Even if we had found a turn-key house, I still would have had to remodel the kitchen. This is why I love homes that have had one owner, and haven’t changed in 40 years. Making updates and adjustments feels like progress, rather than undoing someone’s taste level that doesn’t jive with your own. For Craig and my new home, the kitchen was my main focus for obvious reasons. It’s my key work space and a shooting location. It has to be functional, but it also has to be camera ready. It’s quite a needle to thread.
So where to begin? Well, first was the layout of the kitchen. Our house is a classic mid century home, single story, and sort of reminiscent of the Brady Bunch House (I can’t wait to share the rest with you guys!), but mid century doesn’t always mean Palm Springs modern. I’ve noticed it usually means “Why have one room when it could be two?!” And our home had this odd knuckle of small rooms surrounding the kitchen. So, we blew the walls out and created a more streamlined space. Instead of a kitchen, maid’s quarters, laundry room, pantry, and full bathroom, we have a large kitchen, a prep kitchen/laundry room, and a small 1/2 bathroom. The prep kitchen has been a dream of mine for a while, and having the extra space for a food stylist to work is amazing, even if it’s just a small galley situation.
I’m big on maximizing in the places that matter, and minimizing cost everywhere else. So I started getting ideas for what kind of space I wanted my kitchen to be.
Here was the plan:
1. Stick to the white kitchen format. I loved this for resale possibilities for the house, but also for the kitchen as a production space. It means I can give the whole kitchen a new look just by changing the propping, rather than having to change any of the core elements. Also, it means I can use Ikea cabinets, which really helped the budget.
2. Closing the floor plan. After living in a very open floor plan, I knew I wanted the kitchen to have some privacy. I’m a very messy cook, and having to keep the kitchen perfect was a constant burden. I wanted to be able to hide a sink full of dishes if company came over.
3. Gold. Duh! You guys know I love my gold accessories!
4. Nice Appliances. It’s time for me to have professional level appliances, now that I’m cooking and shooting in my kitchen practically every day. I definitely beat mine up, so I need something that can handle constant use, but still look camera ready.
5. Open shelving. Glass cabinets not only reflect into camera, but the objects inside lose light, so I figured it was time to try this airy look.
6. Cool tile. Backsplashes are a super small amount of real estate, so it’s fun to go for a bigger impact here.
7. Propping. I wanted to go more California canyon vibes, so I switched out my kitchy, vintage pieces for my favorite ceramic ones.
8. A space for my vintage cookbook collection. I’ve been squirreling them around the house and need a consistent spot for these beauties.
Here’s how the kitchen finally came together.
Appliances: Frigidaire provided me with appliances from their Professional Collection and I couldn’t be more thrilled with them! The stainless steel appliances really pop against all of the white and the sleek modern look of the Professional line is so pretty in the space. Also, each appliance has unique features that I love, like Smudge-Proof Stainless Steel on the fridge or “no preheat” on the oven. Regarding the oven, I realized I didn’t have any wall space for one, and was sort of freaking out. I obviously need an oven! I went searching on Pinterest and saw a few images of ovens in the kitchen island and immediately locked in on it. Such a good fix! The kitchen island is also home to my powerful gas cooktop, and I couldn’t be happier having all of the appliances I use most, front and center in my new kitchen.
Countertop: Simple Caesarstone. It’s durable, pretty, and has a very modern look. Love it!
Tile: Ann Sacks usually scares me off with their prices, but the Dessiner line was not only reasonable, but really pretty as well. I love the mix and match look, and each tile appears to be hand painted. Plus, the color palette was a lovely gray-blue, which meant it would look soft, but not boring. I’m really, really digging them.
Cabinets: Ikea Veddinge cabinets were perfect. Great price and a clean, unfussy look.
Hardware: I freaked out over LuxHoldups lucite and gold pulls, and thought they’d be great in a kitchen, especially one with a mid century vibe. I loved these so much I ended up using them all over my house.
Lighting: Because of shooting I never get to have fun pendants over the island, but I wanted something to center the room. I’ve been a Rejuvenation obsessor for years now, and reached out to them about partnering on the lights in my home. I ended up purchasing all of my hardware, most of my rugs, and all kinds of things from them, they just have the best aesthetic. We ended up creating a breakfast nook in the back of the kitchen, and I loved the clean lines of the Butte Dome pendant. It comes in a variety of colors and finishes, but I thought the white would go perfectly in my kitchen.
Furniture: Thanks Grandma! Craig’s grandma Margaret moved recently and let us pick out some of our favorite pieces from her home. It was so generous, but the most surprising thing was how perfectly her pieces suited our new space. I think like 10% of our furniture is thanks to Grandma DePriester. In the kitchen we used her former dining room table and I had her dining chairs reupholstered by Leija Designs. I love the mid century look of the gray fabric and it’s SUPER soft.
Ceramics: I filled my shelves with my favorite standbys like Heath and vintage pieces I had collected over the years, but I was so excited to put my friend Desa’s ceramics on display. Her line, Lux Eros, is so beautiful. Each piece is hand made and I love her muted color palette with unexpected pops of gold.
Well I hope you guys enjoyed a look into my new kitchen! I can’t wait to share the rest of the house with you.