The kitchen is one of the last parts of the house that I tackled and I’m so happy and relieved to say, oh em gee…it’s is finally finished!!! It took FOREVER because we had some minor issues especially with installation. Honestly, I can’t believe the kitchen is done because for so long, I’ve had cabinets without door knobs and pulls, a counter with no top, and a gaping hole where the stove should be! Now, everything is complete just the way I envisioned it, but actually even better!
This is what my kitchen looked like before I moved in! There was wallpaper EVERYWHERE–even on the ceiling. That and the cabinets were the first things that needed to go. I knew I couldn’t afford custom kitchen cabinets, but I didn’t like the look of prefabricated cabinets that are usually either white or some kind of wood stain. Jacopo has Ikea kitchen cabinets in his Milan apartment with custom stainless steel door fronts but I also didn’t like the look of everything being stainless steel in my house and didn’t like the finishes Ikea was offering. It didn’t seem like I had too many options, but after some hardcore internet searching, I discovered this cabinet company based out in Pasadena called Semihandmade. You get the Ikea cabinet bases, but use Semihandmade’s custom door fronts which is why it’s called Semihandmade. You can pick the door finishes from their website, or get a cabinet door front from them and paint them yourself (or get them painted.) I emailed them and sent over this photo from my Pinterest board, and John, the owner, got back to me immediately and said they had a door in a similar shade so I didn’t have to go through the hassle of getting mine painted. He sent over several samples, and I picked Supermatte Clay Shaker. Several weeks later, they all came in one piece! I scheduled the installer through Ikea and during the installation, I decided I wanted to move the refrigerator on the other side of the wall, so we had to wait a few weeks later to order the remaining parts. Ok, that was the easiest part.
I mean, I had already picked out the marble and paid for the slabs the minute I got my cabinet door sample so the hard part was done, or so I thought. I really wanted thicker countertops instead of the stander 3/4″ countertop. I just love the look of that sleek thick marble countertop. In order to do this, we had to build a plywood block on top of the cabinets for the counter to be wrapped around. Now by this point, my countertop guy was completely booked, so basically I had kitchen cabinets with no pulls, and just a plywood top with no actual countertop for the longest time.
Cabinets with no tops at all during the installation…I lived like this for a month…
Finally getting a rough top added, which supports the weight of the marble.
While all of this was happening, I was appliance shopping. The most important thing for me was the look of the appliance. Yes, function is extremely important but I knew I wasn’t going to all of the sudden become iron chef in my new kitchen, so I wanted something that was beautiful but still within my price point. I went through so many different appliance showrooms and I kept falling in love with the exact same brand called KitchenAid because of their sleek handles. I just wanted something that was super sleek and simple but extremely sturdy, and as a newly avid cook, you don’t know how grateful I am that I got KitchenAid appliances. They’re seriously soooo stunning. If you’ve been watching my instastories, you know how much I rave about my appliances. I actually had three different chefs recommend KitchenAid to me before I got them.
When I finally got my counters in, I realized that the countertop on the left side of my range was so much longer than it was supposed to. I’m like, ‘oh my god, why…..’ I mean the kitchen was still functional, but you still want everything to look cohesive and even, you know? Anyways, that took awhile to fix and I’m happy the fabricators realized that it was their fault and willingly fixed it!
The reason I didn’t want any wall cabinets was because I created an open kitchen floor plan that flows to the dining room and the family room and I just didn’t want my walls to look heavy. I wanted my kitchen to look airy and clean, plus, I already have so much cabinet space that I didn’t need any more. Instead of getting wall cabinets, I did put in a floating marble shelf (this was another nightmare to install but hey, it was worth it!) The floating shelf is super practical as I needed somewhere to put spices, cookbooks, and my sage/palo santo, and incense.
Now, my biggest dilemma became: what finish do I want my kitchen hardware to be? And do I want pulls or knobs? I was going back and forth between brass and matte black, and decided to go with Rejuvenation matte black knobs for all the cabinet doors to match my sexy touch-censored Brizo faucet. The pulls on the drawers on the island and the pantry cabinet are also from Rejuvenation. I consider the pulls as accessories to an outfit. They definitely finish up a look!
For my barstools, I initially wanted to get simple wooden stools but decided to continue the black theme so I turned to one of my favorite L.A. designers, Thomas Hayes Studio, for these sexy bar stools. I wanted slightly a darker brass (not the shiny gold kind) and he was able to customize them and I’m so in love. They’re so comfortable yet still sleek. I don’t even eat on my dining table anymore! If you’re ever in L.A., I highly recommend his showroom. It’s so beautiful and it’s like an adult playground. You’ll often times find me sitting on the swings, or just chilling by his kitchen.
Now that I have the kitchen completed, I really enjoy cooking so much more. Whenever I’m back home in L.A., I try to cook every single day. Maybe not for every meal, but I’ll always have my Sonos on (I got the play 1s which are great for kitchens and bathrooms) with my Good Vibes playlist from Spotify, and I’m automatically in a good mood. As a matter of fact, I’m drafting this blog post on my kitchen island.
It’s so funny how kitchen is such an important room for me and for so long I forgot about it as I was living in a rental with a horrible kitchen. Fun fact: I was a kitchen and bathroom designer for a few years before pursuing interior design! It’s definitely so satisfying to finally be able to design my own dream kitchen after designing my clients.
Semihandmade Kitchen Cabinet Door Fronts in “Supermatte Clay Shaker”
Rejuvenation “West Slope” Knob and Pulls
Brizo “Solna” Faucet
Kohler Stainless Steel Sink
KitchenAid® 24″ Dishwasher
KitchenAid® 30″ Gas Range and Hood
KitchenAid® 36″ Refrigerator
Thomas Hayes Studio “Petra” Bar Stools
Sonos Play 1