Monday, January 25, 2010

Kitchen style: What would you do?

Most weekends I'm cooking for family, so if I don't have something planned for Monday's post, I make an effort to document an old recipe or try something new on Sunday.

But this week, I just didn't have it in me. I made TC's mom's chicken with crunchy rice on Sunday because it's easy and it's delicious and, honestly, I didn't feel like cooking. It's the kind of meal that's perfect for when you don't feel like cooking. You just load up the pan, toss it in the oven and make a salad.

The truth is, I didn't feel like cooking all weekend. Friday night, in fact, I went to dinner with a friend to celebrate my birthday belatedly and her birthday coming up. We went here. I had the most delicious chicken (I'm partial to chicken, it seems). It was cooked in Yucatan spices and it was moist, tender, true perfection.

Anyway, I don't have a recipe for you today. But I do have some thoughts on kitchens. Mine is small and galley-like, but it's a good layout. I have ample storage and an easy to use workspace. When we bought the house, we assumed we'd eventually extend the kitchen and add a half-bath on the main floor. But this plan, for a huge variety of reasons, never panned out.

Last week, we replaced our back door, the one that leads from the kitchen to the back yard. The old one was rotted, the sill was broken away, and what we found when the contractors got into it was a lot of old termite damaged wood that needed to be replaced. So now we have a new back door and storm door, we've ordered a new window, and suddenly my very workable little kitchen is looking old and tired against so much new.

Since major construction is out of the question, we're leaning toward a simple facelift. Paint and a new floor. I'm a simple girl. I don't need much. There's just the three of us here, after all.

We've updated our appliances little by little and I am in love with my Bosch range and dishwasher. The fridge—eh, I have yet to find the fridge that would make me truly happy. Bottom line: we don't need appliances.

If this were more than a facelift, I'd probably be looking for a farmhouse sink, bronzed fixtures and new lighting. I'd be thinking about a wood or bamboo floor, maybe even radiant heated tile. (I would not be thinking about granite—too shiny and common.)

If it were more than a facelift, I would be interested in seriously upgrading surfaces and inching my way toward my "dream" kitchen.

But, as I said, it's a facelift. And, if we do, in fact, keep this simple, use less costly materials, we can probably manage a decent overhaul without spending too much.

Anyway, here's what it looks like now.

Long, narrow, but good cupboard space, natural light, and plenty of usable countertops.

What you can't see too clearly in the photos is the horrible unmentionable broken linoleum floor tiles and the really tacky (though thankfully dark) faux wood cabinets.

And here's what I'm hoping for.

Yeah. I know.

Seriously, this is what I'm hoping for.

A faux Euro-stone floor, freshly painted walls and cabinets, and a natural concrete countertop, all in shades of olive and gold and plum. A very Arts & Crafts sort of look to go with our 100-year-old Prairie style four-square in the quiet little town of Mayberry.

If you could change one thing about your kitchen (or a lot of things), what would you do?


  1. Have my sister come down and organize it. I have no clue and keep trying to make it better but it gets worse.

    I would also like a new floor (I am renting a condo) as it is white and the carpet throughout the condo is burgundy and the tile is turning the color of the carpet. UGH! Since the owner has been so super to me I might just do it myself with their permission someday.

  2. I have had this YEARNING for cork flooring in the kitchen for YEARS. We have a hard, cold tile floor in there, and the tiles are cracking, and the grouting needs to be redone, and while it doesn't show dirt TOO badly, I still DESPISE it.

    Also, our cabinets are falling apart. I'd like to redo those, too.

    Plus the oven is an electric one that's gotta be a good 30-plus years old and is on its last legs. I'm dying to put in a gas oven. (When we moved in we replaced the electric stovetop they had and turned it into gas, but doing that to the oven, which is over further, would be EXPENSIVE.)

    I have a huge amount of counterspace, and actually love the layour of my kitchen, but can't STAND the flooring, the cabinet facings, and the oven. Just a few little things, right? ;-)

  3. My kitchen is tiny and reallly poorly designed!It's 8x14 with a giant doorway on either side and ALL the work space crammed at one end and a *huge* window at the other end...which looks out onto... the screened in porch. (I have to wonder at the drugs the builder must have been taking.)

    It's ugly as sin (built and decorated in the early 80's); I could live with that if it weren't for the cheap cabinets which are poorly constructed and laid out. Wasted space everywhere and nearly no counter space. We *doubled* our counter space by putting in a smooth cooktop.

    *sigh* I fantasize about winning the lottery and gutting the whole thing...A LOT. When we bought the house, we talked about remodling but then Nik's medical issues multiplied. Here we are, five years later, and we still haven't finished stripping the wallpaper backing off. I think we need an HGTV intervention.

  4. I love this: An HGTV intervention. How do you get one of those? And, more importantly, who pays for it?

  5. I dunno...I keep hoping Ty Pennington or Genevieve Gorder will just show up at my door with a big ol' check in one hand and a work crew at their backs.

    A girl can dream, can't she??

  6. If I could change one thing about my kitchen, I'd replace my smallish island, with a larger rectangular island that would also serve as the place we would eat our meals and then I'd get rid of the kitchen table. We have a large eat-in kitchen area which to me is just wasted space. I'd like to have a big island for food prep and family meals. Then i'd like to redesign my kitchen to have a desk area where I could keep my laptop and mail and also my cookbooks and other things I use regularly.

    This is a huge dream that won't be happening though unless HGTV got involved -or we won the lottery.

    And that's okay. My kitchen is actually not that bad. But a girl can dream anyway.