21 May 2010

Kitchen Flattery

 

image My Sink

One of the more frequently asked question by clients that I get is about kitchen remodeling.   As with all interior design, in 10 years time, a kitchen can become dated.   Clients are forever wondering what countertop will look best and untrendy for the next decade or two.  The answer is truly – none.   Everything dates, especially countertops.   I suppose that classic black granite or white marble is perhaps the least trendy, except both, especially the white marble, are so in right now that the years 2000-2010 may always be associated with these gorgeous materials.   Many people are faced with a kitchen that needs updating – yet they don’t want to tear out all their cabinets and start over from scratch.  They want a small update, something to take their kitchen out of the 80s or the 90s:  think light oak stained cabinets that seemed to be in every kitchen in the 90s.   I myself was one of these people.

 

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My Kitchen Before:  taupe and white checkerboard tiles that used to go with the cafe-au-lait wall color, until I had the house painted a soft yellow.   Brass plumbing no longer went with the new hardware I had put in the house.  The entire space was tired, outdated and a total mess.

 

When my kitchen was 15 years old, I was so tired of it, I wanted to rip it all out and start over.  Yet, like so many of my clients, I didn’t want to spend the money on a new kitchen with all the bells and whistles.  Plus, since I don’t really cook,  I was aiming for an update for appearances sake only.   Still, I could not look at those taupe and white checkerboard tiles another day.   Having a combination of black and white appliances didn’t help things either.   For a relatively small amount of money, I ended up with a redone kitchen that brought it into this century.

 

 

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AFTER:  The biggest change was the white marble countertops and backsplash, new stainless appliances, the new casement window and the Shaw’s sink and faucet in polished nickel.  I’ve joked that I love my sink so much, I would marry it if Ben and I ever divorced.  Seriously – it’s more than fabulous, as sinks go.   I painted the cabinets a light gray and called it a day.  Of course, I knew all along the yellow paint had to go, but it took me another year to settle on a gray that was warm enough to blend with other parts of my downstairs decor.   The bathrooms all could use the same updating as the kitchen, but my pocketbook (or Ben’s I should say) is waiting for the economy to pick up a little before I tackle that issue.

 

 

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AFTER AFTER:  I finally got around to repainting the walls downstairs – 15 paint samples later, I decided on a color that turned out to be same color as my existing trim.  Go figure.  Pratt and Lambert – Feathered Gray.

 

 

image The sink is long and deep – you can hide so much in there.  The day I took this picture it was filled with lunch dishes – yet you can barely see just one dish peeking out!

 

 

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I bought all the appliances online from Best Buy – and sprang for the least expensive ones I could find – as long as the handle was good looking.  That was my criteria – good looking handles.  

 

 

image After painting, I updated the bakers rack some – adding new white washed baskets and moving my cloches there.   I also got rid of all my French yellow ware that I had collected for years, opting now for only white ironstone in the kitchen. 

 

 

A few months after I showed my  kitchen redo on the blog HERE, a reader sent me pictures of her kitchen.  She was just about to embark on her own kitchen remodeling – using a lot of the same elements I had.  She told me that when her redo was complete, she’d send new pictures of it.  Look at the reader’s kitchen before:

 

 

image READER’S KITCHEN BEFORE:  When I got these pictures, I remember writing her and saying – these are before pictures??????   Actually, I liked her kitchen the way it was.  I liked the toile wallpaper, the black countertops, the windows, and the breakfast area. 

 

 

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Sorry for the out of focus – I didn’t take these pictures!

 

 image And her cute eat-in table.  The problem with this reader’s kitchen was more than surface.  She had very little counter space and the table took up valuable room in the small kitchen. 

 

 

 

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READER’S KITCHEN AFTER

The final reveal - as opposed to my remodel, this reader went all the way with new cabinets and flooring.   As you can see, she replaced the table with an island – thus increasing her working space dramatically.  Her kitchen does remind me of mine in so many ways.  Like me, she got a Shaw’s sink, the same faucet, and almost identical hardware.  The white marble is very similar – hers is Carrera and mine is Calacutta Ora.   Along with the new cabinets, she got new stainless appliances, although her refrigerator is white to blend in with the cabinetry.  I love the way the sink cabinet has legs!

 

 

 

 

image In this picture, you can really see how much extra counter space she gained from adding an island, rather than keeping the table. 

 

 

image Meals are eaten here at the island.  (New fabric is coming for the bar stools!)

 

 

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Instead of the range, she added a cooktop with a trendy hood.   I wish I had this myself – I don’t care for my cooktop being on my island. 

 

 

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I love the marble backsplash – instead of tiles.   White marble is so beautiful – why not use as much of it as you can?

 

 

image Along the back wall where it once was all cabinets, double ovens were added.

 

 

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And, finally, next to the double ovens, glass doors and a marble counter were added to break up the bank of cabinets that was previously there.  I think this reader did a great job with her kitchen.  While she did a much more extensive redo than I did – she stayed within the footprint of her space – choosing to keep the room the same size.   Unlike me, she needed more counter space and greater efficiency – so new cabinets were needed which added to her price tag.   Still, I was struck at how similar our kitchens looked, which really wasn’t an accident – the reader told me she chose many of the same elements I did after seeing my redo. 

Thank you so much to this reader for sending in these pictures!!!   I love to see reader’s houses – so keep them coming!!!

 

 

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The bells and whistles:  writing about kitchens got me thinking.  If I did have the budget for a totally new kitchen, would I want a kitchen like this?  Would I want all the extras and the luxury?   Do I like banks and banks of closed cabinetry?   What is my dream kitchen?  What is your dream kitchen?  I suppose if you are a chef or like to spend time in the kitchen, your answer would be different than someone like me who uses the kitchen to cool diet cokes and refrigerate take out Chinese dishes.  

