Hey, y’all! Welcome! I’m SO excited to finally be able to welcome y’all to the Southern Bite Test Kitchen. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Click here. For the past 3 1/2 months we’ve been building, painting, prepping, painting, and moving (Oh! Did I mention paining? I HATE painting) to get everything in its place. And I’m just tickled pink to get to show y’all around.
So what is it?
Well, it’s a combination of things. To start, SBTK is the official headquarters for Southern Bite. It’s my office, test kitchen, studio kitchen, classroom, studio, and more. This is where I’ll conduct the general business of Southern Bite and where I’ll write – the blog and maybe another book… if I can ever make the time to do it. It’s also where I work to develop and fine tune recipes that end up on the blog and the recipes that I create for brand clients. When we designed the kitchen, we kept in mind that we’d want to shoot video in it too. So we built everything to be camera ready and included studio lights so that I can quickly jump on Facebook Live or Instagram Stories and visit with y’all. We’re also hoping to start shooting some more cooking videos for ya.
This will also be the space that I’ll teach my cooking classes in. I’ll hopefully have more info on that very soon. It’s also where I’ll do all the photography for the recipes that end up on the blog.
So, see… everything all in one place!
I’m going to walk you through a few of my favorite spaces around here and I’ll do my best to share sources for lots of the items in here. I had so many questions about things in the last post and on social media, I’m going to go ahead and try to include what I can think of. If I miss something, just leave me a comment below.
Here’s my cozy little sitting area in the front of the building. I wanted folks to feel at home in the space, so tried to pay special attention to that. The console cabinet and side table both came from TJ Maxx. The coffee table and rug came from At Home. The two gray chairs came from Target.
My two favorite things in this area are the light fixture, which came from Amazon – believe it or not. (I acually got quite a bit of stuff from Amazon.) But that buttery soft leather sofa is from Article. Now, I was nervous to buy furniture online without having been able to feel it and sit in it, but I have absolutely no regrets about working with Article. The sofa is amazing and absolutely perfect for the space!
SBTK is also storage for all my photography props. And when I say I’ve got a few of them… I have 6 racks like these.
This is also the perfect spot to talk about these floors. So, this space used to be a small motors repair shop. The floors were covered with grease and grime and aren’t incredibly level, but this inexpensive wood-look tile I picked out from Lowe’s completely transformed the space.
Look how pretty that light is there. That’s where I shoot almost all of the recipes now.
I built this table for a photoshoot for my cookbook and when we moved into this space, I knew it had to be included. It’s a great place serve family and friends or sit down for a quick lunch. The chairs, which came from Amazon, are in my favorite color! I got a great deal on them on Prime Day. The light fixture, another favorite, also came from Amazon.
These prints are right over my desk. I met the artist, Jordan Hughes, with Stately Made a few years back and knew I wanted to include some of her work in the space. She was such a pleasure to work with.
We covered this wall and the wall behind the kitchen in shiplap à la Joanna Gaines and painted it in Behr’s color White Pepper. We used this cheater shiplap tutorial to make the process faster and MUCH less expensive.
Let’s talk about this kitchen now. Let me start by saying, I couldn’t have this absolutely amazing space without the help of my friends from AllSouth Appliance. Allsouth and Samsung helped with my amazing Samsung appliances. These beautiful quartz countertops came from AllSouth as well.
From the beginning, I knew I wanted one big deep sink, so that’s exaclty what Allsouth found for me. The faucet has a great industrial look without an industrial price.
I tiled the back splash using 13-inch white subway style tiles and a dark gray grout. We flip-flopped for a while about the tile size, but I’m really glad we opted for the larger tile on this.
These cabinets started as inexpensive unfinished cabinets that I painted in the Behr Marquee color Le Luxe – which I just love. I was hesitant to spend the extra money for the Marquee paint, but the one-coat coverage really sped the project along and was worth it, in my opinion. We started with silver cabinet and drawer pulls in a similar design, but ended up swapping them out for these iron-colored pulls from Amazon. I really like the contrast.
You might not think about an appliance store doing countertops, but these beautiful quartz countertops also came from AllSouth, like I mentioned. The color is called Minuet. It has a great marble look that’s perfect with the darker cabinets. I’ve only had them a few weeks, but I’m really pleased with the durability and ease of cleaning. They’re super strong, but also SUPER heavy – trust me on that one. 🙂
I also built the floating shelves on the back wall of the kitchen. I knew exactly the look I wanted but couldn’t find anything affordable, so I used this tutorial and built my own. I really wanted the look of cedar, but hated to pay $25 per board, so I went over to the fencing section of Home Depot and picked up cedar fence boards for a little over $2 each. I just sanded them down a touch after assembling them. I was careful not to get them too smooth, because I wanted that rustic look. This is another project that I’m really pleased with. I built all of these for about $100.
And last, but certainly not least – actually, not even close to least – my AMAZING Samsung appliances. As I said, the folks at AllSouth and Samsung hooked me up with a state-of-the art induction slide-in range with convection, a super powerful dishwasher, microwave, and a 4-door refrigerator.
I am in love with the refrigerator. While the top two doors open french-door style to reveal the refrigerator compartment, the bottom two doors are separate compartments. One side you can change the temperature to use it as a refrigerator or freezer, which is super handy.
The range is my favorite, though! I’ve been using induction technology for a while now and I just really enjoy how precise you can be. I have gas at home and, dare I say, I might prefer the induction over the gas. First, I’ll say that despite what it looks like, it’s nothing like the glass cook-top ranges of the 90s. Induction technology uses magnetism to generate heat directly in the bottom of a pot or pan rather than having a coil that gets hot under the pan. While it does require pots and pans that have an iron content in them to work, most stuff made today works perfectly with it. And my favorite cast-iron and enamel coated cast-iron works too. It’s also safer because you don’t have an open flame and your pot handles won’t get hot either. And it boils water amazingly fast!
So there you have it… a brief tour of the Southern Bite Test Kitchen. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the path I’m on much less having a beautiful space like this. I’d like to think it’s a testament to hard work and dedication, but it’s also evidence of the amazing family we’ve all built over the last 9 years. I appreciate each and every single one of you who make your way to the blog and my social media channels every day. None of this would be possible without y’all. Big things are in store for Southern Bite and our big ol’ family. Just you wait and see!
This amazing space wouldn’t be possible without my partners AllSouth Appliance and Samsung Home Appliances. Some links in this post may be affiliate links which help to support Southern Bite by generating a tiny commission without any extra cost to you.