Skip to main content

The BEST Kitchen (N)ever

Update: Since posting this, we've added a red brick backsplash and the most gorgeous hammered chrome Pottery Barn cabinet hardware. Check out our new kitchen photos.

I've been fretting about our new kitchen for a little while now. Since...2011? With our open floor plan, the kitchen is the main focal point of the home. You see it when you walk through the front door, when you're in the living room, from the dining room, etc. You can't miss it. So, my thinking is that if the kitchen sucks, the house sucks. And when you've been designing the house since 2011, that really can't be an option.

We've also been determined not to build a boring house. Ours should be unique! Does unique = sucky? Whenever I'd describe our kitchen to someone, there would always be at least one detail that confused/worried/frustrated them. A sink with horses? Mirrored cabinets 12 feet high?! In my mind, everything looks amazing. But how would these wild design ideas work in real life?

Last week, we finally got to find out.

Soon there will be not one, but TWO dishwashers. Sadly though, neither is self-loading. You just know that's going to be invented a week after we move in.

The white backdrop makes fun holiday decorating a breeze.

We absolutely LOVE our hammered copper sink, though I suspect it's not the name-brand one the eBay seller claimed. The horses looked like majestic stallions in the listing and these have more of the My Little Pony quality you'd expect from counterfeit artisans across the border. Still, the sink seems solid.

Plus, it was a screamin' deal.

Our drawers have been redone since my previous kitchen blog post. Don't they look so much better?

Also, I should note that the grout color on the floor is actually much darker than shown here. Everything is just so dusty!

This is all still a work in progress. Crown molding will be installed on top of each cabinet soon and Sexy Nerd is going to add a red brick backsplash from countertop to ceiling after we move in. I have no idea what color hardware to choose.

And my mirrored doors! I've been so worried about this wall, certain one day that it's going to be stunningly beautiful and certain the next it will be a disaster. Below them is going to be a library bar for a ladder. They were actually built incorrectly, as the design specified 8 small doors, not 4 small and 2 large, but I think I'm happy with the look as is. They bounce the light around and reflect the wood ceiling.

I love how our kitchen is turning out, but what kind of professional, "highly recommended" custom cabinet builder builds the wrong number of doors? 6 versus 8 is kindergarten math.

Apparently, one of the crew members became so fed up while installing our cabinets that they stabbed this one. The cut goes all the way through! I'm sure it will be repaired or replaced. I'm also sure I'm glad we waited until the cabinets had been installed to visit the house that day.

That's enough kitchen photos for now.

What's that, you say? I didn't even show you a photo of the entire kitchen?

Hmmm, thinks Sexy Nerd. Should we show some more photos?

Ta da!

He's also pondering that it would sure be nice not to see a dumpster through our windows anymore. More than a year in, I bet the neighbors feel the same.

That goes double for the Porta Potty at the end of our cul-de-sac.

It's all coming together. We've even had a little party already.

My mom, shown here, was so excited when she saw our kitchen for the first time that she even used the word "freaking". As in, it looks freaking gorgeous. And she hates white kitchens. And she does not say freaking.

When cooking in the kitchen, you're still part of the crowd in the living room. Just wait until Sexy Nerd gets his chandeliers installed. He built them himself and they're 7 feet tall!

Also, perhaps I should have tidied up the island before snapping this photo.

Here is the view when you enter the house through the foyer, albeit not quite so crooked. Unless maybe you've been enjoying a margarita on our patio.

There's still a lot to do, which I suppose goes without saying after posting the previous photo of a de-drywalled (for the second time!) foyer. Sexy Nerd is going to build an island that will act as a divider between the two rooms. It's going to seat...well, I'm not sure how many yet, but you'll have the option to sit facing the kitchen or the living room. You'll even have the option to sit facing the front yard or the back - the island is going to be on beautiful wheels! If anyone out there knows where I can actually buy beautiful wheels, please let me know ASAP. Although my husband is handy, his design sense can be a bit questionable sometimes. If I don't find beautiful wheels for the new island soon, he's going with black rubber ones. "They're the most practical choice," he insists.

Bah.

There are also a few cabinet problems that need to be corrected. The biggest is that the range is not centered under the hood, which was so important that we even sent an email to the cabinet builder months ago, stressing that it absolutely must be centered. We stated that his design appeared to be off by exactly one inch. It seemed like a silly, overkill sort of thing to do at the time. Surely someone who builds custom cabinets for a living has enough common sense and math skills to center the focal point of the kitchen with the vault of the ceiling, right? But here we are, with the range off by exactly one inch. The range is haphazardly dropped beneath the hood and there is noticeably more countertop space to the left than the right. The builder and the foreman must not have been paying any attention to our house. Have I mentioned we broke ground June, 2016?

