The Row House Round-Up: 5 Countertop Materials & Their Pros/Cons

Good morning! I hope y'all have had a great week! We have had fun watching our son giggle for the first time and look forward to having out-of-town guests coming to visit in a few days! I am officially back from maternity leave (will write post on that soon) and will send our baby off to part-time day care in several days. Moms out there, I'll be needing some encouragement on that day! Send me your words of wisdom.

I've been pondering some of the questions I get asked most often as a designer. Given the fact that I'm asked about which materials to use for kitchen and bathroom vanity counters at least once per project, I feel like it's time to describe the options in further detail. 

  Paloma Contreras via Traditional Home. A Waterfall Edge, Marble Counter With Matching Backsplash.

Paloma Contreras via Traditional Home. A Waterfall Edge, Marble Counter With Matching Backsplash.

It's true that counters are a big investment and can seem like a big risk, especially when you consider these surfaces as work spaces. They need to last and endure all of life's adventures (i.e. a toddler spilling fruit punch and leaving it to soak into the counter). My goal is to help show you some options that hopefully help your decision-making process more peaceful. **Disclaimer: always ask your fabricator if how to care for your slabs. I cannot claim to know everything about every slab out there. Consider this a 30,000 foot summary and brief description of each instead of exact words to live by.**

Here's a compiled list of some common stone types. I didn't describe some of the more rare surface stones available (onyx, serpentine, reclaimed materials, etc.) but will absolutely provide information on those if you need it - just reach out!

QUARTZ. We've seen quartz become very popular in remodels and the new homes that are being built. It's easy to see why when considering the wide array of options available now! I'm typically a fan of natural stone more than engineered stone, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the options I've seen lately.

  Cambridge Row; Quartz in a cement-look colorway.

Cambridge Row; Quartz in a cement-look colorway.

  Cambridge Row; a laundry room at the Conroe Farmhouse with White Quartz

Cambridge Row; a laundry room at the Conroe Farmhouse with White Quartz

Quartz Pros: Resistant to staining, wide range of colors and finishes, it's non-porous (bacteria will not sink into the material itself), and it is a very hard surface (aka it's hard to chip or crack). I love how durable they are and how you can achieve so many interior design styles through just one type of material. 

Quartz Cons: Make sure to see a sample or a slab of what you're choosing. Sometimes the ones that claim to look "just like marble" don't look just like marble. Some companies will say that every single slab is printed the same, but to be safe, make sure all of your slabs are from the same batch/lot. Some brands are pricey. 

SOAPSTONE. I think I'll always be drawn to it even as styles change. It's a natural beauty with subtle veining and depth in color. Truly timeless!

 Soapstone in a kitchen by Rafe Churchill

Soapstone in a kitchen by Rafe Churchill

 Cambridge Row: Conroe Farmhouse

Cambridge Row: Conroe Farmhouse

Soapstone Pros: I'm trying not to be biased, but it's hard because I love this material! You can place hot pots & pans on top because it's heat resistant. It won't absorb acids like wine and lemon juice, and you don't have to use a special cleaner for day-to-day clean up. I personally appreciate the way it patinas over time, too!

Cons: If you want it to stay dark, you'll need to use mineral oil every now and then. It's a softer material, so chipping and etching can occur if you're not careful. Always use a cutting board! This natural stone is a beautiful piece of art, and sometimes the price reflects that. When you're at the slab yard, ask the fabricator to wipe water on the stone. This will help you see the undertones of the stone & will let you see what the slab would look like if you oiled it. They sometimes have green undertones, which is beautiful, but make sure it works with your other design selections.

QUARTZITE. Nope, it's not the same as quartz. Quartz is an engineered stone whereas quartzite is a natural stone. It often has veining/movement like marble and is absolutely gorgeous.

 Quartzite. Credit: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Quartzite. Credit: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Quartzite Pros: Ain't nothing like the real thing, right? This stone is a natural stone and each slab is unique in and of itself! If you're investing in new counters, I believe they should mean something to you. You use them every day and they're one of the first things people notice when entering a kitchen or bathroom. It's considered to be more durable than marble (because it's a harder material) and relatively low maintenance. 

