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New year, new kitchen updates!

This post was created in partnership with Café Appliances.

We emptied out our savings account when we bought our home four years ago, and were left with very little funds for renovations. We lived on credit cards for a few months and made it work, passing every paycheck to our contractor and bartering every way I knew how for product. I even bartered for a deep discount on the Moroccan tile of my dreams  by managing the Instagram account for our tile vendor for three months. Yeah, I’m a hustler. But I couldn’t barter for every single dreamy thing, so we also made some compromises. For example, we used the dishwasher from the previous homeowner, even though it was very basic, kinda flimsy and quite old.  That dishwasher did a very mediocre job of getting dishes clean so we basically washed the dishes really well before we stuck them in the dishwasher (wasting lots of water in the process.) Also every time we loaded it with our heavier ceramic dishes, the bottom dish-rack always derailed — super annoying. And those were just the some of the functional issues — there was also an aesthetic issue. The old dishwasher did not fit with my overall aesthetic vision for the space. In fact, I wasn’t sure that anyone made dishwashers that would fit my aesthetic vision of the space — until I was introduced to @CafeAppliances last year as a #CafePartner.

I was able to customize the finish of the hardware for the dishwasher so that it complimented the copper sink faucet, and the copper brackets that hold up my shelves. And this is such a tiny little detail, but I love how the handle has two different copper tones. I feel like this helps to tie together all the different tones of copper that we have sprinkled throughout the space. You can pick from Brushed Bronze, Brushed Copper, Brushed Black and Brushed Stainless for the hardware finishes so that your kitchen is #DistinctByDesign. Also, the outside of the dishwasher has a matte finish and feels more in line with the earthy look we’re going for.

In the beginning of the year we did a big ‘ol house cleaning. In part because we were emptying our garages for some renovations we’re about to start on, but also just to shake off 2018 and to start 2019 with a clean slate. We got rid of tons of old stuff we felt we no longer needed. We also did a major deep cleaning–removed everything from closets and from shelves, cleaned, mopped, scrubbed and edited, edited, edited. It was while doing this that I discovered just how much better this new dishwasher is compared to our old one. I was able to clean my whole ceramics collection (it’s even got a third rack for utensils!!) and also has Bottle Jets which is great for cleaning out things like vases. We didn’t have a dishwasher at all when Ida was a baby, but this dishwasher would have been a heaven-sent back then!  My only bit of constructive feedback I have for the dishwasher is that our dishes aren’t 100% dry when we empty the dishwasher, but that’s true for most energy efficient dishwashers out there, so it feels like a fair trade off. It’s a small issue that I’m sure Café Appliances is working on, but when sharing my two cents on products I like to give a full picture.

Next big kitchen update of 2019? WE GOT A MICROWAVE OVEN. This is in all caps for a reason. I haven’t had a microwave since I lived in the house I grew up in! Now that I have one, I kind of can’t believe I’ve been living without one all these years. Before I got Café’s microwave oven I did not equate the microwave with healthy eating. And as a vegetarian/pescatarian household that gets a CSA box every week– we are pretty focused on eating fresh and healthy– but I soon discovered this is not just a regular microwave. It’s also a convection oven.

What does that mean? It means that I can bake my sweet potatoes to perfection without having to deal with the the big oven. It means that if I get home late from work, Jason can keep my dinner in the microwave’s warming oven for me so it’s ready for me when I get home. It also has helped with teaching Ida to cook different meals that she can help herself to — because while she’s not quite ready to cook on the stove or in the big oven yet, she’s confident with the microwave and feels very empowered to heat up her own oatmeal or make herself a quesadilla in the microwave.  I was already in love with our kitchen, but these updates have just bumped our situation up to the next level and helped me feel ready to tackle some of this years goals — like eating out less, eating more healthily, and hosting more get-togethers!! I’m even thinking about getting another one for the office since we don’t have an oven or a microwave there. It will make cooking meals on the fly at work a whole lot easier (and tastier!!)

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months!  To check out what some of the other ladies in the #CafeCollective are up to, head over to:

Imma @immaculatebites

Jess @jessannkirby

Sarah @sarahshermansamuel 

Denise @denisevasi

Michelle @hummingbirdhigh

Anissa @housesevendesign

Rochelle @iambeauticurve

Gretchen @gretchenblack

And check out Café Appliances on Pinterest!

This post was created in partnership with Café Appliances. All opinions are my own.

Alternative Text Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

12 responses to “New year, new kitchen updates!”

  1. Jaime Kastro says:

    Yaaas! Love your Moroccan tile. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Olivia Fraser says:

    Beautiful! I’ve been looking at that copper faucet since you posted your updated kitchen and I’m about to embark on my own kitchen Reno! Can you speak to the maintenance/care of it??

    • Justina Blakeney says:

      Hi Olivia! We have had no problems with our faucet! We really like it. It’s easy to clean and works great It’s been 4 years since we installed it and it’s holding up really well.


  3. Sarah Brown says:

    What is the grout color you used with these amazing tiles?!?

    Also, thank you for opening my eyes to Cafe Appliances! Their line is so beautiful!

  4. Trinity says:

    Hi! hubbs and I are obsessed with your kitchen! Where did you get the brass shelf brackets?

  5. dmark says:

    Inspiring kitchen designs. Great work. luxury flats in Calicut

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  7. Hope Liptak says:

    Hi! I was wondering if you had any more pictures of your stove/bar area? my kitchen is this exact shape and size and im using your kitchen as my inspo. we are adding a bar where our over is and would love to see how you set things up?
    thanks you so much for creating this blog im in love with everything in your home lol!

  8. […] and eat at home since getting our new @CafeAppliances. Last month I talked a bit about our Café dishwasher and microwave oven, and today I’m gonna share a bit about our pretty new […]

  9. Sreekant says:

    Justina, you really designed your kitchen in the most beautiful way. Everything including tiles, carpet and shelves selection is amazing. But out of these, I liked the most is the money plant you have grown. Looks wonderful.

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