The hard-working kitchen, finally complete


Once we closed on our new house, the first thing we did was have the kitchen demolished to the studs. The layout was just not ideal. A huge wet-bar dominated a lot of space, and all the cabinets were old enought to basically be falling apart. To top it off, half the appliances didn’t work. Since we had a few months before we’d move in, we renovated a LOT: moved walls and all. Here’s the before:

That built-in desk on the left in the front was torn out, and the wall it faces moved back about 3 or 4 feet, then a space created for a massive double wide fridge. The whole kitchen gained a lot of workroom, though you can’t quite tell from the angle of these pictures.

I live in the beautiful state of South Carolina, and I wanted this space to remind me of our favorite city, Charleston. I lived there for a decade, met my husband there, became a doctor there, a mother there, saw amazing things. So the brick, the aged bronze hardware, the already well-worn butcher block, the shaker-style cabinets—they all bring me back to that old holy city.

And yes, I really chop things right on that island counter. It’s a Boos butcher-block. I love the way all the different fruits and veggies I’ve prepped on every inch of its surface leave just the slightest tinge of color behind. The marks of a thousand meals already beautify it’s surface. I baby it with mineral oil every weekend and it rewards me with plenty of space to spread out. I like my counters to tell something of the story of the people who worked over them. Chopping lots of produce has been key to my big weight-loss and trasition to a more plant-based diet. Setting up the right space for it has been so helpful..

One of my favorite things about a room design I love is looking at it through the frame of another room. Being able to see something of a portrait of a beautiful thing just next door. Here is my view of the kitchen from our Keeping Room:

Notice those blue ceilings? So glad Darlene pointed me toward this shade! I wanted to evoke a reminder of our dear southern porch ceilings. Just a hint of aqua.

Just in the last few weeks all the final details of this space have come together. The curtains came in and were installed. I had to wait to chose their fabric until the other rooms just off this space were nearing completion, as I wanted the kitchen curtains to tie  in some colors of the Keeping Room.  Here is my little fruit bowl, and keeping it real, you can see a small sampling of the toddler’s toys which are strewn across the great room beyond.

Finally having the details of this space complete is a great feeling. I’ve got organized spice drawers, pot drawers, pull-out cookie sheet racks. Basically, this home cook is spoiled rotten. So I’m doing my best to spoil my family right back with amazing (healthy) meals as well. And the occasional 9-layered caramel cake, to boot.

Next up: Finish gathering window treatments for the Keeping Room and Great Room. Then I’ll be ready to reveal those spaces. For a sneak peak, a view of the Keeping Room from kitchen table:

I’m also talked a little about the progress in that room here and here.

I’m linking this post up to LifeInGrace’s “Life: On Purpose, Home Edition” Link up, and to Simple Mom’s Project Simplify and to Pancakes and French Fries The William Morris Project.






{ 29 comments… add one }

  • edie April 30, 2013, 7:20 AM

    It’s amazing! I am in love with/coveting/trying not to lose my religion over your brick backsplash. It is TO.DIE.FOR.
    I just pinned it to our new intentional living board to keep for when I redo our cabin kitchen someday.
    Okay, how much do you LOVE IT?
    So happy for you and yes, we are like twinnies. We need to meet someday?!
    thanks for linking!

    • Sarah April 30, 2013, 8:09 AM

      Thanks edie. people told me it might be impractical to have a brick backsplash, that it’s be hard to clean, but I simply HAD to do it. I haven’t had a moment of regret–even after cooking many batches of tomatow sauce and such! Thanks for your great linkup!

      • Janet Cummings January 24, 2018, 3:20 PM

        Love the brick. Any chance you remember what the color or where you got it? Thanks. We are doing our kitchen very similar to your and love the back splash.
        Best janet

  • emma April 30, 2013, 7:21 AM

    that big ole kitchen table makes me swoon!!!! I love it!!!!

    • Sarah April 30, 2013, 8:10 AM

      thanks emma, it’s actually 250 barn wood that some amish people made into a custom table for me. It has an extention bread board I can slide into each end and make it 12 feet long! In this photo only one extension is in. Sometimes it’s nice to push stuff down to one end and on the other end we all eat. less need to clean up before every meal!

  • Jennifer April 30, 2013, 8:34 AM

    Lusciousness! I love your kitchen. And the gray sofa and blushing walls in the other room? Perfection. Lovely!

    • Sarah April 30, 2013, 8:34 PM

      thank you! I can’t wait to unveil the next room. soon….

