new house tour | the kitchen

Marian ParsonsKitchen, My House172 Comments

I must confess that as I looked at this big, empty house, I felt a little intimidated by it.  When we bought our PA home, there was a lot of obvious work that needed to be done.  This house, though?  It’s beautiful.  Would my chippy, crusty antiques look like junk?  Would my ironstone look completely out of place?

The moment of truth came Saturday morning when an army of people from our church showed up to help unload our truck.  Before we talk about the kitchen and how my stuff looks in the house, I have to give public kudos to all of the people who showered love on us on moving day.  The 28′ truck, that was packed floor to ceiling, was completely empty in 45 minutes.  And once the truck was empty, many people stayed to help with everything from putting together beds to removing shrink-wrap from furniture, assembling shelves, and unpacking boxes.  A team of guys even hooked up my washer and dryer, down to making sure the doors opened in the most convenient direction.

It was an awesome display of service that I will never forget.

Once everyone left, I walked around and took in each room.  I could feel the ideas and excitement bubbling up.  I could see it.  It might take some figuring out to get it all just right, but my style is going to work in this house.  I think I knew in my gut that it would, from the moment I looked at the pictures in the listing, but I was second-guessing myself!

Most of the help I’ve had over the past week has been focused on the kitchen.  Since that room is the furthest along, I thought we would start the tour of my new house there.

Now, my last kitchen was pretty great.  It was probably the best part of the house and it was going to be tough to beat.  I don’t know if this one beats it yet, but I’m optimistic that it might!

It’s a U-shaped kitchen with a large island.  Nice maple cabinets, granite counters, and maple floors provide the bones of the space.

When I first looked at pictures of this house, I noticed right away that one thing couldn’t be checked off my “must” list for a house…a gas stove.  I know for some people, the kind of stove wouldn’t matter, but I like to cook and it’s a big deal for me.  My fellow gas-range-lovers will agree.  Can I get a witness?

Here’s the thing.  I am not good at cooking on electric.

Exhibit A…

Beyond all rational explanation, the bacon is simultaneously burnt and raw.

I showed the evidence to Jeff this morning and he pointed out that I was probably not paying attention.  Okay, I wasn’t fully attending to the bacon, which isn’t completely uncommon for me, but if that was the only factor, it would’ve been just burnt.  This was uneven cooking at its finest.  It was the stove.  Not my multi-tasking.

He wasn’t convinced.

But it doesn’t matter, because we made a pact when we decided to pursue this house – we would run a gas line and buy a gas range.  I’ll keep you posted on when and how that will happen.

The other changes I want to make are cosmetic.  As I’ve thought through the projects, I’ve decided to go with a splurge and save plan.  There are a couple of things I want to splurge on, like a beefy gas range and marble counters, and some things I want to save on, like painting the cabinets and installing a tile backsplash myself.  I’ll also forego the popular apron-front sink in favor of a less expensive white drop-in or under-mount sink (that won’t involve modifying the existing cabinet or purchasing a new one).

 It might surprise some that I want to replace the counters.  These are lovely granite counters, after all.  I sort of wish they were really ugly and old, so ripping them out wouldn’t just be about wanting what I want.  It is just about wanting what I want, though.  And I have wanted marble for as long as I can remember.

We’re also going to switch out the modern pendants for recessed lights, so I can hang my pot rack over the island.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to hang the pot rack, but I love the texture and warmth it brings to a kitchen.  It might not work, but we’re going to give it a try.  I do have a plan B if it doesn’t.

In addition to the good bones and great light, I love how this kitchen looks great from many different angles!  It’s a very photogenic space!

There is a little alcove between the laundry room and hall to the dining room and I think it’s a great place for some open shelving.  I can just picture stacks of ironstone…

And our “double stool” fits in the recess perfectly, so we’ll keep a place for it under the shelves.

There isn’t enough space under the cabinets for my Kitchen Aid mixer, so I put it in the shelves at the end of the island.  It’s out of the way, but visible and accessible.

Yeah, I didn’t vacuum before I took this picture.  I figure you’ve already seen the dirty toilets (and my bare hand in them), so what are a few crumbs and dust bunnies between friends?

