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My kitchen design a year later: lots to love & some regrets


It’s been a year and a half since I finished renovating this kitchen and now, as I’m designing 2 other houses, I’m looking around at mine thinking hmmm….what would I change about this kitchen…. with the follow-up question of well…. then, should I?

Answer: It depends what they are, how much they bother me and of course how much the update would cost.

Let’s first talk about what I do love …. which is a lot.


That tile still makes me happy on a daily basis. I know it’s more popularly used now than it was 2 years ago, but in that color and in our kitchen I feel like I could never get sick of it.


The cabinetry is still wonderful in every way, I love the color, the inset style and the bead detailing. It was honestly hard to not design the exact same cabinetry for the Portland house because it fits that style and I just love it so much.

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I still love those brass handles and they have patina’d BEAUTIFULLY.


The faucet and pot filler were live raw brass and while they do take more care than any sealed metal, they have patina’d really beautifully, too. I love them so much for this house. Let me be clear here – these things are fragile and high maintenance – you have to soften your water, use special cleaners and generally be paranoid about how you treat them. In the mountain house we are opting for polished, sealed brass or black because I don’t want the maintenance up there (besides this is a 100-year-old house and can handle the age, whereas up there it’s late 60’s so it’s less appropriate). It’s not for everyone or every house but I love it in this house.


Here’s a long aside about a pot filler …. As we are designing the Portland house my contractor told me that the pot filler is off-center of the range. At first I was like ‘Well we need to move it’ but then I realized that mine is CRAZY off center and it doesn’t bother me (ha, well it didn’t). I think there might be a reason it was placed where it was but I don’t remember.

Let this be a lesson to you AND ME – while renovating, remodeling or designing a house there are 1 million details that you will obsess over and at times you really need to ask yourself ‘is this something I’ll notice or does this actually happen all the time in other homes and you don’t even see it?’ I think the more “rules” of design I learn the more it’s super hard for me to “break” them, which has really slowed down my creative process (and probably helped the end product). For instance, the sconce placement in the master bathroom at the mountain house is super tricky and the type of light we choose will likely not be the best ‘vanity’ lighting for your face. If you really want to know ideally it would be eye level, not a bare glass bulb, not directional as to not cast shadows on face, and they should be placed to be able to light both sides of face at the same time, evenly, ideally around 30″- 40″ apart … if it is above the mirror (which is obviously fine) it would again ideally be a fabric or white glass shade, but not metal or too directional (which we do ALL THE TIME) … thats just the functional ‘rules’ and I haven’t even gotten into scale or style or all the things that makes a house interesting! Maybe that is why so many houses by designers or decorators end up looking generic – all the creativity was sucked out of it in the name of “function”. This is why I had my team halt my ‘bathroom rules’ post – because as I was reading it I was like…. Dear god, I seriously wish I had read this post last year …. It’s still coming, but with a lot more personal drama infused with my own mistakes and anecdotes.

Anyway, that’s a long winded way of saying that the little things, while important and they might bug you a bit, often go totally unnoticed until someone calls it out. There were some things in the Portland house that we had to pay to change (decisions made without me early on) and my brother was like ‘Emily, no one in the world would notice that or even think about it’. We changed it anyway, but I think he was right so I’m trying to be more loose about that.

Point is – that pot filler could be more centered (not so the valve is centered but so the entire faucet looks visually centered) but I don’t care enough to move it.


On to the stone.


Our marble counters are holding up pretty well. We chose to do a ‘leather finish’ as opposed to polished or honed (leather isn’t available everywhere or with any stone and is typically done at the stone yard but some fabricators can do it). This stone is pretty forgiving because the finish isn’t shiny and there is a lot of variation in the veins, tones and colors. Sorry I don’t have updated photos – I’m now realizing this would be helpful for this post, but it definitely has some wear (no big stains) and I don’t really notice it. For those of you scared of real marble, you should be. It is a lifestyle choice and you have to be ok with the aging and care. As of right now, we are not doing marble in the kitchens in Portland or the cabin, opting for quartz instead. But man, that marble is so pretty and again, in a 100 year old home it fits perfectly – age and all.

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Color-wise I still LOVE both colors – the stone tone of the cabinets and the green of the island. The farm sink is awesome (I prefer a single basin) and the vintage pendant + black sconces are still super lovely and frankly perfect for the room – both stylistically and functionally.

I suppose I KINDA wish I had done the floors darker but they certainly don’t bother me.

Ok onto grates and beadboard….

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Above you’ll see that we put beadboard in the backs of the cabinetry and I still love it. Many of you worried about my grates because of dust or grime, but a year in I see none. We are pretty good at keeping them styled out nicely, with the simplest rule – just buy in bulk (aka not a lot of mismatched) and keep it simple – white, wood, clear glass and some amber glasses. These days you can design your kitchen drawers to hold all tupperware, kid’s stuff – all the stuff that is less attractive.

We switched out the stools below:

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Emily Henderson New House Modern English Cottage Updates Dining Room 6 Emily Henderson New House Modern English Cottage Updates Dining Room 5

We love these new stools. The other ones are in storage and we might use at the mountain house because they are so classic, but I love the addition of the wood in here.

So what would I do differently in this kitchen?


UGH THAT OUTLET ON THE ISLAND KILLS ME. But apparently not enough to do anything about it. It would be so easy to change out the plate or replace it altogether with something more beautiful. I’m going to do that. 2018 is the year. After all, I have so much extra time (wink wink)!!

Also as you’ll see above we normally prop something in front of them (behind the cutting boards up there) and I wish we had concealed them more when renovating. If you have uppers you can put a power strip underneath them (unless it’s really done well it can still be visible and it might not be where you actually want to use it), or you can use a pop-up thing that comes out of your countertop but cutting into our marble is terrifying and too permanent … For code we had to have two on the island (at least that is what our electrician said) but I could have put it in a trap door – almost like a fake cabinet panel, but that too, could have looked messy, unless it was the size of the whole panel and then you don’t want to ‘open’ a huge cabinet door just to plug in your toaster… For now, I’ll source a prettier cover… stay tuned.

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The outlet up there on the island could have been vertical and it could have been concealed like a trap door in the V-groove. Honestly that might be messy and now I’m realizing that this deserves a FULL blog post because as I’m writing this I’ve googled my options and all the articles about it are dated, not very researched, don’t give very many attractive solutions and there are no good roundups for beautiful light switches or outlets. We are on the case!! (let us know in the comments if you are interested in this).

So far the changes are really just to switch out the outlet covers – but that’s not a big deal, right?


My best friend designed her kitchen and it’s STUNNING. We are going to properly shoot it soon, but for now you can see it in the back of this dining room shot.

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Besides the wood, lights, etc, one of the reasons it’s so beautiful is that it looks so simple. Now I knew about appliance integration (kinda) when I designed our current house, but honestly didn’t even consider it for three reasons: 1. Seeing nicely designed, modern appliances, has never really occurred to me – thats just how kitchens are. Full stop. 2. The entire renovation of the kitchen was sponsored by Frigidaire, a partnership that I was and still am super proud of. They don’t carry integrated appliances  – or at least I don’t think so because I didn’t even look – it seriously was that much of a non-thought. 3. If I hadn’t worked with Frigidaire I was under the assumption that integration was crazy expensive and not really an option. “Rich people can hide their fancy appliances, but normal people can’t.” Why test drive a Tesla if you aren’t going to buy one?

