Friday, March 15, 2013

Kitchen Revamp: Part III

This end of the kitchen, the eat-in area, has been done for awhile. It's been a lack of sunshine and good interior lighting that's held off this post, and at this point I'm ceding defeat, trying to take photos facing into a window. I wish I could have all my bloggy-babes in for a glass of wine and personal tour, because it's so much warmer, cheerful, and oh, so......1968 in this room. I guess in that case it would need to be chablis and a cheese ball with ritz crackers, right? 

Here's a tiny glimpse of before-ish (I'd already primed the muddy dark blue window wall):

Are here's another view slightly to the right of the first, below. 

The louvered double doors on the left lead down to the basement (or, as I like to think of it, ground zero of the worst craft supply and tool explosion ever.) That's a future post. The skinny door on the right is the Pantry Closet of Weird Smells. Yes, capitalization. That is also a future post. The dark edge of the far left of the picture is the doorway into the "formal" dining room, if "formal" is a word that can be used in any house that I live in. 

Our family dinners are lovely here. A round table is a democratic arrangement, a circle of family members rather than the more formal arrangement with the hierarchical head of a rectangular table. I'm a little sensitive to the ways in which we occupy our space, and this just feels right for this kitchen and for our family. I'm glad I took this table and chairs home with me. 

The one thing that doesn't really "fit" the 1960s vibe in here is the cupboard in the corner. I cherish it because it's from a family member, and they purchased it in 1949. It doesn't really "show" in the photos, but the red and black design painted on the glass are really drawn out by the bittersweet reds and dark outlines of the floral designs in the curtains. The cupboard also holds my chicken collection; I keep ceramic ones because I'm a frustrated chicken farmer. We'll take a tour of them in a future post too. (Notice how I've promised three future posts in this one? Sheesh, girl. Hush up already.)

The original lighting in this part of the kitchen is anybody's guess. When we moved in there was a gigantic, builder's grade white ceiling fan with big canister downlights. It was spectacularly ugly, and layered with dust and grime.

I found this light fixture with the lovely folks at OrWa Designs. Their Etsy site not only sells some pretty awesome interpretations of Midcentury Modern furniture, they also have an excellent eye for vintage light fixtures.

You'll notice in some of these shots it's hanging a bit higher than the conventionally advised 36 inches above the table top. That's because the work area of the kitchen is one step up from the eat in area, and hanging it that low meant standing in the other side of the kitchen and being able to peer down into the inside of the fixture, glaring bare light bulbs and all. So I decided that higher was better in this case.

There is not much wall space for art in this room, and really, the curtain fabric is so graphically strong it doesn't need much anyway. But in a sliver of space between the end of the cupboard run and the sliding glass door (which doesn't make much of an appearance in these photos because I don't want the yucky mauve screen porch paint to be spoiling my kitchen party) I tucked a couple of items:

My sister's little oil painting of a nuthatch seemed like just the thing. I'd been looking for a place to hang it where it wouldn't get lost on a huge wall, and where I would see it every day. The key hanger (wonky hooks and all) was originally hanging in the that spot when I moved in, but it was so grimy and tarnished it was green. I kinda think of it as so tacky it's cute, so I took Brasso and old rags to it, and found its shine again.

In one of the photos above you'll notice some botanical prints of apples hung to the right of the pantry door. They are special to me because they were literally the very first vintage thing I ever bought, with my own money, when I was just seventeen. They're chromolithographed pages from a U.S. Department of Agriculture reference book from the 1900s.

I hauled them around for years before I was old enough to hang them in my own home, and at that time I invested quite a bit in having them framed professionally. While the gilded wood frames seem a little 1990s to my 2013 eyes, at least I chose a relatively simple frame style, and I'm not going to mess with trying to update them.

The bowl on the table is a vintage find. It's big, sparkly, and green, and I love it.

Sometimes there's fresh fruit in it. Other times it's empty, and I'm debating what should go in it. It should be fun to find various things to feature-- shiny gold Christmas ornaments from thrift stores is a good possibility for the holiday. My youngest, Joe, voted for keeping it filled with M&Ms.

I've got one or two more smaller posts to wrap up the kitchen revamp reveal, and then it will be time to move on to other things. The upcoming weeks will not be good for home improvement progress--we've got a trip, some entertaining obligations, and some planning to do before we take our next steps in April. What are next steps? Planning some outdoor projects, and beginning some smaller scale cosmetic upgrades to the main floor bathroom. The latter will involve ridding the universe of another bit of mauve paint, which is only for the good of humanity. I'm looking forward to it.


  1. I LOVE it!!! I love every single thing about it!!! Those curtains turned out amazing and that cupboard is to die for! I'd love to have that cupboard in my house - lucky you for inheriting it! Great job in bringing everything together so well - it looks GREAT! I wish I could go on the "official" tour, I'm sure it's even better in person!

    1. Thank you Sara. Next time you find yourself in the Midwest by way of Arizona, drop on by. ;)