Helllloooo World! Meet the Little House’s Kitchen.

Over the past year, you may have thought that we had raised the white flag of surrender on our project at Edge Hill.  We left you with two babies on the way, busy careers, and a glimpse at a finished bathroom.  In the midst of the chaos of becoming parents to two beautiful girls, we did let a few things slide, like laundry (thanks for the help, Mom!), exercise (we’ll get plenty chasing the girls, right?), and, unfortunately, blogging.  We have, however, taken the past year to make the Little House our home, and we couldn’t be more happy with the result.

The next series of blog posts will go in-depth, room-by-room, to detail our design choices and give those of you enjoying the blog from afar a good idea of how we have set the place up.  Without further ado, the kitchen, in all of it’s panoramic glory:

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As you may recall, the main existing design feature of the kitchen is the massive, 5ft x 5ft fireplace with working swing arm.  After some intense restoration, see the full transformation:

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Let’s see that process in slow-motion.  First, repair the physical structure of the fireplace, replace the deteriorated brick with firebrick, install dampeners:

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Then, excavate the old hearth so a new hearth can be poured.

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Frame up the house.  IMG_0392

Add some paint, logs, open the dampers and light a match.  Bam.  Jackson approved.

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A shout out to local weather forecasters, the Columbia Furnace Storm Team, who we track with great fervor during the winter so we can ensure a full rack of wood is in, dry, and ready to warm our quiet snow days at home.

We’ve already detailed the decisions of using pine salvaged from the original floor joists for our cabinets and soapstone for the countertops. The main run of cabinets is all function, featuring a built in butcher block, efficient gas range and hood (bought used), large farm sink, dish drawer, and fridge.

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Looking closer, for the range we installed a simple and relatively cheap sheet of stainless steel as a backsplash, and added a stainless shelf to arrange our collection of measuring cups and stash the salt and pepper so it is always close at hand.

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At the top of the open shelves we added an electrical outlet so we can blast the tunes during marathon cooking sessions, and the shelves to the left of the range hold our most-used pots and cookbooks.  Ina Garten features heavily, and right now we are also trying out some of the recipes from the Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman.  Our go-to for all things classic and comforting is the America’s Test Kitchen New Best Recipe cookbook.  A pot filler was not a “must” for our kitchen, as the range is pretty close to the sink, but we did spring for it and it is great to have a second water source in the kitchen, especially on busy weeknights when one of us is busy washing up the day’s bottles and the other is trying to cook some pasta.

 

A concession to a lack of drawer storage, we have two crocks divided into wood and stainless that hold our go-to utensils. To the right of the range, we installed a pull-out solution for our smaller skillets and pots, as we hate digging through drawers or shelves to find what we want.  Conveniently, large cutting boards also fit nicely to either side of the pullout.

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For the kitchen faucet, we found a fixture that resembled an old water pump reimagined in chrome.  A hand sprayer came with this model, and it is a great accompanyment to washing up in the extra large sink.

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We went with a smaller dishwashing drawer to maximize space in the kitchen, and reserved the shelves just above the dishwasher to store our everyday dishes.  For our pantry, we found a wonderful old cabinet at Burt Long’s Antiques.

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It dates from about the 1820s and was our big splurge.  It is the perfect size for the space, and for overflow we have another set of shelves in our utility closet.  IMG_0657

Rounding out the kitchen, our secondary bank of cabinets holds the remainder.  Baking, Mixing, Appliances, dish towels, etc. We designed this station with integrated power and for the microwave and with a pull out shelf for our coffee machine and toaster, as we prefer not to have those appliances hanging out on our very limited counter space.

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With some careful planning, we have our dream kitchen.  I bet you thought we couldn’t cram anything else in, but we still have one last detail on the way.

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See that large blank spot on the wall to the right of the doorway?  Rachel’s Uncle Skip, recently retired, has taken up woodworking and has custom built us the perfect addition to our kitchen: a platter rack!

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Skip recently finished this project, and just this weekend it will make the trek from Texas to Virginia.  We can’t wait to get it installed!

We know we’ve left you hanging over the past year, so here are some pics of us enjoying our kitchen.  It won’t be another year for the next post, we promise!

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Until next time, enjoy the view!

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3 responses

  1. Wow! I just read Mr. Barbee’s write up about your farm in the Bryce Mountain Courier. It sounded so interesting that I popped over here to see- and read through every post back to the first one. I’m so impressed with the work you’ve done. What an important labor of love. I’m looking forward to continuing to follow your adventures.

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