Let me start off by saying, my kitchen has only looked this clean once, and that was for the half hour it took to take these pictures.
That being said, it’s been a long time coming, but I wanted to show you guys the final pictures from the kitchen!
Come on in!
I wanted to break this down by the major choices you have to make when putting together the design elements of a kitchen:
- Table and/or dine-in area
- Range hood
I’m not a designer by a stretch, so we worked with a team of two talented women who helped us bring our vision to life, and it made all the difference in the world. We started this house while I was pregnant and were building it up until the baby’s first birthday, so needless to say it was quite a busy season in our life. I know not everyone prefers to or is able to hire a designer, but there are so many ways to engage a professional in the building or remodeling of your home–even if it’s just on an hourly basis for a few hours to get you started–and I can’t encourage having a professional enough. Unless you’re gifted at this kind of stuff, which I seriously bow down to you if you are.
I’m that lady who came in to our meetings with maybe three pictures from Pinterest and a whole lot of generic decorate-ing-ish sounding phrases like “transitional,” “modern but warm,” “kid-friendly” and my favorite, “a-mix-of warm-and-cool-but-not-too-much-grey-because-I-think-I’m-over-that-combo.”
So yeah, pretty much #dreamclient.
Hardwood vs. Wood-Looking Tile
The big decision for us was in this space to decide between wood and wood-looking tile for the kitchen/living space floor. We came from a house that had wood, and it got so chewed up with the kids and the constant foot traffic in the kitchen. So we knew when we were building that we wanted to at least take a look at wood-looking tile to see if we could replicate the hardwood look with a tile product.
And let me say, you can get a great wood look with all the functionality and ease of tile! We ultimately went with wood-looking tile in a white oak color, and I am so happy we did.
With the amount of walking, food dropping and toy scraping that happens on these floors, it made sense to us to eliminate the extra stress of following everyone around asking them to be careful all the time. And I honestly think it looks so similar to wood, most people have no idea it’s not. The key, though, is a good installation. The tighter the grouting, the more similar to hardwood it looks. So make sure to keep that in mind if you’re considering going with a wood-liking tile!
We did talk with our designer about the impact this could have on resale in the future (people tend to want wood floors), but we plan on staying in this house for a while, and we want to really live in the house in the meantime, so we are really happy we went with our first instinct to choose a floor finish that was more compatible with our lifestyle.
I can’t say it enough, if you have young kids, definitely consider a wood-looking tile!
Countertops: Marble vs. Quartz or Quartzite
On the island, we went with quartzite.
This particular finish is called “Chanel.” It’s a cooler off-white with veins of charcoal grey and light brown. It’s so pretty in person and picks up on both the cool and warm tones of the room. I don’t have a closeup of the island but you kind of can see the tones and veining in this picture. (If anyone wants to see it closer, just let me know!)
For the rest of the kitchen countertops, we went with quartz.
There’s a whole quartz/quartzite vs. marble debate, and if I were to pick a side–having had both marble and quartz in various places in two of our homes–I’d personally choose quartz nearly every time. Here’s why:
- Water marks: This happens when minerals from hard water dry on a marble surface. It leaves behind a dull spot or ring that is really difficult to remove. We had marble in our master bathroom in our last home and these spots became the bane of my existence. For a clean countertop freak like me, these spots drove me crazy! Unless you want to walk around the house with a rag thrown over your shoulder for constant drying and touchups, my advice is to strongly consider quartz in a room where there will be lots of water coming into contact with the surface.
- Color Options: We went to a stone place that had so many more color and pattern options in quartz than there were in marble. I’m not sure if this is the case for every place, but it was great to have so many options to choose from.
This post also has some great information for anyone trying to decide between the two.
For the backsplash, we went with an elongated hexagon pattern in marble. We decided on a simple pattern because of the big stainless hood; I didn’t want too much going on visually in that area. As you can see we wrapped this around the whole back wall, and not just the part behind the range.
The colors are the same as the island–a white and grey with a light brown woven through. I love the mix of cool and warm colors, which also allows you to go with either a silver or gold-toned finish for the fixtures.
We found pictures online of hoods we liked and saw a shape similar to this that was done in copper and stainless, but we decided to do just stainless for ours.
This is the design we came up with, and we sent it to a local metalsmith to make, which actually ended up being cheaper than buying a pre-fab hood of the same size. Always search Thumbtack or regular old Google to see if there are any local artisans that can do the work nearby, to eliminate shipping costs and so that you can have an actual person to talk to if something goes wrong.
Another tip: It’s worth looking into getting a custom hood if you have a bigger range to cover; you can find metal workers who will give you a comparable price to something you’d buy pre-made, with the extra benefit of having it fit your dimensions perfectly.
Eat-In Area Bench Seating and Modern Chairs
We were all about comfort and utility when designing this house, above everything else.
Yes, we wanted it to look good, of course, but first and foremost, it had to be functional for a family with three young kids. Some fabrics and finishes just don’t work when you have six little hands smearing jelly on things.
So when we were looking at options for the eat-in area, we knew that we wanted a bench (one that the kids could crawl all over, and would also fit the thousands of cousins that the kids have), and one made with a durable fabric that’s washable. We (knock on wood) haven’t had any major spills yet to test said durability, but I’m hoping that if called upon, this fabric will deliver.