Most of the copper will hang on the pot rack once it’s installed, but I’ll probably keep a few pieces here.

While this kitchen doesn’t feel as big as my last kitchen, it is well thought out and has some upgrades that I love, like a trash drawer, large pantry, and these storage drawers next to the stove…

I already had the bamboo organizers from Ikea and they fit perfectly!

Everything is sort of thrown in there at the moment, but that’s how it is when you move.  At least they are in a drawer.

One early struggle was figuring out where to put the microwave.  When we were in a tiny townhouse, we lived without a microwave for two years, because I refused to give up counter space for one.

There is a lot of work surface on the island, but not a lot of space for countertop appliances.  The microwave was taking up too much real estate for my taste.

So, we came up with a solution to put it in the pantry.  I’ll show you how we did it in another post.

In addition to moving the microwave, we have done a few other things in the kitchen already.  We had to replace the refrigerator right away.  It had a large crack in the freezer and the ice maker and water dispenser weren’t functioning.  I had never had the need or occasion to pick out my own appliances before, so that was fun!  I went with Kitchen Aid and I’ll share more about it in another post as well.

It’s so sleek and pretty!

And, a small thing, I replaced all of the fluorescent bulbs, which cast an unnatural orange light, with daylight incandescent bulbs.  It’s amazing what changing out lightbulbs can do!

So, there is the kitchen!  I can’t wait to see my vision come together and share the process with you.

And, lest you think I am unpacked already, let me take a few steps back…

There is still a lot more to be done, but we’re making progress!

new house tour | the kitchen

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172 Comments on “new house tour | the kitchen”

  1. Oh Marian, your home is beautiful! I can’t wait to see the transformation once you “Miss Mustard Seed” it.
    I have the same fridge by the way, love it. I also would go with gas as soon as you can.
    As for marble, definitely go with honed, not polished. As for wearability, marble has lasted for centuries in Europe and most European kitchens have marble.
    Our house has granite countertops and I so wish the house had crummy Formica that we could rip out. Hubby will never let me rip out perfectly good granite. Ugh. So wish I could have white marble.

    Congratulations on your wonderful new home, new community, and incredible church family. Many blessings to you and yours!

  2. Beautiful kitchen. I see some people have cautioned against marble counters. I’ve always wanted them but a friend whose husband is a builder has them and warned me off. If you spill pasta sauce or red wine, it stains. Perhaps you can find the granite and quartz that look like marble but are lower maintenance.

  3. I LOVE the nape cabinets and wish you would keep them. I think all your ironstone will show off better against the warm wood! I do agree about the lighter countertops. Maybe white beadboard for backsplash. Love all the arches and the mounding at top of cabinets, too.

  4. Love the idea of Marble and the pot rack. The question I have is, did you take the starched fabric off the wall at your PA house, or did you leave it for the current owners?

  5. You are probably tired of “bacon” suggestions but here goes. I always cut each bacon strip in half, then snip the sides with kitchen shears. This allows the pieces to cook evenly and stay flat. Once the skillet is hot, I cook it slow and low. I learned this from my grandmother in law, who was the best! I have Electric, but would cook it the same regardless.
    Speaking of new ranges, I need a 40″ range to replace one that cannot be repaired due to parts not available. It was barely 10 yrs.old. Any suggestions from anyone would be great. Seems they are hard to find.
    It’s going to be so fun to watch your new home adventures!

  6. Hi Marion,
    I’m enjoying all of your moving posts! Can’t wait to see your ideas.
    1) Gas all the way! 2) I installed honed marble counters in my old house and Loved them. I’m always amazed by people who talk about the sealing and maintenance because don’t you have to clean counters every day anyway ??? I certainly never babied them, I just used a. Cutting board and pot holders for hot pans, Also, if you love patina ( and we know you do) you will love honed marble. It is a natural stone that changes over time. Small nicks and scratches can even be buffed out. Also get some Barkeepers Friend .
    Be prepared to be lectured at the stone yard and made to sign a disclaimer about how “delicate and prone to staining ” marble is. Then they will appeal to your husband about how the ENTIRE kitchen will have to be replaced if a guest sets down a wine glass. Hogwash. It’s stone. This idea that things need to stay pristine is North American. This is a natural material used all over Europe for literally hundreds of years. You will not regret it.