Quartzite Cons: It needs to be sealed once a year. I'd suggest using a trivet for hot pots and a cutting board when chopping your veggies. While it's still considered more durable than marble, it's still a natural stone that needs special TLC. If you spill anything, wipe it up as soon as possible. Here's a helpful guide (reference the marble/granite section and apply the same techniques). Most of them aren't as bright as marble. If you want the bright, carrarra marble looking surface, the only quartzite that I've seen close to it is Super White.

 Cambridge Row: Super White Quartzite Kitchen Island. Photo by Melissa Parsons.

Cambridge Row: Super White Quartzite Kitchen Island. Photo by Melissa Parsons.

 

MARBLE & BUTCHER BLOCK. There's a chance you just read "marble and wood combo" and thought I lost my mind. Bare with me. I realize that this is leaning a little bit away from one material in particular, but it's worth mentioning! Not only is this really beautiful, it also gives you a different surfaces for different tasks. 

 This is by The Fox Group. I love their work! As you can see, there's a butcher block on the side and the main island is marble.

This is by The Fox Group. I love their work! As you can see, there's a butcher block on the side and the main island is marble.

 Here's another pic of this beauty. By: The Fox Group.

Here's another pic of this beauty. By: The Fox Group.

 Here's a beautiful marble slab we used for a kitchen renovation with BlakeCraft Homes. 

Here's a beautiful marble slab we used for a kitchen renovation with BlakeCraft Homes. 

Marble Pros: Beautiful, Light & Bright, Timeless. I melt every time I see marble. Maybe that love will fade, but I doubt it. I particularly love it in a bathroom. It's the best stone choice if you want to get the brightness AND the natural texture. In my opinion, many people are more afraid of marble than they really need to be (unless you have little kids or consider yourself very messy). You should definitely still consider using it if you ensure that it is sealed and if you take care of it correctly (promptly wipe spills, use the right cleaners, etc.) 

Marble Cons: Staining, etching, and discoloration over time. Refer to the cleaning guideline in the quartzite description, though. Avoid leaving anything acidic on it. It's also pricey (depending on the type you choose). Definitely use coasters for drinks, trivets for hot pans, and so on. 

Butcher Block Pros: It's a great work station for chopping and prep! There are lots of colors/stains available, it's very affordable, and is also long-lasting if you take care of it.

Butcher Block Cons: Water and wood are not friends. It's really important to clean these surfaces daily so that bacteria does not absorb into the material. You also need to make sure that the surface stays as dry as possible to prevent warping, expansion, and so on. The other con is that you need to seal it with mineral oil monthly. You'll definitely want to test samples of wood types/stain colors because the wrong wood grain with the wrong stain can make it look very cheap. Try a species similar to white oak or walnut instead of anything orange-y. 

 

CONCRETE. This has been around for awhile but definitely grew to become a crowd favorite when Chip & Jo used it in several of their remodels. I love it because it's extremely versatile. From a southern farmhouse to a contemporary California bungalow, concrete has popped up around the country in many different contexts.

 Studio McGee

Studio McGee

 Featured on OneKindesign

Featured on OneKindesign

 Sarah O Designs

Sarah O Designs

Concrete Pros: Unlimited customization, provides a natural look, durable, and long-lasting if taken care of properly. You can finish it out to be rugged and rustic or smooth and contemporary. Before installing, look at the many options available to make sure the installer is able to achieve the level of sheen you love the most. P.S. I love the way it patinas over time!

Concrete Cons: You may look at it and think, "That can't cost too much! They use it for roadways." But it does. You'll also need someone who really knows what they're doing (or at least someone who considers themselves to be Type-A) to install it correctly. While it is considered durable, I've also noticed that it can stain and etch like other materials. You'll need to read up on specific care/maintenance suggestions depending on the finish you choose (polished, sealed, etc.).

FINAL NOTES: I didn't list Terrazzo, Pearl/Oyster Vetrostone, or Porcelain yet. That's because I am still learning about them and want to learn as much as I can before I share with you. Also, did you notice? I left granite off the list! That's because I wanted to shed light on some of the other amazing options out there. Thank you so much for tuning in and following along! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments. Remember, counters are highly used and often a centerpiece of a space. Make them reflect your style and treat them like a piece of art. Happy designing, friends!

