Sara’s Kitchen Tour: Part 1

FlowersWe moved into a new house a few months ago, and as we were building, the number one question people asked was, “What’s your kitchen going to look like??”  That was a good question, and I never really had an answer.  We actually didn’t plan on building a house; we were about to purchase a different house nearby, and due to some random, serendipitous events, we suddenly found ourselves starting a new build.  We actually put our house together rather quickly.  In a way, it was a good thing; we didn’t stress over decisions- we just sort of picked things we knew we liked and it all came together.  In the end, the kitchen is one of my favorite places in our house.   It’s definitely the heart of our home; where meals happen, where homework happens, where life happens.  So here’s a little peek into our home.  This post is crazy long as is, so I’m going to do a part 2 to tell you about the appliances I chose- because that’s the second most common question! (–> Click Here for Part 2 <–)

Sara Well's Kitchen

Picking cabinets was fairly easy; for photography purposes I knew I wanted white so it would be light and bright.  I also knew I wanted a gigantic island; this one is about 9 feet long by 5 1/2 feet wide with a granite top.

White Kitchen

I also wanted a great spot surrounded by windows to snap pics of all the food we make around here.

Kitchen nook

We picked a soft gray for the walls (Sherwin Williams ‘Sensible Hue’); it’s actually one shade darker than the gray we painted the rest of the house.

World Market Arcadia Table

The floors are an engineered hard wood.  Yes, the dark wood shows crumbs and dust much more than a lighter wood, but on the flip side, that actually makes me keep my floors clean and sweep more than once a week like at my old house.  Seriously.  I love the warmth the dark floors bring to the house.  They also have a hand-scraped texture that adds character and makes me not care about any dings since it’s blends right in.

The cabinets are painted Sherwin Williams ‘Snow Bound’ and glazed in ‘Van Dyke’ stain for that dark highlight.  I went back and forth and back and forth on whether I wanted them glazed and I’m really glad my husband, builder, and cabinet guy talked me into glazing; I love the dimension it adds and the detail it highlights.  I also love the white cabinets and haven’t had any issues with them being hard to keep clean (like some people warned me about).  Sometimes the cupboards we use the very most get finger prints on them, but all it takes is a quick wipe to clean them right up.  I’m glad I went with white.

Glazed White Cabinets

For contrast, we painted the island black.  All of the appliances on the back-side have panel fronts on them so they look like cabinets.  Hiding right there in the cabinet next to the pull-out garbage is my most favorite appliance, ever.  You’re going to have to wait to see it!

Pull Out Garbage

When it comes to home decor I employ the same tactics as my wardrobe.  Splurge on some nice expensive things, and balance out with some bargains!  For example, we splurged on a granite upgrade that I loved, but found this great glass and marble backsplash tile at Costco for a fraction of what similar styles cost.  I love that the clear glass has a blueish tint that goes well with all of the blue/turquoise accents in my kitchen.  And the rest of my house.  And my wardrobe.  I have an obsession.

Glass and Marble Back Splash

One thing I knew I wanted from the beginning was some metal tile.  I’ve always loved it, but didn’t want to overdo it with an entire backsplash or ceiling.  So I used a simple section above my stove and I love how it blends with all of the stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.

Tin Tile Back Splash

I also had the idea to do a recessed panel centered above the island.  This is one of my favorite parts- and I feel cool and designer-ish for thinking of it myself, designing it out, and seeing it happen!

Our Best Bites Kitchen Lighting

Metal Tile Inlay above kitchen island

Metal tiles can be crazy expensive, but I special ordered these from Home Depot for about $35 per 2’x4′ panel.  They have faux plastic ones for almost that much, so I think the metal is quite a steal.

Tin Back Splash

Those mini chandeliers hanging over the island are from the Camilla line at Pottery Barn (which I got at a bargain during their annual lighting event).  We have the large version in our entry way, and the globe light (seen later in this post) over our dining table.  LOVE them.

This is me saying, “Hi everyone!” Obviously.

