Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Kitchen Tour: Surrounded By Ancestors And Cottage Style

I blame the cover of an old Country Living magazine. Nothing less than seeing my dream kitchen come to life would've made me go through a couple months of remodeling hell. Cooking with a microwave, the refrigerator taking over the family room, and dealing with the dust from refinishing and laying down wood flooring. At least we did it after ManO and I became empty nesters.

I wish I could show you a before picture of my kitchen. Didn't take any. My bad. When we broke down and redid our two decades old house, worn white linoleum, cheap, splattered cabinet fronts, and counters with stains of meals gone wrong made the room an eyesore. Every single room had a different dark wall color. The Duke blue dining room led to a Robin Hood green kitchen. And then there was the built in desk no one liked to use.

But all that inconvenience was worth it. After adding wood floors, lightening the wall color to a nice Tuscan beige, putting on beadboard doors, new hardware, tile back splash and a lovely gray Corian type counter, it looks like this:

Well, I might be fibbing a little. The counters are never this clean or uncluttered.  I'm always chopping or staging or using them for a project with the grandkidlets.


When we originally built the house, we made sure one piece of furniture had a special place in the kitchen, the pie safe that ManO and his father built back the year my son was born. What I always remember is being exhausted all the time and not hearing ManO punch the copper panels in the next room. Pregnancy takes it out of a girl. 


My kitchen is decorated with family heirlooms from both sides of the family. The clock? It's from our newlywed days and reminds us where we came from!  


Everything has a purpose or is repurposed or has memories attached.


We have a regular old counter top microwave after having to repair or remove THREE over the stove appliances in the course of our thirty year marriage. The desk counter no one used has converted into deep drawers and cabinets to hold the turkey roaster, turkey platter and small appliances. All the items above are heirlooms from my grandparents, pictures of my grandparents or paintings of the family farm I visited every summer.   


Favorite spot in the kitchen:  I love standing at my sink and checking out the bird feeder and the squirrels' antics.

Favorite thing about my kitchen:We managed to create a cottage style kitchen with lots of storage, something a real centuries old cottage probably wouldn't have! And it's pretty close to that cover of Country Living I found years ago.

Favorite kitchen organizing tip: You don't see the huge pantry to the right of the cabinets and can barely see the little spice cabinet on the wall (another newlywed purchase). I make sure to keep all my spices, baking items, cereals and canned goods as far away from the heat of the stove as possible to keep them lasting longer.

So, have you ever remodeled a kitchen? What do you like best about your cooking space? What do you wish you could change?

22 comments:

  1. So pretty! I hope you're having a fabulous time in Hawaii!

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  2. Research has been interesting this go round for sure.

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  3. Beautiful, Julie. And so clean. :) the one thing I long to have is a designated place for everything. I love how you repurposed the desk area. We have one of those, though it doesn't serve much purpose, except that it's a horizontal surface, which means it's a catch-all. Sigh.

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    1. You know when the kids were at home and I was working in churches there were so many times I wanted to hang up a grade B sanitation certificate up. And in reality ManO and I have never met a horizontal surface we didn't want to put stuff on.

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  4. Very nice kitchen Julie, I like your mix of old and new. That's how I decorate my home, meaningful things from generations past and present.

    About 15 years ago, I painted my cabinets. Whew! what a job that was. I took the doors and drawers outside, all 32 of 'em, and primed and painted all summer long. Inside was worse, while priming the bases, there was no way to get away from the smell. Like you discovered, all the work was worth it. I have to do touch ups yearly, but you can definitely see when your cabinets are clean, or not ;)

    I still have countertops and a beadboard backsplash on my to-do list. One day.

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    1. Wow what a job. Good on you. Things seem to cycle between painted wood and the real thing. But I like things bright.

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  5. Love the bead board. My last house in Colorado had white bead board, black appliances and a gray counter top. AND WOOD floors. Had it all done before I moved in. Yes. Country Living!@!

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  6. It's beautiful! And I love the pie safe. No wonder you like hanging out there. :)

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  7. Your cottage kitchen is charming! I love the beadboard cabinets and your displays of special family treasures...especially the pie safe.

    Fortunately, I haven't lived through a kitchen remodel. We seem to move every five years, so I get a new kitchen that way. But I don't recommend that method!

    Thanks for sharing your kitchen, Julie!

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    1. Thanks, Sheridan. We remodel so we don't have to move! And know it is hard dor folks to leave kitchens they love.

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  8. Beautiful kitchen, Julie! I love the colors and the mix of old and new :)

    Like Sherida, I've moved more than I've remodeled. I'm looking forward to being in one place long enough to need a remodel.....

    Enjoy Hawaii!

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    1. Jan, I met someone today who reminded be of you and your brood. They just bought a 7000 square ft house to accommodate every one.

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  9. Wait...Julie is in Hawaii??? How is that fair?!

    Love your kitchen but I'm in love with that pie safe. I have a stupid question though. What exactly is a pie safe? One would assume in the olden days cooks would stash their pies in them so the flies wouldn't get at them? I would think they would go bad pretty quickly though. So nowadays what does a person store in a pie safe?

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    1. It's not fair, Kav. She's claiming it's work, research or something like that. But Hawaii is still Hawaii, so I suppose we should encourage her to have a good time. And then maybe bring us some of those chocolate covered macadamia nuts. ;)

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    2. You are right on the money about Hawaii and the piesafe. My autocorrect even tried to correct Kav to lava!

      Now we store our napkins and tablecloths and stuff like that. Oh and binoculars to bird watch.

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  10. nice! my kitchen is small and odd-shaped- supposed to be a galley or hall kitchen? but it goes around stuff LOL and the fridge sticks out. I WILL make it work though! I don't want to move and really for just me I should be fine - need to re-arrange stuff and clear the counters and toss extra stuff. I wish I could hang pots above my head but my ceilings aren't high enough. besides a small kitchen is less to clean right?!
    Susanna

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    1. Yes. If you can cook in it that's what counts!

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  11. Beautiful, Julie! I'm sorry I didn't get by yesterday. I especially love the pie safe.

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