Home Tour: This Family Built Their Dream Kitchen from Scratch

How do you go from no kitchen at all to dream kitchen? The Sebastian family will hopefully inspire interior design enthusiasts about how patience, creativity, and some savvy spending can go a long way! First, let’s get to know this inventive family: Mommy Lora is a cake designer who creates custom cakes for events, so it’s no surprise that she loves working in the kitchen. Daddy Julius, meanwhile, runs his own digital design company and is a pro at wood work. Their 4-year old son, Alon, takes after his Mom and Dad, because he also loves creating things with his hands.

Home Tour: This Family Built Their Dream Kitchen from Scratch

Lora and Julius designed, not just the kitchen, but their entire home. Julius also builds some of their furniture pieces in his wood workshop, which is also part of their house! The kitchen is still an ongoing project, but Lora and Julius made incredible progress since designing it from scratch back in 2018. Here’s how they did it.

Coming Up with Their Vision
Lora shares that there are plenty of things to consider when building a house such as where the rain hits when there’s a storm or which areas are the warmest in the morning. Layout and storage are some of the things they need to improve on, but so far, their home is looking so cozy and welcoming.

(for layout) “We worked our way from no kitchen at all to the kitchen that it is now. Our main vision was it had to be bright and sunny. We wanted wide counters to work on, and the location of items had to be strategic.” Lora

(for layout) “We basically designed everything in the house. It isn’t exactly spacious, but we try to make every space useful and pleasing to be in.” Lora


Designing with Purpose
Since they were working with limited space, Lora and Julius agreed that everything they place in the kitchen needs to have a purpose. Nothing purely decorative. Nothing just for styling. They want their kitchen to be truly functional, and to be a space where they can spend lots of time in.

(for layout) “When we were looking at styled kitchens, Julius would joke, ‘Nasan yung bote ng dishwashing soap?’ Which made sense if you think about it!” Lora

(for layout) “Another important factor for us was to make some items accessible for Alon. It isn’t a big house. Instead of making specific spaces for him, we made sure that he is able to work in the kitchen with us.” Lora


Speaking of accessibility for little ones, Alon was already around when Lora and Julius started building their house, so baby-proofing became instinctive for them. This Mom and Dad were very intentional when it came to choosing and building furniture pieces. Everything had to be sturdy – drawer slides, and soft-close cabinets, among others. Lora and Julius made sure the layout of their cabinetry will also provide Alon with easy access. His utensils and plates, for example, are all organized in lower drawers so he can reach for them himself. Mom and Dad tried to make the snacks harder to reach but this clever boy learned how to climb the counters all the way to the goodies in the cupboards!

(for layout) "The thing we can’t live without is the kitchen helper Julius built for Alon. It empowered him to make his own sandwiches, prepare his breakfast, pour his own drink, and just be independent in many different ways. He pulls and pushes the kitchen helper all over the house!” Lora


Buying Non-Negotiable Items
Non-negotiable items are the ones you simply cannot live without. When you consider your lifestyle, and day-to-day routines, you’ll be able to determine what your “must-haves” are. For Lora and Julius, non-negotiables are also the items they use everyday These are essentials worth investing in!

(for layout) “Our favorites are the farmhouse kitchen sink and pull out faucet, everything in our coffee nook, and the pot filler. We chose them specifically for efficiency in the kitchen, their aesthetics, and their price tags. These 3 considerations had to balance out.” Lora


Sticking to a Realistic Budget
Lora and Julius have always dreamt of having a beautiful kitchen but they also had to be realistic with their budget. Patience is also key, according to Lora. If there are certain pieces that you really want but can’t find or afford yet right now, you can always sit back and wait. “Do not fear missing out,” says Lora. “Set a look and budget and stick to it. It saves you from spending on something you’re not so keen on. When you find that one, absolutely perfect piece, it will mean so much more to you.

(for layout) “Work with your budget, but allot more for the things you always use and cannot easily replace. For example, faucets are easier to replace versus kitchen counters and cabinets because those require an overhaul.” Lora


Collecting Meaningful Pieces
To turn a house into a home, include pieces that have sentimental value and stories behind them. Like Lora, you can start collecting even before you build your home, so you’ll already be able to save items you love and cherish. Whenever Lora and Julius would travel, they made it a point to collect pieces that would match the dream kitchen they had in mind.

(for layout) “The pieces took longer as I’ve been collecting nice kitchen accessories and conversation pieces from my past travels even before we were married. A lot of pieces in our kitchen have stories. They aren’t all expensive, but they’re mostly priceless to us.”

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