Today is all about working with what you’ve got.
For two reasons; one, I’m traveling for the next couple of days with only my phone as a blogging tool. However since my little friend is a smart(ypants) phone this should be a breeze! She’s got all the photos I need, clever little apps to help me write & post, and the handiest ability to determine my exact proximity to the nearest Starbucks at any given moment!
And two – the idea of working with what you’re given is a difficult and frankly, underrated concept.
Take kitchens for example. There are a billion ways to customize a kitchen. When it comes to kitchens if you want it, someone sells it. And it’s probably wifi enabled.
I’ve had a series of small kitchens through two apartments and one house. All of them were small, modest and, in my opinion just right.
I’m not big into big when it comes to kitchens. If you really stop to evaluate your everyday usage I bet you’re like me and you use the same half dozen tools for most food preparation. And yet we devote vast amounts of precious real estate to conveniently house a specialty juice mixer we use maybe once a year.
Although if you use your juice maker everyday then firstly, it deserves a place of prominence and secondly, good on ya!
The final thing I like about small kitchens is that there’s less to clean. I am a lazy, borderline indifferent housekeeper. The less I’m responsible for cleaning the more likely I am to actually do it.
Besides, I find joy, challenge and ultimately deep personal satisfaction out of taking a tiny (sometimes ugly) space and making it not only functional but welcoming. Also, if I’m gonna spend that amount of time doing dishes you can be damned sure I’m gonna have something pretty to look at!
Which brings me to my fourth and current kitchen. Or as I like to call it: “The Room where Beige went to Die”. Check it out:
As you can see he first step to fixing it up was to remove some of the upper cabinet doors.
Fellow renters take note: your landlady may not take kindly to this. Follow my lead – be very careful not to damage the doors in removal and carefully store the hardware. I drew a diagram and assigned every door and hinge a number. For example, Door 1 is secured with Hinge 1A on the top and 1B at the bottom. The doors, diagram and individually labelled hinges are stored safely at the back of a closet. When I move out all I’ll have to do is pop the doors back on. Easy!
Once the doors were out of the way I painted all faces of the cabinets a clean crisp white (Snow White by Benjamin Moore if anyone is interested). Then I used a deep aqua (the name of which currently escapes me) on the back faces only.
I thought about getting fancy with a pattern across the back but I reasoned that my lovely collection of plates and glasses would pop more against a simple colour background. Here we are testing that theory:
Yup, it was decided – plain colour would work.
So there you go, once again a bucket of paint saves the day. Or a least gives it a good face lift. Let’s not get delusions of grandeur Snow White!
You’ll notice most of these shots are from the counter up. But Beck, you ask, how’s the rest of the kitchen? Is it still beige? Oh yeah, it is. But you know what? You paint that bright a colour at eye level and no one ever notices anything else!
Besides, I’ve got more kitchen updates planned and I’d rather wait until they’re in place before I zoom out on the photos. I might be pragmatic but that doesn’t mean I ain’t vain!
PS. Thanks to Shelani for the kind shout out on her blog yesterday! You rock!