House Reveal: Kitchen

Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design - www.joystreetdesign.comOn to the next room…the kitchen!  I’ve talked extensively about the changes to the kitchen layout and the progress here and here.

This is the room when we started:

Original kitchen

Original kitchen

MLS13 MLS14 MLS15We changed the layout by making the kitchen a little smaller and creating a powder room and pantry.

Final Kitchen Floor PlanAnd after multiple phases of construction/renovation, here is the final kitchen:

Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design - Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design - Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design - I love it :).  We started with basic Ikea kitchen boxes and added custom shaker doors that were lacquered in a gorgeous navy blue.

Kitchen cabinet door lacquered in navy blue

Kitchen cabinet door lacquered in navy blue

Then we added these great brushed brass handles and knobs and the wonderful cement Spanish-inspired tiles.

Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design

Add in all the details and now we have a room that we love…

Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design - Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design - Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design - Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design - www.joystreetdesign.comI’m very happy this room is completely done and I’m happy to see my vision come to life!Kitchen Renovation - Joy Street Design -

All photos taken by the wonderful Katrin Auch.

Backsplash fabulousness

This is happening today…


I’m using the Normandy pattern from Granada Tile.


Here it is in different installations:




I’m so excited!

OCD Pantry

I have a thing for organization. I think everything should have a place and, ideally, always be in that place. This is a little tough to implement when you live in a half-finished house but every once in a while this need for organization kicks in and I go all OCD on a space.

Such is the case with our pantry. One day, I woke up to be greeted by ants in our pantry (lured by potatoes spoiling under a large bag of dog food…no finger pointing). After throwing everything away and spending way too much at the Container Store, I ended up with neatly arranged shelves AND was able to use my label maker. (Nerd alert :)).





I’m loving how everything is neat and tidy and how relatively easy it is to keep it that way.

The only thing missing was a place to create a shopping list. I previously used a magnetic notepad on the side of the refrigerator (as stainless steel appliance fronts are not magnetic) but our refrigerator is enclosed. And then I thought that maybe I would make the pantry door a chalkboard so that I can just write the list on there and take a picture of it with me to the store. But I nixed that idea because I have a chalkboard wall in my office and they are messy and full of dust which I don’t think works well in the kitchen.

Then I remembered seeing this idea and I knew it would be perfect. Five dollars and 15 mins later, I had this and I couldn’t be happier.


And with that, I’m calling this room done and done. 🙂

Space Planning – Momma’s New Kitchen

Space planning is my favorite part of a new design.  I think it’s great to be able to take a space that is poorly organized or ill-conceived and make it work (Tim Gunn moment!).  I’m working on a few new projects that are still in the beginning stages, as well as tackling the last few untouched rooms in my house, and that has me dealing a ton with space planning.  So for this week, let’s look at a few of the space plans, I’ve recently drawn up.  

First up,  I’m helping my grandma redesign her kitchen.  This is the kitchen I grew up with and hasn’t been really touched since the early 80s.  

Photo Sep 23, 9 47 17 AM Photo Sep 23, 9 47 30 AM

We’re hoping to create an entirely new space but the biggest issue was trying to rework the floorplan. 

Brewer Kitchen - Original

As you can see, the refrigerator is just in a horrible spot when you walk in.  It doesn’t look as bad on paper but in reality it closes off the room and makes it feel much tighter than it actually is.

Photo Sep 23, 9 47 58 AM


So I’ve come up with a few cost-effective options of moving the refrigerator along the same wall and not really messing with any other wires/plumbing/etc.  

Option 1: Keep the same footprint of the room including the L-shaped peninsula (there is a radiator behind the cabinets so there will have to be some sort of half-wall there) but move the refrigerator to the center of the wall with cabinets/countertops flanking it.  It allows the entry to fill more open and to keep as much storage space as possible.  I’m concerned about the doors of the refrigerators and the peninsula making you feel boxed in.

Brewer Kitchen Renovation 2 Brewer Kitchen Renovation2-Elevation1

Option 2:  In this option, we move the refrigerator to the other end of the wall while also creating a small pantry area.  Now, when you walk in, you won’t be slapped in the face with the refrigerator and it’ll feel like a bigger room.  Without the L-shaped peninsula, the room also just feel simple and updated.

Brewer Kitchen Renovation 2 Brewer Kitchen Renovation2-Elevation1I’ve sent the plans and we’ll see which one she likes.  Hopefully the kitchen will be renovated early next year!



Obsession: Wallpaper Backsplash

Wallpaper backsplash1I’ve been dying to put in a wallpaper backsplash in a kitchen for a while.  In my opinion, a tile backsplash can seem a little cold and uninteresting even when done really well unless it’s a colorful mosaic or pattern.  I think it’s just my desire to bring in a little pattern into a space that usually doesn’t have much pattern. Or bring in a touch of softness to an area with so many hard lines and surfaces. Whatever it is, I’ve been in love with a wallpaper backsplash for a while.

Wallpaper backsplash2

Obviously, a wallpaper backsplash needs to be covered with a clear protective cover to ensure that it doesn’t get destroyed with what actually happens in the kitchen.  But I don’t mind the look of acrylic or glass on top of the wallpaper…I don’t think it takes away from it.

Wallpaper backsplash5 So now that I’m in a position to install a backsplash (and an empty wall), I’m obviously gravitating towards wallpaper.  I’ve had this idea of something very dramatic (and expensive) for a while but may be backing off this idea because the navy cabinets and brass hardware with the lighting is just so damn fabulous that I don’t know if I want to take away from it.  I’ll be deciding in the next week or so and will definitely keep you updated once I’ve made a decision.

