(#VHouseProject Kitchen Renovation)

Have you ever had a friend that you are always on the same page with? That no matter what season of life you’re in, you can look at each other and just go “yep.” Well, I’ve been fortunate to have that very friend since grade school and we’ve been in sync (and to many *NSYNC concerts) ever since.

Not only is she one of my best friends, but she was also one of my first official clients! She and her wonderful husband decided to take a chance on me to help renovate their home – and I could not be more grateful or excited with how it turned out.

I worked with them to locate the right house for their family (I am also a licensed realtor) and then we got to work on bringing some magic to the house. The house, itself, was built in the 50s and already had some fantastic bones. The previous owners took great care of the home so is was mostly cosmetic updates and opening up a wall to improve the traffic flow of the floor plan.

The end result is a stunning chef’s kitchen that will host many family gatherings and will stand the test of time. It is so classically beautiful, yet modern, that it will easily evolve with my friend’s family through all their seasons of life.

Scroll to the bottom for some holy sh*t before and afters as well as a few sources ūüôā

Artesian Designs | navy and white kitchen renovation sw naval arabescato dolomite marble before and after

By opening the wall, we were able to add an island that has become the hub of the kitchen; great for family meals and entertaining. And how gorgeous is that Arabescato dolomite slab??

Artesian Designs | Navy and White kitchen renovation sw naval arabescato dolomite marble before and after
Artesian Designs | Navy and White kitchen renovation sw naval sw software arabescato dolomite marble before and after
Artesian Designs | Navy and White kitchen renovation sw naval arabescato dolomite marble before and after
Artesian Designs | Navy and White kitchen renovation sw aloof gray arabescato dolomite marble before and after
Artesian Designs | Navy and White kitchen renovation sw software arabescato dolomite marble before and after
Artesian Designs | Navy and White kitchen renovation sw creamy cabinets arabescato dolomite marble before and after
Artesian Designs | Navy and White kitchen renovation sw naval arabescato dolomite marble before and after

What is it about Before & Afters that are just so satisfying?? Which before and after view do you like the best?

SOURCE LIST
Grey paint on kitchen walls: Sherwin Williams Aloof Gray
Dark grey paint on family room walls: Sherwin Williams Software
Island paint color: Sherwin Williams Naval
Countertops: Brazilian Arabescato Dolomite via Stone City
Lights: Pendants over island
Gorg Faucet: Elements of Design via Wayfair (on sale!!)
Cabinet pulls: Amerock Davenport via Wayfair
Stellar Contractor: Dolan Builders, Inc.

xo – Kristy

(breakfast nook)

I am very excited to share the newest corner of our home – the breakfast nook.¬† Now that we are a family of four, eating dinner at the counter Cheers style every night just wasn’t going to cut it.¬† Well, that, and our two year old would threaten to kick his stool back every night causing heart palpitations every time he would do so.

This corner of our kitchen was formerly where my desk lived…and where all my clutter collected.¬† Mail you don’t know what to do with?¬† Throw it on the desk!¬† Old candy from your Christmas stocking three years ago?¬† Throw it on the desk!¬† Your kid’s artwork from school that isn’t his best, but you don’t have the heart to recycle?¬† You get the drift.¬† It was an eyesore that I didn’t know how to tackle…until now!

Artesian Designs | Black + White Breakfast Nook...Custom banquette, wayfair round table, one kings lane bistro chairs, chicago neighborhoods art

In just the few weeks that we’ve had this area, we’ve used it for so many purposes.¬† Besides dinner, it is the best spot in the house for a cup of coffee, a great table for play-doh and art projects, an easy spot to display the cheese board on Thanksgiving, and a comfy spot to get some work done (yes, I am sitting in the corner of the nook while typing RIGHT NOW).Artesian Designs | Black + White Breakfast Nook...Custom banquette, wayfair round table, one kings lane bistro chairs, chicago neighborhoods art

I had always drooled over the banquette sets from Ballard Design and thought I might go that route (they were having a huge sale), but our dimensions didn’t quite work.¬† Then I got a quote from a local carpenter, but it seemed unreasonably high – so, I decided to browse on Etsy.Artesian Designs | Black + White Breakfast Nook...Custom banquette, wayfair round table, one kings lane bistro chairs, chicago neighborhoods art

After digging through pages of shops, I came across Great Lakes Designs LLC out of Michigan and knew they were the perfect fit.  The customer service was outstanding, the turn around was very quick, and they even used the same paint color and hardware that matched our kitchen cabinets.  WIN!Artesian Designs | Black + White Breakfast Nook...Custom banquette, wayfair round table, one kings lane bistro chairs, chicago neighborhoods art