 

 

 

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Several Houston kitchens have spoken to me – this one is beautiful for a large budget space.  I adore the limestone mantel – so French!  The red lanterns and the toile fabric curtains are wonderful too.  The cabinetry though is especially appealing – the curved armoire door styling, the chicken wire.   This kitchen would be as fancy as I would ever want. 

 

 

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One of my favorite kitchens in Houston is Donna Brown’s.  Donna owns The Gray Door in Houston, one of the better antique stores here.  She bought a townhouse and then ripped out the brand new kitchen.  Next, she went shopping at The Gray Door and brought home her kitchen.  Amazing.  The sink is located in the shop cabinet behind the chair.   Cages double as cabinets.   I love these kind of kitchens and wish I had the huevos to do this in my house!

 

 

 

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Another picture from Donna Brown’s kitchen.  Past the range, she placed a long cabinet to store dishes and silverware.   The wine table doubles as a coffee and breakfast table.   This space is the family room/breakfast room.   The French doors lead to the landscaped terrace.   Donna’s entire townhouse is wonderful – she took a rather traditional townhouse and turned it into a house you might find in Paris.  

 

 

image The sink and refrigerator in Donna’s non-kitchen kitchen.

 

 

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Another fabulous non-kitchen kitchen is this one done by Pam Pierce, also from Houston.   Of course it helps that the lady of the house, Ruth Gay, owns Chateau Domingue, Houston’s finest architectural elements (antique and new) shop.   Hard to believe this kitchen is in a once proper  Houston house that Pierce and Gay have totally redone with antique architectural building elements from France and Europe.   The stone walls are gorgeous!!!

 

 

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I mean, look at this sink!!!!   True, Gay has a traditional farm sink, but she also has this trough in her kitchen.   This kitchen makes all the traditional bells and whistle cabinetry kitchens look so fuddy-duddy, imho.  

 

 

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Pam Pierce’s own Houston kitchen is another one I lust after time and time and time again.   I love the way the cabinet doors are inset into the stone countertops.  So French!!!   And these Houston designers would never use a regular island – their islands are ALWAYS antique – either an old butcher block (the real thing) or an old store cabinet display piece, or a tailor’s table, or – well you have the idea.   Their islands make their kitchens so much more interesting – adding texture and an element of surprise. 

 

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Looking from Pierce’s kitchen into the breakfast room.  Those shelves – could they be more perfect??????   I’m sorry, but interior design like this depresses me!   Makes me feel so inadequate!!!!!

 

 

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More Houston interior design, via Fredericksburg:  This “kitchen” is owned by an antique dealer/real estate tycoon from Houston.  Again, no built in cabinetry, instead a large antique piece holds all the dishes.   The crystal chandelier mixed with the rustic stone walls and floor is a fun touch.  This is Fredericksburg???

 

 

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Another Houston connection via Dallas:  native Houstonian Shannon Bowers’ kitchen is again a non kitchen kitchen.   Notice the unusual elements:  her island, no upper cabinetry, open shelving, the skirt under the sink – all nontraditional choices in a kitchen.  The lantern is the cherry on top.  Bowers’ entire house featured in Veranda is to die for. 

 

 

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And finally, Jane Moore’s non kitchen kitchen – filled with Swedish antiques and painted consoles.   Too cute!   Do you think Houston designers are influencing each other?   I hope so – we have such great talent in this city as you can see from their kitchens. 

 

I’m curious.  Do you prefer a large, bells and whistle kitchen, filled with closed cabinetry and the finest in appliances?  Or do these Houston kitchens appeal  more to you?  I know that for me, seeing all these non-kitchen kitchens really makes me wish for one!

112 comments:

  1. My heart is going a pitter patter after your kitchen and that remodel. I literally choked when I saw her after. Glorious!

    aaand I need a stone kitchen. like right now.

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  2. See what an inspiration you are and even after the remodel, one can still be further inspired by non-kitchen kitchens!
    I think for Europeans, it really is all about the food and less about the kitchen. The daily marketing, the freshest ingredients and the joy of meal time.
    My Mother-in-law says even the best designed kitchen will not make my food taste better! (insert lovely dutch laugh!)
    pve

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  3. I have always loved the idea of the 'non kitchen' kitchen - a place to hang out as a place just to cook. The problem is that spaces always dictate the kitchen rather than the other way. Love all these kitchen, kitchens...especially your makeover. And by the way, I am a 'handles' girl too....Happy weekend, xv.

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  4. Joni, I love your kitchen and your reader did such a nice job with hers. I love designing kitchen because there are so many options to put something together that is unique!! Great post!

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  5. okay I'm ready to tear out the kitchen 7 years ahead of time hehehe! I love the handle criteria....and will look at Thai non kitchens with a new eye!Thanks for the smile Joni!

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  6. We are going to be in our house for another couple of years, and we have those oak cabinets you mentioned, Joni. I would really like to do something to update them! I'd love to paint them and put glass in one upper cabinet's doors. Your kitchen is beautiful, as is the reader's!

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  7. I love being in the kitchen so seeing all of these wonderful pictures is such a treat!

    You are such an inspiration, Joni!!!!
    Love this readers redo.

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  8. I really love a combo of both types of kitchens. I love to cook, so state-of-the-art appliances really appeal to me. But I love antiques and European inspired living. Beautiful post!!!
    xxj

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  9. You have done a great job with your kitchen! really love the tones of white and grey, clean, elegant and yet warm and inviting. I purposely did a modern kitchen in my stable/house (see previous post) I like the contrast of modern with rustic imperfect elements...alas due to the many floods we had this winter (4) it already needs a remodel...
    unfortunately that will have to wait. I grew up in a "non kitchen" where the family gathered every meal around the kitchen table that sat 12 by the wonderful stone fire place and my grandmother 's life was tied to that kitchen. News were exchanged at the table, arguments about work, life politics....i miss such a kitchen , not for the design aspect, but for its life as the kitchen was the essence of family life.

