Oh lawsy...re-doing this kitchen nearly did us in. Do you remember what it looked like? Red toile wallpaper? Cream cabinets? Red details?
Missing floor tiles and red gingham curtains?
Grungy pantry? Disgusting outdoor carpet?
Is any of this ringing a bell?
Although the kitchen looked yucky and busy, we knew from the very first time we saw the house that it had great potential. The cabinets and counter tops were pretty new. The floor was a ceramic tile that was salvageable, thanks to the previous owners leaving all of the extra tile from the original installation under the house. The kitchen is fairly large for a house as old as this one, and the natural light from two huge windows makes it a very pleasant place to be....which is good because, as we all know, everyone always ends up in the kitchen.
It's the heart of the home...
And our home needed a transplant.
Here's what it looks like now.
Fresh and bright.
David's dad helped us repair the floor tiles after my daddy and Jon Jon repaired some parts of the foundation of the house when we first bought it.
We lived with the red until we had the time, and strength of heart, to begin the long process of stripping the wall paper off of our 13 foot tall walls and painting the cabinets.
Mama and Nana helped us take down the wall paper using a steamer that we rented from Home Depot. If you have wallpaper that you need to remove, this will be the best 25 dollars you ever spend. Trust me. David's sister, Amy, came to visit, with her sister in law, Celia, and helped us in the kitchen, as well.
Painting cabinets is a beast of a job and I really dislike it, but it can drastically change the look of your kitchen for a very minimal amount of money. I think our kitchen is a great example of that. Always paint the doors and inside the cabinets...I know you don't want to, but you'll be glad that you did.
Do it once. Do it right.
Something that I don't think I've mentioned here before is that because our house is so old, everything is painted with oil based paint. This means that we have to use an oil based paint or primer over the existing paint or it will not stick. I learned this the hard way. It's not a huge deal, but painting with oil based paint is a little more difficult and fumey than latex paint, making this cabinet painting task even more daunting.
If you are wondering if your cabinets or house are painted with oil based paint, you can put rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub it on the paint in a small, hidden area. If the paint bubbles or peels, it is latex paint. If nothing happens, that means it's oil based.
The paint on the cabinets is Benjamin Moore Bright White. It's the color that we used on the trim in the whole house. We painted the trim and cabinets with Kilz oil based primer first.
The paint color is...get this...Benjamin Moore DILL PICKLE! How great is that for a kitchen? The pictures do not show the color in its truest form, but it's bright and fresh while still being a little subdued.
I love this table in our kitchen. It's a great place to be.
The table was a housewarming/Easter gift from David's parents. I had been eyeing it in Ballard Designs and knew it would be the perfect size for our space. Sue Anne surprised me and bought it for us. It's one of the first pieces of furniture we had in the house. It's a great place to sit and talk with people while I cook in the kitchen, or eat breakfast, and it gives me a little extra prep space because it's counter height.
Sadly, this perfect little table is no longer available. What gives, Ballard?
Cute tea towel from Anthro. A gift from a sweet friend.
My beloved Kitchen aid...maker of marshmallows, cakes, pizza dough, and fresh pasta.
Nana gave this to me for a wedding gift.
I love the glass front cabinets for our dishes. They are Vietri Cucina Fresca, in case you're interested. It's our wedding china. I love that every plate and bowl and cup is a gift from someone special and getting to look at them all the time makes me very happy. The paint color for the kitchen was inspired by the dishes, because I knew we wanted them to be displayed.
We get a lot of awesome gifts, right?
I know. We are constantly overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family.The framed art leaning against the back splash (above) and on the wall in other pictures is a set called "Birds in the Kitchen" and it's from a wonderful Etsy shop called Lucky Blue Bird Art. Each of the pictures are sweet silhouettes of kitchen appliances with birds perched on them. Love it.
Would you like to have that last piece of cake? I keep the knife in there so when I walk by I can have a little nibble, or as I like to say, "even up the edges" Who can sleep when there's uneven cake in the house? Not me. That's for sure.
We'll let's check out the pantry, but I must warn you...there's some pretty horrific fluorescent lighting going on in there. Please know that it's not really neon green. It just looks like that in these pictures.
This pantry is my happy place. It's probably the very first "room" in the house that we finished. Sometimes David would be looking for me around the house and find me just sitting on the floor in the pantry admiring the perfectly painted selves and beautiful baskets full of organized food.
You do what it takes to get you through.
Many people ask me how we can be so patient to live here while we fix up the house one room at a time. That's how...sitting in the pantry...being happy with what is done and how lovely it is...choosing to dwell on what we've accomplished, rather than the other 1500 square feet that are not done yet.
I store all of my dry goods in big glass jars with labels that I made from chalkboard vinyl. Practical? Maybe. Maybe not. Pretty? Oh yes. Very pretty indeed.
I think it helps me to stay organized, though and to know what and how much of something I have at a glance. I think when your kitchen is a pleasant place, you will use it more.
On one wall of the pantry, there was an old boarded over vent-thingy. That's as descriptive as I can get for you. It looked like a window, but it wasn't. It was ugly. Not wanting to stare at something ugly everyday, I decided to cover it with sheet metal and make it into a little message station. It's perfect for grocery lists, reminders, and notes.
Lemons to lemonade, friends.
This is a little doo-hickey that I roped my brother into helping me make a very long time ago. It hung over my desk in college for notes and mementos and now it hangs in my pantry and hold my aprons and miscellaneous hang-able stuff, like my graduated biscuit cutters.
Where do you put your graduated biscuit cutters?
That's a weird thing to have?
So that's where we are in life, dear ones. The heart of our home is a much more pleasant place for us to be now and we love every second that we get to spend in it...from morning coffee to dinner with friends.
Y'all come on over if you decide you want that piece of cake.
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