Mathis new old house-Kitchen

I am going to show you some updates/peeks of the new old kitchen… Started months ago when we first put the house under contact with this idea board. From the beginning I knew this needed to be operation “lipstick on a pig”…in other words cute but on a budget using fabrics and elements I already had, no gut job, nothing major…so here we go!


I am thinking there will be a more in-depth kitchen post later with sources and before and afters.  It’s not totally complete, nothing hung on walls and no drapes and shelves still not totally styled…but for now here it is! What did we mainly do…lots and lots of white paint….SW Pure White to be exact. I know its cliche but it really is amazing what a coat of paint can do to a space! I honestly didn’t intend to take uppers on sink side down but it just happened.  I DID want to do new shaker doors on cabinets but ended up NOT doing that…funny how projects evolve!


Yep see what I mean the toaster and coffeemaker are out so this not STYLED (we decorators have to make those disclaimers;;) and I need to scrub paint off of the stool but Daddy got the blind up and the light over sink finally works!


I will be doing another post about the counters, they are Old Williamsburg butcher block from Lumbar Liq..I am not a huge fan I think because I am coming off of marble. Honestly I hate to whine about the counters with all that is going on in the world and I want to loveeee them but I miss the marble.  The waterlox made them orange I think. I don’t love the waterlox.  I have sanded and sanded and I think sanding with steal wool and mineral oil is the best bet with wood counters

I DO love the subway and shelves..I wish I had gone darker with grout but it’s still all good.


Love that we did tile over the door…need a longer runner.  Floor was this gray vinyl when we moved as are cabinets we just painted them…. or I should say the world’s most patient and talented carpenter did it all…Kevin Gilmore of Oaks Construction…he  pulled out old uppers and did tile and shelves! I knew I could live with the floors and that saved a bundle.

BEFORE with the upper cabinets! Of course the sink came back in…so thankful to the previous owners for refurbishing it (new enamel)..the sink is original to the home as far as I know. It is shallow but the extra sides make it nice with wood counters.



and AFTER with subway and shelving and stainless table from Amazon.


Yes I know it looks like my old kitchen and others I have done . . . it’s because I like white and red and subway tile and schoolhouse lights and bamboo blinds.  I won’t apologize for that…I do what I love and I am grateful I was able to translate that look here without having to change too much! I just like what I like!

Okay so old houses are quirky and this kitchen’s quirk is that it was originally half the size and then later I think the breakfast eating area and laundry room were added on probably from an old porch….well the floor SLOPES ever so gradually as you walk to that side of the room. Yep you don’t want to drink a glass of wine while touring my kitchen.  We left the slope thinking we will tear this all out in a few years and level it out and do new cabinets and wood floors then. It doesn’t bother me but I think it makes the hubs a bit vertigo-ish. So less you think things around here are too perfect,..they aren’t even level!  ha ha. But hey we’ve got a cool faucet and subway tile! lol..LAUGH WITH ME PLEASE.  I think in old houses you have to just prioritize, what is feasible to do asap before you need to move in, what you can spend on NOW and what has to wait. That is what we tried to do . . .wise choices and some lipstick/paint where needed.


SO as we roll our marbles toward the laundry room you see our breakfast area.  Complete with IKEA dockets table and red Crate and Barrel chairs.  I love me some red oh yes I do.  My colorful dining drapes are going to go over the sliding glass door next to this area! The gray $29 foto pendant from IKEA got a coat of black spray paint because it was the same color as the floor.  The barn door and track are from good ol Home Depot.  Kevin had to retrofit it all.


 I am so thankful I now have a washer and dryer INDOORS.  Y’all that cute charming screened porch I used to have.  I may miss it but won’t miss the laundry room at the end of it! This is so much better! That and large capacity have changed me!


Open and close…so smooth and easy and takes no space.  I thought Henry would be obsessed with sliding it back and forth but so far he hasn’t been too intrigued (knock on wood) . . .Oh and can you tell I found my good camera and I am relearning the settings….I might start posting more than iPhone pics again;


And this is where the magic happens (not!) Seriously I do miss our stove from other house but this is fine; And who are we kidding I am not a fancy cook. The fresh paint and subway makes it all so nice. So grateful.  Hardware is from polished nickel Gilmore from RH.


Amazing how a simlpe basket and Amazon work table can make it feel more like home.  I love all of the white but the little painting from  Etsy and chair and rugs give the color I crave..I tell you I can’t wait to get those drapes up!


 Brackets from Home depot…the shelves are stair treads.


So there ya go..thanks for looking at our new old home..back to packing/unpacking/organizing/purging!

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  1. Love it, all. I particularly like that old sink!

  2. The house is looking great. Reding your post and your worries about your decisions on the remodel makes me want to point you over to Glennons post on Momastery about gratitude and perspective and kitchen redesign. In the end, it’s all about perspective and it seems like you’ve got a great family and lots of love. Best of luck with this remodel.