Let me be super clear about one thing:

I’m super happy with these appliances, functionally. All of them work great and function perfectly for our family needs. I’m no longer in contract with that lovely company, so I can say whatever I want about them, and I’m telling you the truth – if you are not renovating and just looking to get new appliances that are great but not a fortune, I can absolutely recommend these. If I could go back in time I would skip the front ice and water feature – and they had that option, but my love of ice cold water trumped a cleaner design and I regret that.

But now that I’m designing these two kitchens (Portland and Mountain), with custom cabinetry I chose to integrate the appliances. It wasn’t even a question. I had lot of brands wanting me to use their appliances, but I didn’t budge on that. I need these kitchens to both be stunning.

FYI, we are working with on both kitchens – for Portland, we chose panel-ready Bertazolli and we went with Viking in the mountain house. Both are ‘panel ready’. MUCH more on that later.

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The kitchen would just be simple if the appliances were integrated.

But is it worth the change???

We plan on being in this house til the kids are 10 and 12 (but who knows… we also dream of raising our kids elsewhere… more on that later). Why 10 and 12? I don’t know. I suppose maybe by then we’d want to have more space (our bedrooms are the perfect size for our family right now but as they become teenagers we all might want more privacy) and we aren’t sure what school they will be in for Jr and High School but if it’s not around here then I can see us moving more outside LA around that time. So let’s just say we have 8 years left here. Is that worth making some changes?


Renovating your newly renovated kitchen is what actually insane people do. Or perfectionists. Maybe I’m both…. not that I’m going to do it, but you know – I thought I’d give you a glimpe into my brain.

But then I thought … hold up…. we shoot in this kitchen probably twice a month and have to avoid some angles because the appliances feel large in this small kitchen….. Besides how much would it really cost? 

It seemed worth doing some research and getting the quote.

Modern English Cottage Tudor Kitchen Island

The idea of having our fridge be seamless with our cabinetry, like below is just so tempting.

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Now what I’m extremely confused by and I’d love your help is what is the difference between 2018 ‘Panel Ready’ and ‘Integrated’. I know that back in the day ‘panel ready’ meant this:

38 Kitchens With Double Wall Ovens
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They just glued the “cabinetry” on top of the fridge but it’s not the look we are going for.

Now things have certainly progressed since then. Here is what it can look like now (but again, I’m not sure if this is ‘panel-ready’ or ‘integrated’).

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Hey Amber, let us know! Also I love this kitchen you designed so much!

Scandi Goes Plush
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Integration is so seamless. You actually don’t know where they are, which can be kinda annoying (I know at my friend’s house people have to ask where, because they are all floor to ceiling so it’s hard to detect the fridge versus the pantry). But how much of a sacrifice is it?

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The above fridge is certainly ‘integrated’ and the below is more ‘panel ready’ (I think). It seems to me that the difference might be the seams and the venting (but please tell me if I’m wrong).

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Either way, I think if well-done it would be much more streamlined and simple, especially since our kitchen is small and our appliances aren’t crazy fancy.

If we were doing it, we’d likely do the dishwasher as well:

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And why stop there – would we build over the hood?

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At this point, based on our research we think that ‘panel ready’ actually is ‘integrated’ but nobody has been able to tell us for sure. We would add custom handles and not use what often comes with the panel-ready appliances to better integrate with our handles on our current cabinetry.

So I had my cabinet maker, who built our kitchen, quote for integration and here is what he came back with:

$ 2,875.  

In my mind it was going to be cost-prohibitive. But then I realized it’s actually less work than I thought. They don’t have to change the depth of anything, just the height of the fridge and build some panels.
They would demo out the cabinet above the fridge because most 36″ integrated fridges are 84″ high (ours is currently 72″). Then they’d rebuild that cabinet to be much smaller. For the hood they would keep the current hood and build over it (although the hood might depend on the new range, UGH).
But that doesn’t include the cost of all new appliances. As I know you were about to ask.
RUH ROH. And yes ‘panel ready’ or integrated appliances do cost more than typical appliances not because they are more complicated but because as of now only the high-end brands are making them. There is a pretty big gap in the market for more budget-friendly panel ready or integrated appliances and this trend is NOT going away. The first $3k panel ready fridge to come to market is going to be VERY popular…. You are welcome, appliance companies. This is a game changer and whoever is first to market might win.

But for now the cost is anywhere from 5k-10k (10K are typically for the Subzero and Viking options) for a 36″ with stacking fridge freezer like we have now. We can also look into 2 side by side 18″ fridge and freezer (which would look more seamless, as they would look like two tall cabinets).

Panel-ready dishwashers are anywhere from $600-1200 depending on the brand.

Hopefully, we’d keep the hood, but if we are going to change the range then I’d want to do some research on the hood to make sure its the best one with the new range.

So it’s not cheap. Sure, I might get a sponsor but the labor will add up and the change isn’t necessary.

At first I was like ‘Oh man, I’m going to get called out for being ‘wasteful’. But I was reminded by my team that it’s not really waste because we donate perfectly good product to those who need it, but can’t afford it – Miry’s list, Pen and Napkin and The San Fernando Rescue Mission are on constant rotation to pick up furniture and accessories from my house. Sure, I waste my time and money, but it’s part of my job to experiment and update my home then tell you about how I did it, or wish I had.

Besides, isn’t it fun to witness crazy???

Back to the appliances.

The last thing I’ll say to justify this potential change is this: if you were to sell your house tomorrow what improvements would you make? So why not make those changes NOW so that you can actually enjoy them?? Every realtor knows that you can’t sell a high-end house without high-end appliances and while high-end appliances aren’t something that we really obsess over (we’ve never had a fancy one so it might be something that we love once we have), good design is something we value a lot. Even Brian is into it. He knows for resale that we need to upgrade our appliances …. so why not do it NOW?


Of course, we need to lock down the appliances, coordinate a plumber to install and be ok that our kitchen will be in construction for a week (we could do it while up in the mountains this summer)…. It’s not like buying a lampshade …. But its worth talking about.

What I’d love to know is the following:

  1. Do any of you not like having integrated appliances? Am I fantasizing about something that has serious drawbacks?
  2. Does anyone know if there is a difference between ‘panel ready’ and ‘integrated’ (in 2018 terms)? Neither of my contractors or cabinet makers could tell me the difference based on the specs, so I think they mean the same thing these days – except maybe the venting is different? I can’t find photos of the Viking or  Bertazonni product in an actual kitchen so I’m excited/nervous to see what it means.

Most importantly:


*UPDATE: I knew there was going to be backlash but as a reminder: this is just a conversation to get your opinion about integrated (if you have them), and If we do end up doing this we will donate all our appliances to a family that Miry’s List, Pen and Napkin or San Fernando Rescue Mission is helping.

Let me know your thoughts, and if you have any questions on the current kitchen or where things are from….

