Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kitchen Dreams and Painted Cupboards

I am sitting here in my kitchen contemplating the steady drizzle outside my windows and thinking about this room where so much of my life takes place. This is a room that has seen and heard many things. Warm family gatherings, Holiday meals, homework studies, craft projects, serious discussions. This room is the heart of the home. This is where all hopes and dreams start out. All problems get solved here. This is where I serve up comfort.

This is not a 'designer' kitchen. The only semblance of 'granite' that I have is the 'granite ware' rim on my old kitchen queen. Most every piece in this kitchen is free standing and has a history.

 This kitchen queen was found in an old barn a few miles from here at a 'barn sale', years ago. It was in pretty rough shape, stripped of it's paint and needing some repair. We actually bought it as a gift to my Mom. Hubby fixed it up, replaced the knobs, and we gave it to her 'as is'. It has seen many a paint job, the last one being purple with flowers (It being the 80's). But when my Mom finally got her 'dream kitchen' it was relegated to the barn once more. That was when I claimed it back and gave it new life, painting it 'Honey Cream'.

You can see that it sits at the end of my long kitchen table. In the corner, beside the refrigerator sits my 'pantry'. This was an old tool closet taken from a shed and sold for $25 at a yard sale. It also was in pretty rough shape, dirty and badly in need of paint. But I saw the potential. It is made of thick sturdy planks with deep shelves. I painted the inside 'Robin's Egg Blue' and for years it was called the 'Rose Cupboard' because I had painted big roses all over it. But recently I wanted a new look and gave it a coat of creamy yellow paint, followed by brush strokes of blue and then antiqued with umber (brown glaze). I gave it a quick stencilling of an olive branch to complete my artwork.

Beyond the refrigerator is my kitchen sink and counter. This is still a work in progress. We recently replaced the old cabinets and kitchen sink. I bought a new dishwasher and a nice deep porcelain sink and I tiled the counter with slate tile. But we still need to add cabinets above. I am tired of the cluttered look of open shelving. But right now other projects are in the works and I have to wait.

As you can see there is a lot going on here. I can't wait for new cabinets! But for now, I keep my collection of blue pottery on display. I am in love with the color turquoise. I collect any and all dishes in that color. My favorite are 'Franciscan Ware'. The bread box is vintage with a glass knob.

At the other end of the kitchen is my vintage 1962 stove. No ordinary stove would do for me! This is an all original and everything still works! The oven is on the right side and the rest are all storage. I keep my pans inside the two bottom drawers and the left side pull out bin. Hubby and I searched the want ads for weeks and found this one in a little cottage in Seattle. A single gal lived there and she had no one to help us move it, so Hubby and I moved it ourselves! I really don't know how we did it. Hubby is a genius when it comes to things like that. A hand truck and some pieces of carpeting to slide it were all we had.
My son 'G' made the spice shelf above in Junior High. Eventually I want a wall of cabinets there and the spice rack will go upstairs in my sewing room to house spools of thread.

I have a little alcove in my kitchen with a sliding door that opens out to the deck. On one wall sits my tall hutch. This hutch came from a little rental cottage in the middle of a cherry orchard, where Hubby and I lived in Oregon. We had our first two children living there. But that is another story I promise to share with you another time. When we moved, the owner said he was going to sell this piece, so we bought it for $100. It was hand made by someone named 'Bruce' in 1964. His name and the date are carved in the back. It is made of several kinds of wood, thick pine on the drawers and counter and birds-eye maple framing the top cabinet doors. Originally they were glass, but were broken in a move, so I made fabric panels.

The bottom cabinet doors and framing were plywood, so I painted them and added two decoupaged posters. I tried to paint the wood to match the posters. That was the inspiration for my pantry cupboard, also.

This daybed is from the 1920's and pulls out to make a full sized bed! But it is not very comfortable! It sits on the opposite side of the alcove and gets beautiful sunshine in the morning. It handles the overflow of seating in my kitchen and serves as a landing place for purses, coats and gifts. I change the artwork above it every season. I found this ocean scene in a thrift shop and repainted the frame. I thought the colors went together well.
When you look up in the alcove, you can see the skylight and the hand painted glass on the light fixture. Hubby bought this light for me as an anniversary gift one year. Even during the day when it is off, the light from the skylight shines through the glass, illuminating the scene of wildflowers.
This is my view as I sit here looking out. Sometimes when it is sunny, I will bring my coffee out to the little table and rest a while.
As I think about the history of my kitchen, I am reminded of the many wonderful memories I have of the family and friends and conversations that have graced my table. My kitchen is quiet for the most part these days, as my children are grown and my parents are not here, the rest of my relatives far away or busy with their lives. But Hubby and I still sit around the kitchen table, still with our dreams of the future, or reminisces of the past. I still have a busy kitchen on holidays and birthdays, and visits from friends and family. But there are more quiet times these days. Time for me to think about all that we have shared as we planned our lives together, raising our children, building our home, dreaming our dreams.
I know my kitchen will once again be full of activity as my family grows with grandchildren, new family members, and new friends.
And even though my kitchen is not the designer kitchen of my dreams, it is still
The Heart of the Home.


  1. Karen. I've said it before, you have a gift to make your home a "home". Not everyone has the capability to achieve this. Stainless steel and granite can be appealing but nothing compares to the impeccable, comforting taste you have instilled in your home with such character. Each item strategically placed, a piece of the puzzle that comes together so perfectly. Kuddos to you!

  2. Thank you so much Sarah! You are very sweet and kind. xxx

  3. Thank you so much for this beautiful tour of your kitchen. I love how cherished each piece is, and how much creativity and thought you've put into it all. (I suppose you know that freestanding pieces are the trendy thing for kitchens, at least here in the UK.) Although you've entered a "quieter" period of your life, your family will always love being in your kitchen and I'm sure it will always be a place of much laughter and happiness. I can remember every single inch of my grandparents' kitchen - it was really filled with love.

    Ha ha - the "random" letter verification is: COUSIN!

  4. Thank you Christine, I do hope my family has cherished memories of my kitchen like the ones you have of your Grandparents home. It is nice to know that in the UK kitchens are like mine. You have so much more history there, it must be so wonderful. I do love that the secret word was 'cousin' as I believe we are kindred spirits for sure! xx


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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