One Room Challenge | Our Bold Eclectic Kitchen REVEAL

WE DID IT! [insert man + woman clinking wine BOTTLES here]. Four months and a nearly impossible number of man hours later, we are sitting on our kitchen barstools gazing at our dream kitchen. And it is SO worth all the sleepless nights, months of takeout, months of DUSTING, and having pretty close to zero dollars in our bank account. #priorities

Kate’s design + husband, Bill, completed construction

I want to take a moment to thank all of the incredible companies that sponsored our kitchen along the way, and made our dream kitchen possible. Without them, this space never could have been realized. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, we chose each of them and hand-picked their products. We are just so grateful they were willing to put their trust in us and give us ORC newbies a shot at making their products come to life. We are always very particular about the brands we collaborate with, and each of these companies should be lauded for their careful craftsmanship, top-of-the-line product, and a brand of approachability that is all but absent in today’s marketplace.

Perhaps the most gaze-attracting focal point of the kitchen is our graphic black and white tile wall from Riad Tile. The matte cement tiles are such a beautiful, organic texture and we’re just loving the way they pop in the room. We inserted a fairly neutral range hood into the picture to allow that tile to really have it’s moment, but added the cow skull to offer the space a bit of a focal balance. I have been dying to use their tiles for a project and we couldn’t be happier with how they came out – now I’m just dying to lay them everywhere! Hello, future mudroom!

a peak at my Roxane Gabriel original oil painting

Now, onto THAT HALLMAN INDUSTRIES RANGE. I mean, just GAH! There are no words. I fell in love with this range online without seeing it in person and loved that it’s pricepoint kicked lots of its competitors to the curb, without sacrificing an OUNCE of style. And I am beyond happy to report that this puppy cooks and bakes to a point of perfection that FAR exceeds my personal culinary capabilities. There is really no need to even speak beyond these basic facts, because this range does ALLLLL the speaking for itself.

That brings me to that gorgeous brushed gold Moen pot filler above the range. We went with Moen via Build.com for our pot filler, faucet and soap dispenser and these products were everything we had hoped for and more. I love how rich the finishes are and how they offer a complementary, but mild contrast to the raw brass finishes in the Pepe and Carols hardware and on the Hallman stove. It was important to me that we streamline the kitchen sink – I always find it aesthetically disruptive when there are too many things going on around the kitchen sink, and I loved that the Moen faucet had a pull down sprayer built in that is visually indiscernible. And I’m going to just be downright candid here: I’ve never owned a high-end faucet before and the difference in quality makes me want to throw out our crappy old leaky faucet 1,000 times over.

I just want to pause now and take a moment to talk about VINTAGE. Because, truly, no space of mine would ever be complete without lots and lots and lots of it. Kitchens are their own animal: as much as I am dedicated to purchasing and selling vintage for a variety of reasons (hello, climate change!), vintage kitchen fixtures and appliances are not only incredibly difficult to come across, but are also not always ideal to use (for probably obvious reasons). But when it came to nearly every single other item in the kitchen, we went vintage all the way.

Reupholstered vintage cantilever barstools – found via Secondhand Stories

Seeing as I am a vintage shop owner, I have been mostly hoarding anything remotely kitchen-related since we decided to move forward with this reno in January. But, I’ve also been shopping from some of my favorite dealers, including Anna Simpkins of BasketsandBrass and Joe Mauer of Secondhand Stories. I had been searching all ends of the earth for vintage brass cantilever counter height stools. I must have spent 20+ hours searching. This is not a joke. I take vintage hunts more seriously than a lion on a fox. And then, one day, BOOM. My man Joe over at Secondhand Stories just HAD them. It was pretty much magic.

open shelving + counters outfitted in vintage

Now seems to be a good time to chat about a topic that holds considerably less magic: our budget. I’m not going to get into too much detail other than to say that for a complete demolition and rebuild of a brand new kitchen, our budget was LOW. We sourced many of our building materials (including brand-new Marvin windows!) at insanely low prices at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. And as much as we’d love to have those high-end cabinets, we were forced to go with IKEA. This isn’t something I’ve cried myself to sleep over because 1. crying over such a thing would make me want to slap myself and 2. these cabinets are pretty, pretty rad for having cost under $3k!

