House Tour: The Kitchen

Home Tour – The kitchen! I wish I could have you all over for a dinner party. Instead, I’ll just show you inside. Let’s take a kitchen tour! 

Come on in for a kitchen tour!
Photos by my incredible friend Abbie

When we were house hunting, I had very few things on our “must” list. I was ready to do some work on a slightly older home to turn it into our own, I was just more or less looking for good bones. The things on the “need” list were a decent kitchen (I didn’t need anything super fancy, just workable and preferably with a little light), a fairly open living/kitchen area, a spare room, and a modest backyard. The house we rented for the last few years had an almost nonexistent backyard (basically a minuscule cement square, some rocks, and an air conditioning unit).

We looked through a few model homes to get decorating ideas, never thinking we’d actually build. After stepping into the model for this home, I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. It had everything on the need list, for sure, as well as things on our want list and even several things on the dream list. The floorplan layout is PERFECT for what we need, the neighborhood is beautiful, and it was close to the school Sophie would be attending.

Although there are 100 different things I love about this home, I thought I’d share the kitchen today.

Our kitchen reveal! A peek at our (mostly) finished white kitchen. Open, bright, and we're so happy about it!
I moved a LOT growing up and continued to move once we got married, so I’ve never really “settled down” anywhere. I just turned 30 and this is the 15th home/apartment I’ve lived in. The idea that this house could be somewhere we live for more than a few years is a new and foreign one!

Out of necessity, my parents were masters at selling homes and one of their big “rules” is to keep resale in mind when you’re doing your decorating. That’s certainly not to say they didn’t create beautiful, personalized homes–they did! They just taught me that creating a fairly neutral “background” in my paint and flooring choices can be a smart choice if you’re thinking abut resale. So, when we made our flooring and paint choices at the design center, I kept to this advice and I’m SO HAPPY I DID.

As an adult, I’ve got a serious case of design commitment issues, so I really love creating a neutral or flexible backdrop and then adding changeable, impermanent details that add my style and personality. I’d much rather switch out the art or throw pillows than have to repaint every time I got the itch to change things up.

So happy to be cooking in our new kitchen!
We went with white paint (more on that later), and I chose wood-look tile for most of our flooring (other than bedrooms). It’s got the look and vibe of hardwood, but the coolness and upkeep of tile. As a mom of busy, busy little ones living in the middle of the desert, this couldn’t be a better choice for me! I absolutely LOVE it so far, though I’m still on the hunt for the perfect vacuum/steam mop situation. (Do you have one you love? I’d love your suggestions!)

I’ve mentioned this before, but the builder wanted to charge a HUGE amount of money for us to get the most basic level white cabinets. We got quotes from a list of painters on our own and discovered that we could get all the other upgrades to the floorplan we wanted for the same price as getting the builder’s white cabinets, and we could have the cabinets painted for a fraction of that price.

It was a big risk (would the quality be good?), but we found some excellent painters who did our kitchen and master bathroom cabinets. We used Benjamin Moore Advance Primer and Paint in Simply White. It’s water-borne, which is great for wiping down, longevity, and little specks of water (which happen everywhere in a kitchen and bathroom). So far, I’ve been REALLY impressed and pleased with the results. After adding some knobs and drawer pulls, it’s feeling like a whole new kitchen.

White kitchen with plenty of light! Love the dark floors and the white ice granite.
Besides the open workspace, the next thing I absolutely love is how much light we have in this room. There are windows in my kitchen, which is an entirely new experience, and we opted for three layers of additional light in the room.

For everyday utility, we have recessed can lights. I like the even layer of light they provide, though they start out dim and get brighter, which means it always takes a minute or two for me to feel like they’re really on. Next, we installed under-cabinet LED lights. These are perfect for evenings and early mornings, and (someday, when our living room has furniture in it) will also be perfect for movie night.

