Well you better be rich, or be real good at cookin’…*

*Lyrics from Lily Allen‘s Hard Out Here. This video is NSFW (and is controversial, so it would seem), but the message is pretty spot on. Anyway, I wanted to find something to listen to that would compliment this post, but instead I found something that made me want to persevere, challenge the status quo, and fight the good fight, which is just as important. Plus, it’s way catchy, and probably great to add to an exercise playlist. I always like a little ‘tough bitch’ music when I’m feeling less than that, don’t you? 

When we last left off, you saw the glorious living space that we carved out of practically nothing. Now, have a look at the kitchen/dining room.

When we last left off, you saw the glorious living space that we carved out of practically nothing. Now, have a look at the kitchen/dining room.

When we moved from the pied-à-terre to the pied-à-deux we brought our kitchen with us, like the good faux Italians we are. Our IKEA cabinets, countertop, and pendant lighting made the trek down one flight to become our new old kitchen. The only real difference between the two spaces is the color of the existing laminate countertops, and the age of the refrigerator (the old place had a brand new one, this one, not so much). We actually had the landlord move our stove down one flight, too, when we discovered (much to our chagrin) that the stove in The Deux was mostly not working (one out of four burners worked, and the oven didn’t heat up at all). Oh, and the other difference is that the upper floor unit had about 18″ more space in the dining area.

BEFORE: The prior tenants' paint choices and furniture layout just wasn't for us. AFTER: All new fresh paint, layout, and lighting make these spaces function for us.

BEFORE: The prior tenants’ paint choices and furniture layout just weren’t for us. AFTER: All new fresh paint, layout, and lighting make these spaces function for us.

Somehow, the placement of the entry door was further out into the landing for the upper unit – probably because the stairwell doesn’t continue for another flight – so in moving downstairs we lost a bit of dining space, as well as our designated pantry space. Because of the mildly different layout, our decor and lighting options had to change.

BEFORE: Upstairs, in the Pied à Terre, the entry door was in a different position. AFTER: Downstairs, in the Pied à Deux, we had to get creative to fit our dining area, our cabinets, and meet our pantry storage needs.

BEFORE: Upstairs, in the Pied à Terre, the entry door was in a different position. AFTER: Downstairs, in the Pied à Deux, we had to get creative to fit our dining area, our cabinets, and meet our pantry storage needs.

Previously, we used a mirror, hung horizontally, to help bounce the natural light around the space. It also provided a place to drape christmas tree lights (or fairy lights, if you will) thus creating a bit of ambient task lighting (and a pretty twinkly ambiance). Well, with the new set up (and with the addition of luxurious extra outlets) we decided that this time we’d need to do a bit better than that.

The kitchen, while quite small compared to the old house, is warm, efficient, and pleasant. Dream kitchen it's not, but it'll do for now.

The kitchen, while quite small compared to the old house, is warm, efficient, and pleasant. Dream kitchen it’s not, but it’ll do for now.

Details: Our cooking spirits on display feel festive and luxurious. Our thrifted rug (from friends who were moving) further enhances our vintage-meets-modern mood.

Details: Our cooking spirits on display feel festive and luxurious. Our thrifted rug (from friends who were moving) further enhances our vintage-meets-modern mood.

I used some inexpensive pendants and mini drums from IKEA and decided to dress them up with a little DIY silver leafing, as well a coat of fabric paint on the shade itself. I couldn’t find black shades, and the silver leafing, er, imperfections, really showed (in a so not good way) with the pale cream shades I had originally purchased. I’m going to try my hand at this process again on some bedroom lampshades, and if it goes well, I’ll share the results (and the things I learned the first time), but I will say that it is not as easy as it looks.

Personalized art, silver-leafed pendant shades, and a convenient open shelf make this kitchen homey, add function, and reflect our desire to have a more useful cooking space.

Personalized art, silver-leafed pendant shades, and a convenient open shelf make this kitchen homey, add function, and reflect our desire to have a more useful cooking space.

Another DIY thing we needed to add to this kitchen was a shelf. In the other flat we had an IKEA etagere to act as a food pantry, and had plenty of storage space for our food as well as our dishes, but in this kitchen we had to basically dedicate the entirety of the upper cabinets to pantry storage. (Plus, when we condensed our old big house kitchen into the mini-apartment one, we realized we were pretty much at maximum capacity). We cook, a lot (if you follow me on instagram you’d probably think we don’t do much more than that), and so we needed to have all of our cooking things well-organized. That left us with a choice: install upper cabinets above the temporary lower units (a choice I don’t think the landlord would much approve of), or install a shelf for housing all of our dishes. We chose the latter, and not only saved a bundle, but also got to keep some wallspace for art, retained a feeling of spaciousness, and got to have the ability to quickly and easily access our day to day essentials.

Details: new shelf makes dish storage easy. It feels less messy than I would have thought, and showcases our small collection of eclectic serve ware.

Details: new shelf makes dish storage easy. It feels less messy than I would have thought, and showcases our small collection of eclectic serve ware.

So far, the shelf is just a raw, sanded, and tack-clothed piece of paintable (or stainable) poplar affixed to some inexpensive Lowe’s brackets, but we may add a bit of color on the leading edge at a future date. Because we needed the shelf for functionality, we just started using it, rather than waiting to finish it. We both kind of liked how the raw wood sort of blended into the wall color (Classic Gray by BM), and mostly disappeared (visual space is so important here), so we left it alone. We may never finish it, and that might be just fine. When we do move out of this place, we likely won’t leave it behind (unless the landlord wants us to), so we don’t need to worry that we might stain/ruin a permanent piece of someone else’s property. It’s just for us, and we’re pretty fine with it as is.

It's not my ideal kitchen/dining room, and it's not always easy to live with, but it's working for us (most of the time). Repeat after me: it's only temporary.

It’s not my ideal kitchen/dining room, and it’s not always easy to live with, but it’s working for us (most of the time). Repeat after me: it’s only temporary.

Our cute little space is efficient, useful, and pretty. Not bad for temporary, eh?

xoxo

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

8 comments...

    1. kati Post author

      Thanks, Heather! Form follows function, and in this case we were really happy we waited to sort it out after we moved in full-time. We might not have thought of it otherwise.

      Reply
  1. stacyerinwilliamson@gmail.com'erin@designcrisis

    So much apologizing for something so good! It looks bright and spacious, which says a lot considering the sq footage. Plus there’s personality here! I’m so tired of seeing the same damn kitchens over and over.

    Well done!

    Reply
    1. kati Post author

      Thanks, Erin! We’re big apologizers in my family… it’s an annoying trait. ;) It’s hard to deal with the size with Thanksgiving coming up – traditionally I’ve hosted (and cooked for up to 16 people) each year for the past nearly 10 years. But the space is really quite sweet, even considering the fixed elements that we had to work around. I’m grateful we have such a homey space!

      Reply
    1. kati Post author

      Thanks, Katie! At our old house, we lived with plaster literally falling off the walls (and probably into my baking) for nearly 3 years before we could deal with (read: afford) the giant remodel. You’ll get there.

      Reply
    1. kati Post author

      Thanks! I love a good mix of new and old. The table is an unexpected favorite of mine. Found it while sourcing a dresser for the bedroom. I told you I buy things without any plans for them. I’m safer on etsy. ;)

      Reply

post a comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>