Fin Mark


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We have integrated/ panels in our rental. The fridge and dishwasher are designed such that the panel can be attached. My only negative observation is that after many years of being pulled the handles have become loose or broken off.


I have to say that I really like not hiding the appliances. It makes a kitchen more of a – kitchen. As someone who loves to cook, I really appreciate the look of the appliances, it’s comforting to me. Also, regular appliances seem easier to replace. However, since you are going to move at some point and from the design standpoint, I understand why you would make the change. Still, I think hidden appliances work better with more modern and minimalist kitchens, where completely clean lines are necessary. I love your content no matter what and I would certainly make for an interesting renovation, I am living for the mountain house posts and can’t wait to see the final result!


Integrated appliances are really common in the UK. It seems like all of the manufacturers (low-end to high-end) do them. Kitchens with massive fridges on display always look very USA to me!


LOL, I was going to post exactly the same thing! I’m in Ireland and it’s the same here. Those double-door fridges area actually called “USA Style Fridges”. IMO integrated looks *so* much better.


Yup, I’m also in the UK and just redid my kitchen. I integrated the dishwasher and the fridge and I am so glad! I think it looks so much more beautiful. I think appliances are pretty ugly generally and don’t really understand the US obsession with them!

Anna B.

Same here in France! My kitchen is IKEA with all integrated IKEA appliances. We love it and get compliments on how high end it looks all the time, but it cost less than any kitchen redo of friends/family in the US.


This thread cracks me up! I had no idea of the European/US appliance divide. (And I definitely don’t think fridges are beautiful, but I don’t really “see” them. So funny and interesting! 🙂


Same!! In my country (the netherlands) it is só common to have integrated appliances! But I really liked the look of them, so when we built our own kitchen we choose to do the “American way” ?. But it was def more expensive, integrated is much cheaper. Brands don’t have to make a pretty cover on a fridge, because it’s integrated. It’s so funny to read it’s more expensive!! I always wondered why Americans show there appliances.

Karen @ a house full of sunshine

Go for it!! I’m convinced, anyway. 🙂

Inês Seabra

Your kitchen will be as gorgeous 20 years from now! 🙂
Here in Europe, more specifically in Portugal where I’m from, integrated appliances are just an ordinary thing and all brands carry them. A non integrated dishwasher, for instance, is only an option when you want to update an old kitchen. My parent’s kitchen is 20 years old and all the appliances (except the fridge because it’s in the pantry) are integrated. I really wondered why you wouldn’t do that, and never thought that wouldn’t be as common in the US.
Of course we are always curious to see you do stuff, so… so amuse us! 😀 but, for the record, I don’t mind your appliances at all and I would only change the dishwasher.

Inês Seabra

Oh and the hood! I would definitely change that hood.


Same here in Australia. You wouldn’t do a renovation without integrating appliances and it’s been like that for a while.


I disagree. In a very old house reno. in Australia, appliances are not usually integrated.


I disagree too. I’m in Australia. We have an integrated dishwasher but I hated integrated fridges when we lived in the UK so wouldn’t do it here. I think the panels and handles age quickly and it’s irritating not being able to find the fridge at someone’s house.

Inês Seabra

Probably a stupid question, but… here it goes anyway. What is that small tap on the right of the sink for? I really don’t get it. We have no such thing here in Portugal…


I’m fairly certain it’s for instant hot water (to use for hot tea, etc.)

Julie P

It’s for filtered water. Our water here is SoCal doesn’t taste good and has potentially harmful metals etc in it. Instant Hot spigots have a special handle to prevent scalding.


I have this & you can get it with 1 or 2 handles: 1 for hot; 1 for filtered 🙂 It’s amazing and I love it- insinkerator makes one version and it’s available at most hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes.


I’m sure this one is for hot– look @ the red marking. But you might be able to pull it forward or backward for either– I saw some like that.

Inês Seabra

Thank you all. We are fortunate here to have really good water, so we can drink it right out of the faucet.
We do have instant hot water taps, but those are regular mixers with a very (very!) expensive upgrade.


That is a soap dispenser.


Nope-this one is a hot water. But American homes often have soap there too, just like that.


Yay – so pleased you’ve come round to the idea of integrated appliances. I know the one thing that has always bugged me about your beautiful kitchen is the huge lumps of stainless steel on show. As to your questions – yes – absolutely do it. I think it will make a massive difference to the look. I have lived in kitchens that have both integrated and free standing appliances. The only real difference is that the integrated versions tend to be slightly smaller to compensate for the cabinetry. As for trying to locate the item, it really doesn’t take long – honestly! The vents at the bottom in the toe bar are usually a giveaway for the fridge / freezer. The horizontal handle bar indicates which one is the dishwasher (and is usually next to the sink anyway!) The dustbins / trash can be hidden as well. I think the reason the look has been so popular in Europe for so long is that we generally have smaller rooms. Integrating appliances makes the room look bigger and more streamlined. Also, as many people live in 100+ year old properties, hiding modern appliances helps to create a feeling of a… Read more »


In case anyone is interested… here is a photo of my integrated, open plan kitchen. Absolutely everything is integrated (washer / dryer, panty, fridge freezer, oven, gas hob and even the extractor fan is hidden in the chimney breast1) The only thing on display is my 14 year old microwave which is now looking vintage!

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Love your kitchen! So pretty with all those neutrals.


Thank you 🙂


What a great post- the bathroom sconce placement “rules” are huge- and so helpful right now. I’m mid-renovating 2 full baths and will integrate that info immediately: get that “Bathroom Rules” reno advice out soon!!

We’re soon to start seriously thinking about our kitchen reno this year and your what worked/what didn’t thought process totally speaks to all the issues I’m trying to sort out. So grateful for your external processing finesse and authenticity: The BEST!


I actually don’t understand why appliances need to be hidden. It is a kitchen after all. So yes, to me the whole idea seems a waste of time, labor and money.


Agree. And it seems frivolous to do this a year later, despite the need for “content”


This. I do love the look in your friend’s minimalist kitchen, but I really like the look of appliances in most kitchens. Your’s don’t look bad at all.


I guess I agree with these comments. Although it is interesting to learn the perspectives from others above. I guess I would consider concealing some, but I love the look of a stove in a kitchen. So my vote is to only integrate some appliances if you do any.


Agreed. I’m a huge fan and I love design, but some of these issues (like whether or not to spend a bunch of money to change appliances in order to integrate them, and whether or not to center a pot-filler faucet) start sounding a little ridiculous — like first-world problems. I guess if one is wealthy it’s no biggie, one can just completely overhaul their house and get rid of everything and start over. But billions of dollars of furnishings and stuff go into landfills every year. At what point does thinking about the environment and learning to be content with what we have need to be a consideration? (sorry, don’t mean to be judgey, but this issue of scrapping perfectly fine stuff bugs me a bit)


I have been feeling exactly the same way. It drives me nuts when I read (not you, Emily), that an 8 year old kitchen, with stone countertops has been ripped out because the homeowners are tired of the current look and want something new. I love good design and beautiful aesthetics as much as everyone (which is why I read this blog), but I do seriously wonder about sustainability and our environment. Some renovations are absolutely necessary, but it galls me when fairly new stuff gets chucked out for the latest and greatest.


