My Dad's Kitchen

Dagny from Beautiful Living tagged me to do a post about my kitchen...

Well, the thing is, I don't really have my own kitchen! since we're in the process of looking for homes now :) My mom & stepdad's kitchen is in the process of being redsigned (I will show before & afters as soon as we're finished!) so I'll have to show you my dad's kitchen, which we're in the process of decorating now. (I did a post on this kitchen when I first started the blog, so I apologize for the repeat for those of you who read it the first time, but I've tried to include some more details & before pictures in this post!!!)
My dad lives in our old 1920s family cottage in Antioch, Illinois, a little lake town outside of Chicago:
So, we've completely renovated the cottage & are now in the process of trying to bring back some of its old charm. (I live vicariously through my my dad & he lets me make the design decisions although we've had some battles!! Believe it or not my dad is very into Italianate, ornate, more is better type of decorating!!! ahhhh) Anyway, below is the kitchen after the house was gutted (and all new natural-finished hardwood floors installed) but before cabinetry & details were added. The cabinets you see are "temporary" cabinets & islands & that type of thing:

And here is is now:

We used standard Home Depot cabinetry & had my dad's (amazingly talented!!) carpenters from GPS Constuction add in custom details, saving a ton of money. They lined the sides of the cabinets with beadboard, added corbels to the island, built a custom stove hood and put beadboard & beams on the ceiling. They also created 2 arches & put the stove in the nook created by on of the archs.

Below, yes that is a TV in the dining room. (My dad's a bachelor.) No worries though- that baby's history!! (See pic beneath)

More of Home Depot's standard cabinetry was added into this nook & we removed the wood panels from the upper cabinets & had glass put in so we could showcase my Grandma Maestranzi's china, which has been in the house since the 50s. As you can see, adding hardware to the cabinetry is still on my to-do list. The backsplash here is beadboard and the carpenters matched it up perfectly so it continues right into the uppers:

I had so much fun displaying all of my Grandma's old china. She had a hodgepodge of different collections & over the years at the lakehouse so much of it has been broken, because it's what we use for daily use, but it all works really well together:

Check out some of the hysterical details below. Do you see above the high chair that I had hung some of my Grandma's china mid-construction?!! I am such a nut & was just so excited to get it up there. And the clock too? The truth is, my dad just got so used to his "temporary" kitchen that we never thought he's finish it, so I just started hanging things! (OCD much? haha) Even now my dad refuses to get rid of his hot pots and convection oven & all of the little gadgets he used "before the kitchen." (Thank goodness we have a ton of storage- it's all under the island now!)

Here's that area of the kitchen now (below) It's hard to tell but the ceiling is inset with beadboard and you can see in the center of the beam there's a little electrical hole where I'm putting another chandelier to match the one in the dining room.

Here's the chandelier (by Currey & Company) in the dining room & I'm sort of obsessed with it. It's a cross which is really special to my family & it's such a strong, rustic element. I love it's heaviness against all the white. It's also strong enough to handle the farmhouse table beneath.

Now, I need some honest opinions about the chair situation. These are the antique chairs we've had for years that I stole from another room for this picture. They're all mismatched but they work nicely together... (in fact I love them) BUT my question is... should I go for new ones in here (because I will have to either replace these in this room or the other room I took them from) for this room? My original thoughts were these wingchairs (below- check out the nailhead detailing) on the ends in a neutral linen-like sunbrella fabric (we are messy!) and then go with hard-backed dining chairs in for the middle chairs. OR should I keep it as it is? (A rug's going down & natural shades & linen drapes are replacing my boughs of fir but I was thinking I still probably needed some more fabric/ layers in the room... so what do you think??) Just a bit more info---- it's freeeeezing a lot of the year so I like the wingchair idea but it's also a lakehouse that sees lots of traffic in the warmer months... Has anyone used sunbrella for something like this? (And you know I want it fairly light) Any pros/ cons/ advice??

Here's a close-up of the wooden bowl I found at Volo Antiques. Fell in love with it & thought it was so unique & am seeing them everywhere now... I think because I'm noticing them now that I have one! But really, everything looks good in it (We had family over the night before I took these pics & served french bread in it & I cannot tell you how insanely happy it made me to have this finished kitchen & everything so easy & pretty)
Here's my little guy's highchair. (I love these Eddie Bauer highchairs because they're so pretty & still so functional... I have a pale wood version of it at home & my cousin has the cherry version- THE BEST! People told me my house would be all babied-out & I was so scared of all the plastic and primary colors but there are so many grat companies out there making stylish baby stuff now!) (Also, you can see those plates still hanging there!! haha)
Below if a close-up of the custom hood. I was surprised by the shape/ size (distance-decorating is not always the easiest!) but now love it:

Above, the vintage linen dosh towl is also from Volo (I promise to do a post on it next time I go!) & I framed prints & hung them over the stove for a makeshift backsplash. Below, I was having such a good time putting things on the island. I made a million arrangements I was so happy with it but this was left ovr from the nigt before. (I know those birch candles should be so cheesy to me because they go against certain principles I have, but for some reason I love them!!)

