Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Kitchen

Before I can show you the ideas The Architects came up with for the kitchen, I have to show you what's there now. The kitchen is at the very back of the first floor. The photo below is a "before" image taken from the living room, looking through the dining room.
Just inside the kitchen door to the left is the back door that goes out to the porch that overlooks my little garden. Yes, that's my dishwasher.
I also have two windows that overlook the porch and the garden. It has probably the ugliest tile I've ever seen. White with band-aid brown veining. The bullnose tile is the same band-aid color. To add insult to injury, the door and window trim was painted to match.
I know this room is going to require the bulk of my renovation dollars (at least I thought that before I started the outside) so I wanted to clean it up and make it work for now.
This is the other side of the room. As you can see there's virtually no counter space. I don't know what women did in the 1940s for prep space because this isn't uncommon for period kitchens around here. In fact, I've rented aparments that have an apron sink and a stove...that's it! I do have a pantry over in the back left corner that didn't seem to make it into these photos. You also get a peak of the bathroom that was modified for a wheelchair at some point so there's a big--actually, nice--shower. The brown pipe to the right of the sink is the heating duct that goes up to the master bedroom. I guess that's the pre-industrial look.

And this is what it looks like today. Not pretty, but presentable. What a difference a coat of paint makes. Just getting rid of the yellow and brown--two colors that should never be put together--made a huge improvement.

The green console table is a Mexican antique. I'd like to have it reworked (made wider) to become a kitchen island, maybe with marble on top? I keep some of my mixing bowls below and my vintage tablecloths on top. They're fun to use outside on the porch during the summer.
I painted the cabinets an ivory color...
...and added some new brushed nickel hardware...
...and I even painted the tile. I washed it really well, primed it with Kilz and then with white semi-gloss. It looks so good, no one has every noticed it's painted.
I also added a folding table from DWR that acts as a big island. The aluminim top is also great for rolling out pastry dough.
And here's my pantry. It's still band-aid brown and that's my mother's fault. She visited about a week after I moved and all the boxes were driving her crazy so she made me put everything away. I think the next time she visits I'm going to make her unload everything and paint it.
I wish it could all be pretty but this is pretty much my only storage space except for drinking glasses, coffee mugs and mixing bowls that I have in the cabinets above the sink.
All of my spices, vinegars, baking goods, teas, extracts, eye of newt, etc., go in these racks that I installed. Whenever I cook or bake, I go to the pantry and pull everything out at once, just like Rachel Ray.
On the other side is my Asian cooking section, the brown transferware all stacked up for special occasions, plates and miscellaneous bowls.

Don't tell anyone, but all of the pots, pans and baking sheets are packed in the dishwasher. My kitchen staff likes to wash everything by hand. I was able to move the fridge down a little and squeeze the dishwasher in next to the stove so I have a little bit of counter space next to the stove.

So that's my sad excuse for a kitchen, patiently awaiting renovation dollars to be transformed.


  1. Honestly Steve, this looks like a great project so far. I love your little face lift...looks pretty darn good to me.

    So nice that you have a kitchen staff!


  2. I feel for what you had to work with that is super cute and as u said yellow and brown are two colors that should never be used together.

  3. It is amazing what a new paint colour can do! We had no counter space either when we moved in. I love your pantry. Mine looks like a junk yard compared to yours. I adore your console table too.

  4. Very nice facelift! Pleasantly livable until you tackle the renovation. I'm envious of that pantry! And love the DWR island and mexican table.

  5. A new coat of paint can work wonders. I'd get your kitchen staff and not your mom to paint the inside of the cubboards!

  6. You know what? - I love it.. I think it looks great and that panty is wonderful - you could live with this for quite a while Steve without too much of a problem I would imagine... just great! x

  7. Are you kidding?! I cannot believe what a little paint can do - it doesn't even look like the same kitchen! I love every change you made - down to the drawer pulls. How lucky you are to have a pantry - I would love to have one and put a vintage door with frosted glass on it. You know I love the green console table! What if you took out the dishwasher and added some other counter table - maybe a butcher block table? My neighbors have a VERY SMALL kitchen and they have this HUGE portable dw that they move all around the kitchen - I never understood why they do that - anything not to handwash a dish, I guess! :)
    For a quick fix, your kitchen turned out fabulous - I don't know that I would do anything else to it. It's absolutely charming - the perfect vintage kitchen!

  8. Steve, You worked a miracle with paint and elbow grease. It looks so crisp and BIG and open. And love your pantry!! When we redid our kitchen, I told Mike I wanted a walk-in pantry...his response was, "um, where?" Our kitchen was just too small for such a treat. So I'll have to enjoy yours!


  9. I think it looks lovely just the way it is. You did a wonderful job! Your kitchen looks lived in, the little cabinets with the sink really cute. I have a very small kitchen myself, and I find that small kitchens make for more practical cooking. when you are in a big kitchen, you seem to lose a lot of time running around gathering stuff you need. with small kitchens, you tend to keep only what is really necessary at hand. So I think that if you set up a pot rack above the center table, with all your pots and pans that now live in the dishwasher, you might find that you don't need any remodelling for a long time, after all!

  10. hi steve,

    i don't know how this post got past me?

    anyway, what an improvement. i agree with everything that has been said. white paint is always the answer! and everything looks so much better.

    and yes, i believe it is your mothers fault for having an ugly pantry. it is always the mothers fault!

    one question though, is eye of newt vegan?


  11. WOW! What a difference a little paint makes. Amazing!

  12. Your transformation is fabulous! I too have a teeny tiny kitchen in my home so I can appreciate how you've maximized space here and freshened it up.

  13. I love your kitchen. Wish we'd had sweet old details to work with in ours. Your facelift did wonders. Love the DWR table too, and I'm not usually a DWR gal.

  14. You think it's sad but I think it's adorable! For one who honestly doesn't cook that much I could be happy there. Please don't go to modern with the redo though.

  15. Remarkable, absolutely remarkable. You have done the best job of making that horrible little hole into an inviting useful place to work. I like that you painted the tile. I did that at one point in my house, the shower no less. I scrubbed it down with an organic solvent and spray painted it with engine enamel. Some 8 years later I retiled the shower and the paint was still in excellent shape, no chipping, flaking or blistering. I was amazed. I thought I would be lucky if it lasted 2 years.

    White, white does it. Ann