Open Shelf Options

The kitchen is jussssst about complete and I want to show it to you, but I also want it to be a little more breathtaking than it is at the moment. One thing that needs to happen: open shelves to fill the bare blank white wall. I am so glad we decided not to install wall cabinets. We didn't need the space and they definitely would have cluttered the room.

Right now, the color palette is monochrome. Gray floors, white fronts, dark gray counters, white walls. We need to get some stuff on those white walls - colorful stuff - to bring it to life. Here's where the open shelving comes into play. The internet never fails to overwhelm me in decision-making processes, so I'm halting my search and presenting these as recommendations to myself:

I quite like how the back splash runs up to a very thin line of a shelf in the top left photo. The mounting of that piece would require some investigation, which is why something with brackets (top right) could be more feasible.

Image via The Design Chaser
Image via Nicole Franzen

Image via Nicole Franzen

These two are quite clean. The black shelves, which I believe are from Ikea, would be placed next to each other if space allowed. And while the wood look of the bottom right photo is charming, I'm really looking for something that requires minimal assembly and time.

Let' s mull these over together and come back with a decision. Meeting adjourned.

Under a Kitchen, Part 2

I only had one meltdown during our time without a kitchen, which I feel is an admirable amount for a two-week window of living in a dust-filled house with extremely limited first-floor access.

At the end of last week, we were finally able to move the stove back into the kitchen and to start assembling the boxes and boxes of drawers stacked throughout the first floor. This week, the fridge went back into place and we slid those drawers right into their new homes.

Ikea assembly is awful, but also not so awful, but also a little awful. By the time you get the hang of things, it's over. The kitchen manuals have a lot of what I like to call 'Bonus Instructions', which are like a Choose Your Own Adventure within the assembly manual, except that you don't want to choose the wrong adventure because then your kitchen won't work.

The real reason you are here is probably to see some Before and After pictures. It's the whole reason I'm here, too. We're about 90% of the way done, which seems like as good a time as any to deliver you a visual update.

Before

Before

End of Day 1

End of Day 1

Week 2-ish

Week 2-ish

End of week 2

End of week 2

The corner cabinet's farewell tour:

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We don't quite know what to do with all of this new storage space! The counters should be installed in about a week, so we're getting by with some more makeshift situations - which we are all too familiar with - until they arrive. Some more finishing touches and we are home free.

Under a Kitchen

The kitchen is currently in the dining room, as well as in other parts of the house. The kitchen itself is completely gutted and undergoing a face lift. 

We did as much demo as we could ourselves. Tearing down the drop ceiling in the kitchen exposed an interesting ceiling situation, which the contractors quickly covered up with drywall. Praise be to drywall. Praise be to removing fluorescent lighting.

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We had every intention of tearing out the corner cabinet, my sworn enemy, but the contractor needed it out a little quicker than our timeline budget for, so they got to yank that sucker out and discard of it forever. I'm guessing they were able to crack the cold ones we intended to crack when we finished destroying this piece. Praise be to no corner cabinets.

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When we set out to renovate the kitchen, we intended to do about 50% of it ourselves. Now, seeing how quickly the pros move, we're rethinking that percentage and letting them take the wheel on the bulk of the install. My mom, who is up for Under a House MVP this year, helped me build the cabinet frames last night, but the contractors are going to do the mounting. 

Honestly, I'm bummed that we can't leave our DIY stamp on this renovation save for a few elements, but knowing when to let things go is a big part of this renovation life. Getting everything done right and done quickly is the top priority and the contractors give me homework, like building cabinets and cleaning the subfloor, to make me feel a little less useless. 

Rugs in the Kitchen

When we stayed in Stockholm this summer, our Airbnb host had the coolest of everything, including a worn down in the most perfect way Persian rug in her kitchen. My mom was all about it and so was I. 

My cursory research showed such rugs were quite expensive, even at auction. I put a pin in it and kept my eyes open for ways to acheive looks like these:

Image via hemtrevligt.se

Image via hemtrevligt.se

Image via honestlywtf.com

Image via honestlywtf.com

I'm lucky to have a mom who remembers little nuggets of information when it comes to things I like. Last week, she was at an estate sale in DC and came across a dusty old rug for only $30! She swooped it up for me because she's a pretty great mom. Check it out:

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It certainly meets the "lived in" criteria, but the colors are on point and the size is just right.

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I don't know much about rugs, but this one looks ok to me.

Now that we have the rug in place, we just have to build that dang kitchen. Baby steps.