Wednesday, August 27, 2014

lakeside remix: kitchen

good morning and welcome to day three of our cabin re-design!

today grace is here, and she is remaking a tiny kitchen into a breezy, beautiful, welcoming jewel-box of a space. i try to maintain some degree of professionalism on this blog, so i've edited out all the capital letters, exclamation points, and freak-out noises that this kitchen incited in me when i first started writing about it. but seriously, i love it sooo much and can't wait for you to see it.

but first, let me introduce my guest. grace is the brilliant mind behind the big reveal blog, a decor and DIY space (mainly) where she talks about the things she's got going on at home and in life. (my facebook friends will recognize her as the author of the over-the-top-hilarious disney world post that i was gushing about recently). grace comes at blogging with a genuine and honest openness and a hysterical wit that makes you feel like her friend after reading only one post. not only is she one of the best writers i know, but she has some serious design skillz as well.

ready to see her kitchen??

{full sources- and you're going to want them- are at the end of the post}

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When Laura sent the link to the lakeside cabin, I was instantly drawn to the kitchen. It gave me flashbacks to my childhood and spending time at my grandparents’ shore side lake house on Smith Mountain Lake back in Virginia. I remember that lake house with the retroactive amnesia-induced fondness of many childhood memories: Making homemade peach ice cream with my Mom (conveniently forgetting the million hours it took to hand crank), baking in the sun with my cousins out of on the dock (what sunburns?), being super cool in front of my older brother’s friends (what? I was cool…in my mind.) Driving those 45 minutes to the lake house each weekend was always filled with such anticipation and childlike excitement (and, occasional motion-induced nausea...)

When I saw the kitchen in Laura’s imaginary cabin, my brain exploded with ideas and I enthusiastically jumped in with both feet. While it would be amazing to open up the space to the living areas, I decided to simply update the space I had.

While I am all about salvaging what I can, I feel like this space could use a complete and utter gut job. For the do over, I wanted the space to be light and bright, sophisticated, but approachable. I used this kitchen as a jumping off point:

I would replace the upper cabinets with white upper cabinets on one side and open shelving on the other. The bottom cabinets would be painted a rich, but lively blue. I fell in love with the aptly named Bosporus blue from the West Elm paint collection for Sherwin Williams. I am an absolute sucker for an all white kitchen, but the pop of blue makes the kitchen feel alive. I finished off the cabinets with stunning modern gold drawer pulls.

Keeping the same layout, I would add a white farmhouse sink, a small Wolf gas range, and new fridge. I die for these Cambria Torquay countertops. In fact, I kind of have my heart set on them for my own home if the budget fairy ever lays a giant cash egg on my doorstep (do fairies lay eggs?) The countertops have the look of a Carrera marble, but are super family and budget friendly. Above the sink, the round, milky glass pendant from West Elm gives a nod to the classic feel, but still feels a bit mid century modern.

In front of the window, I would add this beautiful white tulip based table and two clear LexMod Slither dining chairs. I didn’t want to overwhelm the space with seating, since the cabin features a well-decorated adjacent dining room, but did want to have just enough eat-in space to grab a quick bite or to chat while the chef du jour makes my bacon (What? I can’t have a chef?) Above the table hangs this cagey gold diamond pendant that keeps the space from feeling too traditional.

When I think about how the space will be used, I imagined sneaking down in the first morning light and sipping a cup of coffee by the window before the rest of the house wakes, making big breakfasts for the gaggle of kids that would spill into Kyla’s gorgeous dining room, and later having a glass of wine with the girls while we cook dinner. I wanted the space to have a balance of serenity and the straight up joy of family.

Because the space is so classic, the accessories really make it sing. I essentially went on an Anthropologie binge, because I always heart their kitchen collections. There was no question that the Stripes Abound apron would end up in the mix. Ever since I incorporated it into a silent auction basket for my daughter’s school, I have been obsessed with having one. Is it practical? Probably not. Do I heart it? Absolutely yes.

I also liked the idea of balancing all the white with some wood elements. From the bamboo knife block to the wooden spoons perched in a white canister, wood just grounds the space. A little terrarium for the table could be filled with succulents (obviously, this would not be a blogger kitchen without them), but also bits of wood or rocks found by the kids. I love the painted sea fan included in this one. While this cabin isn’t next to the sea, I like the subtle nod to the water.

