I’ve had a bit of a stomach bug this week, so forgive the lack of a post yesterday!
This past Sunday, I spent every spare moment doing something I love and don’t have much time for – organizing. Perhaps I felt inspired by getting to hang out be silly with Jen from IHeartOrganizing (who is so down to earth and pleasant to talk to by the way – don’t you ever wonder what your fave bloggers are like in real life?) at the Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker event in NYC last week!
BHG Stylemakers 2013
If you follow me on Instagram (@astoriedstyle), you probably saw a week or so ago that the makeshift “wall” between our kitchen and the new room finally came down. Wahoo!
Those wood boards were in front of dear, dear drawers – you know, the ones with your scissors and tape and pens and extra keys. I was not home when said wall was erected, and I was very sad to see those drawers had been covered. It has been months – months! – since I have been reunited with my favorite chalk pens and sharp scissors, and it has been a happy reunion.
But then…then I had to begin bringing the kitchen items that have been packed in my living room forever into my kitchen. Finally! I have been anticipating this kitchen reorganize for quite some time, so I whipped out a large box to put garage sale items in and went to work.
Our kitchen is not very big, and storage space is not ample, so I knew I needed to do some major purging of items I have not ever used since I got married. Do you have these? Fondue set anyone?
This lazy susan cabinet literally pains me – I am always shoving things in here, and it is one big mess all the time.
I took everything out and wiped it. I also wiped the interior of every cabinet and drawer in my kitchen until they were sparkly, lemon-y clean. It was wonderful. (in a hard work internal reward sort of way) And then I pared everything down to what I really use. In the nearly nine years I have been married, I have cooked enough meals to know what I really need. I tried to apply the same rules to thinning out your closet to thinning out my kitchen:
If you haven’t worn it in a year (or ever), toss it. (in the garage sale box, of course)
If it has a hole or is damaged…again, toss it.
My policies were indeed paying off when the cabinet above went from looking like that hot mess to this.
The cabinet under the countertop between the addition and the kitchen feels really cavernous to me. Things seem to get lost in there so I headed to Home Depot and purchased two of these drawer units. They mount by screws to the bottom of the shelf, and I installed them in five minutes each or less. And let me tell you, they are amazing! Cavern cabinet, be gone!
I saved the best for last because it thrills me to have a drawer like this. I feel like only my coolest cooking friends have one, and now I can join their ranks. Behold…
the uber-organized utensil drawer!!
I LOVE that I can see everything (these items used to be thrown in a drawer, yuck), and all of my most used cooking utensils are within close reach. It took me the whole day, but my kitchen is now clean and organized (even the darkest corner of my darkest cabinet), and it feels so so good.
Plus I had this huge box full of items for my much needed garage sale! (adorable baby not for sale)
I’m curious to know how many of you are happy with your current kitchen’s organization. What are your tips?
As I said before, the kitchen was something that had been renovated before we bought the house. There were things we liked, and things we did not like. The granite is “kashmir white”, and I have to say, if I were choosing a kitchen countertop, and I had to choose granite, that is exactly the color I would pick. It is so pretty, and almost has a marble feel to it. I also really like the cabinetry style and the architectural details like the fluted corners. Since the things we did not like were minor (well, fairly minor, see my backsplash makeover here), we have been changing things up over the last year. But to understand the journey to our mini makeover, you have to see where we started, right?
Behold the MLS photos of our kitchen!
You can see here the room was painted a mustard color. I don’t know if you can really tell from this photo, but the panes in the cabinets were shower glass. There was also what we lovingly called the “pool hall” light fixture. The hardware was bronze.
This photo illustrates the tiny, and I mean tiny, size of that island “bar” overhang. See how far the counter stools stick out from underneath it? I’m still not totally sure what the thought was behind that. The overhang is about 10″, normal is 21″, and the bare minimum is usually 17″. I pondered adding cabinetry there (see this post), but it was too cost prohibitive so I am still brainstorming.
You can also see the old back door in this photo pre-addition. That back door is gone now as is that tiny cabinet and window. We left the countertop because I wanted to keep the counter space, and the new opening to the room goes from the right side of the doorframe all the way to the left wall!
And here it is now!