I decided to give them a major upgrade by going with Pepe and Carols hardware. Krystal of Pepe and Carols dreamed these pulls up for me and was so kind as to custom make them for us. She’s now working on matching refrigerator pulls for our Cafe Appliances fridge and I’m beyond psyched about them! As a small aside, I spray painted the Cafe Appliances fridge handles in Rustoleum matte black finish for the time being.

And perhaps my favorite vintage item in the space is that stunner of a June + Blue Boujaad runner. Becca of June + Blue has long been my favorite Moroccan rug dealer. She has such an incredible eye, but her authentic experience and deep knowledge of these rugs and the cultures surrounding them are a true breath of fresh air in a world that has become overrun with a brand of mass-marketed global consumerism that so easily disposes of a sincere cultural appreciation. I love how this piece, in particular, ties the entire room together by picking up the colors in the Hallman range at eye level, and again from above with the roman shades (expertly crafted by Interiors by Robert, with fabric via Boho Luxe Home).

Speaking of those roman shades! I had originally envisioned a black, transparent linen fabric for our roman shades (much like the one used in our bathroom renovation) and then this fabric walked along and popped into my brain and I just couldn’t get it out! The deep, rich dyes coupled with the Moroccan asilah pattern played so well into the eclectic vibe we were going for in this kitchen. I had worked with Boho Luxe Home before on their pillow line (MAJOR swoon factor), and when they offered to sponsor the fabric for these shades I was beyond excited. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been a favorite feature amongst visitors to the new kitchen!

photo by Cristina Marino of Harbor and Heart Studios

Ok, and now I wanna get real with you for a minute. We’ve been home owners for seven years now and we know what it’s like to dream of kitchens that don’t leak, break, and put sores in our eyeballs. And part of me wishes we had done one of those “How to Transform Your Kitchen for $500” type renovations, because that’s where the true creativity starts to play in. But we were lucky enough to have sponsors hop on board, and I am so BEYOND lucky to have a not-by-trade husband who just happens to not only know how to do finish carpentry, plumbing and electric work but is ALSO willing to work 30 hours/week on a kitchen for four months after coming home from his 70 hour/week job.

Photo by Cristina Marino of Harbor and Heart Studios

Oh, and FREE LABOR IS EVERYTHING. I do NOT mean for that to sound like a plug for indentured servitude. What I’m getting at is the fact that I am the luckiest person on earth to have not just these super sponsors get behind me, but also a most magical dude who has skills up the wazoo and the willingness to put LITERALLY his entire life aside to build a kitchen for his family for four straight months. Billy, you are our world, and now we owe YOU the world.

And before we part ways, I just want to give a shoutout to some local artisans and shops that did some incredible work for us (note: not sponsored!). E&S Marble & Granite Co. really nailed the look I was going for on the countertops. I wanted marble, but marble doesn’t want me (hello, red wine stains!). Stephanie at E&S steered us toward using quartz slabs that mimic Calacatta marble, but have the durability of quartzite, and damn was she spot on.

The next local shop was Reclaim Everything – an absolute powerhouse in the reclaimed wood department. We knew we wanted touches of reclaimed throughout the kitchen and we worked closely with Reclaim Everything to source the appropriate wood from a 100+ year-old barn. They carefully dry the wood out to a specific humidity level before cutting and staining the pieces to your tone of choice. I drooled like Homer Simpson on a donut when I saw these wood pieces installed.

Reclaimed wood island and a peek at our Wallternatives wallpaper in dining

I’d also like to give a shout-out to the uber-talented Cristina Marino of Harbor and Heart Studios. Cristina is a mega-talented photographer and she squeezed us into her hectic schedule and edited these photos for us in a time crunch because well, ORC deadlines aren’t very forgiving. We are especially loving the family portrait she snapped in the kitchen – a rare family shot that will be cherished forever!

And the last shop I want to throw some major props to is Bob Boccard of Interiors by Robert. If you’re in the New York City area, he should be your go-to for any upholstery project. His painstaking attention to detail and unmatched skill in his field are the reason celebrities and high-end designers use him for their most important projects. He’s pretty much NYC’s best kept secret since he does not have any online or social media presence – but he’s really not a secret at all to those NYC interior design insiders. His work on our roman shades and vintage barstools was pretty much mind-blowing.

