Kitchen Fever: The Finishing Touches

I thought it might be time to post something a little swoon-worthy, since we’ve spent the past couple of weeks in DIY struggle mode.


Yes, that is a brand new, sparkling white and gray and decorated kitchen!  I kind of just want to throw myself onto the countertops and cuddle up there for a while (if only our windows were slightly cleaner when I took this photo).  However, instead of ogling over this kitchen, I thought I would take you step-by-step through our decorating process.  Remember, just a few weeks ago, we were only here:

And of course, a few months ago, we were here (so cramped, we could hardly take a picture to illustrate how cramped things were):

One of my favorite things that we did in the kitchen was extend it beyond our small pantry closet to include a glass cabinet and additional countertop space.  I talked more about our design decisions in this earlier blog post.

We ultimately decided that the glass cabinet could hold much of our glassware, especially wine and martini glasses.  This is the closest thing we have to a bar, after all.

I spent quite a bit of time deciding how I was going to decorate the glass cabinet, especially since it’s something that people will see through all of the time.  For starters, I brought it way back to my Kitchen Mood Board color scheme that I posted in March.  Next, I identified all of the potential items that I wanted to put in the cabinet.  I used my Mood Board color scheme to pick out a fun, floral fabric (that will be used for a faux roman shade on the windows) as inspiration for everything else in the kitchen.

Next, I started with some of the least used items and began to arrange them on the top shelf.  The green creamer is something that I snagged from our Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a couple of dollars, and the bright red-orange bowls are from Anthropologie for about $3.99 each.  I took some long, thin serving plates from Crate & Barrel a few years ago and paired them up with coffee mugs.  I don’t know about you, but we have SO. MANY. MUGS.  I don’t even drink coffee, so most of our mugs go unused.  In this cabinet, at least they’re on display and their dark color offsets a lot of the clear glassware. The mugs are from our Noritake Colorwave dinnerware set in graphite from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  To arrange these items on the shelves, I tried to strike a balance between things that were low and horizontal, which could be easily stacked, and those items that were taller and more eye-catching.

Remember that tea kettle? I actually put it in my initial Kitchen Mood Board.  If I could give one piece of advice about turning a mood board or Pinterest board into reality, it’s this: find the one or two bold, statement pieces that you really love (and are affordable!) and actually buy them.  I’m so glad I gave this teapot a chance.  I also threw in some more glassware, a couple of decorative items from Target (adorable french bulldog salt shakers included), and stacked our wedding flask on top of two cookbooks.

Speaking of color that pops, this photo shows how easy it is to use accent pieces as simple as dishtowels (both of these are from Target for about $4 each) to suit the room’s color scheme.  These towels also complement the fabric I mentioned above, which will eventually become our new roman shade.  Speaking of future additions, you’ll glimpse the gap between the cabinets and refrigerator, which leaves room for us to go on the hunt for a new stainless steel beauty (eventually, when our bank account recovers from the renovation!). Also, on a side note, you can actually see how much we’ve extended our counter space on the right side of the kitchen.  That last stretch of counter before the refrigerator makes a huge difference in terms of prep space.  Here’s the before (if you can believe it!):

While we’re on the subject of cabinets, I’ll give you a sneak peek into the main pantry and the snacking lives of Dan and Krista (it involves a million bags of pita chips):

These roll-out shelves are a short girl’s dream: instead of reaching all the way into the back of the cabinets, I can simply pull out the shelves to access everything in the back.  There’s almost no wasted space now.

My other favorite cabinet is in the bottom left corner of our kitchen.  We originally dreamed of installing a lazy susan cabinet to fit large appliances and make the most of our space back, there, but it would have been impossible to fit because the dishwasher is directly adjacent.  Instead, we decided to install a pull out cabinet:

It’s where our empty mason jars, popcorn air popper, and dutch oven can hide in peace.  Now, before we get to my favorite part of the kitchen (hint: they float), I want to talk about one thing that I didn’t realize before we completed our renovation.

