new kitchen design

new kitchen design

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What makes a friend? What makes someone or something a dear friend? Can a dear friend be an inanimate object. Does it have to live and breathe? Or can it live and breathe but not be human? I think so. I think that friends come in all sizes, shapes, types, kinds and can be human or not.

Definition of a Friend

According to dictionary.com, a friend, in the noun form, is:

  • person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
  • person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
  • person who is on good terms with another; person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
  • member of the same nation, party, etc.

There are, no doubt, lots of definitions of the word friend. Then you have more clarity, or maybe more confusion, with the word friend. What makes a ‘Close friend. True friend. Real friend.’ We’ll leave that for another day because I’m here to talk about saying goodbye to a dear, close, true and real friend.

Yes, this friend is my kitchen. My kitchen has been with me for almost 20 years. And, now we’ve made the decision to remodel the kitchen and update it. This kitchen has served me so very well. It’s demonstrated day in and day out the attributes of an amazing friend: accepting, honest, low maintenance, non-judgmental, loyal, respectful and trustworthy.

new kitchen design

Everything about this kitchen worked for me when it was first designed and built nearly two decades ago. But, like life, as time passes, our worlds, our needs, our ways of living change. We must be flexible and open to change. And, if we’re fortunate enough to be able to invest in changing out an entire kitchen, then when you’re someone like me, who spends virtually every waking day in the kitchen, you make that decision to move to new and improved.

new kitchen design
Robert Norris Photography
Mixed Emotions

But, I must admit, it tugs at my heart strings. I look at this kitchen and only see the years and years of beautiful memories in it. The thousands of meals. The hours of loved ones sitting in the little red stool as I cooked. This kitchen has seen me cry, laugh, be angry, experience immense frustration, be at the peak of happiness and the depths of worry. It’s been the heartbeat of family gatherings and more dishes have been washed in this kitchen than I can shake a stick at.

Rather than try to redress and salvage this kitchen, I know my ‘office needs’, yes, this is my working ‘office’ where I generate income and pursue my passionate work, have to be totally revamped and redesigned. So, we’ve taken the plunge and are now in the throes of recreating our kitchen space into the something exceptionally organized and practical for continuing the important work of Ally’s Kitchen. Well, at least for the next decade or so!

new kitchen design
Jacqueline Pettie Photography
Progress and Change are Good

Just to share with you, here are some of the things that I’ve outgrown or learned about a better functioning kitchen. These are things that I’ve incorporated into this new kitchen layout as we’ve worked with our kitchen design experts.

  • I need much more surface space for laying things out and working. That means unused space must be captured. And, the old design of the kitchen must be reconfigured. Our kitchen had a half wall that separated it from the living area. Stools were there for sitting. But, no one really sat there. Bad design to begin with. So, this space essentially acted as a catch all. And, typically was full of clutter.
  • There is absolute need for more organization in the form of a ‘butler’s pantry’. And, with my kitchen designer, we have configured something that is ‘like’ a butler’s pantry but not a separate room. I do have a separate pantry where food and dishes and serving pieces are stored, but when you have hundreds and hundreds of food styling products from dishes to linens, a better system of accessing must be created in order to be efficient on the job.
  • The sink and cleanup area must be better maximized, and that includes the dishwasher. So, we are re-configuring this area of the kitchen and using a professional ‘work station’ concept for the cleanup area. I’m really excited about this concept because it incorporates that professional kitchen look and feel in our kitchen.
  • The flow and organization of the current kitchen created more chaos than not. When I’m in the kitchen, my office where I do more than just ‘cook’, I am creating content for brands and the Ally’s Kitchen website, I don’t need others coming in, bumping into what I’m doing, interrupting. Not to sound snippy, but it would be like someone coming into your ‘office’ and taking up space, using your supplies, maybe putting them back in the wrong places and so on. It’s annoying. Sooooooooooo, we’ve designed a new flow. If someone wants coffee, they don’t have to come into my space. If someone wants something from the refrigerator, there’s a path to it with out passing by me.
  • I’m doing so much more video content for social media and my website. That means I do it in my kitchen. And, this kitchen is a reflection of my brand. Keeping it fresh and current, in style and visually aesthetic is essential. This new kitchen will take on an entirely updated look. It’s no longer a kitchen of the late 1990s, but a kitchen of 2019 and years beyond.
new kitchen design
Jacqueline Pettie Photography

My old trusted dear close true friend, my kitchen, understands what’s happening. Yes, there is total support for what we are doing. All the little knobs, handles, drawers, cabinets and more have smiled as I cleaned them out readying them for their next adventure. Yes, this kitchen will be adopted by another family. It is going to a new happy home where it will be treasured and loved, just like we have for these many years. And, a bonus? I’ll be able to go visit my old friend and will know that this kitchen is happy as a pig in mud making new memories with her new family.

new kitchen design
Jacqueline Pettie Photography

 

Take a look at my kitchen that served me for so many years. You don’t want to miss the progress of her transformation from what you see here to her amazing facelift!

And, thank you to Jacqueline Pettie Photography and Robert Norris Photography for some of these amazing photos!

Hope you’re signed up for every new post and the newsletter because you don’t want to miss the next installment of this project! The gutting stage!

Be sure to follow along on the progress!

Kitchen Remodeling and Gutting

Kitchen Remodel Galley Workstation

new kitchen design
Jacqueline Pettie Photography

new kitchen design

new kitchen design

new kitchen design

new kitchen design

10 Comments

  1. Denise Collins

    Your new kitchen is going to be amazing 😉 and I truly loved your old one Chef 👩🏻‍🍳 Alley but can’t wait to see your new one 🥰

    • Nene!! Can’t wait for you to come and enjoy it! We’ve spent a lot of time in the old one, and we’re ready to make new memories, luv! xoxo

  2. How awesome Ally! I so enjoyed reading and reminiscing with you about your old friend… The pictures are so beautiful… Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us.. I love and learn so much from your experience and passion for cooking. I’m proud to call you my friend.. look forward to seeing the new transformation😘😘😘

    • Dear Cindy~ You have shared some very special words w/me. Thank you, my friend, and I feel the very same way. You have an infectious zest for life that shows in everything you do and all the exquisite jewelry you design. xoxo ~ally

  3. I know that the new kitchen will be just right for you and Ben. Can’t wait to see all of the videos and fantastic ideas you’ll be sharing.

    • Gwen! Thank you so much! Ben says that living w/me is ‘always another project’! LOL! Isn’t that the way life should be. Never be complacent. Always look for that next adventure around the corner. Think about you often, my dear friend. You know how much you mean to me and my boys xoxo

  4. Oh my dear Ally! I am excited to meet your new home and friend. You did a lovely tribute to this beautiful heart of your home you put all your own dear heart and magic into to create all those beautiful memories and incredible meals. Thank you for making it always feel like out home as well. You make us all feel like we are right there on that little stool sharing a laugh or a cry and enjoyjng your magnificent creations. Xo

    • Oh, sweet, Nicole…your words “…making it always feel like our home as well…” means the world to me. It IS your home as well. Thank you, dear one. Yes, this will probably be my last major kitchen rehaul and I’m really excited about the new look. My trusted kitchen will have that new home that I’ll also share w/you!! xoxo

  5. Kerry Chesnutt

    So excited for you! I need to come check out your new friend when she has arrived.❤️

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