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Our Modern English Country Kitchen



The kitchen is finished and I love it so much. Throughout the entire renovation, which was quick for sure, I had an image of what it would look like, a visual goal that was keeping me focused and excited. I can’t believe how accurate it is to what I imagined. It’s a totally different house, but it’s still the same home. It’s open and light and functional, but still feels old world and soulful. Brian and I created a video series in partnership with Frigidaire Professional and And if you want to jump to seeing it come to life watch the reveal episode HERE.

Nice job to my husband for producing that video. He did such an amazing job.

In case you are new, here is what it was like – the kitchen was small and awkward and the dining room was beautiful and light.


So we decided to break down that wall, add support beams, footings, and open up that entire room – but we wanted to do it in a way that felt integrious to the house. By making the ceiling line follow the same architecture of the house we really made it feel original.

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It’s such a magical room now. The light from the dining room gets into the kitchen, the flow is open and clear, and the kids can eat at the counter for breakfast and lunch, after they run around the back yard all day, which you can see from the dining room and now the kitchen. All my maternal fantasies are being played out in my head.

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There is so much to talk about that I figured I’d break it down chronologically – in order of installation. You already saw progress shots, but now it’s time to see how all the ideas really played out.

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The herringbone flooring. I’m doing a whole post on this so I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s white oak from BuildDirect with a clear matte sealant. It’s stunning, gorgeous and absolutely worth every extra penny of labor it cost. Details later, but I highly recommend it and so does my flooring dude (he said it was very high quality).

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The cabinets:

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We went custom and worked with a local company, Four Carpentry and they did an amazingly impeccable job. It was our third time working with them and I highly recommend that team. We chose inset cabinets, with flat panel doors and shaker uppers with a small detail that makes it feel a little more special:

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We put furniture legs on the base which I think is a lovely detail, and then kept the profile of the cabinets thin. We added crown moulding that was a little more decorative as well as moulding under the uppers to help them feel finished. The cabinets cost $19k, and took 4 weeks (more details on timeline in the coming days).

We painted them Strong White, by Farrow and Ball which is a GORGEOUS taupey-gray white (we have since decided to paint our living room walls/ceiling that color). It’s such a lovely tone. Our cabinet guy wanted to use a lacquer for durability so he color matched it and it’s pretty close.

For hardware we went with a combination of painted knobs (generic and like $1 each) and long brass handles ($25).

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I love how the knobs are quiet and feel a bit country and certainly unfussy. Whereas the handles feel sturdy and are un-lacquered brass (to match the faucet) and will patina beautifully.

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We strongly considered latches on the uppers, but at the last minute decided to keep it more reserved.

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We used black mesh (grills) in the cabinetry despite the fear of dust. I LOVE how it looks so much, folks. I was nervous about doing of them in gold for fear that it would be too blingy, but the matte black mesh is just perfect and brings so much depth into the room. WE bought them HERE and they cost almost $1k for all four (which was way more than I had planned, but I love them and they are custom).

In the back of the cabinets we put simple bead board to add more texture and depth, in a quiet way. Our cabinet guy sourced them and I’m pretty sure they were just generic panels from any local lumber store.

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We had to build the farm sink into the cabinets (as per our cabinet makers request) so next up is that beautiful cast iron sink. I chose the Kohler Whitehaven which is a single versus a double based on many people’s recommendations and I’m so glad I did. It’s gorgeous and makes washing oversized items so easy.

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Now for those appliances (which typically come in right after the cabinetry is all finished).

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We worked with Frigidaire Professional, who provided the appliances. We choose the line because Brian and I are rather pros in the kitchen. Not really, but why not have professional-grade appliances in our beautiful kitchen? Another huge factor is that the full line features Smudge-Proof Stainless Steel so everything will always look polished.

Let’s chat fridge first:

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We previously had a side-by-side fridge (our kitchen was small and we couldn’t fit a larger one) and I have to say that it’s insane how much easier to access and how much bigger it feels. Space isn’t all about square footage, it’s about how it’s laid out. We haven’t moved in yet, but we styled it all out for the shoot and just those two days there shooting it made me very excited to have it.


The shelves are adjustable and since it’s wide it feels easier to keep clean.


Birdie likes the simple, chunky streamlined handles, too.Emily Henderson Full Kitchen Reveal Waverly Frigidaire 331


The freezer drawer is easy to access and has a TON of storage. As someone who is unsatisfied by room temperature water and needs freezing cold water at all times, I am a huge fan of the front of door water/ice situation. As a kid I remember thinking someday, I’ll have one of those as if it was the sign that I’ve really made it. Now I know that a fridge is more streamlined without it, so if you aren’t a cold water addict (or if you have a cold filtered water somewhere else) then it might not be something you need.


