Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Kitchen: The bones are good, but I've got plans...

The kitchen usually makes or breaks it for me when I see a house.  I've learned my lessons the hard way through various homes we've owned and rented about what I do and don't like in a kitchen.

I bet you are asking yourself, now that I am a month or so into our new house, how I feel about my kitchen. I'm so glad you asked :).

So far, the things I love about my kitchen are mostly things you can't get easily unless they are there already--plentiful natural light and a lovely view.  See?

However, I am not in love with my kitchen yet.  I don't have enough workspace. I have dark-stained cabinets with no pulls, pebbly-looking solid-surface countertops, white appliances and vinyl tile flooring.  I would not have picked anything that is in this kitchen, but all of it is in good shape.  The big questions are, do I just live with it (realizing that in the grand scheme of things that there are much more important things than my kitchen)?  Or, do I make small cosmetic changes?  Or, do I make more significant cosmetic changes over time?  Or, do I break the bank and gut the kitchen and start over (which my thrifty soul and finite wallet cannot seem to justify)?

Just so you have a baseline, here is a kitchen I absolutely love from House Beautiful:

I love the mix of old and new, of rustic and warm wood with more refined materials and the utilitarian loveliness of it all.

What I have is not exactly that.

While I can't make my kitchen into this one, I think I need to do some things to make it mine--or at least make some plans that I can slowly implement over time.  Even making a list of what I'd like to do (even if I don't finish everything) makes me feel better, somehow.

Stage 1:
  • Acquire additional storage and workspace with a ready-made cabinet/island (or convert a dining room buffet) along our window wall pictured below.

     Maybe something like this one from  It would make a great baking center.
    Mix and Match Premium Create-a-Cart w/ White Finish and Black Granite Top by Home Styles
    • Install pewter knobs and bin pulls on the cupboards (like the ones below from Overstock)
    Stone Mill Weathered Nickel Nantucket Cabinet Cup Pulls (Pack of 5)
    Stone Mill Weathered Nickel 3-ring Cabinet Knobs (Pack of 5)
    • Start replacing outdated appliances one at a time, starting with the stove--get something that looks more heart of the home-y
    • Do some strategic accessorizing--hang up vintage aprons, put away anything that is detracting from what I love, introduce some warmth through pine pieces and warm-colored wicker 
    Stage 2:
    • Paint and glaze the cabinets to look something like this: (although almost everyone I've mentioned this to in our neck of the woods has recoiled in horror)

    • replace the flooring with stone tiles
    So we'll see.  Again, sometimes just writing what I wish I could do helps me feel emotionally better about it for a few years.  In the meantime, I have summer school to run, drainage work to organize and some more boxes to unpack.  But it feels good to have a plan.

    I'm belatedly linking up to Sarah's Kitchen Party at Modern Country Style.  Her blog is so fun--I thoroughly recommend it!


    1. realhousewifeofidahoJune 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      I love your inspiration pics! I think I would pick the same ones. I love the white cabinet idea and obsessed over subway tile back splashes. Some people don't get it but I love how clean and fresh it looks. And that hardware is perfect! You have such a beautiful view and deck, you could just frame out the windows and call it good since that is where the eye would go. That wall under the window could easily house a large buffet and give you lots of storage. Thrift stores? Craigslist? So many options, it would be hard to choose!

    2. realhousewifeofidahoJune 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      *and "I'm" obsessed over subway tile...**

    3. Start small.  Little things that make you smile, like a gallon of paint on the walls.  Instant color.  Then add vignettes like the one you have above, perfect.  Maybe you could get crazy and put ceiling tin tile as a backsplash?  Like a the new copper/nickel ones at Home Depot, I think they are $19.99 a sheet and it looks like you would need about 5 (start purchasing them over a course of time). 

      Even a fun throw rug in the center would be fresh!  And when you feel really crafty... instead of buying a center island... build one :)  You know look up something easy & inexpensive on her site and complete it as a family! 

      And on the brightside... everything in your kitchen is neutral, how lucky!  You could be stuck with avocado green counters :/.  Your good bones leave you plenty of room to play!

    4. I too  love Modern Country style. And I too hate trying to clean the flooring you speak of. I would rather kill my knees scrubbing stone than trying to get into the cracks and crannies of vynle flooring.

    5. They have the ability to withstand the heat of this type of material is fine with the activities in the kitchen. As for kitchen countertops are considered, the' use of granite inserts a rich look to it.

    6. I'm with KStarr. Add to it a little at a time. You could transform it pretty easily (and fairly inexpensively), I bet.

    7. Just wondering why people recoil in horror when you mention painting the cupboards? Do they think it's too much work? Or that it's a sin to paint the dark wood?  Just curious....

      I've seen what you've done w/ other houses and I'm sure you'll work wonders as time goes by!

    8. Great Post. I love the image of the rustic wood and modern style blended together. It took me forever to find that Baking Center (I bought it!) that you have a pic of above but here is a link to the Mix and Match Cart by Home Styles.


    Please feel free to comment. I love to read what other people think!