Emily Henderson

SO MANY DECISIONS ...

Our New Kitchen Design Plan

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Well, here she is folks – the big design plan post for our new english cottage inspired family-friendly kitchen. I’m happy to say that I have a lovely sponsor, Frigidaire, who has hired us to create a video series about the whole process and provided the appliances so not only do you get design plans, photos, pin board, etc, but you can also watch this video series. The first video is out and ready for your viewing pleasure. Check out how it unfolds HERE. 

We are so excited to kick this off and bring you into every detail of the process so here it goes: as a reminder, here is our kitchen as it was and go here to see the layout and appliance plan. 

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Let’s back up.

When we first started looking for a new house I knew that I wanted something more traditional. I blamed it on you guys saying ‘But I need to create new and different content for my readers!! I can’t just be a one-note designer’, but Brian didn’t buy it. He knew that I was craving to be in an old, classic style home, which he wasn’t opposed to, at all. So, I’ve been pining for this house for a while, way before we ever saw it.

As I’ve said before, my goal with this house is to keep it classic, but with modern amenities and with a layout and flow that works comfortably for my family (reminder: I have two kids – a one year old and a 3 year old). It’s a 1926 english tudor which we could take two different ways – Tudor revival, with more formal ornate detailing and finishes, or english cottage, which would have more casual, rustic finishes. After pinning for the former for months, I realized that I could finally have a version of my country house here! I scrapped all my beautiful mosaic tile dreams and instead went for a casual, country, family style english-inspired home. It would have finishes that would patina beautifully as they age (unlacquered brass, marble) and colors that are warm and classic. There would be nothing pretentious about this kitchen, nay, it would be a place where our family would gather nightly, feel cozy, and yet be bright, airy and forever happy. Lifetime happiness is a guarantee when you get to live in your dream kitchen, right?

Let’s start with the inspiration:

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A couple of weeks ago I highlighted a company in England who’s work I’m OBSESSED with – Devol. Another one that I love is Plain English Design. Ginny knew about them (she is British after all) and since they are english I felt that I could trust that what they are doing is both integrous to the english style house as well as it being modern and totally stunning.

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Then I kept collecting images – they all feel warm and modern but still traditional.

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I loved the simplicity but with texture and warmth. Nothing too decorative but enough happening that it doesn’t feel basic. It’s refined, and yet classic. It’s simple, and yet special. 

After a few scrapped design plans, we came up with one that we felt was getting close: 

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Design boards look easy to create, but it’s remarkably time consuming to come up with the ideas, hone in on them and then make sure that all of them work together and really create the look/feel you are going for. I can design a basic but pretty kitchen in a couple days at this point (not that I do because none of our clients really hire me to do just that), but designing one that feels simple but special, casual but unique, happy but neutral??? That takes time (note: we have made many changes since that board … keep reading). 

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Let’s go over some details of the design really quick:

  1. Wall Sconces: Because the chandelier is slightly more traditional we decided to make the sconces a bit more modern to edge it up. There is a decent amount of tiny black accents in the kitchen so I think that these being gold and black will be wonderful. Stay tuned for the full lighting post. 
  2. New Windows: They are coming – simple wood windows, mimicking the rest of the windows in the house.
  3. Unlacquered Brass Faucet: Stay tuned for a post about why we chose that finish (which isn’t for everyone and it is higher-maintenance) but my god it’s such a beautiful faucet. We used it in the Silver Lake Hills kitchen and I vowed to own it.
  4. Apron-Front Sink: simple, functional, and lends itself to an english design very well.
  5. The Chandelier: Because the island is a strange shape (triangle??) we opted for more of a chandelier than pendants. I do hope this is the right choice. I’ve loved this chandelier for YEARS and it’s the perfect width for this, but I’m slightly nervous that it’s going to feel too big once it’s in. We had it customized to be shorter (higher) but it’s just so pretty.
  6. Marble Countertop in a leather finish: WHAT? Stay tuned for that post. It’s a STUNNING piece of marble with just enough green in it to make it feel special but mostly neutral and timeless.
  7. Handmade Subway Tile: Stay tuned about more on this, but these tiles are simply stunning.
  8. Pot Filler: Pretty sure this makes me an adult. I’ve never in my life had or used a pot filler .. I’m going to fill so many pots so hard all the time.
  9. Bead-Board Accents: Both on the front of the island (in a v-groove larger scale) and in the back of the glass cabinets (in a smaller, more traditional scale)
  10. Unlacquered Brass Latches: These will go on the upper cabinets.
  11. Brass Furniture Style Handles for the drawers: These are so simple and beautiful and Brain requested big handles so he’s getting them.
  12. Shaker Style Cabinets: Super simple, utilitarian but classic. With knobs and latches and black metal grills instead of glass. We are choosing the smallest profile possible and adding a special detailing that you’ll have to wait for. They are inset.
  13. Mat Black Wire Grates: These will go on some of the upper cabinets. Many of you warned about the dust but we are taking the risk.
  14. Painted Wood Door Knobs: These are planned to go on the lower cabinet doors.
  15. Herringbone Flooring: GAH. It’s going to be so stunning!!! I can’t believe you can buy it there. More on that later but I literally couldn’t be happier with these floors. We just stained and it’s stunning.
  16. Muted but Happy Color Palette: Creams, whites, greens and blacks. No blue? There will be enough blue in the house and we have a blue kitchen now so I used some restraint and resisted the blue in here.

That’s all the decorative stuff, but what about the appliances? The functional pieces – the ones that really make your kitchen a kitchen? Here is what we chose. We went with Frigidaire’s Professional line not only because they are beautiful but because the design works within our plan so well, they have so many wonderful functions, and they really make me want to be that cook that I have always wanted to be. But let’s break it down by appliance below:

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Gas Range: It has the look of a built-in range, but is freestanding (so less expensive than built-in) – it slides into a 30″ cutout. I also really love the chunky handles and knobs.

Fridge: This counter-depth refrigerator is flush with cabinetry for a built-in look that maximizes space. Our last fridge was a side-by-side, but now that our family is up to four, we need a larger fridge. We also love the Smudge-Proof Stainless Steel that resists fingerprints and cleans easily. Two tiny children = a lot of tiny smudges.

