A Story About our Kitchen

Posted: December 9, 2014 by Rachel

I’m going to ask you for your help at the end of this all, but first, a little story.

I have this thing with my kitchen. I seem to never be satisfied with how it looks. I want to change this, I want to change that. I don’t like the positioning of this, or how much counter space that takes up. It’s a battle (and a dumb one at that) that I wage on myself.

I’m constantly moving things around, looking for new storage solutions, trying to keep as much off of the counters as I can, then adding things back in. And don’t even get me started on how the kitchen table always ends up being a dumping ground (new years resolution number x: stop dumping).


Where to hold my small collection of cookbooks seems to be one of the biggest battles. I’ve moved them around about a hundred times, never satisfied for too long with where they have been positioned.
And then it hit me: the cookbooks don’t have to be in the kitchen!
I have perfectly good storage in the family room just around the corner. Ample bookshelf. And they would probably look better there anyways!

So when I went on a cleaning frenzy like I seem to do most Mondays, I moved the cookbooks out of the kitchen, clearing off the counters just a little bit more. And it made me oh so happy.
And the new table! The new table built by my husbands hands has made such a difference. We now have something that suits us better, that is ours.

But that’s just the beginning, really.
The kitchen is the only room in the house that feels forgotten. It doesn’t say anything about the people who cook there and live there. It’s cold and boring and lacking… something.
I would like to change that. I have thoughts of making curtains for the window, and of candles adorning the counters.

Thanks so much for everyone’s suggestions. You, dear readers, are the best.

20 Comments

  • andrea December 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    good question. really good question. I can see your kitchen is very clean and I guess that makes it seem "cold".
    The curtains are a very good idea. And how about plants? You could put some on top of those hanging cabinets.
    And how about a bowl of fruits instead of the plate?
    I love the look of this kitchen: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/64387469646126811/
    plants and open shelving.
    Then I would add photos. In the kitchen I like food themed photos. There are very beautiful ones.
    And if I could pick I would always make the kitchen cabinets white.

    Reply
  • andrea December 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    good question. really good question. I can see your kitchen is very clean and I guess that makes it seem "cold".
    The curtains are a very good idea. And how about plants? You could put some on top of those hanging cabinets.
    And how about a bowl of fruits instead of the plate?
    I love the look of this kitchen: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/64387469646126811/
    plants and open shelving.
    Then I would add photos. In the kitchen I like food themed photos. There are very beautiful ones.
    And if I could pick I would always make the kitchen cabinets white.

    Reply
  • rachel December 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I should have been more specific in that changing the cabinets isn't an option. I really just want to add some decorations and such.

    Reply
  • rachel December 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I should have been more specific in that changing the cabinets isn't an option. I really just want to add some decorations and such.

    Reply
  • rachel December 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Also, there really isn't much wall space in the kitchen to hang photos πŸ™

    Reply
  • rachel December 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Also, there really isn't much wall space in the kitchen to hang photos πŸ™

    Reply
  • Kelsey, Especially December 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I have a similar set-up in that there isn't much wall space for hanging photos or other art, and our cabinetry looks almost identical to yours. I added some personality by alternating small plants and larger framed photos (5×7 at the smallest) on top of the cabinets at evenly spaced intervals. If you go with framed photos, larger frames work better since your view is obstructed from the ground. You can set them atop an old book or small empty box (from like, muffin mix or something) to add a little height (just make sure you can't see the box peeking over the top lip of the cabinet from afar), and place them in the center or even a little behind center.

    The curtain idea is fantastic – it'd look so great above the kitchen sink.

    Perhaps switching out the lampshade, or DIY-ing the interior of it for a little pizzaz: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/easy-diy-decorating.

    You can also change out the cord on your hanging lamp, or wrap thick colored yarn or braided cord around it (like 550 cord, which is thin).

    You're super into black and white, so I wouldn't go overboard with slathering your kitchen in color. Little pops with plants atop the cabinetry and either colored photos in simple frames or black & white photos in mixed-and-matched colorful, patterned frames atop the cabinetry will definitely add small pops of color in an easy-to-stomach dose.

    Cushions on the chairs (not the bench). Fruit bowl on the table. Patterned and solid dish towels. A runner on the floor on either side of the island (fridge side and sink side). A large patterned rug under the table (patterned in order to hide food crumbs and spills better).

    I would refrain from cluttering the front or side of the fridge.

    Hmm. I'm sure I have more. Let me think on this…

    Reply
  • Kelsey, Especially December 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I have a similar set-up in that there isn't much wall space for hanging photos or other art, and our cabinetry looks almost identical to yours. I added some personality by alternating small plants and larger framed photos (5×7 at the smallest) on top of the cabinets at evenly spaced intervals. If you go with framed photos, larger frames work better since your view is obstructed from the ground. You can set them atop an old book or small empty box (from like, muffin mix or something) to add a little height (just make sure you can't see the box peeking over the top lip of the cabinet from afar), and place them in the center or even a little behind center.

