This Homepolish Designer Gave Her Parents the Best Retirement Gift

Photo: Claire Esparros for Homepolish
Shannon Tate gave her childhood home kitchen a facelift and learned a lot about renovating kitchens along the way.

When Homepolish interior designer Shannon Tate's parents asked her to design their dream retirement kitchen, she jumped at the request. “My parents had been saving for this renovation for many years and they're big planners. They paid the mortgage off, redid one of the bathrooms, and the kitchen was the last big thing on the list before they could officially retire," Shannon says. Size was a big factor for them—with four kids, grandchildren and a large extended family, they wanted to create a space that everyone could enjoy—and actually fit in. Check out the gorgeous project below and see what Shannon learned about kitchen renovations along the way.

Shannon's parents were hesitant to make the entire floor a kitchen and dining space. So before they got started Shannon showed them some inspiration for the new space. “It was a wood cutting board, an antique brass spoon and an antique dinner bell. I wrapped it up and brought it to them next time I visited and told them 'This is what your kitchen will feel like.' They were smitten and the designing began, " Shannon says. She anchored the sunlit space with striking black cabinetry and caesarstone countertops, brass accents, leather stools and beautiful subway tile.

So what did Shannon learn about renovating?


  • Invest in yourself and your space. Kitchens are certainly a place to splurge, because this is a room that you'll want to keep the same (likely) for years to come. Quality vs. quantity is important here.
  • Soft close drawers are a must-have. So simple, yet so awesome.
  • Make sure you install multiple lighting options and put them all on dimmers.
  • Really think about function–what will make your life so much easier? Perhaps a pull-out spice rack, built-in trash and recycling cans, maybe a special cabinet for your vitamins or holiday dishes, or even a built in bookcase for your cookbooks? It's these little things that when fully thought through and planned for, can make you so much happier with your end product.
  • Create function out of every nook and cranny–you'll thank yourself for that later.


  • Don't do it all on your own. Working with a designer on your kitchen will change your outcome dramatically. They will know when to be bold and when to be subtle and in turn will help you create something unique instead of something cookie cutter. A great designer will help you make good decisions with your hard earned money, ultimately saving you money in the end.
  • Don't do a countertop backsplash edge– it makes your counters look cheap. Instead, bring your backsplash tile all the way down to the counter. It gives a more high-end feel.

To learn more about Homepolish, check them out here.

Photos by Claire Esparros for Homepolish