Wednesday, November 12, 2008

kitchen of my dreams

All photos from, done by Erica George Dines.

If I could copy the basic qualities of this kitchen in my own home, I would. It is EXACTLY what I wish I could make my kitchen look like. I have always loved Cottage Living magazine, but have recently felt like some of the content was sparse, and increasingly not budget friendly. The decor features, however, have always consistently spoken to me: classic and cozy with contemporary updates rooted in history.

This month, Cottage Living redeemed itself in my eyes, and featured the budget-friendly kitchen renovation of one of their own staffer's homes. Anne Turner Carroll turned her outdated and awkward kitchen into an efficient space that exudes cottage warmth and charm and exemplifies timeless character.

Most of the updates are things that I could conceivably do in my kitchen, and except for the all-new stainless appliances, do them on a relatively small budget. Not that I can actually make this investment anytime soon, but seeing the before and after of this renovation gave me hope. I also garnered some very concrete ideas about how to make my own awkward, and similarly laid out kitchen, function better.

Here are several of the highlights.

The existing cabinets were saved, just raised up to eliminate the wasted space up above, making the area underneath much more usable with a single, open shelf.

These photos demonstrate the wonderful mix of materials: honed black granite and walnut for the counter tops, wood floors, a classic white subway tile back splash,and two different painted finishes on the existing cabinets.

I love the light, open feel! And this configuration is so similar to my own, that it seems doable!

And here, the best part: a pass through that was enlarged from a sliver of an opening, in turn creating a major architectural feature and totally opening the kitchen up to the rest of the home. In my house, an opening like this would face the living room.

Well, that is my new inspiration... what is yours? Or do you already have your dream kitchen? I invite you to share your images and stories with me!