We’ve officially lived in our renovated kitchen for an entire year now, which is double the amount of time we spent in our previous renovated kitchen prior to moving (crazy!). I feel like we’re truly enjoying it and I’m so happy we prioritized renovating that space quickly after moving into our house. I wanted to follow up with a “year later” post, sharing what we love about it, a few things we might do differently, how the space has evolved over the course of a year, and how we actually use the kitchen each day. Click through for an updated post, one year after the big reveal. I’m answering an FAQ section, too! Oh- and before you click through to read this “real life” styled post… you can find the beautiful, editorial styled reveal from last year right here. Enjoy!
*This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!
One of my amazing friends on the Lowe’s team I work with asked me why Emmett & I always choose the DIY route, and one thing came to mind. I share a LOT of process posts and tutorials throughout our home renovations, but the real reward is living in a beautiful, functional, and finished space once the dust settles. It’s what happens after the DIY is finished- that’s where the magic is. It’s the drive that keeps us tackling project-after-project because the end result is always a gorgeous backdrop to make memories, and a home that fits our family (from an aesthetic and functional point-of-view). We DIY for ourselves… because it’s fun, it results in a home we absolutely love, and I enjoy sharing the process and educational tidbits with you (which is fulfilling for me).
Our kitchen is functional, full of storage, and totally feels like us- which I think is the most important. It just belongs with our home and family. It genuinely makes me happy to cook here, make my morning coffee, and spend time in this gorgeous space. It has been a year of bliss living with our finished kitchen! Who else remembers when our kitchen looked like the below image? You can catch all of the before images in this post (these were taken PRE kitchen and formal living room renovations, so the views are almost unrecognizable).
This is what it looks like today… well, if I’m being technical- this was the scene last Saturday morning. Regardless, it has come a longggg way since that before photo.
Our Favorite Features
Ready to dive in and see how our kitchen looks “a year after the after?” First up- our favorite features…
- The professional gas range // We cook a LOT- especially this year, during the pandemic. This is definitely the nicest range we’ve ever owned and I love cooking on it… GE gas range for the win!
- The knife cabinet // My favorite cabinet is our hidden knife block and utensil storage. I love having these items to the left of the range for easy access, yet they’re out-of-sight. Take a complete video tour and peek inside our cabinets here!
- The spice drawers // The spice drawers are Emmett’s favorite storage component. We cook with a lot of spices and these two drawers house them all. Grab my tutorial for the organized jars here.
- The giant sink // We’re team single basin sink over here, and our black Kohler sink is beautiful, functional, and fits EVERYTHING (including the dogs). We’ve definitely given them a bath in the sink before- even Crosby surprisingly fits (though he only gets a paw wash from time-to-time, to avoid a huge mess).
- Tons of storage // We have more storage than we’ll ever need. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit, we even have empty cabinets… which I feel is unheard of. Everything has a place and we have room to grow and cabinets that can be filled if needed.
Updates Over the Past Year
I’d be lying if I said nothing has changed in this space during the past year. We’ve definitely made some updates during the months that followed our kitchen reveal…
- Adding a mobile kitchen cart // As you’ve probably noticed, I tackled a little DIY kitchen cart project and it currently lives in the center of the room. This is mostly for aesthetic and styling purposes, as we don’t have room for a full kitchen island. I just enjoy plopping plants, greenery, and produce onto the cart.
- A new garbage disposal // I’m ashamed to admit this, but I burnt up our new garbage disposal shortly after we finished the kitchen. How, you might ask? Well, it’s SO quiet (seriously)… I forgot that I turned it on, and I let it run all day and night. We bought the exact same model, Emmett replaced it, and that hasn’t happened since. You can hardly hear it running, so I feel like this was an easy mistake. Emmett has accidentally left it on, too. We did find out it has a “safety” feature where you can adjust the disposal to shut off after a certain amount of time, so now it’s set to that and we’re better at remembering to turn it off. I’m telling you- it’s THAT quiet.
- Just more stuff, in general // We’ve accumulated “more stuff”… functional items, decor items, cookbooks, utensils, serveware… you name it. The space isn’t quite as minimal as it looked during the initial reveal last year.
- Hanging our pizza peel // While social distancing, we became very into pizza making. We bought a long pizza paddle and it’s so beautiful (and big), I wanted to display it in our kitchen. It hangs on the paneled side of the fridge, to the right of range… almost like artwork. We use it once a week (pizza Fridays!), so it’s convenient and looks pretty.
- Styling a countertop lamp // I’ve always wanted a countertop lamp, and our kitchen definitely has room and the counter space for one (check out my thoughts on counter space in this post). It’s on a remote, so there is no cord in the way, and I love the warm glow it adds to our kitchen in the evening hours.
Frequently Asked Kitchen Questions
Would you install dark cabinetry again?
Without a doubt! I love our moody kitchen and the dark color palette. The cabinets are really a chameleon color… they change throughout the day and with the weather (you probably notice that in my images). Sometimes they look more navy, and sometimes they look like a deep teal. I love the color and that is actually my most asked question, “What color are your kitchen cabinets?!” You can find my paint swatch matches to our cabinetry in this post. White kitchens are nice and wood cabinetry is beautiful, but we been there before… I wanted something different, and I’m very happy I pushed myself creatively to go for dark cabinetry. It feels right for us and this house! It never feels cave-like or gloomy in our kitchen, either. If you’re also planning to purchase your cabinetry from Lowe’s, like we did, I shared my favorite readymade cabinet colors they offer in this post.