 

The Row House Round-Up: Five Interior Trends We're Loving Right Now

 

Hi friends! We're excited to kick off the first post of our newest blog series - The Row House Round-Up. Each week we'll create a quick post that lists five design examples that you can read in less than five minutes. My friend reminded me recently that no one has time to read much these days. As a new mom, I totally get that. Anyway, here we go!

Times, they are a changin' in the design industry as they do quite often. While some elements have had staying power for a while now, other new concepts are on the rise and they're winning our hearts and taking over our pin boards. We're starting to notice that most of these ideas were popular many years ago and that we're seeing a resurgence of them, but the way they're implemented is a little different. Here are some things we're loving:

1. Matching Wallpaper & Draperies (or upholstery) & Playful Wallpaper in General

... but not your grandma's wallpaper. Take a look at some of these examples. While some are bold and pack a big punch, others are soft and subtle. I love how the matching curtains help tie a room together and add a hint of unexpected uniformity!

   Read the interview from Dina Bandman Interiors  here .

Read the interview from Dina Bandman Interiors here.

   Chango & Co

Chango & Co

2. Wood Cabinets

... but not the ones you remember from the late 90's and early 2000's. Wood cabinetry is back but think less cherry tones and more oak. Less saturated and more washed. Less glossy/smooth and definitely more matte/natural. Here are some of my favorites. 

   Brad Krefman

Brad Krefman

   Gianetti Home

Gianetti Home

 

3.  Warmer and More Muted Tones & Textures

Think warmer grays and subtle beige tones, antiqued plumbing fixtures, interior pavers, hand painted tile, pastels and other chalky colors (like putty white). I'm so excited about this and I appreciate how it somehow makes even a new home feel like it already has a story instead of feeling sterile or plain. 

   SugarHouse in London: muted, pastel scales.

SugarHouse in London: muted, pastel scales.

   Vintage inspired fixtures with antiqued finishes. Credit: WaterWorks

Vintage inspired fixtures with antiqued finishes. Credit: WaterWorks

   Apartment Therapy featuring Zellige tiles. Designer Unknown.

Apartment Therapy featuring Zellige tiles. Designer Unknown.

   Elle Decor Sweden. Designer Unknown.

Elle Decor Sweden. Designer Unknown.

4. Chalky Blues & Saturated Greens with Matching  Millwork

Adding on to item #3, even bold colors seem to be more muted with more depth. Green and blue have been popular for a long time but we're seeing new applications. I'm particularly fond of trim & millwork that matches the wall (and sometimes the ceiling, too). It adds depth and volume to the walls! (Side-note: never forget that your trim doesn't always have to be white. Don't get me wrong, white is classic, but there are so many options out there. I'll write a post one day on how to incorporate trim that isn't white). Anyway, here are some rooms that make me smile:

   Designer Unkown

Designer Unkown

   Credit: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. Designer Unknown.

Credit: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. Designer Unknown.

5. Plaster

Plaster has obviously been around for, well, thousands of years. We know it's nothing new, but I'm a big fan of the way people are using it these days. When you hear plaster, you may be envisioning chunky texture on walls. We're talking more about the smooth, matte plaster in an ivory white finish. It adds so much dimension to walls without it looking like a cliche "wall texture." It is even beautiful for range hoods!

 Venetian Plaster. Valerie DeRoy Interiors

Venetian Plaster. Valerie DeRoy Interiors

 DecorPad. Designer Unknown. Plastered Walls. 

DecorPad. Designer Unknown. Plastered Walls. 

   Marie Flanigan Interiors  (A HOUSTON FAVORITE!). This plastered range hood is stunning. Also visit her article that breaks down range hoods by type.  Visit it here.

Marie Flanigan Interiors  (A HOUSTON FAVORITE!). This plastered range hood is stunning. Also visit her article that breaks down range hoods by type. Visit it here.

Thanks for reading! What trends are you loving these days? Tell us about them in the comments.

