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Our Second Kitchen Reveal

When I was working on remodeling our second kitchen, we never imagined just how differently life was going to look on its completion. All those ideas about how the extra kitchen would come in handy for families that come to stay with us and for all the entertaining we’d be doing. Not so much of that is happening right now but I do have to say I am very thankful for the extra fridge space and simply more finished space in general. Since stay at home orders began, Rupe and I have been coming down here every evening to unwind after the kids go to bed. Having the larger sized house from what we are used to in LA has been a true blessing during this time. Getting to switch up the environment at different times of the day almost makes you feel like you have gone somewhere. We eat dinner with the kids at 5:00 upstairs so around 9:00 nearly every night Rupe and I eat a bowl of cereal while watching a bit of TV. So, at the moment this kitchen has become our glorified cereal kitchen ha! But it really does bring me joy sitting in this stunning space knowing our friends and family will eventually return again.

In more exciting news…in anticipation of my new door and drawer front design that launches TOMORROW(!) with SemiHandmade, I get to reveal our beautiful second kitchen in all its’ glory. We did this kitchen on a shoe string budget, as far as kitchen renovations go. You might remember from my inspiration post that I started with Cafe Appliances Matte Black appliances as a jumping off point for the design of this space. That and a beautiful Sharon Etgar piece of art. As you will notice, some of the products changed from my initial design board but the inspiration stayed the same. We weren’t in a rush to finish this space so I didn’t go and order everything at once. We assembled the Ikea cabinets first knowing we would most likely use Semihandmade again and then I got word that my new design for them, the Quarterline (did I mention it launches tomorrow?!), was going to come to market so I was thrilled to be able to include them in the kitchen. From there, there was a lot of using what we had on hand, the chairs from CB2 we already had and I was dying to work them into the design. The tile is from Clé Eastern Earthenware tile that I had leftover from another project and couldn’t love any more in this space and the legs on the lower part of the island used to be my desk legs in my office in California. Even the wood slats on the backside of the island cabinets were taken from the pieces of trim we were using upstairs for our base and crown trim.

We also DIY’ed the entire kitchen (oh except for the tile. I did hire in a sub contractor for the backsplash tile). The island was one of those creative problem solving situations which I thrive on. Seriously, give me a puzzle and I will try and find a unique way to solve it. It is kind of my favorite thing to work around odd constraints to create something better. I’ll be sharing all the details for the DIY island on my new column with Domino Mag soon! As of last week I am officially a Domino contributor so stay tuned over there for more from me.

If you’ve been around here for a while you might remember back to the A-frame in Palm Springs where I took out the full sized fridge and replaced it with an undercounter fridge to save on space and if you’ve been around here for a VERY very long time you might remember me doing the same in our Lake Michigan cabin, where this blog all started. Now, in our second kitchen in our Samuel Family Fixer I am back to my old tricks. We didn’t need the full sized second fridge. This kitchen is more for guests and for entertaining and Cafés Appliances undercounter fridge is the perfect size for extra La Croix, our milk for our nightly cereal and enough food for a weekend or two of guests groceries. The kitchen now feels like a part of the rest of the room (the downstairs living room is just off on the other side of the island and the clean lines, bronze hardware and matte black finish on the Café appliances pair seamlessly with my matte black Semihandmade cabinet fronts and my matte black hardware!

But back to the cabinets… I was thrilled SemiHandmade was keen on another of my door design ideas. If you need a refresher on who SemiHandmade is here is the deal. They make quality doors and drawer fronts that fit onto Ikea cabinets. So you can buy the Sektion Ikea kitchen system (excluding the ikea door and drawer fronts) from Ikea then get the doors and drawer fronts from SemiHandmade as well as trim pieces, filler and plinth to create the look of a custom kitchen for less.

Much like my first door design for SemiHandmade (the “modern beaded”), where I set out to create a modern take on a traditional cabinet design… with Quarterline, I looked to the traditional shaker cabinet. The shakers were known for the clean recessed panel cabinet door design that has been around for centuries. By paring it back even further to just a quarter of the size of the classic shaker, it gives a versatile design that is all it’s own. Quarterline fills that space right in the middle between shaker and fully flat slab doors.

