Do you remember on the MTV Cribs show where they would come to the Master Bedroom part of the tour…… and they always say, “And this is where all the magic happens!” insert: Gross puke face .
I always get grossed out at that part and if one of the people they are showing chooses not to say that part, I instantly like them much more.
Well, for me, I would have to say that about my Kitchen. Sorry, husband.
It’s true! I think my kitchen is by far the favorite spot in the house for me. Lets be honest ladies, we practically live there and have thought at one point or another about how hard it might be to incorporate some kind of sleeping area into the design.
Even though, with our house, we had to choose the same cabinets throughout the house, I was determined to inject character and texture into the space.
I really love to cook and I have collected a fair amount of cookbooks over the years. This picture doesn’t actually truly reflect the amount of cookbooks I have. I am slowly going through our storage unit and haven’t brought them all into the house yet, but I really wanted a space that was solely for them.
I initially got the idea to add something like this when I became a fan of Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen. In the show, they have something like this on the end of their kitchen island that looks like it was built with the island to begin with.
I didn’t have the luxury of extending the island counter top over the cookbook unit, but I really like how it turned out in the end.
I called who else but my local go to craftsman, Steve Egloff from The Wandering Woodshop and together, we came up with the idea of using reclaimed wood. I told him what I wanted it used for and he designed the perfect piece. He actually surprised me with the finish by taking the same color we used on our accent wall in the living room (Benjamin Moore’s Labrador Blue) and watered it down to create the wash he used over the wood.
The end result was perfect!
Some areas of the unit come through bluer than others and it’s awesome!
As you can see, the height is just a step down from the top of the counter top. Look at how pretty the knots of the wood come through! I heart reclaimed wood! Can you tell? 😉
Moving on to the barstools. Or should I say, counter stools? The reason I say this is because when looking for chairs, it’s important to know this. I literally almost made the mistake of ordering barstool height as opposed to the counter height stools. I was so used to just getting bar height in the past, that I never stopped to think about it.
Since we decided to go with the island top being all one level and not staggered, it made the height of the counters, well counter height. So, keep this in mind when shopping for stools. I purchased these from Target. I have been very happy so far. The only gripe is with 3 messy eating kids, I have to use the attachment of the vacuum that allows me to get small crumbs out of the nooks and crannies of the rattan instead of just wiping it off.
Love the texture it lends to the area.
I’ve posted about some of the hardware I chose to go with before in other parts of the house, but I decided to go with this again in the kitchen. I mixed and matched knobs so that nothing was too matchy matchy. I have been asked in the past how to make a space looked lived in and cozy from the start. I feel like this is one of the best secrets to doing this. Nothing should match to much. You should try to mix and match finishes, colors, textures that compliment each other. With the hardware I chose, the finishes match. However, the styles do not. It creates the same effect.
I went with a glass knob for the upper cabinets and a chrome look for lower cabinets, mixing circular knobs and squared off knobs.
I also used different sizes of the same bar style hardware pulls that I purchased from The Home Depot.
I didn’t realize that the fridge area would have a cabinet surround at first and I am happy that I decided to wait before purchasing the fridge for the space. It would have looked funny if we hadn’t purchased a counter depth fridge instead of a standard one. The standard one would have stuck out way too far and looked too large for the space. The counter depth was perfect!
We purchased ours from Home Depot and at first, I wanted a Frigidaire that had the bar bell handles like the hardware I chose for the cabinets and that stinkin fridge was almost $3000!!!!!!! Girlfriend, say WHAT????
I just figured I couldn’t get it until I was surfing the internet and found a Maytag version for significantly less, which sidebar: Aren’t they a Frigidaire company? Y’all ain’t fullin anyone! (See mom? Private school really DID pay off!)
Well, I ended up paying 1/2 that price for the one we got and it looks just like the one I originally saw! Yeahhh doggie! SCORE!
I probably should mention another thing. I meant to write a blog post about the kitchen WAY before it got close to decorating for Christmas. Oops!
