Monday, March 11, 2013

Kitchen Revamp: Part II

In order to discuss the next few feet of counter space in my kitchen, I've really got to start, indirectly, with love and habitual routine. 

You'll remember, from my first Kitchen Revamp post, that Mr. Man had given me some yellow tulips to mark the post-Valentine's Day Day. 

Because he's carefully observed how tetchy I am about the horrible-ness of V-Day. 

Careful observation is part of his charm. When we first started spending time together, I noticed him watching me making coffee, and asking rather particular questions--why this coffee cup, how much cream is too much, how many scoops--while I made a pot of coffee. 

Scrutiny makes me nervous, and I am ashamed to say I got a little defensive. "Why are you asking me?" I felt a big "here-let-me-show-you-the-right-way-to-make-coffee" coming on, and it was going to make me mad. 

"I just want to know exactly how you like your coffee. So I can make it for you." 

It is routine, now, that when he is here at my house he makes me coffee, fixed exactly the way I like it, and brings me a cup. 

The only problem with our morning coffee and late night coffee and warming up a cold afternoon coffee was the coffee pot. It was an inexpensive model to begin with, and the wrong kind of "vintage"-- just plain old, stained, and worn out. To put it bluntly, in two years we've been together, we brewed the crap out of that old thing. 

So it seemed only natural that part of the kitchen revamp should include: 

I was surprised to find a green appliance that wasn't bright neon green or Jadeite mint green. It is perfect, not only for my kitchen, but also for the lovely habitual routines of Mr. Man. If he's going to bring me coffee, it's only fair I should bring him a coffee pot. 

The other thing sitting on this end of counter is the fruit. In previous incarnations of my kitchen life, I used a tiered plate stand that I bought at a Southern Living at Home (now called Willow House) sales party. 

I like it, but in this smaller house and smaller kitchen, it seemed huge. It felt like it was taking up the entire counter space. I still have it and it gets lots of use during the holidays and large gatherings, but I was looking for a vintage something more in scale with my kitchen. 

I found this: 

I love the browns and greens, the roosters, and the smaller size. 

Though it is more modestly proportioned, it still holds plenty: 

Here the two contestants are side-by-side:

Now the entire run of that side of the kitchen: 

Some little details: 

The counter ends in a curved extension that floats over the step-down into the eat-in area. That's the trash can underneath it, in the lower right hand corner. I'm not in love with the idea of the trash out in the open, but the area under the sink was completely unmanageable. 

I shortened the blinds for the window, but did not make curtains for it. At least not yet. I'm a bit puzzled about how to fit curtains to this window, boxed in as they are by the upper cabinets. I'm also thinking of replacing this window with a weather-tight, paned window, which might also mean refitting both the shades and any curtains. Anyhoo, curtains here when I get around to them will break up the brown/green baseline I've established with the paint, cabinets, and kitchenware. 

The floor is vinyl wood grain parquet, looking every day of its thirty-odd years, and the dishwasher is dinged up but still working okay. They are both on the replacement list for the near future (next two years). 

I'd love some plates hung on the soffit to add a little more color and pattern to this wall, but those will have to come to me when the time is right. I think forcing a room to "finished" ends up looking just that, forced; so I'd rather have it look a little spare to begin with. It's not like I have a problem collecting things, for crying out loud. 

IRL, the countertop directly above the dishwasher is usually stacked with plates and glasses, the yogurt cups and granola bar wrappers the kids didn't toss, and smeary peanut butter knives. I wouldn't want you to think I'm this clean all the time. In fact, this is a rare moment of blog fantasy. It lasted about five minutes after I put my camera down. 

We've been plagued with dark gray day after dark gray day here; it's made indoor photography difficult. Because of that and the fact that it is snowing madly here as I write this post, I won't make any promises for this week. Just know that I'll be back with another installment soon! 


  1. Love the small details you shared here--but even more I love your approach to kitchen (or any room) remodeling. Yeah, forcing a room to look finished ends up looking forced. And yeah, the plates will come to you in time.

    In the meantime, your kitchen looks fresh and clean. (And I totally know what you mean about blog fantasy clean. My counter is stacked with all manner of crap right now because we let ourselves get behind on running the dishwasher yesterday.) I really like the brown and green.

    Will be happy to see the next installment whenever you've got the right light and time!

  2. Looks really nice! The coffee pot made me go "ooh!" and I love the rooster plate too.

  3. A neat fix for dinged dishwasher door are the magnetic covers. Think I got mine from a catolog called Collections. Might even have a chicken! Love your bloc.

  4. The kitchen is really coming along and looks great. A couple of years ago I was researching new coffeemakers and ran across complaints from people that their Cuisinart coffeemakers were catching on fire. I just checked the Consumer Product Safety Commision site ( and there hasn't been a recall, so, I thought I'd warn you incase that's one of the models prone to catching on fire.