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.
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:
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.
Then I kept collecting images – they all feel warm and modern but still traditional.
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:
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).
Let’s go over some details of the design really quick:
- 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.
- New Windows: They are coming – simple wood windows, mimicking the rest of the windows in the house.
- 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.
- Apron-Front Sink: simple, functional, and lends itself to an english design very well.
- 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.
- 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.
- Handmade Subway Tile: Stay tuned about more on this, but these tiles are simply stunning.
- 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.
- 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)
- Unlacquered Brass Latches: These will go on the upper cabinets.
- Brass Furniture Style Handles for the drawers: These are so simple and beautiful and Brain requested big handles so he’s getting them.
- 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.
- 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.
- Painted Wood Door Knobs: These are planned to go on the lower cabinet doors.
- 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.
- 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:
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:
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.