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  10. I love your kitchen and the remodel. You're such a positive influence. I prefer a basic white kitchen and I would think they would withstand decades of trends. I see you have a new time piece above the sink. Oh and how are those sinks for washing a cast iron skillet????? I know. I'm not suppose to wash cast iron but... Don't go all Martha on me. Another great post!

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  11. Love this post, I think that a combination of the two would be ideal, but only if one didn't do a great deal of cooking and entertaining.

    I'm a baker and my mom is a cook, so we definitely need more room to work and I want a baking center. I want a professional gas range AND double wall ovens. I want space for my Kitchen Aid mixer and baking items.

    I don't know if I can commit to a color because I love white cabinets as well as dark cabinets. I think i would be inclined to have a mixture. With soapstone and marble countertops. A nice deep under-mount sink and nickel hardware and fixtures.

    A boy can dream!

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  12. Joni,
    Love your kitchen and those you posted. Can you tell me the color of your cabinets?
    Also, I am in need of bathroom remodel ideas--so anything you can post for those of us who are struggling with that would be appreciated.

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  13. Joni;

    I can so relate, my kitchen is in progress.... slow progress. I know what I want but do not want to make a mistake. And as for appliances, it seems in the last few years as I have replaced what was here when we moved in, the appliances are beginning to show their age. Whether I spent more or less, they just do not last as long as they used too.
    I am in the end, looking for the "unplanned" looking kitchen.

    When it is done, I will post you will be the first to know. I am also always looking for a new way to make it look old!

    L.

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  14. It's interesting reading this, and being in the process of designing a new kitchen. One thing that has been ruled out for the kitchen is a farmhouse sink - because the kitchen we are doing, and more importantly, the location of the sinks (in Atlanta, most new kitchens have two sinks) really do not lend themselves to a farmhouse sink (although we are going to have one in the downstairs laundry).

    I don't think I can have a 'non-kitchen' given the amount that I cook, which is daily and sometimes even multiple times a day. We eat most of our meals at home, because my husband travels so much and he likes to be at home when he is in town. Also, two of my three kids love to bake and cook, so I really need to have a cooks kitchen where multiple people can be in there working at the same time.

    We are not going to have a ton of overhead cabinets - in fact, much of the storage will be under counter or floor to ceiling cabinets. There is one wall that is driving all of us crazy - it is going to have the main clean up sink, but in order to have a door on that wall, the sink needs to be on a wall. This is really the only place we will have overhead cabinets. My team really wants me to do open shelving, but I really hate that look. We have also discussed having nothing, having two slim cabinets and a big opening for a painting, having cabinets that go straight across but are 20" high. We have not yet figured it out. It's hard when you have a designer and architect who don't want to be conventional!

    One thing I know: that image with all of the cabinets that I once declared to be my 'dream' kitchen is no longer my dream. It is too fussy and too much.

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  15. I love these non-kitchen kitchens in theory--they are certainly all gorgeous to look at---but when I look at them as far as function, I wonder. Do these people have kids? Do they cook or bake a lot? Some of them seem woefully lacking in storage, or a space to prepare food. If you're just going to press some espresso and eat an almond croissant they look perfect!

    That said, I am also not really a fan of the huge wall of floor to ceiling cabinets. What I am going for in my remodel is an unfitted look (stand alone pantry and hutch that look like furniture, only two upper cabinets, lots of different materials and colors) that still gives me plenty of storage and the appliances I need to cook and bake every day and store plenty of food for 3 growing boys!

    Thanks for the pictures (your kitchen included, LOVE that marble and sink!), a lovely way to start the day. :-)

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  16. I am definitely a non kitchen kind of girl. I like grab and go storage, pot racks with pots stored with lids. I think food products are attractive and see no need to hide them. The European style is attractive as is the way of life of daily market to table. I once read that an average cook only uses 6' of counter space to actually cook. I believe that. The rest of the counter space tends to be landing spots for clutter. In my redo, I am using induction cooktops and under counter wall ovens. I want more than good looking handles in my appliances. I want efficient, easy to use, hard working and I know this is asking too much: reliable. I don't have room for two sinks, so I am using Kohler's 48" sink. Did I mention I am using Gladiator tool boxes for cabinets? That's what usually sends people over the edge!

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  17. Hi Joni,
    Your re-do without doing a total tear out is beautiful! I'm doing something similiar in my own kitchen! Question... are your cabinets bm Fieldstone? If they are, I think they look great next to the Feather Gray walls. I would have never thought to do that, but I love it! I've been so focused on picking a non gray to compliment the cabinets but now I think I may go in a different direction. Great job- lisa
    lilylakemom at gmail dot com

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  18. I love your kitchen! I'm a long time follower and really enjoy your blog. My dream kitchen has to be pretty and functional because I do a lot of cooking and entertaining. I was trying to do something classic that wouldn't go out of style--but as you say, everyone is doing marble and granite right now (I still love it though) Check out my before an after--I'd love to know what you think.

    http://monkeygrasshill.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-dream-kitchen.html

    Thanks!
    Julie

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  19. Joni your gray walls look SO good!! I love it! Both kitchens are beautiful!
    Sally

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  20. Joni,
    Thank you for posting this...I'm going to copy your kitchen when I start renovating mine this summer. Seriously! Meanwhile I might have to post your pix on my blog ProvencePost.com with your permission....they're just so pretty! Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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  21. I love them all! I'm almost finished with my kitchen, and in the end I was kind of glad my budget was limited. If money wasn't an object, I probably never could have decided. Instead, I stuck to the existing floorplan, painted my cabinets, etc., and I'm happy (enough) with how it's turning out.

    Love your kitchen, by the way!

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  22. Joni,

    I just love your kitchen! Every time I see picture I think how beautiful it is. And your reader's kitchen is just beautiful. What an inspiration you are! I've been so busy and not a good blog friend but I'm so glad to be back in the fold. Hope you are well and have a great weekend.

