samuel family fixer

our custom sink-right-in family sofa

It is family room share time! This is the room we live in the most which is ironic because while we lived here for 6 months before the renovation, no one wanted to spend one minute in it. It sat empty, save for a rug, and was used just as a passageway from the kitchen to the living room. Before we renovated the room was closed off from the kitchen and the archways didn’t exist. It felt kind of like a bunker as there wasn’t one window or view outside, with the only exception of the skylight above.

Now that it is open to the kitchen and with the implementation of a few strategic openings it has become the central hub. Knowing this would be the case I wanted all the furniture in this space to be extra comfortable and since I usually gravitate towards more tailored or sculptural furniture I had a hard time finding pieces that were just as beautiful as comfortable. SO, I set out to design my own. The sofa that is (well the rug and the coffee table are also my own designs but I will touch on those later).

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the making of a kids bath

Our kid’s bath in our SamuelfamilyFixer was previously the laundry room and when we removed the bathroom near the kitchen (to make our pantry) we knew we would take over the laundry space for bathroom that was dedicated just for the littles. It gave me the opportunity to flex my favorite kind of design muscle, and add a little whimsy into the space while still keeping with the aesthetic of the rest of the house. The room was dark and had no windows, as it has no outside walls, but that didn’t stop me from adding a round window, front and center above the tub, which looks into the more light filled entryway and created a beautiful moment on both sides of the wall.

But back to the bathroom…. I had a short must-have for this space.

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Our DIY kitchen Island

I’ve started a monthly column over on Domino where I will be sharing some projects in depth and the first one has been centered around our downstairs kitchen. This week we covered the DIY of our kitchen Island!

Here is another look at the before photo to see where we started.

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primary bathroom tour

It has been a minute since I’ve continued the house tour, so much has happened… I had no idea just how much this room would become my happy place. My ‘take a bath and decompress and actually never leave the house’ happy place. I had a shoot planned in April for the entire house (before that I only had the photos from our Domino feature) but obviously the shoot was cancelled while we were all on shelter in place orders. Before that, however, I did get a chance to shoot the kitchen for my new Semihandmade cabinet front launch in February with John and Maura Stoffer and while they were here they snagged a few shots of our principal bath. So while I still want to change out these mirrors (they are like 3″ too short and I can’t not see it. ha) at least I can share the beautiful space where I have been washing my hands again and again and trying to pretend I am on a really long vacation. Which of course gets quickly interrupted by two kids that need me the second I step foot in here. every. single. time. :)

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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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