There is so much more to share about alllll the DIY’s in this space but for now I will leave with you some before and after fun. More to come on this kitchen soon. (see all the sources at the bottom of the page)

BEFORE

  

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

I am so happy with how this came together. Let me know any questions or full DIY’s you are most interested in hearing about in the comments!

Cabinet Doors are Quarterline by Sarah Sherman Samuel for SemiHandmade on Ikea Sektion cabinets // Undercounter Refrigerator by Café Appliances // Range by Café Applinces // Matte Black Hardware by Sarah Sherman Samuel for Park Studio // Eastern Earthenware Tile in Rice Husk by Clé Tile // Chairs by CB2 // Faucet from wayfair // Alfi Sink from Wayfair // Canisters from Hawkins New York // Art is from Wit & Delight  // Pedestal Bowl // Range hood is from Ikea with a DIY’d surround // Countertops from Ikea wood look on island and matte black on back cabinet run // Wall hanging by Kudd Krig Home // Wall finish is Portola Paint Roman Clay in Mallorca  // Flooring is Engineered Hardwood – Tigers Eye French Oak from Build Direct 

Our Kitchen Tour Before & After

Hello from our finished kitchen! It has been a journey to get here, but I’m thrilled to share the full tour and also take a look back at where we started. The concept of home as a sanctuary has always been important to me but now, in the current state of things, I feel that it is crucial. This kitchen has never seen such heavy use as it has in the past couple weeks and I count myself very lucky to feel like my best self in it. I think nothing helps someone feel more at home than a space that is a true reflection of themselves, a place they feel comfortable in. This kitchen couldn’t be more me. We poured ourselves into this kitchen, doing much of the work ourselves, but also splurging on some favorite details. I worked with Café Appliances to bring my dream kitchen to reality with their Matte White appliances and warm bronze appliance hardware (has there ever been a more me color palette? See the inspiration here). I ruminated over the details for months (pretty sure we used the kitchen without cabinet hardware for a good 6 of them) and while the bulk of the renovation was finished in 5 months, it took me another 7 to decide on and implement the finishing touches like the back plaster wall, the brass island panels and the hardware. I was originally planning to use my own brass hardware from my line with Park Studio but when I got my mind set on the brass island panels, it would have been brass overload. I wanted the warmth and softness of the wood ceiling brought down to the cabinets so really, my only choice was to get my hardware collection made in wood. I adjusted the designs to work with the new material and then tapped a local fabricator to make the prototypes. From there a new wood sss hardware line was born. We are still working on a larger production run, but they will be available this spring!

The new layout of the kitchen came quickly and easily. I had drawn up the plans before we ever set foot in the house! (see the floorplan before and after). I always knew I was going to utilize our “modern beaded” cabinet fronts from my line with SemiHandmade. They are my take on a traditional beadboard. With cleaner lines and wider spacing it brings texture into the cabinet but still has a modern feel. Two years ago I teamed up with Semihandmade to create the collection because they make high quality doors and drawer fronts that fit onto Ikea kitchen boxes, which brings a higher end look more accessible (and because we have worked together on many projects before and they are just good people. I only work with the good ones, ;) and I am elated to be able to finally use them in my own kitchen (you can see them in some of my client kitchens here, here, here and here). Even if you aren’t a kitchen designer you can use the Ikea Kitchen Planner tool fairly easily or get help in store. How it works is you purchase all the boxes, hinges, legs and interior organization pieces from Ikea and then you get the cabinet doors and drawer fronts from SemiHandmade, as well as filler panels, plinth (toe kicks), and any spacers needed, for the look of a custom kitchen for less than a custom kitchen budget. You can read more about the process  here and see the beginnings of my first project with them, our LA kitchen from 2013.

But now… let’s take the tour!

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my new kitchen must-haves

I pinch myself every day that, A, we have a finished kitchen, but even more so, B, that it is bright and open (goodbye wall) and feels like a beautiful part of the home instead of just a utilitarian space (with a big thanks to Café Appliances coming in with the matte white finish and customizable hardware colors… and a new pantry which keeps the counters uncluttered), but most of all that it is exactly right for our family. It really is a dream and since it’s now part of the same room as the family room, it’s where we spend the majority of our time at home together. It’s been so nice finally settling into the new heart of the home and just in time for the holidays.

