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#SIVANDIEGO – The Kitchen

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Welcome to the first post of my latest (& biggest) project #SivanDiego! 

Today I’m going to give the rundown of everything we did in the kitchen on a macro level. If you’re interested in seeing a post on the all the little details / decor, let me know in the comments and I’m happy to compile that for you all in one place (at least the things that are available / shoppable / similar) but a lot of it is the same as our last kitchen which I detailed here. Okay, let’s just just right in. 

The kitchen is my pride & joy, obviously. It’s the space we spend the most time in, so it had to be BIG, functional, and exactly how I envisioned it. Let me just get this out of the way – this is my 3rd house, so I now know the things that I like, dislike, are important to me, etc. I would never enter such a major remodel without the experience I have or without the help of someone experienced. So yeah, this is my dream kitchen (right now lol) and I’m very happy with how it turned out. With that said, we also allocated a lot of our budget to the kitchen since the finishes and style I like are not cheap. Good things are worth the wait (& saving up for)!



The Island

I love me a big huge island. It’s where everyone hangs out, grazes, cooks, serves themselves, you get it. Since we had the space, we maximized it and did a 12′ long island. I personally love this for functionality and aesthetics. To me, it’s cleaner to have a lot of lower cabinetry versus a lot of top cabinetry, so a big island helps achieve this. We have a ton of deep drawer space and pull out shelves in the island, as well as push-to-open concealed cabinetry on the opposite side. One of the perks of building everything from scratch (& customizing things in general), is the ability to map out all your needs. I literally sat down with our designer and mapped out every type of utensil, appliance, dishware, etc. we have in order to create the best possible layout for our stuff and how we use the kitchen. 

The Counters

Our island and backsplash are a type of honed (matte) marble called Arabescato Vagli. It’s the perfect mixture of gray and beige IMO, so it doesn’t read blue or too black and white. I’ve had marble countertops in all 3 houses so I know the drill. No citrus, vinegar, or anything acidic on the counters, and if you do get it on the marble, clean it up asap. Pretty easy if you ask me. A lot of people message me asking if it’s doable with kids and I say ABSOLUTELY! You just can’t be lazy. 

As an accent, since we have a substantial amount of counter space, I wanted something simple, without a lot of noticeable veining. I ended up picking a very affordable black granite, which also happens to be one of the most durable options. Since those slabs were a lot less $$$ than the marble, I also went ahead with a custom sink (40″ wide) made out of this material. 



The Hardware

For the plumbing fixtures (sink, prep sink, pot filler, etc.) I went with the Chesterfield collection from Newport Brass in the uncoated polished brass {03N}. This finish does patina over time and shows water spots, but I personally love the way it ages. It looks a bit more “vintage” and expensive. A lot of brass can look very orangey or fake looking, and that is something I’m verrrrry picky / specific about (just like how I am about my jewelry tbh). 

In terms of cabinet hardware, this has been a very popular question, and here it is: Ashley Norton Traditional pulls in Satin Brass and Ashley Norton Egg knobs in Satin Brass. 

Floors

Oooophh the floors were a shitshow. I had references for days, but it seems like a lot of what I like in pictures is usually filtered, exorbitantly expensive, or just unavailable. We explored many options for the floors and considered everything from used limestone “with history” (Paul quickly nixed that idea due to $$$) to way cheaper options that would ultimately look out of place in the kitchen. We landed on a tumbled (a term for imperfect edges) Dalle De Tremont French limestone that was still pricey, but a lot more reasonable than the limestone that pretty much belonged in a museum. 

Since limestone is a natural stone, each “batch” of tiles will come totally different, and with a lot of variances. Some pieces were super dark or extra textured, so we had to select the location of each piece to ensure it flowed nicely. 



Appliances

Appliance shopping was fun! Until delivery dates kept creeping later and later….we are still waiting on our freezer drawers. Anyway, for our needs, we went with a SubZero fridge only. Since we were living without a freezer for years, we wanted to maximize the fridge space. We also wanted the size of the fridge to be long and narrow for visual purposes. Very happy with our decision so far.

As I mentioned, we have freezer drawers coming for the island and also one for the pantry. 

The range we went with is Wolf. I love it. It’s super accurate in terms of heat, and also goes very low. My last range (Viking) was always so hot that I had to adjust my cooking to learn how to compensate for that. Now I feel like I can take my time cooking and I really like it. We went with the 48″ to gain a little more counter space on either side of the range, rather than doing the 60″ and losing counter space. 

The dishwashers are Miele. We did 2 since we always have a ton of people over at once for dinners. Again, very happy with this decision, especially with the kids. 

For those wondering where our microwave is, it’s hidden away in the pantry in a drawer. A microwave drawer is definitely a nice upgrade for us. 

Cabinetry

Like the floors, I’ve learned that showing pictures of things I like doesn’t always mean it’s achievable or realistic. I basically wanted raw oak cabinets, but that would never last in a kitchen. I hated every stain possible, so it was a scramble to figure out just how people have these stunning oak kitchens that don’t look stained (aka orange). The solution was a magical wax treatment that I don’t fully know anything about except that it’s irreversible. So far it has held up very nicely. I do see some fingerprints on highly used cabinets (like the trash and fridge) but otherwise, it looks brand new. 

As far as where I got the cabinets, they are all custom. Like I mentioned above, we mapped out every cabinet and drawer and placed things according to my lifestyle. I also wanted that fun paneled detail on certain cabinets for added texture, so all of that = custom. 

The same oak that we used for the cabinets were used to make the floating shelves.



Lighting

For whatever reason, I really struggle with lighting. Probably because everything I like is $1000000000. For the kitchen, I splurged on the statement light over the island since it’s such an important piece. I found it on a site called Lucent Lightshop and it is absolutely beautiful. Couldn’t be happier with that purchase. 

Wall Color

We went with a non-stark white option for the whole main house. White Dove by Maria Killam. 

OKAY, I think that’s everything! For those wondering, we did use a designer since this was such a large project. I needed someone who not only understood my vision but also could keep the men building everything in check (aka following the vision) since I’m, you know, psycho about these things. It was also very helpful to have a local designer since we weren’t in San Diego while this was being built, to be able to check on the project often. 

If you have any other questions leave a comment down below! 

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