I’m super excited to write this post – and start sharing our new home in detail!
After years of living in rentals and apartments, we finally moved into the house we have been building since last year. It’s the first house Russ and I have bought and built together, it really is our dream house, and we could not be happier with where we are. Every day we both feel so much joy and gratitude to live here. I’m not just saying that. We truly, fully are aware of what a blessing this all is.
Since this is the first “Our New Home” post, a little bit about the house and the move itself …
We built a semi-custom home in a gated community in Scottsdale, AZ which is actually just down the road from where we had been living for the past 3 years. The home building process was pretty great because certain things like the general layout of the home and lot was pretty much set but then everything on the interior we could customize to our own tastes and our family’s needs. I liked having the option to customize but then in other areas have things decided for you so I didn’t feel like I was completely overwhelmed with options. Russ and I also knew going in that our taste was “transitional” – not too modern, not too traditional, a little midcentury, and definitely comfortable and classic. That was a guiding mindset as we worked on the design.
We purged and sold or donated almost everything with the last few moves (see ya later, old IKEA furniture from a decade ago! Gross.) and my goal was to pretty much start from scratch with all the furniture and decor. Which felt great…BUT left a lot of work to be done! Ideally I would have loved to move through the home room-by-room and complete each space fully before moving onto the next. But in reality as a family of 5 we had to make the rooms at least functional (we were starting school in a couple of weeks, too!) so lot of my time and resources (read: budget) got spread out throughout the entire home, making each room currently livable but not quite done to where I want them to be.
We are also having built-ins installed throughout the house and construction on those haven’t started, so I have had to put those rooms on hold until that’s finished, too.
SO to sum it up – everything is still being worked on in one way or another. Home design is a PROCESS, you guys!!!
With that all said, the kitchen definitely is the heart of the home and is the space I wanted to get done first. It’s definitely the most “done” room at the moment – and also my favorite place to hang out – so I have been eager to share it with you. Here it is!
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The island was designed after a Pinterest pic I pinned a few years ago. My dream to have a big center island has come true! Countertop is New Cararra by Arizona Tile and we got it in the thickest cut we could get. I’m really happy with the choice of going to quartz – it’s easy to keep clean and wipe down and doesn’t stain.
By far, these barstools have been the centerpiece of the kitchen. I’m OBSESSED with them! It was a struggle to find the right stools, but when I finally saw these I knew these were the ones. They have enough heft to feel substantial when you sit in them but are so light and easy to move. We put felt pads on the bottom because we have hardwood floors. I scotch-guarded the heck out of them because we have kids.
Deciding on hardware colors was tough, but in the end I knew that traditional and classic was my kitchen style and we went with polished chrome. These are by Atlas Hardware and I got them from Amazon. I never realized how many pulls and handles you need for a kitchen. I think in the end we counted 57?? We used two sizes, 6.5 inch and 7.25 pulls. We are going to have some fun with pulls and handles in other parts of the home like the office and the mudroom 🙂
Lighting definitely defines a space and takes it to the next level. We have recessed 4″ lights throughout the home but lights like chandeliers, pendants, sconces and lamps create layers of light and mood. Read: not necessary, but NECESSARY. Know what I mean? I did my best to get the lighting done first to set the tone for the rest of the space as far as they look and style of the room AND we also have our lights on Control 4 automation so they needed to be done so the system could be completed in each room for dimmers, settings, and timers. (If you have Control 4 or home automation questions let me know – a whole new world opened up to me with that one!) The island lights are by Visual Comfort. I didn’t want to have the lights themselves be the statement of the room, so simple and clean was the idea. I knew I wanted a non-glassed lantern look and these are exactly what I had in mind. These come in sizes ranging from xsmall to large, and I got the small.
After living in rentals, I have lived through what feels like the gauntlet of terrible appliances. The worst of the worst. I could hear the dishwasher running from a mile away, nothing would cook evenly, the fridge would be super compact or break at a moment’s notice, and everything was just ugly. With how much I cook and meal prep, appliances were important to us to get right and invest in.
We chose Wolf for our stovetop, ovens, and microwave. The stovetop is 6 burners with a griddle top and it’s the first time we have had gas. The first time I cooked on it I literally burned two wooden spoons and about lit my hair on fire because this thing like, ROARS with heat! The front knobs are removable and I swapped out the red that is signature for Wolf appliances because I don’t have any red in the house and I’m a little crazy about color coordination. With that said, I saved them because I may bust them out at Christmas time.