Built in Microwave: Our new microwave automatically senses ideal time and power levels. That’s crazy and I’m very excited to see how it will predict my leftover burrito versus by leftover chili. Also can’t wait to use the melt setting with all the upcoming holiday treats, so easy to melt ingredients like butter and chocolate.

Dishwasher: I can’t tell you how excited we are about the 30 minute wash. Many dishwashers take up to 3+ hours which can be annoying if you forget to wash before you go to bed, it’s a game-changer.

Range Hood: Now that we’ll be cooking more, we love that our new hood has a 3-speed fan. It also has 3 different brightness levels – which is great for those late night snack runs. All good stuff, from a hood.

I know that it’s still hard to see what that is really going to look like, so we did a rendering of it all together:

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We are a couple weeks out so there might be some changes but I feel confident in saying that the design is 80% there. We already have the tile, flooring, paint, stone and appliances. We chose hardware last week and the stone was installed over the weekend. (check insta-story to see some live updates).  

What do you think? Any major red flags here? Anything you think I’m going to regret or anything that is really surprising you? I hope you don’t make me question EVERYTHING because honestly things are purchased and the kitchen has left the station…. but I do like feedback … So please, do dish. In the meantime head on over HERE to check out the video series if you haven’t yet as well as this fun video of some of the major design elements coming together:

*This kitchen makeover series is in partnership with Frigidaire but all words, designs and content are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that we love.

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  1. Looks great! I think it’ll all come together in person. One question – are you venting the hood to the outside? How are you accomplishing that, since you have a second story?

    1. I have an outside venting hood in a 2-story house, allow me to answer: you run ductwork through the joists between the 1st and 2nd floor, to a vent that’s halfway up the side of your house on the outside. They make vents that are barely noticeable when painted, unless you are looking for them.

  2. Your new kitchen will look stunning! Love the floors and colours (Farrow & Ball paint will really help achieve that English look – although they do have a chameleon-like ability to change in different light).

    And I stand corrected, the marble slap on the islands is beautiful. It contrasts wonderfully with the parquet floors. I’m curious – where you inspired by the blue DeVol kitchen?

    Can’t wait to see the rest. These reno updates are a real inspiration.

  3. Hi Emily!

    This looks stunning, really wonderfully classic yet still fresh feeling. My only comment would be to think twice about the Bryant Chandelier, I installed it in my own kitchen a few years ago and have had to replace the shades three times – I’ve been very careful to use the correct wattage and bulb shape, but they keep visibly warping and have to be replaced.

    At minimum $25 a pop x 4 that gets expensive, while it’s a really pretty shape I regret the choice – the shades have cost nearly as much as the original fixture. My shade people have tried a bunch of different options, no luck. Let me know if you have any genius ideas!

    Really looking forward to seeing the completed project,
    xoxo

  4. While I imagine you went into such detail about the appliances is because this is a sponsored post I think those inspiration kitchens from devol look so timeless and fresh due to the integrated appliances. There are no giant silver fridges and dishwashers to distract from the warm inviting tone of the kitchen. personally I think it would look so much more beautiful integrated :/

      1. I’m sure Emily will continue to do no wrong, and I just don’t have the vision, but the stainless was blinding next to everything else so lovely.

    1. I think they’re just not showing the appliances in the inspiration photos. There’s nothing large enough in any of the photos to be an integrated fridge, and that would be the one that would stand out the most. All the ranges pictured look almost identical to Emily’s, although I see they have either covered or integrated hoods. The dishwasher is the only thing that we might not be seeing in the photos.

      1. Here is a link to DeVol’s integrated fridge options. I see they even have one for American fridges!

        https://www.devolkitchens.co.uk/kitchens/shaker-kitchens/catalogue/full-height-cabinets

        European fridges are significantly smaller and therefore far easier to hide. The cabinets just look like larders from the outside so difficult to spot and yet in keeping with an English country manor look (because although Emily is calling her kitchen English cottage inspired – in fact it’s much more English country manor!)

        1. I’ve personally always disliked the integrated look. As a guest, you can never find the trash bin / fridge / dishewasher without opening up 10 cabinets first :D

  5. So looking at your inspiration pics…I notice all the cabinets are painted dark and contrast beautifully with the rest of the kitchen. Looking at the mock up, it doesn’t seem like you…weird because I don’t know you! It is beautiful though. BTW, I am totally obsessed with your posts and insta stories, about your remodel. Love them! Just curious on your thoughts about this.

  6. Have a closer look at your tiling to ensure you’re happy …

    Several of your inspiration photos have very little wall tiling in the kitchen, which is often what gives these kitchens their lovely, simple and classic feel. I’m in the UK so have seen more than a few of these kitchens – in fact I have one (did you check out Tom Howley), complete with the beading board. They often have an upstand on the countertop which I’d recommend, but obviously it’s all entirely up to you. Ones that have wall tiling are usually metro tiles as per your design, and behind the cooker area only, or not at all. Aesthetically this all makes a big difference. I’m slightly biased in that I dislike a lot of tile generally, in any room (eg fully tiled powder rooms or bathrooms) but I think that’s probably what draws me personally to this look in the first place!

    Either way, just make sure you’re happy, since the tiling jumped out at me in your mock ups, following the inspiration images you posted.

    1. Well spotted – I hadn’t noticed the subway tiling went all the way to the top! And I agree with you totally, less is more.

      I had my kitchen done last year and although I went for a more minimalist look there are definitely elements of an English country kitchen. (I had the blocked up fire place opened and raised to fit the oven and hob into the alcove). I have tiled (in simple white metro tiles) the recess to the cooker and made a straight line of tiles (to shoulder height) over the sink. The rest is plastered wall.

      But if you look at the area where Emily’s tiles are, a lot is happening in terms of windows and cabinets (there’s no a large expanse of beautiful plain wall) so maybe having a consistent tile all the way to the top keeps the lines cleaner?

      Also I wonder if less tiles work in English kitchens because the walls are generally plastered giving a texture that contrasts with the gloss on a tile. I understand that in the States drywall is used and it has a different finish.

