Built-in Dining Room *Hutch*

Last year we removed the back wall of our family room and took our existing covered porch and turned it into a sunroom.  One of our main reasons for expanding our main living area and adding more space, was so we could have a larger entertaining area with a good sized dining table.  Our kitchen nook is adjacent to this room and it fits a nice round table for our family, but for extended family gatherings and larger groups, I really wanted more space.  Ironically when we built our house we vetoed a formal dining room because I thought they were a waste of space and now we’re busting down walls because I wish I had one!  You can see in this photo below, the finished sunroom.  I knew before we even started the project that those corners on each end of the room would be the perfect spot for some built-in cabinets, which I’d use to store dishes and entertaining pieces and also use for serving food when we had meals in this room.  I imagined them just like my white kitchen cabinets so everything would coordinate.  When I told my idea to my designer, Jaime Thompson of Poppyloft Design, she took the concept and created something so much better!  Instead of having them like white kitchen cabinets, she suggested bringing in a color and designing them more like a piece of custom furniture.  She sketched out a design on a piece of paper and I could tell that this built-in dining room hutch idea was going to be one of my favorite parts about this room.

new sunroom construction

We worked with the same cabinet company that designed my office re-model to have these built according to Jaime’s design.  There are now 2 identical pieces that sit on each end of the room, flanking our dining table.

built in dining room hutch

I went through tons of paint samples looking for the perfect shade of a dark and stormy blue-ish gray.  Something that  didn’t look cobalt in the sun or turquoise at night or have not enough blue and too much gray…  After coming home with a million and one color swatches, Jaime gave me some of her finds and I knew the moment I put the first brush stroke on that the middle color, Sherwin Williams Mount Etna was the one.  I fell in love with this color, which has just the right blend of blue, green, and gray and looks lovely in every lighting situation.  We even decided to paint our kitchen island the same color to bring the spaces together and we love that too!  It’s enough of a color to be interesting, but it also works as a classic neutral that’s really easy to blend in.

blue gray paint colors

Here’s the cabinet on the other side of the room.  (And I know so many of you have asked for more details on my table and lighting and I’ll share that soon as well!) . You can see this room is directly adjacent to my family room and kitchen, so it was important to me that we design the space to really stand on its own. I was worried it would just look like another family room add-on and these custom furniture pieces (along with well-placed lighting and other design elements) really made that happen.

best blue-gray paint color

We added these beautiful gold picture lights to the top, which have a lovely glow at night and add a fantastic design element.  I love the smaller top cabinets to store things we don’t use very often but love to display (like our wedding china.  Do people even get wedding china any more??)

Blue gray built in dining room hutch

The countertops are quartz, and we used the same supplier and actually the very same quartz as we did in our office and also a renovation project in another area of our house.  They are fantastic to work with, I’d recommend them to any of my local Idaho friends!  The beautiful gold pulls you see are from Anthropologie. 

quartz counter top white marble

This is perhaps one of my favorite features- I wanted to do a backsplash in this area but then we decided to build these as enclosed hutch’s I didn’t think that would be an option.  Jaime found this fantastic scalloped tile and we applied it to the back of the cabinet and I think it looks SO cool.

scalloped tile backsplash

We also installed a floating shelf that has built in lights on the bottom.  You can see there’s a light switch on the back wall which turns those on, and I also wanted electrical outlets so I could plug in crock pots, kettles, decorations or whatever.

rose gold cabinet hardware

Another strategic decision?  Those glass-front pocket doors.  The open up and push back so the space can be used for open counter settings.  When we have dinners in this room I put food or dessert or drinks on the bar-height counters.  We actually measured my big drink containers so the shelf is high enough for them to sit underneath.

I store all kinds of things in the generously sized drawers and cabinets below.  One is completely full of my most frequently-used food photo props and the other has trays, serving pieces, all kinds of things. I love all the extra storage.

Overall we are SO happy with this beautiful design element in the room.  Not only do I love how they look, but they have proven to be incredibly functional as well, which might be the best part!  When I look at these cabinets, it reminds me how grateful I am I decided to hire a designer on this project because it was PoppyLoft Design who really brought this idea to life and it’s probably my favorite thing about the room!

Project Sources:
Designer: Jaime Thompson, Poppyloft Design
Cabinet Construction: Western Idaho Cabinets
Paint Color: Sherwin Williams, Mount Etna
Countertops: Quartz, JL Granite and Marble
Gold Cabinet Pulls: Anthropologie
Gold Picture Light: Circa Lighting

Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Oh… my! I am totally copying your ideas. LOVE how they look and so very functional, especially with the electrical outlets! Love to see a picture at night with the lights on inside.