Our Kitchen & Sitting Area, Six Months In Leave a comment


We shared this space three weeks after we moved in and now we’re back with a six month update for ya. Much like we said in that first post, we have some long term plans for this room, so this is just what it looks like as of this moment in time (I highly recommend photographing rooms to see how they evolve because it’s so much fun to look back on).

Since that three-weeks-in post, we did a series of inexpensive updates that have really made this room so comfortable and so useful for our family (first we made these five small changes, then we painted the cabinets, and here’s a post about how our much smaller kitchen is organized for anyone who likes to peek behind cabinet doors & drawers like me).





Kitchen with mauve cabinets and white metal shelf on side and round table in center











pendant light / similar table / kitchen chairs / Ikea shelving system / how we built the shelves

We have plans to fully renovate the kitchen down the line, but thanks to our updates, nothing about this current kitchen is spurring us on to get to that sooner rather than later – which is a nice feeling. We like to live in a house for a few years before any major updates like that whenever possible (we were in our last house for 4 years before we redid the kitchen). It just seems to lead to a better result when you live with it for a while and make sure you know exactly what would be the most useful, efficient, etc. Plus you can save up over time.

You might notice a few new changes in that photo above – mainly, some room-rearranging (we moved a bookshelf & scooted the table more towards the center of the room). And some new appliances! Can you hear my excited dolphin noise from here? (I have an extremely accurate dolphin noise that I make when I’m extra happy.) We got them secondhand for a steal – and a counter-depth fridge was included too, so that’s coming soon! I mean, look at this stove.


Stainless steel electric stove with mauve cabinets and floating wood shelf


stove / how we built the shelf/ cabinet hardware / art is a framed page from this book

We’ve never had such nice appliances, and it was $500 for the entire suite of Café appliances that we got secondhand (fridge is still coming!). They’re only a few years old and in perfect condition. I pinch myself every morning that I walk into this kitchen and make myself tea on the new stove.

After starting out with an older white stove and a black dishwasher, it feels like a huge upgrade to have appliances that match – and they actually function better too (the dishwasher is extra quiet!). Here’s the original appliance situation a few weeks after moving in, for comparison:


Kitchen with white cabinets black dishwasher and off center round table



The impetus for moving one of our two Ikea bookshelves across the room (and more into the “kitchen” area) was to free up more room in the sitting area – and to make the room feel more balanced with a more central table (like some of these inspo photos with a table in the middle of a kitchen). But we only wanted to stick with the new layout if it didn’t feel too tight in the kitchen (remember I married a very practical man who lets me get away with zero impractical furniture layouts because he’s basically The Efficiency Grinch). But instead of trying this and pushing everything back, we anchored that shelf on that left wall & rehung the art, which officially means it passed John’s we-can-leave-it-like-this test.





Kitchen with mauve cabinets and white metal shelf on side and round table in center












That photo above makes the table look weirdly close to the fridge from that angle, but here’s how much clearance there is when you see it head-on:






It’s by no means a football field of space around the table, but thankfully it works for us without feeling annoying. We can still get into these drawers on the left, which hold tools because that’s who we are (the shelves across the room are the ones that hold our pantry items).


Drawer open on metal shelf behind round  table


pendant light / similar table / chairs / Ikea shelving system / how we built the shelves / stove

Here’s a shot with the drawer closed. When there are people sitting around the table you can’t get into them as easily, but we haven’t needed tools while sitting down for lunch or dinner yet so I’d say it’s a non-issue.





Kitchen with mauve cabinets and white metal shelf on side and round table in center











pendant light / similar table / chairs / Ikea shelving system / how we built the shelves / stove

And now, let’s move back over to the side that John loves most of all. See how the fridge sticks out into the space a little more on this side…


Gap between refrigerator and table in kitchen with mauve cabinets


pendant light / similar table / chairs / how we built the shelves / dishwasher

… well, remember that we got a counter-depth fridge as part of that secondhand appliance suite that we bought. So that will be coming soon and it’ll shift back a bit to give us a little more clearance. But John actually loves this new setup even as it is right now because he can grab something like ketchup from the fridge if we’re eating. Without getting up. While sitting at the table his go-go-gadget arm shoots out and opens the door and grabs the soy sauce or the butter. I know. I wish I had a picture of that in this post.

You can see from this shot that there’s still plenty of room to get stuff from the fridge when people aren’t in the chairs – but when they’re in them… well, that’s when John’s magic ketchup-retrieving arm really enjoys the new layout. Maybe I’ll make a video demo for InstaStories for you. It’s hilarious how happy it makes him. It’s the little things.


John standing with freezer door open next to round table in kitchen



Ok now back to the seating area. Having this chill space down here is so nice because when we all want to lounge and watch a movie we head upstairs to the family room, but when someone’s cooking or doing dishes and the kids just want to be nearby and read or do a puzzle or have a snack or whatever, this bonus little informal hangout zone is so nice to have.