  3. Everything is simply lovely, Holly! I love your shelves and barn door…cannot wait to see more and more!!

  4. “I like what I like!” Well, I like what you like, too! It’s beautiful! xo

  5. I dearly love white kitchens with red accents! So I think your kitchen is perfect…even with the fun sloping floors. 🙂 The sink alone in that kitchen would have sold me on the house. Our first home had the laundry outside on the back porch, so I know exactly what you mean about not missing that. I sooo wish we could get a new washer and dryer, but it is not in the budget for now. I don’t know which will go first…the laundry appliances or the 28 year old refrigerator! Good luck unpacking!

  6. Never apologize for liking your adorable white kitchen….it’s timeless and classic even without the marble. I actually think the wood adds warmth so until you get the kitchen of your dreams I am sure you will style this place up pretty darn good! And that white subway tile……right:)

  7. We used that fabric in our daughter’s nursery and it is amazing… so many vibrant colors in a timeless print

  8. You rock. This is just a straight-up perfect “lipstick” makeover — I think you struck exactly the right balance of not doing too much, but still making it into a better-looking space you can live with for a while. Where are the schoolhouse lights from?

  9. Alison Connors says

    I agree with Sherry. Your kitchen is timeless and classic, a perfect mix of elements! One quick question on the open shelving. I would love to have open shelves, but DH insists everything will get dusty. Your thoughts? Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  10. Oh Holly…I love it! Like others have said…no need to apologize. We love our Holly Mathis style! Can’t wait to see more!!!

  11. I don’t even know HOW I missed this post but I did?!!!! It.looks.amazing!!!!! Everything!!! Makes me want to paint everything white!!! (Oh wouldn’t my hubs DIE!!!) Baby steps!!

  12. We all like what we like and we clearly like what YOU like, too! It’s darling! We’re in the process of a bathroom remodel and while we should try something “different”, were choosing materials in very similar tones and styles to those we’ve used elsewhere in our home. I think that’s just confirmation that we got it right the first time and still love it! You got it right in your old-old kitchen, you got it right in your new-old kitchen!

  13. Your kitchen looks fantastic….including the wood counter tops! In my opinion, they are much warmer and interesting than marble, but then I have never had marble in a kitchen, so I probably can’t really appreciate its beauty. Anyway, it is lovely and cheerful and inviting:)

  14. It looks darling!! All perfect, classic touches that work so well with the age and style of your home! And I agree on the old house statement and prioritizing what you can do before you move in, after you move in and down the road. We did a total kitchen remodel partially before moving in and finished things up after we moved in, refinished hardwood floors and painted all the downstairs living/eating areas. We have been in the house almost two years and we are slowly making more progress, finally painting the upstairs, adding new lighting and landscaping. We still have more painting, bathrooms to someday redo and an untouched backyard. It’s a process, but in a way, I wouldn’t change it and do it all at once. Although it would be nice to have finished everything right away before moving in, spreading things out makes it fun to always have new projects to look forward to – and it doesn’t rush the decision making so I will know exactly what I want by the time I get around to it. 🙂

  15. Thanks y’all for getting what I mean;; I think you are right Paula..the wood is right for this space. I just couldn’t see marble in here as this stage and the $$ so wood was the right choice and it does warm things up for sure Sherry!

  16. Where did you get the bamboo roman shade?

  17. Hey Abby the blinds are the bamboo tortouise from

    Jules, thanks for commenting. I am not ungrateful or worried about anything…i love it but just being honest about the trade offs you make when you move (different stove and or surfaces) and giving honest opinions on the materials etc;; Thanks for visiting


  18. Holly, this post did my heart such good! We, too, just left a newly remodeled by us kitchen and are trying to doll up a pig. The plan was to gut and redo, but moving day brought with it a flooded basement and the discovery of mold. The best of plans…

    Question: I’ve been looking all over for a schoolhouse light with a chain instead of a rod. Where did you find yours? The junction box in our breakfast room is centered in the room instead of over the table. Sigh. And, my husband insists that I use the same style of light that I put in the kitchen, so….the search continues for a swaggable schoolhouse. 🙂

    Love the choices you’ve made! Paint covers a multitude of sins and white is so good at making things feel clean so you can unpack your kitchen goodies into an old kitchen with a little more freedom.

    Thanks for sharing your open shelves! We took down our window wall uppers, and I”ve been hemming and hawing about whether I should add shelves there and “clutter” the space. DH isn’t a fan of open shelves, but I love them….and goodness knows I could use somewhere to put my dry goods jars! Maybe I’ll bite the bullet. They don’t seem to close in your space at all (we’re dealing with a galley, similar to your last one in that we kept uppers on the range side).