For a quick re-cap… we moved into our fixer house in July 2018, construction began November 1st of the same year and we moved out into a rental house until April 1st 2019. When we moved back in, the kitchen was fully functional but we didn’t have hardware, trim, island panels etc (basically all of the finishing touches). We worked with a contractor for all the new framing and structural work, drywall, plumbing and the flooring so when we moved back in, his work was done. It then took us from April to October to do all the finish work ourselves. These photos we took along the way so you will see some progression even through this post. I’ll be sharing more in depth about each project we did ourselves but I also wanted to give a quick realistic timeline of what it looks like when there is a lot of DIY involved (and are a working mom with two kids). The good news is we got it to a functioning space in 6 months, before we moved back in, and was able to use it while we deliberated and didn’t rush to choose all the finishing touches at the same time.

So how did we do it? I am sharing my own personal list of must-haves for my kitchen and they might (probably will) be different from yours but I have received SO many “why” questions throughout the process on IG stories that I thought I’d give you the run down and hopefully answer all your burning questions along the way.

Here is a look back at the floorplan of how it was pre-renovation.

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Kitchen Update and Kitchen #2 Design!

This post was done in collaboration with Cafe Appliances

YOU GUYS!!! THIS IS IN MY KITCHEN RIGHT NOW! And I feel so grown up, well almost. There is still a lot of finishing work to be done in the space. Outside of this stunning view is still a bit of a disaster, but I couldn’t help but share an update.

Our kitchen renovation in LA was done on a shoe string budget. We did all the work ourselves, outside of the marble countertops (which was our splurge) and just re-used the previous owner’s appliances. They were generically fine, but they were not “me”. But…in this house I am getting my dream Cafe Appliances (this 36″ range in matte white with the Brushed Bronze hardware SWOOOOON and the Fridge and the Dishwasher), and really making this my kitchen utopia. I will have my first kitchen island, my first pantry, my first larger than a 30” range. It is all happening. I will do a whole post on how we divvied up the work between our GC and us for this renovation but we saved in this kitchen by doing Ikea cabinet boxes and my Sarah Sherman Samuel for SemiHandmade cabinet doors, which we also installed ourselves. This kitchen, along with most all of my projects, is a true mix of high and low and somewhere in between.

Here is a peek at the other side of the room. If you have been following me on my IG Stories, you will have seen all the steps we’ve taken so far to get the kitchen to this point. Five months in the making, but it is starting to look like a real kitchen. Above is where we were just a couple days before the move, the new windows made an incredible difference in opening everything up, and the old small dark kitchen isn’t even recognizable.

And while things are wrapping up in the main kitchen why don’t we just jump right into the design of kitchen number 2! That is right, our #SamuelFamilyFixer has two whole kitchens and I am not mad about it. Two kitchens might sound ridiculous and extravagant but things are bigger in the midwest. ha The house we bought already had two full kitchens. One is on the main floor (where our living room, dining room and bedrooms are) and the other is in the lower level along with another living area, two bedrooms and bathroom. This floor will partly be my home office while the kids are so little, as well as a dedicated place for guests. (Our first time having an actual guest bedroom! Who is coming over?!). So while we do not need a second kitchen, we inherited one and now I am counting all the reasons why I am pumped to have two kitchens.

Let’s be honest, two kitchens is a designers dream! Double the finishes, double the fixtures, double the appliances! All those extra design decisions have me giddy. Twice the chance to put your own style into a kitchen and maybe explore another side of your personality.

Work/Life separation. Once I get my local Michigan design team up and running, employees will be able to enter the office from the lower level without having to go through the rest of the house and we will be all set with our own Sarah Sherman Samuel Inc. office complete with its own kitchen.

Entertaining! Having two kitchens is also an entertainers dream. Extra oven space for big dinners (Thanksgiving at my house this year!), and even for smaller parties, I could mess up the lower level kitchen and use that area for prep behind the scenes while keeping the main kitchen clean where the guest are.

So let’s take a look at what I have planned for kitchen #2

When it came to the main kitchen there was no doubt I wanted it bright and light and you already know how thrilled I was to come across Cafe Appliances and their Matte White finish and their customizable hardware. They are appliances that stand out as a stylish design feature instead of just a utilitarian necessity. So when it came to designing the downstairs kitchen it was a no brainer to bring in Cafe again, however instead of the Matte White I got the Matte Black and they ended up being a big piece of inspiration for the whole {second} kitchen.

