This weekend saw a lot of kitchen progress, having started our kitchen island, completing the hutch (we’ll share this week!) and finally hunkering down and choosing a stone for our counters! Overall, the base palette for the room is every bit black, gray and white as we’d been craving, but we’ll be bringing in shine and color with unlacquered brass and artwork – and we can’t forget about that pocket door!
We are over the moon and so honored be teaming with Rejuvenation for the gorgeous hardware you see above (with a big, awesome bonus to come for you, too!), and we’ll be mixing oil rubbed bronze pulls on our white cabinets with vibrant brass on a black island. The island’s paint job is in the works, and not surprisingly, we landed on our favorite black, Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! by Clark+Kensington (inset). We’re sort of torn between pairing these bin or drawer pulls for those former-dresser-drawers, but we also sort of feel like we can’t go wrong with either. Decisions! Really, really fun ones.
But on to all the other finishes – you all spoke up loud and clear when it came to counters, and we totally heard you. While we thought we were leaning towards black, you made some great points that we hadn’t otherwise thought of: hidden grime, the never-ending cleaning battle and the reflection of under cabinet lights. We still really love the look of black counters with white cabinets, but from the very beginning, we were hoping to find something with a white base, and we honestly surprised even ourselves when we found ourselves switching gears to black granite. Cost was definitely a factor as well, with the black granite being slightly more affordable than quartz. But! After a good gut check and thinking: hey, what would make us die with happiness every time we walked into the kitchen?, we switched gears again, and we officially called dibs on a ridiculously gorgeous slab of White Macauba Quartzite. You can see our sample chunk in that photo!
For everything else, here’s what we’ve got: the largest panel of color is what we painted the walls, the medium white panel is our cabinets, and layered on top are a few of these subway tiles in a matte finish. To pick up on the darker veining in the quartzite counters and the black island, we’re leaning towards a charcoal grout which’ll really tie the room together.
But right now, right this minute, we wait. We wait for our cabinets to install (this week!), we wait for the fabricator to measure and cut our stone, and we wait for our transom window to arrive so we can complete the whole back door thing. The dishwasher, microwave, sink and faucet will get installed. And then, you guys, it’ll be a free for all. Tile! Baseboards! Rug! Art!
We have painted kitchen walls! Yea, paint!
As soon as the contractors wrapped up wave one of renovation last week, we were right behind them with our drywall tape, mud and sandpaper. Scott did the majority of this work while I continued the hutch refresh, and he powered through for an entire weekend and several nights this week (a champion, I tell you) – taping, mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding and sanding some more. Drywall dust is our biggest enemy when it comes to renovation (remember this happy day?), and although we did our best to close off the kitchen, cover the appliances and mop every night, that dust continued to find it’s way into the living room, bedrooms and bathrooms.
But let’s fast forward to the magical night where we moved past that and dived into painting! Choosing a paint color was particularly agonizing (ha!) since our plan is to continue the color into our living room. That said, we wanted something that felt bright and clean with a hint of warmth, finally landing on Intense White by Ben Moore. We’re thrilled to continue working with Ace Hardware this year, and they graciously provided the paint, color matched to Valspar Optimus in an eggshell finish. (This is the same brand we used in the guest room, and we are on board. It’s thick and smooth with an almost matte appearance once dry.) The color itself is actually a pale warm gray, providing soft contrast against our (eventual) white trim and appliances. The color is a chameleon, looking straight up blindingly white out of the can, going on slightly beige (causing us to panic – just for a minute), and drying down to a gorgeous, subtle gray that never feels too cool or overly warm. Love, love.
Let’s go back to the beginning, before electrical was juggled around and all the walls were in tact:
To last week:
And now, today! We haven’t even begun our back-wall-of-windows, but man. What a difference paint makes! Now, imagine: white trim and cabinetry, a dark island and that runner.
We hope to get new doors for the furnace this weekend, a completed hutch and although there were rumblings of finished cabinets, it looks like those have been slightly delayed. But! Once those are in, it’ll be on to counter installing, tiling, dresser-reconfiguring, hardware choosing and, fingers crossed, back-door-transom-ing!
Our longtime partner Ace Hardware provided the paint for this project, and we used BM Intense White color matched to Valspar Optimus in an eggshell finish. Thank you for supporting those that support us! xx.
As the kitchen evolves and choices have become more definitive, it because very clear that the majority of our budget was going to 3 main places: ONE) the back door wall (of windows!), TWO) cabinets and THREE) the countertops. In a nutshell, our money is going to the areas that are more permanent, and we’ve chosen to stretch those dollars in the areas that aren’t as permanent – such as a our vintage hutch, antique rug and now, our kitchen island! You can see it, too, right?:
We have been searching for weeks (months, maybe!) for a piece of furniture that could pull double duty as a kitchen island. The kitchen is spacious – definitely large enough for an island – but not so large that we could get away with a standard depth and/or width. Our hunt included anything that could potentially be considered an island, but we had a long wish list for this piece of furniture:
- Needs to be counter height, of course (36″)
- Needs to be thin enough to accommodate a small overhang or be wide enough without an overhang to provide good prep space. Let’s call this, oh, 26″ or so total
- Needs to have storage somehow, somewhere
- Needs to have an easily removable top surface so we can install our own butcher block
- Needs to have smooth gliding drawers and/or doors that don’t stick
- Preferably something we could paint
- Preferably something with legs that could also accommodate casters (for movability and looks)
We searched high and low for credenzas, desks, dressers and china cabinet bases – from the typical online sources to in-person hunting to alley creeping – and over the weekend, we finally came home with this dresser from our favorite worth-the-drive secondhand shop, Jubilee! To be fair, we’d seen other contenders along the way, but they were either in too much disrepair, too large, too small or too precious to paint.
This guy, though? It’s a Mid Century Kent Coffey dresser with replacement pulls, and it checks off everything in the wish list! The drawers are deep and smoooth. The dovetail joints are all in perfect condition, and the bones of the piece are solid wood – only the top and sides are an oak veneer.
The knob placement currently screams dresser!, but we’ll swap those out for middle pulls that will help streamline the overall look. We’ll also need to add trim to the back, mimicking the front (see below), and we’ll reinforce the plywood back with a sheet of MDF (or something similar). It’s hard to tell in photos, but the finish is very shiny and very yellow, and so, we’ll remedy that with black paint and a butcher block top to provide contrast against the white cabinetry. Right now, it’s 19″ deep x 54″ wide, and once the cabinets are in place and the walls are painted, I feel like we’ll have a better visual for the final depth of the butcher block.
The goal is that you won’t even recognize it as a dresser once it’s been refinished. And all that storage? Yes, yes.
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