Monday, September 9, 2013

Evolution of Our Home: Kitchen Edition

Monday already?!  Hope everyone had a great weekend, I certainly did! We hosted some friends for the first Sunday of NFL football yesterday, which meant I spent a LOT of time in our kitchen.  Which got me thinking that an 'evolution post' for the kitchen is long overdue.  So here you go!

Remember how I told you that I cried on the day we bought our house?  Well, the kitchen was one of the rooms that did it to me.  It was covered in vegetable wallpaper and carpet, lacked any sort of modern lighting, and felt very dark, mostly due to the heavy curtains that covered the windows.  However, the cabinets were in great shape, there was room for a casual dining table, and the kitchen has some really convenient, unique features. Here are some before pictures....

 The Tiffany inspired lamp reminded us of what used to be over the tables at a certain large chain of pizza restaurants.
The cabinets were in good shape, but the oil rubbed bronze cabinet pulls really dated them. Note the huge fluorescent light above the island,  the outdated range hood, and the heavy curtains in the window to the family room.  All of this = tears.
The doors to the laundry closet were mustard yellow, all interior doors in the house were the same honey oak color as the kitchen cabinets. 

So we got to work removing wallpaper.  And while we were spoiled by relatively easy-to-remove wallpaper in some rooms, we paid our dues in the kitchen.  It was a nightmare.  While the wallpaper in many rooms peeled off using only fabric softener and water (or in some cases, nothing!), the kitchen was a far more difficult endeavor.  We ended up renting a wallpaper steamer for a long weekend, and it took every moment of that weekend to scrape every last bit of wallpaper from the walls.  I'm talking finishing up the job at midnight on Sunday night, just in time to catch a few hours of sleep before the work week. was SO worth it!!

We painted the walls an apple green (Tortoise by True Value) that complimented the color of the cabinets, swapped out the cabinet pulls for more modern, brushed nickel options....
....and replaced the fluorescent light with two pendant lights and the pizza place light with a casual chandelier over the kitchen table.  My husband also replaced the outdated range hood with one in a simple, stainless finish.

We also added some fun kitchen art. For months, I longed for a HUGE fork and spoon at Pier 1 that I wanted to use to flank the kitchen window.  However I never found them at a price I wanted to pay, and most of the people I showed them to thought they were dumb. Haters. I still kind of regret not buying them and, truth be told, I still kind of have a plan to work them in.  But it worked out for the time being because I'm pleased with these fun, affordable kitchen prints. Find out where I got them in this post.
Remember how I said that our kitchen has some really cool, convenient features?  Well here they are!  First up is a convenient, integrated cutting board....

.....and there's also this amazing pantry with sixty shelves worth of storage....

...and best of all, the NuTone Built In Food Center, which is basically a motor that is built in to our kitchen island.  It has attachments that turn it into seven different appliances, including a mixer, blender, meat grinder, ice crusher, knife sharpener, fruit juicer, and slicer/shredder.  My favorite is the mixer--it has really made buying one of those expensive stand mixers unnecessary!

Now, a room in our house wouldn't be complete without a To-Do-List, and the kitchen has a hefty one, not in length, but in scale...

Tile the floor
Replace countertops (one of the few jobs we can't DIY)
Install an interesting backsplash
Replace the dishwasher and oven with more modern appliances (but not until they die)

...and in a dream world, I'd love to knock out the top half of the wall that the oven is on, between the pantry and the corner, to open the upper half of the kitchen up to the dining room on the other side.  This is a total pipe dream at this point, and I don't even know if it would be structurally possible.  But it would be amazing!

But for now, I'll just look forward to the day that I can get rid of that carpet.  And judging by the entire jar of con queso that I broke on the carpet last week (and the many, many other things that have been spilled on that carpet)....that day is coming soon. 

The debate about tile, countertop and backsplash choices has been raging in my mind for years.  Really, I've been thinking about what I'll pick for years! I don't want to paint the cabinets, so I think all that wood rules out having the Pergo continue into the kitchen. I'd love to hear your input--what do YOU think would make the kitchen fab?!