  • {darlene weir} @ April 30, 2013, 8:38 AM

    Oh, Sarah!! It is TRULY beautiful! You really created a functional BEAUTIFUL masterpiece. I am sure this space brings you and your family MUCH joy. And, oh, that large family table… will be perfect for gathering with your kiddos for some great lessons. {*jealous! will get that farm table one of these days!}.
    That sneak peek…. is looking FANTASTIC! Can’t wait!
    Now, go do a poor Yankee a favor and sip some coffee while looking at the Lake. {good grief. I will be RIGHT over!!}

    • Sarah April 30, 2013, 8:33 PM

      thanks darlene! I’m really enjoying it. Yes, the large table is perfect. The wood is old, so there are lots of cracks for food to try to get stuck in, but I’m not bothered by it. I just clean it up and enjoy it…

  • Alana @ Grace-Full Intentions April 30, 2013, 9:55 AM

    Your kitchen is beautiful. I love that your island tells the story of those meals and is proof that you’ve come a long way in your journey towards better health. Plus, that graphic rug and tufted sofa in your keeping room is a fabulous combination.

    I linked up with Edie also; sharing my own kitchen makeover {though on a much smaller scale than yours}. If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here:

    • Sarah April 30, 2013, 8:32 PM

      thank you! I will have to go check out your kitchen now, too!

  • Kathryn C April 30, 2013, 7:49 PM

    Oh, your kitchen is GORGEOUS! Love the brick! Can’t wait to check out your other rooms – beautiful style :) (here from Life in Grace link-up)

    • Sarah April 30, 2013, 8:31 PM

      THanks so much!

  • Teresa April 30, 2013, 10:42 PM

    I adore your kitchen, especially the mixture of light fixtures. So smart and brave…the island and back splash are brilliant too. Nice job!

    • Sarah May 1, 2013, 9:46 AM

      Thanks! Yes, I wasn’t so sure how the light fixtures would turn out together. The chandelier was a gift from my in-laws my husband and my’s first christmas years ago, and we’ve moved it house to house (hoping no more moving for us now : )) And for the one over the island, I just had to do something a bit modern–the rest of the space was so traditional Southern I knew I needed a twist in the light fixture : ) It was from Ballard designs and wasn’t super pricey. Thanks for visiting!

  • laura April 30, 2013, 10:43 PM

    Oh, Sarah, I’m all swoony, and if I had one I’d be laying on my fainting couch right about now!

    Perfect blend of perfection!
    That makes sense, right?


    • Sarah May 1, 2013, 9:44 AM

      thank you! I’m so glad you stopped by!

  • May May 2, 2013, 11:57 AM

    Love everything you did. Two things stick out as my favorites…the lighting changes and that tremendous fabric you chose for the window dressings.

  • Lori May 2, 2013, 11:45 PM

    I’m not even sure where to begin on telling you how much I love your space. It is so beautifully done; perfect, but a welcoming kind of perfection and not a “stay out of this room!” kind of perfection. I love the butcher block counter top on the island; I am planning on putting something like that in soon in my own kitchen.
    That couch is perfection, too- I love it (and happen to be in the market for a new couch!). I’m off to poke around your site to see if you mention where it’s from.
    So glad to be stopping by from the Life in Grace link up!

  • Southern Gal June 8, 2013, 6:51 AM

    It really is beautiful.

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  • Sharell November 27, 2014, 12:40 AM

    This is perfection! I am currently in a total remodel of my kitchen and have looked at MILLIONS of pictures of backsplashes. I am always drawn to brick, and you have talked me in to it! Please share where you found this brick! And, is it real brick? Or made for a backsplash? This is the PERFECT shade! It’s just beautiful… the WHOLE thing!

  • Leah March 13, 2015, 7:56 PM

    Hi! Can you tell me what the floors are (where you got them)? And where did you source the brick tiles? I am looking to do the same combo! Thanks!

  • Ashley July 20, 2015, 9:31 AM

    I have been looking for brick backsplash everywhere and I can’t find it in the right shade like yours! Where did you get it?

  • Bebe April 3, 2016, 10:17 AM

    I’m looking for this brick backsplash too and cannot find it…..please tell me where I can get it. Thanks!

  • Jen November 2, 2016, 7:57 PM

    Where did you get the brick? I am so wanting this look in my kitchen!

  • Kate H November 9, 2016, 10:15 PM

    Can you source me your range hood company?


  • Heidi Weiland August 6, 2017, 10:13 AM

    How do you keep the brick behind the stove clean?

  • Maureen August 17, 2017, 10:33 PM

    Love your backsplash. Looking for something similar can I ask where you purchased it?
    Thank you.


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