I am absolutely ecstatic to finally get to share my favorite transformation of our entire remodel project with you today...our kitchen and dining room! This was such a fun space to design. I already have such a passion for cooking and food prepping, so getting to design our kitchen to be custom-tailored to our lifestyle and preferences has been a dream. This was also where a big portion of our energy was put during the remodel process and oh my goodness, did it ever pay off!
Before we dive into these spaces, let's take a peek back at what this space looked like before we moved in:
The most impactful change that we made in this space was removing the loadbearing wall that previously separated the kitchen and living room (you can see more of this in my living room reveal post from last week!). We could not be happier with this decision - the open concept space is perfect for our family and lifestyle, and I cannot tell you how much I love being able to cook meals in the kitchen while still being an active part of whatever is going on in the living room. Opening up these spaces has allowed for the function of each individual space to become so interconnected now, while the aesthetic design from each area flows together so wonderfully!
For the most part the layout of the kitchen has stayed the same, with the exception of moving the fridge to the other side of the room and opting for a centralized island in lieu of the previous peninsula. The sink, range, and dishwasher all stayed in their previous locations, saving us both the expense and trouble of having to move them - we felt that they functioned best where they already where, so why mess with a good thing?
The footprint of the dining room and the layout of this space didn't change too much either, with the exception of adding a custom-built beverage bar on the back wall where a hutch had previously been. I love how we were able to achieve such a transformation while still staying true to so much of the original layout (in this space and every other room on the main floor)!
Just as we did throughout the rest of the main floor, we removed the popcorn ceiling in this space and installed ample recessed lighting to illuminate the space no matter the time of day. The new pendants over the island and dining room table add a nice dash of style and functionality while offering more of a warm glow to keep things cozy when layered with the crisp recessed lighting.
The window above the sink was replaced with a single casement window to allow for the largest and most open view of our backyard. We also updated all of the doors leading into the adjacent spaces with modern 3-panel white doors with matching white trim to keep things bright and crisp. The french door leading from the dining room out to the sunroom adds just the right amount of edginess and helps to tie in the black accents throughout the rest of the house.
Finally, as with most spaces on the main floor, we updated the floors to a luxury maple-look vinyl flooring. These floors are incredibly durable and practical, boasting natural beauty and warmth!
Another element that has completely transformed this room is the cabinetry. Swapping the previous dark wood upper cabinets for a soft white alternative and white mouldings has done so much to brighten up this space. In addition to the lighter cabinetry, opening up the entire space has allowed for all of the natural light pouring in from the large south window in the living room to bounce around all of the light finishes, giving the entire main living space such a bright and fresh feel.
The darker base cabinets work to ground the space and add some extra interest in the kitchen. My original plan for this kitchen had been to go with black base cabinetry, but we chose to take a bigger risk and go with a more unique green, which we think really paid off!
As we were starting to plan the remodel I asked Neil if he were to incorporate any color into the house, what it would be (which might have been my sneaky way of getting him to help me narrow down the color palette since I'm such a lover of color!). He said green, and boy did I ever listen! I don't think he ever expected me to tell him that we would be painting the kitchen cabinets green, but...he was very much a part of that decision. ;). Seeing the entire space completed, green was absolutely the right choice - it adds a unique flair to the space while still being a nice classic color, and it really allows for the black accents that we did use to pop that much more. (Of course, I did still end up getting my black cabinets after all in our Entry + Pantry space, so that was a bonus!). The warmth of the green cabinets also really plays nicely with the warmth of the wood tones in the flooring and the other wood accents throughout the space, which I love.
We opted for a simple thin-framed Shaker panel cabinet style for a simple, streamlined feel in the kitchen. We also removed the soffits, giving us so much extra space to stretch the height of the upper cabinets - this naturally draws the eye upward, creating the illusion of more height, and provides a tremendous amount of storage space that wasn't there before. Talk about a win/ win!
However, my favorite part of designing not only the kitchen, but the entire house, was definitely the customization. Creating a space that works specifically for a specific family's needs and lifestyle is my favorite thing to do when designing for clients, so to get to design a kitchen that is perfect for how we use it every day was quite a treat! (I'll definitely be sure to share more about this in a future post and give you a taste of all of the customizations that we did in here.)
The island is definitely the wow-factor in this kitchen - I really wanted it to shine in this space since it is central to the main living area and the hub of the kitchen. On one side of the island we chose waterfall Cambria quartz countertops that reach down to the floor, and the other side has a thick butcher block top that is ideal for using as a cutting board and serving charcuterie. We personally love the character that the butcher block adds - over time it will darken a bit to give it a warmer patina, and the knife marks from use over the years will just add to the charm as a sign of a space well-lived-in and well-loved.
Above the island we installed two large round, modern brass + glass pendants to coordinate with the simple brass hardware found throughout the kitchen. I love that these fixtures are large enough to have an impact while not feeling too heavy or overwhelming the space.
When I said that the island was the hub of the kitchen, I wasn't kidding - this island works hard for our family with its pullout trash can, drawer microwave, and built-in knife block that is within reach of the butcher block. We often serve food across the island as the girls sit on the bar stools, and we can even watch the TV in the living room as we prep food at the island - it truly is the centerpiece of the room!
In the kitchen we opted for stainless steel appliances, including a counter-depth fridge for a more streamlined look across the cabinet fronts. We converted the previous electric range to a gas range with a stainless steel + glass range hood, which I'm thoroughly enjoying as I cook!
