Now that the whole buying a piece of land thing is done (read here), we've been re-evaluating what to do with our current house. It's a 1951 2-level ranch home, the kind where there is one level at the street but the site slopes to allow a basement that exits to a flat yard. Before we moved here 4 years ago, we lived in a cute 1940's bungalow, which unfortunately became to cramped for our growing family. Even after getting contractor bids for several different addition ideas it was clear that it would make more financial sense to move, which meant years of sketches and dreaming of the house's potential (read: many weekend projects) where for not. When we decided to sell our house we gave ourselves 1 month to get it ready, to finish up half done projects and update rooms. The kitchen got new ocean blue flooring and appliances, everything got painted, new light fixtures, fixed plumbing, on and on quickly and on a shoe string budget. When it was done it looked amazing and others must've thought so too, because it sold that first week. Right then I promised myself that the next house would be a different story, I wouldn't fix up my house too late for me to enjoy it.
So here we are, four years into our "new" house and other than painting some main rooms and ripping out the carpet in the living room, nothing else has been updated. I thought I had time, but when we got the coast property all of a sudden we started talking about moving, downsizing so that we could afford to build sooner. That memory of fixing up my old house just to sell it, though, is a hard one to deny. It made for some tough conversations, along with all the other issues that possible relocation introduces. In the end, we've decided to just move ahead with the projects that we've been discussing over the years, step by step until organically something else comes up or it doesn't and have a farther reaching plan. So, there are two projects that ideally will be paralleling each other, one is the backyard and one is updating the kitchen. Today I'm starting with the kitchen. I'll follow up with a plan & photos, so you can see what I'm dealing with but for now let's start with what's staying. We're dealing with a tight budget, so the footprint is staying as is - it's a galley kitchen though, so the space is already laid out fairly efficiently. The kitchen is the only room in the house that was "modernized" in the early 90's with ugly mottled laminate countertops, dark grainy rounded edged cabinets and opalescent tiles behind an ugly cooktop. When we moved in we removed the light fixture in the kitchen's eating niche in place of a limited edition Schoolhouse Electric, Amy Ruppel designed globe pendant - that needs to stay! We also painted the kitchen a turqouise color matched to one of our vintage ceramic vases and we've all loved it since day one, it's not a room that gets much daylight so it needs as much brightness and color as possible. So, that turqouise needs to stay. Other than those things and the wood floor, it's full of possibilities!
Before I dive into the project, though, I like to start with a mood board - although now Pinterest makes that super easy to begin. I do have two young kids and two dogs that spend a lot of time in the kitchen (unfortunately not cooking for me!), so I'm fairly realistic about a kitchen that isn't delicate or fragile but well built with materials that are easily sustainable. So what's my kitchen vibe? My kitchen vibe equals a lot of bright white (read light reflector!), warm woods, fun patterns and bright pops of vintage colors displayed on open shelves. I'd love to exploit the daylight, play with textures and make this a cozy room full of modern amenities.
Check out my dreamy kitchens board on Pinterest, where I'm gathering some fantastic kitchen images aligned with my kitchen vibe. Stay tuned!