Onto the range and hood. While these have some fun bells and whistles I’m happy to say that this appliance looks really simple still. The hood has a light and fan that is easy to use and the range has a warming setting in the oven (which I didn’t have before) which is a lovely option when you are trying to keep food warm for the whole family.


It also has a 2-in-1 Burner with a griddle attachment for pancakes, panini’s, burgers… stuff that we actually make a lot.


Charlie now asks to make pancakes every day and we promise him that when we move in (in 5 days!!) that our weekends will be full of this kind of adorable behavior (in between bouts of 3 year old insanity).


Again, those chunky knobs feel modern and clean and the interface is super simple to use.


Look at me roasting potatoes. By the way roasting is one thing I do because it requires way less moving parts. I shove a chicken and veggies in a dish and I find it to be the easiest way to make a well rounded meal that everyone actually likes.

On to the dishes:


I have promised myself that I won’t be allowing any dishes in the new house – I feel like all day every day we are doing the dishes. But we know we can’t do that, and surely I will have to deal with dishes at some point. So a dishwasher is inevitable and I love how this one is super simple and even has a 30 min wash cycle for those quick jobs and an adjustable top rack that helps make room for taller items so we get everything done in just one wash. It also automatically adjusts the clean cycle based on how much cleaning your dishes actually need.


It’s a fairly petite kitchen so I was happy that we found a place to put the microwave in the island. It’s tucked away but easy to access. Speaking of that floating piece of stress and anxiety in the middle of the room, AKA the island? Let’s chat about that for a bit.


I am VERY happy to say that this island is amazing and feels totally original to the house. The island controversy of 2016 certainly stole some of my sleep, not to mention probably 30 hours of debating, drawing, tweaking, drawing, and regretting, etc. Brian was so sick of talking about it and I was like ‘ha. imagine how WE feel?? Going through this process and forcing him to help me make decisions made him absolutely respect our job more. He felt the decision exhaustion and he was so thankful we kept him from most of the minutia.

Back to that beautiful island:


If you have a quirky shaped kitchen, turns out you can have a quirky shaped island. I think there are a few reasons why it works:

  1. We followed the lines of the original house – the beam, and the kitchen walls.
  2. We chose such a beautiful old-world style marble and had it shaped with that beveling which softened everything and made it feel old and original. If you have an old house I highly suggest doing a bevel like that. Our profile was called the OGEE BULL and not only is it beautiful, it’s kid friendly – no sharp anythings.

Let’s just say there was an ocean-sized sigh of relief when the stone went in and it was gorgeous.


I love having that ‘V-groove’ (larger than bead board and they come as individual pieces). It adds a lovely simple texture without adding any busy-ness. In a perfect world we will also put in a brass foot rail (How pretty would that be?).  The color of the island is Green Smoke by Farrow and Ball, by the way and its VERY lovely. 


I also love the curve of the stool against it as well as the petite size of these stools (they aren’t wide). Fun fact, we ordered the natural ones but they didn’t come in in time (2 days late) so we borrowed the white ones which I love even more, so now we are waiting for the white ones to come in January and we are returning the wood ones. 


Onto the tile and marble.


I knew that I wanted something subtle in color but big in texture. Brian kept saying ‘but there is no color in the kitchen!!’ whenever I showed him the design plan, and I promised him that because it’s so small, a lot of color would make it look even smaller and busier. Remember the more contrast you have in a room the busier it is and the smaller it will look. However contrast in texture in a neutral color palette adds depth – which makes it look bigger.


We went with the subway tile idea, but used a 2×6 handmade tile in “weathered white” instead of the simpler white version. It is from Cle tile and I can say that it is ABSOLUTELY stunning.


It might be my favorite element in the kitchen. It’s warm and full of texture, but visually it’s so quiet. And it makes the kitchen feel bigger because it reflects so much light all day. I’ve caught myself so many tiles saying under my breath, oh my god that tile is so pretty. The total cost of  the tile was $1598, including overage, which I think it actually GREAT considering the impact it has.


On to the marble, that stunning piece of stone.


Brian and I talked long and hard about the risks of marble but ultimately our love of the old world finish and texture won. Since our house is so old we are absolutely fine with the marble looking old, too. While the first few big stains are going to hurt, ultimately once it feels lived in it will feel even older and more original to the house. Brian kept saying ‘like an old tavern!’ and I agreed. Which is why we also decided to do that beveling detail. We bought it at a stoneyard in the valley and it cost: $5, 182 for four smallish slabs. Not nothing, that’s for sure, but it is stunning.


Our fabricator did an amazing job at that ogee bull bevel and curving it around on the counter. It’s mostly white with some light green here and there, which was why we were so drawn to it. If we were going to spend $5k then it wasn’t going to be something you could find anywhere else. Fun fact, Michael S. Smith (Obama’s white house designer as well as just a generally VERY talented and famous designer) wanted these slabs so bad but he needed 88 of them and they only had 6. HA. I guess he is doing a full master bathroom from floor to ceiling in marble and was desperate for a green vein.

