Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Kitchen Redesign

Do you give any thought to the style of the home’s exterior when you are planning to design an interior space? 

When I think of how I would like to redesign my kitchen,  I envision a Provencal style home in the south of France.  The interior design style of this home would  have all the dreamy European elements,  seventeenth century cobblestone floors, aged architectural elements, steel windows and doors, farmhouse sink, etc.  to go along with it. sigh

Back to reality. We reside in a suburban So-CA home. The elements and features have appropriately been referred to as “cookie cutter.”  With that in mind, we’re planning to keep our  kitchen somewhat in sync with our builder’s design layout. I plan to use a few design ideas from Tyler Florence’s Kitchen of the Year at Rockefeller Center. 

We moderately redesigned our small space kitchen 10 years ago and as a designer that seems like an eternity. At that time we replaced the existing tile on the island with a “Sahara Green” granite slab, backsplash with 4”x4” tumbled travertine tile, counter surfaces with travertine slab. Stainless cook top and hood, faucet, dishwasher, hardware. The floor is also travertine. Okay, yep I can honestly say I’m seriously travertined out !!!


Here are a few of my inspiration photos for our kitchen redesign:

I was immediately drawn to the dramatic black island, Who knew? I fell in love with it!!!

I’ve always been inspired by copper elements and often incorporate them into my designs. I dig the open shelf concept on the side of the island.

Tyler Florence’s Kitchen of the Year!

We plan to remove our tumbled travertine backsplash and replace with subway tiles. Seen below Tyler chose to use more of a vanilla color subway tile,  which gives more of an aged look to his kitchen. {Caliper series subway tile in Warm Candle by Ann Sacks.} Although you cannot really see the subway tile in this image. :-(

I heart these French library wall lamps from Circa Lighting.

I’d like,   to use a pair of these lanterns from {South of Market} above the Island “ be still my beating heart.”

I’d love to hear from y’all,  if anyone could recommend where we could purchase two vintage inspired lanterns for above our island. This one is a skosh over our budget at $4950 each.


Our moderate redesign we will be focusing on the millwork. We’re planning to upgrade the existing kitchen island and cabinets with beadboard and fancy crown molding. Always evolving, I envision  sprucing up the white cabinets and refinishing the Island in black. Yikes, I know what your thinking, gutsy ha? But if you know me at all I can be fearless at times.  Keeping in mind it’s only paint and can easily be changed.

Our Kitchen before redesign

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Surround the frig  with millwork, so that it has a built-in appearance. We love the clean lines of the cabinet depth KitchenAid frig,  no more bulky frig sides to get in the way. YaY!

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Our Nine foot Island makes a statement as soon as you enter in the room.

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We plan to use 4’ x 8’ beadboard paneling to cover this side of the island and in several other locations. It’s cost affective and easy to work with.

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We will also use the beadboard paneling on the cabinet door fronts,  for a more updated look.

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Proposed baseboard and island crown molding.

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My husband will have two assistants on board for this project, myself and our English Labrador, Titus! Doesn't he look like a puppy??? He is eight years old,  I think his Botox is working! lol


May the games begin!!

After cutting our paneling to fit, with a circular saw Robert applies adhesive to adhere our paneling.

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Island with our first two newly installed beadboard panels.

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This image ( seen below) you are looking down, we used 1'” x 4” lumber as backing behind the baseboards for a more beefy profile.

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The finer details in life . . .

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Inexpensive casings on top of the paneling.  To give the beadboard a more finished look.

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Fill joints with wood caulking.

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Fill any nail holes with caulking.

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Sand all joints, AaaAaAaahhhhhchooooooo!

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I found a old pair of cycling gloves to use for sanding. They were supposed to be used for all that cycling,  we planned to do together, NOT . . .

The inside corners weren't fun,  and neither were Robert’s raw fingers, he didn’t think about using gloves,  such a guy thing. :-)

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She’s coming together,  can’t wait to paint!!!

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It’s a wrap for this weekend. Bob has a master’s race Sunday, and he will be going into “the hurt locker.” lol


That’s my hunk in the red helmet.

Come back next week for more kitchen beautification ideas!!!




For design inquiries, write to Laurie at


  1. i dislike black on furniture cause it shows the dust! but it does give a classy, classic look! :) Esther

  2. Hi Laurie, I love all the plans for your kitchen. Great transformation on the island and I love the bead board and trim. xo, Sherry

  3. I can't wait to see the end result. Looking pretty fabulous so far!


  4. For what it's worth... consider black on the cabinets with pewter handles. Think about doing something different (texture/color) with the island to include the countertops. Keep your countertops for the rest of the kitchen. Look at removing some of the upper cabinets and replacing with shelving. Open up the entire wall behind the range and stagger subway tile. Add a pot racks or pots/shelving on these walls. Remove some of the cabinet doors and replace with burlap or linen "curtains". Can e-mail some photos. xoxo

    Kim @

  5. Love Kim's idea's, I so would do some shelving in place of upper cabinet's, I also love the grain sack look of runner curtains on lower level openings like Kim, black hmmm! I would love to see a natural driftwood finish stain finish in a grey along with something in the feel and look of those fabulous washed with age lanterns. I think you could pull off a grey with the mix of the natural tone of burlap and your undertones in the tile. The grey will be a softer tone of black yet dramatic like black but softer with great impact to the room adding that european feel of old world French timeless and never dating itself always in step and time of all thing French without screaming I am trendy French :)

    If I find four of those lanterns (close to them) I will share two of them with you and two of them for me! :)

    Laurie I love the runner and also love the table and parson chairs covered in white. Laurie you always create beauty and beauty that inspires.
    Your talent is something to love and admire :)

    I will keep my eyes open for those desired or something close to those lanterns :)

    Did you visit Bella Rustica, I helped Kim with placing a play list of music for her blog and I created her header, I also sent off to my mail list to encourage ones to shop by and enter her giveaway so she can build a stronger following.

    Ps. Yes Your man is a hunk, like I said you both are bella inspiration Barbie and Ken dolls :)


  6. Oh Laurie! It is going to be gorgeous!!! I can't wait to see the finished result! How long did it take to do all the moulding? Those finishing touches are going to make the island exquisite! Can't wait to see the millwork around cabinets! Are you painting cabinets too? I know you will keep up posted! I'll keep my eyes open for lanterns...the finish on those is amazing! Thanks for the inspiration! Christi


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Laurie Blaswich