Of course that title is a joke because I don't actually have a kitchen. My kitchen right now is a functionless room containing a hunky, sweaty man with a disgruntled expression on his face making a lot of noise with saws, drills, and heavy sighs. We are, however, at the point where there is no more demolition. The dry wall is all up, it needs a little more joint compound and sanding, and there is only a bit more of the subfloor to screw down before we start painting and laying the tile.
A few things we've decided on:
- White. White walls, white tile back-splash, white cabinets. I will add blooms of colour later in the form of some linen dishcloths and curtains I intend to make once everything is installed and finished, but the main colour is white.
- Wood countertops. It will warm the whiteness of the kitchen and I really like the look.
- Terra Cotta coloured floor tiles. They are not actual terra cotta, but a little bit darker and of different material - more durable for the kitchen, and in an old world style. I had wanted wood floors, but when I mentioned this to The Simple Man he looked at me like I was speaking in tongues and then choked out: "In the kitchen?!?!" Well OKAY THEN. We mutually vetoed beige; we're both sick to death of beige and my mom and good friend (two people with better taste and eye for colour than myself) suggested terra cotta tiles.
- No upper cabinets if we can possibly help it. The kitchen is claustrophobic. With everything arranged differently, I think we will be able to swing having no upper cabinets. I toyed with the idea of open shelves instead, but I'm not up for the maintenance at this time. We might install one shelf.
- Freestanding cabinets. It's a bit of misnomer, since obviously the sink hooks up to the wall and the counter will connect everything, but they will, essentially, be easy to move like regular furniture. We've decided to do this because the very urban area we live in will always provide us with more than enough vermin to drive me to frothing insanity, and we've discovered that a favorite place for them is in the built in cabinets. There are channels we can't get into and of course there is a lot of empty space - so we are eliminating that.
- Skinny, vertical storage. We decided, for more storage in lieu of upper cabinets, that we would go ahead and build very simple, tall, narrow book case shelves and attach a door to it. These will also be white, and should do the job.
Some inspiration I found helpful:
This is basically what we'll do, with the white, wood, and terra cotta.
This kitchen almost made me rethink my white tile back splash. In fact, I really can't look at it for too long without becoming all confused again because I love that shade of green.
This kitchen is a little bit too country for what we're doing (no beadboard!) but I still like it.
A very small kitchen; I love the colours, and again, the lack of upper cabinets makes it feel more airy.
I still come back to white. It just makes sense.
The look we're aiming for is small, a little rustic, and simple. It goes with the rest of our house and it's something we can both agree on, unlike any other style. I found it difficult to find a lot of small kitchen inspiration online because "small" in designer speak is usually quite a bit larger than my kitchen and an enormous farmhouse kitchen with islands, a butler's pantry and two ovens is not really helpful to me. I did end up finding lots of partial shots of smallish kitchens that helped me understand more of what I wanted. I loved the colours in some of them, but I've committed to white because I like it, but also because trying to match colours sends me into the fetal position. I feel paralysed and I also don't like being tied to a certain colour scheme due to permanent fixtures, like cabinets.
My uber nifty makeshift sink. It's very high and it makes doing dishes much, MUCH easier on the back. I even debated making our kitchen sink this high, but decided it would be too weird. I don't know how you tall people wash your dishes without aching all the time! Also, please ignore the mess, we have the kitchen crammed into the dining room.
I have to really hand it to The Simple Man. He has done everything in his power to make this easier on the whole family. In the beginning, we were thinking it was possible that we were going to have several weeks without running water downstairs or a range. Well, so far I've spent exactly a half a day without water and a few days without the range. He spent extra time rigging up an ugly but perfectly functional sink in our dining room, made out of our old sink, leftover decking, two hoses, and hose nozzle head. While it's not very easy to wash dishes without a counter, it's a thousand times better than lugging them up to the bathroom, which I was having mental issues with anyway. He also put our range out on a small porch we have next to the kitchen and hook it up from there so I can still cook and bake. Plus, he works almost ten hours a day in a physically taxing, dirty and dangerous job, then comes home and works some more on the kitchen.
In a few more weeks we should be all finished, and it can't come soon enough!