In case you missed it, we bought a new home last December. We landed it at the right time because it was a month out from being finished so we were able to make a lot of decisions on the finishes like flooring, countertops and more. The fall was a whirlwind, but so much fun. Now that we have been living in this space for six+ months, we’re feeling a bit more settled and excited to jump into some new projects. Once we have the final step of getting our backsplash installed, I’ll share photos.
Today I’m sharing the details on our kitchen. This is the area we made some investment into at the end of last year and it’s almost complete! We spend so much time as a family in our kitchen making memories together and it’s my favorite spot in our home.
Kitchen Plans for Our New Home
While the original kitchen plans were great, this is a home we plan to raise our babies in and be in for decades to come. Although life can always bring you in a direction you didn’t see coming, we are really keeping the mindset that this is where we are planting roots. There is something so warm about that feeling! So with that in mind, there are changes we have made over the past couple months since moving in.
The house came with Moon White granite which is a white granite with speckles and swirls of ivory, grey, maroon and black. It’s actually the exact granite we had in our first home. I knew going into this that we’d be able to select different counters which was wonderful because I want something more subtle. With granite, the design is very intricate which makes it the focal point of the kitchen which is a wonderful option if that is where you want the focus to be. I want our ILVE Italian range oven to be the focal point of the room and opted for a subtle quartz counter top.
We visited a local natural stone and quartz supplier that our builder works with and selected two quartz countertops – one for all bathrooms and one for our kitchen.
Unlike granite, quartz is man made so you can truly find one that fits anyone’s style – bold or subtle. Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed yearly which made my husband immediately on board. We went with Organic White by Raphael Stone which is a beautiful marble-esque quartz stone. The pictures online don’t really show the true stone, but in person it looks very close to marble. The great thing is that since it is quartz, it is doesn’t have the high maintenance upkeep like a marble stone does. Marble is very prous so it must be sealed multiple times a year and is still prone to soaking up liquids which can result in a stained countertop.
After living in our kitchen with these counters for the last seven months, I cannot suggest quartz enough. The aesthetic is beautiful and it is a very low maintenance stone. Quartz is not heat resistant like granite so we just make sure to use oven mitts under all hot pants or dishes.
New ILVE Oven
Builders get such a hefty discount on appliances that the “allowance” doesn’t add up to much so opting to take what they have, so you at least have a functioning kitchen when you move in, and then upgrading works great – especially with back orders and common shipping delays.
When buying this house, I knew I wanted to swap out the builder grade oven for a beautiful Italian ILVE convection oven. Not only is it stunning, but it’s a professional gas stove and convection oven – making it the best of both worlds! We love to bake and cook so having this powerhouse of an appliance has been very fun to enjoy.
I’ve had so many inquiries on this piece that I’ll do a dedicated blog post review on it, but I can say that after using it for ~six months, we have no complaints. I went with the stainless steel oven with brass accents to tie into our aged bronzed hardware from Rejuvenation and island pendants.
We ordered from Appliance Connection and the delivery was fast and on time. It did come with a snapped screw that holds the handle on, but luckily it still had enough meat on the screw for my dad to finagle it back on. Before we could install the oven, we needed a 200 volt installed so keep that in mind. Most houses have half of that, but since this is a professional range it requires more electrical power. Once the electrical was done, we had a professional handle hooking up the gas line and getting it approved by an inspector. My dad usually handles all our home projects since he is a general contractor in another state and has owned his own home building business through my life, but gas is one thing he doesn’t prefer to mess with and in our state (Massachusetts), we need it inspected anyways so check out your own code and requirements within your state.
Hardware and Lighting
I knew from the get go I wanted to switch out the kitchen faucet with this one by Kohler. It’s modern and sleek. My dad installed it with my son as his assistant 😛 and it’s worked very well for us. We have no complaints! I went with matte black to bounce off the island pendants and kitchen window scones.
After mocking up lots of variations and options, I landed on using the Ladd style pulls from Rejuvenation on our island drawers, the matching 12″ Ladd Appliance Pull for our panel ready dishwasher and the classic ball knobs on every other cabinet. I knew going into the kitchen design that I wanted these knobs because they are just so timeless and sleek.