    Gwen

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  23. Non-kitchen kitchen definitely...

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  24. really gorgeous -yours and hers! I actually didn't mind the yellow paint before but the gray is more in keeping with your style of course -really beautiful.

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  25. I love the new paint color. Like AD I liked the yellow, too, but the gray is oh-so-pretty.

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  26. I adore the look of the non kitchen although I cook or bake daily so it gets used hard too. My very first kitchen was so tiny and when I think of all the big partys I hosted back then I wonder how I ever did it with no counter space. I would set up a card table in the center of the kitchen and one on the porch if the weather permitted. Some how you always make it work.

    I love the idea of a little gathered curtain under the sink, seems to be popular.

    I'm seriously thinking of tearing out a wall and making a huge kitchen dining space out of my kitchen, DR and LR. We hardly ever use the livingroom and all 3 rooms are tiny. It seems that when we entertain no one wants to leave the table and we sit there for hours and chat.

    I will definately be doing a non kitchen and would really love an upholstered sitting area at one end of the room. Want to stop by and give me some ideas?
    Enjoy your weekend~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  27. Joni~ your posts which include pics of your house are my favorite!
    While I appreciate the workmanship and cost that goes into upscale kitchens, I much prefer the non-kitchen, kitchens such as these you've shown. Such creative minds put these kitchens together and there is so much texture involved and interesting elements to look at. I could study these all day {and just might, ha!} I prefer that cozy, old world charm feel where you could be sitting in a kitchen in the French countryside.

    Great post! Happy Friday to you.
    Tricia

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  28. Thanks to you and your reader for sharing pics of your kitchens!

    Sharon

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  29. Two beautiful projects. Adore your kitchen...and not just because I have light grey cabinetry and marble countertops, too. As they say, great minds... ;)

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  30. Joni, I loved looking at all of the kitchens, truly yours is the one I adore the most!! That sink and faucet!!

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  31. I wish I would have seen these pictures before we built our house...I love the non-kitchen look!

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  32. I love your kitchen posts! I can stop saving magazines and just refer to your blog for inspiration! My choice - your remodel or your reader's. Plus the Houston kitchen with the red toile fabric . . . that is on the top of my list!

    Thanks for another wonderful post!

    Jennifer

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  33. I'm a kitchen-girl. To cook, sit & gab. LOVE yours (of course!) and all the others are just as delicious eye candy. {{LOVE}} this post...

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  34. I knew it was coming! I LOVE your latest makeover! All these kitchens are fabulous - always love sofas and artwork in the kitchen!Thanks for sharing, & have a great weekend!

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  35. Our kitchen works hard every day so it needs to have all the essentials in place. I'd love to have room for a few more bells and whistles - a walk-in pantry, a commercial stove - but that's not going to happen, so I try to fit in small b's and w's that make the cooking experience nicer. We do have some non-kitchen elements in the room too - a comfy upholstered chair and ottoman with a floor lamp next to them and a built-in bookcase make the room feel less "kitcheny" and a little more like a family room.
    Great inspiration here, Joni. Now you'll have me obsessing over my kitchen all day. Maybe I should just stay out of there and let someone do the cooking!

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  36. I wish you had done this kitchen piece a year ago Joni when we had our kitchen gutted down to dirt. While I love my new kitchen I'm flipping over the Fredericksburg kitchen...OMG! Then again I had to stay in the style of my home with a slight Italian flair thrown in. Banks of cabinets are not for me but that stone, love, LOVE the stone!!!! Thank you for a fabulous piece and I love your kitchen too!

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  37. I do cook, so I have to have lots of north east light, like a studio, and a killer stove. I love white kitchens because you can really see what you're doing, and they're easy to light at night. Table height, seated prep space, as well as 36" counters. Easy access to a cool basement, for wines and root veggies. Easy access to the vegetable and herb garden. Easy access from the garage, on the same level as the kitchen. Lots of quiet ventilation. A heated honed stone or concrete floor that can be almost hosed down. Hold the complicated moldings-- life is to short to scrub spaghetti sauce out of them with a toothbrush.

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  38. what is there to say except these kitchens are beautiful! about 2 yrs ago i replaced my countertops in my laundry room with carrera marble...the store where i bought the marble really tried to discourage me from doing so saying the marble stains so easily...i would hear nothing of it...i went ahead and made my laundry room over with the carrera...2 yrs later i am still happy but now realize what theman from the store was trying to tell me...it does stain...i keep my coffee pot and espresso machine in the laundry room and it has stained from drips...i am pretty anal so am always trying to clean up and it still is stained...i think it just looks lived in though...also a small chip recently appeared around my sink...of course no one in my family has any idea how it got there...hmmmm....

    now a question if anyone can answer...i cook alot...i work at williams-sonoma and am constantly making something new...so, i really want to replace my gas cooktop with a wolf range...the problem is my cooktop is located against a wall that is interior...to install a hooded vent i have been told by everyone so far that i would need to go through my 2nd floor and attic to vent outside...(that is when my husband informed me that this project would have to wait for my next husband to undertake...tee-hee)..i don't want to break any building codes to do a vertical vent (in case i would sell my house)...any suggestions? i cannot believe that i am the first person with this problem...help...

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  39. Joni, Great post and I think you might have just started the new kitchen trend, the Non-kitchen,Kitchen. I really have never liked all the bells and whistles that we saw being produced in 2000, too much stainless, too much granite,cherry or maple and travertine floors. I love the idea of special pieces being used for cupboards. Like the old farmhouse kitchens where furniture looking pieces were brought in. Much more interesting and the different textures are amazing. Love you kitchen and you should never feel inadequate you are extrememly insightful and talented, we all love to read what you write and look at all of your images and how you critique them. My kitchen is the hub of my home and it is small and the layout is actually perfect for me. I need new counters and that will come in the form of white tile and carrera, nothing fancy or terribly different but classic. Love the idea of having an eating area more like a sitting room, that would be fun!Great post as always, Happy Friday,Kathysue

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  40. So many samples of beautiful kitchens!
    I would take any of them in a blink.
    Congratulations to you and your reader for the great remodeling, You guys did a great job! I love remodeling and construction, it's in my blood!

