The best part of renovating our kitchen was finding and arranging furniture in it, organizing the cupboards and shelves, and decorating the walls. I still have some boxes in the attic to sort through that are filled with items from our house in the South that I haven't used since we moved nearly eleven years ago. But for the most part, I am finished moving things into our new kitchen for the time being. I'm intentionally leaving the tops of the cupboards bare and saving room in the cabinets for future items that I pick up through the years. Throughout this post, I'm sharing what I've done with our white farmhouse kitchen so far.
I love wooden benches, and I love window seats. After rearranging the layout of the kitchen slightly, there was plenty of space along this wall, so I decided to create a sunny sitting area here under this window on the east side of our house. I went to a local antique mall and looked at dozens of benches. Some of them were extremely rustic, and others were rather ornate. When I found this oak bench made of reclaimed wood with its imperfections on top, I knew it was the one. Once I brought it home, I realized how closely it matches the stain on our floor and the kitchen table. I now sit here and browse through magazines while I'm letting things simmer on the stove for dinner.
This corner of the kitchen has been an eyesore for years. It started out with a cheap computer table here that was cluttered and full of electrical cords, paper, a printer, office supplies, etc. After moving our "office" to the landing upstairs, it harbored a small Christmas tree for about six weeks every winter. The rest of the time it was vacant except for a stray chair waiting to be used when we had guests for dinner. Our old house had a built-in hutch in the dining room, and I filled it with china plates, glass bowls and cake stands, wine glasses and holiday items. When we left that house, I really had nowhere to put many of those things, so they remained boxed up in the attic. I've spent the past two years searching for a china cabinet or corner hutch for this room. My husband spotted this one with the built-in wine rack at the Amish Furniture Connection in a nearby town. At first I wasn't sure that it would fit with our other existing kitchen furniture. Then I feared it would be too big for this corner. I considered paying the business to make it look distressed, but then I figured that after a few years with our family, it will become distressed enough naturally. I finally agreed to buy it when nothing else suited me, and that wine rack was very enticing. Once the movers set it in the corner, I knew that I made the right choice. It really adds a lot to this kitchen, I think. And now my new plaid dinnerware from Home Goods has a home, as well as all that stuff boxed up in my attic.
It was my goal to not allow the kitchen to get cluttered again. While there is still a lot of essential stuff in sight on the shelves and countertops, it's an improvement compared to what these open shelves looked like before (see last post.)
I filled those canisters that I found at Home Goods, and I used old Mason jars to store unpopped popcorn and salt. I may do the same with other items like baking powder, cocoa powder, and quinoa since we have dozens (maybe hundreds) of Mason jars filling our basement. I'd rather see those on the kitchen shelves than various open bags tied shut with twist ties.
At the antique mall, I also found this handmade wood cutting board that hangs nicely on the outside of the shelves next to the sink. I needed another cutting board since my last wooden one got thrown away after using it to cut up a bunch of strong onions from our garden. I tried all kinds of methods to get rid of the odor to no avail. Every time you walked into our kitchen, you could smell old onions until I got rid of it. I'll remember to use the glass cutting boards for pungent foods from here on out.
As you can see, this cabinet isn't yet full, and although there is a bit more stuff on the counter than I'd like, it's definitely an improvement. I'm using a wire egg basket to store miscellaneous items that we use often, and that white ceramic crock I bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond is coming in handy for holding the kitchen utensils that I use the most frequently. That freed up our junk drawer quite a bit.
Finally, I hung a few pictures on the walls. I really want this room to be bright and simple, so there isn't a lot of decorating going on...by choice. I decided to leave the tops of the shelves and cabinets bare and to not hang any curtains or valances over the five windows in this room. The above print I picked up at the same antique mall, but the rest of the walls hold only a few items, all of which I had before.
I do believe this concludes my month-long posting on our kitchen renovation, and I think I am officially finished getting that room back in order. Our youngest daughter told me this morning, "Mommy, I think you are too anxious about this kitchen and us messing it up." I had to admit she was right. A lot of living goes on in this house, and I must relax and stop following people into our kitchen to ensure they don't put a hot cup on the countertop or spill milk on the floor or crack a cup in the cast iron sink. No one but me has washed a single dish in this house in nearly a month because I've been too afraid someone will "ruin my new kitchen." Mind you, they're not complaining about the break from dishwashing, but my husband is rolling his eyes at me and sighing when I greet him at the door to remind him to take off his shoes before he takes another step into my new, beautiful kitchen.
I really don't know how these decorating bloggers with their Pinterest-perfect kitchens survive without a medicine cabinet full of Xanax.
Ending on that note, I wish you all a terrific Super Bowl weekend!