Sara Wells in her kitchenA lot of people in the comments have been asking to see better photos of the twig-like things sitting above my cabinets.  It’s just something I picked up at Gordman’s.  They’re real branches, nailed to a board and white washed.  It would probably be pretty easy to make for you crafty peeps out there:

Painted TwigsI have a few single ones as well; I just thought they were cool.  I honestly stuck them up there temporarily because I wasn’t sure where I was going to put them and wanted them out of the way, and they’ve just stayed!

Single Twig DecorBack to the kitchen…

I almost did an apron front sink but decided I just wanted a nice big under-mount basin with no dividers.  I love having one big, deep spot to pile in dishes and large pots and pans.

Kitchen Sink

The island has chunky legs (resisting so many puns right now…) and those stools are from Ikea.  We actually bought the super high ones on accident.  We got them on a trip to Utah, so there was no exchanging happening.

Black Barstools

However as it turns out they are the perfect height for the little people around here.  It turned out to be such a happy accident.  And adults can fit comfortably on them too, even though they feel higher than normal.  We eat a lot of our meals at the island so it’s perfect.

High Bar Stools

Another thing I made sure to do was take advantage of every space available.  I wanted nothing wasted.  So there are big giant cabinets under the island for stowing away things I don’t access very often.

Under Island Storage

And nice deep shelves for my appliance addiction.

Appliance Storage

Even little spaces like the molding flanking the stove got put to good use

Extension panels for spice storage

They’re hidden panels I can grab with my foot and fit about 4792 spice bottles.

Pull-Out Spice Storage

Having all of the spices in there frees up tons of space in the upper cabinets.

Pull Out Spice Storage

Speaking of storage, people tend to assume I have a massive pantry, but it’s totally average-sized.  I found with a large pantry at my previous house that it just got used up with storage, and I’d much rather have that space used outside the pantry.  So I have a huge separate storage room nearby and tons of shelves in the garage where I can store big stuff.  One thing I did do however, was make some extra tall shelves with electric outlets to keep the appliances I use regularly (like my toaster and my blender.)  I have this thing with cluttered counter tops and I hate having appliances sit out.  I also hate pulling things out over and over again.  This has seriously been the most convenient thing.  This pantry shelf (and the rest of it that you can’t see in this photo) become an extension of the kitchen that we use all the time.

Pantry Storage

I made sure to do a few cabinets with bubble glass fronts to let some of my pretties peek through- like my wedding china that finally got removed from their boxes after almost 9 years of marriage.  Yes!

Bubble Glass Doors

And my collection of blue glass.

Bubble Glass Shelf

Everything turned out as lovely as I imagined it, and for that I am happy.

Flowers on table

Here’s the other Camilla light- the globe version.  My favorite thing about this light, is that as the afternoon sun goes down and shines though the window, it casts sparkly little rainbows all over the house.

PB Camilla Globe Light

Watching my little kids chase those around is priceless.

PB Camilla Globe light from Our Best Bites

I hope you all enjoyed the little peek into my home; I wish I could have you all sit down for dinner!  Here’s a list of specs, if you have other questions, about anything, feel free to ask in the comment section!

Home Builder (In Boise, Idaho): Morgan Creek Homes
Wall Color
: Sherwin Williams ‘Sensible Hue’
Cabinet Color: Sherwin Williams ‘Snow Bound’
Cabinet Glaze: Sherwin Williams ‘Van Dyke’
Granite:  This same granite was called by different names in different places, but it’s most similar to “White Ice”
Metal Tile: Home Depot
Glass and Marble Backsplash: Costco find!
Flooring: Mohawk Flooring, Engineered Hardwood, Santa Ana Plank (Purchased through RC Willey)
Granite: I totally drew a blank, I’ll be back with the name of the granite!
Mini Chandeliers and Globe light: Pottery Barn, Camilla Line
Kitchen Table: World Market ‘Arcadia’
Appliances (Click Here for Details): Thermador from Orson Gygi


woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
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. LOVE you kitchen! but looking at the photos makes me home-sick for my kitchen back in North Carolina! LOVED my white cabinets (well, cream…).

  2. Its beautiful! I love the metal accents and the back splash. Also love seeing your lighting since I bought one of the small ones during the lighting sale as well. Its too small for my dining room….happy to know there is a globe.