      I think Emily has pulled off the “English cottage” meets California look beautifully but perhaps it is worth thinking about the amount of tiling again.

      1. And yet I LOVE a big wall of tiles :) I guess it takes all sorts. Plus I feel Emily is probably going for English-cottage-inspired rather than historically-correct-in-every-aspect

        1. Historically correct in every aspect would be a dirt floor, open fireplace and well outside! :)

          If you look at nearly every inspiration photo (and in particular the DeVol website) there are in fact very few tiles – only where absolutely necessary. I think the reason these kitchens are aesthetically so appealing is because they are in fact visually very calming – there is a consistency in cabinet colour, plain walls and a feeling that although integrated it could be almost a kitchen with freestanding original items. There are also very few hanging cupboards.

          It is of course a balance between functionality and aesthetics but most of these kitchen have a lot of lower storage and little distraction on the upper levels (including tiles).

          A truly “English cottage” look by DeVol for me is this one https://www.devolkitchens.co.uk/kitchens/shaker-kitchens/cotes-mill-kitchen

          The others are more English country manor house – not solely because of style – but because of size!

  7. i love all of the individual aspects of it (the herringbone floor, marble counter, subway tiles) but together with the majority of the cabinetry painted cream it looks very light. i would be curious to see them in the green with the island beadbord in the cream instead.

    1. I agree – I was hoping the cabinets would be a color (like the lovely green) instead of just the island. Love the rest though!

      1. Agree. I love all of the details, but was hoping that the majority of the cabinets would be green as well instead of a shade of white. In any case, I’m sure it will turn out beautifully.

    2. I am sure I’ll love whatever Emily does but at the moment I am disappointed that the grills aren’t brass and the cabinet paint color isn’t reversed as you just suggested. Love the process!

    3. I also was surprised at the lack of color on the cabinets. I LOVED the dark green in some of the original design plans. The light green on the island looks remarkably similar (at least from a computer screen) to the green cabinets you’re tearing out! But at least if you change your mind, paint is the easiest thing to change! I’m sure it’ll look beautiful either way :)

  8. I can’t wait to see your kitchen! We may be remodeling ours starting in January and will be going with marble as well.
    I love the warm metals in your kitchen and I like the idea of the chandelier over your island.

  9. Yesterday, I commented on your insta that I was terrified of a kitchen reno, but you have completely calmed my fears, as your style plan is soooo my style. I love it so so much!! It’s going to be stunning. And I think a chandelier above the island is a great idea to give it more of that cottage feel. I’m so looking forward to seeing the finished space!!

    1. Not a fan of the chandelier. Pretty but too formal for me. And fabric shades with grease and dust…Oh well, have great trust in Emily!

  10. gorgeous! I feel like if I didn’t at least bring up the two handle faucet in the kitchen situation, I would regret it, so I am. I totally get the design choice – it is beautiful – but the one handle is so much more convenient for a family kitchen. eep! 😬

  11. I LOVE it! It’s going to be a gorgeous stunner of a space! Those floors! Drooling over the floors! The only thing I would be nervous about… if it were my kitchen… is the bridge faucet. Even though it is gorgeous… having to use two hands to get the right water temp… might’ve been a deal breaker for me. When I’m cooking, many times I only have an elbow or wrist to turn on the faucet! Ha! But perhaps you are a cleaner cook than I! Anyway, it’s beautiful!

    1. This comment really boggled me as I don’t think I have EVER seen a kitchen sink with just one mixer tap (one handle). I remember on a trip to Cambridge a few years ago some friends from mainland Europe commented on how they thought it was strange that the sink in the kitchen in our accommodation had two taps – a completely separate cold tap and hot tap. It didn’t strike me as that unusual, but it would be more common where I’m from (Ireland) that we would have one tap with two handles/knobs, so that you control temp by turning the hot and cold knobs accordingly… i.e. Like Emily’s new tap. Is this unusual in the states?!

      1. hmmm, doing a mental survey in my mind of friends and family, and yes, in kitchen sinks: a single handle, bear left for hot & right for cold

      2. Seperate hot and cold knobs are extremly prevalent in the UK. You don’t encounter them near as much in the US. Most everyone I know has a single handle, which makes adjusting much easier especially when you have chicken bits on your hands :) I have a friend who lives in London and she hates the 2 seperate handles.

        1. So yes, I think that single tap is easier. We have single tap right now and I definitely know i’ll miss it. But not enough to sacrifice the beauty of a double tap and thank god Brian agrees. I don’t think its a big deal but I will let you know if I’m wrong. Wish us luck :)

  12. This is so lovely. I have major envy. Question about the fridge: you said it would be smudge-resistant, but what about covering it so it matches the surrounding cabinets? Then it wouldn’t stand out which might be nice especially since the kitchen will be more open to the front entrance.

  13. Looks great, as someone who has a love of ceramics I love the handmade tiles. You asked about red flags and I would say the microwave is a red flag. Basically I was alerted to the dangers of them by Ingrid Naiman, who is a herbalist who looks at your blood under a dark field microscope so she can really see what is going on. I researched further and got rid of ours. For a start it destroys B12, this is the energy vitamin so not good, Other research: my memory of it goes like this: if steam your broccoli and you lose 11% of the nutrients, microwave your brocolli and you loss 98% of the nutrients. But worse it causes your white blood cells to increase beyond the normal range like they are responding to attack, so mucks up your immune system, so affecting the ability to fight off cancer etc. Plus bad cholestrol and bacteria increase. The researcher who determined this Hans Hertel was initially gagged and convicted for interfering with commerce but vindicated by the European court later (August 25, 1998). I know this will not be a commnet you expected, or will welcome but here are some of the details: http://www.cancersalves.com/articles/Microwave.html
    Whatever you do, keep your precious little one’s food and milk out of it
    .

    1. I might save myself the time and clock myself in the head with a cast-iron skillet but here I go anyway…Your conclusions about microwaves are all demonstrably incorrect and at odds with the scientific evidence. This seems to stem from a fatally flawed process of starting with an extreme ideology, combined with misunderstanding and misinterpreting scientific evidence, which is used not to truly investigate or discover the truth but to back-fill your existing biases and opinions.
      What really fries my ham is that you, Anthea, in a mis-guided, but perhaps genuine, attempt at cautioning parents are using children to notch up the fear in the uneducated.
      Rx for a good life? A little reading, a whole lot of reasoning, and reaping the rewards of then being able to relax.

