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Home Reveal Series: Kitchen & Dining Room

by | May 5, 2024

Today is a day that’s been a long time coming! From being HGTV’s biggest fan as a child, glued to shows like Debby Travis, Divine Design, and Trading Spaces every Saturday and Sunday morning, to now having the opportunity to design and build our very own home – it’s been a journey that I’ve been so excited to share with you all!

Looking back on the early stages of pinning inspiration, selecting materials, and dreaming up every detail, it’s truly surreal to see it all come to fruition. Building a home is no small task, and being on the other side of what I watched so many others live through on HGTV was an eye-opening experience with so many things to learn!

Starting today and over the next few months, I’ll be unveiling details about every single room in our home! I’m so excited to finally kick things off!

To start my Home Reveal Series, I’m giving you all of the nitty-gritty details on both, my kitchen and dining room!! If there is any place in our home where we pulled out all the stops it was the kitchen. Because let’s face it, as a food blogger I basically live here! I truly love every single room in our home but if I had to pick, the kitchen just might be my favorite. It’s where Walt and I spent most of our design budget and it’s where we plan to spend the most time, outside of the bedroom and outdoor living space.  But I’ll be honest, if I could go back and do it all over again, there are a few things I would change! I broke up all of the key elements below and am super happy to answer any questions you may have of course, just comment at the end of the post!

Kitchen Cabinets

Our home isn’t completely custom but fortunately, our builder allowed us quite a lot of customization. We changed up a few things in our kitchen to give the home a more custom feel and to make it more efficient for us. Starting with a huge part of a Kitchen, the cabinetry!

Cabinetry Height: The first upgrade we made in the kitchen was extending the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. This isn’t just for aesthetics; it eliminates wasted space on empty walls, adds more storage space and creates a high-end appeal. If you have the option, I highly recommend it as it elevates the entire look of the kitchen.

Cabinet Function: Let’s dive into the functionality of our kitchen cabinetry! I’ll be sharing the storage solutions we used, opening up every drawer and door for you to see!

Starting with the lower cabinets on the main cabinetry wall, we opted for pull-out cabinet drawers. I highly recommend drawers on lower cabinets because they offer a much more practical and ergonomic option compared to cabinet doors. With a drawer, items and bulky kitchen appliances at the back of the cabinet are easily accessible without having to remove the items in front. This upgrade has been a game-changer for us and one I do not regret!

When it comes to planning out your kitchen cabinetry in a new home build or kitchen renovation, the possibilities are endless. Consider where you want everything to be placed in your kitchen before you finalize your cabinetry drawings. Here are some additional tips:

  • Slide-out Pan Storage: Incorporate slide-out pan storage in a cabinet door to keep your pans organized and easily accessible.
  • Pull-out Garbage and Recycle: Include pull-out bins for garbage and recycling to keep them out of sight but conveniently within reach.
  • In-cabinet Spice Drawer: A dedicated spice drawer keeps all your spices visible and easily accessible while cooking (I even like to put mine in alphabetical order LOL). This is the exact spice organizer I have in my Kitchen it is high quality and I recieve so many compliments on this feature.
  • Shallow, Wide Pull-outs for Cooking Utensils: Install shallow, wide pull-outs near your stovetop to store cooking utensils for quick access while cooking. The wider, the better! Consider having custom dividers built-in to easily organize your cooking utensils, separating them by type such as baking utensils, serving utensils, and more.
  • Under Counter Microwave: Consider installing a microwave under the counter to save space on your countertops and maintain a streamlined look in your kitchen.
  • Pull Down Appliance Cabinet: I’m fortunate to have a pantry in our home to store my coffee maker, air fryer, stand mixer, etc. However, if your kitchen is the main space, think about where you want to place these items. An idea to keep a clean, clutter-free look on your kitchen counter space is to have a pull-down hidden appliance cabinet on your counter to hide your appliances behind.
  • Interior Pull-out Drawers: If your lower cabinets have doors, consider adding interior pull-out drawers. These are a must-have for me because they make accessing everything stored inside the cabinets a breeze. Say goodbye to rummaging in the back of the cabinet to find what you need!

Planning these features before finalizing your cabinetry drawings ensures that your kitchen will function exactly how you dream it will.

Pro Tip: One important thing to ask your cabinet installers is how much weight the drawers can support, as you need to know how much weight the rails can handle. Heavy serving items like platters or stacks of plates can cause stress on the rail systems. Make sure your drawers can support a good amount of weight. 

Cabinet Colors: It was a blessing in disguise that our home was not fully custom, as I was not able to pick my own cabinet paint color, which at first made me really sad! I knew I wanted a shade of white, and picking out the right shade was like finding a needle in a haystack – some were too warm, others were too pink! The home came with Thermofoil cabinets, something I was not familiar with before this build. Fingers crossed, I chose white (there was only one option for white LOL), but I am so happy with how they turned out. The white is bright, airy, but not too stark, and it still maintains the homey feel I wanted to capture throughout the entire home.

Cabinet Profile: For all the cabinetry in the Kitchen (and throughout the entire home), we opted for a simple shaker profile. Timeless and beautiful! Additionally, I decided to add glass doors to the upper cabinets in the bar section, and it made a huge difference! The glass not only breaks up the space but also distinguishes the bar area from the rest of the kitchen cabinetry. Plus, it’s a perfect spot to showcase all my pretty wine glasses and decanters. I upgraded the builder-grade shelves in the bar area with 3/8″ thick tempered glass shelves, adding an elegant touch to the space. In my opinion, when you have glass doors, glass shelves look far superior!

