Our Home

Our Home | The Kitchen Tour

A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen

filed in:

I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


Top Categories

Browse All

read more


Browse All


Browse All


A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony


Come join over 3,000 other photographers from around the world & become my virtual third shooter! 
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

Browse Series

 Baby James Story

Our Home

Our Kids

Ask Anything

This post has been a long time coming. It seems like it was years ago that I sketched out my dream kitchen on a scrap piece of paper! I saved that piece of paper until it was time to meet with a builder. Slowly that little sketch started to become a reality. When we decided to re-build our previous house but make some changes, the kitchen was the first room we focused on. We knew that if we wanted to continue to host large events and workshops, we wanted to make this room more functional.

Now I’ll be the first to share that you don’t need a space like this to serve and open your home to others.  We started opening up our home and using it as a gathering space when we lived in a 1200 sq ft cape cod and the air conditioning didn’t work!! Your heart to SERVE is more important than your SPACE! I just want to make sure I put that out there before I share these images.

My hope is that through sharing our design thoughts and ideas, maybe this will give some inspiration to others who are building or remodeling their home! I heavily depended on Home blogger’s posts and ideas to help me design our house and so this is my way to pay it forward!!

We designed this space to make it easier to host large groups. Our last kitchen got really hot and crowded during our workshops. There wasn’t a good path for movement or a large amount of counter top space for serving. We hosted over half a dozen workshops at our old house and that helped us make design decisions for this house!

The BEST decision we made was getting rid of an “L” shaped outer countertop and creating two islands instead. We hosted a baby shower with over 45 people in the house two weeks after we moved in and the kitchen didn’t even feel crowded with that massive amount of people!! They circled around the second island where the food was and it was like they just “got” the flow of the room that we hoped for when we designed it!!! YESSSS!!! It worked!

A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_430 These floating shelves DID save a lot of money in the cabinetry department. However, when you add sconces and a tile backsplash to the ceiling, that adds some cost back in. So we had originally had a decorative specialty tile for under the hood, but we nixed that idea once we saw the price tag, and we realized that it would look too busy! Staying simple was smart! A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_429 A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_431 Want LONG, white curtains that are super affordable?! IKEA for the win! Ps. It took me about 15 tries to write that chalkboard sign.A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_432Ok…. you would think that open shelving would be cheaper than cabinet doors…. not the case. Ugh. Evidently open shelves cost a little MORE because you have to paint the entire inside of them. Well, thankfully it was worth it, because this was my vision and I loved the way it came together! We have SO many serving dishes from our wedding, from workshops and from hosting other events and this is how I wanted to display them!! You can withhold your “Well, your kids are going to destroy those dishes” comments because we’ll deal with that season when it happens. ha! A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_436 That cabinet on the left? Most difficult part of the whole house. There was a slight .5 inch dip in the ceiling just in that one spot and it made it really interesting when the cabinet was hung. But it’s FIXED! A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_433Best place to get affordable bar stools? IKEA again! $59 each! Target doesn’t even have options that cheap that actually look good! A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_437 A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_434A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_435The choice to paint the islands my favorite color of minty teal was a RISK. But Michael said ok and I LOVE them!!! Paint color : Waterscape by Sherwin WilliamsA Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_443 Another fun idea was adding this barn door! This used to be our LAUNDRY room and now it’s our pantry. This barn door slider kit is actually just from Lowes and it has a “slow stopper” on it that prevents it from being slammed shut or open! A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_438The trick to decorating floating shelves is to keep negative space and keep it simple! 75% of what I thought I wanted on these shelves ended up being too much. A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_439A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_440A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_444A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_445 A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_441 A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_442A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_450 A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_446The hardwood floors were a good decision. They are white oak with a diluted cottage white stain of 50%! A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_447Another good decision was having glass-less pendants over the islands. Glass in a kitchen quickly collects films and grit from the steam of the stove and sink. These pendants are from Ferguson and the designer is Visual Comfort.A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_448 A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_449 A Double Island Contemporary Farmhouse Kitchen_451

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Ep. 11 | We Started A Micro School! Here's What We Learned After 2 Months!

Starting a school for our kids and community was going to be a big undertaking, we knew that! But we have learned so much alongside our kids that has made this endeavor all worth it.

The Katelyn James Podcast

It’s hard for me to remember the last time that I took portraits at the infamous Virginia Tech Duck Pond but I know it had to have been several years ago!


John + Lauren | Engaged Virginia Tech Duck Pond Engagement Portraits


Featured : BRIDES Magazine Paige + Nikhil's Wedding

It’s no surprise that this GORGEOUS wedding was picked up by BRIDES Magazine! Between the perfectly paired color scheme, beautiful florals, an amazing venue, the list goes on. The details that Paige + Nikhil thought about for their wedding day are simply stunning. 

I pushed my R6 to the limit

I Pushed My R6 to the Limit ISO up to 40,000!

I walked into the venue for the welcome dinner.. And I knew it was going to be dark.. But I didn’t think it would be THIS DARK! 


There are several seasons of starting a business and what it looks like to continue to grow and scale as the business changes! We’re on the last episode of the Startup Series and the stage of business that I’m still in.


Ep. 10 | The Start Up Series Pt. 3 Specializing and Scaling

The Katelyn James Podcast
Lens Review: Canon RF 50mm 1.8 vs. RF 50mm 1.2L

Lens Review: Canon RF 50mm 1.8 vs. RF 50mm 1.2L Is it worth the $2,000 price difference?

Can a professional photographer use the Canon RF 50mm 1.8 or is it necessary to have the high end Canon RF 50mm1.2L? We’re going to put them to the test to find out!



"Best money I have EVER spent on education! ... and I've spent a lot!”


"I love all the lessons I'm learning from KJ All Access! Thanks Katelyn!”

- Shannon Drummond, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I find very few educational resources worth it ... this one is!”

- Kate gansneder, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Being able to see behind-the-scenes of Katelyn interacting with her clients has been SO impactful!”

- Angie mcpherson, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"SO worth it! It's amazing the amount of knowledge you get out of them!”

- Brittany Lowe, ALl ACCESS MEMBER

"I learned just as much in one All Access as I did in a whole course! SO GOOD!"

- Joanna Krueger, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER
10 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business
Helping a friend survive a season of Infant Loss
How to photograph a first look in Harsh Light
A Lake Como Destination Wedding - Greg and Kate
A Letter to the Go-Getters fearful of Motherhood

The KJ blog

The KJ Blog is where you get to know me, where you meet our KJ Couples and see their beautiful wedding days, where I have been building an archive of education for over a decade and where I let you see a peek into our life, our home, and hear about our purpose! 
don't miss the
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ


Join 65,000+ others and learn, grow and get connected via our Youtube Channel! This is where I'm constantly sharing new content, talking all things gear, business, tips, tricks and letting you into the behind-the-scenes of our everyday life! 

"I have invested in all of KJ’s education!

The way she teaches makes so much sense and I’m so grateful for her! My business will be forever changed!"

- Renee Nicolo

"KJ education has been life-changing

 It has elevated my work so I could quit my day job and work from home with our baby boy!"

- joanna k.


and none compare to what I get from KJ!"