To infuse the kitchen with a little more color, I like these cute salt and pepper vessels to leave out on the counter, along with the modern geometric dishtowels, abstract napkins and straight-outta-your-grandma’s kitchen washcloths. The little bits of yellow feel sunshiney and fresh.

If I could add but one bit of luxury, I would build this coffeemaker into the wall:

My sister has a similar model in her home and nothing is better than being able to have on-demand coffee. If Laura’s lake house is anything like my grandparents’, people filter in throughout the morning and afternoon on their own schedule and could easily customize their coffee from straight up to venti mochafrappalattelicious at the touch of a button. Bonus points for having no coffee pot to clean up at the end of a long sun-filled lake day!

For me, what absolutely makes the space is taking down these wee little half walls that stick up at the end of the counter to reveal a gorgeous gallery space:

I am a big fan of Michelle Armas and used her large print to start this fun and diverse collection. I pulled the other prints from Minted, which has such unique, but affordable designs.

I love the hat wearing surfer, the geometric hexagons, and the abstract yellow Meadowlark. The colors look so beautiful together and the prints are perfectly complementary without being too matchy matchy or competing. To provide a bit of balance for the wall, so it isn’t too airy, I added two black-based prints.

First, the Landing black birds which the artist took at sunset in San Fransisco. I imagined these birds flying over the lake while we sit on the dock dipping our toes into the water. My favorite, though, is the Free To Be black stallion print. Since this cabin reminds me so much of my tales of youth, the wild, running horse brought back memories of reading Misty of Chincoteague all tucked into bed (with my mom adding her own southern drawl to the character’s voices.) Happiness is that moment right there…

The kitchen in many homes is the center, the hub that draws the family together and I imagine this kitchen will, too. While it is a small space, it is rich and luxurious, yet simple and approachable which is the perfect combination for those fun family weekends at this cabin retreat.

Till Friday,

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i was so excited to get to the kitchen, and though i love it ALL, my favorite part has to be that gallery of artwork. i would happily throw every one of those in my house today and call it good. i love how they evoke the water-side spirit of the cabin without being too literal, and are modern without being at all stark or harsh.

bravo, grace! and thank you so very much. i just absolutely love everything about this.

grace will be back on friday to close things out with a dreamy bedroom, and in the meantime you can visit her at the big reveal. you'll love getting to know her as much as i have. tell her i sent you and hi!

stay tuned for tomorrow when my friend summer will be putting her touch on the cabin's bathroom. it's going from very sad to completely fabulous.

{did you miss a day? catch up here and here!}


{complete sources for this post:}

fittings, furniture & finishes:

paint- bosporus blue by sherwin williams
gold drawer pulls- hartert-russell home
countertops- cambria torquay
globe pendant- west elm, milk finish
tulip table- lex mod via amazon
slither dining chairs- lex mod via amazon
cage pendant- JSPR
coffee maker- wolf


apron- 'stripes abound' by anthropologie
bamboo knife block- anthropologie
wooden spoons- anthropologie
white canisters- 'bianca' utensil jar, anthropologie
salt & pepper vessels- 'basin' by anthropologie
dishtowels- 'dijon triangles' by circular accessories via etsy
napkins- 'abstract palma' napkins by anthropologie
washcloths- 'lussi crocheted dishcloths' by anthropologie
terrarium- sea and asters via etsy


large print (top left)- michelle armas
horse print- 'free to be' by leslie le coq via minted
birds- 'landing' by neeta sawhney via minted
surfer- 'topanga hat wearing surfer' by annie seaton via minted
yellow abstract- 'meadowlark series 2' by stacy kron via minted
geometric- 'hexagon cluster' by yao cheng via minted


  1. Laura, thank you so much for letting me be part of this series! It has been so. much. fun! And, that house is shaping up to be fab. When can I move in?

    1. thank YOU grace! i know, that's what i keep asking myself!! #iwish

  2. Grace, did you know my aunt and uncle live on Smith Mountain Lake??? Seriously! That place is in timbuktu! Such a weird little coincidence! It's absolutely beautiful there!

  3. Ooooh! Love! I spy one of my artwork pieces!


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