Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dreaming in Colors of Kitchen Renovation

Our kitchen is a nice sized 13x13' room, but miserably designed. Guess that's what happens when a house is built in the 1930s. As far as I can tell from some online research, the house probably had a wood burning stove of some type, a sink and a place to eat when it was built. Sparse is the optimal word.

The reason the design drives me bonkers is several-fold: 1) The fridge and stove are on one side of the room with only 12" of workspace! 2) The sink is on the opposite side with only 24" of workspace! 3) Cooking is further frustrated by a dining table that seats 6 smack in the middle of the room 4) I like having people in the kitchen but it only further congests the space.

Due to the economy, and the sheer workload of moving, we're investigating the possibility of improving on what we have. Of course its no guarantee that we'll get the work done, but it does have me daydreaming, and researching.

A few weeks ago I headed to our Home Depot and spoke to someone about where to begin the process. I knew to have an intelligent conversation with a builder I'd need to know what kind of cabinetry and countertops I wanted. So, I got some booklets and headed home to scour them.

I've always been into simpler furnishings with clean lines, casual styles with classic appeal. I'm no trend setter. So, when I came across the Shaker style I was hooked. We'll see how close we actually get to true Shaker cabinetry, depending on costs, but that's my inspiration. Here's a kitchen that I came across from a UK designer, John Lewis of Hungerford, that I really dig...

That blue is a close match to what is currently on our kitchen walls, but I probably wouldn't put it on cabinets. I do like the differing shades with a lighter on the top. Right now I'm thinking white upper cabinets, very appropo for the cottage style of our house, and a blue/green shade for the bottom and island.

Hosta by Martha Stewart Living at The Home Depot
I love how calming the Hosta is. And I'm guessing it will do a good job at hiding dirt, dust, and everything a well-lived-in house acquires.

Here's a few wall shades I like.

Cyprus Grass by Glidden at The Home Depot

Gobi Tan by Behr at The Home Depot

We had a nearly identical color to the Gobi Tan throughout a previous home and I loved it. It was great at both day and night, not too dark, not too light. But, our kitchen looks onto a park and lots of trees, so I'm wanting to keep it earthy and the Cyprus Grass might be a great choice too.

Some of it depends on what the surface of our walls end up being. Originally the entire house had horse-hair plaster. Most of it is in good shape, some of the walls have been "fauxed" with more recent updates to match the style. But, in the kitchen, some previous owner had the brilliant idea to cover the plaster with 1970's wood paneling. You know, the wide, dark brown kind that is often found alongside shag carpeting!

Painting the paneling was one of my first projects when we bought the house. It's amazing what a difference a little paint can make. But, in the process I found out that two things were done to the plaster when the paneling was installed: 1) glue was put on top of the plaster to attach the paneling and 2) nails were put into the plaster. So, the plaster is a disaster. I don't know if its worth the time and money to restore it or what kind of time and money would even be involved.

Well, I'm running long, so here's my goals as we consider the possibility of renovation:
1) A defined work/cooking area that does not cross paths with other activities.
2) A defined eating area that is out of the work space and can also be used for (down the road) homework and other projects.
3) A desk spot with a central family computer and "control hub" with a master calendar.
4) Flow from the kitchen into a main hang out/living space so that cooking doesn't involve being quarantined from all the other action in the house.
5) Enough storage for what we need to keep the basics well organized and accessible.

That's not too much for a girl to ask, is it?

1 comment:

  1. if you plan on painting the kitchen; a combination of the Cyprus Grass and Gobi Tan on the cabinets and walls will look gr8! something like alternating tan and green or such combinations.