Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Kitchen - after

Let's start with the kitchen since that is where I will be today. There was tremendous water damage in the kitchen from leaky pipes under the sink. The floors were rotten and the floor joists were rotten. So we pulled up the floor, being careful to save as many boards as possible. We wouldn't have enough old flooring to use it all over the house, so we decided to go with new pine flooring in the kitchen and save the kitchen's old wood to use in the dog trot. Once we could walk without falling through the floor and the house was rejoisted and leveled, we got to make a few fun decisions like cabinets, appliance size, and whether to try to get the paint off the walls or paint over it. The kitchen and the bathroom were the only rooms that had ever been painted. Obviously, we decided to paint the kitchen.

We had the cabinets custom made at the house. I wanted them to seem as if they had been there as long as the house and I wanted them to fit our not so square house. We decided on banded pine flooring (which was my mother's design) for the solid cabinet doors and hardware cloth for the upper doors and the pie safe. The pie safe was original, though the doors were gone. For the cabinet tops we went with Formica everywhere except right next to the stove. There we used tile so I could move things off the heat without damaging anything. We went with this arrangement because I wanted a practical kitchen. I didn't want to spend any time worrying about whether I was going to ruin a counter top. Julia Child also recommended a Formica and tile combo.

After having lived in the kitchen two years, there are a few things that I would have done differently. I would have moved the island back toward the refrigerator to give us more walking room around the table. I would have made the harvest table a little smaller. I would have added a ceiling fan to this room somewhere. And I would have thought long and hard about the lighting. I don't have enough light over the stove and I don't like the counter lights. With tall wooden ceilings darkened by years of wood stove use, light seems to disappear just when you need it.

Mostly, I still love what we did with the kitchen - practical farm, with touches of modernism.


Frankie said...

It's simply gorgeous!!! I've seen tidbits of your kitchen before, but I love seeing so much more. I love the color on the walls, too.

Drool, drool, drool.

mull-berry said...


Melora said...

I think it is a beautiful kitchen, and I love the bookcases under the counter!

Angela said...

WOw! Now I can really envision how you can get all that canning done...thank you! Gorgeous and practical, you did a great job maintaining the farmhouse feel with all the modern perks. When can I come over for coffee?

ZILLA said...

FABULOUS choice on the curtain fabric, Sister! (Is that Tab I see on top of the fridge?)

I've lamented the size and placement of my island, too; which is really stupid since I already knew how family milling about while I worked in my old, larger kitchen, drove me nuts. I got the lighting almost right, though -- I wouldn't add or subtract any fixtures, but I would separate the light over the sink from the others on the same switch, give that light a dimmer switch, and maybe take the two over the island off the dimmer switch.

My forty-five year-old eyes think it would be worthwhile to work on getting your lighting the way you need it. Seeing what you're creating in the kitchen provides a large share of the pleasure, after all. (I'll be on your side should you ever decide to pitch the idea to Mr W!!!)

Wisteria said...

Actually, just a few odd bottles in ancient Tab bottle holders. A friend gave the whole set-up, complete with Zinnias, to me when I was sick a few years ago. I've treasured it as a humorous centerpiece. Unfortunately, that old plastic is very fragile. Every time I use it another piece breaks.

Kate in NJ said...

Gorgeous!! I love the bookcases..I have been using my upper cabinets!