We’ve been living with our renovated kitchen for about two months now, and we’re really starting to settle into the new space. You know when something is new, so you just want to use it ALL the time? Well, the newness is fading, but the dreaminess hasn’t worn off! It’s not just me. The whole family is enamored with the open layout and fancy new Café appliances. As we’ve gotten used to the layout, each family member is finding their own rhythm in the kitchen—and their own favorite features.
Café Smart Oven
My daughter Emily has always loved to bake, but she loves baking in our new convection oven even more. Of course, the smart features are right up her alley. She downloaded the SmartHQ app immediately, connecting the oven to her phone and to the WiFi to get regular updates on all the downloadable upgrades.
The connectivity gives her status updates and the chance to monitor her creations from afar. This gives her a lot of flexibility, which she really enjoys. If she heads up to her room or leaves to see a friend after popping something in the oven, she can keep tabs on her cookies and turn off the oven from her phone! For Emily, any kind of digital organizing tool is SO cool, so these features are easily her favorite part.
Lately, she likes making meringues. Our old oven would dry them out, but with Café’s True Convection with Precise Air, they come out perfectly every time. Emily bakes every weekend— and if she’s allowed, sometimes after school. Her biggest problem is cleaning up the dirty dishes. I want to help support her, but the mess is like, oh my god. 😂
Get this: Travis actually likes doing the dishes. In fact, he loves it! So naturally he loves the stainless steel interior dishwasher, with its loading flexibility and steam-clean features. In classic Mr. Meticulous fashion, he enjoys taking the time to make sure everything is spic and span before bed each night. And now he has a dishwasher that’s as reliable as he is.
I don’t understand it, but Travis relies on his routine, and he likes his “me time” resetting the kitchen at night. He’s always been this way! I remember when we first had Rachel, my mom came to help, and Travis was very upset at being displaced in the kitchen. It’s a soothing activity for him to wind down with a task that feels super-satisfying when done.
Natalie helps her daddy unload the dishes. While we switched to open shelving with the redesign, we still keep a lot of her plastic cups and plates easily accessible in drawers so she can navigate the kitchen without help. Unloading the dishes is a great entry point into chores for little kids, and helps them to feel they’re contributing to the home!
Rachel is our growing teen, so she’s all about the fridge. Our Café ENERGY STAR refrigerator has great compartments, and customizable shelves to accommodate our organization system. I like to give each person in the household space to keep their own food and snacks, so my girls learn early to have a healthy relationship with food based on their own preferences and needs.
When I first began dreaming of our kitchen renovation, I talked a bit about empowering kids to make their own meals and advocate for what they want to eat. Half the battle is in organization, so they’re equipped with the foods they like and the tools they need to communicate those choices to me. Now that we have those systems in place, everything is moving so much more smoothly!
Beauty in Motion
Of course, as a designer, I love the look of my kitchen, too. 😉 While I’ve noticed a lot of resistance to white appliances in the last several years, the truth is that white is such a fabulous neutralizer. If you want room to play with color, white appliances give you the flexibility to try something new (like pink!) while brightening the space.
Plus, the Café appliances look so sleek with their brushed copper accents! You can get the knobs and handles in bronze and silver, but I want a warmer metallic because my theme is brass, the warmth makes it more cohesive and inviting. My kitchen feels modern, but not sterile. I especially love the commercial-style hood that’s modern and minimal, but I can buy it direct online without any custom order process. A win in efficiency, style, and usability!
Which brings me to my favorite thing about the kitchen: seeing my plan come to life! At the heart of every redesign is a relational reason—one that accommodates each individual’s needs. Watching my family transition seamlessly to using the new space makes me feel like I did my job right, and I love all the ways we’re relating in this space.
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