    1. That’s how I feel! Many old buildings used marble for floors, walls, counters, etc. I know it will earn some imperfections over time, but that’s one thing I love about it.

  7. wow I have been cooking for 50 yrs and have never baked bacon in the oven but you all have convinced me it won’t splatter in my new electric oven..lol it takes getting used to cooking with electric but I mastered it. I love your kitchen just the way it is and also the granite but it will be beautiful when you put your own stamp on in and I look forward to seeing it!!!

  8. I have an induction range. Cooks better than gas. The only draw back is the cookware needs to be magnetic. I will always have induction if possible. I have cook on lots of ranges.

  9. Marian
    I totally agree with the stove and marble.
    I have a 36 inch gas wolf range and I love it. I also have Branco vexation marble. It is beautiful white with soft grey , but the etching is horrible. If you do decide on mable get it honed the etching is not so obvious. The look it beautiful.

  10. You should look into IKEA for a sink. I got an apron front double sink there a few years ago for a little over $300 and absolutely love it!

  11. Oh Marion, I’m so with you in this move. We just signed the papers on our home!! We will be moving to our house between now and October 1st. We lived in Minnesota, mid-Northern for 10 years. I just planted my “Minnesota” hostas at our new home. I’m excited for all it will be. We have to do pretty much a total remodel, but the price was right. We moved back to my husband’s “home town”…the town he graduated from. Population approximately 175! We will be retiring in about a year but plan to be moved in before then. I was fortunate enough to be able to get ALL new appliances and my husband got a new zero turn 54” lawn mower. I’m watching and hoping to get my own blog started as well! BTW, my hubby is a pastor too, so I feel like we have lots in common! Blessings!

  12. We have the same fridge, except I got the White Ice color for our white kitchen. I like having water on inside too, cleaner look. We are waiting for our 36″ Verona range (also white). You may be surprised and find gas line already plumbed behind existing stove. That was the case in our last house built in 1985 that had large electric stove…

  13. Looks lovely already. Will be fun to watch it come to life with your creativity. Bacon in the oven – yes, yes, yes. So easy. One tip though – line your cookie sheet with heavy duty foil. When bacon is done, stick the tray in the fridge to harden the grease, then just lift off the foil and throw it away! Best Pinterest save ever.

  14. Oh. How I wish I lived just down the street from you so I could stop by and help out as I get to see first hand your new home, meet your family, and maybe get to be one of your new assistants!

    Well, I am a Kitchen-Aid fan as well: Frig, gas stove (induction oven), and microwave. I inherited my appliances from the young couple I purchased my home from. And my kitchen is short on counter space so the previous owners mounted the microwave above the stove! I’ve grown accustomed to it there and since it has a built-in fan as well as a 3-way light I enjoy it there.

    Like everyone else, I too can hardly wait to see you put your own touches into your Minnesota home and “mustardise” it! I wonder if you’ll be putting up scenic wallpaper in the any of the bathrooms as you did in your Pa. home.

    Thanks for the tip on the light bulbs.

  15. Your kitchen is beautiful and has so much potential!!! I’d love to know where you got your counter stools. We are redoing our kitchen and I’m looking for similar ones!

  16. I saw the bacon you cooked-it does look like it curled so some was still raw. I never fry bacon anymore, I bake it at 375 degrees in a glass pan and it comes out perfect. You can ignore it if you set the timer for about 15-20 minutes-depends on your oven. It is my favorite way to make bacon.
    I had a faulty gas water heater and it burned down our 2 story home that we built in the beginning of our marriage.
    All of our children came home to that house from birth. Yes, we all got out safely-even our Yorkie. We lost so many material things but we went to a nicer home and I was happy that there was no gas appliances in our new home. Our church family helped us get our life back to normal and we are still in the beautiful home we chose after the fire! Your kitchen is wonderful as well .

