Kitchen Design

This fresh, modern kitchen started life as a 1700s tavern by charity buchika

It’s true! Long before we got our hands on it, this small-but-mighty kitchen led a much-remodeled life, first as an 18th century tavern and later as a private home.

When the current owners came to us, it was a dark and dated 1980s-style space. It did the job as far as cooking was concerned, but it wasn’t pleasant or efficient for the family to use.

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A Valentine's Day Treat from the Farmhouse by charity buchika


It's almost Valentine's Day - one of my favorite occasions for whipping up an extra special treat!  

But I have to confess that I'm just not into adding about 1,000 drops of food coloring to any given combination of butter and sugar in order to make something that looks Valentine's Day appropriate.

What I really love is being able to celebrate the holiday by giving my husband and son something that's distinctive from the usual 'hearts and candy' fare, something that's thoughtfully made to truly nourish their hearts and souls.

So this year, I turned to a couple of farm-fresh ideas to make a simple pound cake into a heartwarming Valentine's Day dessert.

WhitneyNicholsPhotography-5937 (1).jpg

First, I added a little touch of hibiscus powder (Yep- hibiscus! I get mine from Stock + Spice) to this cake's glaze to make it perfectly - but naturally! - pretty in pink. Not that you need more reasons to eat a slice or two of this delicious cake, but here's a little article about the health benefits of hibiscus.

Then, forgoing the expected candy hearts or red hots I opted to sprinkle on a few tiny fresh blossoms. These might be chamomile flowers, or maybe some type of asters... Hmmm... please comment below if you happen to know what they are!


I think they're so dainty and sweet. They make this cake just right for a modern farmhouse Valentine, don't you think?!

(Cake recipe originally from The Vanilla Bean Blog)

print recipe
Cardamom Pound Cake with Hibiscus Glaze
  • 1 cup (2 sticks | 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (594g) granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons hibiscus powder
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated, scraping down sides of the mixing bowl as needed.Add 1T vanilla and mix on low to combine. Add the 1/3 of the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.Add the sour cream and mix until the batter is just combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour and mix on low to combine.Add 1/2 c heavy cream and mix until the batter is just combined. Add the remaining flour, and mix on low until just combined.Use a spatula to scrape down the bowl and make sure the mixture is completely combined.Pour batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to even out the topBake the cake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.Move the cake to a wire rack with a piece of parchment underneath the rack, and let cool for 15 minutes.Invert the cake onto the rack.While the cake is still warm, pierce all over with a long skewer or a fork. For glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, 1 T vanilla, 1/4 c heavy cream, and the hibiscus powder. Apply glaze to cake with a pastry brush or drizzle on with a spoon. Let the cake cool before slicing/serving.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings


If you make this cake for your Valentine, snap a pic, post it on Instagram, and tag us @teaselwooddesign. It's so fun for us to see you using our ideas!

Photography by Whitney Nichols


The kitchen is often the heart of a farmhouse.  One of our favorite rooms in our house now is the beautiful kitchen space we created, but that wasn't always the case.


Our farmhouse was in pretty rough shape when we bought it but not as bad as it could have been. We were fortunate the previous owners did a poor remodel job using cheap big box cabinets, lighting, and fixtures prior to selling.  You may ask how I saw this as a positive? First, we did not need to rush into anything, as we could live in the space and see what needed to be done.  Secondly, we did not have to live through a major gut job. For us, that was great news as we had a new baby on the way, and I was not sure I could deal with being a new parent and live through a kitchen remodel gut job.

We lived with the kitchen as it was for 3 or 4 years and did not do much. Our kitchen project took a bit of a back seat as other things in the house needed immediate attention. Both Andy and I love to cook, and the mounting list of annoyances and wish lists reached the point that we needed to bite the bullet and remodel the kitchen. Once we decided to take the plunge and go ahead and remodel we realized we had to stick to a budget as funds were tight.

Kitchen Before:


Here is our lovely big box home improvement kitchen. The cabinets were okay but the countertops, fixtures and layout had to go. One of the main things that made me crazy was the U shape, it broke up our large kitchen in half.

Kitchen Before:


I knew that we had really great potential with the space and with a few tweaks we could make this into our dream kitchen. 

Kitchen After:


How we created ourfarmhouse kitchen:

One of the first items on the list was to open up the U shape and add an island.  To save money we reused the carcass of the existing cabinets for the lower cabinets and replaces the doors and drawer fronts.  We needed to create new uppers because I wanted the cabinets to go to the ceiling. When advising others on money saving tips in the kitchen we usually always suggest reusing your existing cabinets carcass and having new doors and hardware.  The door style we choose is the Skaneateles in Teaselwood white, it is a clean simple classic style that is perfect for a farmhouse Kitchen.


 The new layout  is a dream and it works incredibly well,  I can't say enough how much I love our island. It is the perfect size, it has 3- drawers on the stove side which are a dream to store utensils, bowls, and Tupperware.  We found when we entertained that everyone hung out in the kitchen so the countertop height seating was a must. It works great in the evening when our son sits here to do his home work and  I get dinner ready.

Countertops: We ended up splurging on the Carrera marble countertop for the island which I love. If you need perfection in your life, I do not recommend using Carrera , as it does etch and stain. In a later post I will give you some other options to Carrera. We wanted to warm up the space and for us with a wood worker and shop in the house it was a economical choice for our counter tops. I have to say I think they have been a great decision there is a lot of controversy out there about wood countertops but I  have had no issues with them. Andy added a drain board next to the sink which makes clean up a breeze and no unsightly drain rack.


A decorative or tile backsplash was a must and I really wanted something simple but pulled everything together. This subway tile from Daltile, fit the bill and also fit our budget. It adds great texture, but still keeps a clean simple palette.

The fun part comes by adding the finishing details to give you a timeless farmhouse kitchen

  • Farmhouse sink : a kitchen is not complete without a farmhouse sink. I read recently that they are not as popular as they were a few years ago. After having our sink I will never go back, to me there is nothing better than one large bowl to be able to soak pans in or give a baby a bath in.

  • Color palette: should be soft we used Benjamin Moore Linen White

  • Open shelving: this is a great detail to put on display all your wonderful farmhouse collections.



  • Lighting: Think about unique or vintage styles lights, ours are reproductions of old schoolhouse fixtures. When looking for pendant lights over an island I tend to go with something that is not going to block the other side of the island if you are talking to someone.

  • Gooseneck Faucets: These can be a budget killer but if you look around you can find some that are too costly. Ours are oil rubbed bronze.

  • Stripe rugs we love Dash and Albert or cast off Orientals that we have switched out to, they are bomb proof.

  • Window treatments: They add so much warmth to a room and do not need to overpower the windows. I tend to keep them simple, and they can add that punch of color.

  • Cutting boards and baskets are a practical way to get more texture.

I hope you enjoyed our tour of our kitchen before and after. If you are interested in remodeling your kitchen take a look at our cabinet gallery for ideas.  If  you are considering a smaller remodel and want a great source for your cabinets take a look at our kitchen cabinet line. Our homeware line offers unique farmhouse accessories that look amazing on open shelving and the table.


Charity and Andy

After photos by Alice G Patterson Photography