We chose a leather finish which is matte, but not honed. Its BEAUTIFUL and I highly recommend it.

Onto the lighting:


We faced a last minute lighting challenge as you might have seen on insta-story. Our chandelier that we had planned felt too big physically to Brian. I LOVE it and will use it somewhere else, and I didn’t totally agree with him, but he’s also a lot taller than I am and he lives here, too. So if he felt that it was too close to his face then I can’t really argue with him. Visually it looked great. So then we subbed out a cheap one that looked great, except not with the sconces. At the last minute we went shopping in the lighting district and found this pendant. It’s absolutely stunning and does indeed work much better than the original because it’s visually lighter.


It’s still big enough (20″ wide) but feels a lot smaller. Plus it’s an antique which I think this room needed. It looks GREAT with the sconces, thank god. We couldn’t really do pendants because of the shape of the island (they would have had to be too close together to really not hit someone in the head when they were standing on by the microwave. It’s complicated but trust me that one single round large scale pendant was the ideal and we found it! It was $1100 which wasn’t my favorite last minute budget surprise ever. But it was the night before the shoot and it was just perfect so that expensive trigger was pulled.


The sconces are more modern and I think help edge up the kitchen and bring in a little bit of 2017. It was hard to find some that fit that space, with some gold (but not all gold) and some black (but not all black). These are PERFECT. They are from Circa and are $496 each. Some of you made me doubt that they were too modern, but I love how they look and I think they absolutely work in the space – especially now that there is an antique pendant to balance them out.



Look at those gorgeous faucets. Oh man, they are so beautiful and solid and old world, but new and perfect. We got them from which were very lovely to work with, and got them out faster than their usual 6-8 week lead time (custom finish). We used this faucet in the Silverlake kitchen and I fell in love with its shape and patina. It is unlacquered brass which means that it will patina as it has a ‘live’ finish. We’ve been told that this is high maintenance and that if not cared for properly they may corrode. After much debate we decided this was the only brass finish that we wanted and that the patina is more than welcome, despite it being more high maintenance. Again, our goal is that the age of the marble and the faucets will add more charm and soul into the kitchen. We will however wax it once a week to protect it. Then we coupled it with this hot water dispenser – because who doesn’t need a hot water dispenser. They also recommended a water softener which we are considering for multiple reasons (talk about the most boring way to spend money ever). If any of you have opinions on water softeners let me know. We were advised that there is no use to buying a cheap one, and that in order to really have it work it needs to be a model that costs around $3k. That is certainly not something we are willing to pay for right now, so i’m wondering if any of you have experience and can recommend doing it for any reason?

Wait. We forgot to talk about the single bit of proof that I am a success as a person, mom and cook – THE POT FILLER.


Thank god. I mean, the amount of times a week i’ve had to shlep a pot 3 feet from sink to stove is countless. I’m kidding … but kind of not. It’s definitely something I have always wanted because it just felt like a fantasy. I knew I would never have one unless I seriously renovated. But man, it is so pretty and I can’t wait to fill pot after pot with that beautiful faucet.

That may be it, folks. I’m writing a post right now about things that I learned, regarding timeline, budget and contractors. So there will be more information coming, but I don’t think I could possibly talk more about this kitchen.


Look at me doing my best Martha impression …. Also code requires two outlets on the island, as you can see which did bum me out, but obviously we need them for smaller appliances as well as laptops, etc.  I’m debating covering them in a vintage brass cover but not sure if that will really help.



One last thing: what is contributing to my life excitement so much, every day, right now is the fact that the room is open to the dining room which looks over and opens to the backyard:


My life is going to get easier (a statement I repeat with hope all day when I’m there visiting). Right now, in our current house, which I LOVE, by the way, if we want to go outside and play we have to go up, outside on the deck off of the master bedroom. Kids can’t really play by themselves up there, so it feels like a mission.

So yes, this house is going to make my life easier, I just know it.


The doors are going to be left open 60% of the year, and the backyard is enclosed and so safe. We are moving this weekend, and I can barely contain my happiness.

Every day that I go over and visit I just think to myself this kitchen and dining room are magical. We haven’t designed the dining room yet, so I moved that table over from my office and bought my favorite classic chairs from Target until we figure out how we are using this room.

But I sure know how we are using this room – all day, every day, together. It’s honestly such an incredibly happy room, full of light and love. You know it takes a lot for me to use such cliche’d statements, but it’s just so true.


I feel truly like the luckiest person on the planet. We love that kitchen so much and we plan on making some seriously good memories here for years and years and years.

