Friday, April 30, 2010

Kitchen of My Dreams

I hit a snag in our kitchen makeover last week. The guy came by with CaesarStone examples, and they were very impressive. They really look like stone:

But we couldn't decide which color to pick for the counters that surround our island. Should we get something light, to contrast with the dark granite we picked for the island? Or should we choose something dark, to complement the granite? Should it be splotchy, to subtly mimic the granite, or should it be plain and pattern-free, to let the granite take the star role?

We kept coming back to the only thing we knew for sure: We love the granite. The granite is what we love.

Then, last Saturday, the May 2010 issue of "House Beautiful" magazine landed in my mailbox. (a happy day: any day one of my magazines arrives is a good day!) And there, on pages 142 to 144, was our answer:

This is the Mount Kisco, New York, kitchen of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Now, there's no way my kitchen is this grand. And there's no way I'm a Kennedy groupie, hoping for a shred of Camelot to rub off on me. This could be the kitchen of a convicted money launderer; I don't care. What grabs me is how much it resembles the kitchen in my mind.

All its counter tops are the same dark color. And they look great:

Their counters are an engineered product made of 75 percent recycled content. But they look remarkably like the granite we picked out:

All its cabinets, in the island and on the surrounding walls, are light. And they look great:

The floor is medium-to-light in tone, so it bridges the darks of the counters and the lights of the cabinetry. And it looks great, too:

There's an accent wall of light green at the end of the kitchen, just like mine!:

All the appliances are stainless, which is what we have/what we are getting. When our geriatic refrigerator-freezer finally dies, we will replace it with something that looks like their fridge:

And the faucet pictured in the island is exactly what I want for my sink, with a high, arching neck and a extend-able sprayer so I can wash even my biggest pots without cussing!:

The white subway tile backsplash behind their stove is the same tile I envisioned for the backsplashes above my counters:

The Kennedy kitchen allowed me to get unstuck. For the first time, I could see, right on paper, how all our choices were going to hang together.

More important, I could show The Hubby how all our choices were going to hang together. (Like many people, he has trouble visualizing stuff that he doesn't care all that much about. I mean, the man can visualize how to pack a minivan with a week's worth of camping gear, so I'm not complaining or anything.)

We can both see that it was going to be everything good: Light and welcoming. Traditional but not stuffy. Grounded by the dark colors and happy and airy by virtue of the light ones.

Even The Boy, whom I collared and demanded that he study the magazine's pages, said it looked good. Hurrah!

The Kennedy kitchen gives me the courage to buck some trends.

It's trendy right now to have the island counter a different material than the rest of the counters: I'm not doing it. It's trendy right now to have the island cabinetry a different color than the rest of the kitchen: I don't think I'm doing that, either.

The Kennedy kitchen is my template.

So now, I'm moving forward again. Next step: find a low-VOC paint in the exact right shade of white.

Because white comes in a whole slew of shades.

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