Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Big Kitchen Reveal

When I was 21 years old, I moved into a tiny studio guest house that required me to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. Only two burners worked on the stove and one full cupboard was unusable because it was so close to the side of the oven. Pretty sure a racoon lived in there... My next apartment felt like it had a chef's kitchen by comparison. Its olive green, 1970s stove—with four functional burners—and spacious pantry closet felt like a major luxury. Then I moved in with Mr. W and got access to a dishwasher for the first time since I'd left my parents' house. Complete Heaven.

One might think a dishwasher and stainless steel fridge would be enough to keep two foodies content for years, but when Mr. W and I bought our house in Santa Ynez, we immediately began fantasizing about how we'd build the best kitchen ever.

And a little over two years later, we have it.

Well, except for the final cabinet trim and some touch-up paint. Believe me, I had to battle Mr. W a little to write this post when we're not *officially* done with everything. But it looks dang done to me. So here we are.

Anyway, when dreaming up our ideal cooking space, I rooted for things like Carrara marble and lots of storage space while Mr. W insisted on soft-close cabinets and a huge island or peninsula where he could roll out bread and pizza dough.

Thanks to his mad skills with sketchup, we were able to play with layouts and finishes until we achieved what we both felt was pretty much perfection.

And then, of course, we had to do the work to bring it to life. Or rather, Mr. W had to do most of the work and I had to try not to cry as I cleaned drywall dust off my wood floors 857 times. Now that everything is almost finished, I will say it was all totally worth it. Like the lady who is in labor for 36 hours and goes on to have more children, I would do it again now that I know how wonderful it all turns out in the end.

Before I show you the goods, let's take a walk down memory lane shall we...

Before we bought the place, the floor was beige and brown linoleum and the countertops were white with gold sparkles. The cabinets were in okay shape and we talked about salvaging and painting them, but Mr. W was in love with the idea of soft-close. And I was in love with the idea of not having to refinish a bagillion cabinets.

As an interim solution, we painted the floor and the countertops. A lovely shade of grey. (Mr. W says everything in the house is grey and he's not too far off...)

So here's how things looked before we started demo:

 And here's how it looked this weekend (after we cleaned and decluttered and made it photo-ready):

We're pretty in love with how everything turned out. Not only is it lovely to look at, the gas range works like a charm (although I did burn risotto in the pressure cooker one night last week...), the dishwasher is so quiet, and the giant peninsula was so nice to have when my brother and his family came to visit earlier this month.

I'm sure in a few years, we'll start finding little things we'd wished we handled differently. But for now, we're caressing the quartz and snuggling the range hood. Life is good in the northwest quadrant of our home.


  1. That is spectacular. I live in Manhattan where my kitchen is a corner of my living room -- you cannot imagine the envy I am feeling right now.

  2. Your new kitchen is STUNNING! Really really beautiful. So, when you said you'd be willing to do it again ... did you mean that one day when we move into a new house, you'd be willing to move into our guest room while you work on a remodel of our kitchen??? Because, girrrrrl, I'd adopt you as a housemate if my future kitchen looked remotely as beautiful as yours!!! Patience pays off!!!


Well, whatdya think?