Kitchen/Dining Update – March 2009

The Kitchen has really started to come to life lately!

Up until last week, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with the space at the end of my kitchen cabinets. I had tried a few different things, but nothing ever fully satisfied my decor-based O.C.D. I knew I really wanted to use dishes, in some way, but I didn’t just want to attach them to the wall with plate hangers. Then, the other day, I came upon these four wooden herb crates at HomeGoods…

I knew right away they’d be perfect for this somewhat awkward spot.

I hung them on the wall as a sort of “glorified plate rack”…

I used chunky, somewhat industrial-looking, stainless steel hooks (from IKEA) to hang them. I love the juxtaposition of the antique-looking crates, with skinny rusty hooks, hanging from the thick, sleek, modern hooks.

Below the crates, I placed this little flea market stool I picked up for $9.00…


I love the look of numbers and letters stencilled onto everyday objects (this is the Lettered Cottage after all), so I handpainted the number 5 on the top of the seat.

The legs used to be painted a realllllly ugly shade of brown, ( I won’t tell you what color I was calling it for a while there) so I sanded them way down, and painted a coat of polyeurathane over the whole thing…

I also scored this heavy, old “Gator Farms” bucket at the flea market for $20…

I didn’t really care for the green color, but I had seen this exact same bucket sell for around $60 before. Since, the handle was broken off on this particular one, I was lucky enough to get it for a fraction of its original price. Yahoo!

A few days later, I painted it the color “Rice Grain” by Sherwin Williams and dry brushed Ralph Laurens “Sisal” on top of that…

For the time being, it’s sitting on top of my refrigerator…

I’m not sure where he’ll end up, but I do envision a big potted fern inside of it.

The change that I’m loving the most is the addition of wooden brackets (or corbels) underneath my upper cabinets…

I bought them at Home Depot for about $9.00 a piece and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy just sitting and staring at them while I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner! :-) Now, my cabinets don’t just look like boxes attached to the wall- they’re cottage-style treasure cases that hold all my smooth and sparkly things…

Speaking of sparkly, I used this silver paperweight from Pottery Barn in the window sill above the Kitchen sink…

…I put it there to make us smile while we wash dishes…

Excuse me?

What was that?

Ohhhhhhhh…..you want to know why we are washing the dishes when there is clearly a dishwasher sitting right next to the sink?

Ok. Here goes.

About a month ago a large black plastic spoon fell from the top shelf in the dishwasher, down to the bottom of the dishwasher and melted all over, in and around the heat coil…


And while Kevin probably looks at this situation as a major bummer and is most certainly trying to figure out where to come up with $300 for a new dishwasher-

I choose to think of it as serendipity.

A happy accident that will undoubtedly lead to the purchase of a brand new, stainless steel “bubble box” in the (hopefully) near future! :-)

(And to answer your question- Yes. I do think money grows on trees.)


I made a few changes over in the Dining Room too…

Besides recently adding white-painted beadboard wainscotting, I also painted the upper part of the walls “Rice Grain”. The formica countertops in the Kitchen are staying for the time being, so I wanted to paint the Dining Room a color that coordinated nicely with them, creating a fresh and cohesive palette between the two rooms. The room on the other side of the Dining Room is the Living Room, which is painted Sherwin Williams “Natural Choice”, a slightly beigey, creamy white color. It makes for a soft and easy visual transition from room to room, while giving all three spaces their own identities at the same time. (By the way, the Kitchen is painted a custom-mixed shade of blue. If anyone is interested- I will photograph the top of the can and post it here so that you can see the formula.)

I got a new tablecloth for the Dining Room table from TJ Maxx a few weeks back. The stripes immediately stopped me in my tracks. I’ve never used a tablecloth before, but it was only $7.00, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

My little cast iron pedestal still hasn’t found a permanent home, but it looks pretty happy in my temporary tablescape

Of course I had to top it off with a couple of small seashells…

They remind me of one of my favorite quotes,

“Today is a smooth white seashell, hold it close and listen to the beauty of the hours.”

- Anonymous

So here is the Kitchen and Dining Room, as of October 31, 2007…

And here is how they look today…


Still lots of work to do, but I’m content for the time being!

Layla

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Comments

  1. Mary Whitcombe says

    I love your kitchen and appreciate your dedication and patience ! I would love the pic of your paint formula. It’s just the shade I’m looking for. I will be bad for sure.:)

  2. Jane says

    I wanted to thank you so much for your inspiration. We were renovating the kitchen in our 1890 house and could not find a look that fit. I stumbled on your black cabinets and knew that was the way to go. We ended up with distressed back cherry cabinets, subway tile, honed marble countertops, a cork floor, and a copper ceiling to finish it off. It’s absolutely pitch perfect in our small, historic old house. I woukd never have come up with the look on my own. We love it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Also, sending all good thoughts on your adoption.

    Jane

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