 

 

A Classic Navy & White Baby Nursery (Our Own)!

Nurserycambridgerow.jpg

BIG news! We had a baby last month and we're loving being new parents. I'm proudly designing rooms with sleepy eyes and spit up on my t-shirt. We love this little guy and enjoyed crafting a space just for him. Okay, maybe not just for him. We all know new mama's spend lots of time in nurseries, so I must admit that I probably enjoy some of the design details more than he ever will. 

Anyway, it’s been a while, friends! Welcome to our very own baby’s nursery!

Before getting started, it’s important for me to share where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to lately. The past ten months have been unique and it’s been hard to find time to write and reflect. I learned I was pregnant the day Hurricane Harvey hit here in Houston. Everything was closed and the roads were blocked, but we did manage to make it to Cracker Barrel in our friend Phil’s XL truck. By XL I mean the tires are taller than me. 

When Houston flooded, I doubted my ability to serve the rescue and recovery efforts. With no medical or emergency rescue training, I felt as though I had little to offer but still wanted to help in any way I could. It was soon after that I realized something: homes. The memories. Their possessions. The places where they feel safe. Gone. While material items can be replaced, the feeling of ‘home’ is something we all need to feel secure. That’s when I knew that there was an outlet for me: flood renovation. We partnered with William David Homes and also Seven Mile Road Church to restore homes (more on this one day in the future). The families we got to work with will always be so special to me. They are so strong

All of this is to say that this became a top priority this year and was worth every second (even with a giant pregnant belly). It did leave little time for writing, though. I’m excited to catch you up to speed on what we’ve been up to lately! 

I tried to find ways to select pieces that will last a while but wouldn’t break the bank (because diapers cost money. As does college). Priorities, am I right?

Here’s the scoop:

For starters, this room was originally turqoise. It had belonged to an awesome teenager whom we had the pleasure of meeting! When we moved here we changed the walls to a neutral beige for Bryan’s office. He got to have his ‘corner office’ for about one month before we found out we were expecting a baby. Time for another color change!

nursery before.png


I love neutrals, always have and always will! There’s something special about a light and airy nursery. At the same time, the color navy wouldn’t leave my mind. Navy is classy and a versatile color, but I didn’t want all of the walls to be painted dark. Our solution was 3/4 high board & batten paneling. Bryan and his friend, Tom, conquered this project together. I was there only for moral support. The white paneling still lightened the room and made the space feel more open, while the navy packed a great punch of contrast. We used Simply White (satin) and Hale Navy (flat) from Benjamin Moore. We used satin so we could clean off any future crayon art projects on the wall :). 

 The inspiration board we made before purchasing anything for the room.

The inspiration board we made before purchasing anything for the room.

 Art by  Blakely Made ; Schooner Letterpress Print

Art by Blakely Made; Schooner Letterpress Print


Let’s talk about this rug. You want to know the glorious thing about it? I can take it outside and spray it down with a hose when it gets dirty! It’s an indoor/outdoor rug but isn’t prickly. It feels like an indoor rug. Winning! This is actually the underside of a rug. The top side’s pattern was too busy for the room so we simply flipped it over. It was a great clearance buy from Land of Nod (now Crate and Kids)! 

 Rug from  Crate and Kids


Moving on to the bookshelf area. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the navy & brass trend these days. It feels like an old library and I love that. I found this Visual Comfort light at a Habitat for Humanity ReSale shop at a fraction of the cost! It sat in a cabinet for a year before I had a place for it. The Bible verse below is one that is special to us. It also has our son’s middle name within it! We just typed this on engineering paper and had it printed at Office Depot. The shelves are filled with special books we were given, framed shower invitations, and beautiful ceramic British soldiers by Tricia Lowenfield Design (we still have more of her wonderful art to display)!

DSC04312-2.jpg


Other details throughout the space include a classic dresser with brass knobs, a linen rocker/glider, handmade quilts, and art that is special to us: a Blakely Made letterpress print from my best friend and a Washington, DC pennant because it’s where we met. 

 Bryan and I met in the DC area. Our first date was in Georgetown. We got burgers and gelato and then walked around the monuments.