I have perfectly sound and functioning cabinets from 1946 that are in our recreational cabin. I am replacing them. Also getting ready to replace perfectly functioning 1980 oak cabinets. You only live once so I say go for it. You cant save everything and no one wants old, outdated stuff if they can afford and want nicer. Nylon carpet will never wear out but we tire of it
In less than 10 years. Looking forward to the before and after on Emily’s redo.


Me too. I think about waste often. Although it’s not a pleasant thought

Becca H.

In the post, Emily stated that any appiances would go to certain non profits most likely in need of new appliances. I volunteer with a non profit and many of our fixtures/appliances/shelving are falling apart because it’s simply not in the budget. I’m sure they will be ecstatic to receive such a nice donation!
It’s Emily’s kitchen and she has to actually live with it everyday. People change their minds all the time (yes even after they just renovated), so why are we judging Emily when she’s doing good with her current appliances (not scrapping!) and she’s getting exactly what she wants in her own kitchen?!?‍♀️ Win/Win really!

Loveley of

this. you hit the nail on the head. i love love love coming to this site, and love all the design fun but this post just made me feel sad. like, part of the problem with our society is the inability to be content with what we have. and this just totally feeds into it. and this is a huge driver of consumption and waste in this country. it just creates this need in everyone to scrap all their perfectly good stuff and constantly buy more.
yes. if you’re wealthy, you can afford to do this, but why? i just don’t get it. emily’s kitchen is like an absolute dream. seriously. it would be a fantasy to have a kitchen that looked like that. so, to start picking it apart and see what else can be done is just crazy to me. and not in a good way…. (sorry emily!)


I think this says it all… there is always this feeling when following bloggers that there’s a new trend every season/month/week and that new things should be acquired.
I have lived in my house for almost 9 years now, and still have this dated dark wood 1970s kitchen… but you know what? It is functional, it’s tidy, and its the kitchen I used in the middle of the night when my babies needed feedings… it’s home to me. And I’m ok with that as we’ve put off what will be a very expensive and disruptive someday-remodel.
Emilys kitchen would be an absolute dream to me– and I agree, seeing it picked apart just feels gross. That would be my forever kitchen.


But yet you’re following a design blog? A design blog should absolutely debate these types of issues. People come here for ideas and advice. Am I to assume based on your judgements that you have never replaced so much as a toilet seat or a coffee pot? It would fall under first world problem to replace a perfectly functioning anything. Do you have only 7 outfits and one pair of shoes? With your concern for the environment can I also assume that you’re driving either the very first (used) car you ever owned or an electric car? Perhaps, like the rest of the people who spew out these judgements as a trend, do you drive a gas guzzling SUV? Solar panels in your house? Recycle? No aerosol cans? Volunteer for trash clean-ups? (sorry, don’t mean to be judgey, but this type of judgement bugs me a bit)


Not to be ‘judgey’, but your post is horrific. So—please stick to not being ‘judgey’.


I was simply pointing out the hypocrisy of the person judging the designer for daring to debate design related things on her design related blog and for shaming the designer for doing design updates. That is why I worded it in the context similar to their own comment. I am actually in the camp of Live & Let Live and I just don’t understand stones being thrown by people who live in glass houses. I think society, in general, has a habit of pointing out “flaws” in everyone else to deflect/ignore/excuse their own. The whole, “well, i may do this but at least I don’t do that like so-and-so.” Just pointing out that if your concern is about the environment then make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to help it. I just don’t like to see people shaming others while keeping blind eye to their own faults.


This is one of the big differences I notice between European and American kitchen design! I do feel that you guys are a little behind on this 🙂 I’m from the UK, and integrated appliances are totally standard over here. Even in my old basic Ikea kitchen I had an integrated dishwasher (which cost £300 from Ikea). I wouldn’t consider having a big piece of stainless steel interrupting the cabinetry! I don’t think we can get integrated American fridge freezers over here (the wide one like you have in your kitchen is what we call American), but instead pretty much everyone has 600mm wide appliances which just look like a standard cabinet once they are installed. We are currently doing a huge renovation and I’m planning to have a 600mm wide integrated fridge freezer in my kitchen, and hide the ugly monstrosity that is the American fridge freezer in my walk in pantry 🙂 I need the width of the American one for when we entertain, but don’t want it to be visible. My main aim with the kitchen design is to have it look as UN-kitcheny as possible – so all my appliances will be integrated, I’ll have no… Read more »


PS. Can’t wait for the bathroom rules post. i find bathroom design super tricky.


Agreed! I’m at a total loss with what to do in my bathroom (I rent so that complicates things) and would love to know the “rules”!


I never comment, but hell to the yeah you should do this!


No. Your kitchen is A YEAR OLD. It looks great and functions well. The end.

Honestly, all of your redesigning rooms that look great and getting rid of perfectly nice, functioning items is really turning me off of this blog.


Em, I love your blog, style, and general sense of awesomeness! I was just wondering though… instead of getting rid of your new, beautiful (free) appliances, could you use the money you’d spend on integrated appliances and cabinetry to do another fabulous makeover for a charitable organization or another wonderful family in need? I loved Sylvia’s makeover and the shelter you and your team did a few years ago. And it spoke volumes about your brand!

Instead of creating more content from your home, (you mentioned that it feels wasteful) I bet you would feel so much better, and get so many more posts out of giving back with design instead of by donating appliances. Just food for thought…


I agree. I am a relatively new reader of this blog (found it a year ago) but really like the esthetic of Emily’s design. One recurring theme of the blog seems to an obsession with look over functionality and the justification seems to be “content”. Getting rid of a perfectly nice one year old kitchen for the sake of a different look would seem to perpetuate a culture of hyper-consumerism. It is 2018 and I think that the new generation of millenials (whom I teach) would be horrified. It is beyond wasteful and I shudder at how one can even be seriously contemplating this. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. It is up to us to be the citizens of the world we want to live in.
I like the suggestion of donating a kitchen to a family in need. Or just maybe take up designing for clients again.


Agreed. Re-doing rooms over and over again is such a turnoff. Posts like this one are a prime example of why it is so disappointing to me that you stopped doing design work.


I love the obsessing and doing the rooms over, theoretically or literally. The thought process is fascinating and Emily really excels at letting us see it, warts and all. That is what passionate professionals do. The process is fascinating and a real learning experience. Sometimes I laugh at my voyeurism here because Emily can be like a client confiding to a shrink about her obsessions. Love it! Makes this blog so relatable too, even if my life is nothing like Emily’s.


Agree 100% with J !!

I’m also.of the mind that people can choose to run their household how they see fit! –including making decisions about what to do, what to buy, what to give away, what to sell…and when to do all of that.


This!!!! I’ve been feeling this fo awhile but haven’t been able to figure out how to say it!


but this is design work…?


I completely agree with the others. While the idea of integrated appliances would have been great in your kitchen originally, it turns me off so much to think of you getting rid of the free appliances you agreed to a year ago, just to introduce a new design aesthetic. You are constantly restyling and/or renovating your home over and over again to get more “content”, and it just feels so forced and boring.