This hopefully explains why you see a lot of red and perhaps a christmas tree or wreath. LOL! There will be much more to follow that in the coming days. I finally got my way this year and I get to change up the decor a little. For the longest time, we have had a Grinch Who Stole Christmas type of theme. I finally get to do my Rustic Cabin Christmas theme this year! Look for a tutorial on wall decor, coming soon.
Speaking of Rustic Christmas decor’. Have you seen Target’s dollar spot this year? They have a fantastic selection of christmas stuff this year. Especially if you are swaying towards the same type of theme that I am.
I picked these kitchen towels up there the other day for only $3. I love the plaid!
Another thing we did in the kitchen to give it some character was paint the vent hood. All the cabinets were the same color originally. A sort of off white/cream white. I asked Steve to add the two wood trim pieces that are coming down the center. He did that by simply gluing them in place. Then, we went back in and painted the hood the same color as the island. (*Benjamin Moore’s Fieldstone Gray)
I used the same color in my previous home on the bottom cabinets. Here is the blog post I wrote about painting the kitchen cabinets in that home.
Another way to add character and insert your own style is by changing out your light fixtures. We decided to go with the cheapest lighting package the builder offered because we knew we were going to change them out anyway over time. I bought these from Lowes and are from their Allen and Roth line. I had saw a pair of light fixtures that Joanna Gaines used in a home she did on Fixer Upper and I absolutely loved them……. until the cheapest pair I could find were over $200 each. Since we were having to do a lot of different projects to the house and I knew that buying two that price would eat up my budget, I decided to go with these instead. To be honest, they reminded me a lot of the ones I loved and I wasn’t the least bit sad that I chose to go with them.
They have a blown glass look and go perfect with the craftsman detail in the house.
I also wanted to share something with you that makes me smile every single day! I love this part of the house. You guessed it, the Butler’s pantry. I have always wanted one of these. I mean, like, ALWAYS!!!!!!!
Over the years, I have kept a running list of things I would want in my dream home and this was at the top of the list.
It is a small room off the kitchen that connects to the dining room. It’s the perfect spot to store things that you use frequently, but do not want to necessarily have out all the time. I keep our things like our coffee pot in here and my mixer.
There is a built in area for wine bottles. We store canned items above that and we keep things like wine glasses and coffee mugs in the center area.
I carried the look of the same hardware into this area too. I love these, if you can’t tell. 🙂
On the other wall of the Butler’s Pantry is the regular pantry (which I am going to go more into detail at a later date. You will see why. 🙂 )
Another thing on this wall is our magnet board.
Steve made this for me as well as a few more for the kids rooms.
I keep important reminders as well as school craft papers the kiddos bring home. I also keep a weekly calendar there as well and pretty much anything that might have ended up on the fridge, ends up here instead.
Back in the kitchen, another detail we added was the same type of wood work we used throughout the wall detail in the house. It is the simple squared off look that we used before. Afterwards, we went back and painted it the same color as the hood. (*Benjamin Moore’s Fieldstone Gray). I think it makes the island look more like a piece of furniture.
One more thing I wanted to mention is the counter tops. Since we went with a nation wide builder, we only had a few choices when it came to the granite. We decided to go with this color. The color is called Santa Cecelia. I must have Pinterest searched this color a million different ways so that I could see it with every possible color combo for the cabinets (etc.).
I am really happy with our choice.
Well folks, that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed walking through my kitchen with me. I am so happy that you chose to spend a little time with me today. If you have any questions regarding any of the items you have seen in this post, please comment below and I will make sure to answer them.
Please make sure to check back regularly for more posts on our new home. It’s Christmas time, so I will be sharing decorating ideas and diy projects very soon!
CALLING ALL DADS!
Every Mother’s Day, I fantasize that my husband is losing sleep over the perfect meal to cook me with his 3 perfectly hair combed children in their best Sunday dresses and suit.
As he pours over countless cookbooks, he realizes that he has not yet vacuumed and dusted, which he quickly attends to. His children are making their beds and tidying up their rooms JUST BECAUSE they want to and JUST BECAUSE being clean feels SO good! (This is my fantasy, remember?)
