A challenge with my kitchen was the fact that I designed the wall of cabinets, as seen in earlier posts about my kitchen. In doing so, it really made the kitchen lopsided, with the wall of cabinets having a lot of weight, design-wise. What was left to deal with was the wall with the sink and windows, stove and shelf. When I showed my plan to my friend, Dirk, of Dirk Elliot Tile, he pointed out the heavily-sided issue with the wall of cabinets. I knew I wasn’t willing to change that wall, so the challenge was how to add weight to the other walls – all without adding upper cabinetry, which I didn’t want.

Dirk offered many different design solutions for me to consider. My plan was always to use subway tile and after touring Dirk’s tile factory, I was open to using different than normal sizes. One of Dirk’s suggestions was to go with smaller subway tiles – two different sizes, and to take them all the way to the ceiling – both of which would give it the much needed weight. I loved that idea.

He also pointed out that I needed to make my shelf MUCH bigger than I had originally planned, which would also add weight to that side of the wall. (And this is how the Mega Shelf came to be).

And last of all, he recommended that I add legs of some sort to the cooktop cabinetry, which balanced everything out, gave some heft to the base, and made it feel a bit like a piece of furniture.

The Mega Shelf has lighting built-in underneath, which is really nice while cooking. The lighting is all accessible by a panel that was built-in for easy access.

I’ve had lots of questions about my cooktop and venting.

To keep the design clean, I opted for a built-in downdraft fan, behind the cooktop. When I need to use it, I simply push a button, and the fan system raises up.

When I’m done, I just press the button again, and the downdraft lowers back down. I had the same system in my last kitchen and I really love it. The cooktop and downdraft are both by Thermador and they are really wonderful, and really easy to clean which is great, because my boys cook quite often and can be really messy. I also love the burners. Stars!

I have open shelving beneath the cooktop, which houses my pots and pans. I had the cabinet maker wrap the shelves with stainless steel, to take a beating, and to avoid terrible looking scratched shelves.

I’ve talked before about the built-in cutting board located near the cooktop.

It is so handy for chopping and scraping the scraps straight into the compost bin below. The day I met with the cabinet maker to talk about this feature, I had asked Colin to join me, which turned out to be a great thing. When he saw what I was asking for with the drawer, he came up with the idea for it to be spring loaded. So, to open the drawer, all I have to do is give it a slight push and it pops out, which is so convenient when I have a handful of veggies and have forgotten to pull out the drawer first. The board is maple and studies have proven that maple is highly resistant to bacteria – much more so than plastic or other cutting board surfaces that are out there. (I only use the board for veggies, and wipe it down when I’m done). The chute is lined with a PVC sort of pipe.

I plan on growing herbs on the window sills throughout the winter.

An idea from my friend Christina was to use stone for the sills. I loved the thought of it, as I’ve ruined many sills in the past with water marks from planters. When I ordered the countertops, I ordered the sills as well, in the same material. Mike, our finish carpenter, asked me to provide him with a sample of the stone material so that he could build the windows to fit perfectly. Unfortunately, the countertop contractor gave me the salesman’s sample, not the actual building material sample and the measurements were all off. After much ado, the countertop contractor adjusted the sills to fit what Mike had built, as it was their error.

I talk a lot about how much I love texture in design, and although my kitchen is very white, there is a lot of depth to it, thanks to the textures we incorporated. From the beadboard ceiling to the crown moulding to the tile.

When Dirk was sketching tile layout options, I fell in love with a design that sort of mimicked a basket weave, which was a perfect transition from the dining room grasscloth wallpaper to the kitchen.

It’s important to acknowledge that my kitchen would not be half as wonderful if it wasn’t for our friends, Dirk and Christina, who spent so much time and effort in helping me with a lot of the design. Their eye for detail is amazing, and I’m incredibly thankful for their help.

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn’t have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe’s.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I’m disappointed with a product or service and won’t provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that’s not what I want. If I don’t list a source, it’s not because I’m stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.


In 2002, I was dreaming of creating a fun and happy little event to sell my vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, I held my first event in my neighbor's barn along with a handful of friends. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today The Farm Chicks Vintage & Handmade Fair fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces packed with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best event of its kind in the USA. I describe it as the best weekend of the year!