Monday, February 28, 2011

Completed: The Great Kitchen Project of 2011

or "How I spent my weekend."

Welcome to my new kitchen.

Thursday, the least favorite room in my house. Today, Monday: My new favorite space. For those of you not so familiar with me: I'm a maker-do. I'm a bloom-where-you're-planted kinda gal. All this to say this is not my dream kitchen, (that is somewhere in Bali with a cook-in-residence in it) but this is definitely a more more useful space, and I am very happy with the results of my labor.

Here is the view as you walk in from the dining area. Cheery, no?
One thing about this color choice: I did not add much more red than was already in here (one notable exception is the frame around the utensils. The fork in the middle was my inspiration piece, and my mother suggested hanging it somewhere. This is how I hung it, using an old thrift-store frame and some red spray-paint. {Can we have a moment of prayerful gratitude for spray-paint? CFC's aside, the world is a better place for its existence.}but the yellow makes all that red seriously pop.
*also notable in this photo is my compost pail. It got a fresh swish of red around its waistline. :)

This is the other side of the kitchen sink, and it is where my mixer used to be. Clear across the kitchen from where my flour, sugar, etc. is. Pain-in-the-patootie. Now it houses the 'drink center', which makes more sense being next to the sink, where the blender can get rinsed promptly after use. (insert ironic snort-of-amusement here.)

If I'm standing at the drink center, directly behind me is my utensil rack, an ingenious little contraption that my dad and I made when my family lived in Nipomo in the 'Little House', which was home to the Tiniest Kitchen On The Planet. I hardly noticed, though, because I am, among other things, a vertical-space girl and we had this thing whipped into productivity in no time, and I have found it indispensable ever since. Love having everything right to hand.

This is the magnum opus of my redesign. I have hated this cupboard from the minute we moved in. First of all, the insides of all the cabinets were in terrible shape; chipped up and nasty, and other than a spit-and-polish when we moved in, I have not done anything else. The shelves were too tall, the doors were too large, but because I am a bloom-where-you-are-planted kinda gal, I just lived with it.
No more.
I added a third shelf, so that my pots did not have to stack 3 and 4 to a pile (extremely inconvenient, because the pot that I need was always at the bottom. Always. Then I went all crazy-en-la-cabesa, and decided that the upper space was highly conducive to a pot-rack. 

BINGO. Fifty--two inches of copper pipe gets a girl a lot of happiness. ;)

One of my homekeeping mantras has always been: "Do not keep anything in your home which you do not believe to be both beautiful and useful" and my blue-glass jar collection is the embodiment. I kept them all together, collection-style, but they now house all my rices. (we eat a lot of rice in this family.) I cleared the cagada off my stainless steel worktable, and put the vintage wrap-dispenser over by the bread box to facilitate sandwich-making. I love when things make sense. The toaster and microwave got spit-and-polished, and set down below on the shelf (again with the cagada.) and the knives got moved to their new home, at a shelf where they could actually be used. No more with going to the hinter-land to get a knife. But the coup de grace...
My least favorite space in the kitchen is now my most favorite place. I cleaned out every jar...took off all the old labels (why I had brown sugar in the brown rice jar I will never know.) Made new labels then reorganized according to how I use them. I put all my pie-making supplies in the wood-handled tin picnic basket and within easy reach. I installed a work-light under the counter, and even brought my scraper out of the drawer and put it in the handy little crack between the counter and the fridge. So handy. So useful.
P.S. The landlord just came by; he loves the new kitchen, and has promised to buy me a new stove. I was hoping he would tell me that we could replace the 'brick-look' linoleum with black and white check flooring, but he'd rather spend his money on a new stove and new energy-efficient windows through-out the entire house. So I forgive him. And he's kinda hot. ;)
(Show me a guy who offers to buy a girl a new appliance who doesn't get hotter the second he offers!)

Next: Laundry room.


  1. Looks great are really wonderful at turning something into SOMETHING!!

  2. This is aDORable! I love that vertical utensil organizer thingie - and LOVE the red framed handtools.

  3. It looks amazing especially as i had seen the before in person. You might do a measure of the floor and give your landlord a quote.(take the work out of it for him) If you get the peel and sticks you might even be able to do it yourself. It really would be the finishing touch. How great that you are getting a new stove. Will he let you pick it out? Suggest to him that he get it at home depot and get it for free interest for a year then he could afford the floor!

  4. Wow! Very impressive. I love that feeling of walking into an old space made new - it is so refreshing. Happy baking!