The biggest issue I have with our kitchen in its current state is not so much the styling. It could be argued that its plain white cabinets and sagey green laminate counters have a European, maybe even Ikea-esque, feel. Nor is it the size. It’s actually quite large, with the same high ceilings and quirky old house elements as the rest of the casa, plus a walk-in pantry.
No, my biggest issue with our kitchen is its almost complete state of disrepair.
• The cabinet fronts are peeling away from the fiberboard underneath.
• The countertop has popped up in at least 2 places.
• There is layer-upon-layer of viscous paint on woodwork and trim.
• The ceiling is falling down.
• Where we had air conditioning installed above the cabinets on the back wall [the one you see first when walking in the front door] you are greeted with a feeling of suspended neglect: glue-covered drywall, insulation, an exposed pipe…
Those are just the cosmetic things…
• The track lighting (which you may remember is not my favorite anyway) has pretty well stopped working. This time of year, forget being able to see anything in the kitchen or pantry come 5 pm.
• The appliances are on their last legs. The refrigerator pre-dates Spencer. The water heater has outlived its life expectancy by half.
• The downstairs bath opens directly into it. While practical from a plumbing perspective, it is yucky to me for reasons unnecessary to outline.
All of those things are facts, not complaints. What if it had recently been re-done in varnished oak cabinets with shiny brass hardware and pristine green granite, and there was no practical reason to re-do it? The fact that it looks ok, and needs to be re-done because it is quite simply worn out, is actually good. I see tremendous, exciting potential here.
And, yes, back in the 80′s, someone thought it would be a good idea to allow a house to be built like 3 feet behind ours, resulting in the view out of my kitchen window being smack into my neighbor’s siding/our garbage cans. But the fact is, property in Boulder proper is at a premium, our location is within walking distance of everything fun to do in town, our street features lovely old houses shaded by mature trees, and, since the upstairs offers gorgeous views out of every window, I refuse to grouse. Besides, I have an idea of something to do about it anyway.
Ooh, and would love to hear your ideas as well, of course.
I DO dream of a complete and costly kitchen do-over, but I know there are things that can be done in the interim to improve its current disposition. I’ve started with a thorough cleaning and would love to move on to some minor repairs to the countertops, ceiling and lighting. Maybe some wall paint and a temp solution for the wall behind the AC unit above the cabs involving black foamcore and white milk paint and perhaps a stencil? Still thinking on that one.
So despite having big ideas (more on that in an upcoming post) I recognize the casa’s cucina as serviceable, light-filled, and happy. Pantry’s up next. Followed by one of my favorite rooms in the house, as is. And, seriously, what would you do with that view? Or that sad area above the cabinets?
I’ve spent the past couple of days wondering, without being sheepish or apologetic, how does one gracefully start blogging again after a lengthy time away? Particularly when one of the last posts a few months prior promised to show before pics of the kitchen soon. And sure soon could be relative but at the time, when the leaves still hadn’t completely turned, much less fallen, I really DID think it would be that very next day or, at least, weekend. And, since I haven’t been blogging about it, I certainly haven’t made progress on the house either.
A lot happened this year. Good stuff I’m happy about. I finally made it to Europe. Jay started a new company. But I feel, in so many ways, I fell short of much I had planned for 2011. It’s a new year, though, and I decided to stop self-flagellating back in ’08. So, for 2012, I have just one goal:
I’m hoping (just short of vowing) that all of the writing and decorating and creativity and love and goodness and fulfillment I seek comes out of this simple approach.
Side note: More before pictures of the kitchen coming soon.