At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decred that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
Warning: This is a long post! Grab a drink and settle in...
You have been VERY VERY patient and kindly persistent!
Last week I posted a Thanksgiving buffet on the kitchen island and had so many comments about getting a "peek" at the new kitchen. I knew I could not keep my dear readers waiting any longer.
Here is look at StoneGable's FRESHENED UP Farmhouse Kitchen...
After cleaning up the Thanksgiving buffet I thought this would be a good time to show-and-tell. The Christmas sleigh will soon be dropped on the kitchen and all the decorations might make it hard to focus on the re-do!
The inspiration for my new, fresh decor is StoneGable itself.
StoneGable is a farmhouse inspired home. We live here in the bucolic countryside of Lancaster County Pa.
I am on a new mission these days!
I want to take my home back to it's farmhouse roots... that is, with a twist (there is always a twist when I am involved)... to play to thestrength of my beloved StoneGable.
What better place to make an earnest start than the heart of the home... StoneGable's kitchen!
There were many elements that we did not need to change. I really loved my original kitchen, it just needed some updating. So after a year of research and planning we began the journey to reclaim StoneGable's farmhouse style!
I envision a kitchen.. and eventually a home... that is warm and inviting but calmer, sleeker... more simple and less fussy...infused with my own personal style. All elements keeping an upscale farmhouse feel.
Thankfully StoneGable's kitchen did not need a total renovation! Just a healthy face-lift! After al,l I have used it very hard over the last 17 years!
We had just painted the walls Benjamin Moore Springfield Tan earlier this year so we stayed with that color.
Here are a couple of BEFORE photos...
(The old kitchen table and chairs were already removed in this photo. We were waiting for our new table to be built.)
The original kitchen was built in my garage. My builder's father was a custom cabinet maker and he built my cabinets from scratch! When my powder room sink was being installed 17 years ago, the plumber said that he had not seen a kitchen built like this in 35 years.
Keeping most of my cabinets was a MUST! And the few we had to replace were built the same as the originals. All drawers were retro fitted with easy-glide closures.
The cabinetry and woodwork was repainted as they were originally, with Benjamin Moore Atrium White oil based paint. At first the cabinets were to be glazed... but after much thought I decided against it... opting for a fresh pure white cabinet.
The top cabinetry has recessed panel fronts and the bottom cabinets are a beaded board. The original appliance garage was removed adding more counter space.
The top of the cabinets is the perfect spot to display my pitcher collection. We also added the crown molding.
I never had a back splash behind my counters until now. I just never knew what I wanted. Bead board painted the same fresh white as the cabinets delivers the farmhouse feel I love!
Simple oil rubbed bronze hardware replaces the old wooden knobs. I love the cup style pulls for the pull-out drawers.
Notice the corners of all the cabinetry. They have a pretty detailed rounded edge.
Bull nose trim accents the cabinets. This is all original. After 17 years of abuse they were dented and well-loved! My contractor made them look like new!
I have always wanted a double oven. And the plan was to put a double oven next to the big pantry. This is how this area looked BEFORE the re-do....
Unfortunately, I would have had to lose one of my pantry doors and the pretty glass cabinet. So we opted to leave the pantry as is, save the mullioned cabinet and put the microwave in a hide-away cabinet under it. Out of sight, but very accessible.
Lighting the glass cabinet is one of the projects I have yet to complete.
The upside to this compromise are the 3 large drawer gained under the microwave and the styling of that area.
The section of kitchen with the most change would have to be the "cooking area".
This is the BEFORE...
Because I could not put a double oven on the pantry wall, I compromised and put one built-in convection oven under a new gas cook top.
The biggest change to this area is the ventilation system and the pretty new hood that hides it! Before, the only ventilation system was the fan under the microwave. I was always setting off smoke alarms!
The new system is vented to the outside of my home!
And the hood has a pretty shelf that I can decorate... with moderation!
I kept the glass mullioned cabinets. They were originally lit, but we updated the lighting inside too.
This area was originally going to be purely neutrals. But I needed a little color!
I find blues and whites look so fetching with neutrals and give them an upscale kick!
The back splash was a huge decision for me. I wanted something that in 5 years would not look dated and would work with any decor. Hopefully this is understated and a classic.
I like to keep a little area for cooking oils, salt and pepper near my cook top. The covered bowl holds kosher salt and the little chicken has fresh cracked pepper. You can see the soft graining in the soapstone in the image.
Changing the counter tops gave the kitchen a very dramatic look! I have dreamed of soapstone for years! And I am thrilled with them. They are soft looking and very tough. And just so beautiful!!!!!
StoneGable's trough sink was custom made using the same soapstone that graces the kitchen counter tops. It can handle any kitchen clean-up!
The goose neck oil rubbed bronze faucet has a great built-in sprayer!
The dishwasher is hidden behind the "cabinet" just to the right of the sink.
I am trying very hard not to fill the counter space up with vignettes and kitchen wares. Just a couple simple well-placed things here and there!
Big glass jars hold sugar, flour and other goodies! Pretty vintage blue and white cups serve as scoops!
A new pendant lamp with a black and tan checked drum shade hangs over the sink. This pendant was fitted into a recessed light.
No curtains here, just a textural rattan shade.
A vintage colander hangs near the sink ready to be used.
The island was another compromise. We had first hoped to build a whole new island and paint it a different color, probably black. I wanted it to look like a piece of furniture.
However, in the end we decided to keep the island and tweak it. And am I glad I did!
Here is the BEFORE...
And the AFTER...
The island was raised and put on bun feet to look more like a piece of furniture. I am tall so the extra height saves my back!
Bull nose trim was also added to the base of the island. The cabinets on the left and right sides of the island are pull-out trash cans.
The soapstone counter top is 2 feet shorter than the original island (it was huge) making more room to move around the kitchen!
Pretty corbels were added to give a dressed up feel.
A big antique tool box sits on the island.
I do embellish this with seasonal decor... old habits die hard! Right now it is filled with creamy white dishes!
A large tray chandy hangs over the island.
I looked forever for this! And found it a Lowe's! Can you believe it?
It looks like a tray of pillar candles. Using different watt bulbs, gives this the look of real candles!
I wish you could see this in the evening... sooooo pretty!
The stools at my island are a project that I have not finished. Mostly, because I was not sure if I wanted to get new ones or not. These little seats have been a part of my home for 25 years! They are filled with wonderful memories of little squirmy children sitting at the counter!
I think I'm going to keep them, but paint them graphite and antique them a little. Wouldn't a brown and black plaid or buffalo check cover look so smart on them?
The other area that still needs work is my "mudroom"... the hallway that leads to the garage. I have all the decor to make the changes but I just need a little time! I must make an effort to finish this right after Christmas!
And the only new appliance we need is the refrigerator. The one we have is still working great and we have a working frig in the garage as well. When one goes, hopefully soon, we will get a frig that we can customize to look like the rest of the kitchen.
I hope you have enjoyed the little (long) kitchen tour!
StoneGable is slowly being dressed in Christmas finery! I love the process of decorating for Christmas as much as the final product.
I don't have many snowmen, santas (except the little wooden triangle Santa my son made in nursery school many years ago) or ready-made decorations anymore.
Over the last few years I have let go of many Christmas decorations and have been collecting "elements". Sticks, picks, greens, pinecones, snowflakes, etc. Each year I round up the every Christmas box and create. I think I love the creative process the best. Picking a theme, shopping the Christmas area of my basement and getting a few new new things as well. Working on new and fresh ideas for Christmas is so exhilarating. We have many many Christmas tradition that remain the same from year to year, but the decking-the-halls the same is not one!