In interiors in general I always like the mix of old and new and layering in different textures to create a space that even if it is brand new, feels like there is a story behind it. The Matte finishes on the Cafe Appliances take it from going too modern and sleek and in my opinion give them some soul that when paired with the metallic hardware, it is like they already have my signature style built-in. When thinking about a backsplash, I am looking to use Clé Tile’s zellige or earthenware tile to bring in something with a vintage look to balance out the new cabinets, hardware and countertops. The artwork above, by Sharon Etgar, the Zellige Tile and the Cafe Appliances together perfectly convey the overall vibe of what I am shooting for in kitchen #2. Which I am hoping will be like the artful little sister of kitchen #1.

And here is what started with…

Above is a before photo of the kitchen. So far we have demo’ed everything out and installed some new engineered hardwood flooring over that lovely yellowed floor. A few things I wasn’t loving were how the fridge and range sat right next to each other, crammed in the corner and the off center island is also making me twitch a titch. So far, we have demoed out all the cabinets… my dad re-used them in his wood shop, and we gave the appliances to my aunt who is updating her old kitchen.  Poof, we have a blank slate. We are planning to move the range location to dead center on the back wall so it creates a central focal point and I’ll be doing my favorite trick of maximizing the visual and countertop space by installing the Cafe Undercounter Fridge and forgoing a full sized fridge (it is the second kitchen after all).

So what do you think? Two kitchens, too crazy? or genius? I am team whatever makes you happy, kitchens are personal! And your kitchen or kitchens should be a reflection of you. That is why I was so happy to partner with Cafe Appliances as that is what they are all about.

This post was done in collaboration with Cafe Appliances. All thoughts, ideas and swoons are my own.

For more on our #samuelfamilyfixer check here.

MAIN KITCHEN: Cafe Appliance 36″ Range // Cafe Appliance Dishwasher // SemiHandmade Cabinet fronts by Sarah Sherman Samuel on Ikea Cabinets // Caesarstone “fresh Concrete” countertops // Calacatta Marble Backsplash // Elkay Quartz Sink //

SECOND KITCHEN: Art by Sharon Etgar // Cafe Appliance Undercounter Refrigerator // Cafe Appliance 30″ Range // Clé Terracotta Tile // Counter Stool // Vase // Footed Bowl // Engineered Hardwood Floor from Build Direct

Bri’s low-lift kitchen reno

a kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuelI am often asked for advice on how to update kitchens on a budget or without too much work and with this kitchen we pulled out all the tricks. It is the kitchen of Bri Emery of Design Love Fest, we gave her kitchen a major upgrade with almost no heavy lifting and I’m here to tell you all the secrets.

a kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuela kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuelFirst thing first, we got pretty lucky… when Bri and I met to chat about what she wanted to do in her kitchen, the first thing I checked was who made her existing cabinets and we both celebrated when we found out it was already an Ikea kitchen. The reason for the big celebration was because that meant we could use the SemiHandmade doors and drawer fronts that I designed without having to change out any of her cabinet boxes (which also meant we didn’t have to touch the beautiful marble countertops either).  All we had to do was swap out the Ikea doors and drawer fronts for the SemiHandmade ones for a different look. It really is the ultimate Ikea hack.

When Bri bought the house it had just undergone a complete renovation. The finishes were well chosen for a flip so while they might not have had a ton of personality, the kitchen wasn’t offensive in anyway. There was already the great marble countertops (remember how when I did her dining room we added an overhang behind the range so we could add a seating area with stools?) but when paired with white semi-gloss flat cabinets, white shiny subway tile, and brushed nickel/stainless hardware, overall the space was pretty cookie cutter. It didn’t reflect the personality or style that Bri is known for.

a kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuela kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuelAnother simple way of updating a kitchen that we’ve all heard 100 times, but if you haven’t tried you will be surprised as to just how much it works, is switching out the cabinet hardware. The silver ones she had were nice and modern but by using a more unique shape and color, the whole space fees more bespoke. We used the hardware I designed for Park Studio in the half moon, and the ottawa.

a kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuela kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuela kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuelNext was where things did get a little construction dirty but for a full kitchen update it was pretty minimal and only took a couple days (like 3!). We had her backsplash demolished and re-tiled with this stunning Tabarka Studio tile. It is a cement tile with a brass inlay and after mulling over the backsplash tile for months, we saw this one and knew it was it. I then created a more unexpected pattern using them vertically on one half and horizontally on the other half, having the pattern meet in the middle on the diagonal.

a kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuelAnd finally, in order to utilize some vertical wasted space, we added a SemiHandmade floating shelf above a bank of cabinets to give her some extra surface area for storage and utility items.

a kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuelIf all that is still too much for your budget or time commitment and you are desperate for a change in the kitchen… lay down a new rug, and pick some fresh flowers for an instant kitchen pick me up.

Shop the look:
Cabinet Doors by Sarah Sherman Samuel for SemiHandmade, On Ikea Cabinets // Hardware by Sarah Sherman Samuel for Park Studio // Tile by Tabarka Studio // Stools from All Modern // Glass Storage Canisters  // Mortar and Pestle by Sheldon Ceramics 
Pink vase by Lux Eros // Cutting Board

Images by Tessa Neustadt

Here’s a look at a couple side by side before and afters.

a kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuel
This is facing the opposite direction but you get the idea…

a kitchen renovation in a few days // updating design love fest's kitchen with sarah sherman samuel

And let’s not forget about what we did in the dining room right next door…

 

Read all about the dining room here. 

And her back yard patio, here.

Aframe 2.0… the living room & kitchen

Remember this old girl? Well, we sold our A-frame last year and before I could say goodbye, I re-designed it for the new owners, Caroline and Jayden of Team Woodnote and Caroline’s brother Robert. They were made for this magical setting and I was excited to infuse their personalities into the space while giving the a-frame a fresh new look!

Today I’m sharing the living room and kitchen area and how we switched it up.

You might remember the layout before and how I had one long sofa… we rearranged the seating area with two custom parallel sofas in a yellow velvet which kept the low and loungey vibe but in a little more tailored way. I brought in a lot of geometric shapes but kept it soft by also incorporating the natural textures of rattan and jute. A few bright pops of color top it off while still letting the architecture take center stage.

A new custom wall hanging hangs over the fireplace and we kept the kitchen the same with the exception of some different styling. New dishes, a new rug from Blockshop, both add a bit more color.

Stay tuned for how we changed up the bedrooms (I actually think I like the master bedroom even better now!).

SHOP THE LOOK:

LIVING ROOM:
Sofas: Kim Salmela in Kravet’s Crypton Home Beacon Fabric in Lemon / Yellow Pillow: Flurries Pillow from curatedkravet.com / Cane Chairs: Marte Lounge Chairs from Urban Outfitters / Coffee Table: Copper Clad Coffee Table from West Elm / Bowls: Horta Bowl from curatedkravet.com.com and Calla Bowl from curatedkravet.com / Jute Rug: Helvetia Hand-Woven Brown Area Rug from Wayfair / White Side Tables: Round Table with White Structure from Zara Home / Teal Side Table: Vermut Metal Side Table from CB2 / Lamp: Hanna White Floor Lamp from CB2 / Floor Pillows: Hawa Floor Pillow in Cream from Lulu and Georgia / Macrame: Custom by Elsie Goodwin of Reform Fibers / Vase: Addie Circle Vase from Urban Outfitters / Bar Cart: Monaco Bar Cart from Serena & Lily

KITCHEN:
Teal Dishes: Rockaway 12-Piece Dining Set from Urban Outfitters / White Dishes: Flitighet from IKEA / Cutting Boards: Society6 / Rug: Swallowtail from Block Shop Cabinet Doors by Sarah Sherman Samuel for Semihandmade // Hardware from Ikea // Rug is vintage from Frances Loom // Tile by Fireclay Tile (2×6 in Calcite) // Faucet from Homary // Range and self circulating range hood by Ikea // Countertops from Ikea  // Floating Shelf from Semi-Handmade // Sink from Ikea  // Sconces by Cedar and Moss  // Fridge by Kitchenaid 

EXTERIOR:
End Chairs: Borneo Patio Dining Chairs from Wayfair /  Concrete Stools from Wayfair // Dining Table from Ikea // Seat Cushions from H&M // Side Chairs from Target (no longer available find similar here)