I found this inspiring photo on Pinterest. The all white everything with touches of green, chrome, black and a few naturals, was the exact look I wanted.
DESIGN CONCEPT TO UPDATE MY KITCHEN
~ Utilize the currently wasted vertical space with open shelving and pot rails.
~ Add drawers since the kitchen doesn’t have any — causing us to keep our utensils in the cupboard.
~ Brighten the 100 sq. ft. space with white paint everywhere to make it feel larger.
~ Create a quiet and calming environment where I can shut out the world and focus on preparing healthy meals.
~ Increase ergonomic functionality by honestly assessing how we use the space and would like to use the space.
~ Create a dish drying system on the wall to create more counter space.
~ Create permanently empty spaces for use as a holding area for temporary items, such as extra items for a holiday meal or to pack for a trip.
BEFORE & AFTER TIME
So many problems here. Nasty peg board, not enough drying space for dishes, too busy and dark — with the green, mustard yellow, chalkboard grey and dingy cream paint.
What a difference! I love my vintage white sink on a black base.
We mostly drink filtered tap water so it only makes sense to store our glasses directly over the sink, on a shelf and brackets from Ikea.
We use the large Ball jars when we want large portions of water, to take smoothies to work with us and as food storage.
The glass on the far right has sentimental value to my husband and he will occasionally drink a craft beer from it. We rarely drink wine. When we do, we use whatever is clean on the shelf. The first rule of minimalism is: No Faffing About!
The small print is a watercolor by Beatrix Potter of Guinea Pigs gardening. I find it to be a charming, and vintagey, image to look at while washing dishes.
I also love that the white paint shows off the architectural feature of the former door. Can you see the framing and boards that have sealed it off? Our house was built in the late 1800’s and is filled with history. I love trying to imagine how it looked in the past. Our kitchen was likely a bedroom at that time.
Just look at all that yummy drying space! I used the Fintorp system from Ikea. Two pot rails, one paper towel holder, two sets of hooks, two drying racks (which mount directly to the wall) and two utensil holders. Love it!
After undergrad, I backpacked the Mediterranean for a while. Due to past British colonialism, restrooms were still referred to as “WC” (Water Closet). I found this cast iron WC sign on Amazon. Each time I see it, I’m reminded of my travels. I also love that it’s on theme, being that it is black and white, and adds some vintage charm.
I love the modern look of this rug in front of the vintage sink!
Ughick! The pantry was a mess. The former brick chimney runs through it and instead of lovely exposed brick, some past person plastered over the brick and painted it a dark blue, making it a challenging space to find things in. Also, the kitchen has no drawers so we never knew where to put parchment paper and ziploc bags.
I love the pantry now! White paint really brightened it up. I purged everything in the bottom portion and put up the curtain using a tension rod to hide bags of kitty litter.
The upper cupboard is where we store tools for DIY projects. The little broom is a treasured, hand-made, souvenir from visiting Salem, Mass. (Check out my tips for visiting Salem here.)
Part of my minimalism includes wearing a capsule wardrobe (see it here). So an apron is an essential piece for preserving my clothes when doing household chores. The red color is a nod to the red rug in the inspiration photo at the beginning of this post. And I’m sure you know the triumphant story of Vermont T-Shirt Artist Bo Muller-Moore of Eat More Kale.
I upcycled three black magazine holders by mounting them to the wall with wire and picture hooks. Most of the time the door to the right is open and the holders rest behind it…only taking up three inches of space.
The top of the refrigerator serves as a holding space for temporary items when needed.
The former coffee bar (a repurposed antique dressing table) had a sweet vintage appeal but the small drawers held very little.
Our new coffee bar has three, much needed, drawers to hold flatware, kitchen gadgets and dish towels. I love the black and white marble top.
The stool was another Ikea find. I originally intended to paint it a cream color, as in the inspiration pic at the top of this post, but decided to leave the natural wood exposed.
I added three shelves with brackets from Ikea, to match the shelf over the sink. Here we can store our Vega One for making vegan smoothies in the Blendtec and all of our coffee supplies. All where we use them.
This black out shade was another Ikea find. I resisted the urge to mount a valance over the top. This way when the shade is drawn it visually becomes part of the wall and a resting place for the eye.
Look at how crazy full those walls were and yet they were storing nothing of importance. Gives me such a headache. Everything is competing for your eye.
Two more Ikea shelves and brackets to hold our mixing bowl and food storage containers.
