Welcome to my kitchen. What once was a faded brown, tired room has transformed into our favorite fresh and sunny morning hangout. And afternoon coffee. And evening dinner date...
We moved to our small development in the country about 10 years ago, and two kids and much rough-housing later our kitchen was pretty banged up. Since the world has gone white kitchen (and I'm pretty much addicted) I figured it was our turn. We hired a local painter to do a spray lacquer, which lasts so much longer than ordinary paint. Although it stinks like crazy and you really have to vacate the premises while they work. P-U!!
The pew across the back window was a Craigslist find. We drove almost two hours to pick it up, it was that worth it. Our pew acts as the longest bench ever, we've packed at least ten kiddos (and one or two adults) along that back window, it makes for super fun gatherings.
I was so thankful we got rid of the chandelier that was dangling over the table, since we're a tall family and we mostly whacked our heads on it. The track light is a whimsical statement and provides great light. We added a dimmer for mood lighting.
I'm also thankful we removed the wood blinds that had covered our view. The view here is amazing! The fabric curtains pull aside easily (a little candle wax along the top of the pole is an ancient designer secret, wink wink) and the blinds no longer block the view. Not to mention I don't have to clean them anymore. Anything off the cleaning list is a bonus!
So, the island. The one thing we splurged on and went custom. No words can justify how much this one tweak has changed our lives. No kidding! I drew it up and had my source in Mexico build it with a distressed finish, since I knew we would really abuse it over time. I love their craftmanship, and already I just touch it up when it gets a ding. Win, win.
The prior island was a big rectangle with one tiny seat at the end for one person. Well, for one small person. Which we are not. And whoever designed that one seat must not have had multiple kids. The peace we gained by adding more seating was worth every penny. And who doesn't love those adorable (indestructable) World Market barstools?
Some technical things: the leg I custom designed to cover the hole left behind by the previous rectangle island. If you look closely you can see the tile repair and the missing grout line. I also engineered the height of the trestle foot so that the barstools would scoot in all the way when not being used.
The island countertop is a man-made quartz which looks like cement. I purposely did a squared-off, thick edge, it's different than the granite edge but it enhanced the cement look. The almost-solid gray island top is a relief from the busy granite perimeter. Less busy = more peaceful. another win.
Below: Some times in design you just have to break the rules. I mean, who puts a cabinet in front of a window? (Well my Aunt Maureen does, but I digress.) This particular window-covering cabinet is my mom's buffet cabinet. It's no heirloom - I think she bought it at a thrift store - but she kept it in her dining room for as long as I can remember, and it is super sentimental. When we lost her to Leukemia I needed a place for it. Honestly, I needed my mom back... but having this memory close by has been a sparkle in a hard place. I gave it a beautiful charcoal paint finish (painted it myself) and parked it right in front of the window. The filtered light is beautiful.
The best part of this cabinet is that we actually use it. We use the heck out if it! I'm constantly heading to it for salad bowls, bread baskets, miscellaneous serving dishes and our summer plastic plates which we store behind the solid doors. I do have to dust things off, but what's a little dusting in comparison to a lot of blessing. Some times you just have to break the rules.
I hope you enjoyed taking a walk through our kitchen. Next time let's have coffee!