Below are some apothecary jars I found at Target to use as food cannisters:
And (below) here is a pair of wooden candlesticks I found at Volo for $5!!
Below, I set the table with my grandma's old china & mismatched silver and mixed in some pieces I found at Volo (the sprarkely glass cups, large center plates and aluminum bowl the flowers are in) and Target (mercury candle holders & linen napkins) I had so much fun doing the flower arrangement as it was the first on I'd ever done with the spongey thing -an oasis I just learned!- inside.

We're in the process of decorating the rest of the house now & I can't WAIT to show you!!!!
And here are the questions from Dagny:
1) What color is your kitchen? Home Depot's "Raffia Cream" and dining room base is "Gobi Desert"
2)Describe your kitchen. (I showed pics for this one.)
3) Describe your dream kitchen. Very similar to this one but I would love to have gray slate or soapstone or concrete countertops... No uppers & a huge window instead of uppers accross the back. Big island with lots of seating is a must. I would do lots of family dinners right there. Beautiful lighting.
4) What's your favorite activity in the kitchen? Hanging out with friends family & eating/ drinking/ preparing food... socializing
5) Name one thing this kitchen is lacking/ missing: lighting!!! Still on the to-do list is to get lighting in the glass cabinets, undercabinet lighting & also that second chandelier!!
6) Do you cook & bake a lot? Not as much as I used to when I had my own kitchen... Now we trade-off cooking nights & I find it's just not as satisfying when it's not my own kitchen :(
7) What don't you like in your kitchen/ what would you like to change? In my dad's kitchen, I would change some of the smaller details (which I'm pretty much over now) like some of the moldings used I think are too flowery/ feminine for such a simple space, the corbels were more ornate than I would've liked... (It really is hard to do some of that over the phone) oh yeah.. and that faucet is OUTTA THERE!!!! ;)
8) What do you love about your (dad's) kitchen? I just love the feeling, the spaciousness, the simplicity & how easy it is to work & entertain in it.
9)Worst kitchen activity? Definitely cleaning up.
10) Tea or coffee? "Meh" to both although I sometims get really into mint tea...
11) Chocolate ore vanilla? hmmm.... gotta be both!
12. Prepare food, or eat it? I like both too! I love to eat & I know just what I love so I guess that's why I like to cook!!
13. Do you prefer to serve your meals in the dining room or the kitchen? Really depends upon my mood/ level of exhaustion.
So there you have it, the kitchen I pretend is mine until I have my own:
Instead of tagging 3 of you lovely bloggers (because there are so many of you whose kitchens I'm dying to see!!!) I'm just kind of tagging everyone & whover wants to do this post can put a link to it in the comments section.
can't wait to see them!!!


DesignTies said...

Well, my kitchen is NOT worthy of showing, so I'll just wait till there's another room being tagged!! ;-)

You've done a wonderful job decorating your dad's kitchen :-) I love that you use and display your grandma's china -- the fact that it's mismatched adds to the charm :-)

I also kind of like the mismatched chairs -- although the wing chair you posted is really nice. I'm torn..... maybe the wing chair for the two head chairs and the rest mismatched wood chairs??

The ceiling is fantastic!!

Hehehehe!! I never thought of myself as being every man's dream girl!! :-D Although believe it or not, my hubby is NOT into sports, other than volleyball. He's probably the only guy in Canada who doesn't know how to skate and doesn't like hockey!!

Kelly @ DesignTies

Marge said...

Your grandmother's china is gorgeous! What pattern is that large plate? Thanks for sharing!

Love Where You Live said...

I like the idea of using the wingbacks at the table ends. They're elegant but not pretentious. I love using Sunbrella, which I've used in my island house (think lots of sand; plus I have dog who is really our child). Think that's a great way to go. cheers -s

LindsB said...

I loved this kitchen the first time you posted it, and I still love it now- it not even more! It is so beautiful, all the little details look great! I love in the little nook that the beadboard goes all the way to the top, and I love the little feet you put on the underside of the cabinets to make it feel more like furniture- its all so beautiful!

As for the chairs, I love the idea of the wing chairs on either end, but I also love the way it looks now. What if you got the wing chairs for the table, but also were able to use them in another room too? Like a mix and match kind of thing, you could change the chairs out to fit your mood.

Either way, I think you have done some amazing work here- I love it!! xoxox

Chris said...

First of all, (once again) I love all the details you offer in your posts! So many pictures and details to stare at! I am SO on the fence about the chairs. I love both ideas (especially that the chairs already there are mis-matched!). I really can't give you an answer. My only issue would be making sure you have the space for those chairs, and I can't really tell that in the pics. I don't doubt that you'll make the right choice! And finally, I have those exact same birch candles ,and I worry about those "principles" you talked about! I hope they're not tacky! :)

Paloma {La Dolce Vita} said...

