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Kitchen, Which Kitchen?

Hi there! In the last post we talked about how the (current) ultimate layout of the kitchen differs from the architect plans. In this post we are going to start talking about the decor of the kitchen. I have narrowed it down to five options. Only five, Kerry!?! Today we will review my top and bottom choices. In the next post we will look at two decor schemes that have a lot of similar (but still different!) elements to today's options and then the fifth option will have its own post because it is more of a departure from the others. Does that make sense? I hope so! Let's get cooking!

The kitchen in this house is truly in the center of everything. Almost every room on the first floor connects to it and I really want it to be a continuation of the "vibe" of the house - welcoming, attractive, layered, comfortable, great sight lines, stand the test of time, and of course functional for the cook (me) and the family and friends gathered in there at any given time. Here is the post on the renovation plan for the space and here is the post on what it looks like today in case you want to check those out.

Starting with the mood board for Option One:

Kitchen Option One is primarily a white kitchen with these as the main elements:

  • Perimeter cabinets: white shaker

  • Island cabinets: black shaker

  • Bench cabinets: white shaker

  • Range countertop and backsplash: soapstone (or quartz lookalike)

  • Island countertop: marble (or quartz with a marble look)

  • Cabinet hardware: polished nickel

  • Sink: apron front white farm sink

  • Faucet: polished nickel

  • Refrigerator: stainless steel

  • Bench fabric: ticking stripe

Kitchen Option One is classic. For all five of the options, I want to use soapstone (or quartz with a similar look) as the countertop and backsplash around the range. I love the look and feel of soapstone. It is heat resistant so a good option by the stove, it also chips easily which is a negative in the durability column. If I knew we were staying here forever there would be no question - I would use it. If I want the kitchen to look almost new when we move out in ten to fifteen years, quartz may be the better option. Ultimately it may just come down to cost.

For Kitchen Option One the island would be marble or a quartz lookalike. Same type of dilemma as with the soapstone. I love the natural material, it stains easily though. We went with marble on the island and soapstone on the perimeter counters in our Holland house even though we knew we wouldn't live there long because I wanted them so badly. My younger daughter accidentally spilled an entire glass of orange juice on the island right after we moved in, the remnants of which are still visible to this day, I'm sure, and I took a few chips out of the soapstone while cooking. These events tortured me knowing that we needed to sell the house. Will I feel differently living here for a long time? I don't know!

For all of the options, we will use an apron front sink because that is on the must have list from John. The faucet is polished nickel in almost all of the options because that is my favorite finish on a kitchen faucet. I'm eyeing this one:

All options will have an upholstered bench seat with coordinating pillows and a coordinating fabric on the stools.

I want to add some type of beam element in the triangle space and all options need to have minimal pendants over the island. The island is large, twelve feet long by five and a half feet wide, and will require four pendant lights. I do not want these lights to be obtrusive to the sight line from the Circle Room. I think a pendant light like this would work really well with kitchen Option One:

Following are some inspiration photos of beam elements in the kitchen:

For the windows over the bench I would like to have black wood blinds like this:

This is a picture I took from Frederic magazine's summer 2021 edition. The windows and screens in our house are pre-finished with a taupe-y color to match the exterior window trim. To save money we are planning to keep the windows and the black wood blinds, which would match the black island, would cover up those taupe-y edges so they don't clash with the trim paint and still allow plenty of light and air into the room.

This is an idea of how the bench base would look with shaker drawers/cabinets underneath. The upholstery though is not the look I want for this kitchen.

The last inspiration shot for Kitchen Option One is for the fabric choice on the bench:

Blue and white ticking stripe is classic and easily works with the black and white cabinetry, the stainless steel appliances, wood floors and beams. Patterned pillows blend seamlessly with the ticking stripe too so getting the layered, textural look would be fairly easy.

Last stop on the Option One train, I attempted to color code the floor plan to show which area would be which finish. I have the ability to visualize something quite well in my head once I have the basics of the ideas laid out in front of me.

Let's open the door on Kitchen Option Two now:

Kitchen Option Two would have the cabinetry all the same color and the countertop surfaces all the same:

  • Perimeter cabinets: putty color shaker

  • Island cabinets: putty color shaker

  • Bench cabinets: putty color shaker

  • Range countertop and backsplash: soapstone (or quartz lookalike)

  • Island countertop: soapstone (or quartz lookalike)

  • Cabinet hardware: putty painted knobs on cabinetry, brass pulls where needed

  • Sink: apron front white farm sink

  • Faucet: polished nickel

  • Refrigerator: putty color panels

  • Bench fabric: red patterned fabric

I have been drawn to kitchens with a putty like color painted cabinets lately and I love the idea of matching knobs. Very simple and a way to add the feeling of some old fashion/history to the space. The island and cabinetry, as well as the refrigerator, would look like pieces of furniture. (The mood board fridge look is modern and ours would not be). All of the countertops would be soapstone. For this option I would prefer to use the natural material to match the subdued mood of the kitchen - we'll see which wins in my form over function battle if we go with this option!

I like the glass pendant in the mood board as it is see through and visually will not take up too much space in the sightline. I really think pendants like the ones below would be a good option too. We had a wicker light over our dining room table in our Holland house and I loved the rays of light it emitted when on and I loved the way it looked when it was off too. They're also simple enough to not take up too much space visually.

A few putty colored cabinet kitchens:

For the bench in Kitchen Option Two I want to go with a red fabric as the base and then layer blue and white fabrics on top of that for the pillows and for the stools. I love to use red in my decorating. I think it makes every space feel happier. The fabric we are using to reupholster the chairs in the family room has red in it so the two rooms would work well together. If we are going to have a putty colored cabinet, we will not need to hide the taupe-y color of the window frames so we could have fabric widow treatments with this option. I am so inspired by these Jane Churchill fabrics:

The floor plan with my color coding:

That concludes our review of Kitchen Options One and Two. Do you know which one is my top choice and which is my fifth choice? I will wait to reveal it until we have gone through all of the options because as I workshop through my choices with you my mind may change. If you have a guess, I would be interested to know! See you next time with Options Three and Four.

Thank you for joining me today,





Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

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