Well, that pretty much does it for our first One Room Challenge and I have to say it was such a high! I am so excited to check out all of the other incredible reveals over at the One Room Challenge blog – I sure do hope you’ll pop over there too. All the designers work their butts off for six straight weeks, and the result is some really delicious eye candy for us all to devour!

We can’t thank you enough for popping by to check out our reveal, and we hope you’ll sign up for more notifications! We’re definitely addicted to One Room Challenge-ing and are already dreaming up our Fall 2019 ORC plans. Or at least I am. I’m guessing the husband is probably more focused on his upcoming golf trip….

One Room Challenge Week 4 | Construction Nears Completion

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but after nearly four months of construction, the end is JUST around the corner. This past week was a big one for us as we saw our countertops get installed, and then everything else just seemed to fall into place: the sink, fixtures, microwave and workable surface area were all just THERE overnight and after living without a kitchen for so long it feels SO GOOD.

Countertops, Fixtures + Hardware installed

Speaking of countertops, we decided to go with a trusted local family shop called ES Marble & Granite and they worked through some of our ideas with us over the past few months until we found something that would be both practical AND beautiful. You know those little marble shelves that rest on the top of high backsplashes that are all the rage right now? Well, I desperately wanted one for our kitchen, but it turns out that neither our wallet, nor the extra hours of construction that were needed to make it a reality were on board. So, we decided to keep the high backsplash and lose the shelf.

Another area that we spent some time exploring was MATERIAL. If you haven’t realized this about me yet, I will spell it out for you now: I A-M N-O-T P-R-A-C-T-I-C-A-L. So, of course the aesthetic-obsessed part of me wanted marble countertops. You just can’t beat that worn-in, timeless matte look of marble and I wanted to embrace all the chips and stains and have that splash of marble in my kitchen transport me back to Italy, where all the wine rings and colander stains are just part of what make their spaces endearing.

coffee bar coming together (with a touch of painter’s tape still there!)

But, apparently, not everyone in my home is into red wine stains… and the blueberry stains from children being reckless … and the hot pan rings from the mama being too lazy, so we decided on a quartzite material that would mimic the look of Calacatta marble… and I have to admit I feel like we’re living with the best of both worlds. We have those charmingly irregular veins that are strikingly dramatic in tone, yet the entire surface is as hardy as granite. And leaving the high backsplash but losing the shelf allowed us to really appreciate the statement that the marble is by allowing the eye to follow it throughout the room from all angles.

Consider the countertop decision-making process my first lesson in embracing flexibility.

So after those countertops went in, we had our sink, faucet, and soap dispenser installed and that moment actually brought me to tears. No more walking up the stairs to wash hands, bowls, and glasses .. and after four months this mama right here just broke the F down. HALLELUJAH. This is said with the utmost understanding that having fresh, running water in my home at all is a COMPLETE luxury and I often wanted to punch myself for complaining about the lack of water on our ground floor (again, the luxury of having two floors). POOR ME.

Pepe + Carols hardware + Moen fixtures

But onward we go to finally getting to install those beautiful brushed gold Moen fixtures from Build.com They went in, I DIED. We had decided to go with a black quartz sink to pick up on all of the other black details throughout the kitchen and the way these gold fixtures popped next to the black undermount sink just made my heart sing. I wanted to keep the entire sink area as sleek as possible, so I loved the minimalistic design on the Moen faucet and soap dispenser, but I also loved how it double-functioned with a pull down sprayer. I spent hours upon hours upon hours searching for the perfect faucet, and I am so glad I found this one. It is one of the focal points on the kitchen and it’s looking PRETTTTY damn sexy. We can’t wait to install the matching pot filler!

Two more major developments happened this week, but I am just going to talk about one of them: the installation of our super-duper kick-a$$ hardware. This was another element of the kitchen that I spent WAY too many hours researching and agonizing over. I love how modern and sleek brass pulls look but they are so, well, EXPECTED. Everyone and their mother has been slapping brass pulls on their cabinets for the last five years and I wanted to do something that was equally modern, but a bit more UNexpected.

