Kitchen Game Plan

The next room on the to-do list is the kitchen.  In a perfect world, I would love to put in a white subway tile backsplash, solid surface countertop, and a new sink and faucet.  But on account of the budget, that won’t be in the works for some time.  In fact, in a really perfect (limitless cash) world, we would bump out the back of the house and move the kitchen back there.  But clearly those dreams will have to wait several years.  So in the meantime, I’m setting out to make some small improvements to the kitchen to make it more functional and attractive in the short term.

I’m extremely grateful that the previous owner of this house did a great job of painting these old cabinets.  They’re still in great condition, and painted white with new hardware they really do look sharp.  You can tell from the cabinet interiors that they were very dark and dreary before.  And thank god she took on the cabinet painting project instead of me.  That sounds hard.

I already took my first step and painted the room.  When we moved in, the walls in here were “acorn yellow”, a medium yellow-brown color.  It wasn’t horrible, but I really enjoy the light, bright blue I painted in last month.

There isn’t much open wall space for hanging art, so that won’t take a lot of effort.  But what I’d really like to achieve is functionality in here.  This isn’t a large kitchen, and there is not an excess of counter space.  So I’d like to get as much stuff off of the counters as possible.  The first and easiest idea I have is to eliminate the knife block, and get a wall-mounted magnetic knife bar instead, like this one:

There is also a small bamboo tray where I keep the basics (olive oil, salt, pepper) that is taking up valuable counter space.  It would be ideal to get this stuff up off the counter top, and build a shelf over the range to house it all.  My resolution right now is to have Danny build me the wooden shelf of my dreams.  We’ll see whether or not this comes to pass.  But this is the (expensive) example that got me thinking about it:

I have also have arbitrary desire for a three-tiered hanging basket in the kitchen.  I impulse bought one from the flea market for $7 a few months ago, but have yet to hang it up.  So add that to the to-do list too.

I’ve given a lot of thought to the kitchen window.  This is the only window in the whole house that did not come with some kind of blind or shade.  We could use a little privacy from this window at night, and it could use a little piece of flair anytime of the day.  The problem is that it’s an odd size, 38″ W x 42″ T.  My initial thought was some kind of cheapie bamboo shade.  But I couldn’t find any that were remotely the right size.

So I had a (somewhat irrational) revelation the other day that clearly the best idea is to craft something myself to cover this window.  I’m going to attempt to construct a roman shade without sewing.  This will be interesting, for sure.  I’m going to need the strength of a strong homemaker to guide me through this.  How about Food Network personality, Sandra Lee?

It just so happens that the toile print fabric I selected for the roman shade was part of the Sandra Lee for Waverly collection.  Her tablescapes, cream of mushroom soup crock pot recipes and strong cocktails are sure to inspire greatness in my own suzie-homemaker exploits.


4 thoughts on “Kitchen Game Plan

  1. Ahh… Sandra Lee. I have actually spoken with this woman (via my job) on the phone and she is a [expletive] nut! BUT I do love some of her ideas for getting stuff done on the cheap/easy. She loves a good cocktail, that’s for sure.

    It’s probably just the lighting in those pics, but the cabinets look like a light minty shade, which I actually think looks great with the blue as well as the blue floors, though I’m sure it looks even better in person (and probably looks more white as well).

    Good luck!

  2. There are a bunch of how-tos online about roman blinds, I found them when trying to construct the window-blanket-of-doom for my Grandfather’s house. We opted for the sewing variety, but I think there are some no-sew options out there, too.
    Is the three tiered basket one of those ones for veggies? I’m dying for one. Not sure why, but I really want to see bananas hanging out in my kitchen! I feel like I’ll eat more fruit when its displayed nicely, but we’ll see about that.

  3. My family always had one of those baskets but half the time other junk would end up in it. I bought one when we first moved to our place but there is nowhere in the small kitchen to hang it, and the ceilings are way too high for me to reach the basket anyway. I got myself this bowl as a reward for losing 15 lbs, thinking it would help me eat more fruit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Also it takes up precious counter space and often gets moved onto the dining room table, where it looks pretty nice when it is actually filled with fruit.

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