I had big dreams for this big kitchen — a kitchen vast and rare for a house built in the early 70s. And the outcome has far exceeded even my wildest dreams.

It is filled with light and glinting, gleaming surfaces, flooded in alabaster, and seemingly sprinkled with stardust. 

It started out as a big — but clumsy and cluttered — space, with too many walls, floral wallpaper, an awkward island, and narrow cabinetry.

So we took out a wall, stripped the wallpaper, repositioned the fridge, and added brand new custom cabinets and a massive island (since the room had the dimensions to house it).

The cabinets, by Tony Martin’s Allwood Cabinets here in Cartersville, soar floor to ceiling, and are painted to match the SW alabaster walls. For the backsplash, to add to the airy, lofty feel, we put in creamy, oversized subway tiles, pressed vertically and grounded in dark, wide grout to pull the hues of the matte black fixtures and deep, dark island.

Not the original sink choice, but the best one for the job

This fireclay apron sink turned out to be the only SNAFU in our kitchen remodel. We’d originally picked a 33” masterpiece with a gorgeous lip even Angelina Jolie would envy. But that one ended up too big for the allotted space. Turns out, it was a fortuitous measuring mishap because this beauty’s clean crisp lines are a perfect match to the shaker cabinets that flank her. The result is exquisite harmony with absolutely ZERO lip envy to disturb the peace.

Our light fixtures have all sorts of symbolic significance. I secured the sputnik chandelier for above the table before I bought another single purchase. It pays homage to my aerospace-engineer-and-physics- professor father, whom I lost in November.

A little Space oddity in my kitchen proved perfect

Once it arrived, though, I had more than a few misgivings. It’s so midcentury modern. So jutting and angular. So… different from everything else I’m drawn to. What if I couldn’t make it work? What if it threw my kitchen vision off orbit?

Well, I think I managed to coax and cajole everything back into my trajectory by keeping the other fixtures all matte black, with consistently visible Edison bulbs, and even an educator theme. Classic school house pendants hang above the island and sink to lend plenty of brightness for food prep, along with six additional can lights dotting the island perimeters. 

And let me tell you about the island! It’s colossal and sublime, painted SW Urbane Bronze. It houses approximately a gazillion cubbies for storage and is topped with a hazy nebula of granite snagged straight from heaven herself (with a good bit of help from Araceli at RS Solid Surfaces, also in Cartersville).

The floors, which run throughout all the common areas, are weathered nine-inch planks, chockfull of browns, blondes, and grays to pair and pull any and all wood-tones and paint hues into happy consensus. 

These floors just might be my favorite part.

So there she is. Our new kitchen. She’s out of this world. We couldn’t have done it without the help of Jeffrey and Jennifer Vann, of Native Construction.

But she’s not complete yet. There’s still a few projects and backorders to go. Just this week, I painted an old table my mother had gifted me with when I first struck out on my own after my divorce. It was scratched up and scarred, but still had her beautiful lines. I added a bit of chalk paint and wax, and VOILA! She shines with new life. 

New digs for a Grande Dame

Now if only our double ovens would arrive from their backorder – the blank space is currently safekeeping artwork from the shenanigans of seven-year-old boys until they can be hung (the art, not the boys, though I swear on some days…)