Really, the actual biggest problem (the biggest, biggest) is that there doesn't seem to be any possible way to correct this mistake, short of ripping out the kitchen cabinets and countertops and starting over. I don't see that happening.

It's complicated.

Popular posts from this blog

Cake Mix Pancakes

This reader-favorite recipe is *almost* as popular as my Cake Mix Cookie Bars recipe .  When making Cake Mix pancakes , the scrumptious possibilities are endless. Red Velvet cake mix pancakes. Chocolate cake mix pancakes. Butter Pecan cake mix pancakes. Funfetti cake mix pancakes. (Yes, Funfetti cake mix pancakes!) With this 2-ingredient recipe, you can turn your favorite cake mix into your favorite pancakes. Pancake making at its finest. Cake Mix Pancakes Personally, I think my funny napkin is the icing on the (pan)cake. It's Sunday morning and you're planning to do all the things today - scrub those grody baseboards, polish your quartz countertop that was supposed to be low maintenance but actually isn't at all, sort through the disaster that is the freezer.  While on your superhuman kick, you think I'm going to make my family pancakes for breakfast. Not just any pancakes - the best pancakes ever. I may even serve them as breakfast in bed! You pu

Chemical Peel Before & After

This article has been updated! My new chemical peel post, which includes pricing, Jessner peel before and after photos, product recommendations, and a helpful timeline for scheduling your treatments, is at the bottom. My original Jessner peel post (one of the most popular on my site of all time) is at the beginning. Original Chemical Peel Article Considering a chemical peel? I recently underwent my first Jessner peel and thought I'd share my results, post a Jessner peel review, and answer some frequently asked chemical peel questions. (I'm guessing that "Does a chemical peel hurt?" is a biggie!) I'd been planning to order an over-the-counter peel when we were in Iceland , but my computer led me a different direction. I decided to do this on a whim after Groupon greeted me one morning with a great $40 chemical peel deal. Now, I can read your mind. You just gasped in horror and thought  You trusted your face to a  discount  chemical peel?!  You're wondering w

How to Move a Mattress

My site is popular for reviewing memory foam mattresses. With today's bed-in-a-box options lasting much longer than the traditional 7 years of a spring mattress, there's a good chance you'll eventually need to move one. But how? This is  how to move a mattress  without damaging it - even by yourself!  When we were faced with the challenge of moving our beloved Amerisleep AS3  to our new home, it seemed like my readers would enjoy the details. This handy tip should work for any memory foam bed, including Casper, Leesa, and Nectar.  I'm happy to report there is an extremely simple way to do it. Apartment and dorm dwellers rejoice! How to Move a Mattress At first, I wasn't sure how to move our king-size mattress down a flight of stairs. It's a problem we've dreaded solving ever since we made the decision to build a new house.  The answer? It was right in the back of our truck.  Ratchet straps . This solution could also serve as a 'How To' for returning

10 Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks

You're in for a treat. Today I'm sharing my best canned cinnamon roll hacks and improvements for turning store-bought cinnamon rolls, like the Pillsbury Grands ones or even the store brand, into something special.  Dry cinnamon rolls? No thank you. They need to be OOEY and GOOEY. That's just Cinnamon Roll 101. All of these ideas keep Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls soft, company-worthy, and delicious. These are also great for taking homemade cinnamon rolls up a notch, but what a pain that is. With these better-than-homemade canned cinnamon roll hacks, you'll never bother to bake them from scratch again. Test out some of these ideas tomorrow. Won't it be nice to dig into a mouthwatering cinnamon roll for breakfast? You can't get a better start to your day than that. Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks Actually, make that 11 easy ways to improve store-bought cinnamon rolls: you can top them with homemade coffee whipped cream . Yum! Nope, make that 12 canned cinnam

Reuzel: Grooming Tonic Industry Review

I'm looking out for you, my bloggy friends. At my last haircut, the hairdresser shared his favorite hair product of all time, REUZEL (which I'd never heard of), with me and I had enough sense to get the details to share with you. He didn't even have a bottle of it to sell me. It was a genuine, honest review. Also, are they still called hairdressers? Is this the equivalent of calling your flight attendant a stewardess? Stylist? Barber? Reuzel  Grooming Tonic Review You know those men who have the softest, most perfect hair and it seems so unfair because most men don't even care about their hair? (Or so they say.) I think this is their secret. While you're here, be sure to read my  funny haircut story . Geez, I'm awkward. The fact that I was brave enough to ask to take this photo at the salon is proof I love my blog readers. Never heard of it? That's probably because Reuzel Grooming Tonic is marketed toward men. From reading their endless 5-star reviews, men

