NOTE: I am playing catch up and I am way behind. I am not sure if I am going to be able to post for the next 3 weeks. Next week will be big time prep for Long Beach (July 5 – 9, my travel dates) and then fly out 2 days later for a Quilting Arts TV taping in the Denver area. Who knows how much I will be able to post.
Finally, I have a kitchen! This week has been very intense, spending 4 full days with my Organizer, but it is pretty much done. I am exhausted; organizing is intense, with 362 micro decisions/hr. All this hopefully adds up to a wonderfully beautiful and functional kitchen.
Let me set the stage:
– this is not a big kitchen; it’s floor print is basically 13′ x 13′, 13′ x 17′ if you include the eating area.
– there were 2 main goals in this remodel: capture as much cubic inches as possible and reduce clutter.
– as to design, I wanted classic and it is my hope that this kitchen does not look “2023” in 10 years.
– some of the not-so-old appliances (9 years!) needed to be replaced: the Dacor cooktop that required at least 11 service calls during its 9 year stay, one of my GE Monogram ovens was not holding the correct temp, and the mother board on my GE Advantium speed cook oven was going out. Geesh.
– I opted to have very few built-ins for my cabinets. Quality add on organizers can be customized and are considerably less expensive. The only drawer built-ins I asked for was the peg method for holding dishes in a drawer, a pull out trash can/paper towel thingy, a knife rack (wish I didn’t actually, kinda too specific), and 2 spaces of upright holders for baking sheets and such. Those sexy organizer things take a lot of room so I opted out of them.
– Appliances: I actually have all Cove/Sub Zero/Wolf appliances. Each appliance was a stand-alone decision and they all ended up in the same family. I love, love the quality and features of each. I chose the range over all others because it had the BTU’s I was looking for: 20, two 18, two 15’s and a 9.2 thousand BTU’s. I wanted 6 burner and dual fuel. Please no comments on gas; I made an informed decision.
– you may think my kitchen looks spare. Good!! I want spare, edited. It will accumulate some things over time, but I LOOOOOOOVE my almost naked island. Before I had no where to roll out a pie crust, had to do it on the kitchen table. I will be adding some pretty things, I’m just not there yet.
I include details here for those of you who are interested:
View from the adjacent Den. I am very pleased with this view. My solid surface is quartz, Silestone. I looked at white granite and ultimately went with the quartz.
My cabinets are a work of art, I am thrilled. They are alder wood and I love that stain. I wanted miters and boy did they deliver with precision! I also wanted that groove (don’t know the woodworking term for that) detail. I know it will accumulate debris, which I will keep at bay; I wanted it enough to put up with the upkeep. I did not want flat panel or straight joins.
I’ll work the room clockwise, starting from the left:
- Underneath those drawers is Bayley’s food and water station, a 16″ square open space with a Silestone bottom. I did NOT want no stinkin bowls on the floor to trip over!
- “Junk Drawer” but really it’s well organized with useful stuff.
- My open space, this is how I work. I want this week’s recipes and reminders right there on the counter with pens/pencils/shopping lists nearby. Also, I have a water system where I have 3 22 oz glasses that I fill in the morning to make sure I drink enough; also a landline there. Yup, want a landline for emergencies. The shelves above hold other practical items like tape, stapler, etc. Those shelves can be covered by a roll down door.
- Stationary. Note that 5’4″ Jenny always has ready access to a 2-step stool😊
- Truly miscellaneous – entertaining things and photos.
- Baking sheets in an upright built-in organizer.
- Deliberately asked for an open space to put extra oven shelves and such. I wanted them easy access, not in a drawer.
- Baking pan things.
- NOTE: this is a kitchen with flaws and trade-offs. Remember, this is a small kitchen. Note the door to the frig, door to the oven and door to the pantry at the far right. You have to be mindful to not open two adjacent doors, they will run into each other, a necessary trade-off to get the floor plan I wanted.
- Photos! I’m a Boomer and the first 50 years of my life are in there.
- Pantry, photo below. I previously had a door with a glass insert that said “Pantry”, lest we should forget it was a pantry. I am pleased to have a “hidden” pantry, photo below.
- More photo storage.
- One of the best decisions I made, a previously unused shallow space that I had built into a “can pantry”, my most brilliant decision, photo below.
- Oils and vinegars on lazy Susan’s. I have a lot of vinegars and oils.
- The fan in my exhaust is called “Monsoon”, appropriately named. It is LOUD when it’s on high but fine at lower speeds. Sometimes I am going to want the monsoon so it’s good to know I have it.
- Baking supplies, decanted into lovely OXO containers with labels, deeply satisfying. Again, photo below.
- Weird stuff, picnic, entertaining, etc.
- Tiny TV because I MUST have some vapid TV on while cooking.
- Small appliance garage that holds my Cuisinart, Art’s toaster and butter keeper plus bread.
- My “daily” cabinet with my supplements and such.
- Utensil drawer; jury still out on this as opposed to having a jar with utensils sticking out. I think I will keep them here. I can easily see and grab what I need without the clutter of having them up top.
- Below the utensils, a drawer you cannot see in this photo with misc kitchen tools that I use less frequently like immersion blender, torch for custards, etc.
- Double decker Lazy Susan (a sturdy wooden one as opposed to the wobbly plastic ones I have had in any previous kitchen) with rolling pin, blender, strainers, etc.
- What you can’t really tell from the photo is how it feels to stand right there in front of the range. It is all at my finger tips, intuitive, I feel like I’m dancing, I feel empowered, really!
