Good Kitchen Design Brings Joy (Day 4 of Kitchen Week)

apron sink view familybringsjoyI’m happy to be documenting our kitchen this week.  I’m glad you’ve been following along with me.

Quick Update

The hubster came home from work yesterday and told me someone at his office had been reading my blog.  I love that!  Thank you! However, the reason they brought it up was because they read on here about our moving back to Texas.  For those who are new here, our family currently lives in Oklahoma and we are moving back to the state we grew up in, Texas.  You can read more about that by clicking here.  Anyway, I failed to mention hubby will not be leaving his job here. (everyone exhale)  He is going to commute to work.  We are only moving about 2 hours away in North Texas.  Hubby loves his practice he’s developed over the last 7 years here.  So those of you who live in our little town, he will still be working here. :)  Please continue to follow along with our family here on Family Brings Joy.  I love having local readers.  Be sure to follow Family Brings Joy on Facebook to see all the latest posts.  Unless the house sells sooner, we won’t be moving until the end of July.

Back to special features of our kitchen:

The first 3 pictures on here are some different angled shots I haven’t previously shared.  In the above photo you can see our stainless steel apron sink.

The following photo was taken in the living room looking into the kitchen.  You can see part of the breakfast room to the left.  The stairs going up to the craft room and tween suite are behind the wall with the fridge and stove top.  The alcove you see at the end with the computer and cork board (where I currently am) is what I refer to as Command Central.  This is where I pay bills, keep all the necessary items needed for me to be a Family Manager.  It has a desk, filing cabinet and lots of storage.

bar view familybringsjoy

The photo below was taken again in the living room looking into the kitchen.  I like the look of the brick we used for the walls of the bar and the wall dividing the kitchen from the living room.  Since our living room is octagon shaped and I can’t hold a camera level (sorry) it looks a little tilted.

brick view familybringsjoy

Below shows how we chose a few cabinets to have glass panes to break up the monotony of wood.  I think it is pleasing to the eye and I like showcasing special pieces like this cake stand Uncle M. gave to our oldest daughter.

display storage familybringsjoy

I always wanted vegetable drawers.  They keep our potatoes, onions and garlic fresh for a long time.

love these vegetable drawers familybringsjoy

kitchen veggie drawers familybringsjoy

Hubby wanted a pot filler.  Honestly, I didn’t know what a pot filler was before we built this house.  It is handy to fill up a huge pot of water for pasta or soup.  It is like an accordion and swivels around to reach the pot you want to fill.  It is definitely NOT a necessity, but remember, I told you we were building our dream home.  A pot filler was part of chef hubby’s dream kitchen.  The stove is a Kenmore Pro gas stove.

nickel pot filler familybringsjoy

One of my favorite parts of the design in our kitchen are the following pedant lamps.  I purchased these at Restoration Hardware.  I think they blend with the space beautifully and add extra lighting to the bar area.  As you can tell, I like a LOT of light.  I think we counted almost 200 recessed light bulbs throughout the house.  Yet, I especially love natural light the most.

pendants lamps from resoration hardware familybringsjoy

In the last picture below it shows part of the cabinet design with long narrow shelving and a glass door to showcase items.  Those polka dot bowls (Pier One) are my favorite.  I honestly had no idea what I would house in those 3 small drawers.  However, they are perfect for our left over fast food condiment packs.

small drawers familybringsjoy

That’s all folks for today.  See you tomorrow!

Good design brings joy,

Kitchen Niches & Shelving

Today I will be showcasing the niches of our kitchen.

I’ve never had designated spots for vignettes or cook books in previous kitchens.  We worked some shelving into the kitchen design and I believe it adds character.  Also, in the below photo you can see how open our floor plan is.  From this angle you can look through the dining room into the front door/foyer.  You can also see how we cut out the wall to make sort of a window into the living room.
side view of kitchen familybringsjoy

I enjoy the easy access to these cook books when I need them.

book niche familybringsjoy

kitchen book niche familybringsjoyYou can also see a better view of our handy dandy trash compactor.  I feel the need to stop and talk a little about trash compactors.

My grandparents installed a trash compactor in their kitchen after a tornado ripped through their house in the 70’s.  That is when I was first introduced to a trash compactor.  This appliance has been around for a while now.  Even so, it is interesting how many people come over to our house who have never heard of a trash compactor.

A trash compactor is an appliance that crushes and compresses trash into small convenient bundles.  It is quite entertaining watching people as they try and figure out how to open it.  Our trash compactor (Kenmore) opens by stepping on the small black lever at the bottom.  This is nice if you have trash in your hands and can not pull the drawer open while your hands are full.  Some compactor brands need to be opened by pulling with your hand…it depends on the compactor you purchase.