    The curtain idea is fantastic – it'd look so great above the kitchen sink.

    Perhaps switching out the lampshade, or DIY-ing the interior of it for a little pizzaz: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/easy-diy-decorating.

    You can also change out the cord on your hanging lamp, or wrap thick colored yarn or braided cord around it (like 550 cord, which is thin).

    You're super into black and white, so I wouldn't go overboard with slathering your kitchen in color. Little pops with plants atop the cabinetry and either colored photos in simple frames or black & white photos in mixed-and-matched colorful, patterned frames atop the cabinetry will definitely add small pops of color in an easy-to-stomach dose.

    Cushions on the chairs (not the bench). Fruit bowl on the table. Patterned and solid dish towels. A runner on the floor on either side of the island (fridge side and sink side). A large patterned rug under the table (patterned in order to hide food crumbs and spills better).

    I would refrain from cluttering the front or side of the fridge.

    Hmm. I'm sure I have more. Let me think on this…

    Reply
  • rachel December 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    A couple things: the hanging light is new so that stays πŸ™‚ it was much better than the thing that was there before.. yikes!

    Dom HATES things on top of cabinets so he won't be down with that, ha!

    I'm definitely going to look for cushions for the chairs, BUT DJ pulls EVERYTHING off of the table so i may have to save that idea for a little later down the line.

    Reply
  • rachel December 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    A couple things: the hanging light is new so that stays πŸ™‚ it was much better than the thing that was there before.. yikes!

    Dom HATES things on top of cabinets so he won't be down with that, ha!

    I'm definitely going to look for cushions for the chairs, BUT DJ pulls EVERYTHING off of the table so i may have to save that idea for a little later down the line.

    Reply
  • rachel December 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Oh, and I have pretty colorful placemats on the table now, I just forgot to include them in the photos πŸ™

    Reply
  • rachel December 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Oh, and I have pretty colorful placemats on the table now, I just forgot to include them in the photos πŸ™

    Reply
  • Anonymous December 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    OMG! Your house is soooo big! You couldn't swing a cat in our kitchen, let alone our living room. Lucky girl!

    Reply
  • Anonymous December 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    OMG! Your house is soooo big! You couldn't swing a cat in our kitchen, let alone our living room. Lucky girl!

    Reply
  • Kaylan December 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    What about the instagram magnets? we have quite a few and they add lots of color and personality but aren't all over the place, crazy. Plus, Finley loves to play with them πŸ™‚ I agree with lots of plants!

    Reply
  • Kaylan December 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    What about the instagram magnets? we have quite a few and they add lots of color and personality but aren't all over the place, crazy. Plus, Finley loves to play with them πŸ™‚ I agree with lots of plants!

    Reply
  • Anonymous December 10, 2014 at 2:06 am

    You might think about repainting in a warmer color. Everything is very monochromatic. Also, though it might be an issue with young children, how about a rug — under the table, or a runner in front of the fridge. These days, the indoor/outdoor options can be very attractive, as well as add a design element. I would remove the "Eat", the scale is wrong. And I'd suggest a larger, more dramatic clock.
    I might suggest a bigger art installation on the wall above the high chair (but can't see that side of the room well enough. You could put something on the wall with the thermostat as well. In all cases, I recommend something that is textural in nature– especially if you don't repaint. Good luck.

    Reply
  • Anonymous December 10, 2014 at 2:06 am

    You might think about repainting in a warmer color. Everything is very monochromatic. Also, though it might be an issue with young children, how about a rug — under the table, or a runner in front of the fridge. These days, the indoor/outdoor options can be very attractive, as well as add a design element. I would remove the "Eat", the scale is wrong. And I'd suggest a larger, more dramatic clock.
    I might suggest a bigger art installation on the wall above the high chair (but can't see that side of the room well enough. You could put something on the wall with the thermostat as well. In all cases, I recommend something that is textural in nature– especially if you don't repaint. Good luck.

    Reply
  • elizabethditty.com December 10, 2014 at 2:54 am

    Where you have the rectangular piece of art (I think in front of the phone/fax?), what if you tried doing a gallery wall? You could do family photos, art, a combination of the two — basically anything that makes you smile. It would add a nice pop of character to the kitchen with minimal commitment (especially if you hang them using command strips).

    You could also try a large vase of flowers on your island if you want to fill the space somehow, but I really think just adding some personal touches would go a long way.

    Reply
  • elizabethditty.com December 10, 2014 at 2:54 am

    Where you have the rectangular piece of art (I think in front of the phone/fax?), what if you tried doing a gallery wall? You could do family photos, art, a combination of the two — basically anything that makes you smile. It would add a nice pop of character to the kitchen with minimal commitment (especially if you hang them using command strips).

    You could also try a large vase of flowers on your island if you want to fill the space somehow, but I really think just adding some personal touches would go a long way.

    Reply

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