- I forgot to label the area left of the range, below the counter, 4 drawers: top one has spices and lower 3 have storage bags, wraps and some baking dishes. Spice drawer below:
I LOVE having a spice drawer! I did not want one of those pull out things that you have to bend down to get/see your spices. And yes, I use all 54 spices. I also wanted them oriented towards the range so that I pull out the drawer and grab and go. I did not want to have to stand in front of the drawer to get spices.
There is so much organization and thought in the pantry, you cannot even imagine how much time, energy and thought I put into this (with the expert help of my Organizer). I had it custom made with pretty wood and carefully thought out heights to each shelf so as to maximize useful space. You can’t see it but to the right is an open space for my apron, boom/dustpan and step stool.
You bet I labeled those baskets with the help of my Organizer. It makes it so much easier to stay organized and know what I’ve got. And absolutely positively did I put my grains and flours in sealed clear glass jars with labels! Ever have pantry moths? They would be obvious and confined to one item with this set up. This too will fill out as I cook more.
But, it was important that it be pretty! Previously I had a chaotic, bloated, ugly pantry that I hated to go in to. I told the Organizer that I wanted to smile when I walked into the pantry and guess what, I do! I loooove this pantry!
The “can pantry” that I am so proud of. Left door has a chalk board and right side has white board. I cannot express how much I love this cabinet! I can see every. single. can! I have a “sauce shelf”; sauces, especially hot sauces, are important to the Lyon family. This cabinet will fill out as I begin to cook more.
Labeled containers for my baking supplies. Yes, I know I need salt…
- Covered in previous photo, my “daily” cabinet.
- Hubby’s daily cabinet; we don’t run into each other!
- Lazy Susan.
- Double trash can holder below, paper towel holder above with storage for additional paper towel roll, trash bags and dish rags above.
- Working the island now, this is the side that faces the frig. This is the “bowl stack”, first drawer with shallow serving bowls.
- Larger serving bowls.
- Baking/mixing bowls.
- Top two drawers are for Bayley – food, leash, treats, etc.
- Oft used recipe books.
And then there’s the sink, in real life:
I just love this sink. I have always had a divided sink and I wonder why I thought that was a good thing. The whole “workstation” sink thing is the coolest. I have a variety of thingys to use in the sink besides the rolling drain rack and racks in the bottom – integrated cutting board, colander, small bowls with lids, etc. The accessories all fits into a container that is easy to access under the sink. I love that I can be washing and draining without everything all crowded. It’s a nicer luxury than would appear. And that touch faucet is divine; no having to grab a handle with dirty hands.
- End of the island, facing the range; measuring spoons and smaller measuring cups.
- Larger measuring cups and misc items like graters and such.
- Mother lode of smaller utensils like bag clips, spatulas, tongs, ladles, scissors, etc. all beautifully organized in plastic insert containers.
- Pots, pans, skillets.
- Step stool and a few trays.
- Faces the dishwasher, built in silverware holder, my only BAD decision. It is built-in and only has 4 sections, three of them too long! I need 5 or 6, with most of them shorter. This escaped me during the planning stage, no one’s fault but my own. It’s kind of a big deal. Don’t know a way around it other than to have the drawer rebuilt which would be very expensive. No organizer will work because it’s already divided and the dividers are built-in and cannot be removed. Horror of horrors, my salad forks and dinner forks coexist in one space!!! I know, isn’t that tragic?
- Misc – paper plates, taco warmer, spiralizer, food mill, etc.
- Tupperware drawers!! Oh that makes me so happy! Photo below.
- Another happy drawer – a small bowl drawer, see below.
- Good heavens I can’t have these lovely cabinets with a brown outlet! Truly, it offended me so much that I had them make covers that match the cabinets; they will be ready next week.
YES! Tupperware stored with the lids on…because I could! Gives me more pleasure than it should.
Another source of great pleasure, a small bowl drawer. Yes, we actually use all of these. We have a little bowl thing here in the Lyon house…
I wanted to capture every cubic inch possible so I had them build this cabinet underneath the end of the island. And guess what, it perfectly stores my raclette grill and accessories as well as raclette plates. So. Cool! Note the outlets built in underneath so that devices can be charged.
One last brilliant move; there was a wee bit of room at the right of the dishwasher and I had them build a shallow cabinet there, see below:
Is that not the coolest thing?
And one last thing, I was playing around with decor:
I pulled that lovely piece by Canadian artist Margaret Blank from another spot just to see how it looked, as that area looks a little naked without it. Isn’t it just lovely? It can’t stay there as it is a textile piece, so I am on the hunt for something else.
Remember, I wrote above about this being a-less-than-perfect kitchen. When I moved in I called this kitchen a Dumb Blonde because it was pretty but stupidly laid out. I obliterated as much of the Dumb Blonde as possible, but this pretty and fairly useless space had to remain.
This is the “eat in” part of the kitchen and it is really the not-big-enough-to-eat-in part of the kitchen. That is a diminutive table with just enough room for two. This area could not be fixed without a roof redesign, enormously expensive, so there it remains. Pretty, yes; lovely view, yes; good use of space? No.
Things I carefully researched and considered and opted not to have:
– Induction. It just was not a fit for me.
– Pot filler. Nah, didn’t see the need.
Locals, these are the businesses/services that I used that were outstanding:
My general contractor: Tankersley Construction
My designer: Laura Neuman of Pepperjack Interiors
My organizer: Karlee of 2BOrganized of Sacramento
All of these were of the very highest quality, could not have done this without them. It was a virtually flawless adventure.
I hope you enjoyed the tour of my kitchen! I will get back to quilting, I promise.
I’ll be sharing at: