Well, It certainly took long enough….
After all, we started shopping for granite counters on February 11…..the workmen started tearing up the old kitchen on February 18.
For the past couple months, we have done some major project in the kitchen every weekend. I have actually been pretty diligent in documenting all the changes, and I’m so relieved to reveal our finished kitchen to all of you fine folks.
Just to refresh everyone’s memory, here is what we started with.
Yepp, I agree, pretty uneventful…..
And here’s what she looks like today ….
Yes, “The Bomb-Diggity” is the exact phrase we were thinking too.
When we bought the place, there was actually a fluorescent tube light fixture on the ceiling, just like in a middle-school classroom. Now there is a row of halogen cans and a glass dome pendant from West Elm. Our Ikea Saarinan-esque table is surrounded by vintage Mercel Brewer Cesce chairs. At one time they had cane seats too ( cane seats don’t last very long ) and someone changed them to vinyl. A friend brought them over to sell in a garage sale, when they didn’t sell he offered them to me instead of dragging them back to his house. At the time, I didn’t really want them. But now, I absolutely LOVE them…each one has a numbered plaque that identifies them as property of the University of Texas. How cool is that? The cane seat-backs are definitely showing some wear and I plan to have them replaced in the near future anyway. I’ll keep y’all posted on that process.
As y’all can tell, we kept the original base cabinets and terra-cotta floor. Then we added our own bit of jazz to make this place a little more contemporary. Taking the upper cabinets to the ceiling made the whole room appear taller. It also increased our storage space by about 40%. Although we lost the tiny cabinet with the attached microwave, we added an entire new cabinet over the refrigerator, and built out the top of the pantry to look finished.
That springy industrial looking Hjuvik faucet from Ikea is just amazing. Unpronounceable name, great faucet. I can bend it any-which-way, or push the whole thing out-of-the-way altogether. LOVE it! Yes, we had wanted a farm-house sink, but reconfiguring the lower cabinet was just too much of a hassle. So we settled on one really big 28 inch undermount stainless sink….and don’t regret that decision one bit.
A vintage plate is the perfect size to wrangle dish and hand soaps, hand lotion, and sponges. If you have never tried Mrs. Meyers cleaning products, let me lead you to them right now. Lavender is by far my favorite, but other flavors include; Basil, Geranium, Rhubarb, Blue Bell, Rosemary and even a scent free. Thelma Meyer believes that cleaning products can be Earth friendly and still clean well……so do we. Check them out.
About 15 years ago I started collecting Fiesta Ware. I’ve always loved old California pottery, the colors are bright, but not too bright. They remind me of the painted desert. It’s hard to believe that Homer Laughlin stopped making Fiesta for about 13 years, before reviving the line in the mid-80’s because of the Baby-Boomers demand for the things that they had a children. I have tons…and when I say “tons”, I have packed and moved this stuff several times, trust me, I have “TONS”. I pick up vintage Fiestaware, Bauer, Yellowware, and Russell Wright whenever I find them. I have an affection for chipped pieces that were obviously used and loved. The frosted glass doors of our new upper cabinets show just a hint of the colors lurking behind each.
The Jonathan Adler whale was an anniversary gift from Jamie, he holds bottle caps because I can’t possibly throw away a bottle cap. Duhhh, I might have a project for them some day. The travertine backsplash that we installed ourselves was just the perfect complement to the new “mink’ granite counters.
We replaced the previous owners strange taste/placement of handles with some that fit the contemporary style of the new kitchen better. The upper cabinets, with brushed stainless doors, we left unadorned.
Everything looks better in a jar…..especially dog treats. She can hear the Milkbone jar opening from the other side of the house.
The was nothing above the old pantry but 14 inches of air. Now there is a perfect place to keep cook books.
I’ve been collecting oil jars for a few years too. They functionally hold plastic grocery bags, tennis balls ( if she can’t see them, so won’t want us to throw them for her), and arrows.
The Luftig vent-a-hood came from Ikea too. You could probably tell that from the name. There was an electrical outlet where the old microwave was plugged in up there before, so installation was a snap. I just removed the outlet, and hardwired the sum-bitch to the cable that used to power the outlet. Done Deal. The new range is a dream. The delivery wasn’t so much. We are just going to live with that sore-thumb of a black refrigerator until we pay off the other new appliances.
The upper cabinet, just to the right of the new range, holds salt, pepper, garlic, and oils and vinegars I’ve put in upcycled hinged cork-topped bottles. The bottles were originally sold with lemonade in them. Never do this with balsamic vinegar because it needs a dark bottle to protect it from sunlight and loosing its flavor.
Because the new upper cabinets have glass doors, we couldn’t mount the spice rack we had planned. The next best thing was a drawer full of dried herbs and spices. Sunlight can drain the flavors from these as well, so a dark drawer is much better than a glass cabinet anyway. We rarely cook with dried herbs, fresh ones are 100 times better, but look how awesome they are all lined up like toy soldiers. Don’t hate us because of our organizational skills. I’m working on a future post now where I show how I used wood trim pieces to keep them all in place.
The drawer on the other side of the range has a pretty clever idea as well. I always line my kitchen and bathroom drawers with self-adhesive cork shelf liners to keep things from shifting arround. But here I took it a step further and also mounted a knife magnet inside the drawer. Keeps them in place, and from dulling too quickly. You can steal those two ideas too.
And now for the “Adults Only” part of the kitchen tour. We finally have a real liquor cabinet. Just like big boys. No more digging to the back of the pantry for triple sec. We have it all lined up where we can see everything that we have in a glance. This is gunna work great for parties……glasses above, ice-maker to the right, and plenty of counter space below to slice lemons etc. LOVE IT!
Remember when we sliced PVC plumbing pipe to make our wine storage? It wasn’t that long ago. Now we have a perfect place to put our wine, where there was nothing before.
Everyone wanted to know what our solution for the microwave was. I’ve never been a fan of the microwave hanging over the cooktop. It’s not a Bad place to put it…just not very esthetically pleasing; especially when the previous owner installed it with the side exposed and facing the rest of the house. We do use the microwave, but mostly just for steaming veggies and reheating left-overs. Rather than just put it on the counter, or even worse, a cart with wheels ( I have Never liked that look ) we hid it the best that we could in a cabinet next to the fridge. It’s perfect for us. I drilled a hole in the side of the cabinet to run the power cord through, and we just plugged it in with the fridge. Plenty of room in there so it has air to vent and not overheat.
Here’s a reminder of what we started with….from this…
And from this……
And that is the Grand Tour of our new kitchen. I consider it to be about 95% finished. We still have to caulk around the counter top, and I’m not sure what to do with the BIG White Door to the garage. We are tinkering with the idea of chalk-board paint…maybe in khaki…it doesn’t always have to be black, ya know.
This was, by a LANDSLIDE, the best change that we have made to the Cavender house to date……
and we’re just getting started ….