A few big thanks:

My design team – Ginny and Melanie. Obviously designing and executing a kitchen in 3 months is ambitious and I could have absolutely NEVER have done it without you. I am the luckiest person in the world to have such talented people helping me with my own kitchen. Besides all the technical stuff I thank you so much for helping me through my decision exhaustion and making sure that despite the fast timeline that I don’t have any regrets. THANK YOU.

Frigidaire and Vox Media. I would have designed the exact same kitchen that I did regardless of a sponsor, but having that extra push to get it done, with additional resources, and the ultimate excuse that this kitchen was going to be in a big video series really, really made this happen. THANK YOU. I love these appliances and can’t wait to cook (or stare at them) forever.

Brian and his production company Propeller Digital Media who directed, produced and edited the video series. Working with your husband can be tricky, but I’m so glad that for us it really works and is so much fun along the way. Watch the videos that we made for this project and see the kitchen and our family in action.

Belin from Mega-buiders. We got a few different bids but ultimately went with Belin because we had worked with him before and loved his work. He did an INCREDIBLE job (he’s done the whole house) and met our timeline as well as high quality.

*This kitchen was in partnership with Frigidaire but all words, designs and opinions are my own. All appliances were provided. Thank you so much for supporting the partners that support us creating quality design content for you.

Everything is linked, but for a quick resource here you go: All appliances from Frigidaire Professional Line, Cabinets by Four Carpentry, Sconce from Circa Lighting, Tile from Cle Tiles, Brass hardware handles from Rejuvenation, stools from DWR, BuildDirect from BuildDirect, Counters from Stoneland, moulding/beadboard/v-groove from Imperial moulding, Faucet/pot filler from E-faucets, Island paint (green smoke) and cabinet paint (strong white) from Farrow and Ball, dining table from DWR, chairs from Target.

**Photography by Tessa Neustadt

Fin Mark


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Gah! That kitchen is so pretty! That tile! Those floors! All the heart eyes!

Yep, I agree and choosing the colors also very important. It’s a well deserved for 3 month works. SALUTE!!!


Simply beautiful! Congratulations!
I, too, in agreement with others, you may want to reconsider the natural barstools. I think it would ground the room and tie in with the beams in dining room. Still, though, it’s beautiful!
Wishing you many wonderful, happy meals to create and enjoy in that space.
Bon Appetit!


So lovely! The tile and marble are adorable 🙂


My grandmother had one of those whole house water filtration systems back when they were first offered. She paid around 7k for it. I always thought it was frivolous until o e day she ran out of the softener tablets and the shower felt ordinary. Lol I appreciated it more for things like showering rather than drinking. I think you should get it. If only so that you don’t corrode your faucet system faster. It looks lovely by the way. It’s a petite kitchen but it’s aesthetically pleasing and functional.


It’s beautiful. Simple and stunning. We are doing our kitchen in January so I’m planning on studying your details!
I wasn’t a fan of the island but it looks completely different than the sketches. I figured it would.


Love the kitchen but hate that outlet. Have you considered an outlet cover that is paintable so it would blend in with the beadboard? Seems like an easy fix.

As a die-hard lover of mid-century design, I worried that this new, more “old world” direction wouldn’t resonate with me personally—but today, I found out that I can love “English Country,” too! Your new kitchen is absolutely stunning and so perfectly speaks to you as a designer!! You killed it, and I think I speak for ALL of us when I say you are a rock star…THREE MONTHS?! Time for a massive glass of champagne, girl!!


First, this is an amazing, totally thorough post, and thank you sooooooo much for listing all the pieces out. I am dithering endlessly about a kitchen redo and this is so helpful. Second, OMG that tile. I will probably look at those pictures 30 times today. Third, OMG Birdie, those pics kill me, she is so cute. Fourth, a minor suggestion — if you hate the white outlet plate on the island, maybe you can paint it green to blend in? Not the outlets themselves, but just the plate? I did that on super-dark walls a few weeks ago (SW… Read more »

I was going to say the same! In my place I used a combo of metal covers and painting to have them blend in, and it makes a huge difference. On the island I think the same color paint would make them disappear.

Also, that backsplash is incredible. Given how lovely it looks in photographs, I can only imagine it’s even better in person!


Yes – paint that outlet cover green!

Mary V

A minor suggestion to Biscuit’s fourth minor suggestion. You can replace the outlet receptacle (a very quick swap) for a colored one that is in a similar tone to the green cabinet. Browns, bronze, even greens are readily available. Even the standard almond color that is in stock at any big box hardware store would not stand out like the shiny new white does. We have a older house and recently replaced all the partially painted outlets with almond receptacles and covers. Blended in much nicer with the wood floors and craftsman colors. Or you can photoshop those minor nuisances… Read more »

It is absolutely stunning, Emily! I can’t wait to read the post on the floors. I wanted my floors laid in a herringbone pattern but, in the interest of time, was talked out of it. Yours look phenomenal. The natural looks so refreshing, too. Bravo!


