photo Whaling-City-Cottage-8-2015_zpsoygeotsf.jpg

kitchen plans {stove wall}

Over the past year, I’ve been obsessively planning our new kitchen, and despite my love of design, this has not been an easy process.  As a House Beautiful devotee and someone who has drooled over kitchens for years, this should be a snap, right?  But somehow, it’s been crazy hard to figure out what I want design-wise and then work that within our budget and layout constraints, which are substantial.  It’s almost been easier to pinpoint what I don’t want the kitchen to be.  Trendy.  Country.  Glam.  Industrial farmhouse.  Modern Farmhouse.  Farmhouse anything.

None of these things are what I’m going for, least of all the dreaded trendy.  I really don’t want to look at this kitchen in a couple years and realize I drank the design element Kool-Aid.  Like I chose elements and finishes just because my brain saw them a million times on Instagram or Pinterest.  There’s a lot of repetition and saturation out there.  If I see another David Hicks pendant paired with brass articulating arm sconces, I may scream.  

What I do want – Clean, Timeless, Elegant, Warm.  And of course, all the kitchens I really love are Beyonce-level spenny.

jill egan interiors

Can’t you picture a chick in Converse frying mozzarella sticks in this kitchen?

paul bates architects

Or a mom who fends off her kids’ repeated snack requests with a stone-face, “Nope.  Beat it.”

That’s the classy broad this kitchen was made for – ME!

source unknown

ruard veltman

source unknown

steven gambrel

Let’s ignore the fact that most of these kitchens have gas ranges that cost as much a car….there’s a lot to learn and take away from these spaces.

Minimalist range hoods.
No upper cabinets.
Understated lighting.

We had planned to keep the stove where it is, on this wall.

But this weekend after doing some probing in the ceiling, we realized the floor joists above don’t run in the direction we thought (!!!), so in order to externally vent the hood….the stove has to move to this wall.

The radiator isn’t going anywhere so there will be around a 10″ gap between the end of the cabinets and the radiator….and I’ve made peace with that.

My plan is to keep it simple here – just the range hood, sconces flanking it and tile going up to the ceiling.

BUT the big question is…..should I do a white range hood or black?

I’m worried that black will be too trendy but I also like how it pops and creates a focal point on this wall.

In the right context, the black could be amazing, like this gorgeous kitchen by Katrina Porter.

katrina porter

What do you guys think?  Can I pull off the black?  Do I dare?  It’s only paint after all, so I could change it down the line if it’s feeling too in your face and trendy.  I’d love to hear your opinion!

More to come in another post about the lighting worm holes I’ve fallen down recently.


a totally gorgeous teal kitchen

Okay, technically it’s a restaurant/bar but look at this beauty.  This is Dame in Portland, Oregon.

It’s probably my affinity for historical homes but I love dark, rich colors in a room.  The other day I was leafing through Food and Wine magazine (my sister-in-law gets us magazine subscriptions for Christmas and it’s awesome) and a feature about the restaurant/bar Dame stopped me in my tracks.

Dark teal paneling, brass, marble, touches of black, quirky art.  They’ve put a modern twist on it but it’s also classic and Downton Abbey-like.

Dahlias for life!

Normally when I hear “teal kitchen” I think of early 2000’s turquoise sickly-sweet awfulness.  It’s country.  And you look country in it.  (Name that movie).  But this take on teal I can get behind.

Brass mesh cabinet inserts too.  Oh yes.


It reminds me of this deVOL kitchen

I love the sense of history and coziness you get from dark colors.  Here’s another great example of dark but lively.  I don’t know where this joint is – if it’s a restaurant or hotel or what – but the dining room is seriously gorgeous.  Old-school and masculine but the acid green curtains and striped dhurrie rug keep it from being too staid.


When we renovate our 1950’s kitchen, I’ll probably stick with white cabinets but the dark side is calling to me.


painting our kitchen cabinets

Huh?  You may be saying to yourself.  I thought you guys decided to go with Ikea cabinets.  Well….there are HUGE potential changes afoot around here.

