Forever Home: Living Area & Kitchen Plan

Now that (most of) our finishes are picked out, I can finally start showing off some of the choices we've made for our new home!

Today, I wanted to start by showing some of the design choices we've made for the living areas of the house. I'm including the kitchen in this, because as you'll see in the floor plan, the kitchen is very much part of the living space.

(One little note: While I will be showing ideas and designs for the downstairs of the house, I decided to keep most of kids' area upstairs [their rooms and playroom] more private. They deserve a little bit of their own personal space that isn't blasted all over the internet! I honestly wasn't sure whether or not to show the whole floor plan of the first floor, but I thought it would be pretty easy to figure out with pictures in a few months anyway, so I went ahead with it.)

We opted for a really open floor plan for this home. Most of our time is currently spent in either our kitchen or the living room, so we wanted something that made those two areas flow together and that allowed us to interact with each other, even if I was in the kitchen cooking and the rest of the family is in the living room.

(Affiliate links used in this post.)

Let's start with our lighting choices.  I went back and forth so many times on what finishes I wanted to see as far as lighting, drawer pulls, fixtures, etc. went. Finally, I looked at my Pinterest Boards (all of the ones labeled “Future Home”…yes, there are a lot!) and realized that just about everything included bronze and darker metals. After I stuck with those, the whole design just started falling into place!

There are 6 bigger lighting choices we had to make in these areas. Most of the time, I used recessed lights…I'm kind of a recessed lighting nut! I wanted that kind of lighting in as many rooms as possible. (You can see the preliminary plan for those marked with the R's in circles on the plan above.)

The numbers on that floor plan correspond to these lights…

The only one I am still going back and forth over is our dining room chandelier. I do love it, but I can't decide if it's too “fancy” for what we've got going in the rest of the house. I like a little bit of ornament in the dining room, but it may be too much…the jury's still out! So don't be surprised if you see another piece there.
Now, on to paint choices!  I've had a photoshop file since we started talking about building that held all of my paint ideas. To say it is a hot mess would be an understatement…
See? Wowzers.
But, I think I've finally narrowed it down to a few colors I'd like to test in the house!
Neutral Paint Scheme || Perfect Greige || Comfort Gray || Amazing Gray || Spalding Gray || Sherwin Williams || Farmhouse Paint Ideas
This is my (current) plan for the colors throughout the home. I want to test both Perfect Greige and Amazing Gray in all of the living areas of the home (kitchen, living room, foyer, office, halls, playroom) and see what works best. I'm pretty sure I'll go with one of those, it will just depend on what looks best in the area. I'd like to use something a little bit darker in the dining room…Spalding Gray has always just kind of stood out as a favorite for that room.
For the bathrooms and laundry room, I wanted something a little bit lighter and cleaner. I love Comfort Gray…the darker version of it, Oyster Bay, was my original choice, but I think it's going to be a little bit too dark for those rooms (the only room in this set that has a window is the master bath). I definitely want something light and airy in those rooms! Depending on how it looks, I might even go a shade lighter to Sea Salt.
And, a certain four year old has requested a pink room. ? It will depend on the lighting and what she wants ultimately, but I'm leaning towards Angelic for that. I'm also thinking brother might get a blue room!

Moving on to kitchen and living area cabinets…I wanted to go against trend a little bit on this one. Everywhere you look lately, you see all white kitchens. While they certainly are pretty, I just can't see that being practical for our family. I have kids. Who make messes. And heck, I make messes too.

So, we went a little bit darker with our cabinet choices.

Pretty much everything about our kitchen has been shaped around this granite (Alaska White). I found it on Pinterest a few months before we actually picked out finishes and absolutely fell in love. I don't know that I've seen a slab yet that wasn't just gorgeous. It's got the perfect amount of white in it, but also incorporates several other neutral colors perfectly. It's also got a little bit of veining in it (this particular slab doesn't have much, but there are several other ones I've seen that have a lot).

I did (briefly) explore using quartz in the kitchen. I wanted something durable (which marble definitely isn't), so it was pretty much between quartz and granite from the beginning. Ultimately, the price of granite (and really the look, too) won out. The granite just has a little more going on as far as dimension and color and is much cheaper!