Those who have heard of a compactor or who have used one in the past, don’t always have a good opinion of them.  I think most complaints I’ve heard are due to odor.  OK, here is the deal…if you don’t put food in the compactor, it will not smell.  We don’t live in the city limits, so our trash pick up only comes ONCE a week.  Having a trash compactor greatly helps with this.  Here is another tip: don’t put plastic/glass bottles or cans in the trash compactor.  Those will break the mechanism that does the compacting (learn from our expensive mistake.)  So, yes, basically it helps compact all the paper & cardboard goods.  However, there are plenty of those.  As long as everyone abides by the rules I’ve mentioned (which are very helpful with recycling), we can go 2-3 weeks before changing our trash compactor bag with no bad odor.  I love that!  I like to think we are helping the environment by compacting our trash too.  I had more trouble with odor in my previous kitchen’s regular trash cans than in our trash compactor.  My BFF’s kids love the trash compactor.  They said they would never want to move out of our house because they love our trash can.  This made me laugh. :)

Below you can see my cook books and Hubby’s diet books.  I like the pop of color they add to the kitchen.cook books familybringsjoy

The following isn’t a niche but my favorite sign I found at Hobby Lobby.  It’s true. 😉

i kiss better than i cook familybringsjoy

Last but not least is our niche above the plate rack:

minimalist on kitchen counters familybringsjoy

kitchen vignette familybringsjoy

I used chalkboard paint to fill in the middle of this plate and chalked one of my favorite scripture verses.  I believe it is an excellent reminder…especially when I’m cleaning the kitchen.

I hope you are enjoying Kitchen Week so far.  If so, please pin and share this post with your friends and family.  Encouraging comments are always welcome too! 😉  I so appreciate you being here today.  There’s more to come tomorrow.  See you then!

Have a beautiful day,

I Heart Kitchen Drawers

Welcome back to Kitchen Week here on Family Brings Joy!

Now it’s time to see some unique features of our kitchen.  As I said yesterday, I don’t like wasted space.  Instead of closing off the corner and not taking advantage of the storage offered there, we made a tall drawer which houses our glassware.
Corner drawer for glasses

I like that the drawer is right next to the dishwasher because it makes putting the clean glasses away super easy.

Glasses Drawer

It’s was also easier for the kids to get a cup when they were younger.

corner storage in kitchen

Take a look at our over sized drawers below.

This is about as organized as I come inside drawers.

over sized kitchen drawer

The other drawer identical to this one is our junk drawer.

I’m not bearing that photo today. 😉

large silverware kitchen drawer

I counted 43 drawers in our kitchen which come in all shapes and sizes.  If you are just joining us for the first time, I’m sharing this information because our house is on the market.  My purpose is not to brag about our kitchen.  It is simply to share the selling points for the future homeowner.  If you missed my post yesterday, it shows photos of the whole kitchen.  It is the post right before this one.  Glad you stopped by!  Come back tomorrow for more.

Drawers bring joy,

The Heart Of Our Home

Welcome to our kitchen!  Today I will show you overview pictures of the room.  The rest of the week I will uncover special custom features throughout what people refer to as the heart of the home.

The first two pictures are an aerial view from the breakfast area.
beautiful large custom kitchen familybringsjoy

perfect entertaining kitchen familybringsjoy

Hubby wanted a big kitchen because he likes to cook.  The kids have taken on this trait, thank goodness.  (I don’t like to cook. I occasionally like to bake)

The next three photos are looking into the kitchen from the living room.

farmstyle kitchen familybringsjoy

To the right you can see the lockers in our mudroom.

Love the mixture of white and brown in this kitchen by familybringsjoy

To the left, behind the bar, where the flag is…is the breakfast room.

a chef's kitchen familybringsjoy

The next 2 photos highlight the island which includes lots of storage and one of my favorite appliances…the trash compactor.

(which is actually not shown from these views…oops!)

lots of storage in the kitchen island familybringsjoy

The small sink in the island is what they refer to as a vegetable sink.

huge open kitchen at familybringsjoy

Our inspiration kitchen had white and brown cabinets.  Yet they had half the cabinets white and half brown (knotty alder.)

Hubby didn’t like the look of half & half on the same wall.  Instead, we compromised with a full wall of brown and a full wall of white cabinets.

organized kitchen familybringsjoy

I wanted to use every inch of the wall for storage.  I see a lot of kitchens with space above the cabinets.  Me, being the practical girl that I am, wanted to use that space for storage.  I really don’t think you can have too much storage.

No wasted space in this kitchen familybringsjoy

minimalist on kitchen counters familybringsjoy

The appliance under the microwave is a warming drawer.  It is so handy!  I use it all the time to keep our food warm while cooking.  The hubster is quite particular about his food NOT being cold when we sit down to eat.  It’s perfect to keep pancakes warm when you are making a bunch.

