More Than a Kitchen Island

by Lucy Farmer July 15, 2015

The Kitchen challenge. This one was a doozy! Remodel a kitchen in 5 days. Seriously, this was HARD!! Daphney and I have a lot of experience with kitchens. Together we have renovated or built at least 15. NEVER in 5 days or with the restrictions set upon us by HGTV. But, we signed up for this task and we wanted to put our best foot forward!

I was literally in the middle of building a house when I left my family to film Beach Flip. We were weeks away from finishing and everything pretty much stopped the minute I left. I call my house Moonglow Lake. This is the name of the lake it sits on in a neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama called Kirkman’s Preserve. My kitchen is the focal point of the entire house. I was in full design kitchen mode when I left and the fact that this was our second challenge? I knew we would rock it! 

The layout of Southwind is long. On the main level of the house you have one bedroom, one bathroom, the kitchen and living room. When you walk in the door you are standing in the kitchen. You look to your left and you see the Gulf of Mexico! 

The original kitchen had a wall separating it from the rest of the house. There was an opening and a couple of barstools. This would not work for the love of that view! We know the reason you want to stay at a place on the Gulf is to see that view!! That wall had to come down and we wanted to keep from having our backs to the Gulf. Hence the island. 

I agree that this island seems too big. First of all, bad design plan from the beginning. We should’ve measured the width of the cabinets to make them as narrow as possible. Please understand that these cabinets are not custom. These cabinets are what they had in stock. We ordered them and they came in 4 days later. Get me? There was no shrinking of this island before the end of the challenge! We had a vision and we wanted it complete. We made the small adjustment to the overhang and crossed our fingers it would work.  This is our kitchen. It worked beautifully! I’m so proud of the way it turned out. There is more room than it showed on tv. Still not a lot, but enough. It’s not near as cramped as they played it up to be. 

Can we talk about that wood ceiling for just a second? It’s the same No. 2 pine we used in the Master Bedroom and the same gray Sherwin Williams stain. Guess what is under that wood? POPCORN CEILING!!!! We used our noggins and found a way to keep from scraping!! It looks great in person. Again, I will agree that maybe it should be lighter. We probably should have white washed it to keep the ceiling from feeling dark and low. But, when you walk into this kitchen and look at the Gulf, this wood guides your eye straight out to what you want to see! 

Another detail they didn’t show is the chalkboard we cut out of plywood in the shape of a surfboard. We even added a shark bite!! I think it turned out really cute and we decided to add this little box wrapped in rope for a place to keep the chalk neat and out of the way!

I am so happy for Alex and Martha, they had a design plan and stuck with it. They truly have a distinct style and did a great job executing! Honestly, I would love to vacation in any of these houses. Mel and Madhi used a very beachy color scheme. I LOVE their back splash in the kitchen. The color is so bright and fun. The sleek lines make their kitchen feel bright and fun. Seeing what Nick and Sarah did with all of their setbacks is amazing. They beat themselves up, but their kitchen is beautiful! I love the pendant lighting and that striped wall? Come on, it looks great! Bringing in that pop of color really made that kitchen look complete. 

We have 6 weeks to go watching Beach Flip. There’s plenty more drama and good design, so I hope you will stay tuned! 

If you want to vote on your favorite kitchen, hop on over to and see lots more pictures. 

You can also watch the behind the scenes videos with David Bromstad. This guy, he is an amazing mentor and I’m not just saying that because he would’ve picked our kitchen to win!!! (wink)


Lucy Farmer
Lucy Farmer


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