I reached out to my friend Krystal at Pepe and Carols and we went through many different options – she was even so kind as to send me lots of different samples in the mail. Now, before I say anything else I just need you to know that Pepe and Carols does not make ANYTHING that doesn’t make me swoon, but I was envisioning sort of a combination of the pulls she was sending me. I relayed my vision to her, and shortly after she mocked up the pull I was dreaming of, sent it over, and queue lots of drool pouring out of my mouth. I loved how they followed the geometric lines of the rest of the kitchen, but still had a softness to them. The black and brass dual-toned look picked up all of the brass and black elements in the kitchen perfectly – and she even added brass spacers on the side to give them that eclectic vibe I was shooting for. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Krystal for making the pulls of my dreams for me!

a peek at some other unfinished details

Other fun details were completed this week, but I am going to save that discussion for next week’s post because they aren’t exactly complete yet. This upcoming week we will see our floors get finished, our HALLMAN RANGE ARRIVE (GAH!), and our reclaimed wood will arrive just in time to be hurriedly installed before REVEAL coming up in two short weeks!

As always, be sure to visit the One Room Challenge to check out all of the other amazing spaces that are being transformed over this six week-long ORC season. So many of them are inspiring me to dive right on into our next project (which means they are INSANELY cool because I would have to be INSANE to do such a thing).

Cheers to the end being near!

One Room Challenge Week 3 | Sourcing Materials for a Bold Boho Kitchen

We SEE YOU week 3! And you’re only giving us mild panic attacks because deadlines don’t stand a chance against Team KPV! [insert hyperventilating cries here]. As always, be sure to check out the progress of all of the other incredible room transformations over at the One Room Challenge!

This week I want to talk a bit about materials and give you a sneak peek of our floor. Then I want to take you through the first steps of the construction process post-demolition. We were super lucky to hook up with some amazing sponsors for this kitchen renovation, and I need to be perfectly candid with you about how they came to join us on this journey. In short, we chose THEM, not the other way around! So when I tell you they kick so much a$$, I want you to really believe me.

our Hallman blue range (photo credit: hallmanindustries.com )

As I mentioned in the previous post, the first part of the kitchen that was chosen was that dreamy blue stove and we were so grateful to get Hallman to come on board as a sponsor to make that stove even more special with some great features. So, consider this stove as our jumping off point for the rest of the kitchen. I have spent the 17 years of my adult life dreaming of kitchens, and the first thing that always came to mind when dreaming was that statement stove, but did that mean that every other element in the room would have to bow down to that splash of blue? Hell to the NO.

The next crew to come on board was Boho Luxe Home. I had worked with them and their gorgeous pillow line before, and I was beyond excited when they offered their stunning fabrics for our Roman shades. We put a lot of work into the windows in this space by not just adding completely new windows and new locations for them, but by more than doubling the size of our main window. It was so important to us that this kitchen was bathed in as much natural light as possible, and we wanted to draw the eye to this element, and balance that blast of blue in the stove with another gaze-attracting feature. We decided to go with their Moroccan Knot fabric, and I am super stoked to see them completed when they get installed next week!

insulation begins!

So, bright blue stove, wild Moroccan fabric…. now where do we go? My overall vision for this kitchen was to have some strong boho eclectic vibes, but there are so many directions to go beyond that point: gold glitzy ritzy eclectic? Or earthy, hippie boho? I love both of those extremes so much, so I wanted to try to meet somewhere in the middle. If I could choose a single sentence to define my entire interior style, it would be that I don’t like settling for ANY single style. The main challenge is making totally disparate styles work together in a cohesive way. And that, in a nutshell, is what this kitchen is striving for.

Our next sponsor, Build.com, helped us add a little bit of that glamor I speak of. We decided to go with a brushed gold faucet, with a matching pot filler, to pull from those brass elements on the range, and to add a touch of high class to the space. We chose the Moen line for their stellar track record and their beautiful finishes. We can’t wait to see them installed tomorrow!

the flooring arrives and the walls and ceiling are ready for sheetrock

It was at this point in the process that I decided to step back and really take a hard look at the direction I wanted things to go. I am NOT someone who plans an entire space in a CAD program before breaking ground. That just doesn’t work for me. I always start a room by choosing the element that is most important to me (perhaps a bed frame in a master bedroom? or a rug in a living room?) and then I work from there. I find it to be a much more organic process, but the downside is it takes much more time. I like to SEE certain features in a room before adding to the layers. And oftentimes, inspiration comes from a visit to my local thrift store, and not from a West Elm catalog. The unpredictability of the process is what excites me most about designing spaces.

