Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"THIS" is the Story of My Kitchen

We moved into our current home back in 2008 because of our new dog, Max, aka..."The Poodle." The daddy found Max near a busy highway.  A big, beautiful yellow lab with a beautiful heart to match.  We couldn't help but to give him a home.  Max and The Daddy had a "love at first sight" kind of thing."

Max didn't fit in our former home or our old neighborhood.  Actually, he CLASHED all the way around.  About 18 months of "clashing" was all I could take.  We then moved to a new home and a neighborhood where Max now fits in perfectly.

Yes, you read that correctly.  We moved to a better home for the new dog.

We are CRRR-RAAA-ZZZZZZY, people.  I know.  I know.  You can say it out loud if you must.

THIS is the story of my Kitchen.  (Ryan Seacrest voice happening here).

The before, during and after.

The "before" and "during" photos are somewhat lacking.  Actually, they are really bad but they are all I have.  I only took the photos for historical reasons.  Never thinking I would ever share them with you or anyone else for that matter.

Moving on.

You know how they talk about "compromise" on HGTV's House Hunters?

THIS is "compromise" in it's finest form.  New home buyers on the attention.

My 100 pound Max needed a nice big yard.  Sidewalks.  A doggie door and sunshine.  I gave up my fairly new kitchen for all the amenities that The Poodle would need.  Go figure.  I am a softie like that.

I loved everything about the new house except the kitchen cabinets.

They were bad.  I mean, are you pukeing yet?  Don't get me wrong, if you like them, that is okay.  You can.  But I don't.  Never will.

Everyone has their own style of decor.  One of my friends is "traditional" all the way.  Another is more "transitional."  Me?  Well, I am contemporary all the way, baby.  Picture disco ball hanging in the living room,  lipstick colored paint and a purple velvet loveseat in the kitchen.  Yep.  That would be me.  My friend's have beautifully designed homes and I like it FOR them.  Get it?

So...again...if you like these cabinets - it is okay.  Like away.

I will still like you.  Just stand back while I puke.

I thought I could live with them as long as my boyz were happy.

But every day when I looked at them the tension would build.

The table and two chairs came with the house.  We kept them for a while because we had to keep our old house "staged" until it sold.  And yes, we bought another house without selling the old house first.

We needed a little more "CRAZY" in our lives at that time.

Bring on the STRESS, baby!

One day, I couldn't take it any more so I purchased some black stain/paint-ish stuff from Benjamin Moore back in 2010-ish.

We stained/painted them black.  Took off the old hardware and put new, cool hardware back on the drawers only.  The knobs matched the curtains and seat covers that I made.
Again, sorry for the bad pics.

Major improvement on the kitchen table, don't you think?

They looked a lot better.  I was happy.  Sometimes "living within your means" can be challenging.

But wait.....

This project was good for only a few years.  The stain started to chip off.  "Stain" doesn't really chip off.  They called this stuff stain but it was more like paint.

I would repair the chip only to find another in a few weeks.

They were starting to look nasty.

Tension slowly building.

I have issues like that.

Enter my handsome brother.  He can work the magic with "the wood."  Cabinets, entertainment centers, tables, beds, plant stands, hot pads, you name it, he can do it and do it in a most impressive way.  My brother can make "the wood" stand up at attention and talk to him.

Yes, he is just that good.

One day at a family function, I asked him about the cost of new cabinets.  He threw out a number.  Once I picked myself up off the floor and wiped away all my tears, I admitted that the number was NOT in my budget.

Then he proceeded to tell me that HE would re-face my cabinets for a fraction of the cost.

He had been retired from his side business for several years so I was shocked at his offer.  I mean, like, my sister was on my brother's "waiting list" for over 3 years for a scrap book album shelving unit.  YES, THREE YEARS, people.  That brother of mine, he can be a difficult one.

I would most definitely take him up on his offer.

We started in October.  It was an absolute mess.

Notice how the new cabinet frames go all the way to the ceiling.  I totally don't get why some cabinets end about a foot from the ceiling.  I mean, what the heck are you going to do with that space?  Leave it empty?  Nick nacks?  Dirt and dust collection?  Does anyone have a good answer to this question?

The day that my kitchen looked like this was INSANE.  This photo was taken around noon, which is the reason for the bad photo.  Skylight above the table, sun at high noon = too much light.  

