Hands down the busiest room in our home.
Whether we’re whipping up scrumptious meals, baking amazing things or simply visting around the island over mugs of cocoa, this room gets used.
Over the past few years, we’ve altered it some and made it our own.
Still a work in progress, and keeping sight of my intention to use what I’ve got to make this house my dream home, I grapple with how much I can accomplish in this space.
It’s not a large room- and the designers of these homes have figured out how to allow for space down to the inch, with some areas generously roomy and others only adequate.
Our kitchen space is adequate.
Add a cook or two and a few kids or other bodies in the room and you get rather cozy.
If I let my imagination money run wild, I’d be changing some things- bigger windows, more open floor plan and maybe even a skylight.
But, I’m content to work within this space.
When we purchased the home, the kitchen looked like this:
Attractive, a little rustic-ranch style (which we like) and easy to live in.
My biggest issues were space around the island (you have to step over the dishwasher door when unloading dishes and tell people to move aside when carrying laundry into the utility room),
the shallow kitchen sink, the range stuck in the corner and the fact that on a cloudy day, the room was rather dark. (Our kitchen faces northeast)
This photo was taken on a bright, spring day :
While we couldn’t fix all of the space issues, we have done a few things that helped make it our own:
On a dark January day, wanting something warmer, I painted the kitchen a toned down shade of gold.
Although I love it, I may repaint it the original color soon; in semi-gloss this time.
The entire house is painted in flat and that doesn’t hold up well to family use.
I then painted the cabinet hardware a bronze color (still need to do pantry doorknob and a few other items)
And added a single-bowl kitchen sink in white to help brighten the room.
I adore this sink!
It also fit into the same footprint as the smaller, shallow sink- with the exception of cutting faucet space- so was a cinch for us to install.
*And by ‘cinch‘ I mean we bought drain and pipe parts, putty and sealants, wrung our hands, watched youtube videos, called my dad, measured about 20 times, took a deep breath… and got after it.
Gave eachother a high-five afterwards for first time sink installation.
We added a new range and range hood, also in white, to help brighten the space.
I must say, that while we’ve always had black or stainless steel appliances in most of our homes, these light-colored kitchen appliances are a breeze to keep clean by comparison.
And last but not least, ‘Mabel’ on the wall, over-seeing everything.
As a girl, I loved reading fairy tales. Common stories and the more obscure tales; I loved them all.
In The Goose Girl, by The Grimm Brothers, the princess’s horse is beheaded by a wicked servant girl who usurped the princess’s identity.
The horse’s head, by request from the true princess, hangs above where she must walk each day to herd the geese.
It was a magic horse, whose name was Falada, and his head still speaks to her daily, reminding her of her promise to her mother.
The cow is my nod to fairy tales and the magic they wove in the mind of a young girl.
‘Mabel Falada’ hangs in my kitchen and while we don’t converse, I imagine her very wise. 🙂
Here are some before and after shots- some of them with only subtle differences.
You can see how I’ve arranged and rearranged items, trying to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t.
The day we bought it, and today.
(We also covered the return air vent in the utility room with a louvered plantation shutter)
Honestly, this kitchen has been the hardest room for me to get right.
I’ve drooled over many a kitchen on Pinterest but the reality is, I need to work with what I have and Pinterest often breeds discontent.
White kitchens are all the rage…and while they’re beautiful, they don’t really appeal to me- because living on a farm doesn’t mesh too well with lots of white.
And I’m a sucker for natural wood and rustic accents mixed with farmstyle charm. And Color.
As I update and tweak the feng shui-ness of my kitchen, I’ll add more posts.
In the meantime, I’ll be using this space. Everything in my home has purpose.
And guess what?
Owning our home outright is worth every bit of struggle to make it my dream home on a budget.
I love my home.
*Title photo credit: recipecurio.com