      1. Jamis, I want you on retainer to respond to all the ridiculous things I see on the internet or hear in real life. Also, “what fries my ham” is a new favorite. Thanks for taking the time to respond to a post like this.

        1. Both are such compelling comments that I do really want to hold court and hear both sides out. It would not surprise me to hear that microwaves do something weird to food. However it would not surprise me either to hear that there are conspiracy theories over every single thing in the world. Some valid. Some not. I do microwave vegetables time to time and now i’m all … is this a problem??? :) I do, however, not microwave Fried Ham, so hopefully we are good on that :) Yes, Jamis, I also would like your services. x

          1. Emily et al.,
            Here is some digging done by the science writer at the New York Times:
            http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/17/health/17real.html

            It’s also wise to remember that the microwave oven is not some unique, miraculous thing that creates microwaves in an otherwise microwave-less universe. Microwaves are emitted from all manner of things. Scientists are listening the CMB, the cosmic microwave background radiation, that is still bouncing around from the big bang. Microwaves are used in radio transmission, WiFi, telephones (cell and landline), digital TV transmissions, GPS devices, and more.
            Also, the sun emits most of the microwave radiation we Earthlings are exposed to. That’s part of the reason why people who don’t burn or tan, but who do occasionally forget to reapply their sunscreen on time, get surprised with skin cancer diagnoses. As a matter of fact, anything that is warmer than Absolute Zero emits some amount of microwave radiation constantly. Including cast iron pans, conventional and convection ovens, steam, campfires, and people.
            The microwave oven destroys nutrients in food in the exact same way that any other cooking method does. The kicker about microwave ovens is actually a good thing: they are more efficient with less microwave radiation being used so that exposure is more limited and fewer nutrients are lost.

            Finally, Anthea’s link to the…webpage about Hans Hertel and microwave oven dangers starts out with something that is true and very established: microwave ovens can cause hotspots in food and liquids heated in them so don’t use microwave ovens for heating bottles of milk for babies or blood transfusions for surgery patients. The super hot areas of the food or liquid can cause burns and other injuries. Then it proceeds to use that to support the idea that the microwave radiation is hanging out in the foods and liquids and causing injuries and illnesses through some other negative aspect completely separate from high heat. Which is not substantiated even by the argument given on that webpage, much less anyone else. Also, this Hans Hertel guys is quoted on that page as saying that the sun’s microwave emissions are different from those produced by microwave oven and that the sun therefore does not heat organic substances and doesn’t cause damage. That is just about the dumbest thing I have read this year, which was full of dumb things to read. Hertel is either a charlatan or an idiot. The fact that he would say such an obviously false thing makes me extremely skeptical of him as a whole. If he told me the sky was blue, I would probably double check to make sure it wasn’t nighttime.
            I confess that I did not even check on this Ingrid Naiman person. Hertel has gotten me all het up and I’m probably emitting extra microwave radiation now and damaging my own self. Someone else will have to check on Naiman, though if Hertel’s ideas are the ones she associates herself with I’m not going to hold my breath that she’ll turn out to be any different than him.

            Please excuse any typos of spelling, grammar, or syntax. After all this typing I didn’t feel like checking.

  14. Don’t question a thing! This kitchen is going to be everyone’s new favourite. I think you are going to break the internet! (Is that still a reference anymore…I am so lame).

  15. You are brilliant and whatever you decide will be wonderful. The only potential red flag I see is the shape of the sconces. I get wanting a more modern sconce but I think the current selection might clash with your other elegant/beautiful choices. Good luck!

  16. Emily, your new kitchen is going to be fantastic!! The colors, the material, all the choices are amazing. The island has indeed a weird shape and it seems that you don’t really love it. If I were in your shoes, I would temporarily place a furniture island ~ I’ve seen some amazing ones at Williams Sonoma but I’m sure there are plenty out there ~ which you can later easily sell and replace with a built-in island. Plus, it will look great with the overall english cottage style! After you’ve lived in your kitchen for a while you will know for sure what shape is best for the space and the way you like to work around it. A built-in island can not easily be ripped off once it’s there, but it’s much easier to place one later!

    1. I second this idea! I had a house with an oddly shaped island and even though it was an overall beautiful kitchen, the shape of the island ended up driving me crazy!!!

    2. I have to say I don’t think a furniture island or country kitchen table or trolley on casters etc is the answer here – normally, sure, but there’s going to be a dining table literally right next to it. She’d look like a crazy lady with two tables.

      1. INDEED. Milky you are right and that is exactly what we are thinking. We need a permanent looking island to help the “dining room” work. Good news – the base of it came in and it looks GREAT. We are feeling very positive about it. Waiting for the stone, so stay tuned. xx

    3. I agree; a round or oval table or butcher-block would look more California cottage than the built-in triangular island. I also like the idea of painting all the cabinets in green like the inspiration photos, a updated twist on the original kitchen.

      1. Coming back again to ask … what about a California twist on the old round butcher block island such as a live-edge wooden round from a tree trunk set onto a custom iron base? I don’t know if that would work or would fit your vision …

  17. I love your kitchen so far! That faucet is gorgeous! I had honed marble countertops in my previous kitchen and I loved them even though everyone told us we were crazy to choose marble. I would absolutely have them again in my next kitchen. One question, did you ever consider putting your microwave in the island? I did that in my previous kitchen and we loved it. My kids are still little and even they were starting to use it. Can’t wait to see the finished product! So exciting!!

  18. I am sure it will be a beautiful space! Some thoughts:

    1. The fridge really is a focal piece from the angle shown in the rendering. I would love to see something a bit more classic such as an integrated model. Or if you want to use that brand, perhaps you could choose the model without the water dispenser? Perhaps you could customize the fridge by getting the handles powder coated (black or aged brass)?

    2. The high contrast between the island and the cabinets behind it draws attention to the island’s unusual shape. I think the island would look more integrated if the lower cabinets were painted to match. In a family situation, darker lower cabinets are practical too.

    3. Rather than bead board on the island, I would be interested in seeing subtle detailing echoing the cabinet doors.

    4. The tiles are lovely, but I would prefer to see a skim coated painted plaster treatment. As others have noted, the tiled wall doesn’t fit as well with the English kitchen style. There is already a lot of pattern going on with floor, cabinet detailing, bead board, and mesh.

    5. The soffits might benefit from some minor detailing, or they could be removed for a more “unfitted” look.

    6. Would there be a way to center the dishwasher below the window? I see that it would create narrow cabinets, but with the right fittings those can be useful.

    7. Consider adding some detailing to the cabinet side panel (right hand side of rendering).

    1. I agree with your point 4 but didn’t mention it because I’m drawn to a more simple look anyway and think that’s just my taste. There’s a lot of movement in the kitchen especially as the appliances aren’t integrated but maybe that’s the energy Emily wants?

      Having spent much of my youth in an English village in deepest Wiltshire, I can say with some authority that a typical English cottage kitchen isn’t nearly as glamorous as Emily’s! There’s invariably an Aga, a Welsh Dresser adorned with mismatched mugs and a pile of paperwork and the look is complemented with a couple of dog bowls on the floor somewhere!

      1. Interesting points and thank you very much for outlining them. I found #2 to be very compelling. I disagree with #4 because its all just texture. There are no patterns or even strong colors here, so I think that the tile, beadboard, mesh and floor all equal depth and texutre not busy-ness. I did appreciate your comment about the island being a different color than the bottoms and that making it stand out more. So stay tuned on that!!

  19. I LOVE everything and am so excited to see this come together! One thing I would have changed is the fridge. I would have selected one with no drink dispenser for a few reasons. 1) I think they look more classic/timeless 2) way easier to clean and I feel like dispenser areas always get nasty! but I’m sort a freak about that 3) if the dispenser function breaks it is expensive to fix/never seems to get fixed…

    Just my opinion, everything will look lovely!

    1. Also, fridge doors with dispensers lose a lot of useful space. Just as easy to keep the ice in the drawer and a clean, useful door with more storage space inside.

      1. You guys. I LOVE cold water. All day every day. it’s an actual problem and something that brian and I have had to work on because the amount of cold water I need is unprecedented. I am psyched about this :)

        1. Me and the hubs, too. But us both being (graphic) designers, we couldn’t stand how ugly the drink dispensers looked.

          So we opted for a fridge where the drink dispenser is inside. No ice, though, but we don’t like water that cold anyways.

  20. love the brass, but I’ve always been wary of combining it with stainless steel appliances. The stainless steel looks so contemporary and even sometimes futuristic to me, which seems would contrast with the traditional, warm brass. Curious to see how it’s going to look.

  21. Can’t wait and love the green! I dont love the chan
    delier though! It seems too spiky and not warm like the loopy round faucet–I love the idea of chandelier instead of pendants etc but maybe something more comforting, quirky, but still restrained and modern….

  22. I love your kitchen just the way it is! And I can tell you’ve thought everything through to make it just right for your family and your house. Now I’m trying to be patient until photos of the real thing are posted!

  23. I have a Frigidaire oven that is around 20 years old – still looks very modern/contemporary and most importantly: it works so well! I also had a Frigidaire microwave that lasted 15 years, which is a lot for a microwave. Their products are really superb – you chose wisely!
    Love your kitchen design too, it’s practical yet chic and never will go out of style either.

  24. LOVE the English Cottage direction you’ve taken this house in… Tudors are my favorite, so I’m thrilled you’re so excited to move into one.

    The only thing that keeps throwing me for a loop is the choice of sconces. I understand the desire to reference something more contemporary, but because they’re the only contemporary design choice in the room right now, they feel really out of place to me. I had to chime in because everything else is so well thought out; might be worth looking at some other options. Good luck!

    1. Hmm. it was something we thought about but we love that it will update it a bit. If it looks out of place we’ll replace them but I think its going to work! Also I coudln’t find any sconces that fit that space that were in our style except for some really boring versions. This may be something that I revisit but as of now I’m psyched.

  25. It looks gorgeous!

    Echo to the comments above about the bridge faucet–I have one in my laundry room and it is not convenient at all. If it were in my kitchen, I would have it replaced pronto with a single handle.

  26. It’s a beautiful design! I’m really enjoying following along since we *just* renovated our old house, too. We have leathered marble counters in our kitchen and I don’t think I would do marble any other way. It removes all fear of etch marks!

  27. The surprise? Not blue! The potential regret? Not blue! and maybe the subway tile. It seems to me like subway tile and stainless appliances have been done to death and no longer look “fresh” or even quaintly new.

    1. Agreed! Could the fridge at least be integrated with the cabinets? That way you won’t have a massive… and kind of tasteless, silver rectangle in your kitchen.

  28. I like all the elements, but the one thing jumping out at me is island. Not a big fan of the shape. Did you consider a freestanding island…like a piece of furniture etc rather than something built in? That sharp corner of the island just seems severe.

    1. Agreed. The island is super awkward. The different color island thing is so dated looking. The shape is weird but I can’t tell if it’s the drawing or the shape of the room.

    2. Agreed! Love the overall design, but that sharp corner extending out from the base of the island — if that were my kitchen, I can just picture that punching me in the gut (or the hip, if I were my imaginary taller self) every time I round the corner and forget it’s there. The triangle also seems disproportionate; are all three sides different lengths? Anyway, you have a good eye for this sort of thing, so I’m sure you’ve thought of all these issues! Can’t wait to see the final pics.

    3. Yes I did. I talked about it in three different posts (search kitchen in the search bar) but ultimately decided that we nee the storage and we think that with the beauty of the stone that this will work. wish us luck (and no, there are no sharp corners anymore). xx

  29. Love, love the lighting! I would still reconsider doing the butcher block on the island for functionality! The layout was a great use of space and the simplicity of lines will keep it fresh and open. That brass is heart eye emojis! I’m so happy to see you used brass! I just read an article by a bunch of designers that brass is out and bronze is in, and I love brass! You make it work!

