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Inspiration for the Built-In Kitchen Details

We have finally begun Phase 2 (though it feels more like Phase 37) of the Renovation Project. Phase 1 was completing the sunroom and adding the second bathroom, and Phase 2 is updating the kitchen since the layout was impacted by the earlier projects. Plus it just needs some help all around. This is where we are at today.


This is the corner that is getting most of the attention. Obviously it needs it. The area of new, unfinished drywall is where the opening to the sunroom used to be. This is where we are going to put the refrigerator, so we moved the electrical and water supply over, and also shifted the air register down. We’re also going to replace all that yucky tile with hardwood floors. I had painted it in 2008 in an effort to disguise how gross it was, but now it’s time to just rip it out. The unpainted area is where the fridge was, as you can see here:

IMG_5838 IMG_5841And this is looking towards the sink. Aside from painting the walls and perhaps updating the light fixtures, the plan is to leave this side of the kitchen alone for now. I did recently learn that the dishwasher was originally purchased in 1994. Though it still works, it’s pretty beat up and it cries like a two-year-old. No joke. I’ve woken up quite a few times early in the night thinking that it was Jack crying, but no, it’s just this super loud, whiny artifact of a dishwasher. So, this may also be due for an upgrade.

Okay, that’s what I’ve got now. Here’s a sketch of how we are thinking of treating that corner of the kitchen.
kitchen corner wall

Basically, we’re going to frame a wall around the refrigerator in the corner which will also accommodate a niche above for cookbooks and a niche on the side for spices. The best part about this project is that we gain a 42″ wide prep area between the range and refrigerator. I haven’t figured out all the details for this piece, but I think for now we’ll frame it in and then leave it open below for a couple of roll-out carts until I know for sure what I want there. Maybe the trash can. Maybe pots and pans. I’m still deciding between a butcher block countertop or possibly a marble remnant on top. It won’t match the cabinets on the other side of the range, but I’m okay with that.

This morning I went on Pinterest to get some inspiration for these details. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite finds.

Here are some images of refrigerators that have been recessed into a wall.


And here are some ideas for the spice niche. I could treat it in so many ways.

d9c4b58b6663d5a13ffa1b7a8324866e f81481270d5276aca6ba7ad3d109a1b778583dc4992771a8d8641d87688f539d 56721561767d85724a3b285c2288689f a0e21cf1b834905d08ec8ec21c279a2eI like the idea of an accent tile behind the spices, but it’ll be tricky to find something that works with my existing backsplash tile. I probably won’t nail down these details until after the walls are framed, and maybe even painted.

Then there’s the paint color dilemma. But that’s another post.

That’s the kitchen update. Have a great weekend!

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  • Jordan
    March 31, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Tamara! I just found your blog tonight and now I’m in love with it! So happy to have found you.. love you style! I was looking for your email so I could send you a quick question. I’m wondering how you became a contributor for Apartment Therapy.


    Jordan (

    • tamara
      April 15, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Jordan! Sorry for the delay. Yay! Glad you found me and like my style…that means so much. Please email me at and I’d be happy to answer any questions! Have a lovely weekend!

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