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Friday, August 16, 2013

Home Tour - Kitchen

Welcome back to our home tour.
Today we're going to spend time in The Kitchen.

Truth be told, I had a lot of help with this space.
I gave a list of things to include to our architect and hand-drawn pictures to the carpenter.
For example:
I knew I wanted white Shaker style cabinetry with stubby feet
Black Bull Pin pulls and simple knobs
Storage with drawers and pull out shelves
Walk in pantry
A brick wall.

The basic plan was drawn out and then both the architect and carpenter did a bit of tweaking.
 For instance, as to the exact placement of drawers and cabinets,
that was my carpenter. The bank of counter-tops, that was my architect.
By this stage of the game, I was completely worn out.
Luckily, they were both visionaries, the carpenter, a true craftsman.
Thankfully as things have turned out, 
everything is very handy, easily accessible, and very user friendly.

I did do quite a bit of research on counter-tops.
Granite was the first choice because of budgetary reasons.
But I just couldn't find one that I liked and
couldn't force myself to pick one.
We really liked the look of white marble, but it was
obviously out (due to price and maintenance.)
So the search was on for a marble look alike...
it had to be easy care and budget friendly.

In my research, I stumbled upon the blog, 7th House on the Left.
Greg and Ashley are the cutest couple. You have to go over and visit,
you'll be hooked, I promise.
I wanted to sing their praises because it was this post that sealed the deal for me.
Cambria Torquay
It's quartz. 
I knew right when I saw it,
it was love at first sight.

I contacted my counter-top guy and when he brought over a sample, I was sold.
I truly haven't looked back since.
I love it and would highly recommend it.

Now this shot is about the faucet.
I do not like it, I would not recommend it.
(I do not like green eggs and ham!)
...Sorry the elementary teacher in me just popped out!...
The sprayer is great, heavy duty, pretty and does a great job.
the faucet handles need constant attention.
Sometimes they fall apart or actually fall off.
there are always water spots on the base 
(unless I constantly clean it with Bartenders Friend - which isn't realistic.)
So, my best advice is to go ahead and spend the money for a quality fixture that is considered "spotless." 
I had one in my former kitchen, purchased it at Home Depot and it was perfect.
Pretty, sturdy, spotless.

Now let's talk about the brick.
I knew I wanted an interior brick wall in the house somewhere. 
(We put in three.)
These were placed to give the impression that the house was an old home...with rooms added.
That was exactly what I was looking for, I just didn't know how to verbalize it until my architect suggested various placements.
As it turned out, we're really enjoying them. 
They are one of the things people comment on the most,
they make things feel warm, comfy, and welcoming.
That's what this house is all about, we want people to feel welcome, to feel at home.

This brick is the same as the exterior brick with 
 white mortar and wide seams.
We wanted the look of "Old Chicago" brick without the price.
This did it. 
It's new brick, but tumbled, it's called "Lafayette Blend" by Texas Brick. 
The masons smeared mortar to give it a messy, old look,
just what I envisioned.

My husband is really the chef of the house.
He wanted an industrial gas stove with bells and whistles.
Well, after checking around and doing a ton of research, 
this one beat all the "fancy" brands in price and performance.
I've never cooked with gas before, but I like it better than cooking with electric.

Back to cabinetry,
I wanted to give you a few shots of the drawers.

I would highly recommend pull out drawers, 
it sure beats the heck out of fumbling around inside dark cabinets.
Everything is easily accessible.

Now, don't let all those cabinets fool you. 
They are all not filled.
Here's an example.

Each upper cabinet has three shelves but only two are filled.
Really...all the way around.
And those top upper cabinets? Yep...
all empty.
The carpenter felt that aesthetically the top upper cabinets needed to be there because of two reasons:
1 - if the doors were extended all the way to the ceiling, they would be way too tall and awkward
2 - having blank space above the upper cabinets would just accumulate dust and basically be wasted space.
I was sold, sounded good to me.
Plus, I like knowing that I have the extra space if I should ever need it.
Who knows?

We put in one open cabinet with a dish rack.
I've always loved dish racks, even though I know they can be dust traps.
I kept telling my mother that my house would not have any dust. 
So far, it's not so bad...and having some of my favorite dishes displayed for easily access is worth the price of a little extra vacuuming.

(You can tell we really use this rack...several dishes were used last night for dinner!)

And the open space...
I think it will be fun decorating each season.

The pantry is a walk-in and multifunctional.
On the far back wall are the food items.
Things are in basic categories...
it's not super organized like I've seen around, but for now, it's working.
On either side is a place to display items for tablescapes.
My sister says that if you can't see it, you won't use it.
Those words were the motivation for this space.
So far, so good.

That's all the main features of our space but there is one last thing: lighting.
There are spots, island lighting, and under-cabinet lighting. 
In this shot the under-cabinet lights are not on.
There is a lot of light but not for actual task lighting.

The shot below is basically the same as the very first, however in this pic, 
the under-cabinet lighting is turned on.
In my last house, I didn't have much lighting...I was constantly working in the dark.
However, in this kitchen, the work-space is very well lit.
It's a great working space.

Just a few things:
That banner is for my son who just returned from a summer internship abroad.
We were so happy to have him back home safe and sound.

Secondly, if you've been following the ongoing saga of camera experimentation, this entire post was shot with the camera on "auto".
I don't like these pictures as well as when it's on "manual."
"Manual" means I have to do all the thinking...
And finally,
this shot below was taken the night before I took the main post pics.
It's overexposed but I really like way the architectural details pop.

Thanks so much for dropping by and following our tour.
Up next:  The Laundry Room.


  1. Sharlotte,
    What a great description. It's easy to see that a VERY GREAT DEAL of T H O U G H T has gone into the planning of your kitchen. One common thread I see throughout your "home tour" posts is how significant blogging has been for you. You have received so much inspiration from such beautiful blogs out there in Blogland. How awesome! And now, I'm sure many other bloggers out there are finding inspiration right here on Sharlotte's Reflections.

    By the way, I peeked over into your shop and you really have some cute items over there. I'll be emailing you to get more details on a couple of things I have my eye on!

  2. My favorite room!!!! OK, I know I keep saying that, but this time I really mean it. I love every single inch of this (OK, except the faucet but that's only because you don't like it so I'm trusting you.) It is really, really gorgeous to me, and I've pinned it for inspiration.

  3. I just love your kitchen! The brick is beautiful! I have always said if I ever move, which I don't expect to, there will be a brick wall somewhere! I am also jealous of your bar stools! There are on my list but there is plenty of things before them! I use the wire racks in my cabinets, too! It almost doubles the space, even though at this point you don't seem to need it with all that empty space!! Blessings, Tammy

  4. Beautiful! Everybody wants a great kitchen and you definitely have it. The brick wall is just the topping on the cake. :)


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