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  41. IN trying to locate the paint color I can't find feathered gray, I did find 2302 feather gray. Would that be the correct color you used for your walls and trim? I love the color.
    Thanks,
    Nancy

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  42. Love the non kitchen kitchens! I do not cook so the bells and whistles do not appeal to me at all. Give me great decor instead. This have me swooning!

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  43. Showing some very unique kitchens. Am happy with our re-do of ugly oak by painting red, distressing them, then painting black, adding beadboard and molding around each door and drawer. Cherry butcher-block counters add to the country look for my collections of copper and enamalware. But your interesting pics are always a joy to view. Have to keep looking to be inspired. Peggy

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  44. OMG! You know, I could have a blog called Joni's REBLOG! I adore every post and have to use two hands on the mouse to keep myself from reblogging your entire blog. I'm dying for that mustard island and that stone kitchen only really exists in dreams, right? I adore your grey walls and the transfer over the baker's rack with the cream ware! YUM! I also love your cooking style ;-) send me some recipes on how to get a husband to go for that!! As always, you fill my inspiration files and my to-do lists! xoxoxo Wish we lived closer, I'd take you to lunch today!

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  45. Joni, I love your new paint color! Your kitchen looks so beautiful. That calcutta marble and the way it was installed -- to die for! And your baker's rack looks fantastic -- have always admired it. (I'd also love to know the color you painted your cabinets)

    I have to say, Shannon Bowers' and Jane Moore's kitchens call to me in a big way. I have photos saved of both of them.

    I would never be able to choose between the two styles -- the "non-kitchen kitchens", or the "bells and whistles" kitchens. Love them both. Maybe a combination.

    Your reader's kitchen redo is fantatic!

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  46. A "Non Kitchen Kitchen" is the best, anyone can have a pretty boring cabinet filled room. The more you cook, you know the importance of everything being visible or avaiable. Give me some age old used cozy room to gather in. HOWEVER, I Do love your grey and marble right now.

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  47. Your kitchen is wonderful, especially the casement window, counter and farm sink (we have the same one!) I love the trough sink you featured! Would like to incorporate something like that in our 'future' outdoor kitchen area that my husband doesn't yet know about. Where might I start looking? I laughed out loud when you said you picked the appliances for the handles! Monica

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  48. Hi Joni!

    I love your kitchen! It looks so warm and inviting. That Benjamin Moore grey and the marble ... heaven!

    I prefer the traditional kitchen, but with non-kitchen kitchen touches. When I can afford it, I'm going to remodel my kitchen, which currently has Shaker-style cherry cabinets and black appliances.

    Instead of white cabinetry, I'm going to have cabinets and walls painted in Benjamin Moore's Delaware Putty. The cabinets will go all the way up to the ceiling and some will have glass doors and some will have solid doors. The countertops will be marble. I'll have a farmhouse sink, old-fashioned looking taps and stainless steel appliances (or whatever is available when I can afford the remodel). I'll continue to have paintings on the walls, urns on the countertops and a Victorian wire plant stand near the entry. I'd like to buy a small butcher block table and position it next to the one wall that has no cabinets, but will have two rows of utensil racks.

    Ahhh, my dream kitchen. Someday.

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  49. I love the kitchens with the antique elements and the comfortable furniture. I love the lamp in your kitchen -- it makes the kitchen feel more homey.

    Great, inspiring, thought provoking elements.

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  50. Oh Joni you have made my day. My kitchen is gutted now for over a year and I use my laundry room sink which is nearby. When we moved into or 200 year old plus farmhouse back in 1982 I was a brand new mom and there was no kitchen so we hired a "kitchen guy" and I said just make a kitchen. Now 4 children later, 4 college tuitions paid and two daughters weddings paid it is "my time". There will be no regrets to this kitchen, it will be real French, no upper cabinets, just like you have shown in your non-traditional pictures. friends think I am crazy taking soo long and searching for just the right thing, I do not care what anyone thinks, I know this will be my TDF kitchen that I have always dreamed about!

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  51. Even though I do cook most every night, I am not a fan of the traditional kitchen and don't need all the latest greatest appliances. I love all of the non-kitchen kitchens. That are absolutely beautiful and would make me want to be in them at all times. Well, maybe not all the time, but more often anyway.

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  52. Excellent post Joni!

    Even though the kitchens you featured all have wonderful personalities and characters; I personally do not feel the size, best dressed nor the charm of a kitchen necessarily dictates or measures the competence the Chef. (That is a long sentence I know. Sorry about that.) With that said, 'function' and 'talent' is the key for culinary perfection.

    -Brenda-

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  53. Oh, stop already, see my kitchen...
    Just kidding!
    I am enthralled! I all for a new kitchen, please tell my husband!

    XX
    Victoria

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  54. Definitely the non-kitchen kitchen. Serene atmosphere while displaying the designers' creativity and individuality and is somewhat whimsical. Full of personality. Like artwork. They look to be set up to function while still surrounded with favorite(mostly)antique pieces, many of which for storage. Wonderful post as always - you chose some spectacular kitchens to show. Also, like the other pictures I've seen of your home, your kitchen is fab!!!

    Thanks again for your great posts!

    Janice from Pemaquid

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  55. I love all of the non-kitchens! I have loved this look since I was a kid but never knew how to pull it off. Your reader did a great job on her kitchen and I think it does resemble yours a little. I will definitely refer back to this post to get some wonderful ideas. Thanks for the neat post.

