Wrightwood is coming up on a pretty serious deadline: I’m moving in! The house will be far from done...but moving in holds some amazing opportunities. I will be getting my hands into the doing at the house: tiling and painting and sanding, oh my! There is something about getting my hands dirty that helps me balance my days. Lately a lot of the hands-on work has been in the hands of the contractors - I will never claim to be an electrician, though it might be pretty cool to learn. Another thing I am not is a woodworker. Ever since that fateful day in the woodshop under the architecture school where the professor outlined every way I could kill or maim myself with power tools, I've been a little shy when it comes to band saws and belt sanders. While this is something I should probably get over, I feel very lucky to have some amazing millwork and finish carpentry people in my life. This brings me to the kitchen: ALL of the cabinets are being delivered tomorrow! You may have seen a sneak peek of the west wall of the kitchen in my Fourth of July instagram last weekend (just wait 'till you see whats at the end of this post!). Having a working kitchen will go a long way in making a construction site feel more like a home...
A kitchen is first and foremost a place of function and the kitchen we started with I'm not sure you could even call a kitchen. Small, cramped, dark, and dingy all come to mind thinking about the original downstairs kitchen. We tore out walls, removed some windows *gasp*, and completely revamped the flow. We opened the kitchen not only to the rest of the house, but opened the rest of the house to the kitchen, allowing for views straight out to the expansive backyard and letting light flow into the heart of the house. The small space at the back that held the washer and dryer was most likely at one point a porch that was enclosed to create a laundry/mudroom/refrigerator space. When we took off the old drywall there was original exterior waterfall siding underneath, confirming our suspicions. Instead of a pantry we have a wall of floor to ceiling cabinets for all your storage needs, a massive four foot wide fridge counter-depth fridge, and we squeezed in an island that houses the sink and the dishwasher.
Through out the process I've been collecting inspiration from around the web, cabinet styles and colors that spoke to me and where I felt the style of the house was going. I almost hate to include this first image in the collage because we ended up with something so darn close to it! I think the kitchen in the upper left is absolute perfection. While the kitchen we ended up with is a bit more polished, and our island is a solid, cabinet filled workhorse, we took a lot of the color and light and material inspiration from this image. The next image is maybe a little out of place but truthfully I'm just looking for a reason, any reason to paint the island green. Everything in this house is going white and I'm itching to infuse something a little more risky and exciting. What do you think? I think that gray in the lower right is also really gorgeous and a little more reserved. I adore the look of two tone cabinets like this but our space is still pretty small so we're sticking with white cabinets on the two side walls, top and bottom, but with the island we could get a little crazy.
From all my inspiration (and let me tell you, this is the tiniest sampling of images) we started shopping around for exactly what we were looking for. Per the usual, a neutral palette started to take shape, which I think is perfect, the next owner of this house will have no problem infusing their own personality into the space, and kitchens can get so cluttered a simple palette can help keep the visual mess at bay. We also let what we found while shopping inform our decisions too, like the 2" by 4" mosaic subway tile we found at Home Depot. I cannot wait to see it installed, the smaller tiles have a really "cute" aspect to them that is missing with the ubiquitous 3" x 6" tiles...my mom keeps referring to the little tiles as "chiclets". Speaking of tile, the tile floor has been down for a while (probably the first new thing is the house in this whole process). I want a cleaned up farmhouse look in the kitchen - the cabinets are simple with shaker-style paneling. While my parents couldn't quite get behind full-on brass fixtures, we compromised on some Delta fixtures in their "champagne bronze" finish - a softer, but still warm finish I can totally get behind. One of the greatest challenges at Wrightwood is balancing my more modern, eclectic, mid-century-leaning style with my parents' more traditional, historically accurate point-of-view. I like to think we're striking a happy medium.
I will leave you with this progress shot of the kitchen. The next time you see anything about the kitchen on this blog it will be all done. I can hardly believe how far it's come, and I'm deeply in love with everything thats happening. This past weekend we started sanding floors to prep them for new stain, and as soon as all the sanding is done we'll start painting walls. Our next big push after the kitchen is the bathrooms, as of right now only the powder room is (somewhat) done. So much is happening all at once I'm not sure what I'll be sharing with you next, but be sure to tune back in, it's just starting to get good!