Do your cabinets get dirty easily, since they’re so dark?
I usually deep clean the kitchen and wipe the cabinetry down once a month, but they hide dirt pretty well. I don’t really notice dirt, smudges, or spots (unless I spill something). They’re wearing very well and look just like they did the day we installed them!
Why did you not incorporate a kitchen island? Will you add one? Why the kitchen cart?
Photos probably make our kitchen appear larger than it actually is in person. We really don’t have room for an island. We would need something very slender, long, and narrow to fit the space, providing an adequate traffic path. The kitchen cart was a project I wanted to tackle for a sponsored post. I thought it would be useful for entertaining and would give me a tiny surface to style a plant, greenery, flowers, or produce in our kitchen. It really is functional and I like having it! Is it my dream kitchen cart? No, but I don’t want to rush into buying something that doesn’t perfectly fit the space. If a vintage French kitchen cart comes along that is long and narrow, I would definitely snag it… but for now- our budget-friendly little cart is awesome (so I’m not actively searching for a replacement). It’s more for styling than anything.
How are your countertops holding up?
Soapstone just gets better with time! As you might imagine, it’s look better now than it did when we installed it. The veining is really coming out, speckles are coming to the surface, and it’s getting a nice patina in certain areas. I have LOVED watching it change over the course of the year. You can find out more about our soapstone here and here.
Do you still love your appliances?
Our appliances are amazing! The dishwasher is super quiet, our fridge is the best (I recently re-organized it), the hidden microwave is great, and the gas range is wonderful. I will say, our oven igniter went out a couple months ago, which was a bummer- given the oven is just a year old. The timing wasn’t great because Emmett’s dad was here visiting, but we ordered the part, Emmett replaced it, and it’s working like new again. I’m guessing this isn’t the norm and it was just a fluke, based on the thousands of positive reviews. Most people I know who have the GE Cafe Collection range, haven’t had any issues whatsoever. Who knows. Bottom line- our appliances are my favorite, especially the dishwasher. As a reminder, our appliances before we renovated were functional, but pretty basic… I don’t miss them.
That same view today, pictured below, looks pretty different! We definitely make our appliances work hard and put them to good use.
I’m linking all of the big items and appliances in the mood board below (everything came from Lowe’s, excluding the countertops). You can find the accessories and small objects in a shopping slider below!
01: rohl country kitchen faucet // 02: bedrosians cloe grey tile (with mapei grout in color pewter) // 03: rohl country kitchen pot filler // 04: amerock cabinetry pull // 05: amerock cabinetry knob // 06: kohler whitehaven kitchen sink // 07: cafe 6-burner gas range // 08: bruce hardwood flooring (in spice color… herringbone tutorial here) // 09: ge profile microwave // 10: diamond cabinets (door style: lisette | color: maritime) // 11: garbage disposal // 12: polished nickel sconce // 13: legrand outlet covers // 14: ge profile dishwasher (ours is the panel ready version) // 15: kitchenaid side-by-side refrigerator
A Few Small Things We Would Change
I honestly wouldn’t change much about our kitchen. It feels pretty perfect for us and I love the way it looks! However, there are a few things we might do differently if given the chance… ironically, all of our knit picking items have to do with plumbing.
- Extra pot filler over the espresso machine // In our previous kitchen, I designed a pot filler to live over the espresso machine. I loved the convenience and wish I would’ve spent the extra time and money to do that in our current kitchen. It sounds silly, but refilling tank in the sink annoys me. It’s definitely not as convenient, based on how often I drink coffee and refill the tank. During the renovation, we were pressed for time and trying to save room in the budget, so we passed on plumbing in a pot filler. Wrong move on our part! I really miss having that.
- Fridge with a water filter // Our refrigerator is amazing, panel-ready (so it looks integrated with our cabinetry), and super nice… but there is one thing we can’t believe it doesn’t have: a water filtration system. Somehow we didn’t realize this until after the renovation was completed. This was our budget-friendly remedy for that, but now we have to figure out how to hide our water dispenser in the dining room somewhere. It would’ve been far more convenient to get water straight from the fridge and not have to deal with an exterior filtration unit… or install an osmosis system at the sink.
- Different side spray // The side spray that matches our kitchen faucet is not my favorite. It’s not very ergonomic, is super heavy, and the cord tends to kink, stopping mid spray. It also takes a lot of pressure to push the spray button and hurts my thumb. It’s a bit of workout when using it. The faucet itself is perfect and beautiful… it’s just the side spray I have major complaints about.
Our kitchen looks nothing like it did the day we moved into our house, and it’s honestly difficult to remember the way it looked before. The current version just seems to belong, and I feel like that is a testament to the design- a year later we still absolutely love it! Sure, it changes seasonally, I swap out accessories and style it to my heart’s content, but that’s the beauty of having a functional backdrop you really love… it’s a fun space to be in and work with.
I’m happy to answer any kitchen questions you may have in the comment section below! How has a year passed already, since revealing this space? Time is flying. One thing is for sure- I’m very happy to have this incredible finished kitchen… this year, more than ever.