Looking Back: 4 Small Things We Would Change About Our Kitchen

March 18, 2024

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

There aren’t many things I would change about our kitchen remodel. But there are a few things that either we chose in our design or happened accidentally that have been a little bit, well, not what we’d hoped.

Chris Loves Julia | 4 Small Things We Would Change About Our Kitchen

Full Kitchen Sources

I think it’s important to know that sometimes you don’t know if you like something until you’ve lived with it for awhile. Fortunately, none of these are monumental or urgent issues. So while we’re not feeling pressure to make any fixes soon, it’s nice to know we can make a change when we’re ready.

1) Range Hood Blower

Chris Loves Julia | 4 Small Things We Would Change About Our Kitchen | Range Hood Blower
Shop the Kitchen

One of the few pain points in the kitchen, but probably the biggest, is something that is our own fault: the blower for the range hood.

Out of a desire to make things easier, we opted for a blower that is attached directly to the range hood. Why does that matter? It’s loud. Like, “when it’s on we have to raise our voices just to hear each other” loud.

The main times we turn it on is when Chris is grilling inside, which is pretty rare during warmer months but common through the winter. We talk about looking into swapping for a remote blower. Maybe we will some day. 

2) Location of Latch Hardware

Chris Loves Julia | 4 Small Things We Would Change About Our Kitchen | Cabinet Hardware

Cabinet Hardware | Copper Bowls | Glass Canisters | Brass Pepper Mill | Copper Canisters | Tangine (similar) | White Dutch Oven | Black Dutch Oven | Scallop Bowl (similar) | Glass Cloche

We love how all of our hardware looks! It really is so beautiful. Unfortunately, we’ve found that the latch-style hardware is not the most practical from day-to-day.

The cabinets are soft close, and don’t have enough “oomph” behind them for the latches to close on their own. Also, you have to close the two doors their specific order, the one first, then the other.

To keep the charm, it probably would have been better to keep knobs on the doors we use daily (sink, drink station) and leave the latches for the higher cabinets we only access every once in a while (above the fridge/freezer, above the book shelves).

I don’t think about it too much until Chris points it out — as a “function-forward” guy, it bothers him quite a bit. And I can understand why, where he’s in the kitchen the most. 

3) Pantry Door Hardware

Chris Loves Julia | 4 Small Things We Would Change About Our Kitchen | Pantry Doors

Wall Sconces

Closing the pantry doors is a bit obnoxious, and I think it’s due to the latching hardware used. The doors don’t have knobs that you turn to open — it’s just a pull-to-open and push-to-close deal, with pressure latches on the top.

Unfortunately, getting the tension right has been a problem, and they seem to open much easier than they close. This leads to a lot of accidental slamming of the doors and having them often sway open even if you happen to bump the knob as you walk past.

Chris thinks it’s something that can be fixed. We just need to take the time to fine-tune the adjustments and perhaps swap out some of the components.

4) Range Hood Trim

Chris Loves Julia | 4 Small Things We Would Change About Our Kitchen | Range Hood Trim

Pendant Light | Sink Faucet | Sink | Mirror Sconces | Pot Filler | Spoon Rest | Wood Pepper Mill

One mistake we made that we can still correct is the range hood trim.

Looking at the original kitchen plans from Jean Stoffer, the trim on the range hood (the crown) was supposed to be the same color as the cabinets. Without checking the design we instructed the plaster guy to apply the plaster to the trim as well, to match the plaster finish on the hood itself.

While it doesn’t look bad, I do think it would feel more special if painted to match the cabinetry. I also want to paint the window trim to match – wouldn’t that be so pretty??

One thing I wouldn’t change is anything about the appliance garage. It’s still so amazing! What do you wish you had done differently with your kitchen upgrades?

Chris Loves Julia | Appliance Garage

Mirror Tile | Toaster | Electric Kettle | Blender | Bar Faucet | Brass Pulls

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. KL says:

    I have the same regret about my range hood. I don’t know if there was ever a good solution though, as high-CFM insert hoods in a 30″ width are hard to come by, and I need 800+ CFM for functionality in my specific cooking habits.

