This post is long overdue. One that’s come with so much blood, sweat, and design tears to get to this moment. To be able to share with you months and months of planning, plotting, re-planning, taking a three month sabbatical from being overwhelmed, designing, building, and decorating the kitchen of my dreams.
We moved into our dream home, our forever home, in November 2017. Let me go back…it wasn’t our dream home at the time. At the time, it was used, abused, a little dirty, really tight quarters with a tinge of 1985 (or maybe a whole Molly Ringwald shoulder pad of 1985) in the house. But we fell in love with the potential. And nabbing it at such a great deal, we were able to start construction on the entire main level to make it what it is today.
Need a little refresher on where we came from? Check out this beaut!
The space was small and very closed in. With such little lighting and the ragged oak cabinets, it made it feel even tighter than it truly was. To the left, you can see the potential with the bay window lighting the space, but it was still just so dark.
So with a little imagination, a lot of blue painters tape on the floors mapping out ideas, and some conferring with a dear friend and realtor, Abby, we finalized our plan. We decided to take the wall with the fridge out into the garage 3 feet and to take the wall with the desk out completely. There was a half bathroom that opened directly into the kitchen that we moved into our main hallway. And also a laundry room that we completely removed and moved our laundry temporarily downstairs in our finished basement (it will eventually be moved upstairs when we remodel our master bathroom). Relocating these pieces wildly opened up the space and even gave us the ability to add an 8′ island into the room!
Prior to our contractor beginning, we did a little demo ourselves. The night before Alin (our contractor) began, here’s what we were working with.
Fast forward two months later and we have the new shell of our kitchen. Can you believe how much more space?! And look how the natural light pours into this room so much better. We didn’t touch the windows; yet, they bring in so much more light now that we opened it up.
Are you ready? Here we go! Here are all the details of my brand new, FINISHED kitchen for you!
The Big Stuff
Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Repose Grey (SW 7015) in Eggshell
Island Color: Sherwin Williams Cascade Green (SW 0066)
Cabinet: Ice White Shaker Cabinets from CabinetGiant.com – where the cabinet company we used orders from directly
Cabinet Pulls: 3″ Allison Cup Pulls in Polished Chrome
Cabinet Knobs: 1 1/4″ Allison Knob in Polished Chrome
Our Big ‘Ol Island
When we opened up the walls, we were able to then use the space to include an 8′ x 4′ island that seats well over five people. Included in the island are the dishwasher and microwave, as well as a cabinet with a pull-out trash can.
Having the dishwasher across from the sink was a more unusual choice in some people’s eyes, but I chose to do so to limit the amount of stainless steel around the perimeter of my cabinets. I wanted more white cabinets to show and less metal. Although it was a strictly design-minded choice, I actually really like having the dishwasher where it is. When the door is open, I’m able to take dishes directly from the sink and into the dishwasher to be washed (because this mama is NOT hand washing a dish). It’s unconventional, but a solid choice still in my mind!
As for the microwave, I didn’t want it above my stove because I really wanted a vent hood. I also didn’t want it on my countertops as I’m not a huge fan of that. I’ve seen so many beautiful hiding places on Pinterest, but we didn’t have the space for any of them. So, I decided to put the microwave in the island to hide it away from view. We purchased the pre-made cabinet, but it didn’t fit the size of the microwave purchased. My contractor and painter worked together to build a custom piece for my microwave to fit perfectly inside. One of my favorite finished looks!
Countertops and Backsplash
I wanted a very neutral, light, FORGIVING countertop. All white and it shows every crumb and every water mark. Too much pattern and it becomes a distraction. I really like the marble look with the Calacuttas and the Carreras, but finally settled on a much more muted, subtle grey and white with MSI’s Mara Blanca. It’s a quartz stone with a creamy white and marble-like veining that goes along with just about any color I wanted to add to the kitchen. If I decide I want to paint my walls yellow one year, and then brown the next…this muted countertop will work. That’s what I was going for.
As for the backsplash, I wanted something equally as muted as the countertop, but in a subway tile. I went with the larger 8″x4″ tiles to make a larger statement but still keep it classic. Something a little extra in a classic style. I went through The Tile Shop, as was recommended by my contractor, and I was so happy with their customer service! Every time I went into the store, I was greeted instantly, never pressured, and was able to get exactly what I was looking for at an awesome price. Highly recommended this company!
The tiles I chose were called Carrera Gris and the grout I used is a light grey called Dove Grey. Huge advice my contractor gave me was to never go with a white grout or cream grout. Within months it will turn a yellowed color because of grease, cleaning products, and just everyday use. One of his recent clients chose it, ignoring his warning, and called him four months later saying it looked like someone peed on her grout. Can you imagine spending all that money and getting that result so quickly?!?! Huge disappointment!
Stove and Vent Hood
Sorry to disappoint right from the start of this one, but I had my contractor custom make this hood for me. Can’t give you a great link to buy this one online. This one is all mine. 🙂
But our exhaust fan that he built the vent hood around is from Home Depot and is always being marked down on sale. It’s convertible so you could use it ductless (like I have) or with the duct system installed. I love that it has switches on the underside to allow for a vent hood like this to be built. And it has a great light source! I’ve had exhaust fans in the past that have shed very little light…or way too much light…for the space and just wasn’t flattering. I would have to supplement with another light or I would just never turn it on. I love the light this gives off! And it’s equipped with powerful CFMs that make this one a serious deal!
As for the stove, I kept with the LG family and got this great double oven unit for a great price. Works like it should and haven’t had any issues with it so far. Favorite part: It plays little songs when it preheats, when timers go off, pretty much anytime you use a different feature. 🙂 So cute and my kids adore it!
Every time I share a new feature, I think ‘This is my favorite part of the kitchen.’ So I may or may not be just in love with the whole darn thing, but for now, let’s just say this sink is my favorite part. 🙂
I was going to go with the apron front, white cast iron farmhouse sink. I had it all mapped out and was ready to take the plunge with my contractor until I realized the following details:
- They are SO expensive!! I just can’t justify almost $1000 for a SINK! They’re beautiful. They’re classic. They really beautify a space. But A THOUSAND DOLLARS?!
- You have to alter your lower cabinet because the weight of the sink wouldn’t hold on a normal cabinet
- I have two boys. Two darling boys that love to help their mama and put their plates in the sink (when I remind them) 🙂 I am terrified that my beautiful white Crate and Barrel dishes and my glassware will get shattered when their little hands drop the plates into a cast iron sink. I’m not willing to sacrifice it all.
I went a different avenue. 🙂
Can we just take a minute to see those newborn baby lips on the window sill? My heart.
We have several different fixtures in our kitchen areas to set the ambiance in all sorts of situations. I’m a big fan of making lights create the atmosphere in a room. I wanted to be bright and refreshing for meals, and calm and peaceful during down times. For that reason, I went with an overhead light over the sink, two large pendants over the island, the great light on the exhaust fan, and five can lights to fill the overhead.
This was a passion project. A space that we spend the most time in and one that I want to build the greatest memories in. I grew up with a family that centered holidays around mealtime and I can’t wait to have that with my family here.
I’ll keep adding and changing, wishing and dreaming, about this kitchen someday. But for now, I’m going to just sit back, take another sip of coffee, and love my space. 🙂