Spring Fresh: Freshening Up the Kitchen

Fair Warning:  This is a picture heavy post!

I've been longing to do something fresh and new to my kitchen for the longest time.   I'd had the same drapes, cafe curtains and rugs in the kitchen for 8 years and I was so thoroughly tired of them that I knew I had to make the kitchen my priority this year. I had a budget of $150 and some of that went into the living room ($20) and the master bath ($15).

After spending months looking, I finally found flat sheets at Walmart that I felt were perfect for curtains for the kitchen and these rugs (Better Homes and Gardens line for Walmart).  I really hadn't planned to introduce browns into the room but it actually pulls out colors already in the wall covering.  Just as I'd been looking at and contemplating fabric for months, I also had been looking for new rugs.  I liked these best of any I'd seen.  Sheets enough to make curtains, the two rugs, new dish towels and a couple of new items to organize the cabinet space, cost about $120.  That's not exact but it is definitely within $10-$20 of the amount.

The kitchen before...despite the piled up dish drainer you can get an idea of the colors I had in the room.  I'd changed out the red accents for olive greens in the past couple of years.  In front of this long length of kitchen counter was a lovely runner with roosters and apples in shades of black, cream, green and red.

This is the same area as of today.  The sink curtains here are not 'real'...they are temporary swatches of fabric hung on clip rings and a tension rod until I (a) decide just what I want the curtains here to look like and (b) get some sort of blind and (c) get a sewing machine or gumption enough to do a lot of hand sewing.

I painted the shelf at the kitchen window about two months ago and couldn't make up my mind where I wanted it.  In the end, it went back under the kitchen window.  My last faucet didn't give enough clearance behind it to keep the shelf, but the new one John put in this past fall is perfect and allows  plenty of room.

One of the things I'd wanted to do was declutter and simplify the counter tops.  I got rid of the dish drainer base and bought one of the absorbent mats instead.  It allowed me the freedom of positioning the dish rack in a way that took up less space.  It's amazing how just having that border of counter top show gives the appearance of space.

The kitchen desk area is next to the coffee station.

 In the fall, I shifted the desk around so that the back of the bookshelf faced the kitchen. I've changed it slightly since, but it was still a $0 cost thing to do:

I turned the desk back against the wall.  This allows more light at the coffee counter and really just works better. The desk chair gets used as extra seating in the kitchen sitting area.  The vintage waste can sits here next to the desk.  Here's a photo of what it looks like:

John sits in the desk chair often when he wants to chat in the mornings while I'm having first coffee in this spot:

When I made the drapes I lined them to cut down on the amount of heat/light we'll experience in the summer mornings.  I made the little pillow from scraps.  I plan to put a bigger top on the piano stool and paint it red.  It's a nice little spot to set a coffee cup and my study materials for morning Bible reading.

My daughter in law gave me the cream glider and an ottoman last Fall.  I really like sitting in this area to read my Bible each morning and I've noticed John will escape there occasionally.  It's a very calming spot.  Some mornings he will come sit in the desk chair and we'll talk a bit before we begin our day.  I love the windows on the two walls.  It's a wonderfully cozy spot to sit on a cold morning as the sun pours in and warms the area.  In summer, I'm more prone to retreat here in the late afternoon.  It's the coolest spot in the house then.

Near this spot is the back entry.  The shelf is the first thing you see when you step in through the back door.


So this area had been refreshed recently but I've worked on it a bit more since.  This is how it looks today:

There's a bench here under the shelf.  It's due a big makeover, too.

Just to the right is the armoire and freezer and bulletin board.  Not a lot to see really.  I want to change the paint on the armoire.  I'd love to do it in blue or a nice deep red.  We'll see what I come up with in the coming months.
The bulletin board now has the same paper as the back of the bookcase on the desk.  I've cleaned up the area in general and it's neat and nice, but nothing special.

In the baking center, I moved the pictures on the wall.  It didn't really need a whole lot of anything...I confess it's one of my favorite parts of the kitchen.
The cookie jar is something Mama had for years.  It's older than I am!  I think it fits in well with the vintage canisters and the vintage pillow case dust cover for the mixer.

This counter and wall is to the right of the stove:

I framed some vintage ads and hung here. The area needs color... but I'm still considering painting the picture frames black.  We'll see.  The colors of the frames go very nicely with the prints.  What you don't see in this photo is the k-cup spice holder.  I am still trying to figure out where to put it.  Typically it sits in the snug corner there by the microwave.   If it weren't pay day you'd see the pie holder full of fruits.

And that brings us back to the little space that started the whole thing...the little shelf above the stove:

There are things I'd love to do yet in the kitchen but I'm pretty happy overall with the way the room looks.  It's a lovely refreshing color scheme and the whole area has a prettiness it lacked before.

The day I hung the curtains in the kitchen sitting area, John was was in the music room.  He came out just as I got the area fluffed after hanging curtains and I was able to see his reaction to the changes.  I could tell right away he liked it and his first words were 'It's pretty!' in a sort of surprised way.  The truth is that here of late my home is taking on a little more of a feminine air.  Not in an over the top way but definitely showing up my girly side more.  It makes me feel at home.


Kathy in Illinois said...

It was nice to see inside your home, Terri. You have it decorated very nice.
God bless, Kathy in Illinois

Louise said...

I am wondering how those soaker pads for dish drainers work... doesn't water come right through onto the cupboard??? I had thought about getting one but that was my concern.. a big watery mess under it?
Love the tour of your kitchen. It is bright and cheery.
Weezie from Alberta

Louise said...

oh yes I forgot to mention, THE GEESE FINALLY ARRIVED YESTERDAY!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a mat that I put hand washed dishes on at times. I love it. And, no, it doesn't get water under it as it absorbs the water.

Isn't it fun to update your home decor?!! I've enjoyed decorating my home over the years.

Off to clean out some flower beds .....

Karla Neese said...

I handwash all of my dishes because we do not have a dishwasher but when we aren't washing dishes (we rinse, dry and put away at the same time), the dish drainer lives under the sink along with the dish soap, drain stop and a few other things.

I'd love to have a kitchen cozy corner but our layout simply wouldn't let it work. Yours is so lovely!

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Terri, I so enjoyed the tour of your kitchen.. What lovely things you have. You have done an excellent job on your decorating.. Love the color of the new curtains..
I love to decorate/change up things.. Just makes me happy.

PatsyL said...

Your house looks very welcoming and homey. That's the kind of house I like. Thanks for sharing a glimpse inside.

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