You can see the top of the trash compactor in the island from the below view.

light and airy kitchen familybringsjoy

I’m pretty much a minimalist when it comes to having things on the counters.  When the counters are cluttered I can’t focus…another one of those ADD things.  Plus, I’ve never mastered the art of staging pretty vignettes in the kitchen.

subway tile backsplash familybringsjoy

beautiful view of kitchen familybringsjoy

Hope you enjoyed this tour of our kitchen.  Come back every day this week to see extra special organizing features of this kitchen.  You can ask questions in the comment section.  Leave a comment by going to the top of the post and clicking on “leave a comment.”  I ALWAYS LOVE to hear from you. :)  Now it’s time for me to clean the kitchen again.  Monday is kitchen deep cleaning day.  Keeping a house clean while it is on the market for sale is definitely not my idea of fun…however, I LOVE a clean kitchen!  Don’t you?

Kitchens bring joy,

It’s Time For A Change

Texas editedBig news coming at you today…we are moving back to Texas.

There’s a saying, “You can take the girl out of Texas, but not the Texas out of the girl.”

This is true.  We’ve been living in Oklahoma for 7 years now.  And even though it is only one state north from Texas, it’s just not the same.

Much has happened while we have lived here.  My oldest graduated from high school.  We built our dream home.  We paid off loans and got out of debt.  I’ve made relationships which will last even after we move.  Yet, it’s time for this city girl to move back to the city.  It’s time to be closer to my family in Texas.

While I am ready to move on…I wish I could take my house with us.  Leaving the home we custom built will be the most difficult part of moving for me.  I realize to some it might not make sense.  Some people might see our home and say, “if I had that house, I would never move.”  However, a house is just a house.  It is the people you share it with that matter.  There is a scripture I have been pondering about much lately from Matthew in the New Testament:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

treasure scripture

This reminds me to keep my heart on what really matters.

All last week I purged and cleaned preparing for the realtor to come and take photos of the house.  After picking up my youngest from school I realized one of the outdoor throw pillows, which had blown over to our house, belonged to our neighbor across the street.  Their front porch had a chair with a pillow that matched.  I decided to walk it over to them.  After I placed the pillow on the pillow-less chair, I turned around to see our house.  There it taken on may 16 2014  Of course…I was just across the street.  It looked beautiful and a feeling of sadness washed over me.  I know I was exhausted from all the work I had been doing that day.  It could have been the amount of stress had built up and the emotions just over took me.  I took a picture with my phone and posted it on Instagram.  It’s not that I was wanting to gloat about my house.  It was more about wanting to share the feelings I was experiencing with the sweet friends I have made on the community of Instagram.

I find myself wanting to explain how I feel, but then this ongoing argument plays in the back of my mind.  “You don’t have to explain how you feel.  But, people might not understand.  That’s OK if they don’t understand, they aren’t you.  You don’t have to justify your feelings.”  I guess part of me wanting to explain is a challenge I want to take on.  The other part thinks it might be therapeutic for me.

Being a full time stay at home mom has been challenging for me.  I have creative tendencies which went on the back burner for many years while my kids were young.  As a matter of fact, it’s been the past few years, while my kids have been at school full time, I have realized how much of myself I kind of “put away.”  I thought to be a good mom, I needed to let go of things I loved doing for the sake of the family.  I’m not sure where I got this idea, but it doesn’t matter now.  Anyway, when we built our house, it was like a full time job.  I quickly became an amateur architect and designer.  It took over a year to build our house.  We moved in and then it was a full time job putting things away and decorating.  Over the past 5 years I have truly enjoyed sharing my home here on Family Brings Joy.  I like sharing my DIY projects and seeing them pinned on Pinterest.  I like it when friends tell me they have seen my laundry room or craft room on Pinterest. {Thank you to all those who have pinned!}  So, I guess I feel as though the process of building our house and making it a home, I kind of found myself again.  Plus, it is a HUGE accomplishment.  I don’t want to feel like I’m throwing away this accomplishment or myself.  I know I’m not.  But maybe that is where part of the sadness is coming from?  However, truly most of the sadness is knowing our dream home has not appreciated in value.  Due to the failing economy, we will not regain the amount of money it cost for us to build our home.  This is what really brings me grief.  Your house is supposed to be an investment.  Right?  You shouldn’t have to LOSE money when you sell your home.

Listen up…I know it depends on where you live and what the market is like, but if you are considering building a custom home, you need to be aware of some key points before building.  (And let me throw in here, we built our house with the intention of not moving.  However, you never know what life has in store for you.)

1. The cost your builder quotes to build your floor plan is only an ESTIMATE. (plan to pay more)

2. The builder will not include the concrete for your driveway in your estimate.  This is an extra expense and is not cheap.

3. A custom builder does not include landscaping.  Landscaping, including grass sod and flower beds are an additional cost.

4. Other additional costs for us we had not considered before building were the cost of a septic system and propane tank because we live outside the city limits.