I really do think you should consider taking up clients again, or featuring tours of other homes you like or are inspired by. A repeat request that seems to be a popular one would be to bring back the Craigslist hunt posts. This would create new content readers actually want to see, and it wouldn’t make you seem so materialistic and consumerist. It gets really repetitive and old seeing the same room with really small tweaks (new rug and pouf in your latest living room iteration).


I don’t usually comment but yes, I agree with many of these commenters. I love you Em and will keep following (although probably skim read this type of stuff) but since you ask for feedback I will say: it’s just not fun watching you create content for contents sake, instead of authentically. Also you’re an influencer and it’s kinda just creating pressure and influence tending towards consumerism, discontentment and perfectionism – the opposite of which serves society and produces happiness! And the opposite of who you are, I think 🙂

Anyway that got deep real fast but I know this is unchartered blog territory (creating for content’s sake) and I think many people aren’t here for it.

Thanks for including us and taking us on the journey tho – I guess a different way to do it would be ‘imagine if’ instead of ‘should I?’

Sarah Troffe

100% “-it’s kinda just creating pressure and influence tending towards consumerism, discontentment and perfectionism – the opposite of which serves society and produces happiness! “


Exactly how it hit me when I read this post too. Got an icky feeling. Even though Emily reps (repped?) Target for so long, the blog’s trajectory has taken things to a depressingly materialistic place. Hoping the new hires get back to basics.


I agree so much with this:
“Also you’re an influencer and it’s kinda just creating pressure and influence tending towards consumerism, discontentment and perfectionism…”

Before I say more, I shall say I understand this is your kitchen, your blog, you career, your money and labor so at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what the rest of us think. But I also feel the need to repeat the quote above and say the following because of your role as an influencer to so many people – the fact that you wrote a super long post about all this is a big turn off (it pains me to be so blunt because I’ve loved following your blog and Instagram.) you have a DREAM kitchen, something most people will never be able to afford. Creating aesthetically pleasing content is important for your job but so is being REAL and authentic, something your readers value.


I agree–I have been a HUGE EMILY FAN for, I don’t know, 7-8 years now, but the direction of the blog has changed so, so much in the past year that I am also starting to get turned off to it. I think it speaks volumes that I don’t get excited to read the daily Emily post anymore. I still check it, but there is never a sense of excitement that I used to have. I used to just devour every post. Now I skip some. And I get tired of the constant changing. If she was going to change the stuff in her own home this often, why not just still take on design clients? I miss seeing real design clients’ homes. Now we just see her home over and over, along with “here are some good products I rounded up so I can post some affiliate links.” Miss the design.


I absolutely agree with what Abby said. Long time follower getting tired of these kinds of “content” over authentic design for real people.


Sadly, I agree. Everytime I see an Instagram post I’m like – this is a recycled picture I’ve seen a million times. It’s just not interesting or fresh anymore. As a blog reader and long-time follower I really don’t need new content every 24 hours. You won’t lose me that way. But the direction the blog has taken seems a bit vapid and less relatable lately. Think about the percentage of your readers who can afford integrated appliances – it’s very small. It’s not that it may not be worthy content EVER but just the emotional draw of changing a year old kitchen is not appealing. It makes us all think “gah. My visible appliances are so generic and ugly”. It’s also just feeds the notion that we must have ultimate satisfaction with every aspect of our lives, like it hasn’t to be constantly changing to be fresh and exciting. You have a beautiful kitchen, I’m not sure it’s worth changing for “content sake” not sure in a real life scenario it would be worth the inevestment – I hope this isn’t coming across as ugly or hypercritical, but you asked your readers opinions. I believe in you Emily! I… Read more »


I totally agree. Sorry Emily! I love you but this is how I feel too!!


I agree. This wastefulness is appalling. I used to enjoy your design aesthetic and you created some of my all time favorite room designs in the past, but I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore.

Also, I have to say that the way you and your family seem to throw money around has become so far removed from the reality of “ordinary” people. There are other ways to create content than constant spending, gutting, renovating, replacing. You snapped up a cosmetic fixer in Portland to gut and flip it – basically removing what was once a (comparatively) affordable home from the market. A young family with a more modest budget could have used that home to get their kids into the Riverdale school district and remodeled it on their own time, but you see only dollar signs. This has become an ongoing struggle all over the Portland metro for hopeful homebuyers who are not wealthy.

Us plebes down here, we can’t relate to you anymore.


Absolutely agree, this blog has become so self-involved and the continual (too costly for the ordinary of us out here) re-dos and constant tweaking of YOUR OWN HOME(S) is looking and feeling a little out of touch with reality. I too, was an EHD design fan, the before and afters, of “real” homes, not the current self-involved free design projects for EH homes.
It just all rings a little phony and narcissistic to the rest of us out here in non-Cali land.


I’m not even a plebe and I’m tired of how wasteful Emily is. I haven’t visited the blog in months and decided to take a look and guess what? Emily is rethinking things! She is going to throw away perfectly good things just to get brand new things she will dispose of in a year! She redoes every room endlessly, she shuffles through sponsored items like a revolving door, it’s just appalling.

It’s not one person pointing this out, Emily – it’s many of your devoted fans, the ones who liked the quirky, bright aesthetic you used to bring to things instead of putting out for the next sponsor. You really should listen and not just blame trolls.

Sarah D.

Totally agree. I think I would actually stop following EHD if the kitchen gets remodeled, again. This idea of replacing brand new made me think of a quote from Raegan Baker when featured on a COJ: “We have so many expectations from ourselves for perfection – everything from our appearances to decorating our homes to how the timeline of our lives will go. There’s something beautiful about not getting your way all the time, and choosing happiness despite that”.

Emily, can’t you just love the idea of an integrated kitchen for a different house and still be happy your own kitchen…designed by you, only a year ago?


Yes! Perfectionism is not something to be lauded. Learn and move forward but obsessing over the details all the time is unhealthy and feeds unhappiness.


Emily, your blog used to say “perfectionism is boring!” But now it feels like that is what you are striving for.


For what it’s worth, it’s not a turn off for me. I really appreciate the topic and Emily’s honesty. I don’t understand the folks who think you’re better off taking on clients vs remodeling your own home. 1) You’re in complete control of the design and 2) you don’t need permission to disclose $$$. Yeah, we can all agree a kitchen remodel is so unnecessary but you can say that about interior design in general. I’m in the team of remodeling before re-selling so you can enjoy it. Your kitchen is one of my favorite rooms as it is and if you decide to update it, I’ll will definitely follow along!


I 100% agree, I would go further and wish I was in control of monitoring the responses for this one post, I would simply delete the few negative posts that belong to that small group displaying joyless and martyr like behavior and suggest they go out in the real world and be pro active make things better if that is what they want, rather than spending their time telling others how to do it and save…..especially when those others I.e Emily are obviously already so naturally giving. Emily made the best decision at the time with the time frame and resources being offered. She has since opened up to another alternative, who hasn’t had that happen? If she has been responsible, ie paid taxes and has the resources, new knowledge that this is also the best business and lifestyle decision for her family and desire, which I believe she has. I don’t know what the decision is? I would 100% do it. To answer Emily’s question; no negative surprises with intergrated appliances, and no one has ever taken more than 5 seconds to find the first time. This will go down well, ….we have integrated appliances in all our homes… Read more »

Stacy Hyatt

I can’t help but agree with a lot of the points people are making in this thread. On the one hand, I completely understand giving up the client design work because that is a whole other animal. I also understand the need for compelling (and beautiful) content — the design blog world is competitive. That said, the things people are saying here about the continuous re-dos of your personal home(s), and making your design seemingly all about RENOVATIONS or ROUNDUPS rather than actual styling, and not only nixing perfectly good decor and appliances simply to create more content, but making rushed decisions to finish in an unrealistic timeline (decisions you seem to regret more often than not)… well, it has, simply put, become a turn off. I agree with the person above who said that — as a long-time EHD fan — I’ll still come and check out the posts probably no matter what out of sheer habit, but it just doesn’t excite me anymore. I know you at least SAY you’re looking for suggestions on how to make improvements (though, TBH Emily, I do question how seriously you take feedback; I have seen no less than 50 people comment… Read more »


Some really good points/suggestions here.


So Stacy, your suggestion is, “don’t listen to other people’s criticism, only listen to my harsh and judgey diatribe.” ???


Ha, Nicole. I was thinking the same thing. It’s an internet disease, the conviction that ONLY I, this commenter, know what’s right and aren’t you lucky, blogger, that *I* have arrived to school you.

And then to be shocked and horrified when the blogger or writer doesn’t heed the self-righteous and self-important edicts immediately.

I look at design blogs for…, not woker-than-thou politics and kitchens from the 90s.


Yes, absolutely! I’m looking forward to seeing this.


YES! This is the one and only thing I’ve disliked about your kitchen from the beginning. Integrated and panel-ready are different: Integrated means seamless, panel-ready means you see the venting and maybe bigger gaps, etc. I would be so happy to not see that giant fridge–just a wall of beautiful cabinetry.

On the manufacturer side, integrated fridges are pretty run of the mill in Europe – Ikea has them! If you could do your part in making big brands bring low- and mid-range ones to North America (before I move from Europe back to Canada) it would be much appreciated 🙂


Right? If anyone can do it, Emily can! We will need to renovate our kitchen in a couple of years (I should say, be financially able to). It is open to our lovely family room. Emily – please help North American companies see the light here! Thanks ahead of time : )

Tracy P.

Ikea does panel ready appliances and they aren’t expensive. I sometimes but don’t usually like when appliances are paneled. You can pretty much always tell where the appliances are and it just looks like, oh, that’s where they are trying to hide the fridge. I like stainless appliances and I have replaced “almond” colored appliances in my kitchen over the years (the kitchen was renovated when we moved in.) I think stainless appliances give my dark kitchen a pop. Make sure you get the finish that doesn’t show finger prints and stains. I didn’t and I regret it. Frigidaire has affordable appliances (as you mentioned your post) and the finishes are very forgiving. My microwave is a frigidaire. I don’t think you should change out your appliances, I think they look great and give your kitchen some contrast. I guess there is some argument to be made that because your kitchen is small, integrated appliances would make it look bigger because contrast tends to make rooms look smaller. Now some other comments about your kitchen. I love, love, love your hand-pressed tile! I am looking at hand pressed subway tile for our bathroom. What company did you get this tile… Read more »


I’m SO with you on brass and wallpaper. My entire childhood was spent watching/helping my mom remove all the 80s wallpaper and brass fixtures in their house. I have an involuntary gag reflex regarding both, now, even though the high end, in-style versions now are very much better. They just seem like such a fad. I skipped right past brass to matte black finishes.


I believe it’s Cle Tile (Zellige style, weathered white). It’s a source of pride that I had it in my kitchen before I saw Emily get it. 🙂 Mine is the 2×2 squares though. It looks great, too!×6-subway


In all fairness to Emily, brass has always been her jam. When she started years ago, her blog was called The Brass Petal. I get what you’re saying though. Design trends come and go. I think the best thing to do is design for the era of the home you have. So if you have a mid-century home, putting in chrome fixtures will always look appropriate. For Emily’s home, the brass is great because that fits in with the era of home she has. Especially because over time, the patina will age along with the house. I honestly think that would be a great series for Emily to do. Designing for your era of home. What fixtures, etc. to use to keep things timeless.


I like brass again now even though I was frantically removing it from my last house. I don’t think I’d be onboard except right now everything doesn’t have to match so you don’t feel like if you suddenly hate the brass you’ll have to replace 10 light fixtures, 4 faucets, 7 doorknobs all at once. I love the mix of finishes.

And I have always loved wallpaper. In my last house when wallpaper was still out (but coming back on the coasts) I stenciled a wall to look like wallpaper so it wouldn’t turn off buyers whenever I sold.


YES, PLEASE to the outlet roundup and bathroom rules! I’m renovating a bathroom soon and could use both!

As for the kitchen, it’s difficult for me to move away from the “use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without” philosophy, BUT I really want to see that kitchen with integrated appliances. What’s more, could you get Ikea on the case of introducing some budget friendly integrated appliance options here in the US?? Seriously. I’m a born-and-bred ‘Murican but I don’t my fridge to say that.


Integrated appliances are one of the few things way more expensive in the US vs Europe! We’re lucky here that they are pretty standard (even Ikea do them). I’m in Ireland and we got integrated appliance in our kitchen last year and I don’t think the appliances themselves cost anything different. getting the panels and the installation added a bit more but it is so worth it when you see the finished picture.


We have them in Ikea. but they are low end and don’t compare to mid range appliances quality wise. I’d never put that in the y kitchen ot just doesn’t say quality or well- built. Even temperatures of range are not as reliable. Please compare a 2500 Samsung chef range to your IKEA range. Same with a fridge in 2000-2700 price range. That’s what Emily says when she says there’s nothing available in that quality and price range. Also ikea is too small and delicate for a well built Anerican house.


Dear Emily, I understand your decision from an esthetic point of view, but I’m afraid to me it still seems wasteful, even if you donate your old fridge. That’s simply one more huge appliance that will be manufactured using various resources and one more that will eventually end up in a landfill. A bit like buying new clothes and donating them to charity – do all of us realise that all these things do not magically disappear into thin air once they are out of our view, but end up in gigantic landfills the size of a city in third world countries, and that charity organisations alone are not able to deal with all the stuff we want to get rid of? I would like this place to be an inspiration for people to make considered decisions, which it often is, indeed, when we can read about how much thought goes into every decision you make, but this post is practically encouraging the people who have had a fridge for a year to change it for a new one on a whim. Considering how much trash we already produce on a daily basis, this should be unthinkable. But maybe this… Read more »


Agreed. Mother Earth trumps design content!


Agreed! The kitchen would look lovely integrated, but it seems too wasteful to me even in terms of the extra manpower and trash that it would create. You’re doing it in your two other kitchens and those will create content.


YES!!! Kaja & Christina know where it’s at.
Poor, poor Mother Earth. This type of consumerism and wastefulness is revolting.

Loveley of

this makes my heart happy to know others care so much about the environment and what our consumerism is doing to it.


