Welcome to my favorite communal space in our house. It's likely most of my brainpower went into designing this kitchen. And why not? The kitchen is not just for cooking anymore. It's a place for sharing meals, entertaining, where school projects will be done. Let's face it: No matter how comfortable your family room may be, it's just a fact of life that people are going to loiter around food. With all that loitering, the kitchen space better be both comfortable and functional so that the host can reach and grab and cook and clean without too much trouble. Oh, and it's also the space you can most show off your taste. Where else in the house, after all, are you going to find so many light and plumbing fixtures? Or spaces to display dinnerware? Kitchens have character. Let me introduce you to ours ...
I'll be honest: It feels silly rattling through these "house tour" posts, because I'm no designer. As I've said, I just like what I like, throw it together, and say a prayer it all melds. Inspired by the look? Bare with me as I ramble through my sources:
For our cabinets, we used the semi-custom line by Shiloh Cabinetry. I was lucky here--a good friend of mine is a designer (um, a really, really good one) and she gave me the name of one of her favorite cabinet people. For countertops, I have had a longgggggg lust for cement. Cement is less fussy than marble and costs about as much as medium-grade granite. You can customize the exact color, too, and how porous you'd like it to look. Plus, I think cement brings real warmth into a space. No better place to bring warmth to than in the kitchen, in my opinion. We used Concrete Jungle Countertops (how to forget that name!), and the owner is a total genius. We've been very pleased.
For a minute, I almost chose brass fixtures for their uppity moodiness, but then the schoolhouse lights I'd been eyeing went on mega sale at Restoration Hardware. Too good to pass up. So to help tie-in the oil rubbed bronze lighting, I chose black grout against our white glazed subway tile--a trend that shows no signs of flagging, and the dark outline gives the tile a graphic punch. (Bonus: Black grout is easier to clean. Score.) Open shelving gave space to store food and show off select pottery. I had purchased the mason-jar inspired containers and the chalkboard canisters from Crate & Barrel during one of my manic fits when I was pregnant with Cecile. And for one final European-inspired pop, the windows are painted in a reverse trim--a color I intended to compliment, but not perfectly match, our kitchen island. Understated satin nickel hardware and plumbing fixtures rounded out the look.
^^A Shaw's Original apron sink and traditional faucet were always part of my plan.^^
^^Bananas, on the butcher block island awaiting my Cecile. Oh, and in the background, the buffet scored on Craigslist that is usually a total flippin' mess ;) ;)^^
I think it's the little things--collected over time--that really make a space. Take the story behind our Old Try print, or the plate my dad and I stole from Glacier Brewhouse in Alaska, following too many local amber ales (oops; thanks, Dad ;)). Then there's my silly "peche melba" cartoon, found for a whopping $10 with my mother-in-law over one of our Kiawah trips.
Voila! So there you have it. If you're curious about any of our appliances, et al, leave a note in the comments and I'm happy to bore you with more details ;)