HOME TOUR PART 2
Hi, friends. Today I am excited to continue with my Home Tour. For the second part of the tour, I am taking you inside our kitchen! Our kitchen is truly the central hub of our home, and I’m so excited to share it with you! We renovated the kitchen over a year ago now, and we are so glad we did. Let’s start with a few before photos (which I remembered to take only after we moved the old refrigerator out, oops).
The refrigerator was in the spot below, to the right of the tiny door to the dining room.
As you can see, our kitchen is not very large! We did not change the footprint of the space at all – just opened it up. Our old kitchen felt so much smaller than the new one – especially given the choppy layout. The surface area we had to work with was broken up into separate areas, which was difficult. When it was time to cook, the first step was typically clearing some space on the counters before getting started.
The second problem with our old kitchen was that it didn’t work for us the way we used it. Since we like to entertain, we often had friends and family show up while the prep and cooking were still taking place. The room was closed off from the dining and living room, so if our guests wanted to interact with the cook (aka my husband), they essentially had to stand in the kitchen. As you can imagine, this probably wasn’t very comfortable for them, and of course they had to shuffle around as needed if they were in the way. Since we entertain so often, this was a problem.
Finally, not having a dishwasher was a real bummer! I spent so much time doing dishes. Since my husband does the cooking, I do the cleaning up. That’s the deal I signed up for – but sometimes the dishes took forever! I kid you not, I have seen my husband dirty 3 pots to make 1 pot of soup. No, really, I’m not exaggerating! So, you can imagine how I ended up spending so much time washing dishes.
After saving up, we finally decided it was time to renovate!
We decided to open the kitchen up by moving the doorway into the dining room. This would allow us to add a peninsula – something we knew we would use ourselves, and something our guests could use to sit and chat with the cook. The new layout required losing a window in the kitchen, which was so hard for me to accept at first. The kitchen was a little dark to begin with, so the thought of removing a window made me fear an even darker outcome. Luckily, I was wrong and our kitchen is so much brighter now!
The refrigerator was moved to where the old window was, but we kept the stove and sink in the same spot to keep costs down. We also had to make room for my new best friend (aka my dishwasher), and I was very apprehensive about losing storage space. We have a nice sized pantry in the kitchen which we kept, but even with that I was nervous about giving up any space. We did a few things to maximize storage space, starting with purchasing an over the range microwave to save on counter space. We also splurged and had our cabinets custom-made because we wanted to maximize every inch of storage. Our home has tall ceilings, and even though the cabinets were expensive, getting them custom made so they go all the way to the ceiling is a decision I will never regret. All of our cabinet shelf heights are now adjustable, which allows us to use the space most efficiently.
Having two-tiered drawers also makes a huge difference! These just hold so much stuff and keep everything neatly organized.
We also DIY’d a pot rack so we could hang our everyday pots and pans rather than storing them in a cupboard.
Finally, we purchased a few small things like knife magnets and a hanging fruit basket for storage/keeping items off the countertops.
Regarding the finishes, I knew early on that I wanted white uppers and dark lower cabinets thanks to some amazing kitchens on Pinterest. Once I came across "Black Magic" by Benjamin Moore (the lower cabinet color), there was no turning back on the white uppers/dark lowers. It was truly love at first sight with that paint color! I just want to paint everything this color...
I also knew I wanted subway tile given the age of our home, and white countertops to keep things light. I also wanted a fun tile pattern for the floor. I ordered so many tile samples for the floor! The floor tile was the hardest finish for me to pick for some reason, but I was finally able to find something I loved that was also in our budget.
I settled on this tile for a few reasons. I liked the checkered look - almost like a black and white checkered floor you see in old homes, but a funky take on that. If you look closely, you see the tile has a slight distressed look to it. I won't lie - that was a selling point for me because I thought it would hide dirt more than a perfect looking floor!
With all the white, black and gray going on, I knew I would need to warm the color palette up so I selected bronze cabinet pulls and added wood accessories. I found some wood stools at West Elm, and purchased some wood cutting boards to leave out when not in use. I also selected these wood and glass pendants. Who knew Target has such great light fixtures?!
The wooden box in the photo above is actually an antique tool box. I "borrowed" this from my dad several years ago to use as a card holder for our wedding. Hopefully he forgot about that! Now we use it to wrangle chargers, earbuds, stamps, keys...you get the idea.
As the kitchen was nearing completion, I just could not find a window treatment I liked, and I was loving all of the natural light coming in the kitchen. Instead of continuing to search, we decided to DIY this plant shelf come window covering. This provides some privacy while letting light in, and also allowed me to bring some greenery into the room by providing a home for several plants.
The renovation took 6 weeks in total. Just when I thought I couldn’t survive another night of eating at a restaurant, it was done! We realized very quickly that our new kitchen was so much more functional than our old one. The open layout works so much better for entertaining, and I can honestly say that we eat dinner at the peninsula almost every night. The room feels bigger, and is so much brighter. And maybe this is bad to admit, but getting a dishwasher seriously changed my life. It’s so hard to believe how much time I actually spent washing dishes before! Now cleanup takes 10 minutes, and I can spend my time doing much more exciting things!
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into our kitchen! See sources below!
Photos by Kimberly Schuldt Photography
Faucet | Floor tile | Rug (not pictured)| Cutting board | Dutch oven | Oil & vinegar set | Pendant lights | Cabinet pulls | Countertops | Mushroom art | Counter stools | Lower cabinet color| Knife magnet | Letter board | Hanging fruit basket | Sink | Dishwasher | Microwave | Oven | Refrigerator (not pictured)