Some of you have kindly asked me to stop talking about my kitchen. You will soon get your wish. Right after I force you to look at pictures. But first, lower your expectations right now. Design*Sponge this is not. I was just trying to make my dysfunctional kitchen slightly more appealing to the eye while on a tight budget. Okay? Are you ready?
Here’s what it used to look like.
As you can see, the previous owners had a country kitchen thing going on, which really isn’t me. But after stripping wallpaper off of every other wall in the house (and me being pregnant with the Preschooler at the time), we were too exhausted to do anything except plunk all of our stuff in there and start cooking. Notice the lovely fruit border? That image fueled me through the six hours it took me to strip it off. (Curse newfangled adhesive technology.) As you can see, I was also in the midst of ripping down the gingham shutters on the windows. That was quite satisfying, actually.
Here’s what it looks like now. And, swear to god, if you say it looked better before, we’re through.
The yellow paint is Broadway Lights by Benjamin Moore, which may be the first time I’ve ever diverged from my irrational obsession with paint colors named after food. I was back to my usual tricks with the trim and cabinets, though (Vanilla Ice Cream, also by Benjamin Moore). The paintings are by Chicago artist Mark Zapf.
Now here’s the cooking part of the kitchen before painting:
Notice how I didn’t really bother to tidy up too much? I thought about not cleaning for the after picture, too, so we can compare apples to apples, but let’s not automatically assume I’m going to revert back to my old housekeeping ways. Why be cynical? People can change.
All of my cooking takes place on this beautiful strip of countertop you see here. You may notice that it’s not a very large space for doing all my cooking. This is why I fly into a rage when non-cooking-related items get placed on it. Things like cell phones and wallets and keys and mail and hammers and weed-whacking equipment. Put them Somewhere Else.
Here’s a close-up of what the cabinets looked like before, as you may recall:
God, I hope so. It seemed a little stark at first, but now I’m used to it. What you’re looking at here is part of the “butler’s pantry” between the kitchen and the dining room. Unfortunately, the previous owners ran off with the butler. He would have come in handy.
I just have to mention that the cabinet doors took two coats of primer and two coats of paint ON EACH SIDE. That’s eight coats per door for you math geniuses. And I only had room to paint them in batches of five or six at a time. So I guess what I’m trying to say is—cut me some goddamned slack.
Oh, did I forget to show you my refrigerator strategically blocking the doorway? Silly me. Here it is:
See? There are a good two and a half feet over there to shimmy your way in. Good enough, I say.
So there you have it. Would I do it again? Probably not. Was it worth wasting my entire summer to get it done? I guess it depends on how much you like summer. Although I did have the foresight to pick the rainiest one in human history, so that’s something. I will say that my kitchen is much cleaner now. And even though I liked cooking in my kitchen back when it was ugly, I like cooking in it even more now!