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  56. I love the idea of the non-kitchen but it's not practical for my life. We cook dinner aleast 4 nights out of the week for a family of 4. I see so many open shelves in kitchens and I adore the look but in about a month run your finger across the top or take a bowl from it the top shelf and you have to clean it. It's like the way the top of your refrigertor gets. Is there a way to combine the both???

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  57. The non-kitchen kitchen is what makes my heart race - I want to move right into Donna Brown's! Mmmm.
    I love the grey on your walls, Joni. You passed me. My kitchen walls still have about 15 brush strokes of different shades of grey and my cabinet doors are off and in the studio... still.
    Handles - I'm with you. Must have the pretty handles, and for me two things are essential - a great stove (miss my wolf!) and stone counter tops that can withstand slicing and dicing and are good for bread making.
    I'm going back to look at your baskets and ironstone some more. ...and dreamy Chateau Domingue!
    xo Isa

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  58. I am a total Kitchen girl!! I can pass up any clothing shop or shoe shop but put me in a flea market or kitchen shop and I'm in heaven!!

    I have the picture of Donna Brown's kitchen in my organizer at all times and it has been my inspiration for my kitchen as we turn an old barn into our home. I am still looking for an old wood "work bench" or great old wood piece for an island. These old farmhouse kitchens are not only beautiful but soothing and are reminiscent of good meals with fresh ingredients cooked over open fires, when things were slower and food was savored.

    Thank you for such great pictures!

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  59. I'm saving this post to study later. So many elements to brain-save. Thanks so much for theinspiration.

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  60. I'd marry your sink too. It's divine. How do I get one of those down here in the colonies?... sigh. I love the concept of a non kitchen too. A-M xx

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  61. Joni, I was saving this post till I had the time to sit down and examine and enjoy every photo, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single one!

    First of all, I adore both your kitchen and your friend's. Thank you two for sharing them with us. Your twin sinks are WONDERFUL and the jewelry that goes with them.... fabulous!

    I love these other kitchens, too, and I really love the charm and quirkiness of Donna Brown's kitchen. That long piece of furniture for dish storage is so neat as are the wire cages. And I am gaga over the kitchen with all of the stone walls. I'm not a cook either (not much of one at any rate), but I think I would be if I had a kitchen like these. I would want to LIVE in the kitchen!

    I like hardwood floors in kitchens. Tile is too unforgiving. I have tile in one of ours, and it is killer if you are trying to do a party. You need orthopedic shoes to stand on it! ;-) I much prefer wood. And I like painted cabinets. I just like white cabinets or painted cabinets unless they are old antique cabinets like my friend has in his historic home. He has pieces of furniture as opposed to built-ins, and I like that. I am determined to paint the cabinets in our retreat. Determined.

    I think having a fireplace in a kitchen would be great, and I like the idea of having a sofa as part of the table arrangement. I'm thinking of doing that in ours. I've had bamboo benches that came out of the Breakers after they sold off things at auction in redecorating some time back, but though very cute, they are really not that comfortable to sit on for long. So I'm leaning toward an upholstered piece on one side and chairs on the other. We shall see.

    Thank you for this. And for someone who doesn't cook, your kitchen is the bee's knees! I had to laugh at you picking out your stove based on its handle. You go, girl! You are a girl after my own heart!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  62. Hi Joni: When I saw Donna Brown's kitchen in Veranda last year, I thought I died and went to designer heaven!! I am so impressed with this kind of 'thinking outside the box' of a traditional kitchen - I immediately wanted one, will dream of one, and someday, will design one preferably for me! I highlighted her kitchen on my humble little blog some months ago...I agree that it makes one feel sooo inadequate! Great post and I love your new kitchen... that marble really looks so 'rich' and the sink and faucet are wonderful!! thanks for sharing!

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  63. I really love stone. I particularly like a stone wall that has an oven or cabinets. They can make it look like the wall was dug out so the oven or cabinets could fit into the stone.

    They make realistic looking stone fascade now (Eldorado, Coranado, etc), so it's not that hard to get a stone wall anymore. However, I have not seen any interior designers in my area that have done anything with it. I have only seen it used by people our in the West.

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  64. Although I like the look of the rustic kitchens in the photo, I don't know that I would like them in person. Sometimes things that look great in a photo with the right lighting just look old and beat up in real life.

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  65. The non-kitchens look great, but where do they keep the food? It would not be convenient to always be dragging the food from the pantry to the counters. I would just end up leaving them on the counters and cluttering everything -- not that I actually cook much.

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  66. I'm like you....as long as there is a place to keep the diet coke chilled I don't need all the other fancy gadgets!!! LOL...Love your kitchen,it is one of my favorites :o)
    ~Des

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  67. I LOVE your kitchen re-do and hope to re-create in Duxbury, MA! Could you please share the cabinet paint color?

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  68. These are all gorgeous kitchens and I'd go for any of them in a heartbeat. I've loved white kitchens since I was a little girl and can't wait to have one again after years of enduring dark wood and that damn brown granite that it seems every male builder has been partial to for the past decade.
    My dream kitchen would be the kitchenette of a Ritz Carlton on an island somewhere warm with clear turquoise water -- but barring that, really any of the kitchens above would float my boat.

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  69. Kitchen or non kitchen??? How to choose. I'm guessing I'd do a mix...yup I'm cheatin!!!!
    As much as I love to cook this also means I spend a large amount of time in my kitchen so I'd need to make it gorgeous & really what could be more gorgeous than mixing in the furniture pieces.
    I do love hiding the fridge & dishwasher with cabinetry fronts but I've always toyed with having my carpenter using salvage pieces.

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  70. Anon: If your home is pier and beam you can run the Wolf exhaust UNDER your floor. I did that and have been thrilled.
    I have been in Ruth's home - the ONLY time a house has brought tears to my eyes.(Outside of St. Remy) She-is-a-GENIUS-with old stone.The cobblestone floors in the kitchen - worth leaving your Manolos at the threshold for! The old stone in the sunlight is like creamy, melted butterscotch.

