Room Reveal #2 – Kitchen

“Kitchens should be designed around what’s truly important – fun, food, and life.”

—Chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud

I love designing kitchens. After focusing on them for almost 8 years, I only love it more. They can be challenging, yes. To me it’s like working on a large puzzle. Once you complete it, you have a masterpiece that gives you a satisfaction like nothing else.

Even though most people use their kitchen to cook, we all have different preferences and needs for storage, appliances, and materials in a kitchen. To some people, aesthetics are most important. They’ve dreamed about a certain color of cabinets or countertop material for a while and that’s all they can think about. To others, storage takes top priority. They have a collection of chef-quality pots and pans that have to be accessible from the stove. Others care about high end appliances or a stunning backsplash, because their kitchen is more of a showpiece to them.
It’s my job to take all of those things and blend them together so that the kitchen is perfect – for those who will use it. Since we’re all different, it’s only natural that our kitchens reflect that.

When it came time to design OUR kitchen, everything on that list was important.

Full kitchen perspective

The look was important, obviously. I’m an interior designer.. people will judge my kitchen. And, I expect them to. If they are considering hiring me for their kitchen and they see mistakes in my own, I won’t have their trust. However, I’m still not wasteful. Every item in our kitchen needed to look nice AND serve a purpose.

The granite and quartz countertops, large single kitchen sink, lighting, range hood, and the decorative legs on our peninsula all serve dual functions. They look great and work well for our needs.

Kitchen sink
Going with a large single basin sink like this, we are able to wash the pots and pans and trays that couldn’t fit down into a standard sink.

We chose tile floors and stainless appliances mostly for aesthetics, but also as a good investment. Since our preferred design style is a blend of transitional and Craftsman, all of our colors and materials had to feel earthy and warm without being too busy. The knobs and pulls have a distinct Craftsman flair to them. They are all a forged iron look, and add a decorative detail that I love. I am still deciding on a tile for the backsplash area. Since we didn’t “need” one right away, we have chosen to take our time and shop around for the right tile.

Quality materials in this kitchen are definitely important. Going with anything but a well-built custom cabinet wasn’t even a question for me.
This design was no longer about us doing our house the cheapest way possible. This is OUR HOUSE. Not a house we want to sell, or a house we know we won’t be in for long. We wanted to do it right the first time.

Of course.. it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, isn’t it? Even after deciding to invest in this house, I still shopped for laminate countertops. I wasn’t sure I could swallow spending the money for stone.

I am SO GLAD my husband didn’t back down on “his” granite:
Mombasa Granite
“Mombasa” Granite Peninsula top

Of course, since our last kitchen was so tiny, storage was important.. but we knew we would be able to fit anything and everything we use in this kitchen. It’s not huge by most standards, but it has more than 3x’s the storage of our last one. Like every good design, everything has a purpose.

Our storage accessories broken down:
  • Full height doors on the cereal and snack cabinet near the microwave and coffee station
  • Full extension drawer glides which give me access to the entire drawer {They also extend the life of our cabinets by eliminating drawer slamming.}
  • Spice racks in the wall cabinet next to the stove
  • A microwave shelf to get it off of the countertop while still being within easy reach
  • Utensil dividers next to the stove and in the silverware drawer
  • Pull-outs in most of the base cabinets for accessibility of pots and pans, bowls, mixers, and choppers
  • Tray dividers in an otherwise wasted space above the refrigerator

    Last but not least, these two things that are centered in the work triangle and make our kitchen so much more functional:

  • Hidden trash can storage for both paper products (burnable) and trash
  • A custom paper towel holder – within easy reach, but in a discrete location

    Trash cans

 So, there you have it.
A kitchen designer’s kitchen.

Kitchen straight-on

What do you think?
Are you surprised it’s not WHITE?
I’d love to hear your questions, comments, and any other feedback on our kitchen.

Published by CDH Designs

I am a Mom and self-employed Interior Designer. I own a small design studio & home decor shop in downtown Emporium, PA. It’s a small town in the PA Wilds of north-central Pennsylvania. We have some of the most beautiful scenery, and Fall (my favorite season) is breathtaking. I blog for fun to keep my friends and clients informed of what's going on in the design and decorating world, to share my designs, and to show what we're working on in our own home.

3 thoughts on “Room Reveal #2 – Kitchen

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