Completely agree. I started reading this blog when Emily was famous for mixing flea market finds seamlessly into eclectic living rooms. The direction the blog has taken is wasteful and unsustainable (for our world and as a business model). “But I’m a content creator!” is shirking responsibility.

It has become very distasteful for me and I won’t click over anymore. My clicks send the message I’m ok with a custom made sofa/table/kitchen being disposed of after a few months because “content!” and I’m not.


Woof, that photo of the “old school” panel ready fridge was HORRIFYING!! They literally just superglued cabinets onto a fridge! Oh my God! Who looked at that and thought “yep, this is fine”?


I vote no. Focus on your other projects. Let this one be a home.


I think it would be silly to change the appliances. Sure, it would look beautiful, but it already looks beautiful and it would cost so much to make the change. It just seems kind of frivolous, to be honest. Just my opinion. ?


I was always surprised that you didn’t hide your appliance or at least build-in the range hood, but knowing you had a sponsor makes sense now. For 8 years left with this house – yes, absolutely make changes! 8 years is a long time and really, it’s about what makes YOU happy in your home and not about anything else. I have to say it’s sort of fun watching you mature in design and not just style spaces. I’m not keen on stating there are “rules” and would rather say that there are some best practices to follow, but each space and house is unique and especially unique to the person who is living there. A very obvious example is your best friends house/kitchen. That is certainly not a style that would appeal to everyone, although it is gorgeous, but they followed their heart and did it anyway and it probably matches the style of the home really well. So go buy some integrated appliances!


Wow! I wasn’t expecting the appliances to be a regret. However, seeing the inspiration photos especially the white cabinet ones I get it. Your kitchen is small and more cabinetry and less shine would look more calming and serene overall. Your house, your kitchen, your decision. For resale as of right now in 2018 I don’t see that being a dealbreaker. In 2026, will the all paneled kitchen be par for the course? Only time will tell.

PS. Please post close ups of the year-later (minimal) wear and tear.

Karen Gannon

Your kitchen is lovely. I just replaced my refrigerator and went with a professional without the water and ice dispenser on outside. I much prefer it. I also have carrera marble, love it and yes, high maintenance. I would probably go with Quartz today. I have a question on your tile. It looks like glass but it is actually a glazed tile? Would you share the exact color and style #? I have been looking for something simple but with movement like that and it could fit the bill. FYI we moved from Lake Oswego (Portland) to Hilton Head Island. I so miss it!!! There is no design style here at all.


The tile is sourced in the original kitchen post (the reveal, I believe). It’s from Cle Tile. I ordered a sample and it’s gorgeous — but very thick, so I won’t be able to use it to replace my existing backsplash. It would be higher than my existing trim.


Cle Tile, Zellige, weathered white (I believe).

Susie Q.

In our last house, which had a tiny kitchen, we had integrated appliances and it was great. Otherwise, it would have looked like we had 1/3 cabinetry and 2/3 appliances. In our current kitchen, which is much larger, we don’t have integrated and that’s fine because the ratio of cabinetry to appliances is higher. We may get an integrated dishwasher when ours finally dies, but beyond that we probably won’t. I’d never recommend an average homeowner to do such a change, but in your case it totally makes sense, both because of your kitchen size and because it makes sense for you professionally!


Cost might not be a factor for you if you get is sponsored but Fisher Paykel makes a really great integrated/panel ready fridge and drawer dishwasher. I think the fridge retails for around $4000. You might want to check out instagram to see some pics where they are installed. They look great and are several thousand less than the sub zero, etc.

Also, here is an article that explains the differences between overlay, built-in and panel ready refrigerators.


I am here for this change! Would love to see the before and afters and to see how it changes the vibe of your kitchen!


PLEASE do an outlet cover roundup. I have changed the plates in my kitchen three times and a hate everything that I’ve tried. Haha…


This one has stumped me from the beginning. I, too, hate ugly outlets, and hid ours to great effect up under our cabinets so none are in the backsplash. I do have one on the island – but what I’ve ALWAYS done, not just in these locations but anywhere an outlet it an eye sore or poorly placed…paint them the wall color. I honestly cannot understand why this is not basically standard. WHY do people “highlight” their stupid white outlet covers all over the perimeters of their room? Sure, if hidden by furniture, who cares, but I paint them all as a matter of course. We remove the covers, spray prime, paint, reinstall (so they don’t look DIY hacked or sloppy/drippy). To me, it makes all the difference in the world and is the *obvious*, easy, basically free choice for something like your island. Unless the outlet gets non-stop, crazy use, chips, etc., have never been an issue for me. And even on those? Spend precisely 1 minute once a year to touch up. Done. Buh-bye outlets. Putting a “prettier” cover on that thing isn’t going to help a thing, IMO. Good luck with all the changes! (FWIW I completely… Read more »


Before i got to the par on integration- i was thinking “that is such a gorgeous kitchen- but i SO wish the fridge was integrated!!” It’s beautiful either way- but i say go for it! I love that you can’t see our appliances- you will not regret it!!


Emily, I love your kitchen and it’s NEW, stick with it! I’d love to see posts about completing the mountain house and the fixer upper; and renovating rooms you haven’t touched yet. I like this post because there are always ‘regrets’ in renovations, but the idea of actually redoing it this quickly, when we’re following so many other projects, makes my head spin, as a reader.

In the UK, integrated is standard and, IMO, looks tacky – particularly in conjunction with classic cabinetry like yours. We all know that giant sticky-out overhead cabinet is hiding an exhaust hood, it doesn’t fool anyone. Like an uncomfortable euphemism. Whereas a really beautiful oven, like yours, looks classy and, well, expensive.

I can live with an integrated/hidden dishwasher, because most dishwashers are fugly, but fridges, ovens and hoods make a kitchen. Otherwise it’s just a random room with loads of cupboards. Also, it’s not like you can hide everything… There’ll always be a sink on show!


Have to admit-Idea makes me a little sad. Enjoy your beautiful kitchen/family! ??‍♀️

Liz Claflin

Would love a post on hiding outlets in the kitchen.


For me visual serenity is key to happiness. We have only one communal living space in my house, living room, dining table, and kitchen, are all together. So I find having at least a panel-ready fridge to be critical. Mine’s a Sub Zero – it needs the condenser cleaned regularly which is a pain in the neck, but for me the clean look is worth it.

Everyone’s different. If you donate what you get rid of seems like a win-win to me.


I did some of this in 2015 when I “refreshed” my kitchen. One thing to think about is that when something is hidden, it doesn’t have to be the same brand. So I did a KitchenAid dishwasher because I knew it was going to work great.

My one big regret is doing Viking for all my cooking appliances. I didn’t look into the reviews enough and only realized after the fact that they are not the company they used to be. I was seduced by the look and their past reputation. When things have broken, the customer service has been not great and we had a problem at install that they were just awful about.

I wish I had done Wolf. I changed out the built in refrigerator at a different time and went with sub zero. So happy with them and that superior product.