What a fantastic transformation!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great makeover. I vote for upholstered chairs. Love the wingbacks for the ends.

The Steel Magnolia House said...

Hey Lauren,
I know, I have been totally MIA. Sorry about that...I am excited about taking the blog in a new direction though. Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so glad I have blogger buddies like you.
The kitchen: it's BEAUTIFUL! It's entirely you. Pure Style. It's elegant and comfortable at the same time. I LOVE the wing chairs. They might not be too pragmatic, but they will look beautiful, and will be very comfortable. They will be great for long family dinners with lots of laughs! I have indoor/outdoor fabric on two of my dining room pull up chairs and they have faired o.k. I wiped them down with a wet rag a few times after a couple of spills and most of it came up.
Will be in touch with the new blog (next week or so prob.).

Blueprint Bliss said...

Lauren- it is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing... I am going to attempt to tile my backsplash this weekend... so hopefully I will have some photos to post soon!

Haven and Home said...

I love that Currey light! I would also do the wing chairs. I love wing chairs at dining tables. I do Sunbrella ALOT or at least indoor/outdoor fabric inside alot. It has come such a long way and you can find softer, less "outdoor" fabric if you look. Let me know what you decide!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

What a beautiful kitchen with great details...and huge kudos to you for doing it over the phone!

LOVE the archways and that oven nook...and the ceiling is the bomb!!!

ness lockyer said...

Wow! Your Dad's kitchen is lovely. The table looks amazing also. Your kitchen will be stunning I am sure of it.
Ness xx

Velvet and Linen said...

Fantastic job, Lauren. What an amazing transformation. Love the chandelier, and your grandmother's china looks so lovely in that cabinet (and on the wall!).
I definitely think you should go for the wing chairs.
They would be so cozy. Especially since it is so chilly in Illinois.


High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

I loved this kitchen the first time and I love it again now. So beautiful. You need an amazing. It is quite the dream kitchen. I love love love that you used basic cabinets from Home Depot and then used small details to make the wow punch. It's just fantastic. I love that the chairs are mix-matched, but I also think it would be great to snuggle up in a Wing chair with some hot chocolate. I think I would try to get head of the table always. Decisions. Decisions.

MaryBeth said...

Go with the wing chairs all the way. I am desperate for Windsor Smith's with the monogram for my dining room. I love absolutely everything you have done. In one of the pix I saw the old chandelier and thought "oh no" but then I saw the new cross version which is just great. You have such talent.
Good luck and much fun in the new space to you and your family. MB

Lauren said...

Ok, wing chairs it is! And LindsB I like the idea that maybe it doesn't have to be permanent & they can always end up in another room if it ends up to be too much in the summertime heat.

thanks everyone so much!!!

Lauren said...

Marge- I'll have get back to you on the pattern as soon as I can!! (They're a few states away!)

And also thanks everyone for letting me know how the indoor.outdoor fabric works- I really appreciate that & will be gettin right on these chairs!!!


Colour Me Happy said...

Wow stunning kitchen and so great the way you styled it for the photo shoot! I like the chairs around the table and doing just those wing chairs at each end would probably work well for your bachelor dad!

I especially love the black framed artwork above the stove. Very dramatic and draws the eye.

Beautiful Living said...

Wow, it's utterly beautiful! I really love what you've done! The little niche with your grandmothers china is so beautiful, really well executed. When it comes to the dining room chairs, I would have kept the vintage chairs. I feel that the winged chairs would maybe be too big for the space? It looks so nice and airy the way it is now. And the chairs you've found are just stunning.
Love the chandelier too, it reakky makes a statement in the room. :) And the island with the stools! I want one too!! Your grandmothers china is really stunning! Love the turquoise/gold plate, would totally look perfect in my home! :D:D

Can't wait for you to get your own house and see what ypu'll do with it! How's your search going???


Lauren said...

Dagny- You'v got me on the fence again!!!! hahah well I guess the good thing would be that I could always move the wing chairs around.. I'll have to keeo everyone posted!!!

paula said...

this looks amazing! what a transformation. As for sunbrella, I've used it on two benches in the dining area. It holds up great especially with little ones.

Anonymous said...

Lauren I love what you have done!
Nice job. Very classy just like you.

TJLoop85 said...

The kitchen looks amazing!

I love all the detail, straight down to the crown molding and the contrasting brown and white colors.

Great job!


lauriegraham said...

I am in love with the home decor your dad has at his home. I always find home decor accessories at Ballard Designs.

Swinnifred46 said...

I'd just like to thank you so much for posting the pictures in this post. Me and my husband have recently got married and now all the pressure and organization of the wedding is over, we've all the pressure of moving into our new house and decorating it. We had no clue what to do with the kitchen and kept disagreeing on different ideas, now we've looked at some of the photos in this post, we've been able to pull out ideas from other people's kitchens, so thank you very much! :)