Capri pendants, aqua metal stools, wood tile, and white ice granite. I love this kitchen!
Probably my most beloved lights are the pendants. I searched everywhere for pendant lights I loved. I knew that with the size and scale of the room, we needed something fairly big to make an impact. It was like angels singing when I found these Capri pendants at Home Decorator’s Collection. I absolutely LOVE them. They’re fairly big (about 23 inches tall), and make a nice statement, but because they’re clear, they don’t visually break up the space, like a big black pendant would. They’re a fairly transitional style, so they’d pair nicely with a pretty wide variety of decor styles, and the light they provide is amazing. (They have SO many great choices–I also debated these or these)

They make the kitchen so inviting for early morning breakfasts at the kitchen counter, recipe developing during the day, homework or coloring projects in the afternoon, and (someday, when the living room furniture arrives), they’ll be just right for having friends and family over for holidays and dinner parties. It is SUCH a joy to spend time in this kitchen, largely because it’s just so well-lit.

Metal stools in the kitchen are a LIFESAVER! Durable, wipeable, and sturdy. These have such a pretty color!
We’ve learned that for this stage in our lives, wood stools and wood kitchen chairs just aren’t going to last for us. Our kids are pretty hard on them (we’ve been through a few sets already!), so we’ve found that metal is our favorite friend at the moment. They’re wipeable, durable, and sturdy.

The benefit of keeping the basic elements in the room fairly classic and neutral is that I’ve got the freedom to try new things with the details in the room, whether that’s art on the walls, accessories I display, or even the kitchen stools. I decided to be brave this time and go for something with a little color.

While they’re reading a bit more blue in these photos, these stools have got a slight mint tint to them that I love. It’s a really happy pop of color I’m loving at the moment, but if down the road I want to switch things up, I don’t have to re-do my whole kitchen. Plus, the stools are indoor-outdoor friendly, so we could easily use them in an outdoor dining space.

Classic look with a pop of color. Wood-look tile, aqua metal stools, and white walls make for a clean, bright kitchen!

Still to do:

More Paint. We’re going to have the walls painted (or paint them ourselves) at some point. The builder only offered flat paint, and I’d really like something more eggshell that’s wipeable. (I can’t get WASHABLE WATERCOLOR out of our current paint!) I think I’ll do a really similar white to match/almost-match the cabinets, just to keep things bright and crisp. We’ll also paint the wood corbels under the island at that point, too.

The dining area (not pictured). The dining space is right next to the island area, and it’s a total work in progress. We’ve been using (and abusing) an IKEA table for the last few years. I’m thinking we’ll get some more use out of it and allow Milo and Sophie to get a bit older before we swap it out for something a bit nicer. I’d also like to add a little buffet or sideboard to that area and switch out the chandelier.

Decorative items. I’m still trying to decide what I want here. I’ve started growing a few herbs inside (from a start I picked up at Home Depot) and I’d really like to add a few more personal details that make the space feel like us, whether that’s a nice tray or a pretty fruit bowl.

One Lovely Life Kitchen Tour - White kitchen, wood tile, and white ice granite.


Like this post? You may also want to check out our round-up of modern, crisp ceiling fans, and be sure to stop by the Home Decorators Instagram account later this weekend. I get to take over for a day and I can’t wait to share it with you! 

This post was not compensated in any way, though pendants were provided by Home Decorator’s Collection. They have so many good choices! They’ve got a collection at Home Depot (where I bought my stools!), or you can shop their site directly. 

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  1. It’s gorgeous! If it were my house, I might not paint the corbels under the counter. I really like the look of the contrast against the white base and cabinets and it brings out and coordinates with the ‘wood’ flooring. But, it’s not my house, and you’ve demonstrated you have excellent decorating skills so You get to decide which you like best – obviously!! ???

  2. Your kitcheN is beautiful !! May I suggest something so you can get the paper towels off your counter and give your island the sleek uncluttered look I can see you are going for? It is an over the cabinet paper towel holder, that you can hang on th inside of your cabinet under the sink..I got mine on Amazon and it is called ” Spectrum Diversified 76771 Over Drawer Cabinet towel holder”. I have also seen them at the big Frys Market .
    Enjoy your new home!!!

  3. Your kitchen is so gorgeous! We’re hopefully going to have enough money saved to completely redo our kitchen in January, and I’m dying with excitement! I love your pendant lights, and am hoping to do something similar in our home!

  4. It’s stunning!!! I have been meaning to pop over and look at it. Pretty much my dream kitchen! I love white kitchens with lots of light. Great choice on the pendents!!! So happy for you guys!

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