Bryan and I met in the DC area. Our first date was in Georgetown. We got burgers and gelato and then walked around the monuments.

 We swapped out the hardware with brass knobs to keep in style with the rest of the room.

We swapped out the hardware with brass knobs to keep in style with the rest of the room.

My advice when designing rooms in your home: use pieces that MEAN something to you. Don’t just fill it with ‘filler art.’ Wait until you find the right pieces of furniture, art, and decor that truly reflect your personality and stir up sweet memories from your life. 

If you’re about to design a nursery, I do have one good hint for you! Look beyond places that market themselves as ‘nursery’ items. It’s great to blend things together that are geared for nurseries and things that aren’t. For example, it’s imperative to have a crib that meets safety standards, so you can’t really stray away from nursery goods in this regard. However, art, pillows, lighting, and so on are great to find elsewhere (as long as the materials are safe). Secret: you will probably save a lot of money, too! 

cambridgerow
cambridgerow

 


I hope you enjoy! Thanks for visiting! 

cambridgerow

All That Glitters is Gold...Hardware

 
 Construction: Doug Blake of BlakeCraft Homes; Design: Laurin White of Cambridge Row

Construction: Doug Blake of BlakeCraft Homes; Design: Laurin White of Cambridge Row

 

Brace yourselves. There are so many exciting transformations to this home and I can't wait to show you the process. 

Meet Erin and Jeremy

You know those families that are just cool without even trying? That's Erin and Jeremy. They have a way of discovering the most intriguing art, traveling to special places, and caring for the cutest pup in the world (she'll make her cameo in a minute). Even more impressive, they do all this while crushing it at their day-to-day life of raising kids and working hard. I've known Erin for a couple of years and was flattered when she called about their kitchen/living room renovation. Because they’re so art-savvy, it felt as though we were all one design team. I have to give them credit - they came up with some incredible ideas and design solutions.

Let's talk about what this space was before we reveal what it is

When we met for our first consult, I knew immediately why they were ready to renovate. While the entryway and dining room were up to date (with fresh colors and industrial materials), upon entering their kitchen, it felt like a different house. The stained wood cabinets, travertine floors, and dark green granite evoked a very different mood. It’s true, this style could fit someone with traditional tastes, yet it wasn’t them. So, we started brainstorming and made a few changes. Okay, we made a lot of changes. 

We started with the kitchen. Upon entering, your eyes immediately fell on the pantry in the center. While it worked, we knew that this particular space was longing to steal the show. We relocated the door to the bar area and replaced it with a 48” oven range, featuring a cement tile backsplash, satin brass pot filler, and shaker vent head (credit goes to Jeremy for identifying the door’s new location).

See how dark the kitchen felt? The cabinet/counter combo almost made it feel like there was a barrier between the chef and guests. It closed off the space in a way that left it feeling less approachable. Our goal was to lighten this space up with softer, lighter materials and updated hardware. The room's aesthetic changed completely.  

 
 EXISTING KITCHEN 

EXISTING KITCHEN 

 
 
 NEW KITCHEN

NEW KITCHEN

 

Next up: are you wondering where the pantry door went? Jeremy had a brilliant idea and discovered, by looking at their house plans, that there were a few other options. One included the idea of removing cabinets in the butler's bar. See below:

 
 Proposed location of new door. 

Proposed location of new door. 

 
 
 Remember where the old pantry door was? Here's the new one- surrounded in encaustic cement tiles. 

Remember where the old pantry door was? Here's the new one- surrounded in encaustic cement tiles. 

 
 
 Pantry access is now where the cabinets were. 

Pantry access is now where the cabinets were. 

 
 
 The fresh, new wet bar with dark charcoal quartz and brass plumbing fixtures. 

The fresh, new wet bar with dark charcoal quartz and brass plumbing fixtures. 

 
 
 The satin brass added a great punch of contrast!

The satin brass added a great punch of contrast!

 
 
 Hey, Millie!

Hey, Millie!

 

Here are some other before and after views around the kitchen.

 
IMG_6095.JPG
 
 
Sink_CambridgeRow.jpg
 
 
 We replaced the existing cabinet fronts with new, shaker panel doors. 