Our ovens have a pretty blue interior color which I didn’t expect and love! Some people would have no use for a double oven put I roast veggies a lot and broil fish and bake regularly, so having two is seriously awesome.
The refrigerator is Subzero and we got a french door with freezer on the bottom for the reason that we eat a lot of fresh foods out of the fridge so having that up higher made more sense. We chose the thinner pulls on all our Wolf appliances rather than the Pro-handles, which I thought were too thick and bulky for this space. I love, love, love this fridge and I’ll probably do a post someday on fridge organization.
Our dishwasher is Asko and what I’m most obsessed about with this is a pullout third level on top for silverware. It’s such a well-designed dishwasher and makes doing dishes 100 times better than our last dishwasher which literally could have been THE WORST dishwasher on the planet. You know you’re a grownup when you get excited about dishwashers.
Our wine fridge is by Kitchenaid. Russ and I don’t drink so it’s turned into a beverage station and I’m pretty obsessed with this little corner of our kitchen! I live and die for my sparkling water and kombucha and so we stock it all up here instead of filling up the main fridge. I also keep all my different coffee creamers in here because our Nespresso is right above it. The drawer next to the fridge is where we keep all our tea bags and Nespresso pods, using my favorite drawer dividers linked below. We were totally low on coffee pods when I took this pic but it shows just how much we go through! This whole section of the kitchen is a huge part of my morning and nighttime routines.
Our faucet is from Kohler from their Artifacts line. We are actually having the same line installed in the master bathroom and the master shower and in Maddix’s bathroom (right now we just have the basic Kohler kind and planning on upgrading at a later phase. We did have a budget we needed to stay in!) I had two decisions when coming to faucets 1) did I want one handle or two for hot/cold, and 2) did I want to have the spray feature in the spout or separate. I’m really happy I have the one handle for on/off and temperature because it’s one less hand and step to take when my hands are full with dishes or pots and pans. For the spray feature, however, I like that it’s separate because I like having a smaller look for the faucet spout without having a spray attached to the end, and I am able to have two different spray types and strengths with a separate spray.
Our entire first floor is hardwood and this selection was one of if not the quickest decisions I made when designing the house – I went straight to the wall of samples and said “this is it.” I knew that because I noticed every photo of a kitchen I pinned and saved over the years all had one common thread – white cabinets and darker hardwood floors. To me it’s such a classic look and I pulled this flooring into the rest of the first floor including our dining room, living room, breakfast nook, family room, office, pantry, and laundry room. We also put it in our master closet upstairs.
I don’t like my counters to be cluttered so decor is pretty minimal right now – and probably will stay that way. For years I have used a menu board every week to plan our our meals and made this updated version for our new house. The vase is from Homegoods and I’m going to be echoing the chinoiserie pattern throughout the home including outdoors. The bowl on the counter is also from Homegoods and ties in the natural wood tone of the barstools and other accents. I’m actually surprised I’m using this tone wood but once you have something like barstools that truly inspire the rest of the space, you let it lead you to wherever it wants to go! I also have a chore board for Reese and Maddix that is up but I’m not done finalizing the layout of quite yet, and that has a wooden frame, too.
Of course, you know I’m totally into organizing if you look through my feed on Instagram or read any of my earlier posts! The kitchen was one of the first places I started to organize in the home because it’s the most-used space by the whole family.
I immediately finished up some drawers, utilizing my favorite bamboo drawer dividers and inserts. Tip – I keep these from moving around in the drawer using Museum Gel or Museum Putty (link below.) I put these on the corners because nothing irks a Type A person like dividers that end up getting jumbled around a drawer. We had three things built custom to the space – a spice drawer, baking sheet dividers, and pullout drawers inside of cabinets. We put some thought behind where these would be placed using the flow of the kitchen (baking sheets up above the oven would be too high for me, the kids needed to access their cups and bowls below so pullout drawers made sense there, the spices I would grab with my right hand while cooking, etc.)
I am working on this homework station in the back corner, utilizing some of my favorite organizing products for kids crafts and supplies. The door you see in the photos leads to the walk-in pantry and the laundry room – both spaces I’m just putting the finishing touches on!
We’re totally loving every minute spent in this room – whether it’s meal prepping or making Sunday dinner, or watching Reese make made-up recipes that don’t make sense whatsoever but I let her because she “needs to learn by doing” (her words, not mine!!)
BIG thanks to one of my best friends, Kristi, of @kayandelledecor, who helped source items for this space. She’ll have even more of a hand in all the rooms as we install and style these spaces further! I can’t wait to show more but in the meantime you’ll want to follow her so you don’t miss it!
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