I sold our old barstools since they don’t go with the aesthetic of the new kitchen and overall my style has changed from my twenties into my thirties. I opted for these barstools from Serena & Lily because I needed seating that would blend into our island. Why? Anything else would create contrast against the white island which would draw the eye there – which is fine if the barstools are where I wanted to emphasize within the space.
For our kitchen, the focus is on the pendants and ILVE range. For example, barstools with many elements to them or in a dark color – on top of the contrast I’ve created in other areas – would make the space much too busy. The eye would bounce around between all three elements -range, pendants and multiple barstools – and get overwhelmed. This is a very common mistake I often see in kitchens. There are too many competing elements that that make the room look very busy – too many contrasting elements and colors. Contrast needs to be used sparingly and strategically within a design.
Custom Range Hood
The builder’s original plan were to have the microwave located over the stove. I knew that I wanted the microwave out of view and tucked away in a cabinet or the island so after we closed, we removed the microwave and had our cabinetry supplier install a custom range hood. I opted for a simple, minimal tapered hood made by the same supplier as our cabinets. Within the cabinetry we went with a blower that has 400CFM, but consider your own cooking power and stove when deciding between 400 and 600CFM. The price difference between the two was about $800 I believe.
I had our cabinetry team add onto our current cabinets with a floor to ceiling appliance cabinet. It’s technically a “utility cabinet”, but it holds our appliances including our counter microwave. All our appliances fit very nicely in here including our toaster, blenders, food processor and much more. Keep in mind that if you have a range microwave, it cannot go within a cabinet as the bottom needs to breathe. We purchased a counter microwave that lives in this cabinet now.
I am waiting on two more classic ball knobs and will then photograph the kitchen and provide a deep dive on this since so many people had questions.
Panel Ready Dishwasher
We swapped out our dishwasher the house came with for a panel ready dishwasher. A panel ready dishwasher allows a cabinet panel to be applied on the face so the dishwasher doesn’t appear as stainless steel and instead looks like a cabinet. Our dishwasher is front and center of our kitchen so the stainless steel created heavy contrast. Since I want the pendants and the oven to be the focus, the stainless steel dishwasher needed to go.
We worked with our cabinet maker to order a panel that matched our cabinets. It was from a sister line since our exact cabinatry supplier did not carry dishwasher panels and it ended up looking perfect! For the handle, I opted for the 12″ Ladd Appliance Pull in aged brass from Rejuvenation. I used the Ladd style pulls from Rejuvenation on our island drawers and the classic ball knobs on every other cabinet.
My husband did a bunch of research and landed on this dishwasher by Fisher and Paykel. This is a European brand that’s very popular in the US for panel ready fridges and dishwashers. My only request, in addition to being panel-ready, was that the dishwasher had a sanitize option because that comes very handy with newborn babies. I’m one of those mom’s that sanitizes all the bottles and breastfeeding pump parts for many, many months so it’s just faster this way over a free standing sanitizer. Anyways – we’re really impressed with the Fisher and Paykel dishwasher. It cleans and dries so much better than any dishwasher we’ve had in the past.
If you need help selecting hardware for your kitchen, I offer design services and can help take this off your plate. Hardware is a pretty permanent decision because once a hole is drilled, you’re set on that style (meaning a certain length pull or knob, etc.). The wrong color hardware or style can really detract from the overall aesthetic in the room and is an important decision that I can help with.
Next steps in our kitchen updates…
We are looking to get a backsplash installed in the coming month and I’m currently deciding on whether I want to extend the quartz up the wall or install this tile.
Right now the cabinets are stark white which is fine. I eventually want to get them professionally painted to be more of a cream that’s in my mood board. This creamy color adds warmth to the space whereas the pure white is a bit sterile. This isn’t something I have in the near future since other projects are a higher priority.
From there, I think it’s complete! Our kitchen is where we spend the most time as a family and making it feel like us has been such a fun process. I also have loved having an island in this home for extra storage and hosting. I cannot wait to get the space photographed and on the blog for you.
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