Home Tour: Kitchen

This is what the kitchen looked like when we purchased the house.  Very traditional and similar to what both of us have been living with in all our other homes.  It was the first room we knew we wanted to renovate.  Back in August I was still up in the air about painting the cabinets.  It doesn't seem like all that long ago, but time has been flying by so rapidly these days.  I'm happy to say that two months later the kitchen is nearly finished, and I wanted to show it to you.
We decided to paint the cabinets after all.  The look I was trying to achieve was crisp, yet a little rustic.  Although the house has a lot of natural light, the back corner of the kitchen seemed a little dark and I thought the lighter palette would reflect the light better.  The cabinet color is Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace, and on the walls is Classic Gray.  The two are very neutral colors and seem to compliment both warm and cool tones.  We changed out the tile with a simple subway tile with dark gray grout.  We waffled on the grout color for a while, but I really think the darker gray gives it some dimension and breaks up the space a little bit.  The other major change was the stove top.  Although you can't see it in the original picture there was a flat surface, electric stove top.  There was a gas line already connected so all we had to do was change out the stove top to a gas unit. 
At first I wasn't too sure I would like this desk and butlers pantry.  It could easily become a junk collector.  The good news is there is plenty of space to organize office supplies, recipes, and bills and I've used it quite a bit.  As of now, this stool is my chair.  It serves two purposes: It slides easily out of the way when I'm not sitting at the desk, and I need a stool close by for all the hard to reach items on the top of the shelves.  I might eventually change it, but for now, it works.  
The bar stools are perfect for the large island.  They match the rustic look and when my favorite girls come over to visit, the height adjusts so they can sit taller.  The paint on the island is a darker color called San Antonio Gray.  It's in a glossy finish with the intention of keeping it cleaner from shoe marks. At least less noticeable.
The hardwoods already existed in the kitchen, but they were a yellow pine color.  Since we added hardwoods in other areas of the house we had the opportunity to sand the existing floors and stain them darker.  The darker color blends well with the neutral color scheme.  
One of the last finishing touches for now was the hardware. With the cabinets being white it's important to have knobs and pulls to keep them from getting too dirty. We are messy cooks, and since we often make chocolate cookies we didn't want to end up with cocoa all over the cupboards.

I say that the renovation is nearly complete because eventually we'll change out the countertops, the light fixtures, and possibly the sink. All big decisions that need a little seasoning before making the purchase. In the meantime, it's perfect. Mostly, I love the transformation, and I think the kitchen is going to be the hub of the house as it is in most homes. What I love most about my parents' home is that everyone gathers around the bar. Laughter, tears, and everyday life takes place around the bar and I get the sense that my new kitchen will be no different.

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Home Tour: Mud Room
Home Tour: Study