Welcome back! Today I'll show you the kitchen and dining area, which is really the hub of the home. It was quite a doozy when we bought the house—water damage, mismatched cabinetry, and just a general feeling of yuck. Take a look for yourself.
We got right to work by tearing out the cabinetry (some of the cabinets were in good condition and we kept them for storage in the basement). We moved two walls a few feet to extend the space length-wise. But one of the biggest changes came as a result of tearing off the rotted screen porch that was off the back of the house, behind this kitchen. We put in a bigger window above the sink and a sliding glass door. These changes allowed tons more light to stream into the kitchen and resulted in a much more cheerful space. And I should ask—how do you feel about white? ;)
We renovated the kitchen in the summer of 2009 when white kitchen cabinets were really having their heyday. But I love those cabinets just as much now as I did then. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted white, Shaker-style cabinetry. We went with custom from Designed Cabinets and they are just awesome.
The color of the floors has really grown on me. The floors were damaged but salvageable, and our floor guy did a wonderful job of patching in and refinishing them. I believe they are oak with a clear finish. They really help warm up the space, especially since the cabinetry and countertops are such a cool white.
The countertops are Corian in Glacier White. I'm a white-on-white-on-white kind of girl, which I know isn't for everyone. But the Corian product is fantastic and we've been really happy with how they have held up over the last six years.
My father-in-law, who has built many homes and helped us so much with our renovations, suggested the bump-out window above the kitchen sink. I am so glad he did. It makes the space feel bigger and is a nice spot for plants. I currently have an aloe vera cutting, rosemary, and a potted palm from IKEA, which are very happy in the sun. The photos were a Mother's Day gift from Ben and the girls. They are from Fracture, which prints the photos right on glass for super vivid color. And I continue to love my LAWN Drying Rack, which was a baby shower gift from a friend and is just a great example of a well-designed and beautiful everyday item.
We kept the layout pretty similar to what it had been. Across from the sink is the stove and my little coffee corner. Ben has recently started to drink coffee, but wouldn't you know we don't like the same roasts so the hand-me-down Keurig comes in handy. On the other side are two crocks—I read somewhere that Ina Garten suggests having one with metal utensils and one with wood/nonstick. So I don't mess with Ina. The two sets of salt shakers on top of the stove are meaningful to me. The birds were my husband's before we were married. He likes tropical. The two peas in a pod were a gift from a friend after I hosted a baby shower for her twins. Seriously special stuff.
I love that art so much! It is from Hobby Lobby. The basket is right next to the sliding door and is usually full of sunscreen, bubbles, sunhats, and miscellaneous pieces of paper I don't want to deal with at the moment.
We chose a bottom freezer refrigerator and I feel very neutral about the design. The product itself is great—it's Kenmore and we've had no trouble. I just tend to lose things in the bottom of the freezer, but that's my own fault. Also, the bottom of the French doors is just about forehead-height for a certain 17-month-old girl who likes to sneak up on me when I open the fridge. Just saying.
Also, I did not realize that my stainless steel fridge would not be magnetic. I should have listened in science class. Oh well, washi tape it is!
This is the only dining space in the house, and we expanded it a few feet by moving a wall. The round table belonged to my parents and fits nicely. We can add the leaf when guests join us. The red chairs were passed along to me by my sister when she moved out of state. We usually keep a booster on one and pull the high chair up to the table for the baby.
As I write this, I'm realizing how much of my grandma's things I have in my home. The floral tablecloth was hers, as were the salt and pepper shakers (aren't they unique? I wonder if they are milk glass.). The old blue Ball jar with the hydrangeas in it was hers. On the counter by the sink sits a vintage teal Pyrex bowl that belonged to her. It is my everyday fruit bowl and I love to keep it full.
A DIY pinboard is a place to display art. The frames are filled with Thomas Paul fabric. Red and aqua continues to be a favorite color combination, and I've used it many places around our home.
If you've been with me for a while, you might remember the kitchen walls being dark brown. I lived with the brown for a few years, but in 2013 I repainted with Healing Aloe by Benjamin Moore (the same color as our bedroom, which I'll show you later this week). I have certainly made my share of mistakes with paint colors, but Healing Aloe is just perfect and I am so glad to have found it. I mentioned that this kitchen gets such great natural light, and all the white and pale walls really amplify the light feeling of this space. This kitchen is my office, so to speak, and it is a place I love to be—especially surrounded by my family and friends.
Thanks for visiting today!