  17. As if you need another person to say GAS GAS GAS! but I have one caveat. My son is a chef and he said he actually now prefers induction cooking. I can believe him for the accuracy but I think I need the gas for the primitive urge for fire. It’s somehow a comfort thing.

  18. I got to build my dream house with all marble, moved in, moved out due to numerous problems, and now I am back in my former house with the same granite as you. I’m painting my kitchen this week in shades of white, hoping it will look ok until I get my “one day” again!!

  19. After cooking on an electric stove for all my life, I’m in my 50’s, I went with a gas stove 4 years ago when remodeling my kitchen and I LOVE it!!!! Will never go back. And a bonus when we lose power I can still cook! So excited for you and your family in your new home!

  20. I love your ideas and can’t wait to see the transformation!!!! Also: try cooking your bacon in the oven some time-it evenly cooks the bacon and there is no flipping involved! It changed my breakfast game 🙂

  21. Absolutely the only way to go…gas. And my microwave sits in the garage for the rare use it gets. In my last house, I put it ina pantry just like yours.

  22. Just one more splurge…get the apron front sink! I scoured the internet and found a deal. Marble and apron front. Meant to be.

  23. I love gas stoves and marble counters. Go with your heart and you’ll be happy! I am going
    through a move and renovation and although you are going into a newer house I have
    been avidly following your process and progress. I have been enjoying your blog since my daughter highly recommended it several years ago. Best wishes in your new home
    and location. Can’t wait for your next “chapter”.

  24. I can’t even begin to describe the horrors of an electric range nor the wonders of a gas range. Gas ranges make you a cook whether you have true skills or not except for bacon. I found putting bacon on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven works magic with bacon. Your kitchen is lovely and filled with conveniences. It will be beautiful!

    1. If you like spots all over your countertops, then marble is for you. You’ll have rings where someone set a wet glass or coffee mug and multiple food spots. PERMANENT ones. I have many marble-topped tables (antiques) and they’re ALL full of spots from a century ago. Quartz is the most practical countertop. As for stoves, when I moved into my house, I ripped out the electric cooktop, installed a gas range and put in an electric wall oven. It is the perfect combination (gas top burners, electric oven). I once had to make a batch of English toffee on a friend’s electric range and wound up setting one burner on low and one on medium and switching the cooking pot back and forth, as I couldn’t get the temperature I wanted by turning one single burner up/down, up/down. Response was too slow. I wouldn’t buy a house without a gas range! I don’t eat bacon, but doing it in the oven on a rack is GREAT.

  25. I’m seeing what you are picturing! It will continue to be lovely. Im with you on the gas range. I love the instant control! I will warn you on the Carrara Marble, though. We put a marble slab counter in our last house master bathroom remodel. It looked dreamy with my white cabinets, dark wood floors and marble 2″ tile under the freestanding tub and the shower floor. We put marble accent tile with white subway on the shower walls. It was so lovely. I miss that bathroom! BUT, the counters were a huge stresser to upkeep. They needed a constant upkeep of cleaning and sealing and even then a glass of water left a ring! I DO LOVE the look so much, but would i do it again? No. Because they are so porous, I can’t imagine the upkeep in an active kitchen with acidic foods and drinks. Just a thought…but you may want to consider putting it just on your island or possibly your butler’s pantry/buffet area (?) At the bottom of your stairs…. making a baking station of sorts. Marble is beautiful and does make my heart skip a beat, but is just so stressful to upkeep. Just some thoughts to ponder. I don’t want to sound negative, but just being realistic….from someone who has lived with it day in and day out.
    What a complete blessing to have so much help! You have instant friends already!

