My Garden

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

questioning my kitchen

What do you think of when you see this photo:

mad men kitchen set
 If you said nostalgia: correct

If you said dated: correct

If you said a spot on representation of my original kitchen: correct

We lived with a version of the above kitchen for 1 year, until I had our second child, who was colicky and kept me up 24/7. In a haze I decided that our kitchen HAD to change (over tiredness and hormones made me pretty productive)...

My inspiration was a kitchen I saw a year prior. Is it weird that I gasped when I 1st saw this kitchen? Is it weirder that I still do? Anywho... I had been lusting after this kitchen for 12 whole months. Dreaming about it night and day (whenever I had the chance to dream, that is).

House and Home, 2009

Belgian style kitchen
via house and home

Things I LOVE about this kitchen: clean simple lines, classic cabinets, sturdy surfaces, tone on tone colours, texture, ah the list goes on...

Since teleporting, or any other (perhaps more realistic) form of drastic overhaul, was not an option I had to pay homage to this kitchen by referencing it, not ripping it off (which I would have infinitely preferred).

I read that Linda Reeves and her team decided on iron mountain (by benjamen moore) for the cabinets. So off to the paint store I went and purchased the same colour in their flat aura finish.

There was a lot of wall paper stripping, handle changing and prepping. It was a process and I will not bore you with the details of all the pre-paint scrubbing, sanding and priming that were required. There are countless tutorials on-line that can walk anyone through the necessary steps. If I can offer one piece of advice though, it would be not to get all over-confident and think you can skip steps or take short cuts. If you want your paint to hold up to the wear of everyday life, then you better follow the steps.

So in the end I came out with this:

Nope, it is not identical. But it's the best I could do.

2 years later I am still loving my kitchen. I love the changes that I made. Love the open shelves both for their beauty and utility. Love the paint colour and the durability has been surprisingly good.  But I find myself mulling over change, yet again. This time it is on a much smaller scale.

I am being pulled in 2 very different directions, and am stumped on how to proceed (now lets be clear - I would be making references to either kitchen I am still not in a place where we can overhaul)...

Choice 1:
Thomas Smythe

Things I love (that I can incorporate into my own space, lets face it, if I could I would teleport this beauty into my home as well):
  • open/airy feeling brought into a small kitchen (I have a very small kitchen)
  • dark lowers and white uppers that blend into the wall (note I will be keeping my "open" shelves)  

Choice 2:

House and Home
Things I love:
  • cozy
  • dramatic
  • seamless 

So what do you think I should do? Light and airy or cozy and dramatic? Or should I leave well enough alone? What would you do?

Oh and incase there was ever any doubt that I live in 1965's best... you wanna see the controls for our oven????
and yes, they are mounted on the wall...

Linking to:


Deanne Langford said...

I love the colours of your kitchen they are fabulous, they dark grey is so dramatic! I love it as it is, but if you wanted to lighten the top, maybe go a lighter grey.

Stephanie @ The Cozy Old Farmhouse said...

I think you made some fabulous changes to your kitchen, it looks great! But my first thought, even before you mentioned the two options you're considering, was that the top cabinets need to be the same color as the wall. I think it would open up your small space and make it feel much larger than what it is. I'm VERY familiar with tiny kitchens. We've lived in 5 different houses in 10 years of marriage, always rental homes, and ALWAYS tiny kitchens. I can only dream of having enough counter space and being able to make changes to it! :)

Elena Sullivan said...

Wow! You did a remarkable job on your kitchen. And those oven controls? Priceless!

Stacey said...

I think your kitchen is beautiful as it is. You made great decisions the first time. If you are just dying for change, I'd vote for painting the uppers a lighter color. The picture you showed reminds me of your kitchen alot.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

What a fantastic change. I can't sleep either lately, maybe I'll have a new kitchen in a few days!

michele said...

i can see why you would gasp at the inspiration kitchen (FAB!) and crush on tommy smythe's incredible kitchen. i'll never tire of either of these designs, and i think you are off to a great start with the improvements already made!

visiting via miss mustard seed and would love to have you stop by when you have a moment.

happy weekend to you.


Angela Santaniello said...

I love your open shelves and just pinned them! We're about to do a very inexpensive kitchen update (i.e., paint the cabinets) and we are like 99% sure we are doing light uppers, dark lowers. Just really loving that look right now!

Have a great weekend!

House Crazy in Michigan! said...

I love it the way it is-very,very classy!

Small House / Big Sky Donna / White Oak Studio Designs / SW Michigan
Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations
Facebook: (for portfolio of chalk painted work)

Herb said...

You gave your kitchen a more conventional look! Well, you don’t have to feel dissatisfied if you weren’t able to imitate your inspiration. Remember that it’s still better if you create your own kitchen style. I know people will give you credit for the amazing job you’ve done. :)

Herb Koguchi

freckled laundry said...

I just saw this post in your sidebar. I see that it's from January. Did you ever change your kitchen? I think your original makeover is absolutely stunning. It's already cozy and dramatic. We share the joys of the 60s too. My house was built in '64. I wish I knew what a blog was when I bought it...I'd love to have some before pictures to share! We had an oven control panel and a big metal exhaust fan in the wall.

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