Although I wasn’t able to visualize almost any elements before having to choose nearly all of them, I was still able to move through the process by being intentional about every step, and decided to add layers in the order of what was most important to me in the room. I knew I wanted those glitzy fixtures, but in order to counter those pops of gold, that bright fabric, and that fancy stove, I knew we needed to tone it down somehow. In order to achieve this, we decided to add some authentic reclaimed wood to the room. I love the versatility of wood, and it can really work in almost any type of space. I’ll get more into how and where we decided to add these touches of reclaimed wood next week. For now, I’ll let you know that we decided to go with a dark, sumptuous stain to allow the wood to dance alongside those more glamorous elements, all the while allowing the rusticity of the wood itself to make the entire space more approachable.

the walls and ceiling finally get sheetrocked

This was about where we stood half-way through the process on the design end, so now let’s chat for a moment about what started to evolve on the building side, post-demolition. Once our two month (plus)-long demo process was complete, we needed to sheetrock the entire space (ceiling included). As I had mentioned in the last post, the entire space was plaster and lath, and we opted to tear all of it out to make the electrical work more seamless. Now, this is where we struggled a bit being an essentially one-man team. Billy (my builder hubbie) did not have the proper equipment or man power to sheetrock a ceiling, so we decided to give the man a well-deserved break and hire this one out. Our contractor did an amazing job bringing this room back from the dead, and we were finally able to take a few deep breaths after seeing the walls and ceiling replaced in the room.

The next obstacle? FLOORING. Now, these floors are possibly my favorite element in the room, while my husband has come to abhor them after they took an obscene amount of time to install. I might remind you that we had three layers of floor to demo before reaching our subfloor (which needed major repairs), so finally seeing a beautiful floor under our feet was INCREDIBLY rewarding. And I have to give a MAJOR MAJOR shoutout to the hubs for making my herringbone floor dreams come true. I was a big brat about the floor. It was herringbone or the highway for me, and he didn’t even argue because he must have just known how amazing they were going to look too (love yah babe! 😉 ).

our herringbone white oak floors get installed

So, this is about where we were mid-construction and mid-design, and we had all kinds of wonderful and terrible surprises in store for us in the coming weeks…..

STAY TUNED.

One Room Challenge Week 2: Demo Mode

Here we are in week 2 of the One Room Challenge, but really week 15 for us (yes it’s taken that long to overhaul our kitchen, and we’re still crossing our fingers to be complete by the ORC deadline). I’m going to begin with some real time updates, and then dig into some design hurdles…and then chat about how fun it was to smash all the things in the kitchen to tiny little pieces.

It’s a family affair! Our 6 year-old, Eva, helps demo walls

I was super excited when Becca of June and Blue reached out to me last week to ask if she could sponsor a rug for the kitchen. I own a few of Becca’s rugs, but really it’s my life goal to own every single rug she ever lays her eyes on. The girl has magic eyes for rugs and was able to source the most perfect piece for this kitchen by pretty much only looking at my inspiration board from last week. I can’t wait for you guys to see it, but this is also a good segue into how challenging it can be to design a space when you have a deadline.

There is something intoxicating about the ORC. I often say reveal day is like Christmas morning for adults. There are, still yet, other major “pros” that come along with tackling a room for the One Room Challenge. For example, the ORC is also a formidable enemy to our procrastinating tendencies when it comes to tackling home projects. On the flip side, it can be a serious challenge to piece together a comprehensive and aesthetically thrilling space in such a short period of time (I guess that’s why they call it the One Room CHALLENGE). They always say “a great home takes time” (or at least there is a hashtag that says it), and I truly believe that truly special rooms can’t be thrown together overnight.

