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Hello, I'm Tessa ! I'm an LA based  photographer with a strong passion for design and  vintage everything !  Follow along as I share all things design related ! 

Our House: Kitchen Intro

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

I have been dying to get my hands on this kitchen and can't believe the day has finally come ! It's been almost 4 years of looking at this :

Yes the cabinets are at different levels. Yes the floors, cabinets and countertops are all brown.

What a beaut she is. Yellow walls, silver ceiling cans, mondo mis matched ceiling fans.

This project has really snowballed. At first we were going to do a face lift: remove the uppers, paint the walls and add floating shelves. However, we were advised to not put in the open shelves if there was the possibility we'd be replacing the countertops. SO

we went and picked out new countertops, then thought we may as well re do the cabinetry, and before we knew it we had a whole renovation on our hands !


We were surprised to find out our existing cabinets were actually the old ikea system, which meant we could play around with the layout of the entire kitchen. In addition to new cabinet bases we decided to update the cabinet fronts using Semihandmade . They're a great company that allows you customize your Ikea cabinets, we went with the DIY shakers that are ready to be painted. Below are the DIY shaker cabinet fronts that we'll be using.

( Design and Photo: Beginning in the Middle )

Countertops & Overall Design

Being your own client can be SO challenging. I'm someone who works best within parameters and thats something we've been lacking with this project ( besides budget ). When designing for a client you typically have these in the form of budgets, rough stylistic guidelines from the client and more often than not the existing architecture of the home. Once we realized our cabinetry was the ever so interchangeable Ikea system and combined with the fact that our house lacks any architectural style, we were suddenly faced with a very daunting blank canvas of a kitchen. Luckily for Chris, I have spent a disproportionate amount of time on Pinterest and designed my ideal kitchen 2 years ago ! I actually came pretty close to building it for an event I did with Lowes's ( below ).

I was heavily influenced by Joseph Dirand's kitchen below. This was back from 2014 but still feels so fresh.

One of my other favorite kitchens is Athena Calderone's designed in collaboration with Elizabeth Roberts Architects . I just found out that Joseph Dirand's kitchen was part of the inspiration for this kitchen as well ! You can swoon over her kitchen below

While we wanted to do a stone that really stood out, we ended up going with Carrara marble for budget reasons. We were surprised that it was actually about the same cost if not cheaper than some of the manmade surfaces. Our slabs came out to about $1300 a piece, minus the cost of fabrication.

1. Stove 2. Faucet 3. Light . 4. Sink 5. Cabinets

I knew I wanted one long shelf but as you can see above it would have to run above our stove. Because of all the moisture that comes from cooking we couldn't do a painted wood shelf as originally planned. The next idea was to do fabricate a metal frame / shelf and have it powder coated. The finish would be slightly different from the wall but overall I felt it was a good option and wasn't terribly expensive. Chris didn't love the idea of the sound it would make when we would set things down on it, which is something I never would have thought about but was a deal breaker for him. I originally thought a marble shelf was out of the question for us budget wise, but it turns out we are most likely going to make it work ! I'm over the moon, I wasn't ready to part with my single long shelf.

Stay tuned !

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Did you keep the existing hood and build a new one around it or is the whole thing new? Asking because I have Viking hood that goes under cabinets and it’s in perfect condition but I like the look of your hood and would love to build around mine if that’s possible. Thank you. Your kitchen is to die for!!

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