Our beloved little kitchen was once the room I most disliked. Too small, odd layout, little counter space... the list goes on and on. I originally wanted to gut it entirely and start fresh, but an endless list of other pressing projects left no budget for an entire kitchen overhaul. We opted instead to open the cabinets up, tear down a crazy number of strange light fixtures, replace all the dated appliances and freshen up the entire space with a warm coat of creamy parchment colored paint.
It's amazing how a few thoughtful touches can transform a room.
This cozy space has truly worked it's way into my heart. In fact, I'm not sure I even want to overhaul it anymore. Perhaps it's because I spend an incredible amount of time here chopping and dicing at the butcher block island, stirring pots and pans over the stove, scrubbing dish after endless dish as I gaze out over the backyard. Or maybe it's the endless conversations that happen with friends far and wide as they pull stools up to the counter and settle in while Josh kneads pizza dough and I pile up wooden platters of dates and olives and figs to tide us over. Maybe it's the light in this space, the perfect little window over the sink draped in gauzy curtains, the ease of having everything within reach, or my blissful baking corner across the way. Whatever it is, she sure has charmed me, quirks and all.
A collection of antique blue Ball jars were picked up at flea markets and thrift stores, and the vintage cookbooks came mostly from our annual library sale for 50 cents a piece. We go every year and always land a few gems, once Josh even stumbled upon a leather bound jewel printed in the late 1600's. It's a favorite. We have a serious love of antique/vintage books. We have stacks here and there everywhere. Our cookbook collection got legs after we came home with a huge load a couple years back after a local elderly woman donated her entire collection for the sale, a couple thousand in total.
Sliding glass doors look out over the deck and backyard and simple, gauzy curtains from Ikea soften the space. I love elegant curtains in kitchens. A bit unexpected, always ethereal. $10 Craigslist stools, a perfectly rusty flea market plant stand, a couple of baskets on the wall I saved from a curbside junk pile and freshened with a coat of paint.
The chippy white iron roses and vines mounted on the right remain one of my favorite flea market finds to date. Once upon a time they served as porch pillars.
White and glassware are both inexpensive and easy to come by and look clean and organized without even trying. I have an entire collection of serving ware as well I've picked up for nickels and dimes, literally. Flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, even dollar stores. And the best part? If they break, no big deal. You won't even miss them. I simply keep my eye out for pretty pieces when I'm out and about.
Opening up the cabinets means guests feel more at home. They never have to ask where things are kept or feel awkward pilfering thru closed doors and drawers. It works perfectly with our B&B vibe.
You can buy expensive salt and pepper wells from places like Williams Sonoma, but any small bowl does the trick. I found these guys on clearance at Anthropologie for a few bucks each. (that little table underneath is nothing but a metal wine rack turned on its end and draped in a lacy thrift store curtain, a wooden serving tray on top to hold stove-side odds and ends)
The collection of empty wine bottles is another favorite element. We've collected them for years. Each has a small scroll of paper inside: unread love notes between Josh and I, a few secret hopes and dreams, scrawled prayers, a few with special reminders of where we were, who we were with, what we ate... No plans to do anything with them, all those lovely bottled secrets. Maybe we'll leave them for our kids someday. I love the idea of our children sitting around in some distant future, uncorking each bottle and marveling at our dreams and prayers, our love story.
Humble and quirky and a bit hodge podge-y, light and love-filled to the brim. I literally spend at least half of every day here. I can't say we won't make big changes in the months and years to come, but for now she sure is warm and hospitable... like a lovely old friend. And that definitely causes me to pause and reconsider.
Do you have a room or space you've grown to love?