You may notice that the top left cabinets are not completely flush with each other.  Because our kitchen window is so expansive, it actually cuts into the space where our cabinet would be.  In our previous kitchen, the window trim was actually cut so that the cabinet could open all the way, and our cabinets were much more shallow.  To give us more storage, our contractor actually added deeper cabinets back in.  The only problem? The right most cabinet wouldn’t be able to open because of the window frame.  Thus, we are stuck with a slightly annoying and uneven cabinet situation.  Dan has decided to make it his coffee cabinet, so we store all of our coffee supplies and mugs in there.  We’re learning that nothing ever comes out quite as Pinterest perfect as you imagined.

Before our happy ending could be celebrated, we had to reckon with one last item: paint colors.  Dan and I had planned to paint the kitchen walls with Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray (the same color we used for our foyer makeover).  After painting one coat, we realized that this “classic gray” was more of a “dirty white” color, and it did not have the contrasting effect we had hoped to make both our backsplash and shelves stand out.  Instead, we went back to one of our old faithfuls, Benjamin Moore’s Harbor Gray.  This is the same color we used in our recent bathroom update, and I can’t get enough of it.  So much so that I actually asked Dan to repaint the foyer as well.

You can see it below as I showcase the real piece de resistance…

Hello, floating shelves!  I have to admit, I’ve always been one of those people who loves floating shelves but is never quite sure what to do with them.  After weeks of reading my favorite home decorating blogs and scouring Pinterest for “how to decorate floating shelves”, I decided I was going to throw caution to the wind and decorate them my way.  I brought in everything from beer cartons to magazines to a traditional Norwegian phrase to make these shelves pop and act as the centerpiece for our kitchen.

To decorate these adorable floating shelves, I went with the same technique as I did filling up the see-through glass cabinet.  I worked with tall and short items, a few things we already had around the house, and bought some more useful items to fit the color scheme.  On top, I stacked a few magazines under an adorable French chef canister (a gift from my parents), a decorative bicycle mug and nautical-themed glass, and another ceramic bowl from Anthropologie.  I also moved the framed Longboard picture (actually the side of a six-pack carton of beer) from our living room into the kitchen because it fit the color scheme so well.  You’ll notice a snapshot from my engagement photos is on the second shelf, coupled with a few more usable bowls and glasses.  I also threw one of my spray-painted apple bookends up on the shelf next to The Joy of Cooking.  Again, I tried to use red, yellow, and light blue as much as possible while still including practical items.  The red mason jar is actually a stack of measuring cups from World Market for $10, and the Uff Da! mug is one of my favorite keepsakes from my grandmother’s house. I threw a couple of decorative items amidst the more practical mixing bowls and cheese grater.

There you have it.  One shiny, new kitchen – and it’s still not completed! Here’s another look at this pesky kitchen to-do list:

Krista & Dan’s Kitchen To-Do List

  • Choose contractor and sign contract for kitchen renovation (this was too complex for us to take on ourselves for the first time, but we’re ready for the kitchen in future house #2!)
  • Choose custom cabinets and have them installed
  • Choose countertops and have them installed
  • Choose hardware for cabinets and have them installed
  • Choose backsplash tile and have it installed and grouted
  • Reinstall the dishwasher that’s been dismounted from the countertop
  • Restock our kitchen cabinets and pantry (everything is still in the basement, save for a few essentials)
  • Paint exposed kitchen spaces and ceiling
  • Find a use for our blank, left side kitchen wall
  • Decorate floating shelves and glass cabinet shelves
  • Update kitchen blinds on the kitchen windows
  • Make and install a no-sew roman shade on the kitchen windows to add color
  • Replace two kitchen light fixtures
  • Update the left-side kitchen pantry to match our existing cabinetry
  • Create and design a kitchen command center (like this one) under our new glass cabinet and bar top area
  • Build a kitchen table (definitely a Dan project)
  • Find and/or update current kitchen chairs and potential bar stools

We’ll get there one day.  For now, we’re enjoying the beauty of being able to fit two people in the kitchen at one time.  It’s the little things!


Leave a Reply