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Today’s post is putting a gigantic smile on my face because I finally get to show you our kitchen renovation reveal! This has been months in the making. If you’ve been following along with the behind-the-scenes moments on my Instagram stories you know we bought a home on the island last fall. It’s been an incredible relief to have our own home and property to create a homestead after nearly 15 years of living amidst Nantucket’s horrible housing crisis.
When we first looked at this property about a year ago I fell in love with the grounds, a half-acre (which is a big lot for this small island) set back from the road and very private and quiet. But we passed on it then because the cottage is tiny and was in need of a full overhaul. We sat on it for a couple of months and decided it was the right move for us because of the possibilities it held. Eventually we plan to add onto the existing structure and build a separate outbuilding to house my studio, and we’ve already starting clearing space to create a huge garden and a small orchard. Might get some chickens and bees too.
But the first task we needed to tackle was renovating the kitchen space which is located in the main open room. We started working on it in early November of last year and gutted the outdated kitchen. Since we were in a rush to get the basics set up by December 1, our move-in date, I asked my father to come help build open bottom shelves. Originally we were going to leave the layout the same with a slight expansion of the counters down the south facing wall and removal of the breakfast nook area. That changed quickly when we realized the existing closet would fit and hide the refrigerator so we turned the entire length of the wall into the kitchen area.
The Star of the Kitchen
I was able to partner with AJ Madison for my absolute dream cooking range from Bluestar Cooking. We went with Bluestar’s 36″ RNB Series Range with 6 burners. Bluestar’s UltraNova™ open burners are amazingly powerful and have made cooking an even more enjoyable experience for me, if that’s even possible. The covering of each burner can easily be removed for easy integrated wok cooking as well. Water boils so quickly now, my morning cup of tea is ready in minutes.
The extra large convection oven fits a full sized sheet pan and has three movable racks, one of which slides in and out smoothly, which has been great for getting heavy pots in and out of the oven easily. I love how simple the design and functions are. There’s no digital stuff to bother with and the oven temp has been extremely accurate thus far. I can go on and on about the infrared broiler… it’s like no broiler I’ve ever had experience using before, and as a private chef I’ve cooked in a lot of upscale kitchens here. So much better than electric-powered broilers and browns things perfectly and ultra fast. Like don’t take you eyes off it for a second or you’ll burn the cheese toasts.
I love that Bluestar has been handcrafting their appliances in Pennsylvania since 1880. The quality is outstanding and it shows. Bluestar has tons of color and hardware options to choose from to create your dream one-of-a-kind range. We went with Pigeon Blue, which gave me all the old French country kitchen vibes and classic copper for the knobs and handle trim. It was a little nerve-wracking picking from so many options, decisions – decisions, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. A huge shout-out to the amazing team at AJ Madison! They were so helpful from the start to delivery. AJ Madison is based in Brooklyn, NY with a giant showroom, but has an extensive inventory of home appliances online and they deliver nationally.
Simple & Thrifted
We purchased a simple stainless Samsung French-door refrigerator and dishwasher from AJ Madison. I just wanted simple functional appliances. The dishwasher is very quiet, which is great because the open high ceilings can have quite an echo effect. I looked for the largest capacity fridge without a water dispenser, because drinking water from the fridge always perplexed me for some reason, and this Samsung one fit the bill perfectly. We got both appliances at a good deal during one of AJ Madison’s online sales events. They are an amazing resource with great prices for every budget.
You may already know this about me, but I’m an avid thrifter and love finding gems at resell shops. We found our amazing Shaws farmhouse sink through a local re-sell group at a great deal. I searched Craigslist for weeks looking for a cabinet to fit the space where the old refrigerator lived and found this vintage French one in a pretty blue color. I even went off-island to get it because I loved it so much. It houses all of our spices, herbs and seasonings.
The most fun had to be installing this gorgeous tile in partnership with Fireclay Tile. I guess I have a thing for blues. I first found this amazing company through images of designer Justina Blakeney’s bathroom remodel featuring Fireclay’s gorgeous large Hex Tiles in dreamy Adriatic Sea blue. Fireclay sent me lots of color samples and I kept coming back to their Aegean Sea color. The different shades of bright Mediterranean blue had me swooning from first sight. I thought about going with white to be safe but gosh I’m so glad I went with what I love. I will never tire of looking at this beautiful blue tile.
Jake and I installed the tile together all by ourselves and we really enjoyed the experience. It was our first time tiling and after watching a few Youtube tutorials we got right into DIY mode. We rented a wet saw to cut clean lines because we knew they would be visible where they meet the wall. Fireclay suggested using Schluter trim to create a clean edge and it was easy to install. We found that using our gloved hands to set the grout was much easier and less messy than using rubber floats, which were suggested in all of the tutorials we watched. The whole process felt like an art installation and truly was fun. I can’t wait to tile our bathroom next.
Fireclay Tile is based in California, where all of their tile is manufactured and is the first tile company to be B-Corp certified. They practice sustainable manufacturing by using recycled materials and offsetting 100% of carbon emissions from shipping. I also love that they pay their employees a living wage with benefits. All while making an amazing quality product in the most stunning color and shape options.
White & Wood
I love the look of open shelving instead of upper cabinets and thought it would be a good choice to help keep the open feel of the space and allow the light from the two windows in more. Jake handmade our dark mahogany countertops and open shelving. We went with wood countertops to stay within budget but I love how they turned out and think the dark wood contrasts so well with the white walls and cabinets and the pops of blue from the range and tile backsplash.
The place was in desperate need of painting and because of time restraints we went with a classic white, Chantilly Lace from Benjamin Moore, for the walls and cabinet fronts. If given more time we would have opted to plaster the walls but may do that in the future.
The kitchen sink pendant light and cabinet hardware I purchased from Anthropologie (on sale!). To keep the counters and island free of bowls of fruits I found some handmade ceramic hanging bowls on Etsy and restrung them with a load bearing cord to hang from the ceiling beams. I also found the large hanging bamboo fishing basket light pendant on Etsy. I love the coastal summery look of it and it fills the open center space brilliantly. Our magnetic knife rack is by our friends at Peg & Awl and keeps our knives safely in reach while freeing up drawer space. To finish that corner off I added a replica vintage style school clock in a fun retro green.
When we installed the range we realized the counter to the right would have to be redone so we hired our friend and experienced carpenter, Carter Mitchell, to redesign that side and add deep drawers to house and hide our heavy mason jars of dried ingredients like beans and flours as well as a drawer for our boards and sheet pans. Carter also handmade the large kitchen island with storage for our cookware and counter seating. The counter stools are from World Market and I took a risk and purchased them online without sitting on them to test comfort first. Thankfully they are pretty comfy with a wide woven cord seat and I added sheepskins for a little cushion.
Odds & Ends
We turned salvaged wooden crates into a narrow shelving unit for some of my select cookbooks, linens and styling props. I was searching for a large long runner rug in jute and blues tones but decided to hold off on buying more items for now and use the vintage kilim rugs I had in storage. They add rich hues that go well with the natural wide pine floors and the rich dark mahogany and blues throughout the space.
I just want to give one more big thank you to AJ Madison, Bluestar and Fireclay Tile for partnering with me on this project! I’m simply thrilled how the space turned out. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments!
I made an Amazon shopping list with all of the items in our remodel that can be found on their site here: Fare Isle Kitchen Renovation Idea List
And of course I made a Pinterest board of inspiration, ideas and links to items I used here: Fare Isle Kitchen Remodel