Wallpaper backsplash3What say you? Yay or nay on wallpaper as a backsplash?

Before and (Almost) After: Kitchen Progress

Let’s start this progress update with the kitchen.  When we bought the house the kitchen looked like this:

Original kitchen






The original floorplan had an opening to the dining room as well as the back hallway.  The kitchen was 16′ x 14′ but had a ton of unnecessary angles and cabinets that made it less functional.

The plan of attack was to make the kitchen smaller but more functional.  Closing the kitchen off to the back of the house allowed us to add a powder room and pantry.  It also allowed us to create better flow throughout the house as I’m not the biggest fan of multiple entrances in rooms.  (We actually had other plans but those involved taking down walls and other changes that just didn’t make financial sense.  You can see those here.)

Here is the updated floorplan:

Final Kitchen Floor Plan

And here are the inspiration board that I put together when planning the kitchen:


After demolition, inspections, and hours of work, this is where we are now:





Completed Items:

  • Walls moved/added
  • Opening enlarged
  • Electrical upgraded and lights installed
  • Hardwood floors installed
  • Walls primed and painted
  • Cabinet boxes installed
  • Quartz countertops installed
  • Appliances installed
  • Plumbing updated and fixtures installed

We’ve come along way and have a working kitchen but there is still a ton to do.

Outstanding Items:

  • Install these beautiful pendants above the island.  
  • Install shelving in pantry
  • Install custom blue lacquered doors and trim
  • Build box for above refrigerator – due to a cabinet ordering mistake
  • Find pendant for above sink area
  • Install microwave in tall cabinet
  • Determine handles for kitchen cabinets – order and install
  • Install hot water dispenser
  • Buy trash cans for cabinets
  • Pick backsplash and install
  • Finishing items – trim around pocket door, HVAC vent cover
  • Organize, organize, organize!

Cabinet doors are finished and will be installed next week so I’m hoping that I’ll have finished several of the other items on the list by then and we’ll be working with a fully functioning kitchen before the month is out!

Hope you enjoyed this before and (almost) after.  I’m finding it very useful for me to chronicle what has happened as well as keep my list of outstanding items up to date so I don’t get too cocky about finishing :).

Tomorrow, I’ll focus on the new powder room and the guest bathroom (so you can see that not all things have progressed as far :)).

Kitchen Hardware

I’ve spent the last few days looking for kitchen hardware for the cabinets. There are so many options and price ranges!

I spent time at Liz’s Antique Hardware in Los Angeles and found these beauties:



Love these but they are both $24 each pull. With over 24 drawers and 12 doors in the kitchen, this could get very expensive.

To see if I can find something a little less expensive, I just ordered these samples from an online source:



Let’s hope these look as nice as the other ones. They are about $10 cheaper and would save a significant amount of money.

Obsessions: Pendant Lighting

Sorry to report that I still haven’t received my new camera so there will be no in progress pictures today.

I know many people do not like overhead lighting but I think every room could use a nice chandelier.  It doesn’t have to function as the main lighting in the room as there obviously needs to be additional lighting options (can lights or lamps, etc.).  I also love the ease of flipping a switch on the wall to illuminate the room.

So now I’m in a house with open ceiling junction boxes in almost every room and I’ve just begun to buy the new fixtures.  Yesterday, two of these lovely diddies arrived and I’m over the moon:

David Hicks Pendant

David Hicks Pendant

The David Hicks pendants are going above my island.  Now I need to find a complementary pendant for the space above the sink (as I thought it would be too much with another one so close).  Furthermore, the dining room is right across from the kitchen and I need a chandelier to hang from the ceiling.  The biggest issue is that I don’t want the chandelier to block our wonderful view from the dining room.  So I think the best option and decision is to look for something with glass globes similar in shape to the David Hicks pendant but clear so as to not obstruct the view.  These are the options that I’m considering:

Custom chandelier created by an Etsy artist.

Custom chandelier created by an Etsy artist.  Not in love with this version necessarily but could have it custom design to be something I love.  

Starburst 8-Light Pendant from

Starburst 8-Light Pendant from – The globes are a little much and it’s difficult to really gauge the size.  Unfortunately, they are only sold online so I wouldn’t be able to see before I buy (and considering the price…I’m a little worried).  

CB2 Firefly Pendant Lamp

CB2 Firefly Pendant Lamp – I don’t love that they aren’t full glass orbs but they are adjustable which is very helpful with the sloped ceiling in the dining room.  

West Elm Globe Pendant - Probably my favorite but they are sold individually and I only have one junction box in the dining room. I also would prefer if it was a brass finish.

West Elm Globe Pendant – Probably my favorite but they are sold individually and I only have one junction box in the dining room. I also would prefer if it was a brass finish.

The budget might make the decision for me but I’m still on the lookout for other options.

I hope to have a camera soon so I can take some pictures of the pendants already in place!

Kitchen Progress: Sample Cabinet Door

So excited that the test door came back perfect for the color of the kitchen cabinet doors!

Now they can start painting and lacquering all the doors and install in a few weeks!


Happy Friday!!

Happy New Year!!!

I hope everyone had a fantastic New Year’s Eve celebration and is ready for a great 2013!

Sorry I’ve been away for so long! I’m planning to get right back in the swing of things with the new year and be a much better blogger. We’ll focus more on renovation realities, inspiration pieces, and my actual design projects this year. I hope you’ll stick it out and enjoy the content!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a few updates on the house renovation and other exciting news this week. Here’s the highlight of my week so far:


Who knew a simple faucet would change my life ;). What a great way to start 2013!