I wondered when we moved if it would feel strange or awkward to start over. After after 30 years of raising a family and growing into middle age together that ol’ house was home. What would it take to make our new house feel like home? As it turned out, not all that much!
By the time we moved in we were so familiar with the space that had emerged over 8 months of architectural planning and 8 months of construction (a.k.a. the big dig) that it wasn’t a big leap. We were home, again.
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and I sure hope that’s true. We want ours to become a frequent gathering place for family and friends. The Hubs and I love a friendly crowd for food and fellowship.
I worked closely with a local kitchen designer on the cabinet layout and also crowdsourced some decisions. Pressed for time, I put two questions out to my network via an online brainstorming and voting tool. What is the best feature of your kitchen? What one thing would you change about your kitchen?
The end result was informed by the wisdom of the crowd. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Have a look!
Details, details? If you want details, you got ’em…
The most important thing I heard from my peeps was not to settle on kitchen appliances — a common regret. I selected the GE Café series but splurged on the wall oven with easy French doors and made the leap to gas cooktop. I added a trim kit and microwave-convection combo, which provides flexibility in a second oven. (I must admit that convection functionality is somewhat lacking.) I added a pot filler over the cooktop as an affordable, functional and fun addition.
I was on the fence about painted cabinets until I selected the hardwood floor, then I knew only painted would do. I selected the quasi-custom Homecrest cabinets with Dover doors in sand dollar gray, upgrading interiors to create optimal storage. I don’t know that this would be a great choice if we were in family-raising mode as every smudge seems to show. My contractor insisted a local custom cabinet maker would have been less expensive; as counterintuitive as that seems perhaps he was right? Regardless, I love the finished effect and wouldn’t change a thing about our new kitchen.
I discovered a perfect quartz countertop with beautiful veining in the Dekton “Entzo.” If I’m going to splurge, it has to be for big impact. This is where the Hubs comes in really handy: when I am down to the final decision he gives unwavering support to take the plunge!
The backsplash was created with simple and affordable white subway tile. Cabinets were trimmed with crystal glass knobs and stainless cup pulls, both reminiscent of farmhouses of old. I love these knobs! (Acrylic knobs purchased at a big box store for an antique cherry buffet look cheap by comparison.)
The farmhouse stainless steel sink and faucet were manufactured by Kraus and purchased online. The sink came with a rack insert, a hugely helpful feature. The slate blue counter-height stools are of metal and swivel, a clearance sale special at HomeDecorators. Over-counter pendant lighting is mercury glass by Regina Andrew, a black Friday bargain at Macy’s. I love bargains!
Finally, on the advice of our local flooring specialist, I used a hardwood native to our region for optimal adaptability. Appalachian brand maple is sourced in Canada; ours has the “quartz” stain which presents lovely variations of brown and gray.
In all truth, I purchased this hardwood because it was a big bargain, something about a special order glitch, price significantly reduced, well below budget. I was a little bit leery; would it look too trendy or eventually date our home? But the price was right and I love the finished effect. I’ve since learned that dark hardwood often disappoints by showing dust and requiring continual cleaning. We got lucky, I guess, because this product works well for us.
Most of the kitchen-living space is painted a greige color. Who knew greige was a thing? I selected HGTV Sherwin Williams “Into the Gloaming ” #2455. It’s a perfect blend of gray and beige in continuation of the cabinets. I relied on neutrals throughout the house but especially here, where the amount of wall space could be overwhelming. Initially I was concerned that neutrals might be too boring but instead they have had a relaxing effect. No regrets!
So, there you have the nitty gritty kitchen details! There’s more to come (next up: pantry) so I hope you “visit” again, soon.
~ René Morley