Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kitchen envy and my house wish book.

I want to re-do my kitchen.  I've wanted to since we moved into our house.  Seventeen years later, you guessed it, the kitchen is still about the same as when we moved in. 

Other things have come up.  Braces, broken legs, broken jaws, family vacations and hardwood floors are just a few of the things that jumped to the top of the list and my kitchen has suffered for it, suffered horribly. 

The kitchen is small, 8X12 maybe and the cabinets were dark, the countertops are old white laminate and the kitchen was cut off from the rest of the house.  I say was because there used to be a wall between the kitchen and dinning are but one day I got a wild hair and got my husband to punch a hole in the wall in an effort to take it down.  That is why I love him and one of the reasons we've been married for 25 years.  I say, "how about blah, blah, blah" and he says "OK!"  Well the wall is load bearing, it is holding up the kitchen ceiling.  So now we just have a large 'picture window' in the wall.  But the kitchen is still cut off, small and old.  The cabinets are very country with knobs on them.  In an effort to make the kitchen look bigger I painted them white.  If you look by the refrigerator you will see a plank of bare wood on the uppers. 
We bought a new refrigerator, well we bought 2, the first was a nice stainless steel double door with the freezer on the bottom.  We got the smallest one that was sold and it was till too big for the space.  So we took it back and the only one that we 'thought' would fit was this white, freezer on the side one. 

That didn't work out either as the refrigerator is about 5 inches too big.  My husband cut cabinets ad countertops, moved the dishwasher over as well as the upper small cabinet.  To fill in the space he put a piece of plywood.  It's never been painted. 

My dreams for our kitchen. 

1 - remove the wall  between the kitchen and dinning room.  To do this we will either need to remove the drop ceiling or put up a new header beam.
2 - remove the soffit that runs along the top of the cabinets.  If we can't do this I want to add paneling and molding to make it look like the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling. 
NOW - if we remove the drop ceiling we've got other issues.... we would then have to remove the soffit and most likely the upper cabinets would need to be replaced.  I would settle for a new header and keeping the ceiling, whichever is more cost effective. 
3 - New countertops - ours are just YUCK. 
4 - Ideally I would gut the kitchen and start over, take it down to the studs but money wise that isn't always possible. 

I love designer Sarah Richardson.  She is amazing and even if I don't like the style, I love her outcomes.  These are my favorites to date.  Ah gray I am in love with you lately.  I would add a bit more color here, possibly orange.  Love the lantern light fixtures and the dark island. 

This next one by Sarah is a bit lighter but I like the two toned uppers and the beige lowers.  I might put those beige ones on my uppers...

Now this last one may work for my kitchen because it is about the same size... small.  BUT if we can open up the wall I could run cabinets a ways down into the dining room.  Ah to dream! 

Now to do a new kitchen or a new anything you have to sort of pick a style.  Herein lies my problem.  I've talked before that I have decorating A.D.D. there is something about every style that I like.  I try to find the commonality in my selections but I like country, industrial, mid century modern, what I call the California style, Italian, French Country and even some traditional.  So I browse web sites like Houzz - have you ever looked at Houzz.com?  If you haven't be careful, it is as addicting as Pintrest and it is all rooms.
I also look at rooms in movies.  I love the kitchen from 'It's Complicated'

  I like the idea of the arch in my kitchen if we can't remove the wall and go with the header beam idea.  Love the lighting and the stove.  I love the dinning table and chairs.  Really other than the floor, I'd prefer wood, there isn't anything I don't like here! 

I am a far, far away from any of these kitchens but I can dream. 
So I've got a wish book that I keep.  I print pictures and keep them in a sketch book.  I make notes as to the date and what I like and love and even what I don't like about each kitchen, living or other room I print out.  I also have fabric swatches in this book as well as drawings of ideas and paint strips in there as well.   This is my wish for the house book and I keep adding and as my tastes change, I even cross out but never remove them.  After all I chose them at one time for a reason and though those reasons may not work for me now they may in a year or two. 
Do you have a house or room wish book??  If not you should start one.  I go through it weekly and I'm amazed to see how my tastes change but stay the same.  It helps me see that while I may have decorating A.D.D there is a common theme in everything I like and like a haircut I can take bits and pieces of each picture and put it together to make what I love and what works for me.  The book helps me focus and visualize what I want in each room and it helps my hubby see what I'm thinking of in my head.  I source items in the pictures and write down the websites and costs.  This helps me keep a budget in mind and allows me to try and locate the same items at a cheaper price.  Like the dining table above, it is an antique and you can buy one similar, at 9 foot long for around 5K, yes FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!  CRAZY.  But, could one be made?  Could I get one from another maker that is the same shape and stain it to this color - you bet!  Probably at well less than half the price! 
So go and buy a sketch book or even a cheap composition book from Wal-Mart and start printing, clipping and idealizing those rooms! 
Have a great rest of your week. 

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