As you may remember, we did some kitchen renovations last year (I was 8 months pregnant in those photos!) but we wanted to make a few more updates on a much smaller scale and I’m beyond thrilled with how they came out.
I had originally wanted the space to be light and bright and white because it’s a pretty dark room with only one window, and it had previously been so drab and dark. I still love most of what we did, but a year and a half later, I’ve realized that while it was bright and beautiful, it felt a little sterile.
We decided to make a few small changes that made a big difference. I was shocked at how much only a few things like new lighting, cabinet hardware, a new sink, and a rug changed the look and feel of the room.
I am obsessed with scrolling home photos on Pinterest on Instagram, and almost all of my favorite kitchens had a beautiful Turkish rug of some sort so I knew that I wanted to go in that direction. I discovered New England Loom through my friend Jess and fell in love with their products. The couple that runs the company sources vintage rugs from all over the world so that you can bring a little piece of history into your home.
The beautiful pattern and cozy warmth it brings to our kitchen has been incredible. It’s also super durable and easy to clean so I don’t have to be too fussy with it. If I spill, I use soap, warm water, and a rag to clean it up. Because the pattern is so intricate and the fabric is so textured, it has been surprisingly easy to clean.
They post new rugs every Sunday, so if you’re looking for something perfect for your space and can’t find it, give it some time. My rug is one of a kind because it’s vintage but they often have similar listings!
The light fixture we had above our mobile island was something that we bought quickly because it was affordable and we thought it would be practical. Turns out we were only right about the affordable part! No matter what bulbs we used, the light was overpowering and felt uncomfortable to be in, so I rarely used that overhead light which is ridiculous for a kitchen. We have another light over the sink but it was never really enough.
We added a dimmer so that I can set it to whatever level I want. It’s really stunning and makes a statement without being over the top.
Smart Lighting Switches
Speaking of lighting, the whole reason we started this process is because Legrand reached out to me about their Smart Lighting product that allows homeowners to integrate light switches and outlets into your home to create a smart room or even an entire smart house. If that sounds like a foreign language to you, don’t worry. It did to me at first too!
(Note: I changed the wording of that last sentence based on feedback that saying “it sounds Chinese” was a racist remark. I apologize if that offended anyone in any way. It was not my intention and I appreciate the feedback so I could make the change.)
Let me explain…
We added Legrand’s Smart Lighting switches (they were super easy to install, btw) so that we can use our phones to turn on and off the lights as well as dim them from the other room or even from outside the home if we leave a light on and remember it later. It’s all app-based which makes it so easy!
I like this for a few reasons: 1. I’m usually exhausted by 8pm and feeling lazy but when Anel and I watch TV or hang out in the TV room, the kitchen light is often on in the background and we used to have to rock paper scissors for who would get up to turn it off. Now we can do it from our phone. Game changer, right? 2. If we’re out of town, we can always turn on our lights in the evenings to make it look like we’re home. There’s something comforting about that to me.
We didn’t install the smart outlets yet but that’s next on my list because then we can control lamps and other small appliances from the same app which is beyond cool. We were able to install them on our own and the set up was a breeze.
We don’t have Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but if you do, you can connect the switches and outlets to those so that they can operate interactively as well.
You can read more about how they work here.
Oh the drama of this sink… Let me tell you, it was a process making this change! When we originally picked a metal sink for the kitchen, it was because so many people told us not to go with cast iron. The reason was that things break easier which is legit, for sure. But on the day of the original sink and countertop install, I was super pregnant and really sick that morning.
When I signed off on the work, I was so out of it, that I didn’t realize that they hadn’t put it in as an under-mount (aka under the countertops so you can’t see the lip). Of course when I came out of my pregnant/sick daze, I immediately realized but it was too late. I was too tired to get it fixed and then I had a baby so it was pushed to the farthest back of all the back burners.
It always bothered me though because it looked dirty constantly with water splotches all over the edges. When we decided to make these changes, I knew that a white cast iron sink was going to happen come hell or high water. Finding a drop-in sink (that wasn’t sold out) that fit our measurements took almost a month and then getting it placed took multiple plumbers and countertop people to make it happen. But I’m so glad that we did it because it’s beautiful and makes me so happy.
And I’m happy to report that I’ve yet to break anything! But just by writing this I’m setting myself up for disaster I’m sure.
I originally decided to go with chrome hardware because I thought it would be classic and clean, but it felt way too cold in the already very white space, so Anel and I decided to make the switch to brass. I am beyond obsessed with the brass hardware that I got (on sale!) from Rejuvenation after months of deliberating.
I went with something a little more oversized to bring more of that warmth into the space and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Out of all the changes we made, I think that this one elevated the space the most. The kitchen just looks fancier now and I’m not mad at that.
Prudence helped me find a few pieces like a chinoiserie planter (similar here) and a new brass tray (to match the hardware) to bring it all together. I love the idea of some literal life, aka a plant, in the kitchen, and rosemary is practical too because I can cut off a sprig while I’m cooking. Will I ever actually do that? We’ll see, but I like to think I will! For now it smells amazing in any case.
For more before and after photos, check out my original kitchen reveal post. I can’t wait to hear what you guys think of our latest updates!
Thank you to Legrand Smart Lighting for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own. Photos by Julia Dags.