The Kitchen Post

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Oh boy, where to start, where to start? Alrighty, I will do my best to not be a grumbly old lady, nagging about this and that because honestly, as hard as this project was, I am so thankful for it. I walk in and remember so many miracles that happened and see His hand everywhere – where things just happened to work out or where He provided money at just the right time when we had long run out and I can’t help but smile! We have a space that WORKS and that we love to be in and all is good. He is good. And I am thankful. But for a while there, it was real hard. Long story short, we needed a new kitchen. Rephrase. We needed a working kitchen. She was cute at first glance, but was extremely difficult to cook in, and well, just wasn’t workin for us. Which really just translates to the ever occuring scenario of me face down on the floor crying I HATE IT HERE WE NEED TO MOVE WAAAAAAA every day sort of thing. Let me just show you some tid bits so you can sympathize with me ;)

Ohhhhh aint she cute?! A little cabin kitchen in an old victorian farm house. I’m sure it made sense to someone. It actually smelled all nostalgic and I was so sad that part would be going away but mmmmmm yup. Don’t miss it. Here you are looking at the only cabinets in the entire kitchen, the only counters, and the only time it was ever this clean. This was the week we moved in.

Here we have our one three prong outlet in the entire kitchen. ONE. This small first world problem became quite annoying, quite fast.

Just a little example of how all the things excelled in cleanliness.

Oh hey fridge in the middle of the room. Whose idea was it to put the fridge here? To make half of the only cabinet wall completely inaccessible? I’m confused. Oh wait, there was another outlet behind the fridge. Hence the very very very high microwave.

And then the brick, oh the brick. I actually thought it looked sorta cool the first time I saw it… but it took up a ton of space and again, no counters… cooking without a place to put things is really hard, turns out. And then there were the rats. We saw so many go up the brick and disappear into the vent above. And despite the rodants… brick never feels especially clean, you know? But then especially with the rat poop. That makes it extra fun.

And then the vent was really just a fan… that vented into the attic.

Not to mention if it got smoky, just open the slatted windows that could never fully close. Winters were cold. Our heating bill was high.

But back to this situation. The stove. Oh the stove. Start heating it up when you get home cause it took a full 10 minutes to get hot. You’d be sautéing something and it would just turn off.. but you wouldn’t know because it was electric and you couldn’t tell until all the glowy red had gone away and it was stone cold again. Things would just stop sizzling. Only the back two burners worked and they were so close to the back wall, you couldn’t fit a whole pan on it. Meals had to be timed with expert precision especially if you had to boil water and sauté two different things.

There was a lot of this. So much juggling to try to find a surface that was hot when you needed it and cold when you needed to put something down. Maybe it doesn’t seem that hard but add two screaming babies in and you might begin to see why I was always a crumbled ball of misery by the time Greg got home. Ohhhh little stovetop, I do not miss you.

Luke loved to open these doors incessantly whilst I was barefoot and cooking. Curses.

We got a couple IKEA islands to try to have a bit more counter space and storage. Open shelving on the bottom cabinet is SO much fun with children. My neighbor told me Bentley doesn’t get enough exercise and told me I should get him a treadmill since I clearly don’t have time to walk him. Naturally I figured this was the best place to store it. This is me giving up ;) Anyways, we decided that despite not having all our ducks in a row, we needed to do something about this and fast. So I quickly drew up some plans amidst the ever screaming children (apparently they scream a lot… I remember a lot of screaming) and spent the following months up all night wondering if we would hate it and if we are about to just throw away all our money and so on and so forth. Although I did work in design for three years out of college, embarrassingly, no one that commissioned me on their own had ever actually used my ideas and my goodness when you’re about to spend everything you’ve ever worked for, that gets in your head a lot. Greg was so sweet the whole time, reassuring me it’s just money… if we hate it, we’ll just save up and try again! Whattaguy. Seriously he’s the only sanity in my head. So! I tried to think of it as an opportunity to be my own client and design something for how we wanted to cook and use the space. And ohmygoodness I love it. I’ll go ahead and skip over all the drama that ensued to make it happen and introduce our pretty and oh so very white kitchen that we love so very much :)

One of the big problems in our old kitchen was the opening to enter was so narrow – I knew I didn’t want a full on open kitchen cause I’m still the messiest and also sorta like being alone in the kitchen, cooking away :) It’s my happy place. So we widened the entry which made it feel so much more open and is great for party flow etc. Now you can just walk right through to the backyard and not get in my work zone :D I like to make zones so things are near to where you might need them. How thoughtful of me.

Here’s our baking zone. I love baking here with the kids. The marble is great for rolling out dough and it’s especially cozy on rainy days because the skylight is above :):) plus I wanted to have our every day plates close to the dining room for easy access to setting the table. PLUS guests don’t have to look through a million cabinets to find a glass. See, I thought through these things. THANK GOODNESS we don’t live in earthquake country.

