Many have asked if the picture in my header is my kitchen.
It is mine.
We remodeled our kitchen a little over 5 years ago.
We designed and built this house 19 years ago and
had wanted to remodel the kitchen a few years before
we got around to it.
To tell the truth, I was scared to death to live through
a remodel. We had built and sold our whole lives
and had never lived in a house past 2 years and 9 months.
Now our children were at the age they didn't want
to move and we loved our neighborhood so we have
put down roots.
We kept toying with the idea but it wasn't until one
day my neighbor Mimi suggested that we meet with
her kitchen designer, Randy, that we jumped in with
He gave us such wonderful drawings that we
decided we could do this!
Pardon the mess, had I known I was going to blog this "before"
photo, I would have had the kids clean up their snack.
This was in the era of the whitewashed maple.
Here is the view of the same corner. We had a huge pantry
in that corner measuring 7x10 feet. My husband said it
was so big I didn't know what was in there. We took it
out and it changed the dimension of our kitchen.
Without adding any physical space we now had a huge kitchen.
You can see all of my beautiful goblets were still on display
in this corner. I hated the desk as it always seemed messy
but I did love a place to store my over 200 cookbooks.
The desk was replaced with this fun
I had always wanted a fireplace in the kitchen and as
we went to the fireplace store my husband said, "What
about a pizza oven?" Of course they didn't have
one but he came home and got on line and we had soon
ordered an Italian made pizza oven imported by
Andrea Mugnaini lives in California and imports these
wonderful ovens that can be installed in the inside of
your home or outside. She offers classes on how to use
your oven and she even sponsors classes in Tuscany
several times a year.
We had the opportunity to go to Tuscany and take a week
long cooking class on cooking in this wood fired oven.
I will blog about that later. It was such a fun trip
and we came home wanting to do more cooking classes
around the world (hasn't happened yet, but hopefully...)
Of all the things we did in our remodel, we love our
pizza oven the best. We make pizza about 3 times
a month in it and it is the married kids most requested
meal. We set up the ingredients around the bar and
it is make your own night. We have served 70 pizzas
in one night for our church's lady's organization -
Relief Society. Those women can eat!
I will blog about the pizza parties later too.
It also houses my cookbooks, goblets and if you
can see through the metal grates,
my machine for
melting and dipping chocolates.
Here we have the upper cabinets emptied and down.
When I think of the dishes I gave away to "simplify"
not knowing I would become a tablescaper, I am
a little sick, but I sure gained storage space for more
Here is the same view of that wall, now with separate
fridge and freezer and the smaller pantry.
This beautiful island opens on the back side (when you move
the chairs) and has tons of storage for my dishes.
I can thank our neighbor Keith for this beautiful island.
He came over to look at our plans and give us advice.
He said we didn't want to build the island as we had
planned and took us to see his and to show us all
of the storage on the backside of his.
He convinced us. Keith is incredible at home design
and we love him for helping us make our kitchen better.
These beautiful Murano hand blown glass chandeliers imported
from Venice were ordered on line.
Click here - Gallery 802 to see them.
Having been to Venice, the prices there are outrageous,
but these chandeliers cost about the same as the
hand blown glass bowl I brought home.
They were so inexpensive - under $200 each that my
husband was sure they weren't UL rated, but they were
and they have been great. I love having little pieces
of Italy in my Italianate kitchen.
This is an action picture of my son running to throw his
body against the sheet rock. They had too much fun
in demolition mode!
So the kitchen went down to the studs. Our 8x8 sliding
doors were moved.
This incredible baking center took the place of the
sliders. Our kitchen designer made each piece
look like a freestanding piece of furniture.
My good friend Paula who painted the canvas in
the gazebo painted the design on this piece.
We have an incredible view to the mountains but had
a bank of 4 small windows to look out. We had
been to a homeshow a few years earlier where they
had a curved glass wall of windows. I suggested
that to the kitchen designer and he poo pooed
that idea. The day this wall came out, he came
over and saw the stunning view and said he was
wrong. I ran upstairs and found the picture of the
curved glass wall. He quickly agreed.