The drawer microwave is new for me, but we really do like that it's tucked out of view while still being in a convenient location for frequent use. Another new-to-us fixture is the single-basin undermount stainless steel sink - we LOVE how deep and large this sink is! We have so much more space to throw dishes into the sink before loading up the dishwasher than the previous split bowl allowed. I found a fun mixed-metal stainless + matte black faucet to pair with the sink that looks great with the design, and we've loved the functionality of the pulldown feature.
One material that you'll notice a lot of in this space is the ceramic wall tile, as you can see it touches everywhere that the cabinets don't cover. We chose this large-scale light gray subway tile - it has a handmade look and ties in effortlessly with the coloring of the Cambria quartz countertops while also being a close color match to the other walls in the main living space, giving us a continual wall color throughout the open floor plan despite it being a different material. I love the shiny texture that the gloss finish adds to the walls in the kitchen and dining areas, and by going up to the ceiling and around the window and sunroom door, it really helps to elevate the space.
As is true with the rest of the house, we added in those beautiful wood details in the butcher block, floating shelves to the left of the sink, and the wood-wrapped upper cabinets in the dining space. Opting for mostly painted cabinetry throughout this whole main living space really allows the wood details to have more emphasis and look even more beautiful as they're strategically intertwined in the design - we did this intentionally to make these details eye-catching accents that really add interest in the spaces.
The tassel wool runner rug adds a perfect bold punch of style and color in this kitchen while being very comfortable to stand on while food prepping. On the opposite side of the island we placed three white bar stools that our girls love to sit at while they eat, and they're comfortable enough for guests of all ages to sit on and relax as well.
Finally, the floating shelves next to the window are a fun addition to simply style as we didn't need that space to hold any essential kitchen items. I'm sure that this area will change many times as I want a different look or when decorating seasonally - I just love that versatility and I'm glad that I reserved a spot in here purely for decorative purposes, but if we ever do find ourselves needing a home for dishes or other kitchen items, these shelves would certainly work for that too!
Most of our meals are eaten around the dining room table, so we wanted this area to be well thought out so that it functioned well for everything we use it for. This standard-sized dining table is just the right size for our little family of 5, and it also includes two leaves that enable it to seat up to 10 people comfortably when we entertain. I love that we have the space to extend it, but that the table doesn't have to eat up all of that space for us on a daily basis. The combination of the wood, black, and gray finishes in this table works great with the design of the house too! The chairs were found at a consignment shop last year, and after painting them black and reupholstering the seats, I think they work perfectly in this space!
We installed a striking oblong black + brass chandelier above the table that gives off great light and has a really nice presence in the room - it also pairs wonderfully with the pendants over the island without being overly matchy.
Beverage Bar Design
Perhaps my favorite spot in this space is our beloved beverage bar! I generally reference it as our "coffee bar", but it truly does so much more than just store and serve coffee.
The base cabinets on this wall are the same color and style as the rest of the kitchen, and I completely customized them to hold specific items such as our blenders, juicer, drink shaker bottles, smoothie and drink add-in ingredients, etc. We also have a specific drawer to store coffee which includes a built-in K-cup holder, and a separate drawer with dividers that is perfect for storing tea and water flavorings. We even reserved a spot for a small beverage fridge that we use constantly!
Our master bathroom shower is directly behind this wall, so lucky for us it was already set up to plumb the bar sink we added. This sink has proven to be so handy for rinsing out coffee pots in the morning, filling the tea kettle and water bottles, or a quick hand wash before mealtime.
We continued the Cambria quartz countertops and gray ceramic tile from the kitchen in the beverage area, giving it a nice cohesive look throughout the entire space. We also installed a uniquely-designed upper cabinet unit with top-hinge cabinet doors. They feature beautiful oversized brass pulls and are housed inside a wood outer frame that ties in so nicely with the other woods throughout the house (you might remember seeing this wood used in our bathroom vanity, living room built-ins, and bedroom headboard!). These cabinets have plenty of room to store our coffee cups, travel mugs, wine bottles and glasses, barware tools, and other tall beverage items - I had so much fun customizing these cabinets based on how we would use them, and they work perfectly for us!
While I had so much fun designing each and every room in our house, the kitchen and dining room got the most of my attention by far. Customizing this kitchen to our lifestyle was fun and came naturally, while also being pretty difficult at the same time - I'm definitely my own worst critic and there are SO MANY great ways to design a kitchen that it can be hard to land on "the one"! But now that we're using this space on a daily basis, the entire process has been so incredibly rewarding.
Kitchens are my absolute favorite space to design for my clients, so having the opportunity to pour my energy into creating a kitchen that is perfect for my family was a dream come true. So much of our lives revolve around the kitchen and dining room, and opening this space up and incorporating these areas with the living room has been an added bonus that we couldn't be happier about. This open-concept design is the perfect solution for our family - it allows us to feel present and involved in whatever is going on in these spaces, even while making dinner or loading the dishwasher after a big meal...and that is something that I'm so very grateful for.
We took many design risks in this space, and they've paid off more than I even could have imagined. My love of cooking and food prepping has only increased since using this kitchen and I'm so thankful to have this space that I get to share with my family and our guests as well.
A lot goes into planning the perfect kitchen design, and to make it a little easier on you and get those creative juices pumping, I've compiled a free downloadable guide to all of the products and finishes that I used to completely transform this space! Click here to get the free product guide sent straight to your inbox!