I am SO excited to finally reveal our current living situation…As you may recall, we sold our Mt. Scott house in Portland, OR, and moved just outside the city to a European style farm-like property. I’ve been showing you around the new house and grounds, but you may have been wondering where-do-they-live??
Well, do you recall the guesthouse we briefly mentioned?
Yep, we’re there:) It’s tiny, has only one window, and is a bit strange since it’s mostly upstairs, but we managed to turn it into a special little nest where we have everything we need at 750 square feet! And the best part is I can just walk over to the main house to meet contractors, without driving through traffic while we remodel. Sweet.
What wasn’t so sweet is the guesthouse kitchen prior to our remodel. Here she is in all her glory:
This is the only “before” I have of the room, but you get the idea. A bit woody, wouldn’t you say? Today, I’d like to share with you how we turned this unappetizing kitchen into a delicious feast for the eyes:)
When we first bought this grand lady (aka the farm), we knew we would be reusing cabinets from the main house during the guesthouse remodel. Well, it just so happened that an entire section of base cabinets from the main kitchen worked perfectly in the new guest kitchen layout.
The couple tweaks it took to go from the original L-shape to U-shape included building a second lazy susan cabinet (we used Ana’s tutorial but adjusted the measurements to fit our needs), doors for the new cabinet (we’ve ordered from this great company before), and covering the exposed cabinet backs with an MDF panel.
Did you notice white appliances are making a come-back? Yep, and it’s because they blend better with the ever popular white kitchen. We ended up reusing the white sink and appliances from the main kitchen, and I love how everything sorta fades into the white walls and countertops. The dark cabinets ground the entire kitchen, while open shelving brings warmth and much needed storage. After all, it’s an 8 x 12 foot space without upper cabinets!
YOU GUYS…plywood is AWESOME! Use it whenever you can. It’s so affordable and the layered edging adds such beautiful detail, I cannot for the life of me figure out why it took so long to get on the plywood bandwagon. It’s so utilitarian and yet warm, and so Scandinavian chic, I cannot fully express my feelings toward this trend. Is this for everyone? No. But if you are aiming for a light, airy, yet textured look, plywood definitely offers all that if it’s cohesive with the rest of your decor, whether used as accent or primary material. Have you seen entire interiors done in plywood? Simply gorgeous, I must dedicate a post to that soon.
Another favorite of mine is tiled hoods. This is something we are seeing more of in kitchen design as people embrace open concept interiors and shy away from modern in-your-face appliances. The contemporary stainless hood is 100% improvement from the microwave-above-stove situation, but subtly designed hoods are gaining popularity. Tile, shiplap, and slab stone are such elegant options. We chose subway tile to keep costs to a minimum. And can you guess what that actual vent is? A modern steel hood that we built a box around and tiled on top. Totally doable. Will provide details in another post later this week.
Ah, this is so easy on the eyes, I love being in this room. I must confess that I am not a minimalist, so having my kitchen items on display makes me happy vs stressed by all the “stuff”. And the dust factor doesn’t bother me – if you can’t see it, it’s not there, LOL.
However, I have my limits, so the pantry is where the real clutter goes…including our microwave! We simply added an outlet inside, and now it powers the mic as well as our cordless vacuum (we got this one). BTW, going cordless has been a total life changer because do you KNOW how many times I vacuum a day with a toddler who likes to sprinkle her food on the floor for ants and a Doberman? We also receive regular deliveries of outdoor and construction debris from husband’s afro – signs of whatever he’s been working on, as he zooms through the house. I love it though, babe, keep it long;)
On the other side of the room, we have a sloped ceiling/wall situation so naturally that’s where seating went. We debated between using our round kitchen table for four (from our previous home) which would have left awkward space all around, and getting a new table too big for three of us but which would fit the space better and seat several guests. We chose the later as we considered the needs of any overnight visitors who may stay here in the future once we move to the main house.
I have been itching to use mixed dining chairs for a while, and I finally got my chance with our vintage teaks and modern windsors. Mixing chairs is a bit tricky as the look can easily resemble furniture display or a collection of random hand-me-downs; so if you are a newbie, the safe choice is to switch up the head chairs. I like the interest this adds to the dining side of the room since I can’t add art to that wall.
In case you are wondering, our floors are Brazilian cherry that we pulled from the main house since I plan to use more neutral tones there. To be honest, I have never been a fan of this wood. It has too much color variation, and is so “early 2000’s” trend, although a step up from 90’s oak. But now we’ve found another reason to avoid this wood in the future – oxidation. I knew this, but was still blown away by the sensitivity of the material. Get this, we put floors in October’ish (read: not much direct sun) and covered a section by the kitchen window to protect from dirt while work continued. A week later, we uncovered the floor and to our chagrin discovered a sharp contrast line between the protected section and the rest of the room. Whoa! After moving in, we placed a sisal rug in the bedroom for a couple months until I found the right one. When we went to change out the rug, there was the line again, fringe and all, between the light part that was covered and the dark floor that was exposed! Our flooring installer (by the way, I highly recommend Vics Hardwood) said this is normal and the contrast fades eventually, but man, does it look tacky in the meantime.
We carried the cherry on down the stairs leading to our dressing room where we switched to…a surprise flooring material which we will be sharing with you guys soon:)
Make sure to check in Thursday for a complete list of sources, paint colors, and hardware for our kitchen!
AND NOW I’M CURIOUS ABOUT YOU…
What do you think about modern stainless hoods – can’t get enough, or over them? Let me know in the comments below, I love to read them!