We replaced the existing cabinet fronts with new, shaker panel doors. 

 
 
 Marble & brass - Such a pretty combination!

Marble & brass - Such a pretty combination!

 

Let's talk about the living room. 

Erin and Jeremy really wanted a more crisp, clean, and functional approach to the living room. While the stained wood was beautiful, it seemed to darken the whole space. Not to mention, the built-ins limited the room’s flexibility. By removing these we were able to create room for an industrial shelving system. 

 
IMG_6086.JPG
 
 
cambridgerow
 

The fireplace’s existing paneling was removed and we designed a new, custom fireplace with white paneling and Calacatta herringbone marble tile. The hearth is quartz stone, almost identical to cement. 

 
CoffeeTable_CambridgeRow.jpg
 

Finally, by changing the paint to soft gray and updating the furniture, the room was transformed into a beautiful new space. 

Final thoughts

This was an exciting project to be a part of. By making the adjustments mentioned above, we were able to help the family's personality shine in the spaces that once bored them. That's one of my favorite parts about this renovation: watching the new space unfold while developing a friendship with them along the way. Erin and Jeremy, thank you for this privilege!

Have questions or comments on this project? Email me at laurin@cambridgerow.com

breakfastnook_CambridgeRow.jpg

BRIGHT & AIRY KITCHEN RENOVATION

 RENOVATION PHOTOGRAPHY:   Melissa Parsons Photography

RENOVATION PHOTOGRAPHY: Melissa Parsons Photography

Happy (almost) Friday!

Admittedly, I am brand new to the concept of blogging and I'm not even sure where to begin except that I love my husband, peanut butter, Virginia in the fall, and the opportunity to transform rooms into spaces where people love to gather. We created Cambridge Row in September of 2016 after I completed graduate school. Entrepreneurship has always been an intriguing idea to me, but it took a while to come around to that becoming a reality. In fact, I ignored the idea for a long time because it seemed to stray far away from the "business track" I thought I was supposed to follow. Last year, Bryan and I prayed consistently about what was "next" after finishing graduate school. The only thought I couldn't shake was the idea of starting a business. Over time it became clear that Cambridge Row was the right "next" thing for us. So here we go...

Since this is our first blog post, I feel as though it's fitting to share a little bit about what's going on in the life of Cambridge Row and our family. This past spring has been filled with many exciting projects that we can't wait to share with you. My favorite part is that every project is so different: a wedding venue, a local jewelry showroom, several major kitchen renovations, an entire home renovation, a new construction concept, and more! It is so humbling each time our phone rings with another potential project. We're grateful for the opportunities we've had in our first year of business and look forward to what's ahead.

The reason for this blog is to tell you the stories of each space: how it was once used, the potential we saw in it, and what it has become. We look forward to the storytelling aspect of interior design, because these projects don't happen overnight, either. They take time, special planning, and the ability to "see" something that does not yet exist.

On a personal note, Bryan and I are attempting to bring our own home up to date, but we're realizing that "DIY" doesn't happen overnight. Instead, it happens over, well, six months and counting! To be honest, I still have several paint color samples on our bathroom walls from the day we moved in. This past week, Bryan lovingly spent hours ripping the carpet from our stairs and giving it a new, fresh look. Photos coming soon! Our puppy, Pippin, really likes the idea of helping with said projects by eating paintbrushes.

On to what this post is actually about: a dramatic renovation!

A dear woman I know, Kathy, kindly introduced us to one of her coworkers who moved to the area in February. After realizing that we both moved from the Washington, DC area recently, I felt an immediate connection. I just love this family, and their dogs, too! It is so special when a renovation project turns into a friendship.

This couple has great taste and knew they wanted a fresh, new kitchen before officially moving in. They selected an amazing home in The Woodlands but the kitchen was outdated and cramped. That's when they called us. It was our job to reevaluate everything about the kitchen. Here are just a few pictures of where we started:

  A before picture of the kitchen. The rest of the home was already beautifully updated before they moved in, but the kitchen needed some work. You can't see it here, but the refrigerator is to the right and there isn't much space between it and the island.

