The Costa House Design: The Kitchen

After about a year of nothing happening with the Costa house, things are certainly moving now. As in, full speed ahead! We met with builders this past week and we should be choosing one by the second week in January. We are breaking ground late February or early March and the whole house should be finished by early 2019. That means we only have three more trips here before we get to live in our dream house. I swear, my brain is still having trouble computing this! 

I met with my architect last week and we hammered out all the final details. Every sink, door handle, every inch of tile, every window casing... you name it, I've picked it. Now, it's just time to sit back and watch it all come together. Ha! Yeah, right. I did laugh a little because my architect said that in 12 years of doing this, she has never met anyone more prepared than my dad and I. I'm not sure if it was meant as a compliment, but you can bet I'm wearing that title as a badge of honor. I think my strength as a designer is that I know what I want, and I rarely (if ever) deviate from my initial ideas. The thing is, I have walked through every inch of this 3.600 in my head and I'm very confident that it's going to be exactly what I want. After speaking with the potential builders I've found that this will actually work to my advantage because it means the price we get in the bid is going to be the final price. If there was ever a reason to commit, that sure is it. 

When conceptualizing our home, the one room that was the hardest for me to commit to was the kitchen. For some reason the choices I had to make for that one just felt so much more permanent. Generally, I have so many ideas when working to remodel an existing kitchen, but because I was starting from scratch I just felt so much more stress with this one. Basically, I knew this would be the one part of the house that I can't really ever change and the truth is that I just didn't want to f$&* it up. 

I don't actually have a rendering of our final kitchen so I'll just have to use our initial drawings to try to explain what I'm planning. As I tell my husband when he looks at these, THIS IS NOT OUR KITCHEN, but I figured the virtual model was the perfect place to try out some of the things I was thinking. This was the right call at the end of the day because it showed me that I do not want patterned tile on the walls,  I do not want a modern plaster hood, I do not want gray beams, and finally, I need storage!

Okay, so that is what we are not doing... want to see what we are? 

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The one thing I was certain of from the beginning was that I wanted this to be a neutral kitchen. Not necessary white, but definitely one that wouldn't stand out too much. For most of the house I wanted to use natural materials so I was pretty confident that the cabinets were going to be wood. Our entire home is basically teak, gray concrete and white plaster so having teak cabinets seemed like the easy way to add some warmth. All of the flooring and countertops in the entire home are gray polished concrete so it made sense to do the same in here. I knew I couldn't go wrong having the neutral palate but the challenge was how to infuse some personally so the room wouldn't feel so sterile. Luckily, this is what I think I do best! 

The first thing I did was add some more cabinetry as shown in the top photo. This was done for functional purposes but also so the entire room would look warmer aesthetically. I then played with some tile options and found that no, I do not want pattern on the walls in here. It gave me a headache when I saw it on the rendering, so I knew in real life I would hate it. We tried a few different patterns and each one was a big fat no. I was using this image below of fish scale tile as inspiration for my showers and I started to think that this look may be better suited for the kitchen.

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We are a family that loves to fish so I thought using this tile would also be a great little personal detail. I had considered color, but ultimately decided on white. That way you can see the detail but it's not so in your face. I chose a white scale tile from Granada and decided to flip it sideways so it would actually look like the scales on a fish. I'm going to use a light gray grout which will help the scales pop a little. The hardest decision was figuring out how high I wanted to run the tile (the floating shelves were the challenge) and ultimately decided I would try out a natural tile transition. The wall behind the tile will be white so I think this is going to be a fun little statement, without it being over the top. (ALL FINGERS CROSSED)

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The next big challenge is what to do with that hood. I thought I wanted something clean and modern and when I saw that hood I realized that I wanted something just the opposite. I want something dramatic, but not metal. I stubbled upon this hood designed by Studio McGee and let out a not so silent, Yassssssss! I love the shape of the hood and that wood detail is the stuff off my dreams. I'm doing wood beams across the ceiling (in natural, not gray) and I love how this little detail will tie the two together. I'm going to keep the cook top under the hood but we moved the oven to the back wall under the floating shelves. We are rarely going to use the oven given that we will have a barbecue and pizza oven, so it made more sense just to keep it out of the way. I'm going to have roman shades made from a super relaxed, striped linen and I think it's going to really give that space a lived in feel... kind of the opposite of the sterile one that I feared!


The next decision was the lighting. Initially I thought I wanted big woven pendants here, but I ended up using them in so many other rooms in the house, I thought I'd try to find something just a little more elegant. I had sourced these two copper pendants for a guest room, but ultimately I think they will be perfect here. I also love how the copper will balance out all the gray concrete, as mixing warm and cool tones which is hands down my favorite look. 

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Through those black doors, you will find our only dining table. All the dining is on the terrace, under a covered roof and chalked full of patterned tile on the flooring. I have a built in lounge area as well as a dining table for twelve. The incredible woman who I ordered all my furniture from had these dining chairs in her store and I fell head over heels in love with them. I'm going to be having twelve of these on the patio, and in the kitchen I will have four barstools made from the same chair for the door side of the oversized island. They are so simple (and comfortable!) and I think they are going to be perfect in the space. 


The rest is all accessories! All my dishes are blue and many of them are patterned. I'm going to keep them exposed on the floating shelves which will add in some much needed color. Down here they also sell some great baskets for fruit and such and they have beautiful bright binding. A few of those on the island will really make it pop! The last little detail is a runner I purchased when I was in New York last summer which is a mix of tan, white and navy. It's the perfect little touch for behind the sink to add a little texture. 

Ultimately, this room was the hardest to design (of my life) but I think it's going to be awesome in the end. We all know the kitchen is the heart of the home, and I sure hope that will ring true here. I'm admittedly a little nervous about how it is all going to look together but I'm sticking to my guns and going with it. There is nothing worse that a designer who doubts him /herself and I promise to not be that person! ... Full steam ahead! Xx