Bind

This bungalow kitchen was old, dirty and way too small for entertaining.

After: Bungalow Beauty

Sarah combined a gray subway tile backsplash, chic modern cabinetry, vein cut floor tile and sleek stainless steel appliances to create a contemporary space fit for a chef. To avoid the cost of relocating the home's heating system, she discreetly blended a white vertical radiator in with the kitchen's white trim.

Before: Awkward Floor Plan

An unecessary wall extension isolated the refrigerator and pantry from the rest of the kitchen. 

After: Easy Access

A new stainless steel refrigerator is now housed in a custom-built cabinet storage nook with a bonus wine repository.

Before: A Chef's Nightmare

For a family that loves to cook, this kitchen was far from functional.

After: A Chef's Dream

A six burner, stainless steel gas stove is now the centerpiece of this gorgeous, spacious kitchen. Sarah also freed up counter space by tucking a matching stainless steel microwave into the cabinetry below. 

Before: One-Sided

A single wall of cabinets was all the storage this dated kitchen offered.

After: Tons of Storage

Extra cabinetry was installed above and below on both sides of the kitchen to allow for plenty of extra storage. As an added bonus, Sarah nestled a cozy breakfast nook in front of the room's bay windows for casual family dining.

After: Breakfast, Solved

Situated next to a bright bay window, the kitchen's cozy breakfast nook features banquette seating, a marble table top and plush pillows in complementary pops of red and white.  

After: Room With a View

To create an open feel, Sarah cut a a large serving window out of the wall that separated the kitchen from the living room.

After: Open Sesame

The doorway between the dining room and kitchen was also widened to increase continuity throughout the space. Check out this home's stunning living and dining room transformation >>

Before: Reno or Bust

With little natural light and a dysfunctional layout, this drab kitchen did not suit the clients' modern taste.

After: Contemporary Cottage Vibes

Sarah removed the galley kitchen's interior wall to create a single, open plan kitchen and dining room. Rich dark hardwood floors, new stainless steel appliances and cheery pops of turquoise color give the space a contemporary, cottage-style feel. As a bonus, the radiator was moved and a sliding glass door installed for easy access to the back porch.

After: Pretty Details

A unique textured backsplash, highlighted by the natural light streaming in from the new sliding glass door, adds interest and complements the white custom cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

Before: Limited Workspace

The stove, sink and dishwasher were all crammed into one small corner of this galley kitchen.

After: Functionality Restored

This open plan kitchen now has designated zones for kitchen activity. The large island houses a sink and built-in food prep space, while the stove and dishwasher are built into opposite ends of the cabinetry behind.

Before: No Style

The monotone flooring, cabinets and appliances had zero personality.

After: Colorful Mid-Century Flair

Subtle pops of lime green and turquoise color add a refreshing, youthful vibe to this midcentury modern-style space. A funky, vintage chandelier hangs above an antique wood dining table and complements the upcycled chrome dining chairs.

After: Upcycled Design

With no room in the budget for high-end furnishings, Sarah scored a set of matching bar stools and dining chairs at a local thrift store. To bring them up to par, she had the seats reupholstered and the brass legs dipped in shiny chrome. The client's original artwork hangs above a custom banquette to complete the look.

Before: So Psychedelic

This small eat-in kitchen was plagued with tiny windows and awful retro wallpaper. 

After: So Chic

Two of the kitchen's walls were removed to create a bright and open cooking, dining and living area. Updates include new stainless steel appliances, a furniture-style kitchen island, new wood floors, ample cabinet storage space and more. To satisfy her clients' streamlined design taste, Sarah filled the space with vintage-style furniture and decor for a chic, eclectic vibe.

Before: Too Dark

The kitchen's three small windows let in very little light, which made the room feel dark and cramped.

After: Sunny Escape

A glass door was installed to complement the newly-widened picture windows and enhance the room's natural light.

Before: Long and Narrow

Two unecessary walls separated the kitchen from the home's large living space. 

After: Wide Open

Sarah added several square feet by removing the wall where the pantry was once housed. To create an even more open feel, another window was installed along the exterior wall and a large mirror hung to reflect the room's ample natural light.

After: Integrated Design

Designed to resemble a piece of wood furniture, this custom kitchen island is a perfect complement to the living room and dining room decor beyond.

Before: Dated Digs

With dark wood cabinets and dated appliances, this small kitchen was far from welcoming.

