Last night I picked up an amazing dresser that I purchased via Craigslist. The sellers had a gorgeous 100 year old home in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, one of my fav garage sale haunts. Their house was stunning, and their decor was equally fabulous. However, I always feel a little sad when I see one of these houses that has been entirely re-done inside. Some of the original features were retained such as doors and crown molding, but the kitchen was obviously a complete gut job. They now have marble counter tops, stainless steel appliances and modern looking dark wood cabinets. Again, stunning, but yet it still makes me a little sad. I wonder what the original kitchen was like.
This brings me to my kitchen. I have tried to retain the quaint 1900’s farmhouse quality over the years. I’m not saying that my way is better, it’s just my preference.
When we moved in to our house in 1987 the kitchen was mustard yellow and country blue and fully wallpapered. Here is the only photographic evidence of that time.
Sorry Annie, Chris, Kurt & Mike. I have totally published this picture without permission, but you look great in it, so no biggie, right? Annie, you have always been amazingly photogenic. Even in the 80’s.
We have made a lot of changes to the kitchen since then. It first went through a period when it was peach and navy blue, with a fruit themed wallpaper border. Ah yes, remember the hey day of the wallpaper border? Strangely enough, I don’t have any pictures of that version of the kitchen.
Then in 2006 we decided a more thorough remodel was in order. It was another case of the domino effect. It started with mainly wanting to put in new sink and counter top and do some painting. In the end we tore out the plaster and removed particle board ceiling tiles and then added new sheet rocked walls and ceiling, re-wired the electrical and added lights over the counters and more outlets, ripped out a vinyl floor and refinished the original wood underneath and widened the opening to the next room. Yikes!
In the end, it was all worth it because now we have a lovely kitchen. It probably wouldn’t suit someone who loves to cook and spends a lot of time in the kitchen, but it’s perfect for us. I’ll be honest, my kitchen doesn’t get used all that much for actual cooking. I like to joke around that I have to dust my stove, but really, I do
As you can see, we have very limited counter space. We’ve thought about adding an island, but it would be smack in the middle of a major traffic area since we have to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom, and to get in and out of the house. If you are wondering about the floor, yes you read that right earlier, this floor had been covered up by vinyl. Mr. Q spent hours and hours removing the approximately one million little staples holding it in place. We then had it sanded, and the checkerboard stain added (the dark squares are stained, the light squares are natural).
This is my wall of cupboards. It’s plenty of cupboard space for us. Originally the top row of cupboards had solid doors just like the rest, but they actually were mostly empty. We have to stand on a ladder to reach them, and just didn’t need to store things up there. So, I decided to cut out the doors and add chicken wire, then display my collection of ironstone up there. In hindsight, I really wish I had thought to add lights when we re-did the wiring, but dang it, I didn’t. Still kicking myself over that one. We did add a subway tile back splash and the under-cabinet lighting.
Most everything I decorate with comes from garage sales. The child sized folding chair came from a sale, I painted the seat with chalkboard paint, added a metal number tag and hung it on the wall (Although, to be honest, first I put it in my occasional sale and no one bought it. I believe the price was $22. How is this even possible? Look how cute it is!). The fabulous carved wooden Krishna statue came from a garage sale too, and the blue metal bike seat/message board came from The Cottage Sale put on by Josie Jones (as you can see, I love it Natalie and it fit perfectly in this spot in my kitchen).
The Norwegian cheese plates that are hanging on the wall above the chair are garage sale finds as well. Aren’t they fantastic? I paid a mere $1 for the pair. I did some research after I purchased them and learned that the phrase on them, skjær pent av osten, translates to something like “treat the cheese nicely” and was meant as a reminder to slice the cheese evenly so that everyone got their fair share … or something like that. They are a nod to my Norwegian maternal grandparents.
Thank you for taking a tour of my kitchen today. If you ever stop by, I may not cook you a meal, but I would certainly open a bottle of wine and serve you some cheese that has been treated nicely.