White paint is such a cure-all. Note the black counter tops, just like in the inspiration pic. I was originally going to mount a backsplash too but decided it would look too busy.
Curtains on tension rods to match the curtain at the bottom of the pantry.
Notice the empty shelf on the bottom right. This is the other temporary holding space.
The large cupboard holds all of our dishes for both eating and baking. Like our mugs, everything is hand thrown pottery. To save ourselves from toxins, we only use hand thrown pottery, stainless steel and glass for our food. Plastic containers are only used for the occasional cold or dry good storage.
The top holds a hand thrown pitcher which holds iced tea or lemonade in the warm months and can also double as a vase, as needed. The vintage scale was a flea market find years ago…and still works exact to the ounce.
The black and white MacKenzie-Childs pot holders, stored conveniently by the stove on a dragonfly hook matching the one by the pantry holding the apron, mimics the black and white towel in the inspiration photo.
The vintage salt glaze crock, with the number 2 on it, mimics the numbering in the inspiration photo. We keep all of our utensils ready at hand so there is never a need to search while food burns on the stove. (Remember the No Faffing About rule.)
The hand thrown moose utensil holder was made by the same artist in Maine, as the crock next to the cutting board.
The hand made cutting board and basket join the foot stool in adding some natural warmth.
I made this food mat for the boys on Shutterfly. Their newt water dish was handthrown by a local artist.
This is it folks. I told you I was a minimalist. Two pots with lids, one pan, a strainer and a trivet all hanging from another Ikea pot rail. What else could you possibly need?
(Sorry the color is off in this pic.) The mini shelf, over the stove, is made from a repurposed antique ceiling tile. We use it to line up spices and seasonings while cooking. The cutting board lives on the counter next to the stove so we’re always ready to cook. Having the Simple Human trash can on the other side is so convenient for fast clean up.
(photo courtesy of Amazon)
I spent months combing the internet in search of the perfect metal over-sized black pocket-watch style clock. The numbers in this one remind me of a fairy tale. Of course I had to have a clock with an Anglophile nod.
I love my modern black and white rugs.
LANDFILL – Peg board (too damaged during demolition to give away), some packaging for new items. Sadly the vintage Bolsheviks ad went to the trash. Old towel holder.
DONATED – 6 boxes of unneeded kitchen items and decor. Basket, metal shelving unit from bottom of pantry, baskets/storage bins, old paper towel holder, old dish drainer.
BIODEGRADABLE- Drop-cloths made of plant based material.
RECYCLED – Loads of shipping materials for new items. Packaging for new items purchased locally.
REPURPOSED – Frames for wall art being used in the living room. Antique hand carved mask is now part of Halloween decorations. Old curtain is now in our entry way.
CRAIGSLIST CURB ALERT – Old shelves.
CRAIGSLIST SALE – Old coffee bar for $80
BUDGET ––> $800
IKEA – $280 ($60 was just for shipping)
LOWES – $400 (DIY supplies including a sander, dremel, no-voc paint)
AMAZON – $270
SHUTTERFLY – $20
FURNITURE STORE – $75
TARGET – $180
MACKENZIE-CHILDS – $32
SUBTOTAL ––> $1,157
-$80 from craiglist sale
TOTAL ––> $1,077 ($277 over budget)
WHAT I LEARNED
~ I tried to buy salvage materials for shelving and went to several local places. The selection was very grim and most dated to the 1980’s…not my style at all.
~ Before starting, I took photos of my kitchen to ponder what the issues were. Standing in a space is one thing, seeing it laid out in 2 dimensions is how you gain true awareness of what needs to be corrected.
~ Just as with my Rental Bathroom Minimalist Makeover, these DIY projects always take far longer than anticipated. I spent four days just sanding and painting. Another weekend was spent varnishing the countertops and sink base. Another weekend was spent installing the shelves, pot rails, dish system and other wall items. Countless hours were spent hauling items in and out of the space, posting items on Craigslist, hauling items to the recycling center, shopping online and in stores. I started planning for the project in March, started the work in June, it’s now late September and I still need to strip the paint drips off of the wood floor.
~ I let this project get a little out of control in the budget area. Mostly, I bought items (like a Dremel) at Lowes that I really didn’t need. But, it was all worth it because I’m completely in love with my kitchen. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Annyong proudly enjoying the view from atop the toaster oven.
Annyong and Thoreau thrilled to have their lunch on the lower shelf during prep-the-space day.
(Photos by C.A. Moss, unless otherwise noted)
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