It’s been a little while since I’ve shared a new installment in the Maple Hollow Cottage blog posts! This is one I’ve been really excited to share. Although a lot of what we’re doing in the house is renovations, our kitchen needed absolutely nothing done to it other than just filling it with lovely things and making it our own. Our house was built in the 1970’s, but previous owners renovated the kitchen in 2013. As you’ll be able to see, they were well before their time in terms of design and creativity and we are very thankful for that! If you’ve read my blog post about our first house, the House on Red Oak Drive, you would have seen that when we customized our kitchen we chose to make our island navy blue. The designers of this kitchen had the same thing in mind, which clearly we love! This kitchen is just such a little spot of heaven and is one of the main reasons we fell so in love with the house. I love how bright, open, airy, sunny and huge it is! Our first weekend in the house we hosted a spaghetti dinner for my entire side of the family (mom, dad, brother, sister, their spouses, and 8 nieces and nephews) and setting out a huge buffet line of salads, spaghetti, garlic bread, drinks, etc was SO easy on this mile-long island + along with the seating in our dining room, having a table off the end of our island easily seats 16 people! If you know anything about Adam and I it’s that we love a house full of people, whether that’s family or friends. And when we start our own family, we want it to be a big bustling one where our house is the center of activity.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the kitchen is the heart of the home. A kitchen gives you all the tools to serve others. I’ve made cookies for neighbors, homemade breads for grieving friends, meals for family, meals for friends, poured wine for cozy dinners with my love, popped champagne to celebrate with friends, the list goes on. A kitchen is where you gather, where you pray a blessing over a meal, where you raise glasses, where you start your morning with a good cup of coffee, where you sneak a treat to your pups. The kitchen is the beating heart.
Honestly, y’all, I think my relationship with kitchens is deeply seeded in family traditions. I grew up the youngest sibling in a big family and home-cooked meals were a very important part of our every day life. My mom was a full time public school teacher, had four kids and for a few years there she went to grad school and got her Master’s Degree all at the same time and STILL we had hot meals on our dinner table. Since my dad was a doctor and we were very involved in our church, my parents hosted parties a lot whether they were for hospital staff or church friends. Our house was never empty, never silent, and never lacked food! We’re a military family and so of course in a military community there would always be a lonely soldier or two that would venture into our church and he wouldn’t go back to base without first being treated to a full meal at the Teague house and getting sent back with a sack of homemade biscuits. Food is a language in my family. It’s how we love others.
When I was 14 – and the only sibling left still at home – my dad got stationed in England so we moved across the pond and for a while it was just me and my mom and dad, which is where I really became close with my parents. I tell everyone that my parents are my best friends and it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, I have great friends. But I literally prefer to spend time with my family more than anyone else on this Earth other than Adam. Our kitchen in England didn’t have a dishwasher and so standing at the kitchen sink and washing dishes with my mom became something I looked forward to because we got to just chat and spend time together, looking out into our gorgeous English garden and beyond to the pasture where the Royal British military kept their horses. I know it sounds picturesque, but that was our every day life. We’d wash the dishes together, put the kettle on, take apples out to the horses (or hee hees as my nephew called them), go back to the kitchen to make our cuppa and then sit at the table and have our tea and Hob Nobs. I don’t know if you can tell yet, but I’m a very sentimental person and moments are everything to me. And so much of the moments I’ve collected throughout my life that I take out of my pocket when I feel homesick (to me, “homesick” means missing family…military life = I don’t have a “home”..family is my home) centralize around a kitchen.
It’s my hope that the kitchen in my home as Adam and I begin to start a family will make those same moments for our children and the people that walk through our front door.
Alright, alright. I’ll stop waxing poetic. So let’s get to it – THE TOUR!
I’ll show you the full picture first and then go through some details!
This is the view from the living room. I love how elongated and roomy it is! But check out this next snap for a really unique twist.
I LOVE that it’s just a cutout box entrance into the kitchen from the living area. It sets it apart yet keeps it open with a really surprising view and aesthetic. I go bananas for unique design.
This is the view coming down the hallway from the garage, utility room and a powder bathroom. And for added special effect, Calypso in the background! This gives you a good idea of how that box cutout looks from the kitchen side. That room that you see the arch to on the left-hand side is the dining room. Here’s a close-up of those two plates on the wall:
And then a couple more broad picture shots…
Ok let’s get into some details, starting with that gold table you see against the wall with the baskets underneath it. The oyster print on the wall is a Katie Kime piece that says “The World is Your Oyster” and on the table is one of the very few framed pictures in our house – us on our honeymoon in Maui! Those books stacked on the table are photo books I’ve put together every year since we’ve been together, even dating. It’s all of our photos and stories compiled by year. I use Artifact Uprising to make them and I LOVE it! It’s so sweet to be able to flip through them and revisit all of our memories together and I love when people come over to our house and look through them too!
Further down that wall is a huge built-in, glass-front cabinet. I’ve told y’all before but I am a displayer! I love pretty things and I hate hiding them away so like give me glass cabinets all day long. I chose to display all of my cookbooks, all of my tea cups and teapots and on the left side is a ton of German crystal we inherited from Adam’s mother, Donna, and it’s so special to us. I love getting to have it displayed and enjoyed instead of hidden away. There’s also a few other things in here like coastal silver, milk glass, antique fleur de lis glasses, etc.
That’s the dining room back there. We will get to that in another blog post!
