Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tour of My New Kitchen!

Here it is, friends!  My new kitchen.  Hopefully my forever kitchen (not that I won't change it around a bit down the road).  I couldn't be more excited to be settling in and starting to cook again.  I didn't realize how much I missed it when we were in the middle of showing/selling our old house.  I'm sure I'll have lots of new recipes coming up this spring/summer to share with you, but first I wanted to make sure you had the lay of the land of what's going on behind the camera.

First of all, I have to tell you about the color of my kitchen.  Not the crayon green it started, but the bright, beautiful, calming Palladian blue that I painted it three days after closing.  No joke, three days.  My sister came over from Illinois and I took full advantage of her freakishly good painting skills (and lack of fear of heights that I have when standing on the counters trying to paint above the cabinets).  Not only is this a great color for this kitchen, but of all the thousands of paint colors out there, my sister-by-marriage has the same one picked out as a contender for her kitchen.  I sent her a few of my favorites, with this in the lead and we were surprised (but then again, not really) that we once again are basically the same person.  Even funnier, I was relaying that story to one of Michael's cousins and she also has picked Palladian blue, but for their bathroom!  Three Musketeers for life, ladies!

But back to my kitchen... it's no longer green, it's blue.  With a hint of green... and gray.

Here's the before and after... Pretty crazy!

Did I mention how tall everything is?  Don't get me wrong, I love the high ceilings and the tall cabinets, but I need a stool to reach past the second shelf of my cabinets. And a two step stool for top shelves! But check it out... All of my serving dishes, cakes pans, and platters are in my kitchen. Not in a bedroom closet outside the kitchen, not in totes in the garage, actually IN THE KITCHEN! This is huge for me. 
See the start of my Fiestaware collection?! My mother-in-law started it for me this Christmas, and I finally got to break it out when we moved in! (In case you were wondering, it's cobalt, lapis, and lemongrass colors)

Now here is a contender for my favorite drawer in the whole house... my junk drawer.  It's such a big drawer I almost feel bad about dedicating it to, well, junk, but it's the natural place for it (right side of the fridge, straight from where we walk in from the mud room.  I have two organizers in there already and it could probably stand another.  I just love it.

And here's a peek into my cooking utensil drawer.  It's the big drawer in the island, which is where I do most of my prep work.  I also have a single utensil crock by the stove, so it works out well.

Contestant #2 in the favorite drawer category:  My spice drawer (or one of my spice drawers).  Yes, of course, it's alphabetized.  No, I don't have all matching brands/jars.  But it makes me happy.

On the other side of the stove, I have the canned spices (also labeled and alphabetized), knives, and oven mitts.

I wish I could say that this was the girls' favorite drawer, since they have a HUGE toy drawer now, but as you can imagine, my drawers/cabinets are way more fun to wreck havoc on.  But occasionally, I can trick them into playing in this drawer for a few minutes while I put away dishes.  Side note:  I had an epiphany the other day.  All those basketball coaches we had as kids (including my mother), weren't just teaching us to box out to get a few extra rebounds.  They were actually preparing us for loading and unloading a dishwasher with a couple toddlers frantically grabbing at the knives (because what fun would it be to take a cup?) and trying to climb into the racks.  Once again, sports preparing me for life after sports.

Have to include a shot of the island/breakfast bar.  I still haven't decided on what kind of stools I want for the bar side.  I'm torn between the simple metal ones that push all the way under, the saddle top wood ones, or windsor style counter height chairs that would match our dining table.  Speaking of the dining room table - we're planning to refinish the top to match the trim and paint all the blue a glossy black.  And I have an old window I want to refinish and make into frames for one of the big empty walls. Ya know, in all our free time...

View from the dining room.  Yes, the one side of my fridge is covered in photo magnets.  Heck yes, they are all of my kids, exept the one from our wedding.  And one of Emily, Elizabeth, and I.  But mostly, my kids.  Because I am shamelessly one of "those parents."   The other side?  Oh, that's a dry erase board covered in pictures of the Butler bulldogs.  Because they are highly esteemed in our house.

The area on the right side of the fridge is my little command center.  That's the giant awesome junk drawer beneath.  That trash can is actually our recycling bin since we have the trash compactor in the island.  There's a recycling center in the small town next to our small town and it happens to be right next to a little local ice cream shop.  Can you guess which two of my family members always volunteer to drop off the recycling now?

And now for my favorite room in the entire house.  This is like showing you the jewel room of the castle, friends.  MY PANTRY.

Oh, come on in now, don't be shy! 

I think I've spent more time organizing and setting up this pantry than anything else.  I lined all the wire shelves with contact paper so everything sits evenly and doesn't spill through.  I got plastic containers for all my different types of flours and sugars (with cute little chalkboard style labels).  I can't wait to make a trip to Ikea or The Container Store to really deck out the place, but I'm resisting putting this at the top of my priority list for now.
I used a few Command hooks for all my and Annalyn's aprons and hung our little plastic bag holder on the opposite side.  Now I just need some fun pantry art to finish it out.  And a trip to Ikea or The Container Store...
And there you have it, my new kitchen. Now who's ready for dinner?


  1. Well, at least the high ceilings and tall cabinets give you a lot of extra storage space. The trick is to keep everything you usually use at arm's reach, and everything else can be stored on the higher shelves. Anyway, your new kitchen looks nothing short of amazing, Ashley. Now I know where you get the motivation in cooking wonderful meals. Hahaha! Thanks for giving us that lovely tour! Kudos and all the best to you! :)

    Arthur Bryant @ Contractor Express

    1. Thank you! We are definitely loving all the storage space. I'm really looking forward to rolling out dough on the island (though at this rate, it may be closer to the holidays before I get around to it!).