I have grown so very fond of our kitchen in our new home. While it's not the kitchen I would have designed if I had started from scratch, I've appreciated how we've been able to make it our own with a few clever changes. Here's a photo of what the kitchen looked like before we moved in:
Our kitchen really is at the center of our house, with random rooms shooting off in all directions. There is an entrance to the room on every wall, connecting it to the dining room, west wing, Larry's office, and back entry.
And of course, when people come over, we often spend the whole visit in here, lingering around the island, leaning on walls, popping a squat on the countertops, or spinning on stools.
Before we moved in, I knew I wanted a wood island for the center of the kitchen to contrast the lighter perimeter cabinets.
I had been eyeing some vintage drapers tables, but I wanted something with functional storage, as well as something that would be sanitary to prep food on, so I had one designed for us by our favorite carpenters over at Katt Design.
You can read more about the island design in this blog post from a while back.
At first, we had three narrow, wobbly stools (originally from Bed, Bath & Beyond...haha) that we had for some reason put on our wedding registry (you don't know what you don't know, right?).
These stools followed us around since then, often acting as side tables or night stands, but they were never really used as stools. Since bringing them to the new house, both me and one of our nieces took a fall off the stools, so we decided it was time to find something more substantial.
I purchased two different sets of stools from fb marketplace that didn't end up doing the job before I landed on the current ones (don't worry, they've all ended up as rather cute plant stands).
In the end, I bit the bullet and bought new stools from one of my trade sources (stools linked here), and we are SO happy with them.
These stools are leather, so easy to clean, and very substantial. With these, it's pretty darn comfortable to sit at the island for long periods of time. PLUS, they swivel, which is always a bonus! Two of the stools live at the island, and the third is my chair in my office, which we pull out to the kitchen whenever we have company.
Lighting wise, most of the fixtures in the house when we moved in were not my style at all. This was one area I knew I wanted to splurge a little and go with new and higher quality pieces.
Good lighting adds to the value of your home, and they are elements that you are going to look at and use functionally every single day.
I spent a looooot of time thinking through lighting, since I wanted it to be cohesive throughout the house. I decided to go with brushed gold for most of the new fixtures, but for the island, I wanted to do something different. The fixture you see needed to be a custom length because our ceilings are not overly high.
I specifically wanted a linear chandelier in this spot, and something that had just one mount rather than multiple pendants so I wouldn't have to rewire or touch up the ceiling too much. This fixture fit the bill! I also decided to go with a black hammered metal versus the brushed gold we did everywhere else. This light fixture now feels set apart, and I do love a good mixing of metals.
The other piece that "makes" the kitchen for me is the little sideboard on the back wall where our toaster lives. It's not the sturdiest piece, but I love the rich warm wood tone it brings, and as the most ornate piece in the kitchen, I think it sort of sets the style tone.
This piece was gifted to us by our friends parents who were looking to find it a new home, and it lived in our dining room at the Madison house before coming here.
My future plans for this kitchen are a little vague...but they include putting in a legitimate hood over the oven and getting rid of the over-the-stove microwave, swapping out the faucet fixture for something that functions very similarly but looks more beautiful, and swapping out the cabinet hardware.
I've been going back and forth on painting the cabinets juuuuust a shade lighter that what exists currently and getting rid of the antiqued/oiled finish, which in my opinion just makes them look constantly dirty.
Another detail I love in our kitchen is this massive original built-in pantry. It's super quirky and the doors and drawers are all a bit crooked—so much character!
The top portion of the pantry is where we store the majority of our dry goods, the drawers have hand towels and wash cloths, and the lower cabinets contain all our food storage containers and some larger mixing bowls.
The dark countertops have surprisingly grown on me, but in a perfect world I'd probably go with a classic marble with some really nice warm brown tones mixed in. Or, maybe a soapstone, but in that case the overall look would be so similar to what is already here that I'm hesitant to do that kind of an update.
We'll see...I know Larry has his heart set on a major kitchen overhaul at some point, but my designer brain just doesn't have the energy to endure that at home just yet.
As for the green walls...they've also grown on me!
They will need to be repainted at some point, and I'll either go with the same color, or possibly the Evergreen Fog that we did on the coffee bar cabinets, which has juuuust a tich more blue to it than the existing color.
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