kitchen DESIGN | Out with the old…

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I’m not gonna lie – I’m already feeling a bit nostalgic already about updating my Kitchen! And I haven’t even started it yet!!

It’s not just the “BEFORE” image that gets me… This space has been the heart of our home for 16 years. It’s served THOUSANDS of meals to our family of 6, friends and acquaintances, and friends who think they’re family.

With an innovative design approach that would have been unusual when I first designed it 15yrs ago, some things have stood the test of time. Some have come full circle to be back in style (black appliances, anyone?! LOL!). As I look forward to my “next-15-years’” Kitchen, here’s what I would change, and what I wouldn’t.

A few things I’ll personally miss…

• the old – original! – plaster wall left as a backsplash, which I’ve grown to love the patina of…
• the awkwardly placed kitchen corner sink that made way for a doggie den on the other side (compromises) – reminds me of our old black Lab, Jack.
• having some of my antique dishes close by on a beautiful wood shelving unit – they’ll have to move so hopefully I can keep the ones I use most still close

A few things I’ll absolutely do again!

30” deep countertops, people! No idea how I came up w this originally – I must have seen it SOMEWHERE – and over the past decade I’ve designed the same into almost every Kitchen I’ve worked on [more on this later]. I LOVE HAVING THE EXTRA SPACE!!!
• two-toned cabinets. I’m not a huge fan of white on white on white on – ugh. I’ve loved having brightness above, and a more grounding color/floor below. Originally I had a dark black-brown below, but since painted it grey to test it out – and love it. Very classic, still interesting and grounding.
• Quartz counters!! Mine were – AND STILL ARE – pure white! And I am NOT careful w them in any way LOL. They’ve stood the test of time very well.
• Quartz 1.5” return up the wall (meant as a base for a future backsplash tile line). I love having this solid edge, rather than let a million little tile grout lines end up on the wet surface of the counter. An alternate would be a one-piece backsplash across the entire Kitchen.
• stick my fridge in front of an old window… It’s not the best of all worlds, but rather than deal with building envelope issues I left the window and now I kind of like how it peeks around here and there reminding me of the history of the house (originally that area was the eating nook).
• all pull-out cupboard drawers – and a hinged shelf for my KitchenAid! Nothing like easy access!
• open shelves coming into the windows. I’m not a huge open shelving fan (who has time for that much DUSTING?!), but it’s been a nice transition into the window area
• Island pendant lighting that has removeable glass shades that can be put INTO THE DISHWASHER! Always clean, never dusty.
• raised eating bar on the end of the island – but bigger and better next time for more guests at seated “kitchen” dinner parties for 6
• Island top that’s 2” lower than normal for SHORT PEOPLE like me to get better force on their knives / rolling pins, etc.

And a few things I’m REALLY looking forward to:

• a Range that WORKS! Ugh…
• potentially adding a wall steam oven – yessssss
• a bigger Island – with a special feature, yet to be designed (stay tuned!!)
• more organization / less clutter (YEAH, right…)
• a new STYLE – which I didn’t realize when I first started, but it might end up being a new style for EVERYONE, not just me!

I don’t have the budget to make my EVERY Kitchen dream come true, but that would be the same for many of my potential Clients down the road, too, so although tough decisions will come, I’m sure the “AFTER” will be the thing of dreams.

Wanna chat? Jot in the comments your 1 favorite thing about your Kitchen, and the 1 most disliked thing. I can’t wait to hear!

alison kent HOME KITCHEN design gather elevate compose home cook
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