We put in a cheap water softener ($400?) after researching and considering our budget. Our neighbors told horror stories about the water corroding appliances in the kitchen, laundry and water heater. The faucets and shower were always water spotted and the final straw was the etching of dishes in the dishwasher. Money well spent!


We moved into a house that had a water softener to deal with very hard CA well water. We learned very quickly that it no longer worked when the shower doors became cloudy, the kitchen countertop looked dull, and the toilets had rings — in days. After a lot of research, we put in a $400 softener from Home Depot (a GE) and hired a plumber to install it (another $250) and the improvement was noticeable almost immediately. Unexpected as it was, it was money well spent!

Yassssss girl!!!! I feel like this entire kitchen is an unpredictable twist for you, and I’m so happy you went this direction. I have seen the same kitchen over and over again (on the internet and social media), and despite loving them, it was beginning to feel so predictable. This has inspired me!

-Lauren Dahl

Oh, and I didn’t mean from you, I meant in general, like the internet as a whole lol


Lovely kitchen and the island turned out perfect for the space. just WISH you had used an integrated fridge and dishwasher so the focus was on the beautiful cabinetry rather than stainless steel!!… it really jars (to me) especially when in an old style kitchen.

Thank you for being so open about all the costs.

The beams in the dining room are looking beautiful – can’t wait to see the rest of the house!

Julie P

Perhaps she would have used integrated appliances except for the Frigidaire sponsorship? We will never really know.

Overall I LOVE this kitchen, especially the tile and the floor. Great job!!!!


Seems like we’ve gotten tons of feedback like this from non Americans. We love our appliances! I love that it breaks up and modernizes a kitchen. I have seen some gorgeous lyrics hidden appliances, but never here in the states. They always look like a faux cupboard door was glued to the appliances, so it is still totally obvious what is being camouflaged.


As an Italian, this kind of love for non hidden appliances seems so weird 🙂

For ex. in this Ikea kitchen

(which I saw in person because I’m doing a remodel on a low low budget) the fridge is to the right of the ovens and the dishwasher is to the right of the sink. How is “still totally obvious what is being camouflaged”?

I want to understand but I honestly cannot! Anyways, Emily’s kitchen is amazing!


I like integrated appliances and will be using them in my tiny kitchen BUT, they are easily twice the cost of standard appliances. It’s considered extremely high end to use integrated panel appliances and so there are fewer options and only the most expensive models give you the option.


Thanks for the clarification Ryan. By Anna’s comment I understood that hidden appliances were somewhat considered tacky or cheap looking 🙂

True, and when the appliance fails (as did our KitchenAid panel-ready dishwasher after only four years) it really hurts to spend the $$$ to purchase a new integrated model (over $1K for the panel-ready as opposed to <$400 for the white-front dw, same manufacturer). Also, in our kitchen it means every new person who comes over we have to show them which are the fridge, the freezer, the fridge drawers, the dw, etc. Which is fine, I guess. I mean, our cabinet man and I did such a great job coming up with ideas to camouflage (our fridge + freezer… Read more »

Kelly P

I’m an American Kitchen Designer and I tend to agree with Antonella. When it’s done well fully integrated refrigerators and dishwashers with cabinet panels are the best look for most kitchens. But to each her own! I do love Emily’s kitchen – visible appliances and all 🙂


So beautiful. I also want to thank you for always including the price of the materials and products you use. You’re so genuine.


Beautiful! Especially those Cle tiles and marble. Love those stools but my eyes are really wanting that natural tone instead of white for contrast. Not criticising here, just would like to see the natural ones plugged in for an option? I love when you show us all the options – you have us spoiled! But I love it all!!


i agree! the stools are the only thing i don’t like. they blend in with everything else… would’ve been a great opportunity to add texture and a little bit of contrast!


I’m actually with you on this one! I’d love to see the warmth and natural finish of the wooden stools in here to break up all the paint! But, maybe it’s one of those things where it may look better in a picture than in real life.


I agree, I would have liked to see the natural ones!

Kim B.

One more vote for natural-colored stools (not that “votes” matter, it’s your eye and your home!).


I was thinking the same thing! I wish the chairs were wood tone too, maybe even with rattan seats. I feel like it would have tied in the warm details of the room and helped to transition to the dinning room with the wooden ceiling beams. If it’s too busy maybe have chairs with both white and natural wood together, or maybe even black and natural to pick up on those sconces? But still such a stunning kitchen. I’m amazed how you worked with those angles!