  26. I’ve loved watching your whole selling, packing, buying and moving process and look forward to seeing your beautiful new home evolve and become “Mustardized”.
    I’m in Australia and although our homes and the way we do things are slightly different here., I wholeheartedly agree with the gas cooktop. We bought our new home at the end of last year and gas cooking was a must. We have a nice big 5 burner range with an electric oven – the want item I missed out on was a walk in pantry – the one we have is ok, but not quite practical, so the interior will be replaced with space maximising pull out units.
    We also have granite benchtops – brown toned and miles of them – I’m dreaming of clean and bright created marble (I think you call it quartz). A marble look and feel, but without the upkeep. That change will have to wait until the multitude of more important (and less costly) tasks are tackled.
    Funnily enough, we bought a large 2 storey home built in 1997. Totally opposite to what we were looking for, but I could see the good bones and great potential to give it a new lease on life as it still has all of the original colors and fittings. We are not rushing into it though – we’ve done some plumbing and electrical work but the more visual stuff is being well planned out before we tackle the changes.

  27. Love the house! I have a tip for the bacon issue. Do you have a Pampered Chef clay baking/cookie sheet. This idea came from Becky Higgins of Project Life. Can’t find the link but anyway, place the bacon on the clay cookie sheet and bake at 375 until it done to your likeness. Drain the grease after removal from the oven. You will never fry it on top of the stove again. Trust me.

  28. The kitchen has great bones but I totally agree, a gas range is the way to go. I chose a Blue Star and purchased it on line from a store on Long Island. They even held it until my contractor was ready for it and shipped it to my tiny island in Wa. For free. They were so supportive and my range is wonderful. I’m happy to share more if you are interested.
    I put my microwave in an old farmhouse cupboard so I told is out of the way. I rarely use it so I didn’t want it on the counter either.
    Cheers to all the members of your church for lending such a wonderful helpful hand to your family!

  29. Congrats on your lovely new home!!
    I also love the look of marble but it stains very easily. You may want to consider a quartz look a like for same look with much easier care. Enjoy your new space!

  30. I was going to say the same thing. Make sure you sell that granite or see if it can be used as counter top on the bathrooms or in a craft room in some way. There are people who have tile granite that would love slab so maybe even a neighbor would buy it!!! I can’t wait to see what you do with your kitchen!

  31. Great Kitchen. And YES, IT MUST BE A GAS STOVE. The only range I like to cook on. With a griddle, of course.

  32. I can totally see that the changes you’re talking about will make the space “you.” A pot rack is a perfect idea! I think our kitchen has this granite. I’m painting our kitchen cabinets, and pulling colors out of the granite for paint. I agree with the commenter above – see if you can sell it. The island has a nice big area that could be re-used by someone. You have such a great community of people helping you there!

  33. I see a small area at the end of your counter just next to the glass door.
    You might be able to get a cabinet to fit there that will hold your KitchenAid mixer.
    I had one in my kitchen in New York and LOVED it!
    It has one door that opens to reveal the mixer sitting on a shelf with a small drawer underneath it.
    The mixer lifts easily on a spring-loaded mechanism – it can be done with one finger! A few supplies can be stored on the drawer underneath.
    Since it lifts up and out, it forms an ‘extra’ space on which to work, that doesn’t take-up counter space at all.
    Your mixer also stays out of sight and clean and dust-free.
    Since you might be painting some/all of your cabinets, it won’t matter if it doesn’t match the rest.
    Ours came from Home Depot by KraftMaid, but I am sure you will find similar products from other suppliers.
    http://www.kraftmaid.com/base-mixer-shelf-bms_0000/
    Thanks for sharing so many things with your readers!

  34. We wanted gas until we priced installment. My brother who is a chief prefers electric. I like it now too. Bacon in the oven is great. Cook on top of your stove medium heat in heavy bottom pan. Preference is iron skillet. Cook slow for even heat and less splatter. My tips are at bushandapickle.com/2015/08/06/how-to-make-perfect-bacon/. We are still loving our Washington Borough tomatos for our BLTs.

