27 August 2014

Magnolia Manor Reveal: Kitchen & Book Nook

What does one do when one's husband is out of town? Cereal for breakfast, early bedtimes for those who have school the next day, and an evening to load photos from the fancy camera to see what has been in limbo in the world of captured and unreleased.  Turns out, I have long overdue photos of two more areas of Magnolia Manor: The Kitchen and The Book Nook from a day when I cleaned so well, that I shall be sad to go into the kitchen and see what it really looks like today.
It's been so long, in fact, that I had a hard time finding my before pictures and when I did was again amazed at how much we've done since those first days of buying this great home.
The kitchen and the bathroom behind it were basically gutted.  We moved absolutely everything for several reasons.
The main reason was the size.  It was SO tiny, dark, and blocked off, while next to it was a huge room with these amazing windows and spacious ceilings (13' at the lowest point for reference--see tiny Drummer on the couch?)
When you move from apartment to apartment and house to house, you begin to make a mental (or physical, if you're more organized than I) list of what you want...one day, when you can choose it all.  And we got to, in this kitchen.  It was so much fun.
It's basically a kitchen, with an attached space to hang out.  We put a couch and the family computer because everybody wants to be where I am, and I'm usually doing laundry, dishes, or making a meal, which is all in this area, so now they can be with me, but not on or under me.


We wanted a nice big counter where guests can sit while we finish dinner prep and invite them to help and sit across from us while we chat and prepare.  Or a place where I can have an indoor greenhouse ;).
This is the wall we took down and opened up.  But, fun story: that little door up so high?  That's the access to the first roof deck from the original construction.  It's insulated, so the plan is to one day finish it and maybe build a little loft, or ladder for an additional room or just a fun place for the teenagers to hang out.
This first photo is a view from the bathroom behind the kitchen that was also gutted.  The second is before they took down the kitchen wall with the little window.
One of the things I love about this house is that you can see other parts of the house from almost every single room.  I don't know why that's so important to me, but I love that I can see from one side of the kitchen, clear to the parlor.  It makes me happy.
Originally the wall beneath the counter was painted white, which was a losing battle from day one when we put those chairs there.  I painted it with chalkboard paint for an "intended messy" look instead of "accidentally messy".  As they began the tear-down, I loved all the different flooring discovered.  A little map of the history this house has been and seen.  And then there was the time when I had a trench dug inside my house, complete with dirt.  That was weird to smell outside smell in my kitchen.  The half-bath toilet didn't drain properly, so they fixed that plumbing before the new floor was started.
The couch is from IKEA, black leather for easy cleaning.  I am surprised at how much we use this kitchen couch.  Probably more than our more formal couch in the parlor.  

We did keep the little pantry that's located behind the fireplace, but took out the closet that was across from it.
I've had this milk glass doorknob for ages, and have taken it from house to house, waiting for the perfect door.  I had to order the retrofit hardware, but it wasn't too difficult to put on...my perfect door. ;)
Another kitchen before.  There wasn't even a dishwasher. But...
...the ceilings!  These carried over from the parlor and we put in cupboards as high as they would accommodate.  We went with an induction stove that I have grown to love (and perhaps has spoiled me a bit...why does water take so long to boil on every other stove?!)  It's truly amazing.  It uses a magnetic current to heat, but doesn't get super hot to the touch (you can place a paper towel between your pan and stove and it won't burn), so it doesn't cook food onto the stovetop.  My only complaint is that when you use a cheaper pan with little food in it, there is an audible clicking you can hear while it heats.  If you get nicer cookware, it doesn't do that.

One thing that I have loved so much more than I though I would is the kitchen sink faucet.  It's touch sensitive, so if you're hands are all covered with sticky bread dough or raw meat juices, you just bump it with your arm and it turns on without getting your faucet all dirty.  
We did absolute black granite countertops which are, to be honest, really hard to keep clean.  I tried all the granite cleaners I could find and they all left big smears.  I found that the best way is to wipe them down with a wet cloth and dry them immediately with a flour sack towel.  That's it.  I may consider having them honed to a flat finish in a couple of years, but I really do love them when they're all shined up.

See how small?  There wasn't even a dishwasher and behind the lady with the purse was a drop-down ironing board that cut the tiny kitchen in half.

One of the hardest decisions was the hardware for the cabinets.  I wanted something simple and classy, but not white and not something that would detract from the simplicity of the whole kitchen.  I found these perfect glass knobs at Rejuvenation, which I could really use for my entire lighting and hardware  needs. Every single thing they have is stunning and flawlessly designed.
Right next to the kitchen is what was originally the dining area that we've changed into a booknook.  Does anyone really use a dining room anymore?  It just made more sense for us to use it as a snuggle up and read area.  We read a whole lot more than we formally dine. ;)
This was the before.  Ryan was surprised I wanted to keep the lighting.  Painted.  Of course.
Painting everything white really brightened up everything, and if you'll notice, we bought those stools from the estate sale and I just painted them black and white.  They've been great.
I used Dana's large Rollie Pollie pattern for the bean bags.  I really should make more because sometimes all of us cuddle on those bags.  It's such an inviting space.  We have to be careful, though, Drummer has taken to hiding under them when escaping his sisters, hehe!


And my kids are pretty good about keeping the books rainbowtized.  I actually find it therapeutic to put them back in order.  I'm weird.

The Magnolia Manor Renovations I've revealed so far:
And I know there are questions about flooring, but I will do a post on all the flooring in the house and hopefully catch all the questions in one post.

45 comments:

  1. it's such a wonderful space! Really beautiful :-)

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  2. Love large kitchens!! The booknook is a great idea. Beautiful!!
    Me encanta :-)

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    1. Large kitchens are the most important, right?

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  3. Such a gorgeous space! Love your windows and style.

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  4. Hmmm...this might be a double post because blogger just did something funny. But what I wanted to say was that I love this whole look! My question for you is what color/brand of white did you use? Right now we have walls that husband swears are white, but to me they just look purplish. Your walls look more like the pure white I want. And as for paint, what kind did you use on the stools that is holding up so well? That's another project I need to tackle.

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    1. You are absolutely right about lots of whites! I used Benjamin Moore's Super White. It's a custom mix to get a really brilliant, non-grey white.

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    2. Oh, and just spray paint on the stools. ;)

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  5. Katy, you have such creative vision and impeccable execution! I can't believe Jacob, Ezra, and I still haven't seen this gorgeousness in person! Let's remedy that soon, ok? xo

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  6. Gorgeous! Is that soap with buttons on it on the white dish?

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    1. Yes! And an antique milk glass dish.

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  7. First off, that baby boy Drummer of yours, has grown up so much! I love, love, sing it to the moon, love your kitchen and book nook! So clever, so clean. Love the crisp white and those glass knobs are killer! I am glad you kept the vintage lightening. You know what? I almost forgot you even moved and had a huge renovation going on. Keep those photos coming.

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  8. Beautiful! I love your aesthetic. Strange comment, but my neighbor introduced me to the idea of using Pledge on granite. And on stainless sinks! It seems to work--clean and polish...

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  9. Beautiful! I love the windows and tall ceilings!! I'm crazy jealous of all that space! And I love the book nook. Dana's Rollie Pollie chairs are fantastic! My daughter calls hers her book reading nest (and she doesn't yet know how to read). I will make one for her sister, too, when I transform the nursery into a big girl room.

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  10. Katy, it's beautiful! All the work you've done and all the possibilities still there...

    If i were you, I know that I'd have bought that cute little sideboard from the chairs before picture as well. That could be so nice and girly in white. :o)

    And I loved the best the fact that Drummer hides below the beanbag chairs, hilarious! :o)

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    1. We did!! I just need to convince someone (ahem) to let me paint it. ;)

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    2. Or blue and make it navy theme for the Boy. ;o)

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  11. Hi Katy! I love your blog and have been reading it for a few years now. It is really fun to see more of your beautiful and clean-designed house. I wonder if you could share some posts about how you organize your mail/paperwork/kids' papers/etc. I always have annoying piles of paper on my counters no matter how many times I try to find a good sorting method! What is your secret?

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    1. I wish there was a magical solution for paperwork, but honestly, I have piles, too. I think the key is to take care of them daily and not let them accumulate and become overwhelming.

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    2. Also, check out The House Fairy. She has some great tips on de cluttering.

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  12. Beautifully designed - you have awesome taste!

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  13. SIMPLY AMAZING!!! If the previous owners were to see it now....they might just want it back :)!!

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    1. Haha! I know, I wish we could show him. It was an old man who lived here alone.

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  14. Everything about this is beautiful. I love all the rainbowtized books etc. and the black and white chairs from the estate sale might just be my favorite!

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    1. That seems to be the consensus. Ha!

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  15. Looks amazing, Katy. We are starting to plan our kitchen remodel. I should pick your brain...

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  16. I completely adore this space! I have been checking your blog frequently to see more before/after updates from your house. I love it. Great job!

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  17. Simply stunning. I'm impressed that you were able to see this kind of potential in this house. You have a true talent. A design magazine really needs to feature your home! Maybe Design Mom at least! Oh...I have some questions about your house...but I'll email you.

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  18. Love your space! Especially the addition of the rollie pollie bean bags. Can I ask what you used as the stuffing?

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  19. I love the pops of color around your house. Any chance of seeing your sewing room?

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  20. your kitchen is absolutely stunning!! I am in an apartment, so envious of the large open space of this house!! I love the old before shots too... what a transformation!!!

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  21. I've been waiting for this reveal! Such great vision you and Mr. Dill had with the house in it's early days. I loved seeing the result. It was a treat! Thanks!!!

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  22. So beautiful! Where did you find Drummer's blocks? Fantastic!

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  23. I love this! But I have to tell you buy extra restoration hardware knobs right now! I love mine but wish I would have. They changed finishes since I put mine in my whole house nine years ago. Luckily they hold up great, but accidents happen and I have broken one. I so wish I would have gotten at least a few extras.

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  24. so fun to see this! I love your house posts. I'm getting ready to do one right now too so I appreciate the blog motivation :)
    Love the new stuff you added and the old treasures you kept, but updated.
    Beautiful as always!

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  25. hey did you talk about your white flooring? did I miss that somewhere in here? I've been very curious!

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  26. I love all the black and white and stripes!

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