This kitchen reveal is the most exciting room reveal I’ve ever shared. This room is 100% me. Buckle up for a bunch of pretty pictures. Our new kitchen is very photogenic.
Our kitchen is a u-shape wrapping around a large island. The cabinet layout is not symmetrical but it’s balanced.
- The fridge on the left balances the microwave and stove on the right.
- The kitchen sink is centered on the range, even though the sink is off-center in the island.
- The pendant lights and the skylights are centered off the range and hood.
The kitchen feels very symmetrical, which I love.
Throughout the build process, symmetry and straight lines were my guide. I was constantly asking the builder to center things and to line things up. I was a pain-in-the-you-know-what about it but it paid off big time.
The space under the island for stools is only 72″ wide. To fit three stools without overcrowding I chose these simple white metal stools. Our island overhang is really deep so the stools tuck in all the way, which keeps the whole space more open.
We added a matching stool at the desk. I love how that one almost disappears against the white desk. And it tucks completely out of the way and doesn’t block the walkway.
On the right side of the island, we have a door to the pantry, the microwave stacked on top of the oven, and a desk area.
As soon as I get the pantry organized, I’ll give you a tour—the pantry is huge. There are so many shelves in there, I’m not sure what to do with it yet. But there will be shelf labels :)
We customized the desk area. The builder’s design included more standard lower and upper cabinets. I knew we didn’t need all that extra storage (especially with the huge pantry) but we did need a home for my computer.
Also, the desk is the first part of the kitchen you see when you walk into the house. I didn’t want just a wall of cabinets there.
We asked the builder to remove the lower cabinets and replace them with one narrower bank of drawers. To accommodate the computer, which would not fit under standard upper cabinets, we had them shorten the upper cabinets and push them up. To keep things consistent, we designed them to line up with the cabinets over the microwave.
We added an additional outlet below the desk, and had a hole drilled in the counter for routing cords. There is also a CAT-5E drop below the desk for those times when the wireless is acting up. Above the desktop, there are additional outlets and USB charging outlets for devices.
To make the desk area feel special and separate from the kitchen, we did NOT install backsplash tiles or undercabinet lighting in this area. Instead, we had the builder add two junction boxes for sconces. We purchased the sconces ourselves and installed them after closing. More on the kitchen lighting below.
I also wanted to skip the backsplash here so I could do a different wall treatment behind the computer. I just haven’t landed on the right idea yet. I’m taking suggestions in the comments below.
Now when you walk into the main living area and get that first glimpse of the kitchen, your eyes land on this cute desk area.
Counter-Depth Fridge and Coffee Station
On the left side of the island, is the fridge and our coffee making station.
Because the fridge is in the walkway, we chose a counter-depth fridge. It fits neatly in the cabinet and only sticks out a few inches vs. the 8-9 inches a standard-depth fridge would protrude.
In our last house, the fridge was in a similar location and we started out with a standard fridge. Later we splurged on a counter-depth fridge and it was the best update we made in our old kitchen.
Lesson Learned: It didn’t occur to me until after we moved in, but we should have asked the builder to make a deeper opening for a standard fridge. Behind this wall is the master closet. We could have stolen some space from the closet to accommodate a deeper fridge but still get the counter-depth look.
Tucked in the counter space next to the fridge is our coffee making station. My husband loves to make a pour-over in the morning. For my afternoon coffee, I use an Aeropress.
The white electric tea kettle was our first purchase for the new kitchen. It’s so sleek, and it has a narrow spout perfect for slow pours.
All the mugs, coffee filters, coffee, tea, and stevia are in the cupboards in this corner.
In that drawer right below the tea kettle is a stash of aqua bar mop towels, in case we spill coffee. There’s also an oven mitt in there for grabbing stuff out of the toaster oven.
Custom Midcentury Style Light Fixtures
Maybe you noticed that my KitchenAid convection oven matches the light fixtures. No, our lights were not made by KitchenAid. No, we didn’t just stumble on matching lights.
We actually had the light fixtures custom-matched to our front door color, which happens to be very close to the KitchenAid color.
