Get your cup of coffee and a comfy place to sit - this is a picture and word heavy post!
First of all before I introduce you to my new kitchen, which is just about ready for move in, I want to say that I consider myself extremely lucky to have a kitchen that is pretty much exactly what I always wanted. Yes, there are a few glitches that I'm a little disappointed in, but it is a gorgeous kitchen with beautiful cabinets, the most fun barn lights, and is the absolute center of the home. I do not want to come across like I am bragging - there are far more amazing kitchens out there, but this one is mine and I couldn't be happier. Let me show you around!
To help orient you to the layout, the above picture was taken standing in the living room. I absolutely love the center island (Eldon calls it my Command Center!), but it was a great source of stress for me at first. I had a lot of anxiety over the size of it. (Just ask my family.)
That might be due to the fact that when my cabinets were delivered the island was plopped down in part of the living room and made everything around it seem to shrink. I am not exaggerating when I say that I had to go out of the room and take some very deep breaths to keep from having an all out anxiety attack!
Since the island is sort of front and center I will tell you about it first. In our house plans the back side of the island was to be a very large raised bar area with stools. The problem I had with that was that the living room is actually already quite small so I didn't want bar stools taking up any of the space. Also, the dining room is open right into the kitchen so there is seating right there - it just didn't seem that a bar was necessary. I came up with the idea to make the back side of the island enclosed cabinets instead of eating bar.
Because of that decision, I actually ended up with four very large double-door cabinets with the most amazing amount of space. Enough room to buy more dishes!
Also by eliminating the raised bar area, it made the counter top huge. I'm thinking this will be very fun for large buffet style meals when we have a house full of company!
For a long time I've wanted an apron front farmhouse sink. I finally got one! I'm so amazed at how beautiful it is. We did a lot of debating on whether we wanted it to be an under mount where the butcher block counter tops actually come over the lip of the sink. I liked it better with the sink about an inch above the counter tops. As it turned out it was a perfect fit like this so it was an easy decision.
We chose to have a refrigerator cabinet built so that our refrigerator will slide into the space. The cabinet above the refrigerator is huge and has a very nice shelf, so there will be great storage for the big bulk items and things I don't use too frequently. On the side of the refrigerator is a can pantry - made just the right size for canned goods.
I love this can pantry. I've got a good start on filling it with my canned goods from my own garden produce.
Next to the refrigerator all my upper cabinets are glass front doors. They also have bead board backs stained in a walnut color. Originally they were going to be bead board painted white to match everything else. Following the recommendation from a very good friend, I decided to have them stained a dark walnut to match the floor. I decided that would be a good way to bring the walnut floor up a level and tie it in with the kitchen. It also brings about a whole different element to the cabinets.
Below my glass doored cabinets there is a corner door with a lazy susan.
Continuing down that wall there is my little window. It was not in the original plans and the only way to make it fit without robbing cabinet space was to make it little. It is the perfect size for seeing out when standing at the stove and it has that nice ledge that Eldon built. I really love it.
My lovely new Maytag range. I'm not one to want fancy appliances, but I did research very carefully and took my time making my choices. In each of the appliances, I had a list of things I wanted and so I focused on making sure I covered those things - anything they had beyond that was just a bonus! I chose all Maytag appliances because I've owned them before and been impressed and because I love that they are made in the United States. I'll let you know, down the road, how I feel about the choices I made. Above the stove is my range hood I told you about recently. I chose to go with white for my appliances - I have a real aversion to stainless steel. Eldon wanted me to buy stainless steel in the worst way and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I will say that I love how stainless looks in other people's kitchens - but I just can't seem to see myself as a stainless steel sort of person!
To the right of the stove I had the cabinet shop make this shorter cabinet. Because I am short I have a hard time rolling out dough on standard height counter tops. So I wanted a little cabinet with a lower counter top and large drawers for all my baking supplies. My Bosch mixer will fit perfectly in one of the large drawers. Those shelves and corbels you see on the counter top? Those are open shelving that will go on the wall right above this little cabinet. It will hold all my colorful vintage pyrex, my cookbooks, and numerous other fun things!
The view from the dining room.
(Remember the barn lights with the kinky cords? We finally removed the plastic sleeves we had put on them and they are relatively straight now! I love these lights. Do you notice the bulbs in them? They are awesome.)
Looking into the dining room. Because the dining room is rather small, I gave my daughter my large dining room table and went on the look for a round pedastal table. I found this antique one in excellent condition with six chairs and two leaves so it will pull out nicely when necessary. The table will be centered there eventually - right now it is pushed out of the way of the construction zone! See my Fresh Eggs sign I made? I have the perfect spot for it - it will be going up soon!
So, a few details that I chose for my kitchen.
I love the Shaker style, which is a very simple design without any frills. All doors and drawers are inset; which means they sit inside the cabinets making the outside flush. I requested the bead board inserts. In my search for a cabinet maker I discovered that not all cabinet shops will make the inset doors and drawers as they require a lot more work for them to fit perfectly. There are lots of changes that occur in the cabinets during delivery, installation and the weight of the counter top so after we completed all that, the cabinet guys came back to adjust all the doors and install the hardware.
My hardware choice was old fashioned latches on the doors and simple drawer pulls on the drawers. I've always loved the look of latches in old farmhouse kitchens and my heart was really set on having them - that was partly why I wanted the inset doors as latches will not work on any others. I have to admit that I did get a little worried about the decision of going with latches and (of course) started second guessing my decision. I follow two blogs that have lovely kitchen cabinets with latches and so I sent an email to both of those women with my questions! They both wrote me back right away and told me what I wanted to hear: yes, get latches. They loved theirs, they had held up beautifully to opening and closing, and they both actually said they never regretted their decision once! I will tell you that I love them. Obviously, my cupboards are empty right now, but I love to open and close them over and over! I chose the color Oil Rubbed Bronze because I wanted to tie in the color of the walnut floors and backs of the cabinets.
I also chose all soft close hinges on the cabinet doors (no slamming doors - yay!) and they are so amazing! The drawers have a soft glide so when you close the drawer it stops about inch from closing and then slowly closes on its on! They are so awesome.
We chose all butcher block for the counter tops. Honestly this was a very big dilema for me. I did a lot of reading and research and nothing jumped out at me like butcher block. My daughter has butcher block counter tops in her kitchen so I've had a couple years to observe them and I love how forgiving they are. I felt that in my farmhouse kitchen where there is a lot of wood in the ceiling and so much white in the kitchen that the butcher block would really add a warmth and would also tie things in with the ceiling. I could not be happier. We learned a few tricks when we were installing and I plan to do a post soon strictly about our counter tops; the purchase of them, installation and finishing.
I chose a Porcher apron front farmhouse sink and a Pfister faucet. I will tell you more details on the sink and faucet when I do the post on my counter tops. You will find all about why I made the choice I did and how to install them in butcher block!
And there you have it. The view from upstairs!
Last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to Phil and Nancy at H&S Cabinets for listening to me, letting me come every few days during construction to watch my cabinets being built and thanks especially to Nancy because she helped me design my kitchen and could "see" what I "saw"!
Whew. Long sigh. That was a long post and I'm sorry - no way to tell you about it in any shorter version! Thanks for reading.