Home Life

the kitchen is the heart of the home

Just the word kitchen brings a smile to my face. For us, the corny saying is true: The kitchen is the heart of the home.

I wouldn’t consider James and myself foodies, but I will say we absolutely prefer to cook our own meals. We like to choose our own cuts of meat and are a bit picky about the ingredients that go into our dishes. We’ll never make Top Chef, but our creations make us happy, and that’s what counts.

We’re not extravagant people, but we wanted the kitchen in our new (to us) house to be a functional and serene place for us both to enjoy something we love so much. We’ve officially broken it in and made it our own. It’s simple and spacious (for us), and is the room we spend the most time in each day besides our bedroom.

So take a look at how the kitchen looked when we moved in two weeks ago, and how it looks today.

Before photos, pulled from the online listing (hence the blurriness):


When we bought the house, we knew it needed a full paint job because our–make that–my taste was different. My sister bought a house in Alpharetta last fall, and her paint colors and decor were light and airy. I knew I wanted something similar to achieve an updated, yet peaceful feeling for our rooms.

The dark green kitchen walls were repainted a dusty teal called Frozen Pond by Behr. At first, I worried that my paint choice might be too dark for our walls, but after the painters worked their magic, I’m so glad I went with it. The walls balance out the white cabinets and appliances. By removing the heavy curtain and changing the paint, our kitchen felt much more inviting.

We don’t have high-end cabinets, simply builder stock, so we also knew when we purchased the house that we wanted to upgrade to granite countertops. Of all the rooms in our house, we live the most in our kitchen, so a simple upgrade was warranted.

Between the white cabinets and the warm neutral tones of the existing backsplash, I searched for a granite that would work with both. I settled upon Napoli because of its light, neutral tones and the fact that the striations weren’t too small.

napoli granite


The granite company came last week to create a template, and the rep suggested we consider making our window sill granite. The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind, but immediately, I was sold. The paint on the current sill was badly chipping, most likely due to placing wet items on the sill. So replacing with granite totally made sense.

The company was all set to install the granite tomorrow, based on the information the sales rep wrote down for me on my invoice. And I had even requested the day off from work so I could be home when they were installing. Only Tuesday morning, I get a phone call at 7:45 a.m. from the company saying the granite installers would be at our house in 45 minutes. It totally caught me off guard, but luckily James would be home to let them in that morning and then home again after lunch to review the work. He did notice one two-foot strip that the installers had overlooked sealing, so I was on the phone with the rep during my lunch break to get that taken care of.

In my naivety or possibly in the granite company’s neglect (in my defense), I did not realize we needed to set up a plumber to install our faucet and reconnect our garbage disposal. And even if I would have known, I would have scheduled one for the day I was told they were coming instead of yesterday.

So after a rough day of intense Braxton Hicks at work, a 1.5 hour commute home through an afternoon thunderstorm with James Michael in the car, I walked through the front door to see James in plumber mode (minus the overhanging belly and crack showing) under our sink attempting to install our faucet. After much frustration, we were convinced we needed a plumber, and James was adamant that we get one that night (maybe he thought he’d starve without a working kitchen sink?!?!) So I called several companies and finally found a guy in the Kennesaw area who works evenings because he does plumbing on the side. He spent an hour and a half installing our faucet and disposal, and finally left at 8 p.m. last night.

So as excited as I am that we finally have granite, I am still getting over all the chaos of yesterday–the commuting, working out logistics from my office, driving through thunderstorms with a toddler who was not happy to be stuck in a carseat for an hour, all the while experiencing some pretty intense Braxton Hicks and back cramps that had me on edge for little Beau.

But we all survived and obviously I lived to tell about it.

So behold, our basic kitchen with nice countertops:

Photo Jun 19, 8 10 27 AMPhoto Jun 19, 8 11 21 AMPhoto Jun 19, 8 11 32 AMPhoto Jun 19, 8 11 55 AMPhoto Jun 19, 8 11 38 AM

In an attempt to make this the longest blog post ever, I will say that I am so glad I went with a single sink. The house originally had a double sink, and we had quite a time trying to wash our large pots, pans, crockpot, griddle, etc. This probably isn’t a big deal for normal people, but we have pots and pans sized to feed small armies–or a whole litter of kids.  One of our pans is so big it takes up 1.5 eyes  on the stove.

I was planning to choose a double sink with one side larger than the other, but then it made the smaller side seem a lot less functional. And then my granite sales rep showed me this nicely shaped single sink, which is 31″ wide, and I was sold. My mom commented that it’s the perfect sink for washing babies–and I’m thinking even toddlers, too.

I looked at several gooseneck faucets with pull down sprayers, but settled upon this one with a pull out sprayer that isn’t gooseneck. Personally, I felt like it would hold up a little better, and since we cook a lot, that mattered.

One thing I’ve failed to mention is the pantry. Honestly, it’s on my list of top 5 things I love about this house. I know it sounds so simple and most houses built after 1990 have pantries, but since our condo didn’t have a pantry, I am completely in love with this basic little space. No longer are we attempting to cram food into our cabinets; we have a dedicated space. Better yet, we can actually see what all we have in stock with a simple glance.

pantryPhoto Jun 19, 12 37 16 PMPhoto Jun 19, 12 39 24 PM (HDR)Photo Jun 19, 12 38 20 PM (HDR)Photo Jun 19, 12 38 06 PM



I'm a full-time wife and semi-stay-at-home mom to four young kids. Day to day, I help my husband with his small business, but when I have any extra time, you can find me cooking or being active outdoors with my family. We live at the foothills of the North Georgia mountains and are embracing modern homesteading month by month.

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