Dental Memes

As the manager of two successful dental offices, my favorite memes are ones I can share with my dentistry dream team.  Happy Team = Living the Dream! You don't have to work in dentistry to enjoy these. After all, everyone is a dental patient. You have visited the dentist within at least the year...right? (No guilt if you haven't! I've scheduled patients who haven't seen a dentist since the 1970s. Dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dental administrators have seen it all. We love this field because we love helping our patients. It's never too late to get back on track!) Funny Memes for Dentists Reminder: National Dentist's Appreciation Day is March 6th! Funny Memes for Dental Hygienists Reminder: National Dental Hygienist Appreciation Week is always the 2nd week of April! Funny Memes for Dental Assistants Reminder: National Dental Assistant Appreciation Week is always the 2nd week of March! Funny Memes for Dental Office Administrators Reminder: Ad

Hello Fresh Complaints

Hello, my bloggy friends. I have a HelloFresh complaint and believe they are pulling a scam. Yours truly came *this close* to falling for it.  Maybe scam is too harsh of a word. Sneaky? You can decide for yourself. The fact that there are so many Hello Fresh complaints online does seem suspicious. My main complaint about Hello Fresh has to do with their promotional rate, which seems like it is set up to be intentionally misleading (more on this below). Despite so many people complaining about being charged more than they thought they'd agreed to, Hello Fresh maintains this as part of their business model and continues to mislead. So it's intentional, right? I do not recommend Hello Fresh. For starters, the service is just ingredients-by-mail with recipes, not meals. You can buy your own ingredients for much less, especially now that most grocery stores conveniently offer pickup and delivery. Excellent recipes are easy to find.  Click here for a list of top-rated, reader-favorit

3 Minute Toaster/Convection Oven Smores

These are perfect when you're craving a quick, sugary treat. They work equally well in a toaster oven and a convection oven. Best of all, compared to eating an entire bag of Oreos (something I have never  done), they're quite healthy. What's that, you say? You already know how to make s'mores in the toaster oven? Well then, sit back and enjoy the ooey-gooey marshmallowy photos. (And if you're someone who works with me, please keep the "I've seen her polish off an entire bag of Oreo cookies" nonsense to yourself.)  Step 1: Put desired amount of graham crackers on a toaster oven/convection oven-safe pan.   Looks like it's time to clean this pan, Sexy Nerd Optional 1st step, which is Sexy Nerd's favorite: Spread peanut butter on each graham cracker (I'm not much of a peanut butter fan - WHAT?!? - so I skip this step.) Cover with yummy marshmallows. Top with chocolate chips. Place in the toaster o

Field and Vine, Friends and Wine: Our Dinner in the Field

Dreaming of a farm-to-table experience on an actual farm? Sexy Nerd and I have discovered Field & Vine, an Oregon company that hosts special dinners and events. Don't get too attached to Bessie over there... Clarification: Bessie is a cow over in the field, not me. You cannot see the cow in the photo. Again, I am not Bessie. A Night of Culinary Connection and Wine-Fueled Friendships Last July, on a quest to conquer Oregon's wonders and combat adulting fatigue, we stumbled upon the "Dinner in the Field" event at Marion Acres hosted by Field & Vine. This wasn't your average dinner party; it was a celebration of local bounty, exceptional wines, and the joy of finding kindred spirits over shared plates. Surrounded by friendly faces and glasses filled with Suzor wines, we indulged in a multi-course masterpiece showcasing the heart and soul of Marion Acres. It wasn't just about the food; it was about the entire experience. Marion Acres: From Humble Beginning

Oatmeal with Quinoa

*Do not add chia seeds - see note at the end of this recipe. In response to my popular Instant Pot Explosion blog post, I've had a few blog readers ask for my oatmeal with quinoa recipe, which is made in the Instant Pot. This seems a bit odd...you guys aren't trying to recreate that gooey mess in your own kitchens, right?  My recipe does make delicious, foolproof Instant Pot oatmeal. It's only for patient people though. Whatever you do, do not manually release the pressure valve at the end of the cooking cycle! This recipe is also great in a Crock Pot, though that method takes longer. I like to set the temperature to Low before bed. What a hearty, indulgent breakfast to wake up to!  I've been cooking up batches of my Oatmeal with Quinoa for years, long before I'd heard of the Instant Pot, and have even gifted the dry ingredients to health-conscious friends and family, who've suggested I sell this. Shark Tank, here I come! Oatmeal with Quinoa Featured