Skip to content
November 26

Designing my Dream Kitchen

Knowing that we’re not going to move into our new-old house right away, we’ve been trying to figure out what our priority will be now that we’ve started working on it.  Felix is most excited to have an awesome shared work space, as am I.  But the other 50% of me is excited to have a cute, fresh kitchen.

After talking more with my folks, who are our #1 go-to for all things home-related, they confirmed that the kitchen is one of the most painful renovations to undertake.  So it makes sense that we pour our energy into tackling this one room first, especially since we’re currently not inhabiting it.  I mean who cares if I don’t have a working sink, oven, or fridge unless I’m living there & cooking?!

I’ve had some basic ideas of things I love, but I’ve been thrown head first into designing my dream kitchen really quickly.  Thanks to pinterest & google images I’ve been able to gather my ideas quickly and was able to walk them through with Felix (the Saturday morning our car was in the shop) & then run all of my our ideas by Bob to make sure they would work in our space.

This is our current kitchen:

Our kitchen has awesome birch cabinets – which I’ll be stripping and repainting white.  But the fridge barely works, and the stove is inoperable.  Basically the fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave are placeholder appliances as none of them really function – and the little that they do, I don’t trust.

I started off with my dream scenario, complete with a cute colorful smeg refrigerator.  Seriously, don’t we all want one of those?!  But after doing loads of research on appliances, I’ve decided I’d rather have a cohesive-looking kitchen rather than a little bit of this and that.  So, sadly the smeg had to be taken off the list.

The kitchen isn’t quite large enough to be an eat-in kitchen.  So we’ve decided to cut that out entirely, and we’re reconfigured nearly everything, including the cabinets, door and window, in order to maximize counter top space.  If I don’t have a separate kitchen table, I NEED lots of counter top space to work on.

Okay… enough with my chatter and how about some pictures of all of my grand plans.

Apron Front Sink:

I love these basic, apron front white sinks.  I’m also in love with these grey & white marble counter tops (since forever), not to mention the curved open shelves right next to the sink.  *Love*

I have so many cabinets, most are too high for a 4’11” girl like myself.  Even with a 6 foot ladder, I bet I couldn’t reach the uppermost ladder.  So what’s a girl to do?!  And please don’t say “call your husband to help” because if there’s one thing I hate is not being able to do something myself.

That’s where this comes in:

Kitchen Ladders!  Is this not the coolest idea ever?!  Sure, it’s going to be impractical  when I want to get in front of it.  But I have high hopes of making it removable from the track so I can store it neatly behind our kitchen door like so:

The ladder is one of those fun, wonderful things on Pinterest – but seem really frivolous to do in our own places.  BUT  I actually NEED this if I’m going to ever store stuff in those cabinets.  I just can’t think of any better solution since I don’t want to have to haul a 9-foot ladder from the basement every time I want to get up into those cabinets.  #Short Girl Problems

Large Windows:

Our current kitchen window is shot.  It’s completely bad and has to get redone along with the inside and outside sash.  This being the case, we’ve decided to move the window AND the door in our kitchen.  So I’ve had to start thinking about windows along with everything else.

I don’t think I can get quite this large of a window in my house, but I like how open and bright this looks.  So I want to attempt to get as large of a window as possible in order to get the most light in the back of the house.

Colorful Ceiling:

All of my small appliances are exactly this shade of aqua.  My kitchenaid mixer, my garbage can, my dishes, etc.  But pretty much all major items in the kitchen will be white (cabinets, appliances, walls with touches of black).  This has made me think out of the box on how to incorporate more color, and I’m loving these bright ceilings to tie in my love of aqua.  Honestly, I probably will be painting my ceiling a very close shade to the image above since it will match all of my small appliances, too.

Let’s talk about appliances:

I love baking & having a double oven has always been at the top of my wish list, right next to that smeg fridge.  Well… after shopping for appliances, the double oven I love is like… 10k.  NOT going to happen! Soo… I’ve been thinking out of the box to come up with a solution and this is it:

This is a Smeg cooktop, Piano Series that I want.  It’s so vintage looking, but with modern-day performance.  It’s fancy… but the price tag isn’t terrible which was surprising.

Over top of this cooktop, I’m thinking I could go for something like this:

Yeah, it’s a bit 60’s but it’s really cute.  I haven’t decided if I like it better in white or in the stainless steel…  that’s a decision for later anyhow.

And as you see, there is no oven yet… so this is what I’m pairing with it.

