I do not have pretty pictures for you today. I’m just going to say that upfront so you don’t scroll down expecting something remotely lovely to happen by the end of the post and then leave disappointed with assaulted eyeballs. I apologize for any retinal regret you may experience. I hope to make it up to you in the future!
If this post feels like déjà vu than congratulations – you’ve been reading The Gathered Home since its bitty babyhood and you are probably remembering this post from over a year ago when we first bought our house. This is the “before” picture that I shared:
And here it is, one year later and somehow looking worse than where I started, although I can assure you that the ceiling texture and lighting situation is infinitely better. Goodbye popcorn ceilings. Hello industrial plumbing pipe light fixture.
But also, hello awkward peely brown-paper-decoupaged wall covering. I truly believe that you should do what makes you happy in your home and I do not want to disparage or attack anyone’s personal decorating preferences. But my personal decorating preference is not to have pieces of brown paper glued to my kitchen walls, so hopefully one of these days I’ll go about stripping the paper and repainting.
That’s kind of a necessary first step to my planned kitchen redo.
Also, I have to mention this about the current green-speckled laminate countertops: I hate them with a passion. I hate the color. I hate the way they hide every crumb/spill/mess imaginable. I’ve never understood why people sometimes praise a countertop material’s ability to hide messes (I’ve heard this in praise of certain granites) – I don’t want messes to hide out on my countertops! I want to see them and wipe them up! I can never ever ever tell when our counters are clean unless I take my hand and run it over the entire surface area. Even when I’m wiping them down with a sponge, I can’t even see the areas I’ve already wiped! My future kitchen redo has plans to address this. /End rant.
The above pictures were shot from the new dining room looking into the kitchen. The below pictures were shot from the old dining room (currently purposeless and housing homeless décor crap) looking into the kitchen and the new dining room beyond. Confused yet? I do my best.
The kitchen is tight and galley style, so just picture me crouched up on countertops to get these shots. Or better yet – don’t picture that. Just enjoy the incandescent-lit glare of late-80’s oak and formica.
It is so dark and stormy here right now that I had to have all the lights on for these photos. Normally, I would wait for a sunny day so I could take pretty photos in natural light, but for a “before” shot, it’s kind of an unwritten blogging rule that the worse, the better. Just like those miracle weight-loss ads. Here is my slouchy grouchy “before” with zero-cosmetics. In comparison, anything will be an improvement, right?
But this will be a really big improvement:
Are you with me?!
If you’re wondering what “Modern Glam” means… I’m not really sure. I want bold patterns, clean lines, some brassy bling and some industrial thrown in there too. Crazy-eclectic-wild-brasstastic-industrial just didn’t have the same elegant ring to it.
Walls: I want a dreamy ethereal blue-grey-green color on the walls and I just love the name of this one – Pensive Sky by Behr. I didn’t choose it based on its name alone, but it certainly didn’t hurt its chances.
Cabinets: I’m planning on refinishing the existing oak cabinets with an ebony stain/dye and a cerused finish (white liming wax rubbed into the wood grain) following this awesome tutorial from The Ornamentalist. It’s a bold look, but we all know I dig bold. And my girl KW (that’s Kelly Wearstler) has been known to totally rock this cerused and ebonized look, so I’m going for it!
Countertops: As much as I would love to put the real deal in my kitchen, marble is not in my stars without some extreme-couponing-action where they end up paying me to take it home or a good old-fashioned lottery win. Your pick. But I’m really excited about the new 180fx line from Formica that is a very convincing lookalike! This is not your grandmother’s formica (although the current stuff I have in my kitchen probably is!) – they can install it with smooth edges that look like actual slabs of stone – no dark lines at the seams either. Add the durability of laminate and the affordable cost to that and I am absolutely going the faux route with my countertops.
Sink: I love Ikea’s farmhouse sink and it’s an absolutely amazing price. I’ve always always always wanted a farmhouse sink, so let’s add “farmhouse” to the “Crazy-eclectic-wild-brasstastic-industrial-farmhouse” title. I don’t particularly have a “faucet of my dreams” but if I did it might look something like the one I used in my collage. But it would be free.
Cabinet Hardware: Brushed brass hardware with a bit of an edge to it = yes. I can’t fight it. I don’t want to.
Range Hood: Isn’t that range hood the most fantastic thing ever?
You might have noticed that in my kitchen I have a microwave over my “range” (which is really too fancy of a word to describe our nearly-vintage Kenmore stove). Very observant readers might also have noticed that our microwave doesn’t even have a handle. So yeah – that situation will be addressed. I’d love to relocate the microwave (or rather, its future replacement) to the pantry, which will involve installing an outlet in there, and install a vent hood over the stove. Now, the vent hood won’t actually vent outside, but there are versions designed for my situation, and I promise you – anything will be better than the microwave’s pathetic attempt at a vent-fan.
So I’m determined to DIY an awesome hood like the one in my inspiration image (definitely not a DIY; definitely extremely expensive) because I don’t think I can live without it. We’re putting it to the test currently… Well. Here I am living without an awesome range hood. But I’m less happy about.
Extras: Finally, there are some black and white stripes and a pop of sunflower yellow (representing the interior of my pantry door) because those are colors & patterns I would like to bring into the kitchen as well. Possibly use the stripes for a window shade. And I would not say no to a yellow tea kettle!
Well, that’s all for today folks! Wish me luck as I hopefully finally get myself motivated to stop making pretty collages on my computer and actually tackle this! Pretty collages so far: three. Kitchen makeovers to date: zero.