Since I was trading my desk in for this nook, I still needed a place for my laptop to live (a¬†place for everything, and everything in its place!), so I decided to go with the drawers on the ends in order to dock my laptop.¬† This has been a game changer.¬† If you are thinking about doing something similar, I would recommend going with the end drawers if you need to access the contents frequently.¬† I knew that if I went with the storage bench or drawers at the foot that it would become a hassle because of the table and cushions (and bc I’m lazy).Artesian Designs | Black + White Breakfast Nook...Custom banquette, wayfair round table, one kings lane bistro chairs, chicago neighborhoods art

Next up was finding custom cushions, so I went back to Etsy and found Jessiya’s shop.¬† Another win!¬† I sent Jessi the same drawing I sent for the bench and picked out the fabric.¬† Originally I wanted to go with a more white-based pattern, but then had a “you’re an idiot” moment when I saw my 2 year old eating spaghetti/smearing it all over himself and his surroundings.¬† I chose outdoor fabrics for both the seat and back cushions so they can be easily wiped clean (a godsend) and put a few coats of scotch guard on them just in case (ok, very much necessary).black and white breakfast nook banquette bistro chairs wayfair one kings lane chicago neighborhoods

Then came the table.  I am a Wayfairaholic, so I was pumped to find a round extendable table in black in juuuust the dimensions I needed Р(Wayfair really does have juuust what I need!).Artesian Designs | Black + White Breakfast Nook...Custom banquette, wayfair round table, one kings lane bistro chairs, chicago neighborhoods art

Lastly came these gorgeous bistro chairs from One King’s Lane¬†(mine are black, link is for similar navy).¬† I had been wanting to use bistro chairs since, well forever, so I was excited that they worked so well here.¬† The black and white weave against the cabana stripes is just enough pattern mixing to keep it classy, yet fun.

We then rehung our artwork from the Chicago Neighborhoods Shop to round out the space.  I love these posters as they are both beautiful and personal Рand there is one for just about every Chicago neighborhood.  Hint to fellow Chicagoans: these make great gifts!

Now the very last thing to do is add a wine glass, pour, and repeat.  Happy weekend!

PS Please check out my new instagram page @ArtesianDesigns

(kitchen tour)

We had an awesome photographer come by last weekend to shoot some photos of our home – and these photos are just the push I needed to finally get myself in gear and give the photo tour I promised (yes, I know you were all losing sleep).

Alas, low and behold, our magical black and white kitchen!

The Artesian Project | Black and white Kitchen

We are so thrilled with how the kitchen came out (the whole house, really), but the kitchen really is the heart of the home.¬† When designing the floor plan, we knew we wanted a large island space for entertaining and – let me tell you – our friends flock to the island like a moth does to a flame (or however that saying goes).¬† We also love the openness of the kitchen; the path flows from the entrance right through the kitchen to the family room without anything cutting up your way.¬† And then there is the storage – OH the storage!¬† Not even kidding, just the cabinets to the left of the sink is more than we had in our condo!¬† It is scary, though, how quickly all these cabinets are getting filled…¬† Anyways, we love pretty much everything about our kitchen.¬† It is such a happy and bright space that I even enjoy cooking now.¬† Please check out the finish guide below.

TheArtesianProject | Black and white kitchen

ISLAND

  • Counters: Danby Marble (made in Vermont; more durable than most marble)
  • Cabinet Paint: Sherwin Williams Black Magic – SW 6991
  • Hardware:¬† Gilded Bronze – LOVE the pop of gold against the black
  • Pendant Lights: Restoration Hardware Vintage Barn Lights in Weathered Zinc (RH frequently has 30% off lighting)
  • Counter Stools: Restoration Hardware Outlet* (Milwaukee) French Cafe Stools in Weathered Oak

*If you are lucky to have an RH Outlet store within a decent drive, it is well worth it!  Once you are there, join their e-mail list.  They have on-going sales all the time (30% off dining, 40% off entire store).  I would call and ask about the inventory before making the drive.  We got our stools for $60!)

