Makeover By Monday | 3-Day Diner Vibes Kitchen Renovation

As Seen In, Before & After, DIY PROJECT, Makeover by Monday, Room Makeovers, SHOP

My friend Katie’s kitchen was the first kitchen project of the season, and let me tell you, it was quite the undertaking! Renovating a kitchen in just three days is no joke — and on top of all the work, I added a bunch of design elements that really pushed what we could complete in such a short time. It was a whirlwind of DIY projects, design decisions, and countless moving parts. Mr. Yolo and I were exhausted after this one, but the excitement of the transformation made it one of our all-time favorites.

Katie is a friend from my entrepreneur group; she runs an amazing company, Big White Yeti Candles Co., out of her basement. Her husband is a teacher, and they both have a bold and wonderfully quirky style. Their 1950’s ranch house had been renovated over the years, but the kitchen remained untouched. The rest of their space was filled with vibrant jewel tones and oozed personality, and I was determined to capture that spirit in their kitchen. The design idea: A 50’s diner vibe with a modern twist. I wanted to infuse their fun-loving energy into this blah kitchen.

We went all out — painted cabinets, open shelving, a butcher block countertop, new flooring, and even a corner banquette, and the list goes on. I still don’t know how we managed to pull it off in three days, but we did, and the transformation is unbelievable!

Plum & Green Combination

When I walked through the kitchen with the couple, I suggested painting the cabinets plum, and their eyes lit up. I love how plum and green work together, so these hues set the tone. From there, I added the diner vibe elements: the checkerboard floor, the square stacked tile, and that incredible banquette!

Tufted Banquette

Ah, the tufted corner banquette! This DIY marvel was a labor of love. It was the biggest DIY project I took on in the workshop, and I only had one shot to get it right. I upholstered it in green velvet, adding a touch of luxury that felt just right against the black and white checkerboard tile. It’s truly a beautiful moment in the room that totally changed the function of this corner. I’ll be sharing the whole process of the banquette in the episode, so stay tuned for a step-by-step guide this week!

Checkerboard Floor

For the flooring, we used peel-and-stick vinyl tiles — a quick and easy upgrade that transformed the space. A perfect weekend DIY project!

Isn’t this cabinet paint color (Benjamin Moore Dark Walnut) so fun! Stay tuned for a post on how we painted the cabinets, coming this week!

Upper Cabinets Turned Coffee/Snack Bar

I got creative with the cabinetry. Removing the soffits was a game changer; it made the room look so much bigger. I wanted to show off the new ceiling height with open shelving and a tiled backsplash. Doesn’t it make a dramatic difference? The ceiling looks SO tall! I also repurposed some upper cabinets into a charming coffee and snack bar, giving them more counter space and storage!

Wood Wall Treatment

We definitely did not need to add a wall treatment onto our already packed weekend, but I was having so much fun creating this layered design. Once I had it in my head, we just had to do it. We nailed 1x6s to the wall using a 1×2 as a spacer. Above the trim, I used 1x2s. The dimension it added to the walls was totally worth it; Mr. Yolo will even agree, even when we had so much left to do.

Every detail was carefully considered, and I poured my heart into making this kitchen not just functional but a vibrant reflection of Katie and her family. All the shopping details are below. If you have any questions or if I missed anything, please let me know in the comments!

Watch Season 2 of ‘Makeover By Monday’ Saturdays at 1p/12p c on the Magnolia Network on TV! Or stream anytime on Max and Discovery plus!


Vintage Items (Links to similar item)

Did you miss the last makeover, a mid-century modern style office and cottage playroom on episode 2 of Makeover by Monday? Read about the makeovers here and here.

EXPLORE MORE: As Seen In, Before & After, DIY PROJECT, Makeover by Monday, Room Makeovers, SHOP



  1. Devra says:

    I really enjoy this program, and all the things you do, but the Retro Kitchen had a BIG oops. The green velvet you used on the banquette could have been gorgeous, BUT velvet has a “nap”. It is shinny when viewed one way, but dull when you turn it upside down. It is obvious when you look at the pictures. You can easily fix this by simply turning over some of the tuffs. Talk to your quality control person on your program. I do love the show!

  2. I think this is a fun makeover. I especially like the coffee bar. Thanks for sharing the paint colors.

  3. Susan M Lopez says:

    I love your show and record them all. I want to know how you painted that black table. It looked like you sprayed silly-string ! Can you share. Thank You,

    1. Jenni says:

      I bought that one marbled, but on next weekend’s episode we make one with with marbling spraypaint. Thanks!

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