I’m having two of these puppies, side by side underneath the counter!  This is the whirlpool Gold convection oven, which is not only reasonable, but also THE best rated built-in oven, via consumer reports.  *Swoon*.  Being a researcher, I have to research all appliances and whatnot before making any purchases.  Knowing that this stove is a great performer makes me very happy.  There’s not a lot of white stoves that I like out there, but this one is the one I do like.

I’m aiming for the under-counter oven to look kinda like this, next to the white cabinets:

Why white appliances???  Well…..I’m the crazy, weird person who doesn’t like stainless steel.  So I’ve been on the hunt for white appliances I’d be happy with.  While this Whirlpool oven is a bit on the modern-looking side for me, I like the stainless steel details as it will pair nicely with the Smeg cooktop.

I’m most likely going to get the refrigerator and dish washer to match (since Felix likes the fridge).

I have oodles and oodles of more pictures and ideas for the kitchen – we haven’t even gotten to hardware & lighting yet.  So let’s just call this part 1 of my Dream Kitchen post.

Cheers & have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  1. Kaoru Marie / Nov 26 2013

    oh man, I totally hear ya about #shortgirlproblems. I’m 4′-11″ as well and was a bit disappointed to find out that I can literally only reach the first row of shelving of our kitchen cabinets. I think my reaction was something like, “oh wtf”. That ladder idea is brilliant! Sorta like a library look for the kitchen. Good luck with the renovations, sounds like you’re going to have one fantastic kitchen!

    • Liz / Nov 26 2013

      I feel for you too! My microwave oven is above my stove in our apartment and I can “just barely” reach to operate it; I can’t even see food in there – I’m always blindly reaching in hoping my hand doesn’t land in my meal. heh

  2. MadeByMeg / Nov 26 2013

    How fun! Can’t wait to see how it turns out ;) And that ladder is divine!

  3. Lucy / Nov 26 2013

    Crazy weird represent! I also hate stainless steel. It gets fingerprints and smudges and it makes me think of a morgue.

    I don’t think the ladder is at all frivolous – that’s why people buy houses, is it not, so you can customise it to how you need and want to live?

    I have great plans of putting in internal cat doors so I never have to get up to let the cat in ever again, but fear that might be considered eccentric.

    On a separate note, why do American kitchens always have the microwave above the stove? It just seems somehow unsafe, and wouldn’t the steam from the cooking be bad for the microwave?

    • Liz / Nov 27 2013

      Thanks so much for this Lucy! Everyone was arguing with me (my dad and mom) about the ladder idea, but they caved as they couldn’t offer up a solution as to how I would actually access these upper cabinets. heh

      Yeah… I think it’s more of a space saver to have the microwave above the stove. It’s this way in our apartment and the bottom of the microwave is actually a vent too. In the US we have a few different types of microwaves for different placement/vent options. Either way, I’m not a fan of them over the oven, just because I’m so short.

  4. Michelle / Nov 26 2013

    OOOOoooo! Your kitchen is going to be DREAMY! I’m really, really jealous that you’re going to get TWO ovens! I’ve always wanted a double oven, too. I’m losing my mind over the kitchen ladder! You MUST find a way to make it work. And the ceiling, FANTASTIC IDEA! I love pops of color. I’m so excited for you to get started! It is really, really fun to watch the room transform as you work!

    • Liz / Nov 27 2013

      I was going to get one of those new double oven – range configurations they have – where they have one oven on top of the other. But the larger of the ovens is on the floor – literally! I was at the appliance store and I can’t even pretend to take out a tray without burning either my arms or legs on the open oven door.

      Plus – not a good idea with pets in the house. They could get their noses & paws burnt all too easily.

      Anyone have one – and navigate it okay??? I’d be happy to hear otherwise.

      But in the meantime, yes! I’m really looking forward to having 2 ovens. Can’t tell how many times I said to felix I wish we could roast our veggies while cooking the meat – but one is always getting cold while the other is cooking. #firstworldproblems… I know.

  5. Kristi / Nov 26 2013

    I also love white appliances!

  6. Lynn / Nov 26 2013

    My appliances are black. I too am not a fan of stainless appliances. Love the ladder idea. . .we are going to do our kitchen soon and like cabinets to go to the ceiling, but I am 5′ tall. It will be interesting to see what you decide.

  7. Sarah C. / Nov 26 2013

    Hi! Amazing plans & dreams! So fun! Loads of people do not love stainless, and white is not your only option. I definitely recommend considering paneled appliances. Since you are stripping & repainting your cabinets, you could absolutely have panels made to complement them. The look can give a kitchen a cohesive feel that is hard to achieve otherwise, and it will help the eye to rest on the design elements that you want to highlight. Just something to consider!