  30. Everything looks so good!! I can’t wait to see it completed. On your island, are you planning to round the corners of the countertop? With two little ones, they’ll soon get to a height that they’ll run into the edges and from experience, a counter in your eye is no fun! Food for thought :)

    1. I love the design but second the pointy counter worry for kids and adults alike. I’m sure it’s just the angle of the rendering?

  31. I really have to agree with other concerns about the island. The shape is awful. I get that you want to maximize the odd space, but there is nothing classic or English about that jutting corner. And the thought of that beautiful Barbie being cut to that shape… I think you should go with a furniture island until you know for certain what would work best there permanently. Especially if you were planning to have the floors installed AFTER the cabinets.
    I do love many of the other details although it does feel very conservative on color compared to some if your inspiration pics.

    1. It does seem a shame to have such an oddly shaped island in such a beautiful kitchen. It just screams: “we couldn’t think of any other solution!”
      Could you just do a nice, English piece of furniture island with butchers block on top until you can think of something that isn’t so odd? Overall though, I like where you’re heading with this!

      1. Believe me, we tried to find some old found antique piece that could work. but good news, the base is in and it WORKS. Thank GOD. The stone isn’t yet so stay tuned.

  32. I love this, but I feel like you’re holding back by not doing the bottom cabinets green like the island. I think this stood out to me most from the inspiration images. This is just another opinion, your kitchen will look gorgeous no matter what!

    1. Agree! That is such a pretty color and as someone already commented, it would blend in better if other base cabinets matched. So surprised that you are being so timid with color in here!

    2. Agree! Agree! I hope this is another beams-style SURPRISE-we-stripped-the-wood-afterall situation & the cabinets turn out to be green :)

  33. I’ll say it again. You will regret not having a microwave drawer. That is a nice microwave, but it’s going to be awkward to use. I love my sharp drawer. They will be about the same size so you can upgrade to the drawer later, but it’s probably better to just buy it once and right.

  34. I honestly love every selection except the island shape, but I get it, it’s a challenging shaped room and I’m sure this is what worked best in the space.

  35. You are probably going to have stools at the island, but the way the triangle is cut/shown it looks like a huge safety hazard for small kids – ours are 2,4 and 7 and they are constantly bumping into/or rounding corners at such a speed that I’d consider changing the angle or rounding it

  36. Love the kitchen! Can’t tell exactly from the rendering but will you be able to open the dishwasher and stand at the sink at the same time? Here it looks like you can’t, which would bug me. Still beautiful either way though!!

    1. Kitchen designer here. I was also wondering about the dishwasher. Though you don’t have lots of room. I usually tried to put 6-9″ cabinet between sink cabinet and dishwasher. Too close and it is pretty awkward. Probably too late to changes it.

      1. I think we have 6″ and yes, that is something that we had our cabinet designer make sure was clear and good. Now that the island is in is there as much room as I pictured? Nope, but its good! appliances come in on monday :)

  37. I think your choices are right on target (!) with the exception of the awkward shape of the island. Plus the darker color makes it even more prominent.

  38. Sconces: heart eyes. Backsplash tile to the ceiling: heart eyes. I agreed w a couple people who commented they’d love to see the lower cabinets in that green as well; it is just the most beautiful color I think the kitchen could afford a splash more. Your whole mock up is amazzzzing.

  39. I have been thinking about commenting all day… I’m laying in bed awake thinking about your space. Haha!! So here goes-I’m sad the cabinets aren’t all green. I trust you (of course) so I don’t want to be critical. I hate it when others can’t see the result I’m seeing in my head …and of course this is your house and you are a world famous designer. I love your mood boards and feel like the white cabinets and stainless appliances are a safe choice. High contrast btw dark cabs and light tile is so alluring in the photos. Dark cabs would harmonize with the island and create a unified view from the front door. I know white is safe and you just did a dark kitchen, but I really am sad. I am still pulling for floor to ceiling green. Or if you really wanted white why not do white appliances?

    1. Enough of you are commeting about the lower cabinet color matching the island that I’m definitely thinking about it. It’s too late (but yet, its paint, so its never too late :))

  40. SO PRETTY! Marble, brass, Cle tile, and the rest all gorgeous! Though do prefer shape of the Devol pic sconce and only cut one point from island top? (avid fan)

  41. Only cuz u asked.
    1. I dontvthinknthe shape of the island is awful. I think it’ll be great.
    2. Could the island he white and the other cabinets green? The way it is now looks like it’s a feature you want to highlight.
    3. White appliences in my humble opinion.

  42. I have looked this over a few times and still love the island. It embraces your kitchen instead of fighting against it. I don’t think it’s dated at all especially with all the elements you are doing in the room. I do wish you did the subway tile only part way up the wall. You’ve got a lot going on and with additional kitchen ware in the room you’ll want a bit more calm instead of so many elements. Whatever you decide will be beautiful!!

  43. Not a fan of the island shape at all. Would love to see something vintage in this kitchen. I was so hoping you would give this house a bit of a spanish influence which would suit the living room well. Love the flooring.

  44. It’s stunning and well planned. I can only imagine how much work is involved. The island is great. I love to take what I consider a negative feature and turn it into a positive! Also glad that Frigidaire has created a more smudge proof finish now for stainless steel. That’s my biggest complaint with stainless, I can’t stand to see fingerprints all over appliances – not only does it look bad but doesn’t help a kitchen feel clean! Our frig is white, it just works better in our light and has been really easy to keep clean. Looking forward to the finished space.

  45. Most of this looks amazing – can I offer a few suggestions as an English person who recently completed a VERY similar kitchen reno (using Devol, Plain English and Tom Howley as inspiration):

    – I think you should rethink the tiling all the way to the ceiling. As a few other people have noted, English country kitchens would normally only tile to a backsplash height (i.e. in line with the bottom of the top cabinets) and I think it would be distracting ant not in keeping with the style of the house to have it going all the way up to the ceiling. Other options could be an upstand in the same marble as your countertops, a beadboard to match your cabinets or a plan slab of marble. The subway tile would totally work, just not to ceiling height.