Where am I, you ask?
Well, of course I’m at the Spa getting pampered by a crew of estheticians who want to make me feel good about my self JUST BECAUSE they care that much!
Then I stop dreaming………….. I wake up……………
to the sound of my 2 girls screaming and fighting and pulling eachother’s hair (that is not perfectly combed, by the way) JUST BECAUSE the other one took her pink furry pillow without asking. My son is throwing his little basketball everywhere but actually IN the basketball goal, which is followed up by a crashing sound. Not to mention the girls took it upon themselves to fix “breakfast” which may or may not have consisted of Nutella, Crackers, Half & Half, Cold Left Over White Rice, and Cheezits.
I know, Yummy.
All this, while my husband still sleeps soundly in his bed……. (Love ya Baby!) 😉
Well fellas, to help you out and make your #1 lady think you poured over cookbooks all day, I’m going to help you out with this Super Easy Dessert!
Why not try to make these Mixed Berry Tartlets. Heck, if you want to impress her even more than the fact that you made these to start with……. tell her they are Mixed Berry Tartlets with a Lemon Drizzle.
You only need 7 things and there is a chance that you may have a few of the ingredients already!
Here is what you need to do:
Cut up an 18 oz. package of Strawberries and add to a mixing bowl.
Throw in a couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries and sprinkle mixture with 1 Tablespoon of Sugar…… Toss to Combine. Set aside.
Take a package of Ready Crust Graham Cracker Tartlet minis.
Brush them with a little bit of egg white. (*You don’t have to, but it gives the crust a nice brown color when baking)
Put the tartlets on a cookie sheet and bake according to the package instructions for only 5 minutes. *I think it was 375 degrees, but might have been 350. Make sure you check!
While that is baking,
Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into bowl and whisk in 1/2 cup of Powdered Sugar.
Your lemon drizzle should still be runny, but slightly thick like this. Set it aside.
Now take 1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream. (*If you can’t find “Heavy”, regular Whipping Cream is fine) TIP for DAD: Creams like this have their own section next to the milk area in the Grocery Store. 😉
Find mom’s electric hand mixer and put the whisk attachment on. Beat on low at first unless you want to have the entire thing on your clothes. Add 1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar and eventually go to highest setting and beat until cream becomes a thick whip with “stiff peaks” like this. BE CAREFUL! If you whisk too long, it could turn into butter! YIKES!
DAD: If making this whipped cream on your own proves to be too overwhelming, no one will judge you for buying Cool Whip! However, if you REALLY want to impress mom, go for the homemade stuff and earn those brownie points!
After the tartlets have baked and cooled, mound them up with the berry mixture. (You will probably have leftover berries)
Spoon the lemon drizzle over each tartlet to your liking. A couple spoonfuls each is fine.
Top each with whipped cream.
And garnish with fresh strawberries!
Mom will be SO SURPRISED and touched that you went the extra mile JUST BECAUSE you love her so much!
Recipe: Mixed Berry Tartlets
– 18oz. package Fresh Strawberries
– Couple Handfuls of Fresh Blueberries
– 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
– 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, Divided
– Juice of 1 Lemon
– 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
– 1 Package Ready Crust Graham Cracker Tartlet Minis
– 1 egg white (Optional)
– Dice up Strawberries and add to a bowl. Add the Blueberries and Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of the Granulated Sugar. Set aside.
– Brush 1 eggwhite (optional) over the crusts and bake according to package instructions. Set aside to cool when finished.
– While crusts are baking, combine lemon juice and powdered sugar by whisking until smooth. Set aside.
– With the whisking attachment of an electric mixer, whisk remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar with the 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in a bowl. Whisk until mixture forms “stiff peaks”. Set aside.
– To assemble, take cooled tartlets, and mound each one with berry mixture.
– Add a couple of spoonfuls of lemon drizzle to each tartlet.
– Top with whipped cream.
– Garnish with fresh berries.
– Stick in the fridge for atleast 10 minutes. If making ahead, desserts will keep just fine in the fridge!