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The Kitchen (What you didn’t see)

5 Aug

Recently you may have seen my “house crash” on Young House Love. I was so thrilled to have them over to my home and they did an amazing post about the highlights of the townhouse. However, in order to hit all the highlights and not make the post WAY too long, they didn’t show you everything (I don’t blame them, just to clarify). So I thought I would slowly go back through the house and show you some of what you missed in more detail (and straight from the horse’s mouth). Today I want to show you the heart of the home and the most dramatic change, the KITCHEN!

Below you see a before of the kitchen. This is right after we closed on the house and before we moved in. You can see I am testing paint swatches on the cabinets already. We bought the townhouse with the intention of rearranging the kitchen to make it an eat-in kitchen. In the before shots you can see that there are a lot of cabinets (in my opinion over-kill) and not enough floor space for a table.


This is where the builders intended the table to go, underneath that chandelier. However, I didn’t want to share the living room space with a dining space. Why? Well, first of all I felt like that made it feel like every apartment we had lived in so far and I wanted it to feel like a house. Secondly, the space just wasn’t big enough for both spaces, and I always opt for more living space and less dining space.  Image

This is after we ripped out some of the cabinets on this wall. The plan was to move the fridge over here. Image

Now you can see the after. We moved the fridge into the corner from the other side of the room. We painted the cabinets, replaced the hardware and the floors. We replaced the appliances from white to stainless. We also replaced the counter tops.Image

I eventually want to raise the look of the cabinets by adding a header to the top and some crown molding. However we haven’t had a ton of time to make that happen, so for now I put a salvage find up there. It brings your eye up to the ceiling and kinda has the same effect as a header would. I also like that it adds personality to the space. I love old crusty relics!


Here is another view of before. You can see the builder grade cabinets were not a good look. The floors were filthy and in desperate need of replacing. Also, my least favorite thing in the house, the pass-thru window, just made me frown. I personally hate pass-thru windows – another thing that I feel looks like an apartment. (Side note: my hate for pass-thru windows has recently been replaced with the fact that they are convenient for keeping an eye on my son. I still don’t like them and would rather open the wall up but it is load-bearing so that can’t happen.)


Here is the after! Yeah, I hated my pass-thru window, so I decided to make the best of it and make it my own. I started by painting the stripes. Then I added the glass jugs and burlap curtains. I actually really like it now.

You can also see below a better view of the counter-tops and a new shiny faucet. In order to contain clutter around the sink, I purchased a cute galvanized container from Target (meant to be for flatware). It holds all the uglies that live around the sink.


(via Young House Love) 

Here is a view of the other side of the kitchen. This is where the fridge used to live. There was also a pantry. Image

We ripped the pantry out!


Now here is the after, with our found space for an eat-in kitchen nook. We built a banquette for lots of seating in a tight space. We also recovered our loss of storage from the remodel by adding IKEA shelving that wraps the side of the kitchen.


(via Young House Love) 

I put locker baskets with burlap liners on the shelves to hide the stuff inside. However, so I know what is up there, I put chalkboard tags on them (I was thinking with my noggin’ :)) The chalkboard tags allow me to change what is labeled as the storage needs change.Image

Now for a few detail shots.


 (via Young House Love)

My favorite accessory. My duck decoy!Image

More jars for pretty storage.


That is the story of our kitchen. I hope that this inspires you to think beyond the floor plan and make your space function for you. I love our kitchen and it is finally a welcoming heart of the home.

Until next time, Katrina


Contemplating Cabinet Colors

12 Mar

So, I have been planning all my many projects for our new house and one thing I am still debating is cabinet color. I am painting the cabinets no doubt but I am trying to decide between painting them all white OR painting them all gray OR painting the top cabinets white and the bottom cabinet gray. So many choices, all good ideas, I just can’t decide. Any thoughts?


Another Fabulous Before and After

15 Jan

I usually try not to repost another blogs post, but this Before and After was too amazing not to share. Check out all the pictures on CoteDeTexas. You won’t be disappointed.

A Fabulous Before and After!

13 Sep



I just had to share this amazing “before and after” from Elements of Style! Check out this amazing blog full of great inspiration!

And the Pendulum Swings (because we’ve so been there, done that)

23 Aug

I’ve been waiting for some fresh inspiration for a while. Sorry I’ve been gone so long!! Finally some great spaces worth posting about. This post is about saying “Bye, Bye” to color and “Hello” to neutral rich textures.

Home Decor and Fashion is all about a swinging pendulum. We revolted from “antique white” walls back in 90’s starting with Red/Burgundy and Green. Then we moved on to blue/green (we revolted from the warm reds to cool tones) now the pendulum is swinging back the other direction. We are SO over color. Maybe it has to do with the economy (neutrals are safer so we don’t have to change expensive items out to make a change) or maybe it is just time. I for one have always loved an “all white” room and monochromatic decorating. I have always taught that expensive items in the home should always be neutral (IE: don’t put in hunter green countertops YUCK!)

The key is to add texture and rich finishes to a neutral palette. Avoid the pitfalls! Don’t fall for a cheaper version faux silk curtain panel or poly-filled pillow. Go for the real thing. These things can cheapen a room faster than peach carpet. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. I have several down filled pillows from Target. It just means be discerning and shop carefully.

This kitchen is so beautiful. I love the clean, simple, relaxing feel.

Whether modern, rustic, or country chic we are all going neutral. Neutral is a trend just like anything else and the pendulum will swing again, but at least I won’t be ripping out my flooring or selling by teal sofa to move on.

images via Desire to Inspire.

My Kitchen Inspiration

11 Jan

I am digging through my archive and posting all my favorite pics, room by room, to help me catalog design ideas for my new house. I don’t have my new house, but I have to get ready. So here are all my favorite kitchen pics I have saved in my archive. I love the chairs in the above pic and I love upholstered benches in kitchens. I also love the idea of using two mini chandeliers as pendants.

