Monday, October 3, 2011

In My Kitchen

It's been a busy week...one full of nice things.  One of them was a visit from my parents on Saturday.  My mother is a basket weaver and she made this neat basket for me.
I commented one time on how much I liked hers and she brought one for me. I'm using it for my grocery list.  It filled a spot that needed something.  I hung it here next to the back door:

Doesn't it fit just perfectly there?
It hangs above the best little stool in the world.  I bought it at an auction and have to say it is one of our family's favorite pieces of furniture.  It is used daily.  It  is tall enough for a seat and short enough for a step stool.  We call it the "milking stool" even though I know it's probably not really what it was designed to be. It's also in just the right spot to sit on when I get tired of stirring something on the stove.

 While I was taking the picture of my basket, I thought I would tidy up the kitchen and start my first installment of my "This Old House" series.

Our house was built in 1938.  We still have the original blueprints.  This room was divided into two very small rooms.  One was the kitchen, the other the breakfast room with a window.  A wall was in place right where my stove top sits now.  The kitchen was remodeled after a fire somewhere around the 1950's or 1960's.  The wall was removed and solid maple cabinets with soffits around the kitchen were installed.  This was the only room we remodeled when we bought this house seven years ago.  I wish I had a before picture, but by the time I thought of it, dust was flying and soffits and plaster were laying on the floor.

We found the original cabinets from 1938 in the basement and reinstalled the upper cabinets on either side of the sink. The bottom two cabinets  became the base for the stove top.  We tore out the soffits, reused the solid lower cabinets, and replaced the doors to coordinate with the old cabinet doors.  I matched the hardware as closely as possible and  had a few shelves built to fill in the empty spots. I already had the baskets that you see from our previous house and they fit just perfectly.  (I love it when things like that happen!)

The angled wall is the laundry shoot coming from the second floor.  I have a little door right next to the oven and can just toss my dish towels down in a jiffy. Even with the custom cabinet work that was needed, we saved a lot of money in this remodel by reusing existing materials.

I used  mostly neutral colors so that if I get tired of it, I just have to paint one cabinet, the crown molding and the shutters.  We pulled up two layers of linoleum floor and sanded and sealed the rough pine subflooring.  It is naturally distressed from years of use. The best part about it is that it really hides dirt!


I find the kitchen is a haven for clutter.  I really try to keep the counters free of everything except that which I use on a regular basis.  Even that sometimes is just too much.  There are lots of places for dust to gather in this kitchen. 
I try to only decorate with things that are meaningful. I tend to leave things undecorated until I feel it is "just right".  Unfortunately, that takes years sometimes.

If you look around, you will see antique blue canning jars given to me by a friend, pitchers around the top of the room, each with a special meaning, the two McCoy cookie jars are a recent addition from my mother-in-law and meant for my girls when they leave home.   I just placed them up high to keep them from getting broken.  I need to work on this...they aren't even artfully placed.

You can also see the window that needs curtains so badly over the kitchen sink.  I'm thinking lace....but am so indecisive that it may be a while.

I really love our pieced together kitchen.  I love the way it is filled with special things. I love the way it is more functional now, but preserved the character of the old house.

Above the kitchen sink is a sign we bought when we moved into this house.  "It's a Wonderful Life" is our favorite movie and also how we feel about the life we live.  We feel very blessed and this sign serves as a reminder on days that tend to overwhelm.

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