The space in my home that I am most asked about in my DM’s/IG posts and e-mails is definitely my kitchen. It’s so hard to answer everyone’s questions personally because of how many there are per day… so instead I thought it would be fun to answer my most frequently asked here on the blog today!
I had always dreamt of having a kitchen I could design from the ground up.. Unfortunately all of the new homes we have built have been tract homes which haven’t allowed us the opportunity to do what we like. Tract homes offer limited choices. Looking back I don’t think I ever realized that we have had to work within such tight parameters until writing this now.
A little background.. We moved into our first home right when we were married back in 1988 – we were such babies! It was a spec home in a new neighborhood in Bakersfield, CA. The home cost us only $90,000 – I still can’t believe that compared to what the average price of homes is today! Unfortunately because the home was already built, we weren’t able to select of the finishes or details. Wahh
The next home we built was in Austin, TX right after Emma was born. Austin is known to have great builders. This home was also a tract home but we were able to select all of the finishes and details within certain parameters. We loved what we chose but once again, it wasn’t what we would call our ‘dream home’.
My third and fourth homes were what I like to refer to as “elevated tract homes”. Welcome to the Bay Area – where you pay over 1 million dollars for yes, another tract home but at least you are given the option to pay a LOT more for extras to make it seem a little more custom. ;) Typical!
Fast forward to today and our fifth home – this house. When this home was built 20 years ago, the original owners had not put any upgrades into the home. Even knowing this… the first minute I walked into the house I became so excited because of all the possibilities. I had been dreaming of this moment for years: a smaller home near our cute little downtown area, right next to all of my friends and with the chance to design it my way. I couldn’t wait to make this little house a home that Jeff and I could make our own. This house had great bones and I knew once we took away the interior we would be able to make it the light & bright, happy space that I knew it could be.
A little background on the kitchen before we gutted it. It had vinyl flooring and it was completely different from the space it is today. Once we purchased the house, we removed a wall that separated the kitchen and dining room. It opened up the space so much we were able to add an island, a built-in hutch and lots of options in regards to lighting and details. We loved the change so much!
You can view before pictures of our kitchen here.
FAQ’s about my kitchen:
1. Where did you purchase your pendants?
My beautiful pendants are made by Juliska. I fell in love with them because of their elegant feminine bell shape. It was important that I chose glass because I didn’t want anything to block the view of the kitchen. They remind me of jewelry because of the polished nickel chain and the hand-blown beading circling the cloche’s. You can purchase them by clicking here.
2. What color are your cabinets painted?
My cabinets are painted with painted with a lacquer paint that is tinted with Benjamin-Moore’s Chantilly Lace formula. The painter had it mixed at Kelley Moore for me. Lacquer paint is a much harder surface and perfect for cabinet wear and tear.
3. Does Jeff like his Thermador Range?
Jeff picked this range out specifically because he liked the fact that it was all gas and self-cleaning. Not many commercial ranges have this option. It also had the slow simmer mode which he loves. We also loved the way it looked + we got a great package deal from Thermador buying all the appliances together. The pricing was much better than if we had bought everything separately.
4. Love the clean lines of your bar stools – where did you purchase them?
My stools were the least expensive thing in the kitchen & I love them! They are so popular that they run out of stock often (in white especially) but keep checking back all the time because that’s what I had to do to order them! I only waited a couple weeks ;) Click here to shop the stools.
5. How did you decide on your backsplash?
Choosing my backsplash was a huge decision for me. I actually asked my friend, Lori Paranjape, for help on this one. She’s an amazing interior designer in Nashville but flies all over the world for her projects. I was originally going to go with a 3×6 Thassos Marble subway tile in a honed finish. Lori felt I needed more punch if I’m going to stick within the same color tone. She encouraged me to look at tiles with more texture and shine so I ultimately selected this specific Lunada Bay tile. I love the glossy surface that has a handmade look and feel. At night it shines like a pearl.
6. Do you regret going with marble countertops?
Ohhh gosh this question haunts my dreams. I love the look and feel of marble so much & I really thought I could live with the imperfections that go along with the normal wear & tear of cooking in a kitchen, but… I have since realized that it upsets me when I see any etchings or stains which are inevitable with marble. If I could find a quartz that looks as beautiful as my marble.. I would go with that but it’s too late now. Jeff loves the look and doesn’t mind the stains – he feels like he’s living in Italy or something. (So cute!) Whatever keeps Jeff happy & cooking away..
7. Hardware details please!
I purchased my cabinet pulls and knobs at Restoration Hardware – the Felicity. I loved the shape of the handle and the knot detail. It was discontinued and low on supply but found that they have it back in again.. So happy since I needed another pull. :)
8. Why didn’t you go with cabinet pulls on the top cabinets?
I know a lot of people like both options.. I just prefer the lighter look of knobs on the top cabinets. Especially on either side of the range. I don’t want things to look too busy. It’s mostly personal preference!
9. Under cabinet lighting details please.. I’m building my home now!
My cabinet lights are the BEST!! Expensive but well worth the cost. They are made by WAC Lighting & called “Pro invisiLED”. The lights are an LED tape that gave me the ability to select the strength of the type of light I want. My brother-in-law helped me a great deal with this because he’s a contractor. He told me to get nothing higher than 2700 Kelvin so that my kitchen didn’t look fluorescent or cold in color. The LED tape is attached on the inside of the front of the cabinet shining toward the backsplash. The great thing about this tape is that you can also purchase a plastic diffuser with it that is placed over the top to keep dots off the backsplash. It gives the kitchen a warm beautiful even glow. Click here for my under cabinet lights.
10. Where is your pantry?
The wall that was removed to open our kitchen (separating my kitchen and dining room) also housed our walk in pantry. We didn’t feel we needed a pantry with all the extra storage that we added with our new kitchen design. The new built-in hutch, along with the large drawers in the kitchen island provide more than enough space for our snacks and canned/dry goods. Besides… it’s just Jeff and I now. ;)
11. Is there anything you would do differently if you were to do it again?
Not really because I really do love everything in my kitchen… I guess if I had to say one thing it be would be to add a ‘La Cornue’ range in my home. Unfortunately these ranges are very expensive and out of our budget. I just love how beautiful they are. There are so many colors and styles to choose from. I would probably get it in white or black. You can check out my friend, Courtney’s La Cornue on her website, French Country Cottage.. truly stunning.
For more Kitchen Source Links click here
That’s pretty much it for today.. but I just wanted to add a fun tidbit about my cabinet maker, George. He created the custom cabinets in my kitchen and they truly are amazing. I had seen his work before and loved it. When he asked me what kind of hood I wanted for our new kitchen, I told him to make it classic/elegant but to surprise me. I trusted him. ;) When he revealed it to me, I cried it was so beautiful. I love everything about it.. it’s simple, yet so detailed.. I fell in love. So when people ask me why I chose my hood.. I didn’t actually choose it!
Hopefully sharing the frequently asked questions will help many of you who have questions of your own. If there is a topic I didn’t get to please feel free to ask in the comments below. Happy Weekend!