Somehow we managed to get things in order within a couple of hours.  It was a close call.

Once everything was completed, I think I can finally be "happy" with my new kitchen and I can sit back and enjoy it!

The cabinets are black, obviously, with flat panel doors that go all the way to the ceiling.  No hardware.      A clean and simple design.  We had glass installed in two of the doors to break up all the black.  We also had glass installed above the window because there is a light there.

Yes, that is a tomato bowl on the counter full of Cherokee Purple tomatoes.  There is also a piece of cake in there.  

Our tomato print up close.  The hubster has "a thing" for home grown tomatoes.  I didn't really know what all the fuss was all about until I moved to Tennessee.  I have "a thing" for them now.

The counter tops are formica.  And yes, there is still popcorn on the ceiling.  Some of you may be pukeing - I mean formica and popcorn are soooooooo yesterday.  Granite and knocked down ceilings are "today".  "If" it is in the budget - it wasn't in mine.  That is okay.  I can live with formica and popcorn.  

I couldn't live with hideous cabinets.  

Since I now had "black on black" cabinets/counter tops, I decided that we needed more "color" in the curtains, chair covers and curtains.  The construction was completed the first weekend in November.  It took me until March to find some fabric that I liked.  I don't think they made purple chevron in 2012.  I had to "wait it out."

This is my "small" mixing station.  The KitchenAid was too large to sit on the counter so I had to bring in this little cart.  

I have some cake stands and plates on the shelf underneath.

My favorite baking books are on the lower shelf.  I sorta have "a thing" for cake and baking books.  They truly are a "good read."  Sort of like a good mystery.

I call this area "the bar."  We obviously don't have a bar or an island but you have to have a place to throw your junk when you walk in the door.  This is it.  Minus the junk.  You don't want to see that big stack of mail that I need to deal with, my big camera or my purse.  Naaaaaahhh.  That would be boring.

So this is a photo of what this area never looks like.  I may just frame this one.

Notice that the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling?  YES.  No dust bunnies.

Besides all the junk that you don't see in this photo, there are a few things you do.  The bread box is where we stash our vitamin chest - hidden and out of the way.   This is also where we keep our "cord station" for charging phones and ipads.

Kleenex.  Yes, Kleenex is a "must have" in my kitchen.

If you eat a lot of "hot and spicy" you know how it makes your eyes water, your nose run and causes you to sweat.  Yes, people, it does all those things.  It is just that good.

Kleenex is a "must have."

This little piece of wall art is where it all began.

I found this in the clearance section for only a few dollars.  It is solid wood.  This very thing not only provided the original inspiration for my previous black & white kitchen but also inspired me to add black & white touches to each room of my top floor.   Those little touches tied all the rooms together.

Black & White totally adds a special kind of "flare" to a room.

I am all about "flare."  Who said that?

It is amazing what one little tiny thing can do.

Last but not least is my big honkin' fridge.  It is not a "counter depth" refrigerator by no means.  It too, is "so yesterday."  It is big, bold and it sticks out just like a big fat belly.

But you know what?  I like it.  Especially, when it is full of food.  I try to keep it that way.

And that purple velvet loveseat?  That was one of my major buying mistakes that has a happy ending.

The hubster and I drove 2-1/2 hours, 1-way to buy that loveseat for the living room.  When he saw it, he told me that the back was too tall.  I had already fallen in love with it so I didn't want it to "not fit."

I was in denial.  I insisted that it would be okay.

We made the purchase and drove the 2-1/2 hours back home.

It didn't work.  The hubster was totally right on.

Since I was not going to drive it back to the store and return it, I decided to put it in the office.  As I was pushing it back to the office, I had an idea.  I made a detour into the kitchen.

 Home sweet home, baby!  The purple velvet loveseat totally rocked the kitchen.

Speaking of...I think it is time for a little snooze.

That purple velvet loveseat is calling my name.

Have you ever lived in a kitchen remodel?

Thanks for stopping by.

See you next time!


  1. Loved your story. You have such an amazing way with your words & you're funny as well.

  2. Thank you for the sweet compliment, Susan! I am totally enjoying my new "budget" kitchen and so is Max!

  3. I love this story, Donna!!! I LOVE that blue paint...and that black and white art!!!!!!! And you already know I dig that kitchen! But mostly, I LOVE your changed your life for a dog. My kind of woman. Love it so much, Donna!!!