I struggle with this – I think your kitchen looks lovely, as is, and the fact that it’s a year old… I do think some integrated kitchens look quite nice, but often to me, it feels very modern and sterile, which is not the age or vibe of your home. However, I do think that hiding the range hood, and maybe even having the integrated fridge would work in your space. Since the dishwasher is mostly hidden from view in your photos, I don’t see the point in replacing that, and to me, the range is a functional part of the kitchen and it is a bit odd to “hide” it. As someone who bakes and roasts quite often, I wouldn’t want to lose the functionality of being able to see inside the oven by having it obscured with cabinetry panels, but that is maybe less of a concern for you.

As for a bathroom rules post, and an outlet roundup, yes please!!


I’m going back and forth on this as well. Aesthetically, I always thought the appliances were a little jarringly modern in your style kitchen. I assumed that they were selected because they were sponsored and not because you would have chosen them given a whole world of options. Have you thought about white appliances as a compromise? They might blend in better with the cabinets and draw less attention to themselves. Here’s where you lose me, beyond the waste component: You seem to be struggling with this decision a little bit, and usually when we struggle it’s because something isn’t sitting right with us. I think you need to figure out what about it doesn’t sit quite right and go from there before making any decisions. It seems like reader backlash is a growing concern of yours lately, and there seems to be a growing trend in the comments section criticizing your blog for becoming more aspirational than relatable. Here’s the core of the issue, I think- we all like you on a personal level and think of you as our internet friend. We know you to be kind, charitable, and down to Earth. Redoing a kitchen after only a… Read more »


Yes please on the outlet round up and I echo some other folks on here: I’m mid bathroom reno and would LOVE to see the rules post ASAP!!


Okay, so here’s what I’d do if I was in your shoes. First, I’d keep shooting in my kitchen as-is but I’d Photoshop in an integrated fridge. You have the technology – if you feel guilty about Photoshopping in an integrated fridge, just think about the peace of mind you’ll get by not ripping into your kitchen and disrupting your family’s time (I’ve heard kitchen remodels are very hard to live through), and always be transparent about the Photoshopping (the intent isn’t to deceive anyone – just to create nice photos to showcase whatever it is you’re showcasing in the actual post). Second, yes, I’d still do something about that danged range hood. Covering it over with a cabinetry façade seems to be the direction you’re already leaning in, so do it. Third, I’d keep the stove and dishwasher as-is for now because they’re kind of hiding below the island anyway – I don’t think they’d actually be distracting in your photos. Fourth, I don’t think people 8-10 years from now will be all that interested in what would be decade-old integrated appliances at that point, so I don’t think the resale value argument is a good one in this… Read more »


Our home was built two years ago and we have all integrated appliances (except the oven of course) including the hood. Cabinetry is flat paneled, modern, painted white with satin brass hardware. I was channeling the “Orcondo” kitchen when we designed it.

I love love love love love them. I wanted a kitchen that didn’t look too kitchen-y. I love to bake and cook but even so I wanted all the function with a prettier form (: It’s the thing that people most often comment on when they come to our home. And since we have an open floor plan with the living room/kitchen/dining being one large room, I feel like everything flows more nicely.

One more thing: I love my tall shallow integrated refrigerator. No more searching for items in the back. All our other refrigerators would freeze the stuff in the way back anyway. Ours is a Bosch – two door upper and single freezer drawer below.

I say go for it. You know you want to……


Can I ask what you do about the ice situation? I am redesigning a kitchen and would love to do an integrated fridge but my family loves chipped ice! We use it in drinks but my kids also always want it when they have tummy aches or sore throats–its actually miraculous at making people feel better. How do I get chipped ice without it in the door of the fridge? Does anyone know the answer to this ridiculous question. I’ve seen those ice making appliances and even those don’t seem to smash the ice….you just get tons of big cubes.


Farah, I do know this answer! My brother put in a new refrigerator a couple of years ago. It is stacked with the fridge on top, freezer drawer on the bottom. The cold water and ice cubes are on the inside of the door of the fridge. I was so envious when I saw it because every little person that comes into my kitchen (including my own) push the level to make the water and ice come out. Onto the floor.


Thank you so much for this info! Do you know if your brothers fridge also has the crushed ice function inside because its really the small chunks of ice that I’m after and that help my kiddos when they are feeling sick. It seems so ridiculous to buy a fancy shmance fridge and then need to hand crush my ice with a mallet.


I freaking LOVE that my appliances are built in (when we were building, the cabinetry guys used both words interchangeably so I thought it meant the same thing??) It is a small kitchen but feels spacious because of it and is way easier to clean. I say, go for it! It would be nice for all of us to see the difference!


you should do this. integrated all the way. I was kind of surprised when you did the kitchen reveal that you actually had a water and ice maker in the door.

you have a really nice, high-end house. The kitchen needs to match that feel!


I think it looks best in a more modern, European-style kitchen with sleek cabinetry. Your kitchen has a more “old world” vibe. Either way though, I’m sure it would be beautiful.


Do it!! With the exception that I’m not sure about the hood. Is there a more exciting option visually? Can’t be a bad choice to do it as well, just wondering if that’s a spot to add a little pizazz. But overall, I say YES to everything.


Go for it! I’m fired up enough after this post to want to embark on a whole kitchen reno myself! I will definitely go with the integrated look b/c I love streamlined simplicity.


Fisher and Paykel makes a less expensive integrated refrigerator.


We used to have a Fisher Paykel refrigerator and it’s an excellent product: very low energy use and extremely well designed with more interior usable space than other refrigerators of the same and even larger sizes, also counter depth! They are perfect for small and vintage kitchens.


I really like our fridge, but I really do not like how it looks in our kitchen. If integrating it would be an option, I would go for it in a heartbeat. I would also like to integrate our microwave, which sits below our countertop. Our dishwasher is in the island and not visible from the main space, so I probably would not bother with that. As for your space, I would integrate solely on the fact that the stainless steel does not seem like the right finish for your kitchen.

Lori Jackson

When I see a kitchen where the appliances are integrated I assume it isn’t used and is just for show. Kitchens are warm and friendly, to be messed up while making cookies and big meals. Appliances are expected and workhorses. When you hide them, it feels cold and sterile. I wouldn’t buy a house with integrated appliances. But, I’m not necessarily a fan of stainless, I think it is over played.


The fridge and dishwasher I can see, but I really don’t like those integrated hoods. It seems to emphasize them more, not less. So I’d integrate the fridge and dishwasher and leave the hood, or if it doesn’t match the new range then just look for a more streamlined good option.


Gosh, I know that your aren’t under contract, but if I was your “F” sponsor I’d be pretty upset by this post. It seems to imply that kitchens with their appliances are lower end and not aethesthetically pleasing.


I’m also concerned about how Frigidaire will perceive this post. I know your contract with them has expired, but I doubt that they anticipated that you’d be ditching their products so soon. I wonder if other companies will hesitate to enter into partnerships with you in the future if they read this.


That’s a tough call! I’m in a similar situation, we are relocating our kitchen and have a perfectly fine fridge, but the look of an integrated one is calling me…

I love those hidden hoods too, and I have sketched out an idea of having one extend over a small sink that will be next to the range. I think it looks very pretty, on either side would be cabinetry down to the counter, so very balanced. But in my extensive Pinterest search I have never ever seen this done. Would love feedback!

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