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The Last Kitchen

We have made it! We are finally ready to talk about the last option for the "pretty part" of the kitchen design. Welcome to the Kitchen Option Five chat. In the previous two posts we have talked about options one and two and then three and four.

The kitchen is almost always my favorite room in a house. My mom was a phenomenal cook and baker. When my brothers and I were young my mom would spend days baking for bake sales. I do not remember what the bake sales were for exactly, I think they were for our school or for church or neighborhood gatherings (the money was not going to her lol) things like that. I watched her hard at work in the kitchen making breads and cookies and cakes and then packaging her goodies up in shiny aluminum foil pans and dishes. When all were wrapped up she would curl ribbons to cover the twist ties. In my memories she was not complaining or feeling overwhelmed, she was at her happiest.

When my brothers and I got a little older we would work with my mom to make Christmas cookies to give to all of our neighbors and friends during the holidays. In the beginning I felt awkward delivering the cookies, thinking "who's even going to want these cookies?" And you know what, everyone did! They were delicious and our neighbors and friends would be delighted to get some of Mary Dorsey's delicious treats. The first Christmas after college I brought in a wrapped with a bow homemade Hershey Kiss cookie plate for everyone in my office. My mom gave me the recipe over the phone and I baked all night. I did feel overwhelmed lol.

My mom was also famous in her circle for her dinner parties and famous in our family (extended and immediate) for her dinners in general. After my mom died I found a composition notebook tucked away with her cookbooks that was filled with pages and pages of the menus for her dinner parties that began in the early 1970s. I could not ask her, of course, it looked as though she wanted to be sure she always made something different for her guests taking copious notes on who attended which meal. The menus were worthy of (is outshined too much?) the Barefoot Contessa. I don't think I saved the notebook, at least I cannot find it, and that makes me sad. The connection between my mom, activity in the kitchen, and happiness was made early in my mind and remains to this day. I always want my kitchen to bring this feeling forth.

That brings us to here, I have five options that are visually appealing to me and that I would enjoy being "active" in and could probably come up with a lot more. I won't though. Don't worry. Before we run through Kitchen Option Five, here is a link to the renovation plan for the kitchen in case you want to take a look at it.

Sticking with our routine, here is the mood board for Kitchen Option Five:

This kitchen has a lot of similar elements to the options that have come before, here is the basic plan:

  • All cabinetry: gray-blue color on simple shaker style fronts

  • Bench cabinets/drawers: white color shaker to match color of trim around windows

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

  • Island countertop: soapstone (or similar quartz)

  • Cabinet hardware: polished nickel

  • Sink: apron front white farm sink

  • Faucet: polished nickel

  • Refrigerator: stainless steel

  • Bench fabric: blue pattern or multi-colored pattern

  • Window treatments: white wood blinds

Kitchen Option Five brings in my favorite color combination: blue and white. Although I naturally gravitate towards navy for everything, I want to do something different in here because we just had a navy island in our last kitchen. In this option I would use a blue gray color. In our dining room in Grosse Pointe I used Brewster Gray by Benjamin Moore and that is what I have on the mood board. This is a beautiful color that plays well with others. It would welcome in red, navy, pink, orange, you name it and it will probably look pretty darn good. With this color I would do soapstone for all countertops. Although a thick marble/quartz top on the island like this would also look fantastic. And aren't those lights over the island amazing?!

The bench would be white to match the woodwork around the windows, although it would look great in the Brewster Gray too (see, I could have Kitchen Options for days!). Since the woodwork and the bench would be white in this kitchen, I would use white wood blinds or plantation shutters to block the taupe-y window screens and window interiors above the bench and still be able to let the light and fresh air in. The walls would be the same off-white as the rest of the open space - the great room and entry. The color on the mood board is Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore. The trim color on the board is Decorator's White by Benjamin Moore.

For the bench, I love the idea of a multicolored fabric like this:

Of course a blue and white fabric would be lovely too, this is what is on the mood board:

The companion fabric on the mood board is below:

To work with a bold fabric on the bench I would use primarily small/minimal pattern fabrics for the pillows.

I love this as the pendant light over the island. I have been noticing that this gorgeous fixture is rightfully becoming more and more popular on Instagram and in magazines. Generally I try to use things that are not "trendy". If we go with Kitchen Option Five I might have to make an exception!

Now for some eye candy. Here are some blue-gray inspiration kitchens.

This first one is the kitchen that has been on most of the mood boards. The beam detail I'm planning to add in the triangle bench area would be swoon worthy with blue-gray cabinetry, just like this kitchen.

This next kitchen is by Jean Stoffer, my idol, who I actually got to meet at her store in Grand Rapids! It is the kitchen from the Junior League Decorator's Show House in Detroit in 2020. It has three separate cabinetry colors, the island though is very close to Brewster Gray it seems.

And some more blue-gray kitchens...

A total let down from the beauty above, my color coded floor plan needed for my ability to visualize the space. The blue-gray color is all wrong, the stainless refrigerator color may actually be closer to Brewster Gray! It works in my mind though lol.

After all of this, maybe I'll end up doing something like this bringing back the navy!:

This kitchen is stunning. I really do want to move away from navy for this kitchen though - more like dragged away kicking and screaming apparently.

If you have a favorite, please let me know. I guess I need to ask John what his preference would be and I'll take that under advisement, as I say to my children when they're asking for something! After all of this I still do not have my choice made. After describing each kitchen, it becomes my favorite. More thought to do. Once the first floor is all design boarded out I will decide, that sure is my plan at least. This is the spreadsheet I put together for myself to look at the options that I continue to stare at. (Lori, if you're reading this do you see my cursor is in the A1 box?!)

So, this is where we're going to leave the Kitchen Option discussion. I still have not made a decision. My top two are Kitchen Option Two and Kitchen Option Five (right now). Does that surprise you? I'll let you know how that goes over with John. Please let me know which you would choose! Thank you for following along on the kitchen decor trail. Next week we will look at the mudroom/powder room and the dining room. I hope to see you again then.

Thanks for being here today, Kerry




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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