Kitchen: Plan B = The Bandaid fix


Our plan for the large kitchen was a gut job:  New cabinets, flooring, lighting, counter tops, back splash, even moving the washer/dryer back to their original place in the main bath. Just one thing stopped us from breaking out the sledge hammers:  Hubby lost his job (of 23 years) 8 weeks after moving in.

So….on to plan B.  We  have to work with what is here and have virtually no budget.

Never mind that the upper cabinets are so small that I cannot stand up a box of pasta or a vinager bottle. Or the fact that the last owners were too lazy to remove the under-cabinet mount stereo,  recipe box or paper towel holder and just tiled the backspash around them!  They never used painters tape or a drop cloth any where in the house.  The grout on the floor and back splash were never sealed. There are paint splatters on the grout and the cabinets that will not come off. The dishwasher did not work so we scrapped it and were left with a big hole in the cabinets. Sounds great huh?

After a thorough cleaning (not for the faint of heart), we were ready to think about what we could do. The walls are a medium taupe color and the cabinets painted black. The floor is 12″ by 12″ black and white ceramic tile. The back splash is square taupe tiles. The counter top is black and taupe laminate. I can live with it all for now, but not in the Tuscan style they were trying to create. We removed the brushed nickel bin type pulls and knobs on the cabinets. We could then see the ghost marks of round back plates on the cabinets. I purchased NOS ones in chrome on Ebay.  My local Ace Hardware still carries chrome convex style round knobs (I think they are called “dish” style) and simple pulls that were used in the 60’s so those completed the hardware.

The 1950’s 40″ stove came with us from the farmhouse. It is white with black and chrome trim and fits the space perfectly.

We replaced the builders grade double sink with a single stainless one big enough to wash even the largest cookie sheets. It is not my forever sink but will do until I get the drainboard model that I want.

We used leftover aqua paint for the soffit (to match my new color scheme). I hit thrift stores and garage sales and picked up aqua canisters, pottery, Pyrex, tablecloths, curtains and other kitchy finds. I nabbed a brand new (still packed in the box) set of Salem North Star dishes (gasp) at a garage sale for $5!  I found 8 more place settings at a local resale shop for $10. They have the perfect “atomic” look I am aiming for. An old tablecloth hung on a tension rod hides the dishwasher hole. Vintage pinch pleat curtains hang on the window above the sink.

Target has a new line of aqua kitchen items. I purchased the metal bread box, utensils, towels, cutting boards and baking supplies with a Christmas gift card.

Our new table, chairs, china cabinet and buffet came from Ebay. It is a 1950’s blond set that was a steal for $320. That included delivery! I recovered the seats with fabric I purchased from Hobby Lobby for less than $40.

I found a large black and taupe starburst rug for under the table at Walmart. com.

The large mid century Paris print above the buffet was a junk shop find for $2! The colors are perfect for the room.

Is this what we planned?  Do I like a bathroom door next to the stove? Do I even want a cold ceramic tile floor? No. Am I complaining?  Well maybe a little.

But this is not forever. I dream of white cabinets large enough to hold a cereal box AND a bottle of olive oil, cork or linoleum flooring, retro countertops with metal edging, pinch pleat or cafe curtains and funky light fixtures.


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