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  71. Joni...your kitchen is beautiful!!! How wonderful that your "touch" is now gracing other kitchens!

    I actually just posted my first kitchen picture yesterday...I think we have the same marble...and I don't think it will ever go out of style. The French and Italians have been using it for hundreds of years...here's to ours lasting that long too!

    Have a lovely weekend...
    xo Jessica~

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  72. love your kitchen..and as always great info! i'd love to know all the paint colors also....

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  73. Hi Joni,

    I love your blog. I find it very inspirational. I love your basket in your kitchen that has a lid. Could you tell me where I could find one? What color did you paint your cabinets? thanks so much!

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  74. Hi Joni,

    So enjoyed reading this post. Loved seeing all the different kitchens. Personally, I love the the kitchens that are different and unfitted. Have tried to do this when we redid our kitchen 4 years ago now, working in the space that we have. People seem to like it and I LOVE it, so that is the main thing. I noticed that you have a different clock hanging up over your sink. Speaking of sinks, nobody could tell me much at the time, but I so wanted a shaw sink, but I was worried about dropping something on the it and chipping/cracking it and marking it when I was washing up the pots 'n' pans, including the baking dishes used for roast dinners. So I comprised.....nobody tells you before buying that the stainless steel in a lot of the sinks these days scratches so much more easily. Oh love the colour of your kitchen walls and breakfast area. I was actually holding my breath hoping you would show us your living room as well!!! Next time perhaps!!!
    Take care
    Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania Australia

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  75. Hi Joni,
    You truly are one of Hustons great tallents!!!

    For a few years now I have been dreaming about changing my island and counter's to white carrara. Although I have seen Calacutta used on several occassions and go bonkers over it. Thank you for pointing out the differences,$$$$ . . . hmph

    I to would have been seriously hyperventilating!! lol

    FYI. . .I have been following your blog since Janaury and cannot beleive how much I have learned. You truly inspire me!!

    Love your bakers rack with glass cloches on it. I just wrote a post about them. . . http://bellainspirations.blogspot.com/2010/05/little-glass-house.html
    Check it out if you get a chance!


    Ciao,
    Laurie

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  76. I just LOVE the marble!! How does it uphold with scratches? I love the soft and clean feeling it evokes in your kitchen. What are you making for dinner? I'll be there!

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  77. Oh, how I love the non-kitchen kitchens! The rock walls, great furniture, perfect fixtures! Oh my! It's truly a luxury to have enough square footage in a kitchen to not be forced to have every inch filled with cabinets.

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  78. Great post Joni, I love it when you go all kitchen-y!

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  79. Hi Joni!
    All beautiful examples of Houston's most beautiful kitchens. I especially love the trough in the Chateau Dominique kitchen she really knows how to use stone and reclaimed wood.. Loved this post thanks! Maryanne xo

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  80. My heart is dancing... how I love these non kitchen kitchens. Thanks again for the inspriation.

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  81. Forgot to say how much I love your kitchen joni and the homeowners ... both are 5 stars.

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  82. Hi Joni,
    This came at the perfect time. I HAVE to redo my kitchen! It was a builder spec home with no thought put into the kitchen. I only have 2 drawers in a 3500 sq.foot house with 4 bedrooms (6 when the basement is finished)! The kitchen is a 12'X 12' L-shaped with a small island....so this will not be easy. Oh, the kitchen is in an open-concept space that actually puts my island sink "in" the living room. My husband thinks it works great but having dirty dishes in the LR really bugs me!!!! Thanks for the inspiration...I really needed this.
    Gwen

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  83. This is a good post - one that is inspiring and informative the way design blogs should be. Your reader did a great job and the result is a fresh and workable kitchen.

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  84. Which one to prefer??
    I tell you right away that I´m totally confused by now. This (another!) amazing and wonderful post by you is surely not making it easier to know what I want.

    I think I´m in love with each and every one of the kitchens you are showing. They all have some elements of charm, but the non-kitchens would win the race!

    Thank you, your blog is so like-able!

    Hugs Helle

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  85. i love your kitchen - it is so clean, refined and cozy. i also do love the "non kitchen" ideas as well .. truly the kitchen is the heart of the home... thanks for the great post as always... xx pam

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  86. My DREAM kitchen(which I will never have) is one that is LARGE enough to entertain, since I love to entertain, and we all end up CROWDED in my kitchen. It also would have TONS of storage (I suppose a huge walk in pantry) for my huge collection of dishes, that I love and won't part with:):) We will never have the $$$$ to do all this so I just dream...... love your blog. XO, Pinky

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  87. Such a gorgeous gray, Joni. And all my favorite photos. If I won the lottery and could pick anyone to redo my house it would be you! Or pick out my NEW house. Stone? Actually, I'd just love to move into Chateau Dominique. I'd get a good espresso machine so you could visit me instead of Starbucks. XO Trish

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  88. that is my favorite kind of sink, i first saw it in the movie practical magic, been in love with them ever since.

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  89. Thanks everyone for your great comments. I am a little surprised how many people prefer the non kitchen kitchen! I think Pam Pierce's is my favorite of the bunch.

    My cabinet color is an unknown. We used a regular color and kept cutting it down. Sorry!!!!

    Joni

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  90. GRRREEAAAAAT post! Your kitchen is so lovely.. .I always love when you post about your home Joni! I love my kitchen..I have to get the stool seats covered..FINALLY picked out the material for that..a dark rich brown faux leather.... need to update the appliances to stainless steel..( like your criteria..re: good handles) ... and need some extra seating on the outside wall.. the kitchen is in the middle of the house and is large... need to "cozy it up" a bit! love this post today.... !!! well. ALL your posts! :) happy weekend!

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  91. Joni,
    I love all the changes in your kitchen including the window...great decision to update that too!