A before picture of the kitchen. The rest of the home was already beautifully updated before they moved in, but the kitchen needed some work. You can't see it here, but the refrigerator is to the right and there isn't much space between it and the island.

  Pardon my purse and measuring tape! This picture is to show how tight it was between the island and the   refrigerator. Its placement made the whole room feel very closed in, so we took the whole wall away (scroll down to see more). 

Pardon my purse and measuring tape! This picture is to show how tight it was between the island and the refrigerator. Its placement made the whole room feel very closed in, so we took the whole wall away (scroll down to see more). 

  "BEFORE" This is where you'll see the   refrigerator and upper cabinets in the "AFTER"

"BEFORE" This is where you'll see the refrigerator and upper cabinets in the "AFTER"

We met together to discuss ideas, styles, and strategies for transforming the space into one that had a character of its own. The minute we arrived, it was clear at least one change needed to happen: access to the kitchen. When entering the home, guests veer to the right and approach a pretty dining/seating room. The existing kitchen was peeking through a tiny, 36" opening. It needed some "oomph", you know what I mean. That small entry became a larger cased opening with views into the kitchen. 

  "Before" Dining Room Area Looking Into Kitchen. The fridge was behind this wall before we knocked the wall out and made it a cased opening. It is now where the double ovens are shown in the image.

"Before" Dining Room Area Looking Into Kitchen. The fridge was behind this wall before we knocked the wall out and made it a cased opening. It is now where the double ovens are shown in the image.

  This plan shows our proposed changes to the existing layout.   We widened the island, created a cased opening into the dining room, and relocated the refrigerator. 

This plan shows our proposed changes to the existing layout. We widened the island, created a cased opening into the dining room, and relocated the refrigerator. 

Below is an image of what the space looks like now that we opened it and made a large entryway. It added more interesting views and better daylight. That's what we call a win-win!

  "After": The opening was extended to provide views into the new kitchen.

"After": The opening was extended to provide views into the new kitchen.

Our main goal was to create something more functional and beautiful at the same time. The couple loved the idea of a light, neutral kitchen but didn't want it to be too "gray" since gray paint covers most of the walls in their home. We went with a green color that still feels neutral. They seemed to love the combination of some classic and some modern elements. You'll notice this throughout the space with the subway tile, the industrial lighting, the polished chrome hardware/stainless appliances, and the soft, soothing colors. I love blending old and new together and feel it truly makes a space have character.

 Industrial Lighting. Photography by the amazing Melissa Parsons.

Industrial Lighting. Photography by the amazing Melissa Parsons.

 View of the farmhouse sink & quartzite island. 

View of the farmhouse sink & quartzite island. 

In the picture above you might be able to notice a slight variation between the perimeter counters and the island counters. The perimeter is a Caesarstone Quartz while the island is Super White Quarzite. Though the picture on their website shows a yellow tint, it's a nice, soft white in person. This complemented  the gray & white quartzite nicely! 

Fun Fact: We went to Israel last August and happened to pass the Caesarstone manufacturing center where quartz is made. It's in a very unexpected place (almost adjacent to ancient ruins of Caesarea). If I had known, I would have asked to take a tour! 

 

Here are a few images of other kitchen details: inset cabinets, subway tile, and more. 

 The kitchen from the perspective of a child. The microwave is built into the island. Our amazing contractor, Rodney Tesch crafted such amazing cabinets!

The kitchen from the perspective of a child. The microwave is built into the island. Our amazing contractor, Rodney Tesch crafted such amazing cabinets!

 Inset Cabinets & Farmhouse Sink with a Polished Chrome Faucet. 

Inset Cabinets & Farmhouse Sink with a Polished Chrome Faucet. 

 Pretty Cabinet Details. 

Pretty Cabinet Details. 

 Here's the new refrigerator. Also, in this picture you'll notice that we took the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling to add more storage. 

Here's the new refrigerator. Also, in this picture you'll notice that we took the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling to add more storage. 

 Island View

Island View

Cambridge Row Bright and airy kitchen renovation 35.jpg
Cambridge Row

That's a wrap! Thank you for reading!