our small but mighty Kitchen Tour


how we increased storage, workspace
+  functionality in our tiny kitchen


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Good things take time.

That was the motto of this now fully completed kitchen renovation of ours.
I'm bursting with excitement to share our completed kitchen renovation with you, because this is the heart of our home. Our small but mighty kitchen that churns out cheese board after cheese board, countless extravagant Sunday night dinners, make-it-up-as-I-go GF banana bread, and already so many meals shared with our family and friends in the short time that we've lived here.

This kitchen reminds me that I am so incredibly spoiled by what an amazing cook Robert is, and by the fact that he truly loves cooking for me, and our family and friends. Of course, I love to cook as well, but his dedication to incorporating it into our life so wholeheartedly has been amazing to watch unfold over the past 7 years. 

When we bought our house last April, the kitchen was the thing that got our creative juices flowing the most, because we knew it was going to take a lot of finagling to turn what it was in its current state, into what we wanted it to be. As you may know we cook a lot, and Robert is meticulous and detail oriented when it comes to kitchen organization, and functionality.

*Side Note: check out this renovation update post to see some gnarly photos of what our kitchen looked like before. eek!

If you're new around here and haven't read about our renovation, I'll give you some of the nitty gritty details about what we changed. The first thing we did was remove a half wall between the kitchen and living room. It was a very popular design element in houses like ours from the 1940's into the 1950's, and  served no purpose whatsoever except to divide the rooms. Out it went immediately, to make space for a larger kitchen overall. We then flipped the guest bedroom closet, so that it could turn into pantry storage for the kitchen. Once we got to the appliances, we realized we had a problem. The house had a half-size dishwasher for a reason. While trying to figure out how to make a new stove, full size dishwasher and sink fit, we realized it was impossible. We knew keeping a half size dishwasher wasn't a good idea, so we went back to the drawing board.

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We realized that if this space was going to work and function the way we wanted to, then the range would need to slide into the butcher block island that we had already envisioned. Neither of us loved the idea at first, but it ended up being the best thing for the space. By removing the stove from the countertop equation, we gained workspace, and created more storage with three additional cabinets in the island. Since our home is small to begin with, we decided to sacrifice having a standard dining table in the kitchen for this communal butcher block island with a waterfall edge. With ample seating for four on one side, we easily fit three more along the waterfall side. It's a beautifully permanent, and functional centerpiece that ties our minimal + natural vibe to the rest of the house. The island was all custom built by my father-in-law and Robert. After getting quotes that were sky high (and for good reason, as we were asking for something very specific and difficult to do...) they decided it seemed doable to tackle the project themselves. Given that it was such a big project, we tended other projects before tackling this one. From ordering the wood, to final installation and sealing, the whole process took one month. The wood was sourced from Baird Brothers, who we cannot recommend highly enough. The ordeirng process was seamless, and everyone was super helpful. Having the island finished still feels so new to us, only being completed a few weeks ago, and we both keep getting excited every time we sit around it. 

Overall I feel like we paired beauty with function in the best way we knew how. Deciding to install IKEA cabinets allowed us to increase our organizational space tenfold, with Robert and his dad customizing smaller nooks that could have potentially been dead space, into functional storage space. I love that everything that we use is hidden from view, in a place of its own. As much as I love seeing open shelving in other kitchens, I get anxious thinking about it in here. With a space so small, stuff that's sitting out can make it look cluttered in an instant. Another element perfect for a small kitchen, that has proven to be incredibly useful is the built-in downdraft on our range. Before we nailed down the layout of the appliances, Robert was set on having some sort of downdraft, and we ended up finding that Kitchenaid makes a range with one built-in. With all this talk of functionality, we joke about the fact that we chose two very difficult to deal with and care for surfaces, carrera marble and butcher block. They're both so lovely, so in line with our aesthetic, and a real pain in the butt to keep up with. Sometimes beauty wins over function, and I think that's a-okay.

8 whole months in, cooking and entertaining in this freshly renovated space has proven to work seamlessly for us. I'm so excited for the countless meals, bottles of wine, and memories to come.  
 

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