Once I saw this slab in person at our granite supplier's yard, I knew it was the type we needed. This probably won't be the exact slab we get, but should be something very similar.

From there, the colors for the kitchen and living room cabinets just kind of fell into place. I wanted them to match because they will technically be in the same big room.

Cabinet Color Scheme with Popular Gray from Sherwin Williams, Oil Rubbed Bronze Fixtures, Alaskan White granite, neutral backsplash
Tile Backsplashes: 1 // 2 (no longer available) // 3 // 4
Drawer Pulls: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

We're still deciding on all of this, but the colors seen here and the general scheme are pretty much set. We haven't picked backsplashes and pulls yet (don't worry, I won't use all of these at once! ?), but these are all on the short list.

Our kitchen cabinets will go to the ceiling. The big reason we did this is one of my absolute favorite parts of the house – our pantry, while it is still its own room, is going to be integrated into the cabinetry. So the pantry entry won't be a door, but will look like it's part of the rest of the cabinets! I've seen it done by another builder, and when it came up that we could possibly do that in one of our first meetings, I jumped all over it.

One of my favorite parts of the kitchen is the sink we have chosen! We picked out the Ikea DOMSJÖ Double-Bowl Apron-Front Sink for the kitchen. I am in love. All of the other farmhouse sinks we looked at just didn't fit into the price range we were looking at. This one is easily half the price of the others I saw and still gives us that pretty farmhouse look!

To give you kind of an idea for what we're doing for our fireplace, take these two and mix them together (but take the cabinet colors from the kitchen). They are both from our builder. I love the woodwork on the first one (the built-ins will extend out a little longer) and the brick style from the second. I'm going to see if we can match this brick to our exterior brick…I think it will look great with our interior colors too! (And, the built-ins in the living room should look pretty similar to the ones in the office on the front of the house.)

This is actually the exact picture I gave my builder for the built-in lockers at the garage entry, so they should look pretty similar to this (just in our colors). I can't wait to have a little bit of organization in that area – currently we're hanging everything under the sun on the cabinets at our kitchen entry. This area is very needed for us!

And guys…this is my absolute #1 had-to-stay design element in the house. We are doing coffered ceilings in the living room and I am so excited about them! Every time something needed to get cut from the budget, these came up, and I didn't budge. I had to have them. I can't wait to see how they look in this space!

For our flooring, we are going with Luxury Vinyl Plank. We had it when we lived in the apartment for a year and just fell in love. They are so incredibly low-maintenance (you can spill just about anything on them with no warping or peeling) and are a little bit less hard on the feet than doing tile with a wood look. They are so durable that we are doing them throughout the downstairs, even in bathrooms!

Right now, we have the A&M Luxury Vinyl Planks in Majestic Oak set as our color (but I'm rethinking that a little…I might go with something a little more gray, like Whistler Oak or Gunstock Oak).

And finally, let's take a look at what we're doing for the stairs!

Noah and I decided that, with 2 young kids, we really wanted carpeted stairs. I can just envision lots of falls and bruises with hardwood on the stairs. We figured it can always be redone after the kids grow up.

This pin has a really similar look to what we'll be doing (it will just be the mirror image of this). There will be a small raised wall next to the carpet on the stairs (another safety precaution), and the stairs will have iron spindles instead of the white wood ones you see in this picture.

Guys – let me tell you how nice it is to have all of this typed out and organized! The Type-A side of me is so happy I finally have all of these thoughts and visions mapped out in this post. I can't wait to see this space start to come together!

See more posts from our homebuilding journey here.

Images from previous version of this post:

Neutral Paint Scheme || Perfect Greige || Comfort Gray || Amazing Gray || Spalding Gray || Sherwin Williams || Farmhouse Paint Ideas

Bronze lighting || farmhouse inspired lighting || farmhouse light fixtures || new construction || lighting fixtures || lighting design || lighting ideas


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  1. Love your style! We just had Alaskan white granite countertops installed and are going with white cabinets. For the backsplash we’re going with something bold..faux tin..and we’re using the same hardware too, so great designing minds think alike😀
    Thank you for your organization inspiration and validating our material choices!

    1. That’s going to be beautiful!