The pendant lights and sconces, by Dutton Brown, are powder-coated. They offer a range of fun colors but they didn’t have a turquoise. I upgraded to choose a custom powder-coat color. I was able to order samples from a few powder-coat suppliers Dutton Brown recommended.
While none of the samples was an exact match, we love the finished result. The final color is just a touch greener than our front door color, but since they’re not right next to each other it reads like the same color.
Because our ceilings are 12 feet, we needed the total height of the pendant lights, globe and rod, to be six feet to hang at the right height over the island. Thankfully, Dutton Brown sells extension rods and they color match them to the light fixture.
Don’t they look like lollipops hanging down from the ceiling? They make me so happy.
Here’s a look at the kitchen in the evening with all the lights on.
We have five types of lighting in the kitchen.
- Natural light from the skylights
- Overhead light from five recessed can lights
- Pendant lights over the island
- LED under cabinet lighting for task lights in the kitchen
- Sconces for task lighting at the desk
This room never feels dark. With programmable lightbulbs in the recessed lights and the pendant lights, I barely even notice when the sun goes down.
Modern Minimal Vent Hood
The vent hood in our kitchen is massive. It’s the design element I was most nervous about.
The builder offered three different vent hood choices but they were all too traditional looking for our tastes. The one they called “modern” had faux cabinet doors on the front and a thick band of molding at the bottom.
We wanted something different.
We brought inspiration pictures of modern minimal vent hoods to our design appointment. Our designer sent them off to get a quote on a custom-designed hood. It ended up only being $250 to customize our hood, and the result was well worth the upgrade.
The cabinet makers crafted a seamless box to wrap the hood with minimal trim at the ceiling and back wall. We love the way it turned out.
It minimizes the hood in the overall design and lets the other fun stuff we did in the kitchen take center stage.
It is begging me to put a wreath on it for Christmas, though. Something simple, I promise.
Hexagon Backsplash Tile
Our backsplash turned out better than I ever could have imagined. It’s so pretty in person.
I discovered this sky blue hexagon tile at a Daltile showroom. They gave me a free sample to take to our design appointment. I was bummed when I didn’t see this tile at the design center but I took a chance and asked our designer anyway. I’m so glad I did. Turns out, they were about to start offering it. We’re probably the first house that had it installed.
Two things make this tile unique:
- The irregular hexagon shape – the tiles are more of a picket shape, but relatively short. They can be placed vertical or horizontal. We chose points going up and down.
- The subtle wavy texture – I am not a fan of the heavily textured, crinkly looking tiles. These tiles, have a subtle wave to them that bounces the light in the most gorgeous way. They feel so special compared to flat, smooth ceramic tiles.
Polished Nickel Hardware
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect kitchen hardware since we signed the contract to build this house. I did a huge roundup of midcentury cabinet hardware and sampled a few of those options.
Then, I ordered some knobs for the master bathroom that stole my heart. I couldn’t imagine not having them in the kitchen too. So I ordered 40 more!
These pretty knobs are the polished nickel Sprocket knobs from CB2. They are shiny and gorgeous. I love the fluted design that creates a starburst on the face of the knob. What a fun nod to midcentury design.
The knobs were super affordable compared to all the other options I was considering. Since I needed a grand total of 50 knobs and pulls, I appreciated the under $6 per knob price. I purchased them on sale for under $5 per knob.
They do not offer a matching bar pull design, so we chose to pair them with the polished nickel hexagon bar pulls also from CB2.
Tip: To make mixing and matching hardware easy, I always recommend ordering from the same retailer. That way you can expect the finish to match. Pssst. I think right now CB2 knobs and handles offer the best selection of styles and finish choices.
I splurged on the pulls. We have very large drawers across the back of the kitchen, so I needed long pulls. It really was worth every penny. To stay within budget, I used the pulls sparingly.
Stay tuned: I’m going to write another blog post soon about how to mix and match knobs and pulls, and where to use which type.
Clearly, I could talk about my kitchen all day. If you have any questions or if I forgot to cover something, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. Or scroll back to the top and look at all the pretty kitchen pictures again :)