I’m still mourning over the loss of Jeter, but in an attempt to distract myself, even for a little bit, I want to talk about the room that has left me unsatisfied since Day 1: Our kitchen.
Our kitchen is actually quite large and spacious and is rare in that the previous owners never cluttered it with an island. Allowing instead for the space to be totally open which has been a godsend for our vacuum and for our laundry piles.
As you can see in the original pictures, we received a kitchen with contractor grade cabinets, a microwave thats door wouldn’t close, and a blessedly functional old dishwasher.
Save for the microwave which had to be ripped out, the kitchen had good bones to it and just needed tweaking to better fit our aesthetics. My goal was to create an industrial-style kitchen with copper accents (like our laundry doors). And keep the blue painted walls as a complement to the copper.
Originally, the top cabinets were stained Kona wood while the bottom cabinets were painted Tricolor Black by Sherwin Williams (for no reason other than it was a pain in the butt to stain the top ones, and way easier to just paint the bottom ones) while the brass knobs were spray painted oil-rubbed bronze and have held up surprisingly well.
We used peel-and-stick copper tiles for the backsplash. And just used the closest blue paint we could find to patch any spots left by the previous owners.
But there have been some fails along the way with this concept that have made me think it’s time for an overhaul:
- The bottom cabinets keep getting this white spotting to them, no matter how often they’re cleaned. I’ve even repainted them and have still had this issue (any ideas? Doesn’t seem to be water stains) UPDATE – We’ve figured out (in 2023…yes it took that long) that these are from our cat Bettie steadying herself when she jumps out of the sink and onto the floor.
- The peel-and-stick tiles were a HUGE fail and they make me agitated every time I come into our kitchen. Many of the panels would just fall off. (I swear to you I did everything the instructions said. Including sanding and priming the space so they had something to stick to. Even reinforcing the stick with construction adhesive.)
- Since our house had been empty for so long, there were no records of the original paint colors. Try as we might to replicate the color, we were never able to get an exact match and so have bluer spots on the walls.
- While I love our copper doors, I would like to redo them as it was one of my first home decor DIY projects. And I’m not entirely satisfied with how some of the patina ended up (particularly the “drips”)
- In addition to the normal aesthetic problems, we’ve also run into some SUPER FUN (sarcasm) plumbing fails done by the previous owners that have had to be corrected. If our home had a tag line, it would be “this wasn’t done to code.”
Plans for Our Blue Kitchen
Now that I’ve talked about all the bad parts, let’s discuss how I want to dig us out of this quagmire. This list is mostly in order of priority, with the last few being wishlist items:
First, here is the palette I plan to use as my guide:
1. Repaint the cabinets
Our blue kitchen is going to be changed to “our blue cabinet kitchen” as I’m going to get rid of the dark colors. And paint both top and bottoms the same shade of blue.
2. Get new copper hardware
3. Paint the walls gray
Going with the inspirational palette, I think I’m going to give up on keeping the walls blue to avoid a matchy-matchy feeling. And instead, paint them a muted gray so that they are not a focus of the room.
4. Have a professional install copper panel backsplashes
Since we’ve got a window sill that isn’t level and a whole buncha wall outlets, I’m going to give up pretending like I know how to tile and instead hire a professional to install some copper sheets as our backsplash. I’m not sure if I want to go with plain copper sheets or go for a more hammered look. What do you think?
5. Install a range hood and remove the top cabinets
We’ve been in desperate need for a range hood with a light since we ripped out that useless microwave. But just haven’t gotten around to it. The plan was to get these things done this year. But after all of the unexpected costs we’ve encountered so far (plumbing issues, taxes, putting Jeter to rest), most of our home projects are delayed until next year. I’d love to have a free-standing range hood and remove the top cabinets. But we’ll have to see what the space allows.
6. Remove the top “lip” and raise the cabinets
I’m not sure why that lip is here as it seems to be hollow. So I’d love to remove it and raise the cabinets up to the ceiling. Though admittedly, it will make reaching things for us shorter folks more difficult. But I’ve had a step stool for years. Having a tall husband works, too!
7. Install garbage disposal and new sink
Our double stainless sink has been fine. But it has holes that were for a different style of faucet that has since been (poorly) capped and siliconed. And I’d really just love something a little more aesthetically pleasing.
8. Update the lighting
The shop light that was installed as the main light is so ugly to me, especially since the cover has been cracked since we moved in. I’d love to replace it with something a little more industrial. I’d love to do a chandelier for the lighting over the sink and rip out that scalloped trim.
9. Wrap the ceiling divider in thin, wood panels
While I want to remove the lip above the cabinets, I actually like the divider that separates the eating space from the cooking area. But I’d love to wrap it with thin wood pieces and make it look more like a giant wood beam.
10. Dream: find copper tin ceiling tiles to put over the dining area
I’ve mentioned this in my thrift store finds for our kitchen post, but if I could get original copper-colored tin ceiling tiles to put up in the dining space. I think that would be an incredible score and finishing accent for the kitchen.
11. Maybe update the floors?
I really have no issue with the ceramic tiles. Though maybe something like a gray wood flooring might be a better compliment?
12. Giant industrial picture window
We’re going to need new windows in the upcoming years. So I’d REALLY love to get black framed windows that look like they come right out of an old warehouse. And have that as the main window of our kitchen.
13. New appliances
We have no idea how old the dishwasher is. But it’s safe to assume that it’s not long for this world. Eventually, I’d like to replace it with a black stainless-fronted dishwasher. Our fridge is a gloss black that I regret getting. Especially since it was dinged by the movers who brought Steve’s giant tv upstairs. Steve prefers a top-mounted freezer, which is fine by me. So I’d love to replace this fridge with the same style, just black stainless. If there’s a way to just update our current one with a different front, I’d totally be fine with that, too!
The countertop has a few dings in it. But for the most part, is good enough to keep around as the “marbled” colors can compliment a copper backsplash easily.
Whew, that sounds exhausting, and I only just typed it!