Looking at the photos of the kitchen from this episode make me feel happy, bright and, to be honest, pretty darn proud.  This design came together so beautifully for homeowners Sean and Alexa, and I can’t wait to share all the little details that went into it with you.

To start, if you haven’t seen this episode, don’t panic!  You can catch it on iTunes HERE and on Amazon HERE.

I mean, seriously, could they be ANY cuter?  I don’t think so. And not only are they adorable, but also practical.  In lew of a wedding, they saved up to buy their own home, instead. Since the heart of every home really is the kitchen, I wanted to give them everything they wanted in this design.  Let’s call it a belated non-wedding wedding gift. To get started, I created a design inspiration collage by pinning tons of images to this PINTEREST BOARD.

Now, it was time to turn all that creative inspiration into REALITY!

The light in this kitchen was actually great, but the mismatched appliances, generic materials, and narrow galley layout were not.  Removing a wall allowed us to modernize the footprint of the room, creating a space where the homeowners could cook, hang out, eat, and entertain.

Let’s take a look at this design from the ground up.

Flooring was a bit of a nightmare; we were hoping to find real wood floors under the faux wood linoleum, but instead, we found another layer of linoleum…and then another!  Fortunately, we were able to patch in new hardwood floors in a custom medium brown finish to match the rest of the downstairs.

Now let’s talk cabints!  The cabinets are a classic shaker style, modernized by a bright white finish and unique leather cabinet pulls.

Counters are done in my favorite, indestructible quartz material.  It’s almost impossible to stain or scratch, so Sean and Alexa don’t have to be constantly and insistently handing out coasters whenever they host large groups of friends.  (I am a coaster FIEND at my own house because I have real stone counters. And ask any of my friends: it can get REAL annoying, real fast.)

Source: Bianco Swan Quartz

Next up, appliances.  We went with a vintage style Smeg refrigerator, since it felt young and cool and cheeky.

Source: Refrigerator

I chose a timeless stainless steel range, which works with the stainless accents on the Smeg.

Source: Range

For plumbing, I went with a bright and clean, white apron front sink, and paired it with this modern take on the bridge faucet.

Sources: Faucet, Sink

And for those of you who are thinking about calling me on the fact that I complained about the original mismatched appliances only to replace them with yet another round of mismatched appliances, I will say this: this time around, it was done with INTENTION and PURPOSE.  Not because they were the cheapest or most expensive models, not because we bought them in bulk for the whole neighborhood, but because the eclectic combination of vintage and modern felt right and true to the humans who would be living with them.

Okay, can we talk about the special project where someone (me) thought it was a good idea to play with a blow torch!?  I wanted to enhance and preserve the natural beauty of the open wood shelving by applying the Japanese technique of “shou-sugi-ban.”  (Say that three times fast!) This process is used to preserve the wood by charring it.  The charred surface of the board makes the wood fire retardant as well as resistant to rot, insects and decay.  Pretty cool, huh?

With all the design work complete, I called in the big guns (aka Betsy, my Mother-in-Law extrordinaire) to put on all the finishing touches.

And just like that, we were finished! To read the full blog post on the entire Episode 5 home design, CLICK HERE. I’ll leave you with a few more fun detail shots:

Source: Stools, Area Rug

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