Making a House a Home: Kitchen & Dining Room

Up next in my series of blog posts about styling and furnishing our new home, we cover what is arguably my favorite place to be at home – the rooms where we prepare food and eat it! I’ve previously covered the living room and family room decor in separate posts. Our new kitchen has a eat-in dining area, which I actually love. Some people are really into separate formal dining rooms, but I like the idea that the person in the kitchen is in the same room as the dining room – it maybe even encourages some pre-meal mingling at the table.

Here’s a vision board for our kitchen and dining room:

Color Scheme: The kitchen is very light and bright, with a lighter countertop and very light gray painted cabinetry. We were really prioritizing an updated kitchen with modern appliances and a light color scheme and I never thought we’d find it within our price range. We ending up finding it though! I want to carry through the light and clean colors by using a lot of white and gray and maybe some light blues in our decor.

Appliances: The appliances in our new home are only a few years old (the home was flipped a little more than two years ago) and are all black & stainless steel. We are upgrading the range because the home has gas, but it is not currently running to the kitchen. We picked out a gas range from Maytag with an extra large oven capacity (three racks!), convection heating for more even cooking/baking and steam cleaning features. The top has five burners and we’ll be able to swap out a griddle on two of the burners for searing fish, kebabs and burgers when it isn’t grilling season. If you know me, you aren’t the least bit surprised that the part of our home I didn’t blink on investing in was a top notch range. I love to cook and can’t wait for this new setup!

Earthenware and Simple Construction Dinnerware: In keeping with the Modern Farmhouse look of the kitchen, I wanted to try to find dinnerware that was simple, sturdy and had unique charm. I’m in the process of building up a set of dinnerware made by Asheville-based potters East Fork Pottery. While we build that collection, I’m pairing it with a similarly styled department store find from Bee and Willow Home, Bed Bath and Beyond’s new home line.

This is similar to the dining room table we’re getting

A Solid Wood White Farmhouse Table: Our dining room is not quite large enough that I’d want to have a full six person table set out all the time – so a table with a removable leaf is key. I also, despite loving the Farmhouse kitchen style, really dislike the benches. They remind me of church pews which were NOT comfortable to sit on long term, so I don’t want to put guests through that. We hunted around at a lot of consignment shops and furniture stores before settling on a reasonably priced one at an area discount furniture retailer. It is still solid wood, which was key, and we like the color contrast.

Maximizing Sunlight for Fresh Herbs! I really want to attempt to DIY this hanging herb garden over our sink. If it doesn’t work out, my backup plan is just using the bay window in the dining room. That being said, I love the idea of fresh herbs being easily at hand year-round. I typically grow fresh herbs in patio pots during the summer, but in Wisconsin that’s only a short four months or so.

Trying Our Best to Not Be Cluttered! We are moving from a VERY tight squeeze galley style kitchen in our apartment to this much more spacious and storage-friendly kitchen. (The actual kitchen is pictured above). Obviously the home was staged for the photos, but one of my biggest gripes in our tiny kitchen now is that I always have junk all over the countertops. I figure I can maximize the shelves in the dining room to hold my cookbook collection, and the only other things that should live on the countertops (with this much cabinet space) would be large appliances like the stand mixer and frequent use appliances like the coffee pot. I’m writing down this goal to keep myself accountable to not just sprawling into more space with even more junk.

I’ll be sure to share photos of this room and the rest of our house as we get settled in and figure out our decor and functionality of different spaces. We’re only three weeks away from our closing and I’m hoping to snag some great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on kitchen items. More to come!

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