Kitchen Updating

A month ago, I spent a few hours in my kitchen deep-cleaning. It hadn’t been that clean since before I moved in, and it felt so amazing to know how much cleaner the place was. BUT, in cleaning it, I realized how very out-dated and poorly-built some parts of it was. The cabinets, which had been (hastily) painted in order to sell the house, were painted an ugly shade of yellow-beige, with a strange matte paint that showed every single grease splatter or drop of liquid. The hardware was small & a horrible fake finish. The choice of wall color was uninspiring to the palate, to say the least–a cross between vomit & pea green. And of course, the infernal popcorn ceiling that permeated the house (i’m about 80% clear of it now though! Two more rooms to go!) was still darkening the kitchen & dining nook. I knew I wanted to update very soon, but if there is one word to describe my life right now, it’s “BUSY”. I didn’t think I had the time to fit in a kitchen remodel.

And then three weeks ago, Jon left for an extended motorcycle road trip. One night, in the few hours before practice, I decided that instead of playing my xbox, I would do something productive to my house. For some reason, I thought that I should probably pull all the contact paper off the shelves in the cabinet, you know, just because. And then somehow the putty knife was in my hand and I was scraping the popcorn from the soffits. And making a mess. So I emptied the counters, along with the cabinets. So then I figured while I was scraping the soffits and the kitchen was empty, the ceiling needed to go too. And that’s what started it. Because if I was going to scrape & repaint the ceiling, I might as well repaint the walls…and those cabinets too, right? So in the past few weeks, I’ve:

  • scraped, sanded, repaired, and painted the ceiling
  • updated the ceiling vent
  • replaced the kick boards under the sink & cabinets (a desperate need–that’s where the bugs were coming from!)
  • replaced the basic baseboards with more architecturally interesting baseboards
  • painted the walls a lovely lavender grey
  • primed & painted the cabinets Bistro White
  • replaced all the hardware on said cabinets (lowers & drawers–on the uppers I kept the doors off to keep it feeling light & airy)
  • Tiled a backslash of white subway tile (!!!)
  • Replaced the tiny light fixture above the sink
  • Replaced the stainless steel sink with a white cast-iron (with a ORBed faucet) [ok actually this is still on my to-do list but it’s getting done this week]

It’s as light and airy as galley kitchen can be, and now i want to be in there all the time! The tile backsplash made the biggest difference–it bounces all the light around and is so glossy and beautiful, and is super easy to clean besides. Of course there are a few more things to be done–little touchups to the ceiling paint, the garage door cleaned & painted to match, a new round dining table to acquire. I need to strip the crappy contact paper from the bottom cabinets & replace it with white contact paper. I’m not going to paint the insides of these cabinets because they’re so dark & the doors are staying on them, so no one will really see the insides. Plus the pots & pans need to be organized better to reflect how I actually use this kitchen. I’d like to redo the pantry while I’m at it–there’s still this hideous 1975 brown shag carpet (that I’m positive is original to the house), as well as metal shelving covered in a brown plaid contact paper.

This wasn’t meant to be an itemized description–a “look at what i can do!” The whole point was to say this–this weekend I spent a LOT of time in my kitchen. I made bread & butter pickles, pickled onions, made some indonesian quick pickles (“quickles” if you’re Jon) and then the next day, made an indonesian fried rice dish to go with them that was awesome. I feel inspired, ready to bake & can & experiment to my heart’s content. I WANT to be in my kitchen, I actually don’t mind doing the dishes. I want to have friends over and make good food for them and stay up late drinking Dark & Stormy’s & playing Halo in teams.

It’s a nice change, to feel like I am inhabiting my house, to feel like I can utilize the best way. I am feeling like this cheap 1970’s cottage is turning into an outward expression of it’s owner, I am beginning to be proud of my home when people walk into it. I still have plenty of things i want to do (acquiring more furniture is on the list for sure!) but at this point–come on over. We’ll have tea and maybe make something fabulous. Or we’ll battle in Halo and you’ll probably win. Or we’ll light the fire pit and eat smores and drink beer and play the ukelele and swing in the hammock. It’ll be fabulous.

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