  35. Marian, thanks once again for bringing us along. I have been in what will be my “forever” home now for 28 years. Along the way I had installed hardwoods 20 years ago, changed the countertops, upgraded the lighting, the sink to a double cast iron from worn stainless and splurged on a lovely new faucet. Eighteen months ago I had the kitchen I really wanted put in. I went with custom white painted wood cabinetry, Silestone ‘London Gray’ quartz counters (marble look-alike but care free), basic white subway tile backsplash laid in herringbone pattern and stainless Kitchen-Aid appliances. Also splurged on a farmhouse sink with newer faucet since my beloved 18 year old Kohler could not be reused. In so doing I went from electric range to gas top with electric oven (dual fuel) and learning to cook with gas has been pretty easy. It was scary at first (live flame!!) but I am so glad I did it. Kept the beautiful hardwood floor, my pendant lights from 20 years ago and just pinch myself that I get to live and work in this wonderful kitchen! Also added a custom California type wide slat shutter on the window over the sink. I did lots of reading and research beforehand and had great people to work for me. Sorry this is soooo long but wanted to let you know I second considering quartz over marble. Your blog is my favorite. Best wishes to you and your family in this new adventure. This long time reader will be following along. Marie

  36. Throw the stove out. I had never had a glass top stove until we built 10 years ago , they were the latest style so I went with it. I cook a lot and can a lot. A miserable 8 years of a glass top stove. Two years ago I finally got a Thermador stove and love it. It is one of those things that I will never compromise on again. Every time I use my stove I love it more. Not only does it cook great but it is so easy to clean . The glass top a pain to cook .

  37. I went with a quartz that looks like marble. No staining/etching that way. Too much maple in that kitchen. With the cabinets and floors the same it’s too much for me. Hope you are planning on painting the cabinets. So nice to have help unpacking and putting together beds etc.

  38. First of all, congrats on the move Marian! It’s been fun to see peeks on Instagram but I wanted to pop over and see the new spaces!

    The kitchen is lovely, and will be lovelier when you put in your touches! And I agree about a gas range – electric is awful!! I’m an avid cook and only had an electric range once (in our first rental) and could never do it again! I love my beefy Wolfe range I have now! And I think marble will be gorgeous! I too wanted it forever and I ignored all the naysayers (and there are many!) and I LOVE it! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

    Sheila
    xo

  39. When we remodeled our kitchen I went with Black Strype Granite for the surrounding counters and honed Carrara marble for my island (and I have 3 little kids who eat/play/draw at it all the time!). LOVE my marble island but the granite… not so much as it’s chipped around the sink and when a glass falls on it. Not sure how the marble would hold up to that, because I’ve never dropped anything on it… 🤞🏻

  40. Congratulations on the new home!!! I can’t wait to see you put your touches on it and see all your selections!! It is such a different kind of house than your last one. I have a gas stove at our vacation house here in Missouri and I love love it. It is just a cheap Tappan stove that came with the house, but I love it and have always liked cooking with gas. I am getting ready to make a twin bedskirt using your tutorial. I spent all day yesterday using your tutorial to make my four curtain panels to go in my master bedroom. You are so good at making the instructions so clear. Love it. Many blessings to you and your family in your new home!!!

  41. Can you have a gas storage tank hidden in the garden ? Our range is dual fuel and would always choose gas ! As somebody else has mentioned – bacon in the oven less mess and less smell filling the house.

  42. GAS!!! No doubt! I’m old school hard core and I have tried an induction oven at my Mothers…no way does it compare to gas!!!!

  43. Just a thought, but there are pot racks that have down lighting included on the rack, so you have both lighting and the function of the pot rack. Especially if you are removing the pendants, would be nice to still have a little light. Everything looks just like you have always lived there!

  44. I put in marble counters after much agony and I absolutely love them! I’m so glad we did. I don’t even have to baby them as much as I was willing to. There has been some etching which is really hard to see but no staining. You will LOVE marble!

  45. I’m guessing you already had a white sink but I hated mine! It was beautiful–cast iron Kholer sink–until I started using it. Then it got scratched and gross and never looked clean no matter how often I cleaned it. When we had to replace our countertops I put in an under mount stainless steel sink and love it. :). Yes to bacon in the oven. And no to induction cooking!! It’s basically cooking with emf radiation. :(. Perhaps emfs aren’t harmful…but why take the added risk when we all get plenty from cell phones and our wifi. Why add it to our bodies while cooking too? :). Enjoying the adventures of a new house!!

  46. Just a word of advice about your pantry closet. Please don’t overload each shelf because they will collapse.. Speaking from experience. lol

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