After: Bright and Fresh

A beautiful blue-tinted tile backsplash adds a pop of fresh color to the new cream-colored cabinets and state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances. 

Before: Close Quarters

The home's dining area was confined to a small corner of the kitchen.

After: Dining in Style

Just steps away from the kitchen, the gorgeous new dining area features a full-sized dining table, brass chandelier and a chic vintage sideboard. An original, oversized wall mural adds color and interest to the neutral space and serves as a focal point in the large, open room. 

After: Unobstructed View

The dining room and kitchen now flow seamlessly into the home's cozy living room. 

Before: Kitchen Conflict

The owners of this century-old home loved its historic charm, but hated its cramped, outdated kitchen. 

Before: Wasted Space

An odd bonus room with no obvious purpose was situated between the kitchen and formal dining room.

After: Cozy and Cohesive

The outdated kitchen was completed gutted and the wall between the kitchen and bonus room removed to create a combined cooking, dining and entertaining space with tons of modern amenities. A sliding glass door was added to the rear of the room to boost natural light and allow easy access to the home's outdoor entertaining area.

After: Past Meets Present

Maintaining the home's antique charm, Sarah chose traditional blue floral wallpaper, brass accents and oil-finished hardwood floors to accent the breathtaking Calacatta marble kitchen island and dining table.

Before: Mission Impossible

Past attempts to renovate the small kitchen were abandoned, leaving it in disarray.

After: Kitchen Overhaul

With new custom white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and a gorgeous white subway tile backsplash, this updated kitchen is now hardly recognizable — in a good way.

After: Tools of the Trade

For a client who loves to cook, Sarah installed a gas stove with a large vent hood, double ovens, a wine fridge and a hidden dishwasher built into the kitchen island.

Before: In the Dark

Bulky black appliances made this kitchen feel dark and cramped. 

After: Lighten Up

Custom white cabinetry now houses sleek stainless steel appliances in this fresh, open kitchen and dining room. Wasting no space, Sarah tucked a floor-to-ceiling wine rack into the empty nook between the wall and the refrigerator.

Before: Nothing to See Here

An old, dusty radiator was the only item of interest in this awkward bonus room. 

After: No Corner Left Undone

A chic vintage brass bar cart and charming blue gallery wall adds interest to a once-empty corner and reinforces the kitchen's blue, white and brass color scheme. 

Before: The Stuff of Nightmares

Trash, dirt and bugs filled this neglected food prep space.

After: Dream Home

Brass pendant lights hang above the new, custom sink and food prep space and complement the vintage-style brass hardware and decor. A large eat-in kitchen island, topped with a premium slab of Calacatta marble, was painted a rich blue to match the room's traditional blue and white floral wallpaper. 

Before: Mismatched Details

This dated kitchen was an eyesore when compared to the newly-renovated outdoor entertaining area just beyond its sliding glass doors.

After: Match Made in Heaven

Sarah gave this galley kitchen a chic and contemporary makeover with new wall-to-wall white cabinets, a white quartz countertop and striking gray stone floors. For seamless entertaining, an extra 48 inches of counter space was added to serve as a convenient indoor bar area for the patio beyond.

Before: Valuable Square Footage

Sarah saw major potential in the almost 20 square feet of unused kitchen space. 

After: Put to Good Use

The kitchen's dead space is now a chic breakfast nook and bar area that looks out onto the home's cozy back patio.

After: Industrial Flair

Industrial wire mesh pendant lights give the space an eclectic, modern flair. 

Before: Dirty Looks

Hard-to-clean grout and yellow wood cabinets made this kitchen look dirty and run-down.

After: Fresh and Clean

A white quartz countertop and sleek white and stainless steel appliances give the space a clean, ultra-modern feel.

After: Pretty Details

A pretty, honeycomb tile backsplash adds textured contrast to the all-white space.

Before: Uninspired

The kitchen's black and brown color scheme was drab and uninspiring. 

After: Pop of Graffiti

Sarah added a graphic punch of color to the all-white kitchen by transforming a stunning photograph of Paris Metro graffiti into a unique acrylic backsplash. 

Before: Uninviting Entryway

Dated beige tile and an oversized smoky gray wall mirror gave the home's foyer a cramped, unwelcoming feel.

After: A Great First Impression

Sarah gave the foyer a chic modern makeover with new gray stone floors, a sleek chandelier and bright blue wall paint. A piece of original artwork depicting graffiti from the walls of the Paris Metro matches the kitchen backsplash beyond.

Shop This Look