My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

Kitchen Updates

Hello Everyone and a Very Happy Monday to you!

This past week and weekend were quite busy for us here at the renovation ranch.
 Even though it snowed once again slowing us down abit...We still accomplished a lot!

So much happened in fact...I don't no where to start!
So here goes nothing!

The Kitchen is coming along quite nicely.
The wall oven / pantry unit was finally finished and the installation completed.

It went from being a giant hole in the wall where our front door once was...

 To a rough sketch I made a few years ago for the cabinet maker...

 To the reality!

As you can see, I made some changes to the design during the construction phase.
I went from two shelves over the microwave to one, and to 3 drawers under the wall oven instead of just two.
Well, actually, It's really just two, the bottom drawer is quite deep and looked out of proportion so, I had a false front made giving the illusion of three.

The top drawer under the wall oven is for sheet pans and baking stones...

Just under this the deeper drawer for baking dishes and other assorted items.

On the pantry side,
We have a shallow depth drawer for oven mitts and hot pads...

Just below that, another shallow drawer for foil and bags.

And finally, the very deep drawer for boxed pantry items and chips.

There will be one more drawer in this area, it hasn't been installed yet due to an issue with it's glide.
But it looks very much like this.

Trick Cabinets

All of our drawers in the new kitchen are Full extension and have blumotion glides which allow them to close on their own at a certain point. I have really loved this!
Like a kid ...I find myself opening them just to watch them close again!
Juvenile but fun!

I still need to select all of the hardware for this piece.
I had to make a selection for the bottom drawer pantry side. It's a smaller version of the appliance pull  that is on the  integrated dishwasher and will be on the refrigerator armoire when it's complete.

I'm thinking about doing something different on this wall oven/ pantry unit.
Maybe something more like furniture.
What do you think?
Should I keep them the same as the rest of the kitchen...

The bin pulls and crystal knobs

 Or let this piece stand alone?
I haven't decided  yet so I would love your input!

Next on the list of accomplishments and installations: the drawer inserts.

Each of our new kitchen drawers was designed to accommodate my existing silverware, knives and utensils with room to add to them.

Even the silverware drawer was specifically designed to house our dearest Nanny's silver which we are going to use as our everyday flatware.
She gave this to Hubby many years ago and it was still in the  original case.
It had been a gift to her by her brother when he returned from WWII.
It was never used. There's not a scratch on it.
The receipt was dated 1943. This made me feel sad.

I don't want to own something I will never use. I want to enjoy it!
Not just on special occasions which are often times  few and far between, but everyday.
So, every time we open this drawer....we think of Nanny!
And I have to tell you...I love the slightly tarnished color they took on when I washed them. They even feel good in your hand!
Even Macaroni and Cheese is a little more special when you eat it off of a pretty plate and use a pretty fork!

Next up:
The wood countertop was given several coats of a matte varnish. To seal and protect it.
I am not sure if I like this yet!

Even though it's a matte seems shiny to me.  What do you think?
They are telling me it can be dulled?

I was quite happy without a finish at all but was talked into this. You know me, plain as paper. I am not a big "shine girl"

After that...The sink and faucet were both installed...and...

We have water!!!

I love my new faucet and  farmhouse sink! I have learned to not take this very simple thing for took way too long to get it up and running!

The garbage disposer and dishwasher are working  too, but for now...
I am enjoying the task of hand washing!

Just this morning...I filled my sink full of hot bubbly water and started washing my dishes to be placed in their new homes.( In the drawers just below the silverware)
There is something very therapeutic about hand washing dishes.
At least until the newness wears off!

While the plumbers were crawling around on the floor last week, I was out in the cottage studio making the linen café curtains and roman shade that now hang above my new sink.

I will share them with you tomorrow!

Until then, please give me your thoughts on my hardware dilemma and the shine on my counters.
 I would just love to hear them!

Thanks so much!


  1. Donna, I absolutely love your kitchen. I would never change the counter tops now, they look great in the butcher block. The sink is tops. You husband did a fine job on the oven/pantry wall.
    Thought I caught a glimpse of you at Horton's. xoxo,Susie

  2. donna, I'm crazy about your drawer space in the cabinet. so very well done. donna

  3. What a fab. kitchen. You've both worked hard and everything looks great. and personally I think the counter work tops are superb,with that slight sheen which should make them easy to clean. How sensible to use the cutlery which has been passed down, things are meant to be used, not stored away in a box for special occasions. Enjoy it all.
    Barbara Lilian.