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our kitchen remodel inspiration

I’m trying to hone my vision for our kitchen remodel….



 Sources can be found HERE 

 What you don’t see above are black windows, painted horizontal plank backsplash and our gray Tabouret stools from Overstock.  I’m also debating whether to do laminate marble on the island or dark stained butcher block.

The exact color of the wall and backsplash are still up for debate but I’m pretty set on Sherwin Williams Rosemary for the island.  And the Ballard Design Piedmont lantern over the island is a must!!!

Recall that this is essentially what we’re starting with….


We’ve since added the open shelving between the windows, which I love!!!  That will stay, for sure.  I tend to change my mind a lot about design details but I think we’re on the right track with plans for the kitchen.  It’s warm and inviting, yet still classic and sophisticated.  It’s been very challenging to balance my expensive taste with what’s appropriate for our neighborhood.  Trying to be smart about things, where to splurge and save.  And yes, a $250 pendant is a splurge to me.

What do you guys think?  Any ideas, tips or pointers?




{reveal} open shelving in kitchen

This is a slightly bizarre unveiling because everything in this room will change during our kitchen renovation this fall….except the shelves and brackets.  Nothing like adding finishing touches before we even get started but this little project couldn’t wait.


The former orange behemoth housed our everyday dishes and I’d reached my limit with opening the doors a bazillion times a day.

IMG_8451(this picture is a few years old)

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DIY reclaimed wood

Nestled between two windows in our kitchen is a cabinet.  That is my nemesis.  It houses all our everyday dishes and there is no freaking reason I should have to open those cupboard doors 50 times a day.  Clearly this area is screaming for open shelving.  That’s the plan when we renovate our kitchen this fall….but I can’t wait that long.  Before I Hulk out and rip that cabinet off the wall, I’m pulling the trigger early on the shelves.

I wanted thick shelves with the look of rustic reclaimed wood and iron brackets.  Like these.


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{kitchen renovation} laminate counters. seriously.

In a perfect world, we’d install dreamy soapstone or engineered stone for the perimeter counters in our new kitchen.  But unless there’s a stash of Union paper money or a priceless ship captain’s painting hidden in my house somewhere, it ain’t gonna happen.

The lovely soapstone in Joan’s kitchen is a huge inspiration.  It is so choice.

for love of a house

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ikea kitchen round-up

In the process of deciding on Ikea cabinets for our new kitchen, I’ve looked at a lot of kitchens online that used them.  Those of us wandering the design blogosphere know that Ikea cabinets are a great base for a unique, beautiful and high-quality kitchen.  The 11 examples below show how a little personality and customization can turn basic into gorgeous.

The Ikea kitchen file in my head was getting cluttered, so I decided to consolidate those bad boys.

 1. Country Living

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organizing our grocery list and menu

Being organized isn’t easy in our not-yet-renovated kitchen.  Pantry items are in four different places, our fridge is a tiny cave and our cabinet storage is lacking.  Given how much I cook and how much food we go through in this house, one of the main things tripping me up is keeping track of food.  What we have, what we need, what meals are we making this week.

I need some list action close to the fridge, so all the old pictures got cleared off the freezer door and I added a cut-in-half chalkboard decal from Michaels, a magnet list for groceries and a cute holder for pens and chalk markers.  Much better….

No cute styling here.  This is what it looked like after grocery shopping this evening.  Random Tegu magnet blocks up there too.






for the love of stoves….and a major craigslist find

I’m a simple girl.  I own almost no jewelry, don’t have a shoe fetish, and still dress like a tomboy.  A summer wardrobe of skirts and Birkenstock Gizeh probably doesn’t count as high style.  However put a bad ass stove in front of me and I’ll start petting it.  Come to mama.

Pretty kitchen +  commercial stove…..we will be together someday.  Oh yes.  We will.


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