  2. Kimberly Kahl says:

    We remodeled our kitchen about six years or so ago. I love my kitchen but like you there a few things we would do differently. I wish we would have included a appliance garage!!! I hate the clutter. I wish we put in an induction stove top. They were new and expensive so we declined. Oh well. On to the next project. Two bathrooms back to back. Not sure if that’s a good or bad decision.

  3. Jacquelyn Veydt says:

    We’ve moved a bunch of times due to the military and jobs etc. There’s been a total of 6 different kitchens as a result. We were creative each time at utilizing space wisely but one thing we could never seem to have enough of was counter space. I have more than enough storage in my kitchen currently, but I could use a larger slab on my island. Someday we will upgrade and make it larger.

  4. Larry says:

    Kitchen looks phenomenal. Could you explain the range venting a little more in detail? What blower insert did you use and which replacement would you choose to quieter?

  5. Susan Skilton says:

    We have a remote blower under our house. So now if we use the blower, we smell dinner in our master bathroom for quite a while. Like a full day.Arghhhhh

  6. Colleen says:

    When we remodeled our kitchen, I opted for shelves on either side of the stove/vent hood, knowing they would get dusty. I would replace them with cabinets, get rid of the cabinets and add more windows on the sink side and have a hidden drink station. The latter I am working on to make it be functional but also nice to look at!

  7. Patricia says:

    Over 37 years ago, we ripped out our kitchen down to the studs in all 6 directions (lath and plaster, impossible to patch). I designed our kitchen layout and still loved it when we moved 30 years later. I wish I’d done something different with the countertops. We were out of $$$ by the point it came to that; had to choose between doing Formica countertops and getting oak floors or looking into a more expensive option. I went with oak floors, figuring I could change the countertops more easily later. The oak floor was a good choice. But there were limited options for countertops at that time. Granite stone slabs were horribly expensive, and quartz wasn’t even on the far horizon yet. I went with tile. Not my smartest choice. Grout lines, ugh! Wish I could have waited another decade and opted for quartz.

  8. Rita Dutt says:

    Your kitchen is magical. I don’t see anything I could change. More I see it more I love it.
    Also the piano room turned amazing

  9. Jennifer Alme says:

    Any chance you could share the name of your plaster guy? I live in Raleigh and am looking for someone to repair plaster walls in a historic home. Thanks!

  10. Cici Haus says:

    We did a medium renovation on our kitchen last spring (kept all the perimeter cabinets but built a new island). However, it took me FOUR MONTHS to choose a cabinet color and I ended up going in an unexpected direction – a rich purple/brown that I absolutely love. BUT I don’t love it with the paneled backsplash we put in well before knowing we’d go in that direction. Thinking we’d go taupe or green we were planning to paint the paneling, but now with such a dark color I think it’d be too much but the light tan (reads white) of the wall color is too much contrast. Still trying to figure it out!

  11. Sam Towlerton says:

    Your kitchen is inspiring. Thanks for sharing the small things you would change after having lived with them for a while. Helps with those of us starting on our own projects.

  12. Carmen says:

    Hi Julia! I enjoyed this snippet into what you would have done differently with your kitchen remodel. And honestly reading through those small changes you would make I can totally see why each thing would bother you or “disrupt” the daily grind of the kitchen. Glad they are all things that are fairly easy to fix.
    We remodeled our entire home all last year and I did my dream kitchen as well, inset cabinets, fancy appliances, special hardware you name it. And while I absolutely Love it there is one change I would have made…my pull out garbage drawer is over by my sink and coffee area which I thought would be the best placement but now I wish I would have placed it over closer to where I cook. It’s sort of a permanent situation too so oops but I think that’s the only major thing.
    I have the same kitchen faucet as yours (stunning) and I was wondering how you keep it shiny? I’ve used a baking soda and water paste to polish the water spots away but is there another option that you have found to work better? Just curious.

    • Camille Bowers says:

      Oh dear we are building this year and I was considering polished nickel for my faucets but now you have me questioning that. Water spots? I also was thinking of doing the latches on some of my cabinets but Chris has a good point. This post was so helpful!

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

A reader recently asked me if I’m starting to fully embrace traditional style and whether we still consider our house to be a “modern Colonial” and why. It was a really great question and so timely — I had really just been thinking about my approach to this home and how my style has changed […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations