The Kitchen Reveal

Folks, I've been scolded for not posting for 11 days, so I've decided it's time for a big one: the kitchen reveal!

As anyone who crosses paths with me daily knows, this kitchen is the project that has occupied every spare minute (and more) of my summer and fall. In July, we left home for two weeks and kissed goodbye to this:

Kitchen before the renovation

Everything in the room went: the chalkboard wall, the IKEA wood countertops, the cheapo Home Depot cabinetry that was falling apart by the day, the Craigslist fridge with the icemaker that leaked all over the floor. Here it was after demolition.

Gutted kitchen

We hoped it would end up looking like this:

 My kitchen moodboard.

My kitchen moodboard.

After months cooking in a temporary kitchen, weekends juggling toddlers and painting (which my husband graciously took on, as our budget was stretched to the max), and much cleanup, I'm giddy to finally call this place ours:

Self Styled - Kitchen Reveal

For cabinetry, we went with a shade I'll call putty—it's not grey, not white, not beige, not even greige. It changes with the light. The cabinetmaker, Candlelight, calls it Flagstone. I call it classic without being boring. The hardware, in a satin rose gold finish, is by Hickory Hardware

My favorite piece in the whole kitchen, besides our Capital Culinarian range, has to be the Vent-a-Hood range hood, a custom order. It was ungodly expensive. But it's a centerpiece, so we economized elsewhere, and and I'm so glad we did.

 The fridge has a Sodastream built in. Bubblicious!

The fridge has a Sodastream built in. Bubblicious!

We chose white Imperial Danby marble for the countertops, because it reminds us of our favorite brasseries. I love how it looks with the Thonet chairs—they were so worth the wait.

Thonet counter stools

Behind the chairs, on the opposite wall from the range, you'll find our cabinet wall with in-cabinet lighting and seeded-glass panels on the topmost doors. 

 We still have to fix a few of the installation dings, and the door is actually going to be replaced AGAIN in a few weeks because the manufacturer flubbed up the design. But you get the picture. 

We still have to fix a few of the installation dings, and the door is actually going to be replaced AGAIN in a few weeks because the manufacturer flubbed up the design. But you get the picture. 

The wall also includes two appliance garages, whose doors lift up and slide into the cabinets. One of these appliance garages is where we hide the microwave, because I hate looking at microwaves. The other one, to the left, houses a toaster and coffeemaker.

 Outlets, marble countertops, and in-cabinet lighting make these stations easy to use.

Outlets, marble countertops, and in-cabinet lighting make these stations easy to use.

Because our kitchen is big but not HUGE, I wanted to preserve some sense of openness and not cover every wall with upper cabinets. I liked the look of some French train-style shelves from RH, but not the price tag or finish. After mulling some options at Anthropologie, I ended up getting some cast-iron brackets from House of Antique Hardware and had Dave craft wooden shelves to go on top. We finished the open shelves in Benjamin Moore paint, color-matched to the cabinetry. 

 Crap, I just noticed the paint smudge on one of the brackets. Don't worry, I just ran over there and picked it off with my fingernail. #quickfix

Crap, I just noticed the paint smudge on one of the brackets. Don't worry, I just ran over there and picked it off with my fingernail. #quickfix

As an added detail, we put the same brackets underneath the island. 

Brackets under kitchen island

The sink is amazing. Ever since Dave was the designated dish washer at his college fraternity house, he's wanted a restaurant-style faucet sprayer, so we finally got one. The super-deep, squared-off sink was for both of us—we put a similar one in our previous home and loved that you can leave a few dirty pots in there and there and not have to look at them from across the kitchen.

 The garbage disposal in here has bone-saw strength. Don't ask me why this was necessary, but Dave believes it was.

The garbage disposal in here has bone-saw strength. Don't ask me why this was necessary, but Dave believes it was.

Because we wanted the sink in front of the window but didn't want to shorten the opening and create an asymmetry on the exterior, we came up with the idea of putting an herb garden in the trench between the sink and the glass. It's super-convenient, both for cooking and because I never forget to water the herbs. Right now the cedar planter box (built by Dave) is propped up a bit higher than I'd like, so eventually I'll nest it down deeper so it doesn't block as much sunlight. 

 The windows also still need to be painted a high-gloss black. In due time...

The windows also still need to be painted a high-gloss black. In due time...

Above the sink, you'll find my Frankenpendant. I loved the look of the luxe Sorenson pendant from Remains Lighting, so I created something similar by combining the Hood pendant and a caged globe shade from Rejuvenation. 

 A little exposed-filament action. Rawr.

A little exposed-filament action. Rawr.

Now, the details. Functionality was key, so we incorporated lots of organizational solutions into our cabinetry, like cutting-board dividers, roll-out pantry shelves, and a spice rack for the upper cabinet nearest the stove. There's also a little tip-out compartment in each sink cabinet, where you can put sponges and the drain plug.

Cutting board cabinet
Roll-out pantry shelves
 We call this cabinet "Flavor Town."

We call this cabinet "Flavor Town."

Sponge compartment

When we need extra light for meal prep, we can flip on the undercabinet lighting.

Undercabinet lighting

We designated a little bottom drawer for kids' dishes, so they can help set the table. It's really close to the adjacent dining room. 

Kids drawer

Dave is pretty obsessed with crown moldings, so we tied the crown and cove moldings into the cabinetry, combining several pieces so it's nearly identical to what you'll find on the rest of the first floor. While the original moldings in our house are plaster, we did these in wood and painted them a superflat white, which gives them the same chalky look as the plaster ones.

 Moldings for days. (And for Dave.)

Moldings for days. (And for Dave.)

Finally, it wouldn't be our kitchen without a place of honor for this pic, which we bought from a random sidewalk vendor when visiting my parents in Naples, Italy, where they lived for several years. I believe the actor's name is Toto, and he was kind of a big deal. 

 You can never have too much spaghetti.

You can never have too much spaghetti.

I think that's most of it... What do you think? What detail do you like best, and what would drive you nuts about this design?