It's been a long time coming, but finally, I'm ready to write a proper post about our kitchen remodel. Like any good story, we'll start from the beginning.
In the summer of 2017, we were knee-deep in renovations of our North Salem, NY home. We overhauled the kitchen, upstairs bathroom, added a shower to the downstairs bathroom, and replaced windows and doors throughout the house.
The design for the kitchen was straightforward because, in my mind, there was one layout and one layout only, a process that could take months to figure out in another kitchen. Reluctantly, I share the very first kitchen post. I produced a cringe-worthy video (the sound quality is terrible, and I'm dressed like a flamenco dancer); however, it is very informative.
LAYOUT CHANGES IN BRIEF (if facing the kitchen):
keep the sink in the same position
move the dishwasher to the right side of the sink
add a larger bank of windows centered on the sink
change the back door to a french door.
move the refrigerator to the right wall
eliminate the existing window
center the range
add windows on either side of the hood
Close up the doorway to the library (technically the dining room)
Add upper and lower cabinets
Reposition the refrigerator
deVOL Kitchens and Plain English majorly influenced the design direction of the kitchen. At the time, their modern take on old European style seemed incredibly fresh and it still does! I quickly decided on inset cabinetry with little feet, accented with bin pulls and petite knobs. Zellige tiles were also a novelty, and I was determined to use them for the backsplash. With those elements decided, the rest of the decisions were easier to make.
Q: So if the design was so easy, why did it take you 2.5 years to write a blog post? A: I had to find everything else!
A CHRONOLOGY OF MY COLLECTED KITCHEN:
The first significant purchases were the appliances, which I bought from a local vendor in Pound Ridge, NY. They had THE RANGE on display, and I instantly fell in love. The feeling hasn't faded from both a design and function standpoint.
I decided on a stainless steel DISHWASHER. There may be questions as to why there isn't a cabinet face on it. The short of a very long story is we had a panel ready dishwasher in our East Village apartment. It broke, and it took two years to fix. In that time, six Bosch technicians visited our minuscule kitchen. Several wrong parts were ordered, and many butt cracks were seen. When the issue was finally resolved, we moved. My husband's one request was never to have to deal with that situation again. I conceded.
The REFRIGERATOR is a beautiful machine. It is non plumbed, meaning we have to fill a tank with filtered water to make ice. This was the ideal option for us as we're on a well, and I don't like the idea of unfiltered ice cubes.
The least exciting appliance purchase was the 21" HOOD INSERT. When it's on full blast, it is very loud, but it does an impressive job clearing a smokey meal. On low speed, it isn't too noisy.
The KITCHEN CABINETS are custom and painted THIS SHADE OF GRAY. However, I almost went with semi-custom cabinets from CliqStudios in color Urban Stone (a nearly identical color). Because of the cabinet color choice, in combination with the stainless steel appliances, I decided to use 4" polished nickel BIN PULLS, and CABINET KNOBS.
As for the interiors, some of the drawers are fitted with IKEA ORGANIZERS which just happened to fit perfectly. I use these LID ORGANIZER to keep the pot drawer tidy. We also added PULL OUT ORGANIZERS in both blind corners to maximize the space.
THE COUNTERTOPS are quartz. They've held up great and are very "realistic" looking. However, I'm still very careful with Turmeric.
THE BACKSPLASH is my favorite finish in the kitchen. It has an iridescent quality, that changes throughout the day. Although it doesn't look it, the backsplash is lightly grouted. Zellige tiles have four raw edges with no bullnose option. My dad capped the tile with a piece of wood trim, which we painted to match the cabinets. In hindsight, I probably would have tiled the entire wall. However, when I asked to make that change, the hood was already installed, and it would have been a very difficult process.
I fantasized about the idea of a touch-less kitchen FAUCET; the thought of quickly being able to clean up icky chicken hands was very enticing. I do love it, but I should have done it the old fashion way, with a pedal, DUH! Now, I wave my hand over any and every kitchen faucet like a robot. One day, I may change it to a traditional bridge tap.
The SINK is our second of this brand, and I have no complaints. It's deep, streamlined, and on the mid to lower price range of stainless steel options. I did consider a farmhouse sink, but I didn't like the idea of a white apron being next to the stainless steel dishwasher.
At the time, all of the health bloggers were talking about this WATER FILTER. I was influenced and splurged on our most used kitchen tool. It's a large piece, but I love the way it looks and how well it functions. I cannot recommend it enough.
THE KITCHEN TABLE was the first furniture item purchased. I had been searching for months while renovations were underway, but I couldn't find one. My husband said, "how hard could it be to find a farm table?" He proceeded to go on Craigslist and found it within 30 seconds.
Soon after, we found THE DINING CHAIRS from a dealer in Connecticut. Some may think they were a bit of a splurge (I think I paid $1800 - $2000 for six), but vintage Eames chairs retain their value, unlike new chairs retailing for the same price.
Next up came the HUTCH. I found it at Brimfield Antique Flea Market. It's Swedish from the dealer Lone Ranger Antiques. He travels to the big shows (Brimfield & Round Top), so look him up!
We found The MANTEL at an antique shop. I stripped it; the arduous process is something I wish not to repeat. The brick fireplace got a mini makeover by lightening it with classroom chalk. I prefer it to the old red brick, but I'm not sure it will stay this way! The WOOD CHAIRS and ART over the mantel were found at an estate sale.
IN 2018 THE KITCHEN STARTED TO FILL OUT...
We added the RUG by the range from my good friends at Old New House. The RUNNER on the side of the dining table was an auction find, and the large DOORMAT is a cult favorite of those who have seasons and dirty dogs.
I LIMEWASHED the walls. At first glance, you might suspect it is just regular paint, but on closer inspection, you'll see subtle variation that has a chalky hand feel.
After being crippled by indecision about the LIGHT for over the dining table, My endlessly talented mother took matters into her own hands and made one! She knit the shade, and my dad built the frame. Finally, the kitchen felt whole.
Later that year, I found the CUTTING BOARDS at Brimfield.
I struggled to style the range hood, it felt empty and imposing, and I hesitated to affix anything permanent to it. After much deliberation, I finally installed the COPPER RAIL. All of the copper pots hanging from the rail were collected over time.
At the end of 2019 is when the breakthrough happened. I spotted the ANTIQUE WINE BOTTLE CABINET at an auction in Texas. I had been looking for a piece to put in that place since we "finished" the kitchen, but never imagined I would find something so perfect.
For Christmas, my parents bought me the WHITE VASE holding the branches. If I missed decor, I'm sure the answer is: I found it at auction, a flea market, or a thrift store. Although most everything available for purchased is linked in this post, there is a SHOP THE KITCHEN page where you can quickly find everything at a glance.
Over 2.5 years, I was able to design and curate the kitchen of my dreams. Is it done? Ha! We can always improve! The floors need to be refinished, the lighting could be updated, the ceiling needs a coat of paint...
Often the slow pace of design goes unrecognized. Interesting design takes time. Don't be pressured to rush. Be patient, be selective, because when the right thing comes along, you'll know.