    It’s funny, really, how just freshening a space can freshen a perspective. Our kitchen isn’t a collection of choices I ‘love’ or my ‘first picks,’ but as I sat with my little guy and had breakfast this morning, I finally had the feeling of “Ok, I can live here.” And, I love, love, love, that he pointed to the new walls (thanks, Pap!) and said, “Pap! PRETTY!” This morning. Ah, yes. HOME. That’s why I fuss over things. HOME for my boys.

    Best wishes on your new place. 🙂

  19. Totally forgot— We had butcher block in the last house and didn’t baby it at all. After staining, we applied Waterlox (and the prep solution). It held up like a DREAM. It wasn’t the marble I wanted, but it sure was easy to care for.

  20. Holly! I love it all! Beautiful job! And I esp like your perspective on making realistic budget-friendly choices. I love the red (of course!) and the countertops and I love the white grout. So clean and pretty! Would you kind sharing the resource for the lovely painting?

  21. Love what you have done in here! Looks so good! We just renovated our kitchen and you and I have some very similar elements 🙂 In case you are curious:

  22. Girl, I’m laughing with you…as I slide down MY sloping floor! It all looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see it with my own two eyes!!!

  23. This is the most beautiful lipstick-on-a-pig kitchen I’ve seen in a looong time! The last one was by this cute blonde with a new baby boy on the pages of BH&G… but I digress… This kitchen is perfect, and real and I LOVE IT!! You are showing us what we all need to see- that you can make things beautiful on a budget, and that sometimes you have to balance what you want for what you can realistically afford right after a big move. I can’t wait to see more of your newoldhouse! Thanks for sharing!

  24. you already know I adore it all, but I had to say it again. It’s a lovely, happy, perfect, magazine worthy kitchen! I wouldn’t change a thing. If this is lipstick then it’s definitely the super high end, exclusive, only available at Bergdorf Goodman kind, not your Wallgreen’s variety. Ha! Love it, Holly! xoxo
    ps. I had to laugh about the floor. Old houses have their share of quirks. Period. If you can’t laugh and live them life would be tough. 🙂

  25. Holly – this is beyond fabulous. I love it all – everything! I’m obsessed with your stair treads!!!! what a great idea = how in the world did you think of that????? and they are perfect sized! Just love it all, the red, the BARN DOOR!!!!! omg!!!!!

    ok – if you aren’t happy with the wood – why not stain it dark brown??? I think that would change the look of it – get rid of the orange – and it would look soooo fabulous! please think about that?!!!!

    love you!! love this!! soooo happy for you. i run to IG every morning just to see what’s new!!

    btw – if you ever want to talk, i changed my email to no more mrballbox~!!!

  26. Holly,

    You’re amazing talent paired with your honesty and willingness to share are the very reasons why people are drawn to you. I too adore your kitchen! What I love most is that it was done on a budget! You are simply an inspiration. 🙂

  27. Love love love it! So classic. Was that little painting an original? If not, where on Etsy is it from? It is perfect!

  28. Well, that is a the prettiest “pig” I’ve ever seen! I love the touches of red, too!

  29. I think your countertops look charming…it looks GREAT! Very fresh and fun.

  30. It’s beautiful! And I actually really like your countertops, it offsets all the white and gray and picks up the nice earthly tones in your baskets and warms up the space-just my 2 cents! Can’t believe how much you’ve accomplished in such a short time!

  31. Your kitchen looks great and I love your house. We all love what we love. Looks fantastic!

  32. You know how to nail a kitchen! And every other room in the house for that matter! Hope you’re having a ball using your creative gifts so abundantly in your own space. xo

  33. Holly, I love what you’ve done, and I’m trying to lipstick a pretty pig in my my kitchen! Our house is only 3 years old and the kitchen isn’t my taste. It’s hard to justify spending the money on something that is perfectly fine. I was planning to paint the cabinets, but we have black appliances. Any tips on how to get a white kitchen when the counters are tan and appliances are black? You can see it at my blog here:
    Any advice would be appreciated!

  34. everything looks great! wondering if you got the barndoor track from home depot store or online..i dont see the one like yours online…thanks so much! looking forward to seeing more photos

  35. It is amazing what you accomplished with these updates. Who would have thought to use stair treads? You are a genius! Sand those bugers down and stain them (the counters)!! Email Bonnie Broten bhg would love this kitchen!!!

  36. Seriously stunning and using stair treads for shelving??!! So clever!!! I am so excited to everything coming together so perfectly!!

  37. What an incredible transformation. No lipstick here! Removing the uppers immediately changed the tenor of your space – looking large and bright and perfectly you! Very much enjoying the transformation of your new old house – what a talent and always so much inspiration to take away! Fabulous, Holly!

  38. I’m just so glad you didn’t lose your marbles so you could enjoy them on your kitchen floor! The new digs look amazing, but that’s no surprise. Thanks for sharing your home and your talent! Love you!

  39. hey holly! can i ask the source for your school house light? thank you soooo much!

  40. i can’t find your wooden brackets you used in the kitchen. What am i doing wrong?

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