    – I know the appliances are sponsored, but I think they would look infinitely much better if they were integrated (at least the dishwasher!). All of the English sources you’re citing (Devol, Plain English etc) only really do standalone ranges (which are usually AGA style). We have an open living room/kitchen and went for completely integrated fridge, freezer and dishwasher – it’s so much nicer as you have a clean line of cabinetry without everything looking so functional all the time.

    – Again on appliances, do you have electric induction hobs in the US? They are a complete gamechanger, look so sleek on a marble countertop and SO easy to clean. I can clean the hob in literally 10 seconds. I would never go back to a gas hob.

  46. This is going to be spectacular! I am in love with cedar and moss and that visual comfort fixture. Have used both multiple times and you cannot go wrong.

    I have some good news, I think you are way over estimating the maintenance of some of your materials. I have done lots of kitchens with white stone (and live with a Calcutta Gold island with 3 kids). While you have to be OK with the patina, and you’re right the first few months are the worst, I completely love white marble and find it to be absolutely no more care and maintenance than anything else. Same with my unlacquered brass faucets and fixtures.

    But I am a patina girl. I have a very modern and clean line as static but love the look of a great patina!

    Cannot wait to see the results Emily!

  47. Plain English Designs! I actually worked with them 20 years ago, but decided it was just too difficult to import everything to the States. I went with similar Shaker cabinets and a similar feel. Over the years I’ve repainted and changed the countertops and floors and added new island etc, but in essentials it is the same. And I still love it.

    And I love this new kitchen and am sure that it will wonderful to live with for a long time.

  48. As a major traditionalist, but longtime fan of yours, I am so excited to watch this come together! I love the colors, and I don’t think I could have resisted going full moody English kitchen, painting all of the cabinets that wonderful green! But with your aesthetic, I think the mix is going to be lovely.

  49. So exciting to design your own nest. We moved into a kitchen that the previous owner had spent considerable time, money and thought renovating. It was lovely, very functional and we enjoyed it for 8 years. We are copying many of its features, but we are not repeating the leathered finish on the countertops. That was beautiful but also very difficult to clean. I ended up putting wax paper down anytime I used flour or sugar. Since it isn’t smooth your children cannot do homework on it without padding. We are also skipping the pot filler. Its handy but difficult to keep clean and if there is a plumbing problem your lovely backsplash is a goner. Be sure you keep extra tile and provide access for the line. Love your work!

  50. Beautiful kitchen! I’ve been following it in insta. But I wonder why not green cabinets and white uppers? I thought it was a “rule” of yours which I loved! It’s a beautiful green, and yet it’s barely there. I love brass as much as you, but with the stainless appliances, i would have opted for black faucets. I personally don’t like the mix of golden and silver very much. Can’t wait for the big reveal!!

  51. Hi Emily- just one quick question… will it be more difficult to put dishes away from the dishwasher being so fat away from the cabinet? In my mind a more linear design would be to switch the trash cupboard w the machine :)

  52. Looking good! I especially love the tile and herringbone wood floors.

    I don’t like cream in interiors (or in clothing – washes me out!). I like a fresher (i.e., whiter) look for cabinets. But that’s above my pay grade. I’m sure yours will look awesome.

  53. I really love your plans! I love this modern country style. I just want to ask about the flooring. I’m a huge fan of wooden floors, but it is appropriate in the kitchen? I mean it is not too vulnerable where are water, grease, steam and tomato sauce everywhere? Or it has a special lacquer?
    Thanks! I can’ wait the rest of this!

  54. My only advice would be to get some sort of extended warranty guarantee from frigidaire. We bought a full set of their appliances five years ago and have had to put about $2K into repairs. The dishwasher leaks despite repairs, the ice machine has been fully replaced twice and still does not work, and the microwave has had two magnetron replacements (at $250 each).

  55. Girl, you are going to regret the metal grating on the cabinet doors, I promise you. It is SUCH a drag to have to rinse your dishes BEFORE you use them. In addition to less cleaning, glass seems much more timeless. Just my two cents, but I am also an ardent open-shelving opponent. I’ve lived with them, hated them, & dreamed of glass-doored cabinets. You’ve got kids & pets, why fight nature?

    1. Totally agree about the metal grating – forget the dishes for a moment, and just think about how hard it will be to keepi the grating itself clean from dust, pet hair, etc. Also for a more traditional look, have you thought about white appliances. They are a bit out of fashion, but they would blend in with your cabinets and not fight with the brass.

    2. I’ve been thinking about this, too. The grilles are absolutely beautiful and I’d hate to lose them, though. Have you thought about having them inset in glass so you get the charming period look combined with ease of maintenance?

  56. Emily, this will look so beautiful and special! I love that you went traditional yet very cozy and inviting. It seriously is the most perfect kitchen plan! Love the floors the most, but ohhh, those colors together are magic, girl, magic…

  57. I am so happy you ended up with white cabinets. Green or blue or black (as I believe you considered along the way) would have been beautiful, but white will bring such a bright, light feeling to the room and is definitely the most classic and best option for the long run.
    The only choice I can’t understand is a faucet with two handles. In my world function ALWAYS trumps style, and I think I would go mad if I had to turn on two faucet handles everytime I had to use water in my kitchen.

  58. I love the backsplash tile and love that you’re taking it all the way up the wall; in this particular layout with this particular tile, it works beautifully.

    I also really like the chandelier over the island, it will provide the right amount of ambient and task lighting. If the connected space is used as a dining room, likely requiring a second chandelier in this area, then the island chandelier does seem to limit those options somewhat. But I guess that can be resolved with a larger scale and coordinating finishes in the dining area?

    The appliances look really nice, and the melting function on the microwave is a dream, but the suite looks a lot more contemporary than this kitchen. If the refrigerator had the internal filtered water dispenser it would be a little less obvious. But it’s still a nice looking appliance suite with a lot of functionality.