I love the pendants in this pic.

I love the corner bench in this kitchen.

The neutral tones in this kitchen are soothing. I also love the wall lamps above the shelving on the right.

This window seating is divine. I love the industrial look of the lighting in this kitchen.

The shelving with chicken wire is fabulous. I really want to do this is my kitchen!!

The open shelving in this kitchen is something I always seem drawn to. I just wonder about resale value. Hmmm?

This is one of my favorite kitchens of all! I love the industrial pendants and the gray cabinets with white dishes are fabulous. This is my ideal kitchen, so many ideas here.

Again a corner bench is great! I love the rustic floor in this kitchen too.

Fabulous bar stools!!

These two pics are another kitchen I have always loved. This is classic perfection. The curtains are so cottage chic, and the wing chairs are great (maybe not practical in white but beautiful). I love the box-pleat shades as pendants.

I love the shelving in this kitchen, such a great way to display all my beautiful dishes and accessories.

I always wonder what to do with the space above the cabinets. I love this idea of using large baskets. Having all the same baskets creates a restful clean look, and they are great for storage of items you don’t use a lot.

I’m not totally sold on this idea. It could turn out a little tacky is not done right. However, the picture of the dark table with blue chairs really does look great.

This is a very practical kitchen for me to recreate. I love the pots hanging on this wall. The lighting in this kitchen is so vintage chic. I love all the white as well!

Images via Cotedetexas, Things that Inspire, Pink Wallpaper, Willow Decor, Beautiful Things to Share, and Phoebe Howard

My Favorite Kitchen

30 Mar


I absolutely love this kitchen! I clipped pictures of this kitchen out of a magazine some time ago. It has always been logged in my mind as my inspiration for my future dream kitchen. I hope you like it too.


I love the monogram on the dining chairs. The window treatments with the ruffle ties are fabulous, and of course it features my favorite color, PINK.


A functional kitchen

3 Mar


Whether you are completely remodeling your kitchen or working with what you already have, there are ways to make your kitchen a joy to work in. Creating a functional kitchen will make using your kitchen fun and keeping it clean easy. Here are a few tips I have picked up on creating a functional kitchen.

1: Create functional storage. Using every available space to cram dishes, pots, and pans does not a happy cook make. There is nothing I hate worse than digging for my cookie sheet under a mountain of other pans falling out of the cabinet. Baskets, racks, and dividers are great solutions to this problem. Ikea has a great cabinet divider for bake sheets and pot lids. They stand up-right for easy access. See the Ikea website for lots of great organizers for storage spaces.

A huge trend in functional storage is deep drawers instead of lower door cabinets. They allow you to stack pots and pans and access them easily. Deep extending drawer pulls allow you to pull the drawer out completely and not loose the hidden dark space in the back. If you are remodeling or building a new kitchen, consider using all drawers in the lower cabinets or pull-out shelving. If you don’t have the money to build new, try using baskets in lower cabinets that allow you to pull them all the way out, get what you need, and put the basket back. No bending down and digging through a dark mess needed.



2: Keep your frequently used items at arms reach. Any pots, pans, or food you use a lot should be the easiest things to get to. A pot rack can be a great way to use ceiling space and make your pots easy to reach. A utensil rack by the stove is another good storage option that is in your work space. My number one tip is to not over load your pot rack. If the rack has to much on it you will be fighting to get the item you need, while you burn your dinner.




3: A large prep area in the center of the kitchen is essential. There is nothing worse that running around your kitchen trying to find a place to set down the cookie pan that is now burning your hand through your oven mitt. Yes I have been there. An island is a great solution for this. Note: Don’t try to fit an island in a kitchen that is to small. You must have enough room to move around or cook with others. If you have a small kitchen, build on a fold-down extension to your countertop.


 4: Stock your kitchen in zones. I learned this great tip by working in the food service industry, where they stock and cook in the kitchen according to zones. For example, I keep all my bake-wear, measuring utensils, and baking ingredients all in the same part of the kitchen. Everything I need to bake my famous cookies is all within arms reach. I don’t want to run a marathon around my kitchen collecting things before I bake (although if you don’t want those cookies to stick to your thighs you could hide ingredients all over your house, but for our purposes lets just stick to the gym for working out). I also keep all my dry prep in one place, meat prep in another, and so on. This tip may result in you storing things in places you would not ordinarily think of, but if you try it, I promise you will thank me.


5: If you can, make a gathering place in your kitchen. A kitchen island is great for this. We all know the kitchen is where we gather. I don’t really understand why, but we all seem to be drawn to the kitchen to gather to talk, laugh, cry, you name it. Even if you have minimum space, try placing a barstool next to a counter.  


6: Don’t forget the pretty stuff. Functionality is the most important thing, but try to find some space to make your kitchen pretty. I love to bake, but I love it more when I am in a beautiful kitchen. A glass front cabinet with your favorite dishes is a great way to show off your beautiful collections. Inner-cabinet lighting will highlight these collections even more. Beautiful hardware can be the jewelry of your kitchen and a great way to update old cabinets.

7: Don’t limit your storage options to just cabinets. Lovely pieces of furniture can add great storage and beauty. This armoire is a great example of a beautiful piece used for functional storage.


The following are pics of my own kitchen-reno. It was a tiny kitchen, built in the 50’s and not functional at all. I completely gutted and redesigned the lay-out. It is still small, but the most functional kitchen I have ever worked in.












After ( I used the deep cabinet above the fridge to store those long "fridge pack" drinks, and the smaller cabinet beside that to store wrapping paper.)




After (I did eventually get a dishwasher for that giant whole under the countertop)