So this has been a bit difficult for me, especially given my very visual nature. Our stove took 16 weeks from order to delivery, so we had to order it before we even knocked down one wall. Our cabinets wouldn’t be installed until just a few short weeks before the ORC deadline, and I was having trouble visualizing what I wanted when we didn’t even have the cabinets in our hands (a huge thanks to Krystal at Pepe and Carols for creating some kick-ass custom pieces for me and allowing me to wait until the last minute so I could see those cabinets in place first). And then comes the rug I bought from Josh at Kazimah Carpets for the kitchen. I fell hard and fast for that rug and snatched it up – and have ZERO regrets about it – but then a few sponsors came along and my vision for the kitchen began to shift and, alas, the rug I had envisioned in the space was no longer going to work. Good thing it’s such a stunner that it will work in pretty much every other room of the house. I offer you this tale about rugs as a way of showing how designing an entire room before the room is even structurally intact can be, well, STRESSFUL AF.

Upper cabinets gone

Now, onto the demo details! Our old kitchen was quite small, with very little counter space and room for only one or two people to be in the space at a time. But the largest challenge was the strange configuration of the room that most certainly did not maximize the utility of the square footage we had access to. The kitchen abutted a small powder room that had been squeezed into the space and hosted the only interior entrance to our basement (a huge issue if we wanted to carry anything large in and out).

So, we decided to demolish the powder room to create more space for the kitchen and to open access to the basement. We will, at a later date, add a full bathroom to the main floor (hello, Fall ORC!), but for now we are living with just a single bathroom on the second floor (a challenge for elderly guests, as you can imagine). We also decided to demo the wall between our dining room and kitchen to make an even larger and brighter space to meet all of our dining needs for our family of four. And, as if these weren’t enough changes to make, we decided to move the entryway to our sunroom over to make space for the refrigerator and we also changed the placement and size of every window in the room. I was able to source brand spanking new Marvin windows from the Habitat for Humanity Restore – a must-visit site for anyone looking to renovate their home on a budget.

Eva, 6, and Josie, 18 months, dance on the subfloor

Our home was built in 1910, so during demo we were dealing with plaster mixed with horsehair and lath – all of which we took down to make way for a total reconstruction of the electrical and plumbing – and replaced with sheetrock. My husband, Billy, had to pick up three different floors before we were able to finally reach our subfloor (which also needed a lot of repair work). We found a few surprises, one being a brick chimney hiding in the wall that I was really excited about. Everyone who has entered the space has suggested we should sheetrock around it, but I have been adamant about leaving it as an unexpected architectural element – and an homage to the century-old roots of our home (the chimney was originally used for a wood-burning stove to heat the home).

We finally reached the subfloor!

The total time it took for demolition was three months, working about 20 hours/week. It was an enormous and strenuous undertaking and I owe all of that sweat equity to my husband, who is basically some kind of Roman God (who just happens to have Nordic features), but who also has not only been living and breathing this kitchen for months after work hours and on weekends…AND has also happened to build some super sexy abs and biceps along the way.

What more could a girl ask for?

So, takeaways from ORC week 2:

  1. Try to not buy/commit to any items until your vision is COMPLETE and…
  2. Always marry someone who knows how to not just build, but also knows how to do plumbing and electric.

That’s all for now – be sure to check back in for Week 3 updates and also be sure to visit the ORC page to see what all the other designers are up to!

One Room Challenge WEEK 1 : Visions for a Bold Boho Kitchen

Hayyyy ORC – WE’RE HERE!

The crew here at Kate Pearce Vintage is diving in head first to the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge and we couldn’t be more excited. This is our very first ORC and we’re not just dipping our toes in this round, we’re going BIG. We’re gutting our 1980s kitchen to the studs and building our dream boho kitchen – and for those of you who aren’t new around here you know that will mean lots of color, texture and, you guessed it, VINTAGE vibes. Because we all know vintage is the name of our game.

As you may have guessed, taking a kitchen down to its studs and rebuilding from scratch is a task that takes more than five weekends (we’re a husband + wife duo who work Monday-Friday), so we’ve started a bit early and are crossing our fingers to be done by reveal day. We’ve teamed up with some fabulous sponsors for our project and are just itching to show off their beautiful products – Riad Tile, Boho Luxe Home, Build.com, Hallman Industries and Wallternatives are all along for the ride.

SO – what’s this kitchen going to look like? We’ve pinned more than 75 kitchens on Pinterest and another 100+ are saved in our I-Phone “Kitchen Inspo” folder. More than four months have been spent agonizing over where to begin, HOW to begin, and where we want to end. We’ve sucked inspiration from so many beautiful Instagram squares, including these two from Jean Stoffer Design (Left) and Beginning in the Middle (Right).