The above points are not including the cost of the land.  And I guarantee adding a pool will not increase the value of your home even though it should!  I think having a pool is a huge selling point.  So however much money it costs to build a pool, plan on throwing that money away.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is much value in having a pool, but that will be a post for another day.

I’ll stop my ranting now.  I just think people should be informed of the cost of building a custom home.  I guarantee the supplies to build a home have increased in cost since we built over 5 years ago.  This means to build our house, just like it is today, will cost substantially more than what we paid to build it, not to mention the stress and time it takes to build.

So, if by chance you have come to my site because you are considering purchasing our home…you are getting an amazing deal!  Go to the tab at the top of this site titled House Tour and take a look around.  The majority of the house has already been photographed.  However, I am going to go into more detail with future posts about unique features of our home.  If you are not looking to purchase our home, that’s okay.  You are welcome to tour the house and receive some great ideas for your own home or a future home.  Be sure and pin what you like on Pinterest for your future reference. 😉

Change can bring joy,

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Tandy's Insant PhotobookWelcome back to the vintage themed bridal shower I helped host for my dear friend, Tandy.

Today I will feature all the goodies we served.  My other two sweet hostesses were the amazing chefs who made and prepared the food for the shower.  It was a good way to divide the tasks.  I was in charge of the invitations (which I will be sharing with you in a future post) and the decorations.

My Happy Helper

My Happy Helper

I must mention how grateful I am for my sweet 10 year old daughter who helped me clean the house before the party.  She mopped the kitchen, breakfast area, mudroom, laundry room, and 2 bathrooms for me.  I was so thankful for her being a happy helper.

The gorgeous book to the left is Tandy’s Instant Photo Book.  I asked her to bring it so we could have it out as decoration.  The book will soon be filled with photos from her beautiful wedding day.  I remember her telling me she bought it from a store on ETSY.  I have a feeling I will need to get the name of the shop…you want to know don’t you?

On to the treats!

Vintage Bridal Shower Refreshment Table

I was so excited to use the china my parents gave me along with platters and pretty formal serving pieces.  Don’t you just love the milk glass cake stand my Oma gave me?  I adore the holes for ribbon.  Not sure if the holes were intended for ribbon to be weaved through them or not, but I sure love dressing it up that way.  The cake almost didn’t make it.  The bottom tier was made with fresh strawberries while the top tier was made with fresh pineapple.  It was nice and moist (extremely delicious) which made it slide around during transit.  We were happy (and relieved) the cake made it here whole and together.

Vintage bridal shower cake

cake close up

Vintage Bridal Shower food table

fruit in waffle shell

The above chocolate dipped cones with fruit were a huge hit!  Brenda, one of the hostesses, is an art teacher (she was my oldest daughter’s art teacher.)  I’m thinking her skills came in handy, don’t you think?

chalkboard tags whipped cream

Tandy’s mom, Carri, the other hostess, made fresh whipped cream for the fruit. (above photo) {I added the chalkboard tag ;)}

veggies in bread

Look at how Brenda arranged the veggies above.  She hollowed out pieces of bread and carefully arranged the vegetables.  They are like little vases of colorful flowers.  I’m extremely impressed with her masterpiece below.  It’s practically a work of Van Gogh how she arranged the cheese and grapes with celery.

food like a sunflower

spinach dip in bread bowl

Carri made the yummy spinach dip above and served it in a bread bowl. {excuse the way the spoon is sticking out…my bad}

french macaroons

At the last minute I decided to order some French macaroons.  I’ve seen them served at showers on Pinterest.  We found a French bakery in Tulsa.  These little pastries made me gain 5 pounds! {Well, those and all the leftover cake left at my house.}  The macaroons are colorful, pretty and delicious bites from heaven.  Oh and a little warning…the blue ones made our teeth blue…so don’t look too closely at our teeth in pics.

macaroon close up

We also served sausage meatballs (thanks to Tandy’s Dad,) pinwheels (cream cheese & veggie concoction rolled up in tortilla) {bummed I didn’t get a pic of those}, salsa, crackers and veggie chips.  Carri made yummy raspberry lemonade to drink with all our treats.

other hosts

Carri & Brenda looking at Instant Photo Book

famous couples bridal shower gift

One of our creative friends made this for Tandy

bride to be and her mom

Carri & Tandy

the bride to be

Isn’t she a beautiful bride to be?

What a wonderful celebration of LOVE!  Thanks for coming by. 😀  Please come back again.  Follow Family Brings Joy on your favorite social media sites.  You can find me via the icons at the top right of the page for Facebook & Twitter.  My Pinterest and Instagram are also on the sidebar to the left.  As always, I thoroughly enjoy ALL comments.  Comments are a bloggers nourishment.  They help us keep writing and creating great content.

Showers bring joy,