Here’s an example of the Lord helping us out. I wanted a new skylight cause the one we had was all corroded and had that grid pattern on it and anyways, it was ugly. We tried covering it up to see what that was like but it was SO dark. So I ordered a new one that should have only been a few inches bigger but when it arrived, MY GOSH it was huge. Do you see the sandwiched beam above it? That is our deck. It literally could not have been an inch bigger but miraculously, fit perfectly… and when they put it in… it was centered exactly with the open shelving! I LOVE THINGS LIKE THAT. I’m so weird. I know, I know. But little things like that make me inexplicably happy.

So this wall had the sink and a giant unusable closet/ pantry situation on it. Now it’s our baking area, coffee station, and Greg’s bar area on the far left.

I love this because Greg used to be mixing his drinks right where I was cooking, people were getting jammed in the narrow door/ brick/ fridge situation and I would be trying to throw something together AND NOW everything flows so nicely! Zoning man, I’m telling you it helps out a lot.

We started out with an ice maker and a wine fridge here but after so many repair trips for that dang ice maker we ended up with a beverage fridge WHICH I LOVE. So happy about that. Not to mention those ice makers are LOUD. We could hear it from our bedroom. I could go on an on about that stupid ice maker but we’ll leave it with how thankful I am it’s not there anymore :D Our pantry moved to the free standing cabinet which I also love cause it’s narrow so things don’t get lost in the back, I can easily find anything in it, and honestly we tend to buy what we need when we need it so we didn’t need a giant pantry. Plus it adds a little bit of character to a pretty stark space. I really wanted to get an antique cabinet and be all authentic and such but Greg hated the smell of all of them haha and they were pretty short! So I was so happy this one fits pretty perfectly… oh lookie lookie there. I’m tellin ya… this was a hard project but there were so many things like this – things that just happened to work out, that I can’t help but smile and be grateful.

We ended up popping this wall out to line up with the rest of the house which allowed us to have a more cohesive flow and a nice kitchen island. I went back and forth on whether or not we should touch it but in the end, the other layouts were still so funky and not really what we wanted so everything just fell into place when we did this. That door is now our hanging pan wall and where Abbie is standing used to be where you’d exit the kitchen to go onto the patio.

Immediately it felt SO much bigger even though it wasn’t a huge patio… but anyways, my biggest thing was, I spent so much time doing dishes in our old kitchen, looking at a wall… I just wanted to have the sink looking outside. And I LOVE doing dishes now! Honestly, it’s so lovely! AND we have a dishwasher AND trash that’s nearby so you don’t have to drip drip drip all over the floor. These things were huge game changers on the dish doing front.

We had a hanging rack for pots at the first place we lived and I loved it. It’s just so convenient! Plus my parents got me those gorgeous copper ones for my birthday and you can’t just hide those under a bush no no! I thought it would be weird to have it so far from the stove but I honestly don’t notice it at all and love how it looks. Plus it makes me want to keep them semi niceish looking and not in the sink so the wall doesn’t look bare hehe. I need all the incentive I can get.

I clearly wanted to get as far from having a giant fridge in the middle of the room as can be so I stuck it in a wall. It was a nightmare but I love it.

^^When they go to put it in and it’s 2″ too big. No one trusted my measurements. I’m not bitter at all. I’ve almost forgotten how it fell on me twice cause no one believed that it needed to be screwed in. I apparently need to work on my believability.

And here is my dream work zone complete with my stove I have dreamed about since I was five and each thing! I used to sit in my car at work and calculate how long it would take me to save up for it. It was a long time. So I have no idea how it got in my kitchen but it makes my heart sing every time I use it :) I’m a lucky lady.

If I had one critique, believe it or not, I’d say it was too white. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? ME!? I’ve thought about painting the pantry cabinet black or something but then again, I love how airy it feels in there and it gives me an excuse to always go foraging, no matter the season, to find a big bouquet to put on the counter so as to break up alllllll the white. And come on, trend or no trend, if someone is supposed to have white cabinets, it’d probably be me. So I guess I won’t complain :)

Oh little house, we sure do love you. Even if you’re more work than we ever could possibly imagine.

She’s a joy to fix up <3


  1. Hillary!! This is stunning!! We’ve had to part ways with our designer on our house project and well, if you’re ever in business—I’ll be first in line :) And OH MY GOODNESS I can’t believe how you endured in it’s previous state.. Rodents just really swing you right into Saint status. I am so happy for you guys and it’s all the sweeter when you’ve seen it all through (and designed it!). BRAVO!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrea Bowman says

    Oh my goodness!!! That white kitchen is a beauty!!! I love what you’ve done with the outside of the house too!! Everything looks so clean and fresh!! I love watching home reno shows where they take a house that looks like it has absolutely no potential and turn it in to something stunningly beautiful!!


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