You can see I painted the bottom cabinets, and I painted them Benjamin Moore’s “Rockport Gray” to match the island. It is grey with a hint of taupe, and feels slightly contemporary without being over the top. Tip: To save money on repainting your cabinets, paint the trim and bases yourself and send the doors to someone that will spray them. Make sure you take them your paint can versus the painter color matching your color choice. You do not want any “oops” paint!
When we moved in, we moved into a house with no refrigerator, which was a big surprise. We worked it out with the previous owners, but we ended up buying a new fridge. I found this JennAir white glass refrigerator (it’s not just white, it has a translucent white glass front) on clearance at a local appliance warehouse and fell in love. JennAir had discontinued it, and the salesman told me it had sat there for months “since it was not stainless steel”. I snatched it up and am so happy with it! It is gorgeous!
I knew I wanted brass hardware in the kitchen, but it is H-A-R-D to fine unlacquered brass kitchen hardware. I did not want the 80′s-esque polished brass look, and wanted it to be a little more weathered and patina looking. I found the pulls I was looking for at Horton Brasses, a family owned company I was happy to support. Their customer service was great! My pulls are the “Queslett” pulls in the Semi-Bright finish. These were definitely my splurge of our mini makeover, but I am thrilled with how they look against the gray cabinets! I also considered this more cost effective option from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot, but ultimately decided against it since there was not an extra long handle in this style for my dishwasher.
Then came the knob debate…since I had splurged on the pulls, I knew I needed to keep cost down with the knobs. I didn’t love any of the coordinating knob options from Horton Brasses, and they were expensive anyway. Then I found these unlacquered brass knobs at Home Depot, and they looked great with the new pulls! Bonus: they were less than $2.00 each!
Although I love the warmth of the brass on the gray cabinets, the jury is still out on how I feel about the brass against the white cabinets. I may end up changing these out, I’m not quite sure yet. I’ve considered these, these, and these. (feel free to express your opinion) You can also see we changed out the shower glass panes for clear glass panes.
I got a few comments last week on the chandelier, and it was not a new purchase, but simply a “shop your house” moment. This crystal beauty is original to my 1921 home, and we moved it from the dining room to the kitchen. The little mercury glass pendant made the move from or old house – I found it at an antique store and painted the black cord white. You can also see the new paint color – Martha Stewart’s Bakery Box White.
Across from the kitchen sink is my small pantry made up of four cabinets. I changed out the bronze hardware for these 6″ acrylic pulls for the smaller upper cabinets and these 14.5″ pulls for the taller lower cabinets. I love the look! The walkway between the island and these cabinets is not very big so I wanted hardware that would be less obtrusive.
They definitely add a sense of elegance to what would otherwise be a boring set of cabinets.
Then came the faucet. You guys, why are faucets so expensive? The faucets I was looking at were around $700 which did not quite fit with my mini makeover. So I took to the Internets and found this bridged faucet beauty in Polished Nickel. For $225, I got the look I wanted, at what I consider to be great quality for the price. Seriously, I was impressed when I took this out of the box. It was heavy and well made. (Transparency: The only thing I don’t like about the faucet? The screws on the top of the handles versus having a pretty “Hot” or “Cold” decoration. For the price however, I can get over that.)
I chose polished nickel because it has a lovely warmth to it, and can take on a slight golden tone which worked with my brass hardware.
I added art to the windows above the sink to make that area a little more interesting. I haven’t done anything with window treatments so I added a vintage paint-by-number (more about these in this post) and a piece of art I picked up for $15 at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn’t be heartbroken if something happened to these, and they look nice there for now.
Plus they help distract from the fact the windows are different. Can you spot it? (for those of you who read “Highlights” as a kid)
All in all, my kitchen makeover cost less than $700. It has taken about a year to do, but I am happy with how it has turned out. You can see I have mixed hardware quite a bit in this room (does that scare you?), which I have never done in a previous home. And I have to say, I love how it helps to take away the sterile feel from the kitchen. This room is definitely more warm and unique and interesting now. One step at a time, and your home can tell the story you want it to.
Want to remember how to mix hardware and finishes? Here are some tips!
And of course, the before & after.
Hope you enjoyed it!
Also, thank you to all who entered for the $250 Home Depot gift card #BountyChallenge giveaway! I used random.org to choose a number between 1 and 171 (the number of comments I had at the time), and the lucky number was…
Number 112′s comment was Meredith’s! Congratulations!
Have you ever done a mini makeover on your kitchen, or are you contemplating one?