Let’s move around to the other side of the island. The first thing on that side is the fridge, as you see in the photos above. But on the other side of the fridge is my little tea station featuring this gorgeous Smeg kettle that my parents got me this past Christmas. And, yes, I’m in love with it. My little sugar pot is from the Hearth and Hand line at Target and inside is brown sugar cubes. Fun fact: I drink my tea with brown sugar cubes which cannot be found in stores for WHATEVER REASON and I literally have to order mine online. I like what I like. And, of course, have to have a few blue and white pots! Pssst – see that little teabag holder? You can’t see this, but it says Harrods on it. Yes, I got it at Harrods when I was 15 and living in England. And yes, I have used it almost every single day since! Ha!
And here’s a better look at the sink area. Ok so my view is a fence, but between the window and the fence are some gorgeous peach trees! And as soon as they’re ripe you KNOW I’m going to be making some peach jams and preserves to take around to my neighbors! Plus we have a backyard squirrel that visits us every single day and I watch him while I wash dishes here – we call him Merle the Squirrel and he’s the best.
You’ll notice that there’s a dishwasher here, as usually happens in houses since it’s 2019 and all. But remember when I said I hand-washed dishes with my mom in England? For whatever reason that just super stuck with me and I have preferred washing dishes by hand ever since. To me it’s therapeutic. This dishwasher has been used exactly once since we moved in and it’s because Adam used it, not me LOL!
p.s. is that porcelain farmhouse sink not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?
p.s.s. That copper Bodum coffee set to the right is used virtually every single day and is our most used wedding registry item!
This. Range. Y’all seriously, praise the Lord for the person that installed this baby because I loooove. Even the oven is gas! Super weird getting used to – I burned a lot of batches of cookies – but I’ve gotten the hang of it and I freaking love it.
Also don’t even try to tell me you don’t leave butter sitting out next to your range. Number one, there is nothing unhealthy about it. Number two, you always have softened butter for bread. Number three, I cook with butter like there will be none tomorrow so…kinda have to have it handy.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s on my island before we move on, shall we?
Honestly, the island is massive so I needed some kind of display on there to break it up a bit and give it life! Here’s what I went with:
The tray is from Tuesday Morning, as is the fish towel, the golden beetle and the blue and white vase. That green book is Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette and is topped by an antique jug. All about the color, the layering and the detail.
Did you really think I wouldn’t have Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette somewhere in my house?
Honestly that space over there to the right seems so bare to me, but until I figure out the perfect something to put there…it remains bare. Adam hates “clutter” and I love displaying so I feel like this little bare area keeps him appeased haha
I think this next part is my favorite little nook of the kitchen. A lovely little window bench for friends to sit and chat while I cook/bake and a great cabinet area with exposed shelves to display more PRETTY THINGS lol I can’t help myself. Can’t be tamed. Anyway, let’s have a look.
I use the phrase “Sit and Stay a Spell” all over Down in the Hollow for a reason. I’m all about building meaningful relationships, making friends my extended family and making my home feel like a nest for all who enter. Like just come have a cup of tea with me and sit on this adorable bench and let’s just chat for hours, ya know?
Seriously I’m 100% heart eyes over this nook. It’s so cozy I could explode. There’s a few things I want to point out on those shelves, so let’s take a closer look and I’ll walk you through it!
Top row: That black water pitcher is from IMOX in Mérida, MX and was one of our favorite things to bring back from that trip! The Butter & Eggs sign was one of those “see it in the store and must have it right then and there” type things. I found it at a boutique in South Dakota where my parents live and couldn’t fit it on the plane with me, but just knew I wanted it in this kitchen so I patiently waited for my parents to drive it to me when they could! Adam and I are putting a chicken coop in our backyard and although I would say our design sense is more modern/eclectic, I’ve really enjoyed throwing in some farmhouse flair to really bring out the sense of cottagey cozy in Maple Hollow Cottage!
Middle row: On the left we have some P. Gemmel monkey plates and mugs that I’ve obsessed over for years and finally bought, a box of recipes shared with me at my bridal shower, some big honking vases from the Magnolia Silos, a campfire teapot (because I don’t have enough teapots) and…the best part…my little collection of Yellowbird Studio Pottery. There’s a tiny little art gallery in Spearfish, South Dakota that my mom took me to and when I saw this pottery I just knew I needed a collection. I’ve slowly been growing my little collection over the years and get a piece every time I go to South Dakota. My mom has also started getting pieces for me for Christmas. The artist is from Wyoming, doesn’t sell online, isn’t popular at all whatsoever and virtually can’t be found anywhere but that tiny art gallery. The beauty, the unexpected whimsy and the exclusivity just make me so happy.
Bottom row: I guess this one is pretty self explanatory – wine and dog treats LOL But also that silver martini set in the middle is an antique find that actually Adam scouted out and fell in love with. What can I say, my man has taste.
That little wine fridge off to the side is from our old house, but there’s also a normal-sized wine fridge built into our island. We’re not complaining about having two. And yes, both are stocked.
p.s. if you look over to the side above where we have coats hanging, there’s a framed piece. That was a Christmas gift I gave to Adam last year. I called the two Michelin-starred restaurant we had our first dinner at on our honeymoon (we stopped in San Francisco for a few days on our way to Maui) – it’s called Acquerello – and had them send me the exact prix fixe chef menu that was offered the night we were there, and then I framed that menu next to two black and white photos of the restaurant. I know RIGHT?! Ugh, I’m such a good wife.
Well, y’all, it has been a downright pleasure taking you on a little virtual tour of the Maple Hollow Cottage kitchen. I wish I could whip up some brunch for all of you in there. I guess this will have to do!
Now that the kitchen is fully decorated and done, we’re moving on to the entry way so be on the lookout for that! I can’t wait to keep showing you our home as we continue making and molding it into our little oasis!