There is something so satisfying about a series of dramatic before-and-after photos. That’s why HGTV so easily captivates our attention! We are completely blown away by this jaw-dropping transformation right in our backyard. Not only did Kami of Kami Gray Interiors transform the look of this dated ‘70s kitchen, she doubled its size and made it a more functional space for her client.
This charming 1978 home in Portland’s Wilkes neighborhood was in dire need of an overhaul. The inspiration for this project came from one of its most unique elements — the stunning Cape Cod Blue lantern-shaped tile from Bedrosians’ collection, Provincetown. Kami’s client has been a travel agent most of her career and has traveled all over the world. Although it is very popular and trendy, she did not want white subway tile in her kitchen. Instead, the client wanted something to remind her of her travels, and was drawn to the look of this soothing yet striking blue tile.
Plus, the client loves to cook so she wanted a bigger kitchen with a 36-inch range. That is why they decided to double the kitchen’s size from its original footprint. This size increase required eliminating the breakfast nook, including the old sliding glass door, which they replaced with a five-foot window. They then added a peninsula to create bar seating and knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. The old slider in the dining room was replaced with new French doors that open up to the patio.
In just eight weeks and with a tight $38,000 budget, Kami Gray Interiors completed this project in collaboration with the client, who was extremely involved in the design process and even did their own demolition and flooring.
While she admits it is hard to pick a favorite element of any remodel, Kami particularly likes the tile.
“[The tile] really makes the kitchen,” she said. “And I’m a nut for blue, indigo specifically.”
We completely agree; the tile immediately catches the eye and acts as a focal point for the space. We also love the unique light fixtures, the bright white cabinetry and countertops, and the reinvented layout and intelligent use of space.
This beautiful transformation required years of experience and expertise in the field of design. Believe it or not, Kami has been designing since she was six years old.
“I’m the kid who played with Barbies just so I could furnish their swanky apartments, down to the miniature tea sets and area rugs,” she said.
Kami officially finished design school in 2002 and worked as a prop stylist for TV commercials and catalogs, with high-profile clients such as Pendleton and Rejuvenation. That work eventually led to a career in interior design and Kami had her first client in 2004.
“Design was a second career for me,” Kami said. “I was a bookkeeper for small businesses for 15 years while my kids were growing up. Seems like a rather dull job for someone who loves creativity, but my design clients are very impressed with my spreadsheets and how buttoned-up I am with their money. It’s actually a very important aspect of running an interior design business.”
Kami’s design style is very eclectic with a bias towards mid-century modern and Scandinavian, with equal parts masculine and feminine. However, she doesn’t force her personal design interests on her clients.
“I ask them a ton of questions about what they want in their own home,” she said. “I want them to walk into their kitchen or living room or master bathroom and feel like they’re home — not like they’re in my home.”
Like us, she values transformation and so admires before-and-after photos. We hope you do too! Because this transformation is one for the books.
Need some design help?
Contact Kami Gray Interiors to assist with your next design project! This full-service interior design and remodeling firm serves the Greater Portland Area and would be happy to help you create a new space or reimagine an existing room in your home.
Shop the Look!
Countertops: Pental Quartz in Misterio
Peninsula and Over-the-Sink Lighting: Cal Lighting Patterson Dark Bronze finish Metal Pendant
Kitchen Lighting: Uttermost Marlow 1-Tier Chandelier, Antique Bronze
Dining Room Lighting: Regina Olive Bronze 19″ Wide Crystal Chandelier