Friday, August 8, 2014

Bare naked soul (aka the kitchen)

I have not wanted to do this post, but I feel as though I should.

So I will try.

First, I put it off because my camera isn't working well.  All the pictures are blurry.  sigh.

Also, the original cabinet color, which I would call pale, dead flesh, actually looks good when I take pictures of it (with this broken camera), much more warm and wood-like than it looks in real life.

Since 95% of the (maybe 12?) people who "read this post" won't read this (meaning none of them, with the possible exception of one), but will only look at the pictures, I should not even waste the time to try to explain.  But anyway.  You will think my cabinets were a better color originally.  I assure you, they weren't.


I am going to go out of my way to try to explain this (defensive a little?  maybe).  I will begin with pictures that I think accurately capture the colors of the cabinetry in my kitchen (at least on my computer monitor), before and after, IN SPITE OF the way they will look in the following "reveal" photographs.  So please, please believe me and use your imagination as you look at the eventual kitchen pictures.

This is a "sample" of the original cabinet color:

When we bought the house off the internet without looking at it, I knew I did not care for the kitchen cabinet color, nor did I like the way it looked with yellow brass hardware and pinky-beige counters.  I thought, "No problem.  We'll just switch out the hardware for some oil-rubbed bronze, and top it with some dark granite counters.  It will be fine."


We arrived and found that:

  1. There was no space to store anything larger than an average sized salad bowl, anywhere in the kitchen.
  2. There was a serious traffic flow problem between the refrigerator and the peninsula (see below).

Imagine yourself standing with your back to the end of that peninsula.  Then imagine opening that refrigerator door.  It was a bad thing.

Clearly, it would be money thrown into a black hole to simply redo the counters on that footprint of a kitchen.

Ach.  I have wandered off topic, or ahead of topic, or something.  How did I do this?

Cabinet colors:


New (I used two, mixed together):
(a rich wood tone that Shawn really liked)
(a dark brown called chocolate that will heretofore look black in the pictures, which is quite distressing to me)

All this is to ask, to plead with you to realize when you look at the pictures:

  1. The original color was, truly, a pale, dead flesh color, and not a whimsical light golden oak color as it may appear.
  2. The new, dark cabinets are a rich dark brown, not a black so dark that it fades utterly into shadow.

Okay.  On with the show.  Back to business.  Here we go.

I really enjoy the way the kitchen is more open around the sink.  There is plenty of space both on the right and on the left.

We put these little "pull out pantries" on either side of the sink cabinet:

By moving the refrigerator to the other side of the room, we created a large, traditional storage and serving buffet area.  It also gives us extra work space when we get lots of things going at once.

One of my favorite parts of this change is the higher ceiling.  It is uplifting!  Incidentally, I love those little shelves to the right of the sink.  There are similar shelves on the left, but they are not as prominently visible, so the best stuff is on the right.  The top shelf displays this little beauty that I got at an estate sale in our neighborhood:

We are so glad to have the kitchen open, without the constipated blockage we formerly suffered between the old refrigerator and the end of the peninsula!


By moving the stove over to the right, we gained a nice workspace between the stove and the sink.  We also made room for a nice pots and pans cabinet.

We gave up a little bit of kitchen storage here, but we got Shawn a nicer sink:

And... to the left we were able to put in a BROOM CLOSET!
Another view of the pantry,  Yes, we put this in, in place of the desk area.  it was a good change.  I didn't like writing in a kitchen corner (my kids even came home and said, "Mom, why is your computer there???").  And now we have loads of storage, even for large items, like our crock pot and our turkey roaster.  Best of all, it isn't even difficult or painful to get them out!


As you can see here, I am a lazy photographer and got tired of moving things out of view, 
hence the colander of grapes in the lovely white plastic bowl on the counter,
 napkins, mail, a bin of dog medicine, etc.  

Oh!  Haha!  That great big drawer in the middle is my Tupperware drawer.  It is so much easier than it has ever been to put leftovers away!

Well, that gives you some idea.  I am sorry if you liked the old kitchen better.  My guess is, it was probably crafted with more love.  Our contractor experience was bad, and it left me with such a negative taste, I don't even know how I feel about my kitchen.


I like the extra work space around the sink.
I like all the additional and specialized storage we got.
I like having the soffits out and the ceiling higher.
I like my big buffet serving area.
I like my broom closet!
I like the open space without the peninsula.
I like having a gas stove!

I am thankful,
I am very thankful,
and someday I might even get over the traumatized feeling the ordeal gave me.


Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL and practical .... I'm glad for you .... it took a long time and much patience .... now ENJOY!

Gloria H. said...

Ruth, I ALWAYS read your blogs and am blessed with each one. Thanks for showing us your beautiful kitchen. I think you guys did a wonderful job. You are allowed to be very happy with the results. Hopefully, the trauma of the construction experience will pass quickly. I'd be very happy there!

ruth said...

Thank you for your kindness.

I am not sure about how the kitchen looks (although I do like it better than before), but it certainly is a pleasure to use now. I am warming to it a lot, and the house feels more and more like home, like our home.

This was a hard post for me to do. My kitchen in my old house was designed by a professional designer. I butted heads with him a lot, but in the end we achieved a good balance between practicality (me) and looks (him). In this kitchen, I perceive the lack of a designer now that is is done, and (to me) it looks embarrassingly like "me" -- hence the name of the post -- "bare naked soul." I see my awkward self all over it. But it does work well. I am good at the practical side of things. :)