Let’s get down to it and talk about this gorgeous kitchen. But first, some background information.
When we first sat down with our builder, we gave him the “dream list.” If we could have every bell and whistle in our new home, this is what it would be. Shoot for the stars, right? The dream list didn’t match our budget, so we started whittling down to our priorities. What were our “must-haves” and the details for our home we couldn’t live without? More importantly, what were the items that we couldn’t easily change out or upgrade a few years down the road?
For me, our kitchen cabinets were a big one. Our living room and kitchen are the center of the home, and this element of the design had to be done right. I had my heart set on shaker-style inset cabinets. Are they more expensive? Yes. Are they more labor intensive? Yes. Are they worth it? Yes.
This was a detail I felt would really push the design over the edge and make our home look like an authentic craftsman farmhouse. This is how cabinets were constructed years ago, and I’m glad it’s a trend that is making a comeback. If you do a little research, you'll find source after source of pros and cons to this type of cabinet construction. One common con to inset cabinets I kept coming across is that they stick or don’t shut properly over time. But, this isn’t 100 years ago. They were constructed in a climate controlled environment and they live in a climate controlled environment. Although I live in the swamp, I’ve told that muggy, sticky heat to back off my cabinets. And there's nothing a little sandpaper and hinge adjustment can't fix.
In a lot of old kitchens, a portion of the cabinets often look like built-in china cabinets. That’s what I did just to the left of the sink. I took the uppers all the way down to the countertop. Glass front cabinets sit on top of a set of slim drawers, where I stash extra silverware and such.
I researched, took note and dissected as many old kitchens as I could when I was dreaming up this space. Next up on my recipe for the perfect farmhouse kitchen was an apron sink--no brainer here. This is also a trend I’m glad to see stick around. But if you want to get technical, a true farmhouse sink is about twice as wide, often has drain boards and a wall-mounted faucet. But, because I wanted the windows above the sink, I felt it wouldn’t look quite right.
Speaking of the windows, you might notice another detail I was adamant about. I kept the backsplash simple by using a classic matte subway tile. But if you've ever peeked inside an old bistro, a subway station, or even an old bathroom, subway tile is everywhere. It doesn't stop at a typical backsplash height, which is usually in line with the bottom of the upper cabinets. But not in this kitchen. Go big or go home, right? I had the subway tile go all the way up to the ceiling surrounding the windows. It's a relatively small surface area, but it makes a dramatic impact.
Knowing we were going to sell our old house and build a new one, I was able to experiment a bit with tile options. When we remodeled our old kitchen, I picked a glossy white subway tile and white grout. I liked it. But, I didn't love it. So in the new house, I went with a matte tile (also on our tile floors) and a warm gray grout. The gray grout especially helps each individual tile pop.
Above the sink is the prettiest thing I’ve ever found on Etsy. This talented gentleman made this light fixture for me, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It’s a delicate twist on a globe pendant light.
Above the island are matching barn pendant lights. The black is a sharp contrast to the cabinets and a complement to the island. And, if you take a peek underneath, they're lined with mirrors, which helps disperse light even more.
What’s that stone on the island, you ask? It’s an antique (or often called leathered) black granite. It’s a matte finish and has just the right amount of texture. More to come on how I eventually settled on selecting this surface.
Sprinkle in polished nickel hardware and stainless appliances for a little added sparkle.
Whew. Is that everything? I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. If I did, don’t hesitate to ask.
Cabinet color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008
Wall color: Sherwin Williams Silver Strand SW 7057
Countertops: Black leathered granite
Sink faucet: Kohler Artifacts
Cabinet hardware: Martha Stewart Living Polished Nickel
Island lights: Emile Urban Industrial Bronze Pendant Light
Sink pendant light: Lucent Lampworks