Yesterday I shared our chalkboard wall and backsplash in our rental kitchen. Today I'd like to show you around the rest of the room.
If you were reading a few months ago, I shared how this step of our journey is completely providential. I continue to believe that is the case, as everything, down to the silliest little detail of our concerns has been taken care of. We are blessed.
This little house is one of the major blessings, as my boys and I are home every day. I also take a lot of joy in making a space comfortable, attractive, organized. This home is part of the package my husband gets for working as a dean. It's older and downright quirky in places. Like a lot of rentals, it has seen years of use and abuse without little things being taken care of. If it was our house--bought with our money--we would have quite the list of repairs and improvements. But as a place to live for a year or two, we are thrilled!
The kitchen isn't newly remodeled, but it's a lot cleaner and newer than our old kitchen. The cabinets are those thermofoil, in stock, standard size, piece-together ones from Lowe's. The counters are laminate. There's no backsplash. The floor is linoleum.
But it's white and bright! The cabinets are sturdy and the lower ones have pull-out shelves! The appliances all function well, and there's a dishwasher!!! First time I've had a dishwasher in five years!
I mentioned when I wrote about the chalkboard wall that I might put beadboard wallpaper up as a backsplash and paint the upper section above the upper cabinets (header?) white again. I think the stark black and white is too much contrast. It will still have the striking black chalkboard wall at the far end of the kitchen, so that should provide the contrast the kitchen was otherwise lacking.
I might also add knobs and drawer pulls as some of the cupboards are hard to open, and they would be pretty! I will certainly add a decorative window curtain over both windows--I'm thinking a burlap valance. I've already purchased a goose-neck faucet with a pull-down sprayer. I was thinking a colorful rug might be fun, but this floor gets abused with my constant cooking and my three little helpers.
Of course I'll keep you posted!
The window over the sink looks out onto a little patio between the house and the garage where the main entrance to the house (a mudroom!!!) is located. It would be perfect for a little bistro table. I saw this set at Kroger and still kinda wish I had bought it. But it was $80 and I just can't make impulse purchases like that! Super cute though!
The other window in our kitchen needs a sign: Mommy's Drive-Thru. It's the perfect height for doling out drinks, apples, gum, etc. to a couple little boys who play out there. It's also great for keeping an eye on the boys, and I admit to hollering at them to stop doing XY or Z sometimes!
To the right of the chalkboard wall is the door to the basement. It also technically has is the main door to the house behind this interior door. Kind of awkward. There's a small landing with scary, creaky hit-your-head-on-the-ceiling stairs to the basement, the main entrance door with a screen door too, then a tiny, weird closet (more on that later--I've made it my bread baking supply closet), and a couple steps up to this door to the kitchen. Confused? Me too! I can't imagine welcoming guests into my home from that awkward place, and everyone seeing my dank basement before entering the kitchen... So thankful for the added entrance with the mudroom!
I know we're lucky to have this much freedom in a rental, but if you're wanting to change something, it doesn't hurt to ask! Show your landlord pictures of your idea, offer to pay for the cost of, say, painting a chalkboard wall, and compromise. For instance, if your landlord is afraid of a big black wall, offer to paint it back to the original color before you move out. Hey, that approach might just work with your husband too!
Before you leave, let's take a look with our backs against the chalkboard wall. I know in this era of custom kitchens with bars and islands being so popular, and so much real estate being all about the kitchen, our little galley kitchen is not the ideal. But it's a layout that works great for us! There are plenty of prep areas on either side of the sink and stove, the working triangle is nice and tight but not too crowded, and the kitchen is not a main thoroughfare. It's an easy kitchen to feel at home in and to cook and clean in.
So what's at the opening of that end of the kitchen? The dining room! I need to take pictures and show you that sweet little area, but I have a couple more posts up my sleeve first.
Coming soon: Tips on organizing your kitchen to maximize its function. Stay tuned!