    1. i am dying over everything!!! it’s really perfection.
      i’m only questioning the chandelier- maybe so prissy.haha
      for this space.
      also, not sure about the butcherblock island but i’m open

  59. Because you asked: a two hands faucet would be a major red flag for me, really not convenient when cooking, although beautiful. Gas range would be out of question for me, induction is so much better, faster, safer, prettier and sooooo easy to keep clean.
    I’d totally vote for integrated appliances, but I understand it’s kind of a US vs Europe thing. Those giant steel things look weird to me in this happy and bright design.
    On the other hand: the island looks good to me, lights, flooring pretty, and whatever you do, the results are always stunning, so I’m really looking forward to see the finished kitchens

  60. Must the island top really end in a sharp point on the left side? I worry that is just waiting for a kids’ forehead to smack into – sending you to hospital for stitches.

  61. Love, love, love the flooring!!! It’s gonna look amaze-balls!!
    I s-t-I-l-l think that island is a hee-uge mistake. It’s screaming “trying too hard to be different!”.
    I love the scones above the windows, but think the centre lighting should nod to them…a similar style of larger light/s? They’re just too different and don’t fit with the rest of the kitchen’s energy.
    I was hoping all the lower cabinets might be green too, just makes that weird island shout out even louder that it’s sooo “different”.
    Hanging out to see the end product and hope that I’m wrong about that screaming island!

  62. Have been thinking about this kitchen design a lot. Too much actually!

    Is it as simple as you hoped? It seems quite removed from the inspiration images and design to me – which have made me really want a blue-black kitchen FYI! I think the island shape is a big culprit. I wouldn’t have one in that space, but agree with others about considering a (smaller) freestanding piece or nothing for the time being, though of course you are the only one who knows the space …

    This is all ridiculously exciting though; thank you so much for sharing in such detail! I’m shocked at how invested I feel emotionally in YOUR kitchen! 😀😍

  63. Oh Emily, I love everything you do! But, I’m just not loving the triangle island. It really ruins the whole look for me. And painting it green really highlights the shape. I’m sorry, I couldn’t keep quiet any longer about it😬

  64. I think it’s gonna look great and I think you were right to follow the angles of the kitchen on the island top. I have a diagonal angle in my kitchen and my island mimics it and it fits. I feel it would be odd in my space if it didn’t. Can’t wait to see the finished product. Love the green you chose

  65. I love this! I just said to my husband this morning that I would like a dark green/jade island with white in the remainder of the kitchen. While nosing around on instagram I found you! What do you think about making the whole center island a butcher block, while leaving the rest of the kitchen white? Is that too much when already making the island the dark green? Thanks!

  66. It is gorgeous and classic. I am a little surprised it is a bit mainstream Not as much flair or uniqueness as I would have expected from EH. I do love it though. (Agree with others that the dark colors in inspiration pics for main cabinetry would have been gorgeous too.)

  67. Hi! I love you and your style so so much!!!! I love your kitchen plans!! Just got the frigidaire professional series myself. I have to have a repair man on Monday for issues already so we will see how that goes. But… I wanted to say … Go with a more classic finish for the faucet. Brushed nickel, chrome, stainless. To make it less matchy matchy.
    Just a suggestion!!!! Love you!!

  68. After looking at photos again and reading other comments I agree that base cabinets would look better in green. It will add depth/richness & take emphasis off island, which for some reason reminds me of the ouija board game piece. 😬

  69. (I wonder how often people read all the comments on their favorite blog not once -but twice.!?)
    Emily, I loooooove what you and your team have done with your kitchen -beautiful, classic, highly functional (those professional appliances? hot!) plus a touch of whimsy (what I’m calling your ingenious, problem solving island shape. happy to hear you’re feeling even more confident after seeing the base in the actual space & cannot wait to see that jaw-droppingly gorgeous piece of marble you found installed!)! I see you have already acknowledged the ‘all lower cabinets in the same darker green as the island’ camp of which I’m also a member -as you pointed out, a simple enough adjustment if you decided to change it later on. I love the funky sconces & fully support your reasoning! So, I only mention this next detail because from your Instagram pic it looks like they aren’t up yet..? I have the same latches as your uppers on storage cabinets in our playroom and although I love the look, they create an extra pinch & twist step (unnecessary with a different hardware choice) that irritates me a. little. tiny. bit. EVERY single time I use them -something to consider..? Finally, that unlacquered brass bridge faucet and those herringbone floors simultaneously set my heart racing and make me weak in the knees (barely exaggerating ; ). SO darn excited to see it all come together!

  70. I will be following along to see your floor! We are about a year away (give or take a few months) from putting in hardwood floors. We are already in the process of trying to pick them out. I am super picky. I bet these will be fabulous! Also, we have had frigidaire appliances in both of our houses and have been very pleased with them!

  71. Hi Emily – I love the new design! I’ve heard though that you shouldn’t use Marble for kitchen countertops because they scratch and stain easily – is this true? I am considering redoing my own kitchen, and I LOVE marble countertops, but I am concerned that they may not hold up to the wear and tear. Sinnce you are using marble for your kitchen, I am curious to get your thoughts!

    Andrea

  72. I have shaker cabinets on my lowers and, while I love the look, they are a total pain to keep clean. We are ferocious cooks & bakers and there always seems to be crud on that lip and I haven’t come up with a method for cleaning that works well. Tried compressed air (like you use on a computer keyboard), damp towels, dry toothbrush. Won’t do those again!

  73. Is the link you provide to the actual cabinet doors you are using or is it just an example of the design? I have considered Aristokraft for my kitchen and would be interested in your thoughts on their cabinets if that is what you went with.

  74. I would suggest rethinking the Frigidaire Dishwasher. We just built a house and used a lot of the frigidaire professional line (the exception being the colorful Big Chill Oven). And we hate our dishwasher. It is super flimsy and cheap. The 30 min wash is fine, but your plates etc. will be wet, so if you don’t mind hand drying, it’s a nice option. I wish we had spent more time looking at other dishwashers, but we just didn’t have the time and we got a great package deal on the Frigidaire series. Maybe it’s not too late to save you from a crap dishwasher!!!

  75. This may be a really weird comment. It grabbed me right of the bat, though- the way your refrigerator opens (non-freezer side) in regards to the flow of the kitchen. I don’t know how much space you have between the island and the fridge and how open the door swings. For the flow of things, it seems that the fridge would be better placed where the stove is and the stove where the fridge is. Maybe it’s not a concern at all! I hope it’s not!