Sitting area in kitchen with settee two chairs and small coffee table








chairs / similar dresser / rug / blue stool / settee / art by Teil Duncan / gold frames / coffee table

One perk to moving that second shelf more into the kitchen zone is that it freed up more space for a little settee in this area. So now we legitimately have seating for four, which feels great! Technically we could get a much larger rug to define this whole zone (an 8 x 10′ would fit with room to spare if that gives you a better idea of the size), but I love our existing rug for now. Here I am petting the cutest dog in the world for scale:



Sherry sitting on settee with chihuahua next to white metal shelf





rug / blue stools / settee / art by Teil Duncan / coffee table / Ikea shelving system

Oh and we got a new coffee table! We especially love the brass hardware and the large surface area on top – and best of all, it’s FULL of hidden storage! Two huge drawers that pull out. It’s such an improvement! I recently shoved a bunch of winter stuff in there in case we want to grab a hat or gloves or a jacket when it’s frigid out (aka: under fifty because we’re wimps). And the other side has all of our tool batteries & charging stuff (once again, because we’re those people).


Wood coffee table with large deep drawers


Wood coffee table / rug / basket tray

I just noticed that this wider photo of that sitting area makes it look like the chairs block the door, but it’s just the angle…




Sitting area in kitchen with settee two chairs and small coffee table








chairs / similar dresser / rug / blue stool / settee / art by Teil Duncan / gold frames / coffee table

… here’s a shot from the other side to show you the big landing we have at the bottom of the stairs and in front of the front door (which also gives us lots of clearance to open those laundry closet doors on the right).


Floor space behind seating area next to front door


chairs / similar dresser /gold frames

That six drawer dresser under the window is CLUTCH (is that what all the cool kids are saying?) because it holds all of the things we grab when we go in and out like doggy bags, Burger’s leash, sunscreen, umbrellas, chapstick, sunglasses, etc, etc, etc. So it makes for the perfect entryway dropzone, and it was necessary to still be able to pass through here easily (and to be able grab whatever we need from the drawers).


Space between entry dresser and seating area chairs


chairs / similar dresser / rug / blue stool / settee / art by Teil Duncan / coffee table

And since we’re thorough, here’s the view from our bedroom.


Walking space between settee and coffee table leading to kitchen


 rug / blue stool / settee / art by Teil Duncan / coffee table / Ikea shelving system

The camera was too close to really give you an idea of how far that blue side table is from the door in that shot above, but this angle gives you more context (I’m going to do a walk-through tour on InstaStories, which is SO HELPFUL to get a feeling for the flow of this space, so stay tuned for that).


Seating area with settee against wall with painting above next to white metal shelf


Ikea shelving system / similar dresser / rug / blue stool / settee / art by Teil Duncan / coffee table

We definitely think this little zone will evolve over time as well. For example, a floor lamp could be really nice to fill that empty space and illuminate any reading or puzzle-making that goes on:


Same seating area with floor lamp photoshopped into image


Ikea shelving system / similar dresser / rug / blue stool / settee / art by Teil Duncan / coffee table

And once we got this settee in the space we realized that the room could probably handle something even bigger down the line – like a more substantial chair-and-a-half or maybe a small loveseat (it could absorb the area that the side tables take up, since they aren’t needed due to now having a nice big coffee table). And a larger loveseat or double chair might benefit from some bigger art above it. So maybe that’s how this area will evolve over time…


Same seating area with floor lamp larger art and larger settee photoshopped into image


Ikea shelving system / similar dresser / rug / blue stool / settee / art by Teil Duncan / coffee table

Even exactly as it is right now, it’s comfortable and functional for our family. So we’re extremely happy with “the journey” when it comes to this room. I think small tweaks like this often have to occur in order to get you to the best possible end result, so embracing those little changes means they can lead to the best possible room in the end.



Sherry sitting on settee with chihuahua next to white metal shelf





Ikea shelving system / rug / blue stools / settee / Teil Duncan art / coffee table / Burger’s priceless

So that’s how this sweet room of ours has been coming along so far. It’s pretty amazing to realize that many of the major components in here are still what came out of our moving pod back in May (both Ikea bookshelves, the kitchen table, the kitchen chairs, the two armless sitting area chairs, the rug, the entryway dresser, and all of our art and accessories).


Kitchen with view of stairs on left side


our stair runner tutorial / pendant light / similar table / chairs / Ikea shelving system / stove

Also let’s take a moment to appreciate how much Burger and all of my plants love Florida. Never been happier.


Chihuahua sleeping on settee in kitchen



Let’s end this with a few before photos for comparison. This one was taken on the rainiest day ever so it’s especially gloomy looking:


Before photo of kitchen with white cabinets and large peninsula



And here’s the “right now” shot from the same angle:





Kitchen with mauve cabinets and white metal shelf on side and round table in center











pendant light / similar table / chairs / Ikea shelving system / how we built the shelves / stove

If you turn around and face the other way, here’s that before:


Before view of seating area with yellow walls



And here’s a similar current view. Ah. Feels good.




Sitting area in kitchen with settee two chairs and small coffee table








chairs / similar dresser / rug / blue stool / settee / art by Teil Duncan / gold frames / coffee table

If you have questions about how we renovated things like the bulkheads & stuff, this post has all of that info. And if you’re wondering how we redid the floors, here’s a post about that. We still get the occasional question about how we like having all of our bedrooms on the main floor and the family room upstairs, and the bullets in this post really quantify how we feel about this floor plan. There’s also this archive about our Florida house that covers every single change, listed chronologically for anyone who wants a deeper dive. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to await John’s ketchup arm and try to catch it on video…

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