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It’s about time for a house tour, don’t you think? Let’s start in the kitchen, where just about everything good begins.

Umami Girl Kitchen Tour 780 | Umami Girl-7
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Our new-old house

Hello, hello! We moved into our new/old house (new to us, but built in 1910) in July 2015, which is…not yesterday anymore. I keep meaning to give you a tour, but until now all I’ve managed are a few meager Instagram peeks into this space that I dearly love. Well. That changes today.

Welcome to our kitchen

Welcome to our kitchen. I’ll start here and aim to show you around room by room over the first few months of 2017. For all that I share online, I always find it a little awkward to be like, hey, here’s my HOUSE. But it’s so much fun to peek into other people’s living spaces that I’m just gonna act like it’s normal and do my part, k? Let’s roll with it.

Umami Girl Kitchen Tour 780 | Umami Girl-5

This kitchen, you guys

This kitchen, you guys. I feel very lucky to be able to cook and eat and entertain in this space. And guess what? I didn’t even have to make this space. It CAME this way, for the most part. A few years ago we renovated a lovely little house in the same town where we live now. We worked hard on that kitchen. We made it open-plan and we busted up through the ceiling and we skylighted and we IKEA cabineted and we open shelved to our hearts’ content. Then, six months later, we moved to London, which was a little awkward but also more than a little awesome. In London we got to live in another special if imperfect space.


When we came back to the states, we were so delighted to move back into the little house we’d worked so hard to make ours. But kids grow, did you know that? Our girls had been sharing a room for their whole lives, and we’d liked it that way…until we didn’t anymore. I think I’d channeled every ounce of my urban identity into the last two vestiges of urban lifestyle that we actually had: a shared kids’ room and a stacked washer/dryer. We’ve still got the stack, anyway. Anyway.

The Siren song of Zillow

We thought seriously about expanding that little house. Adding a basement and another bedroom or two. We went down that road for quite a while. I did a totally respectable amount of planning. We definitely weren’t going to move. We really weren’t. But we all know the Siren song of Zillow. Cope and I poke around on Zillow like it’s our job. (Because it is, in part. More on that some other time, maybe.) Looking at houses online is one thing, but going to look at them IRL is another matter entirely. We know that. We really do. And yet we went to look at one. Just one house! We didn’t even like it. But we met this guy. And he’s REALLY good at this job. So after listening to us for ten minutes, where all we did was talk about how much we liked the house we had and how much we totally weren’t going to move, he said, “I have a place coming on the market in three days. Come check it out.” And we were like, okay, whatever. Until we went to see it. And which point we were like, “DAMNIT.”We bought it.

Umami Girl Kitchen Tour 780 | Umami Girl-4

A few things I really liked about this kitchen right away

  • Insane high ceiling and exposed beam situation
  • Poured concrete countertops
  • Wide-ass wood plank flooring
  • Epic 10.5-foot industrial table and vintage chairs, which we bought from the prior owners, but you can get something similar here and here, or check Restoration Hardware).
  • Wolf pro six-burner stove
  • Built-in bookshelves/closed storage with window seats
  • Under-sink instant-hot and drinking water filter (We didn’t treat ourselves to one of these in our old place, but man, I gleefully use this thing every single day.)
  • Restaurant-style stainless steel open shelving units

A few little things we added right away

  • Pull-out spray faucet (After having one before, a fixed faucet felt like a tiny, useless t-rex arm. Be glad you didn’t see my repeated enactments in the days before we swapped it out.)
  • Bar stools
  • Totoro pillow (similar to this one), because of course.

To do at some point

  • Replace fancy but gnarly dishwasher
  • Refinish floors
  • Custom bench that fits comfortably over kitties’ food and water zone
Umami Girl Kitchen Tour 780 | Umami Girl-3
Umami Girl Kitchen Tour 780 | Umami Girl-6
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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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