I love the kitchen, but I too had issues with the white chairs. At first the black sconces would not have been my first choice, but then I really studied them and I completely understand why she chose them. They picked up the black grate on the cabinets, the gold on the fixtures and added the modern touch to go with the appliances. What I would do is keep the white chairs, but paint the seats black, and paint the legs black up to about 4 or 5 inches high from the floor. It would bring in a little more… Read more »


Get a paintable outlet cover for the island. That will help a little bit!

Your kitchen is PERFECT! Terrific ideas!


I am OBSESSED with this tile. And the marble. And the island. One day my kitchen is going to look like this!


Exciting reveal! I feel like just yesterday you were showing us the plans for the kitchen. Everything is beautiful especially the cabinet color.

Where can we buy the Strong White paint sample? I’m looking for a good light neutral color for my main rooms in my new house. In our old house, with textured walls, we used BM Pale Oak. Flat walls seem less forgiving. I want to put a few options on the walls.


Merry early Christmas to us!! I was soooooooo excited to open the blog this morning to see this post! This kitchen is beyond dreamy and so perfectly executed. And that floor!!!!!!!!!! All the heart eye emojis!

Regarding the water softener – we rent ours for about $200 a year. Are there places in California that rent them? We are Canadian but it can’t only be a Canadian thing? That way if something happens to it, the company comes out and fixes it. We rent our hot water heater too.


Canadian viewer here too….and we also rent our water softener cause our water is SO full of copper that it essentially rots out the softener faster than you can pay for it. So, if you have issues, they come and fix it or replace it if necessary. We CANNOT have hard water – it stains the tub orange plus the water spots on everything is HORRIFIC! AND, my skin absolutely detests hard water. I can tell instantly when the water softener isn’t working cause my skin “puckers” up!!!


Gorgeous! Everything is so beautiful and full of love. Thank you also for including the costs– it helps to get a sense of the project as a whole, and the decisions and resources that have to go into it. Congratulations!

I have no words other then I am OBSESSED with everything in this kitchen design especially those matte black grill cabinets!!!

Our kitchen had the exact same cabinet color when we moved in. We opened up and toned down too, and are so happy with the result. I wish I had thought to film it all …


Congratulations! A beautiful kitchen in a very challenging shape. Love it! Also enjoying the glimpses of your stripped back beams – they look GREAT! Can’t wait to see the rest of the house

Love love love everything about this! You rocked it Emily!


I highly recommend swapping the outlet on the island. Change the outlet plug for a black or brown version and use an unlaquared brass plate. It will look original to the house and blend in, but also stand out in the best way. Our 1925 house hasd the same combo and when we rewired I insisted on brown plugs in the older round style instead of decora square ones. The kitchen looks great and the island works. And if anyone comes over and asks why you needed to open up the wall you can point at the island and say… Read more »


I agree – black/brown outlet with brass or black cover. It will be lower contrast.


I’m guessing that this outlet is a GFCI since it’s in the kitchen which would mean it has to be decora style (squared off). Check out the Leviton Renu Outlet line – they come in a range of colors with matching covers. We found a shade of medium gray that nearly perfectly matched our backsplash which really made them disappear.


wow! what a spectacular update to this space. you’re kitchen is so well done. I’m loving the lighting and mesh cabinets so, so much. the carpentry and design in the cabinets is amazing. you must be in heaven. My only edit would be the bar chairs. The white just doesn’t speak to me, all my eye wants to see is a wood tone and something more special. these seem so market saturated to me. They are gorgeous, of course, but I can’t help but think a unique star is waiting out there. 🙂 Congrats on such a beautiful redesign and… Read more »


It looks really gorgeous. I was in the camp of painting more cabinets the lovely green, but the off-white looks great after all. And I love the new pendant. It’s perfect. Congrats on a job done so well – and on your new life!


This is a beautiful reveal, but I have so many questions that were not answered via the previous posts leading up to this one. 1. APPLIANCES’ FINISH – Why not choose white appliances instead of steel? (Other folks asked why not choose integrated appliances that look like cabinets?) 2. STOVE – Why did you need six burners? I am being serious, given that it takes up counter space. 3. MICROWAVE – Why not just put it above the stove? 4. BRASS – Could you please show a photo of what these handles and faucet will look like AFTER the patina… Read more »


I hope the microwave over the oven trend dies suddenly. So glad she put it in the island. Also, her kids would never be able to microwave anything for themselves until they were like teenagers.

On that note – Emily, what is the step stool Charlie is using? Looks like a good, sturdy, low-profile one. Would love to know the source.

The kitchen is seriously perfect! I want to plop it right into my house.


ugh, I *hated* having the microwave over the stove. Why would it ever seem like a good idea to have to lift boiling hot things over your head to retrieve them???

Plus, when I would cook on the stove, the handle to the microwave would get SUPER hot. I much much much prefer a tucked away microwave, just like Emily chose. Plus, microwave “hoods” never really work. A true range hood is far preferable if you can swing it.


I was just reading thru the comments to see if anyone else asked about that stepstool! I want to know too! My almost 3 year-old loves to “help” in the kitchen and that looks so much safer than a chair.


We have our microwave on the counter. I started keeping it unplugged after my then 2 year old managed to climb onto the counter so he could play with the many fascinating musical buttons. So this thing where it is at toddler height would personally make me insane, but probably Emily’s kids are far better behaved than mine. I also prefer white appliances over stainless steel, but we could not find a good stove in white (at least in our price range.) So we ended up with a stainless stove but white refrigerator and dishwasher. Hopefully by the time the… Read more »


Omg yes, I hate the microwave over the stove combo. Who wants to stare into an inevitably dirty microwave while at the stove. Plus it is just UGLY!

Liz M

I am so jazzed about this kitchen! It is so different from what I would have expected, and love the design risks you took. It is of the moment without being trendy or basic. I am also selfishly excited to see the Massey pulls in a real kitchen since I am seriously considering them for the kitchen reno I’m in the middle of. Did you use the 8″ on everything? We have a variety of drawer sizes (11.5″,27.5″, 36″) and debating about what sizes to get!


What I wouldn’t give for 6 burners…

And clearly Emily isn’t left wanting counter space, she has that giant beautiful island.

Love it or hate it, SS appliances tend to be considered more high-end looking than white, and IMO the integrated appliance look strikes me as a bit 90s.

I take it you don’t really like farmhouse sinks, that’s fine, but I happen to love them; I think they look amazing in every style of kitchen. Clean, minimal, yet statement making.


weird. I’m sorry if this comment is a dupe. I love, LOVE this kitchen!! what a spectacular design. the quality of carpentry and design in the cabinets is amazing. It is simple and modern all together. just gorgeous. I think the lighting and mesh are my favorite details. the only edit I would make are the bar stools. My eye is searching for a wood tone and something more, special. These are of course gorgeous, but they seem overplayed in the market. There’s a unique star out there somewhere. What a beautiful family you have. enjoy ever second of every… Read more »


My eye is searching for something to tie in the sconces. They stick out like a sore thumb in style and color to me, and maybe barstools with black/brass could help? Preferably, just give up on them. They just don’t actually work.


Thank you! I was going to write that. I adore everything about this kitchen but in every wide shot all I see are the black sconces.


WATER SOFTENER – we JUST moved cross country to north east Florida into 2 year old 3750 Sq. foot $$$ home. All beautiful custom faucets in kitchen, bar and 3.5 baths had lime, scale, Emily-not-approved gunk on them. Every neighbor said we MUST have a water softener and could not believe the first and original homeowner did not put one in. My husband spent entire day cleaning all faucets and a water softener was installed by week’s end. Same hubby called 3-4 companies and was confidant installing chosen one for out home – cost $1600. It’s on wall in garage.… Read more »


Sherries, would you mind sharing the name of the company you used? I’m in Florida and on the search for a water softener; would love a referral. Thanks.


Also, your beams look amazing!

Jenny B

Beautiful! Marble advice – we’ve had marble for 5 years now and there is no reason to ever have stains! You will have etching, but as long as you seal the marble every 6 months to a year with Bulletproof Sealer you will not get stains, Etching adds patina and will happen no matter what, stains just make it ugly. Don’t forget the sealing. You should probably do it again right now before you move in because fabricators never do it enough, they are in too much of a hurry. It’s a super easy homeowner process, you basically just wipe… Read more »


Cosigned, SO HARD. This may be marble sacrilege, but I’ve found that stains can easily be lifted out with a little liquid soft scrub left to dry then scraped off. Seal afterwards. Works like a charm, doesn’t seem to harm the marble one bit.


wow. i got a lump in my throat during the part about being able to effortlessly go outside. i wasn’t expecting to have an emotional response–but i SO remember how lovely it was when we had a new patio poured to replace our broken, trashy, smashed up concrete patio. The kids couldn’t walk on it without help, so it was a chore to get all three of them outside. Our new patio made life so much easier! You are going to LOVE it and it will be a total game-changer for you. I am EXCITED for you about this! The… Read more »

Wow, Emily. This is so tasteful and gorgeous. The island looks amazing. It all looks very compact and efficient also. My favorite elements are the marble and that island light fixture! I personally would choose more traditional sconces and wood stools, but those are elements that bring in your personal taste and I think the complete picture is such a perfect blend. Well done.


Such a beautiful space! I cannot wait to see what you do with the rest of the house!


Speechless. Standing O. Amazing.


Damn, girl, you really pulled it off! This is gorgeous and making me SO jealous, especially that pot filler!!!

I’m not obsessed with the white bar chairs… I know you said that you love them more than the wood, but I feel like it’s a wee bit too much contrast against the green island. As long as the wood chairs have *enough* contrast w/ the wood floors, I feel like I’d prefer the wood. My $0.02, not that you asked for it. 😉

Keep these posts coming, your blog seriously makes my heart happy!