PERIMETER

  • Counters: Jet Mist Granite, Honed (incredibly durable with an awesome matte finish; similar look to soapstone)
  • Cabinet Paint:¬† Sherwin Williams Extra White – SW 7006
  • Hardware:¬† Venetian Bronze
  • Back splash: IO Subway Tile in Ice with bright white grout

ETC

  • Wall paint: Sherwin Williams Alabaster – SW 7008 (the perfect warm, but clean white)
  • Floors: Red oak with 50% Pickled Oak/50% Classic Grey Minwax (note the photo exposures makes them seem a bit lighter than in real life).
  • Appliances: KitchenAid

The Artesian Project | Black and White Kitchen Guide

Are you working on your kitchen?  Have any burning questions?  I am happy to help!!  But in the mean time, bon appétit!

(get the look for less: counter tops)

Now that construction has actually started, we thought it might be time to get our ducks in a row and start nailing down some finishes.¬† On our contractor’s recommendation, we ventured out to Stone City in Humboldt Park after a deeelightful breakfast at WHISK (those salty caramel pancakes – omg!).Stone City | www.theartesianproject.wordpress.com

Upon entering the warehouse, I felt like a kid in a candy shop.  Marble! Granite! Quartzite! Galore!  It was so cool to see and touch these giant slabs o rock.  It was a very educational trip and Lizette, of Stone City, was an absolute gem to work with.

Here is what we learned.

If you want Calacutta Gold Marble look, consider:
1.  White Mystery Marble
2.  Eureka Danby Marble

Calacutta Gold is currently the most in-demand marble on the market for its obvious good looks and warm tones, so unfortunately, that also makes this Italian marble the most expensive.¬† We wanted to use this slab for our kitchen island – which is rather large at 4’x11′, so any type of savings would help.¬† With that in mind, we discovered Mystery White Marble, which also had the same characteristics as CG, but with a whiter base – and here’s the kicker – half the price tag. Mystery White is also sometimes called Misty White.¬† Eureka Marble (sometimes called Danby) has a more dramatic, darker veining, but also the same warm tones as Calacatta Gold, at also half the price.¬† We also learned that the largest slab we could get would be ten feet – so in order to achieve the seamless, one slab look we are going to resize our island to 10′.¬† These stones are also sourced in the US – Vermont to be specific.

Marble Slabs | www.theartesianproject.wordpress.com

Our kitchen finish design has a darker, contrasting counter on the perimeter.  I wanted something a little rougher to contrast with the smooth marble, so I was thinking a soapstone would do the trick.  Here is what we learned.

If you want the Soapstone look, consider:
1. Honed, Virginia Mist Granite

Soapstone is a very porous material, which means that it would quickly absorb stains into the stone itself and require a lot of maintenance.  I, personally, am a little of tired of the granite look, but the Honed version is so different.  It has a matte finish and really looks more like a soapstone or concrete.  Granite is also one of the most durable materials on the market Рwith a much smaller price tag than the soapstone.  With the Virginia Mist (also sometimes called Jet Black) we can achieve that same look with more durability and spending less.  Honed granite FTW!

Virginia Mist
(Honed, Virginia Mist Granite)

Here are some real kitchens found on Houzz using these materials for your perusing pleasure.

Mystery White Marble

Eureka Danby Marble

Honed, Virginia Mist Granite

So what have we really learned?¬† Don’t take some stones for granite.¬† Sorry, had to.

(kitch-inspiration)

Last weekend we ventured out to the burbs to work on cabinetry selections for the house.  We had a great meeting (albeit both of us slightly hungover) and started to make some major strides in nailing down decisions for the kitchen.  While we wait for the cad drawings, I figured I would share some of the inspiration I have been referencing that I found on Houzz.  Warning: if you have never visited Houzz, make sure you clear yourself a solid 1 Р2 hour window where you can be totally unproductive before you do.

KITCHEN

>> This kitchen below is everything.  I knew we wanted a white kitchen with some contrasting elements and when I stumbled upon this photo it felt like love.  Black and white is so classic and sophisticated, yet the use of the mixed materials on the counters and walls relax the vibe a bit and lend themselves to a slightly rustic/beachy feel.  This will be the main focal point of the house and where we will spend the most time Рand I can already picture hosting some great nights around this counter.

>> Here is another lovely black and white kitchen.  This one feels slightly more refined than the above.  I really enjoy the range hood pictured here Рthe horizontal orientation of the panels change up the pace quite nicely.

>> And one more for good measure.¬† This kitchen is absolutely stunning and extremely dramatic, but I just don’t know if we are cool enough to pull it off — the brass hardware, black cabinets, and marble counter tops are beyond cool.

So that’s what we’re thinkin.¬† Too much?