Pro Tip: Something you may not think of, but is crucial when designing your cabinets, is opting for soft-close hinges. I am so happy I went ahead with soft close as they provide a quieter and smoother closing action, protecting your cabinets from damage and ensuring they last longer. 

Cabinet Hardware: I waffled so hard on hardware, LOL! I had these oil rubbed bronze cabinet pulls picked out for the longest time, and at the last minute, I switched to brass – BEST MOVE EVER! They really warm up the space. I loved them so much that I decided to go with these hardware pieces throughout the entire home. I personally love a touch of cohesion throughout a home as it creates a unified look in every room you enter.

Kitchen Island

In hindsight, I wish I had made the island larger! We spend about 90% of our time in this space, and now I find myself wishing for more prepping space. As they say, bigger really is always better! I learned this the hard way.

Another thing you can never have too much of is storage, especially in a kitchen! Think about it – I love my different holiday decor, placemats for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, punch bowls, and more. One thing I regret not doing is putting storage underneath the island on the side where the counter stools are (ps: here’s a link for the counter stools). 

Something I love is the panels we have underneath the island on the counter stool side. Yes, the counter stools cover this paneling, but you still can see it, and I love the panel look over just plain builder-grade flat plywood. 

Sink and Faucets

I was set on having a farmhouse sink and ended up choosing this Kohler one with the divide offset from the middle – it was the perfect choice. I highly recommend this design over a single sink – having a separate area to drain vegetables or rinse dishes is so convenient. Our faucet is from the Odin collection by Brizo in the luxe gold finish, which complements the pendant lights beautifully. I’m so happy with how well these brass tones match. We also added a soap dispenser from the same collection, which adds a sleek touch to the island and keeps the counter clutter-free.

Backsplash and Countertops

Kitchens are high-traffic areas where durability is key. Opting for a durable natural or engineered stone countertop is crucial. Look for materials that are scratch-resistant and easy to clean, so you can handle spills like red wine from my Old Fashioned Beef Stew Recipe or turmeric from my Easy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe. I wanted the elegance of marbled Carrara without the maintenance, so we chose Magnifica Encore Polished Porcelain Slab in Calacatta Super White for all our kitchen surfaces. Its light marbling adds a classic touch while being highly resistant to stains. We extended this slab into our pantry to tie the two areas together.

Pro Tip: Opt for a thicker countertop on the island, preferably 2-3 inches thick, for a more elevated look.

Electrical Sockets: Let’s face it, electrical sockets aren’t the prettiest things. One of the clever touches I adore about our island is the placement of the electrical sockets. With the porcelain tile waterfall edge on either side of the island, we avoided cluttering the slab’s beauty by positioning the sockets discreetly on the cabinetry side! We also did this on the slab backsplash keeping it free of electrical sockets, opting instead to place them underneath the upper cabinetry near the under-cabinet lighting. Highly recommend this and so happy we thought of this when designing this kitchen.  

Range & Hood Fan

I cook a lot, so getting the work flow of the kitchen right was super important to us. From a design perspective, one of the best things that we did was to widen the space between the island and the stove (we have 4 ½ feet between the two): it gives us just that little bit more room to work in, and there are zero issues with the dishwasher. Of course, I can’t forget to mention the kitchen’s focal point – this stunning hood range! If there’s one element worth investing in, it’s definitely the hood range. It adds such a cozy touch compared to a standard metal hood range.

Pendant Lights

I’m SO in love with these Botanist Dome Pendants in vintage brass from RH that we installed in the kitchen. The fixture above our dining room table is also from RH. As the heart of the home, I explored various lighting options, and while the pendants above the island were a splurge, they truly make the space. The brass tone is just right—not too bright, not too dull—and adds a touch of class while remaining cozy. The glass is the thickest I’ve ever seen on a pendant light, giving them a luxurious feel. I highly recommend these pendants; we’ve received countless compliments on them!

Pro Tip: When installing pendant lights, it’s crucial to consider the weight of your light fixtures and ensure your ceiling has enough support for heavier options. This should be addressed before construction starts on your home. Investing in proper support, especially for main areas like the dining room, living room or front foyer is highly recommended. Builder-grade homes typically don’t include extra ceiling support for heavy fixtures (50+ pounds), so be sure to discuss this with your builder.

Dining Room Reveal

dining room

Custom shades from Blinds Are Beautiful in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada completely transformed this cozy corner of our home. Collaborating with Bonnie, the owner of Blinds Are Beautiful and Addie Birch Home Furnishings was incredibly informative on selecting the perfect drapes and blinds. Who knew there was so much to consider when choosing drapery? (Stay tuned for a future blog post sharing more on that!) The dining table and chairs are from RH. After hours of research, we found this faux olive tree, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It’s stunning, affordable and very high-quality! To find out where I found all my glassware, dinnerware, table linens, decor pieces with detailed sources be sure to read Where I Found All My Home Decor Gems!

That’s all for now, my friends! If you have any specific questions, feel free to share them with me below. And in the meantime, please visit the recipes page to start dreaming up dishes you’ll cook in your beautiful new kitchen!

Cheers,

Cassandra

Hi, I’m Cassandra!

I’m a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin’ Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

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Hi, I'm Cassandra!

I'm a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin' Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

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Hi, I'm Cassandra!

I'm a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin' Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

More about me

Never miss a recipe!

Sign up for free recipes straight to your inbox:

Free E-Cookbook!

Cooking dinner doesn’t have to take all night. Subscribe & receive my favourite 10 Quick & Easy Dinner Recipes in an easy e-cookbook format!

Jujeh kabab - Eating | cookingwithcassandra.com

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