We inherited a water softener with our house and I don’t ever not want to have one again. I’m always itchy and the soft water helps so much with that. But, the only drawback is that you, pets, and plants can’t consume soft water. So we have a second filter in the kitchen that filters the soft water, we have a separate faucet (so there are two faucets, but the filtered one is small) at the sink, and then a separate line running to our fridge. Maybe the previous owners just set it up funny, but it’s a little bit… Read more »


Oh, it’s so, so pretty! You get to live there! i want to walk into that tile and live in it. Also, must find a way to incorporate that beautiful F&B green into my home! And I hear you on life getting easier. We just moved into a new apartment that has a little back patio/tiny garden off the kitchen and it is a dream to let my kids out on their own. Life just gets so much better with that. But in my experience I wouldn’t call this a tiny kitchen – size is so relative, isn’t it? When… Read more »


BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Someone may have already suggested this, but can’t you paint the outlet cover the same green as the island? It would totally blend in.


Hi Emily Congrats on your new kitchen and house. I love to follow the renovation and love most of your choices but one thing I don’t understand and which I sadly, think detracts from the kitchen are the stainless steel appliances. Everything else is brass/gold and the two metals seem to fight with each other. And I think it is a shame that the dishwasher and fridge isn’t integrated in the kitchencabinets. Where I live (Denmark) those are almost always integrated (unless you have a SMEG fridge?) Integrated appliances calms the eye and it looks more expensive, at least to… Read more »

Lauren D

I have such a design-lady-boner right now! Where did you source the wire mesh??




I agree with the comments about the stools. My first thought on seeing the kitchen was, she needs to switch out those stools. They are the first thing my eye goes to (not a good thing). They kind of cheapen the whole look, and stand out even more and look jarring next to the color of the island. Maybe stools with some black that will tie in the black sconces? I imagine when you’re standing in the kitchen the black of the sconces tie in somewhat with the appliances, but looking into the kitchen there needs to be something else… Read more »


Totally agree on the black accent. My eye was looking for something to tie the sconces to. They are pretty severe all alone.


Emily, give yourself a pat on the back. Your kitchen is simply perfection.


Outlet cover: 1. The best outlet covers for painting are the metal ones with a bit of a crinkled surface texture. 2. You can get the decora innards (the actual electric plug-in part) in a variety of colors. They won’t have your exact color, but there will be a shade that tones nicely. 3. Once you get that outlet sorted, the white seating will look even more beautiful and sculptural. 4. The code requirements for kitchens are a pain but very very smart. The day will come soon when you’ll be happy to plug in a laptop while seated, or… Read more »


wowzers….BEAUTIFUL! the tile is especially stunning, as is the black matte grill. you and your team did such a wonderful job, and it’s fun to see a different design style from you. this makes me excited to see the rest of the house! the only things i don’t feel fully on-board with are the sconces…obviously you know far better than the rest of us non-designers, but if a room is going to mix styles, i usually find it more pleasing to the eye to see more than one item of a certain style (as in, if you have multiple mid-century… Read more »


correction: i just realized the grill is black and could theoretically tie in with the black in the sconces….maybe it ties in more in person and it’s just not reading as such in the pics…


same here, the scones scream at me too 😉 ! Would love to see an alternative, but other than that i really like the kitchen and it’s interesting to see the different styles of Emily.


Absolutely stunning in every detail! I love your impeccable taste and the teaching you provide. So glad you will be in a house for the littles to run in and out all day. With your perfect Cali weather it is the perfect house and set-up. Merry Christmas! I hope you get a well-deserved break with your sweet family in the new house over the holidays.


Very beautiful! The quirky island and grills make it for me. The sconces are perfect. I love the tile, Thank you so much for using marble! I even like the new floors. The furniture leg on the cabinets is cool too. Great job!


I LOVE THIS KITCHEN! My favorite post of yours EVER. Can you please tell me where you found the pendant? I know it’s a vintage piece, but which store did you find it in? I’m dying to find one that’s similar!


Stunning kitchen! I’ll admit that when you showed us the design plans, I didn’t think I would like the island. But it’s so lovely! I can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of this glorious new house.


Can you (or someone) explain what the other faucet on the right does? The one that looks like it just has a single hot water knob.

I love the understated look of this kitchen but I’d be wary of the all white stools – our stools get so much use and get scuffed very easily, I can’t imagine the upkeep on the white paint to keep it looking blemish-free.


Holy smokes its done! Gather your things, gather the kids and get in that beautiful house!

Okay okay, there are other things to be done. You made beautiful choices for the kitchen and dining space. Can’t wait to see the rest! Very happy for you all!

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