Evolution of kitchen

The cabinet, before sanding and painting @bijoukaleidoscope

The living room, the dining room… now the kitchen.

I wanted a beautiful new kitchen. Our current kitchen is 20 years old… and wasn’t made well.. and it shows.

My kitchen pre-paint, pre-anything @bijoukaleidoscope

My kitchen pre-paint, pre-anything @bijoukaleidoscope

Pardon the disgusting mess. Shall we call it… “lived in”?

The Standard

This white, bright kitchen with the beautiful yellow island below has jostled its way through the plethora of beautiful kitchens on blogosphere and Pinterest to lodge itself firmly in my brain:

The amount of light streaming through. Highlights the white open shelving as well as the yellow island.

Tall ceilings. Smart wall lighting… at night would create atmosphere while the pendant lights offers plenty of task illumination. That perfect white vintage-style oven. Streamlined and blends in perfectly with the kitchen counters. One notices the styling of the oven, but it does not take away from the brilliant yellow of the island.

That sink! Looks like the same stone material of the counter top. I’d actually really like a seamless counter top with the sink… all the one material. Creates less of a chance of a leak or food/grime caught in the seams.

While I LOVE the concept of open shelving, I like mine behind glass to fight the battle against dust. Open shelving for cookbooks is a must, but for china… glass doors all the way. But with everything else: my dream kitchen.

The yellow island is absolutely spot on amongst the white surrounding it. That sold me the kitchen.

Natural Light: The Lack

The entire side of our house with the dining area, bathrooms and kitchen faces south. So it doesn’t get valuable sun; morning or afternoon. One day, it would be good to increase the amount of natural light to the dining, bathrooms and kitchen areas by replacing the windows and walls. I really like to wall the entire side of that house with angled windows like these ones:

I’d love to have the wall and sliding door replaced by an all-glass wall, complete with an opening, leading out to a concreted and shaded courtyard/deck like this one too:

Timber and glass wall in the dining zone, leading out onto a beautiful deck in a gorgeous Stratford Mountain country home, via RSA

via RSA

One day, we might get there. (Or Not.)

What did get done?

I have roughly priced up the kitchen of my dreams in the space I have and the figure was approximately $15k. For now, it’s not within our budget and this isn’t the dream house. So no new kitchen cupboards, counter tops, layout, better windows and glass walls. Breaking the bank aside, we did do one or two things.

I painted the kitchen the same white as the dining room. It was so tacky having one kinda-open space with three different shades of oatmeal/boring/beige. Now that the dining room, living room and kitchen are the same shade of white* it feels connected in an intelligent and fresh way. I can walk around this space without cringing (although the light fittings are still quite cringe-worthy!)

I always found it rather odd to have cupboards lining most of the walls except the outer wall. And the window along that wall wasn’t as wide as it could have been. If you look at the first photo on this post, you’ll see how lost that space feels; with the one country-style ledge-shelf.

I wanted to add something rather substantial there. I have always liked kitchen designs that incorporated a combination of open shelving, glass doors and solid doors. I wanted a glassed cupboard in a happy colour to display cookies, sweets and lollies in glass jars. After weeks of looking –after all it needed to be the right size– I found it on Gumtree for less than two hundred.

The cabinet, before sanding and painting @bijoukaleidoscope

The cabinet, before sanding and painting @bijoukaleidoscope

Too dark. Too overwhelming in that small space with very little natural light. So, bright yellow.

I don’t normally use oil-based paints but because this was in the kitchen and would see a fair bit of work and steam, it was the right thing to choose. It wasn’t easy to paint with, as oil based paints dry differently from water based. While they are more robust when cured, painting can be messy. You need to move fairly quickly with oil based paints and you need to make sure prep work is good. Sand, sand, prime, sand, topcoat, sand, topcoat, sand, topcoat. I am fortunate to have a large outdoor table to work on and to be able to work outdoors under cover. Otherwise the fumes are rather persistent and can give one headaches.

My yellow display cupboard in the painted kitchen @bijoukaleidoscope

My yellow display cupboard in the painted kitchen @bijoukaleidoscope

I didn’t like the old handles, so I looked and looked at options and finally settled for these beautiful fox ones. They look a lot like these Through the Woods Fox ones from Anthropologie.

My fox cupboard handles @bijoukaleidoscope

My fox cupboard handles @bijoukaleidoscope

For a servery, I installed my vintage ironing board under the counter. When needed, it pulls out to store the extra bits, leaving the counter top free to work.

My kitchen today

My kitchen as of Feb 2016 @bijoukaleidosope

My kitchen as of Feb 2016 @bijoukaleidosope

My kitchen as of Feb 2016 with new rangehood @bijoukaleidosope

My kitchen as of Feb 2016 with new rangehood @bijoukaleidosope

I HAD to get the rangehood replaced half a year ago. The old one *lip curling* was gross, oily and seen better days.

The old yucky rangehood @bijoukaleidoscope

The old yucky rangehood @bijoukaleidoscope

I picked up a basic, brand new stainless steel one for a bargain of $150 from our local Facebook garage sale page. Look EVERYWHERE for bargains, right?

The to do list continues

No space is ‘done’. Every space evolves as you mature and change. As pockets grow deeper…

I’d still like to get the kitchen cabinets painted. I have found out that unless you hire a professional, don’t bother. Getting flawless finish is a bitch! And if you are going to hire a professional, have deep pockets. So for now, I leave that task in the too-hard-basket.

Lighting needs to be refined.

One day, my glass wall and ceiling as well as new kitchen with deeper sinks and marble countertops and a yellow island might be a reality. One day I might have enough counter tops for everything. Or move to a better place.

And you?

I’d love you to leave comments and links to your average-people-just-like-us-trying-to-make-their-home-our-version-of-happy home evolutions.

Greetings, x

*Haymes Paints Modesty White



The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

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Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com