  8. Amanda / Nov 26 2013

    The ladder is so cool. And not to be a buzz kill…but do consider what you’ll do with it in the event that the buns decide they like to climb it, or if you have children down the road.

    • Liz / Nov 27 2013

      No buzzkill at all, Amanda! You’re thinking ahead for me and I totally appreciate that. :) I was planning on storing it behind my kitchen door as there’s already a nook-space that would be perfect for it.

  9. Amanda / Nov 26 2013

    Yay, so exciting to see this space transform! I had super high cabinets in my L.A. apartment and I’m 5’6″. I’m not sure how many people can reach those without the aid of some kind of step ladder!

    • Liz / Nov 27 2013

      Me either! I’m no stranger to standing on the kitchen counter tops in order to reach the high cabinets – but mine are even taller than that!

  10. Gina / Nov 26 2013

    As a fellow short person, I’m in awe of that kitchen ladder! I never have enough storage in kitchens because vertical space is practically useless to me. Kitchen ladder to the rescue! I hope you can do it and let us know how it works out.

  11. christy / Nov 26 2013

    I adore the round range hood. I’ve been eyeing it off for a few years waiting for our latest kitchen reno. I haven’t seen one if white in Australia though. What brand is it?

  12. Lacey / Nov 27 2013

    I just redid my kitchen this past summer and actually had some of the same photos saved on my computer as inspiration! I’d say definitely paint your ceiling; I painted mine green and LOVE it. It’s the one thing that everyone comments on when they come into the kitchen.
    A kitchen renovation is a huge job (we actually had to move out while it was being done), but it’s so worth it to have the room of your dreams. Have fun! I can’t wait to see pictures of the finished room.

  13. TinaD / Nov 27 2013

    Totally on board with the white cabinets, white counter, white appliances. If I might suggest, look for a marble-look counters (solid surface or reconstituted quartz or something) because, as I understand it, marble can etch badly from spills unless you do complicated things to finish it. And I would bet that, like a white cashmere sweater at a cocktail party, it attracts red wine stains like nobody’s business. Incidentally, have you thought about floors? Because I can totally see black & white tile to give it a little pop. (a 50’s checkerboard on the diagonal, a 30s penny round or hex mosaic… Sorry, I get inexplicably excited about tile.)

    • Liz / Nov 27 2013

      Thanks TinaD!
      I haven’t researched about marble counter tops yet – so this is a great tip. I’m not opposed to the marble-looking quartz, either, if they’re more functional and less fussy. It’s just the look that I’m wanting… that or a butcher block counter. :)

  14. Alaskapsych / Nov 27 2013

    I’m not a fan of stainless appliances either. I think they always look water spotted if you don’t buff them.

    Congrats on the new house. It will be amazing.

  15. Jolien / Nov 27 2013

    The white appliances look neat, never considered that. I’m boring, went with a series. And a black sink to match (Blanco is the brand we have, many, many colors available, but we went with the black to match the stove & oven, the rest is hidden behind wood)

    Anyway, not sure how much window you’d like to suffer and no idea what the view from the window is, but I put an L-shaped countertop in my kitchen of which a part under the window. Advantage: a nicer view than a wall and light. Plus, I don’t have any cupboards up there, none, just the part where the fridge/oven etc are is a bit higher. I felt that even though I’m not tiny, I do not need cupboards I cannot reach easily. As for cupboards, if possible, forget about those, (big) drawers are WAY more practical in my opinion…

    Not sure what the size of your kitchen is though and what would or would not fit in. If the space is smaller, some higher cupboards might be useful… If so, maybe a cute IKEA Bekvam (painted white with polka dots!) nearby could be useful… ;)

    Must say I love old-fashioned farmer kitchens, but hubby does not, so we settled on something neutral, not super modern, but practical. And I got it my way with my petrol kitchen wall. ;)

    • Jolien / Nov 27 2013

      Ooh, and just see you posting about the oven, even though they often place it underneath the cooktop, do consider to put it at… arm-height. Like, my oven starts somewhere between hip-waist height… No bending over and though not useful for you guys yet, but I noticed it’s out of kid-reach as well…

  16. Sarah / Nov 27 2013

    I detest stainless steel, too! I’m definitely on board with white appliances (I have them in my kitchen). Your kitchen is cute and the cupboard space you have is amazing! Wow!

  17. Elena Knits / Nov 29 2013

    Congratulations, Liz. It must be really gratifying. I’d love to see the process and the results.

Leave a comment