MCJ Studio Blog

Emma’s Black & White Kitchen

The kitchen is definitely the center of our home. For one thing, it’s a part of a larger, open space that has our dining room, a front living room, and my home office. It’s just inside the front door, so it’s also usually the room that people enter into first. And, as you can probably guess, both Trey and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It’s where you can find us every weekday morning making coffee before work. I do all my recipe testing and work-from-home lunches there. And Trey and I both cook at lot at home for dinners, plus we love to entertain. So our kitchen gets used a lot—it’s a very important space to us!

It’s taken me a few years to get our kitchen to a place where I feel really happy with it. Although there are still a few things I would change if I could/thought it would be worth it. I’ll tell you those, but first a walk down memory lane.

When we bought our home I LOVED how much space this kitchen had compared to the kitchen in our previous home (see here). Although I loved our little kitchen in our last house, I had too many small appliances to fit in the cabinets, and if Trey and I were both in there cooking it would get crowded pretty quickly. Our current kitchen is so much more spacious and I’m super thankful for it. But other than the space and general layout, I really didn’t like any of the aesthetic choices that came with our home. We pretty much immediately changed the countertops and added a marble tile backsplash. Eventually we changed the floors throughout our home. And at first, I painted all the cabinets white, but then eventually came back around to wanting the lower cabinets black and just the uppers white.

I. am. so. fickle.

But, I love it, so whatever. It’s just paint, OK. 🙂

There was a very old trash compactor in the spot where the mini refrigerator is now. I knew we would never use the trash compactor (I don’t even really know how it works, if I’m being honest). And I’ve always wanted a mini refrigerator for beer and wine, although honestly, it’s usually filled with La Croix and Bubbly most of the time. Ha. But other than our main refrigerator, which was a Christmas gift from Trey one year, all the other appliances came with our home. And I am counting down the days until we will have to buy a new dishwasher. Our current one is quite old and in the last couple months the display screen has gone out. Luckily, I know what to press to make it work, so I don’t need the display screen. But I feel like this is probably a sign to start looking at new dishwashers because the day of reckoning is near.

You’ll note I have the same wallpaper in the kitchen that I do in our dining room. Truthfully, this was a happy accident as I just ordered too much. But I like how it visually ties the spaces together.

So although I absolutely LOVE our kitchen, I said there are a few things I would change if I could, and here they are (other than the aging dishwasher). I think if I ever have the chance to choose a gas stove/range over electric, I would prefer gas. Yes, we probably could convert our current electric range, but I don’t know if it would really be worth the expense to me. Idk. Then, I don’t love the layout of our lower cabinets. I wish the corners had lazy Susan’s—I would like some pull out drawers and I would really prefer to have our trash and recycling bins built into the cabinets. Some of these features we could change, or we could completely redo the lower cabinets. But again, I don’t think it’s really worth the expense.

I do think I might swap out our kitchen faucet someday though. I just bought a cheap one when I got our countertops and I haven’t really been happy with it (I actually don’t remember the brand, it’s not something I researched or saved; it might have been American Standard, but honestly I am not sure). The pull down wand no longer tucks up into the faucet anymore and it’s been like that pretty much since we got it. Again, not really a major deal, but just a little annoying when you’re washing dishes or rinsing things.

OK, enough about my kitchen. What about you? Do you have little (or big) features that annoy you in your kitchen? And what are your favorite features??? I’d love to hear! And thanks for letting me share our kitchen with you. xo. Emma

Room details: pendant lights, utensil holders (1 and 2), stand mixer, stools (I spray painted them— they were originally yellow), rug. And my top is from Free People.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

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