our new (old) kitchen

If you haphazardly check my Insta stories then you may have seen some of my even more haphazard posts about our kitchen reno that started November 1, 2018. Let that sink in for a minute…two thousand and EIGHTEEN. Lollllll, it’s been a long haul. For me, for Andrew, for our kids all summer when they would barricaded out of the kitchen with plastic tarps FOR WEEKS, when they would happily follow Andrew up into the attic to stomp around and unknowingly send 50+ year old insulation down onto my range…let me assure you that when I say it’s been a long haul, IT’S BEEN A LONG HAUL.

For about 13 months.

And we are so so happy with the new (old) kitchen. And are “done”. Done-ish because there are a few touchups that need to be completed, and at some point we need to repaint the ceiling in there as well as the interior window trim. And THE FLOORS. Clearly we can’t live with brown linoleum and plywood (where the built-in shelf and peninsula used to be) forever. (Or can we…we recently discovered we have the same linoleum in our kitchen as The Family Stone kitchen, and if it’s good enough for Diane Keaton…)

There isn’t any reason a kitchen renovation should ever take this long, but it did in our case because –

1)Andrew did evvvvvery single thing he could possibly do if at all possible. He is a DIYer through and through, 2)two of the three things we did actually hire out didn’t go as planned and we ended up having to start over on one of those and backtracked hugely from a timing standpoint, and 3)we won’t kill ourselves over projects. I hear of people staying up until 2am to work on things, and then get up and go to their day job the next day. Ummm, not our bag. We try to maintain some sense of normalcy for the kids, make time for each other, make time for sanity, get out of the house as a family, etc. Andrew has always said that there isn’t any rush, and honestly there isn’t. (Albeit this tests my patience so incredibly much.) And taking our time really allows me as a non-professional to process the design and get things right.

So. Without further ado…

The day after we moved in. The red walls, the looooow copper hood Andrew hit his head on any time he was at the range, the scallops. Oh for the love of the scallops. The soffit. The chair rail. The darrrrrk back splash. And 1.5 year old Junie.

The install of the larger window was so so so worth it. The view into the backyard makes me so happy…I can watch the kids while they play on the swing set, open the window easily to yell at them when they are doing all the things they aren’t supposed to, etc.

I will say, because our kitchen looks onto a covered patio I still don’t get exceptional natural light in this space. I have dreams of painting the patio walls (and brick) a very light color instead of the heavy dark grey exterior and red brick that we currently have because I think it would help bounce more light through this new pretty glass. But for now, any little extra bit of sunlight that shimmers in I’ll gladly take.

When things went south trying to get our cabinets stained I initially thought I’d just paint them white, but because we don’t get an abundance of natural light I just felt like the white cabinets would never look great. And to be honest (and I know I’m probably going to offend someone (a  lot of someones), but I’mkindoftiredofwhitewhitewhitekitchens. There. I said it. They are gorgeous! White is classic, and if I’ve been in our house and you have a white kitchen I’ve probably loved it.  But I just vibe so much better with depth and textures and tones and all things earthy. For me, this made more sense.

Prepare yourself for this change of view, guys…

Below – taken the day of our home inspection before we bought the house…Andrew is clearly so pumped about the work ahead of us.

This bookshelf…bye, see you never.

(Maybe one day I cleaned those slider doors, but this wasn’t that day, friends.)

Those vintage pendants are SO good for this kitchen. I’m happy I hoarded them for over a year not knowing they’d end up in my kitchen. When you love something, the right place will always present itself.

And when something isn’t broken, don’t fix it. I wasn’t in love with the granite countertops the previous owners had installed, but they also weren’t offensive. Since we weren’t changing the functional u-shape of our kitchen it didn’t make sense to put in new countertops. After all, we weren’t creating our dream kitchen, just updating what was already here to make it beautiful and more functional for our family. I’m verrrry happy with the granite now. I used Emily Henderson’s advice from her book Styled and chose three words for the space to help guide me with decisions. MCM (counts as one word in my book), earthy and refined. The granite works impeccably in this space with at direction.

The same can be said for the cabinets. The original cabinets were custom built into the home and in great shape. And most importantly, the style worked so well for us. The flat faces were good before, but even better now in the new color and with new hardware.

And this banquette bench. A labor of love and so much more functional than a table in the center of the eat-in-kitchen space directly in the path of access to the backyard. I used bistro chairs we already had (and would someday like to move outdoors when/if we add on to our patio), found the vintage tulip table base and Handy Andy whipped up a tabletop to complete the space.

And that’s it! We’re so, so happy with it. And even happier that it’s done. Ha!

Do y’all want the nitty gritty details? More thoughts? And I have a few more angles I haven’t shared yet…looking for your feedback on what would be interesting and purposeful of your time in 2020 on this ‘ol neglected blog space.


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"It's a feeling."

One of the best ways I've heard my work described.

It's like a dream you can't quite get back to, but you know was so so good because when you woke up you had a smile on your face, and you keep trying desparately to remember all of the vivid details you can be present in that in-between state for just a little more  - the warmth of being together, the sounds, the laughter...the feelings.

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