    Beautiful trnsformation from your reader too!

    And, of course I love Donna Brown's home and envy the fact you have been there...twice!!!

    Your dream inspiration kitchen is so beautiful...reminds me a bit of the David Mitchell show house from McLean, Va. featured in Southern Accents a few years ago...do you remember it? Still one of my favorites.

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  92. Well, soon you will be getting a similar email from me. We began our kitchen renovation a year ago (obviously, we are doing the work ourselves!) and I have looked back at kitchens in your blog over and over again while I was deciding everything. I especially liked the Octagon House kitchen and the Narrow French House kitchen, and can't tell you how many times I have consulted those pictures. Well, hopefully very soon I will have some pictures to send you of our finished kitchen. I have been so grateful to you and your blog throughout this process! As a mom of a large family, functionality is so important in a kitchen, and yet I had to throw in a bit of the unfitted kitchen look - I love the uniqueness.

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  93. Donna Brown’s kitchen is one of my all time favorites. I did a tiny post on her kitchen a while ago. {I'm not a blogging tour~de~force like you!} ALL these kitchen are great, I do love yours. You have such great taste, xo Lidy

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  94. I love white marble, always have. I truly don't think it ever dates. Love your kitchen.

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  95. Each one is more fabulous than the next! I thought my kitchen was great, but now I know I'll never be happy with it again...lol...Thanks for some great eye candy!

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  96. You know I luvya, Joni -- and kitchens, too! -- when I wait about 30 minutes for all the photos to download. (I'm up in the mountains where my connection is slow and terrible. But I couldn't miss this one!!) Gorgeous! Love your window and sink!! Love the French one (I know the designer of that one, and I'm drawing a blank. We photographed one of her homes for Trad Home....) Love the non-kitchens; that's me. I'm comfortable with casual chic and convenient. I really need a great stove and a very quiet dishwasher. I love food, love to cook, love kitchens! And, like everyone else, I find my friends like to gather in this space. Thanks for the wonderful post. Would love to see you one of these days. warmly, -susan

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  97. Kind of lovin' the non-kitchen, kitchen! Great post, beautiful pics.

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  98. love your kitchen dining everything..where did you get your chair pads?? tooo cute!

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  99. Yeah! I get to make the 100th comment! I love your re-modeled kitchen. It is clean and fresh. I love the Pure Butter dish. In a previous post you told where to get them. I tried at the time and they were out. This reminds me to try again.
    To the non-kitchen, kitchens. I can't even tell you how much I adore them. I have all of these images in my design files, but the one from Fredericksburg I had never seen. I could sit and pour over these images for hours. I love every detail. We just built a new home and my kitchen is a combination of both. My husband would never go for the "antique " instead of the island, and I'm an antique dealer. Go figure!.I love anything old and he prefers new. Its a constant struggle.

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  100. "Huevos"
    That's keepin' it real. Love all the kitchens.
    Thanks Joni : )

    Dee

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  101. All just lovely. GIRL get a GFI on the outlet by the sink!

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  102. joni, seeing your farmhouse sink and sally wheat's sink (on your blog) was a big influence in our kitchen facelift recently completed. i love my 36" shaw sink!! hubby loves that i love it, because i do all the dishes without complaining. it's awesome. maybe we could have a double wedding with our sinks?!

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  103. Love your kitchen re-model!!!!!

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  104. Your post is fabulous and so inspiring!! Now I definitely want a new kitchen...mine is now 15 years old...and ready for a facelift..but there are no big rip outs in our budget either!

    Great terrific post, I really love those non-kitchens

    xxx

    Kit

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  105. Gray is one of my favorite cabinet colors and you do not see it often enough! The white marble really enhances the cabinet color, a great combo! Kitchen redos are about my favorite thing to see. We just posted a new modern kitchen redo on our blog. Check it out!
    http://www.thedesignerinsider.blogspot.com

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  106. Great Article! White Marble is again getting the attention it deserves. Your friends at Cangelosi Marble and Granite love this article!

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  107. SHAW white FARMHOUSE SINK ~ to CAULK??? or NOT TO CAULK??? I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel...my sink (above) has been installed and I am wondering if the front apron should be caulked where it meets the cabinet. Some say "NOOOO, you aren't supposed to caulk them" while another says "I can caulk that and make it look like it is married to that cabinet"....HELLLLP Me....PLEEEZE

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  108. Not sure if this admin of this page is aware of the Cooks Source story sweeping the web of the editor using content without permission Wanted to let you know that you your picture from this page with the title heading "Several Houston kitchens have spoken to me" is reproduced with out credit to your publication in the February 2010 issue of their magazine, as shown on their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=295746986748&set=a.295746691748.144994.196994196748 At this point over 165 articles from a wide variety of blogs, cooking show hosts, Disney, etc has been collected at https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AmTaIPHPnkSedGFhbHo1d1FIR2oxNWJLaDZLeXhEVEE&hl=en#gid=0

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  109. Sorry for the poor editing in that last post.

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  110. You really had a field day leveling out with the revamp until you came up with the best one which will last for years without going out of fashion. While most things put on the walls and countertops eventually go out of style, some are just ubiquitous - immortal, even. Most homeowners think that the kitchen is harder to remodel than a bathroom. In certain cases, this holds true. All told, you did a great job here!

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  111. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  112. A non-kitchen doesn't work for me personally at all.

    I want beauty and function combined in a huge u-shaped kitchen, perhaps 22 x 26, with upper seed glass cabinets, the latest appliances, side-by-side 30' ovens, 60" range top, 36" all refrigerator, 36" all freezer, 15" perlick ice maker, a custom 48" x 20" x 9" farmhouse sink with windows behind it and on either side of it so the kitchen has lots of light, an enormous center island with buffet seating, ceasarstone countertops and glass subway tile backsplash, wide plank wood floors, an added 9' x 9' pantry and a butler's pantry too, the works!

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