Since this week's posts have been all about kids so far -- how to make slime, cleaning up germs, and a reward chart -- I thought I should switch gears and post about something only adults get excited about: kitchens! However, having said that, whenever we visit a house under construction, my son is most excited about the kitchen. He stands in the empty space saying, "And the 'frigerator will go here," "And the sink will be here, yeah...." But maybe he's abnormal.
I thought I would give you a little sneak peek into our kitchen today. (See the bottom of the post for sources, in case you're interested.)
We built our house a couple years ago, so I got to design the kitchen and loved the entire process! That also means that if there is something I don't like about our kitchen, it's my fault!! For the most part, I really like our kitchen, but I wouldn't mind it being a little bigger or having more countertop space. But really, I think that is a universal complaint regardless of how big one's kitchen is!
My goal when choosing the fixtures and finishes was to create a really simple, classic look for the kitchen so I can bring in different colors with accessories but keep a neutral base.
As soon as we decided to build a new house, I knew I wanted a white kitchen. I am always drawn to kitchen designs with white cabinets; I just like how fresh and clean they look, and they keep the room feeling more airy (I definitely don't like to cook in a kitchen that seems dark and gloomy). We had ivory-colored cabinets in our old house, but I decided I wanted a true, bright white finish this time around. We chose a painted maple cabinet rather than laminate; I just like the feel and look of real wood cabinets, and so far they have held up well. I also like the soft-close drawers, although if we ever move into a house without them, we will probably all be slamming our fingers for the first month or so!
The other two big design elements in a kitchen are the countertops and appliances. I am really happy with the granite countertops -- they are actually a dark charcoal gray color, and I like that the natural texture of the stone is visible. We went with a squared edge for the countertops, which I think probably won't look dated as quickly as a more fancy beveled edge of some kind.
We matched the stainless finish of the appliances to the faucet and drawer pulls (white porcelain with brushed nickel edges). The sink is black, a little different from the standard white finish, but I like it as it seems to blend in with the countertops.
Instead of built-in cabinets for the island, we used a free-standing wooden island. I think it adds some much-needed warmth and rusticity to all the sleek black, white, and gray. It's also easily changeable if we want to update the look of the kitchen in the future.
On the other side of the kitchen is a small desk for our family computer. This area gets a lot of use, and I want to spruce it up a bit this year to make it more functional (and more decorated!).
In case you were wondering where the microwave is, it's housed in a small pantry right next to the desk. We also have a toaster, small appliances, and groceries stored here.
Each basket in the pantry has a different function -- ingredients for dinners, baking supplies, etc. I also have a couple sets of steps that I use to sort spices. I like to buy the glass containers at Target and refill them with loose spices from Penzey's.
So there you go...nothing fancy, but we like it! Honestly, one of my favorite things about this kitchen is a little vent right below the sink. My feet stay cool in the summer and toasty in the winter, which makes it much more pleasant to stand there and do dishes. I also like that we have plenty of natural light due to the well-lit breakfast room adjoining the kitchen. I rarely have the lights on during the day, which is great.
Cabinets: white-painted maple (Mid-Continent)
Countertops: gray granite
Pendant lights: Pottery Barn
Black pendant light in back hallway: IKEA
Drawer pulls and knobs: Pottery Barn
Island: from a local furniture store that has since gone out of business, but a very similar one is available at Napa Style
Cast-iron sink: Kohler
Appliances: Whirlpool Gold series (vent hood, gas stove, dishwasher, French door refrigerator, and microwave)
Small appliances: Cuisinart 12-cup coffee maker, Cuisinart burr grinder, KitchenAid Artisan mixer in "Caviar" finish
Storage containers and baskets: IKEA and Target
Desk chair: IKEA
Floors: hand-scraped oak
Paint color: Sherwin Williams "Misty"
Backsplash: white subway tile (Home Depot or Lowe's)