    Congrats! We did our kitchen 2 years ago so I know how much goes into it!

  3. Gorgeous! What are the tree things on top of your cabinets? They look awesome! Way to go with the tiles on the ceiling – they make the space.

  4. Oh it is just beautiful! Congratulations on the new house and gorgeous kitchen!! I am totally jealous! If you don’t mind me asking, I live in the Boise area too, who was your builder? I can’t wait to see what is in that secret door by the garbage door!! Thank you for the peak into your beautiful home!

    1. Our builder is Morgan Ririe of Morgan Creek Homes. I can’t say enough good things about him, he was fantastic. If you’d like his number, shoot me an email!

      1. Super strange i stumbled upon your kitchen images… You live in Boise… My family is moving to Eagle end of July… I will be there Sunday Monday to look at property as well as meet with a builder to potentially build. I would love to shoot you an offline email and perhaps you could share some insight into the building a home from scratch process 😉

  5. Both my husband and I looked through these pictures, loving so many things about this kitchen! It is perfect. Can’t lie, I’m quite jealous ( :

  6. Absolutely beautiful!! I have the same tray that you have on your table and I love it so I’ll be copying your set-up, so cute! I was curious where you got the table runner, maybe World Market? I’ve been looking for something pretty for summer to add some color and brighten things up and that one is very pretty.

  7. I’ve always thought of the kitchen as the heart of the home, and yours is wonderful. I’d never leave my kitchen if it looked like this! Well, maybe if there was a sinkful of dirty dishes and all. ;o)

  8. When I one day get my dream house, I’m copying this kitchen completely. I love it that much!

  9. Gorgeous kitchen! Do you live in Boise? You have the exact kitchen/eating area layout as my cousin who just built a house there. I love how you blended modern and traditional elements. Nice job!

  10. The outlets in the pantry was really a great idea. I, too, don’t love a cluttered countertop. Considering how fast you put it together I am very impressed you remembered all the details you wanted to add! The natural light from those big windows is beautiful and I love the huge refrigerator. It would be so useful when you need to put large trays in the fridge. Nice job.

  11. Oh my gosh. That is GORGEOUS! I love the metal over the stove. Just perfect! Enjoy your super awesome beautiful new kitchen! You deserve it!

  12. insanely jealous of your kitchen! Its wonderful! Nice job with the metal tiles, I love them!

  13. Your kitchen is gorgeous!! I love the pops of blue that come from your glass collection and your tea kettle. And the hidden spice rack is awesome!

  14. Loved the spice rack, the outlets in the pantry and the OBB cookbooks on the shelf! You are brilliant. I’m hoping that what we’re waiting to see later is a lift-stand for your Kitchen Aid. I have one and it is my favorite thing in the kitchen. I also have a two-deep trash can cupboard like you do. So convenient for separating trash from recycling!
    It’s one very gorgeous kitchen, with one very gorgeous woman standing in it (loved the bare feet photo). Great job, Sara!!!

    1. I totally drew a blank when I was typing this out. I’ll come back and add the name of the granite when I can look it up! lol

  15. Beautiful! We just renovated our old farmhouse’s kitchen, so I know what an undertaking it is. I love all of your choices! And congrats on having it DONE. 🙂

  16. Wow, it’s gorgeous! You did a great job! One question… I thought you lived in Utah. No? You said you got the stools on a trip to Utah.

    1. Nope, I live in the Boise, Idaho area! We’re just in Utah a lot for business since our publisher is headquartered there.

  17. Beautiful!! Wow, I’m wishing mine looked like that!! LOL And I’m married to a fabulous cabinet guy!!! (who would have totally talked you into the glaze too). Love the blue glass, I think I’m starting to get that obsession too after seeing how it looks in your kitchen!!

    1. Sara que linda sua cozinha ,tremendo bom gosto,vc sabe que naquele sonho que tive com vc sua casa era mais ou menos assim linda demais tudo bem clim muito estranho meu sonho , parabens consegui ler suas historias pois o Adriano traduziu para mim poder ler parabens é tudo que tenho a dizer . bjs