Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kitchen reveal!

My kitchen is finished!
This is very exciting as I do a fair amount of cooking and when I first viewed the apartment I was a little worried that I wasn't going to be able to turn this kitchen into a bright and cheerful space to work in. There are so many things that weren't going to be changeable from the odd layout to the old cabinets to most of the paint and hardware. There were strange shelves glued to the walls and electrical outlets in all sorts of inconvenient places. But after living with it for a few months and figuring out what it was that I needed to make the space most functional I made a list and got to work. You may recall from when I first moved in that the room was dark, with a red accent wall, appliances on top of the cabinets blocking the view from the sink and stove, and not enough storage or work space. 

I started by repainted the accent wall yellow and painting all the trim in the same semi gloss white as the rest of the apartment. This was the first thing I did in my kitchen makeover and it made me confident enough to move forward with the rest of the changes. I also had my handy father come in and plane down the sides of all of the cabinets so that they could close again. I have a feeling this kitchen has been repainted so many times it's gotten a bit smaller and of course that means the cabinet doors have gotten a bit bigger, so they would no longer close, which was disappointing but not so now!

On the subject of paint, I found that one of the most effective changes I could have made was painting the dark mismatched cabinet below the sink to match the white of the rest of the kitchen, and added hardware. I also painted all of the drawer pulls and cabinet hardware a brighter yellow to unify them as they were both of varying sizes and styles, and unfortunately painted over so many times they were un-removable from the cabinets themselves. I also removed several unused and mismatched shelves above the sink and relocated the paper towels to under the cabinets as well as adding a magnetic knife strip to make more space on the counter top.

To add more storage as well as work space, I installed two shelves in the empty space above the stove, and I had my helpfully handy father cut a shelf to fit next to it to utilize the empty space, and of course, more importantly, provide me with a place to put my pancake batter when I'm making breakfast.
I added a stainless steel work table to the space where the table and chairs used to be, which provided both storage and work space. The shelf holds pantry goods and dishes and the two vintage crates below were borrowed (permanently) from my parents and upgraded with castors to make it easier to get to my baking pans, and canning jars.

I took the microwave and toaster oven off of their  perches on the cabinets which made the view from one side of the kitchen to the other much more open and it now feels like a friendly space when friends keep me company while I cook. I moved both appliances to the wooden kitchen cart my roommate already had next to the door. I also added the wire grid over the no longer used ironing board closet so that I could store most of my tools where I could see them (this was probably inspired my watching Julie and Julia the night before I went to the container store and having Julia Child's pegboard kitchen on my mind).
Overall I feel I was able to make a space that I now enjoy working in with a pretty minimal budget.

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