And the more images we saved, the more we noticed themes beginning to emerge: BLUE, matte black and brass accents, statement stoves and bold, graphic patterns. We also just fell HARD for calcutta marble. But out of all of those things, the piece that caught our eye the most in kitchen after kitchen….. after kitchen.. was that statement stove. So, we ordered a 48″ cobalt blue Hallman range and used that as our starting off point for the rest of the kitchen.

We’re loving the current trend of mixing metals, and this Hallman range hit all the marks for us: that bold blue color, with brass and stainless steel working together to prove that two metals are just so much better than one.

The biggest challenge for me, as a designer, is to balance bold with a cohesive composition. I love taking a viewer’s eye to different elements of interest around a room, but the room still needs to work together. I like to think of it as the Kardashian effect: each player steals our eye for a moment, but the overall picture is even stronger than any one element on its own. It’s for this reason we decided to go with your ubiquitous white shaker cabinet. With bold roman shades, graphic black and white tile, and a statement stove, the cabinets just HAVE to blend and not shout, otherwise we’d almost certainly have more than a few offended eyeballs on our hands.

Now that you have an idea of where we are GOING with the kitchen, I think you’d better be clued in to where we began.

Photo from MLS listing for our home

The photo above is how the kitchen looked on move-in day in June of 2017. We knew we’d be gutting the kitchen in short order, so we didn’t bother to do much, but I did get some 50 cent hardware off Amazon and I painted the kitchen cabinets a deep blue. Overall, though, this is very much what the space has looked like.

Kitchen/Powder Room View : Construction Week 1

Just to the right of the kitchen there was a powder room that we demolished during week 1 of construction to make more space for the kitchen. We are also removing the wall between our kitchen and dining room to make the space feel more open, and replacing windows and doorways is also in the plan.

This has been an enormous undertaking, but we’re really just so excited to see the final outcome.

We hope you are, too.

An Inspired Kitchen

We’re gearing up for a major kitchen reno here at Casa Pearce and what better way to begin the process than look to Instagram for inspiration. But, let’s also be honest, I’ve kept a folder of kitchen inspiration for about a decade now and have been dreaming of my first kitchen reno for pretty much my entire life.

Since we are gutting to the studs, there are so many details to be covered, and I’ll be taking inspiration from tons of different sources. From color, to tile, to layout and lighting, that folder I just mentioned is so large it would probably make your head burst if you saw it. But, I’m going to show you some of the highlights that are really going to inspire this reno for us. Today’s post will focus on the element that is the starting point for every room I ever create: COLOR.

KITCHEN BY BARLOW & BARLOW

For those of you who have been following me for a while on Instagram, you know that color is my middle name. I simply can’t live without it. But, it’s also very difficult to do well. When it comes to color, it’s important to use it as a design element to accentuate a space, and to make sure it’s not overdone. I want you to come out of my rooms remembering how all of the details worked together, instead of only being able to recall “GREEN” or “BLUE,” or worse yet, “I CAN’T EVEN RECALL A COLOR BECAUSE THERE WERE TOO MANY.”

Take this stunning kitchen by Barlow & Barlow above, for instance. The oranges in the books complement the blues in the cabinetry, but the greys and whites accentuate the architectural elements, allowing them to shine. There is so much interest in this space, and while color is a defining feature, it doesn’t steal the show.

Kitchen by Devol Kitchens

The next major inspiration shot comes from Devol Kitchens. The greens in this space set against the gorgeous marble countertops and backsplash just make me DEAD. Like, nothing will ever be this good again so I may as well just throw in the towel.

There was something I read recently about designing with color, and it was that it was important to repeat the same color at ground level, eye level, and above eye level. I walked around my rooms and realized that I do this, not because it is a design rule, but just because that makes sense to me. I don’t even do it purposefully, it just happens. That’s exactly what I love about this kitchen. The entire design doesn’t seem contrived by some formula, but the color, texture and overall design just seem to come together in the most natural of ways.

So, that’s the goal for our kitchen reno: bold color that doesn’t overwhelm, and will come together to create a seamless landscape that doesn’t quite defy the rules of interior design, but just follows them without trying to.