  4. Great inserts for the drawers, it will make your workspace flow so much easier. I like that you are using the 'good' silver everyday. We are a generation who realizes that tomorrow may not come and to live life to the top. The weight of real silverware is so wonderful, using it can make the simplest of dinners seem special.
    The wood finish isn't too glossy and it will cure over the upcoming weeks to appear duller.

    It's all really pretty.

  5. Love Your Kitchen and the Color You chose. You have A Great eye and Ideas!

  6. I like the shine on the countertop. To me it is just right and it will probably dull down with use. As for the drawer pulls, I'm one for keeping it all the same - brings continuity. Love watching your kitchen unfold.

  7. I think the counter will dull with use. I love how your kitchen is turning out! LOVE IT SO MUCH! I want to come move in ;)

  8. Oh I love the finish on the wood counter tops! It looks so rich Donna. Everything you have accomplished in this space has turned out perfect. You guys should be so proud of it because it is amazing! Now I can't wait to see your window coverings. I know they will be just right and oh-so-beautiful.
    I hope you have been enjoying your March so far. Today has been the first day that I have actually thought that spring could be on it's way.
    I have been sewing some slipcovers today for the dining chairs and having the sunshine pour into the studio was a nice change :)
    sending much love your way...

  9. My Prima-Donna, I'm the last one to offer YOU advice. I can't decide between white bread or rye, so don't give me choices unless you are up to a long wait for a decision outta me.
    Your taste and style is exquisite. So there! That's the extent of my input.
    A kitchen is supposed to be the "heart" of the home and darling girl...y'alls' heart is all there to see. Every inch is so well thought out and well made, it's like a beating heart. I love it...and you.
    P.S. How on earth can even dead things looks beautiful outside of Tinker House. Is that little place of heaven on earth magical or something?

  10. Donna!
    I saw your post at lunch today, but I didn't have time to comment!

    You two have been busy! Gosh! Where do I start? The wall oven/pantry unit is beautiful! You planned everything to fit like a glove! The drawers for the sheet pans and the baking dishes...such a dream!

    I can't believe that you found drawer pulls to match the appliance pulls.
    Your attention to detail is amazing.

    Since the side of the island with the hardware faces the kitchen, I think that the matching hardware looks nice.

    Your wooden counter tops are so pretty. Do you think that they will acquire that inherent worn quality through use and age? Naturally.

    ...and Nanna's silver, the sweetest person and pieces of family history to hold every day.

    Did I spy a Le Creuset pie bird in with the baking dishes?
    I hope that everything arrived safely!

    Enjoy the sunshine, my friend!

  11. Every detail is what makes your kitchen so unique and beautiful. The drawers are perfection. I love that you will use Nanny's silver every day and enjoy your memories. I personally like the sheen on your lovely wooden counters. You and your husband should be so very proud of the work and love you are putting into your family home. Blessings...

  12. I love your kitchen !!! every detail is very beautiful ....
    Votre première photo sous la neige est une merveille !
    Pardonnez-moi pour ma méconnaissance de l'anglais mais j'adore votre blog ...
    Belle journée

  13. So pretty and with so much storage! Love your lighting, the three sconces...where did you get them?
    Can't wait to see more...

  14. Hi Donna,

    Your kitchen is amazing! much careful planning and hard work. The counters look so pretty and I wouldn't change a thing. Your organized drawers are an incentive for me to get going with a much needed upgrade.

    Enjoy your day!


  15. Your kitchen is looking so beautiful! I have enjoyed seeing it take shape and think that all your choices have been pretty perfect. I am also a fairly plain and simple girl and not much for shine so I would have probably voted on your side.
    Our kitchen has a counter that had a slight sparkly sheen when installed and I was assured it was tough as nails, blah, blah, blah - and it isn't. It has scratches and dull spots and looks fine until the light hits it. I suppose that would be my concern still, how durable is the sheen... and do you really like it? Would you want to settle for something you don't really want at this stage - those would be my questions.

  16. I don't think the shine is too shiney... I think it's beeeauutiful... and I love love love that you use the silverware for everyday.


  17. Wow... You have accomplished so much since I left for Az. It looks so amazing as I knew it would. You two are such a great team and everything in the house reflects that. I think it all looks perfect and I would go with your first instincts, you have such good ones
    Love to you


Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment!
I love reading them~they truly make my day!
~Donna Reyné