Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hello New Kitchen!

Hi! Oh, it feels so good to be writing to you again! I know I have been completely M-I-A since the end of October but it has been for a good reason, I promise. First off, I hope your holidays were deliciously fantastic! My holidays were filled with family, food, and they were simply crazy!  Patrick and I didn't even get our Christmas ornaments on the tree! But I did manage to bake a few gluten free desserts and of course, Patrick and I roasted a pig for my entire family on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve).  I guess you can see what my priorities are...hello food!

Our new puppy BooRay
Why so busy you ask? Well....drumroll please...not long after my last post, Patrick and I moved into OUR FIRST HOUSE! Oh, did I mention that we renovated it too?  Oh and that we got a new puppy? Yea, it's been busy!

When we moved in, the renovations were not quite done.  I can't tell you how hard it was not being able to use my kitchen! But a couple months after our move in, our renovation was complete.  Our little three month project took six months to complete! If you have ever been through a renovation yourself you know that's just how it goes.  But we did it! And I can't help it, I just have to show you my pride and joy of our house...Our New Kitchen.

Here is what our kitchen looked like BEFORE:

From the beginning, we knew renovating the kitchen was going to be part of the deal.  We needed something a little more functional but also more pleasing to the eye, since a lot of our time and parties with friends are in the kitchen.  We thought the size was good, but the space was being used in an awkward way.

There was no dishwasher and it needed an updated look.  It also didn't have a lot of storage.  Oh wait, maybe that's because the water heater was taking up an entire bottom cabinet!  Don't worry we moved the water heater....

So, to get what we needed out of our kitchen we had to literally start from scratch.  Our priorities were counter space, storage, appliances, and general feel.  It's a lot of pressure when you are making selections because you just want it to be so wonderful.  Can you believe that's what it looked like underneath all that teal and yellow?

I tried to think of all the kitchens I had been in and what I liked and what I didn't like.  I knew I wanted as much counter space and storage as we could possibly fit!  For appliances, I wanted ones that made cooking more efficient and easier on me.  But really, I just wanted it to be calm and happy.  I wanted to create a space where people want to linger.

So, how do you think we did? Here is the AFTER:

AHHHHH! I still get so excited when I see it!  It really is a dream come true. Don't you just want to hang out there and have a glass of wine or some sweet tea.  This kitchen is everything I never knew I wanted.  It just all came together.

I can't wait to throw our first party!

I love how bright and big the white bead board cabinets made the room feel.  We literally shoved as much storage as we could in there.  And I really like how the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling. To add even more of a "cottage" feel we chose to go with an apron or farmhouse sink and to get a panel ready dishwasher and fridge to make everything flow together.

I finally got a gas range! But guess what? My two ovens are electric! (The electric oven was really important to me because gas is known for not baking evenly sometimes.) And can you find the microwave?  You won't find one!  We decided to ditch it and go with a simple low-profile slide hood that basically attaches to the upper cabinet.

Now, instead of microwave popcorn, it's fresh from the stove!

One of our favorite things to do when Patrick comes home from work is to sit with a little antipasto platter and talk about our day.  I'm usually in the kitchen (duh) testing a recipe or finishing dinner, so we also needed a place in the kitchen to sit.

I distinctly remember the day we came up with the idea of an island. Our contractor, his designer, Patrick and I all put our heads together to try and figure out what to do with this space!  For 2 hours, the four of us stood around a table looking at a drawing of our kitchen and came up with this brilliant solution.

The island not only adds an eating area but it also adds another workspace and more cabinet storage! My favorite cabinet is this one, where I can keep all my awkawardly long baking sheets and baking pans.  Plus, the island is on wheels! So, if we have a party, I can unlock the wheels and push it back against the wall and use it as a buffet. Isn't that great?!?

During the kitchen part of the renovation all I kept thinking about was the first dish I was going make. Surely it had to be incredible. Something that would set the tone for the years to come.  I thought maybe something sentimental like my mom's black beans and rice or Patrick's family's chicken and sausage gumbo.  But in a sweet twist of fate, my first dish in our new kitchen actually ended up being a new recipe that is sweet and baked, my Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Chips.

They are so delicious and so easy that I just had to share them with you.

Lauren Marie’s Gluten Free

I feel incredibly blessed to have gone through this whole process.  It may have taken us almost 7 years of marriage before we ended up with a house of our own, but I can't imagine it being any more wonderful.  And I am so happy to be starting this new chapter.  I hope it ends up being just like the macaroons, so unexpected but oh, so sweet!

I really would like to thank Strobel Design Build for helping make our dream into a reality. Thank you to Mandy, who came up with such great ideas, Andy for doing so much of the hard work, and of course, Don for somehow making it all come together!

1 comment:

  1. Love love love the kitchen!! Congrats and great job! So happy you're back to blogging! Looking forward to some more recipes to try.... :)