shortly after getting engaged, i discovered cooking. i guess i figured if i was going to be someone’s wife i should probably know how to make more than a bowl of cereal. i got pretty good at it! or, at some things, at least (meat still mystifies me). so when we were looking for a house about six months after our wedding, we were — like everyone else looking for their first house — hoping for a great kitchen.
though it’s not much bigger than the kitchen in our old apartment, i love the kitchen in the bungalow. what it lacks in size it makes up for in functionality and good looks (kinda the way i feel about the whole house!). the hardwood floors carry through, there’s a nice (albeit old) window that overlooks the yard, i love the subway tile backsplash, and i like the cabinets and appliances that the previous owner chose. i definitely would have invested in a higher quality countertop (ours are laminate), but i like the colour, and the microwave actually covers a window, but the m-wave vents our stove so there’s not really a quick fix for that. other than those two things i don’t have any major complaints about the kitchen — not bad considering i didn’t have a say in anything the previous owner decided to do.
in short, there’s not much that i would or could change about our kitchen. which is great because kitchens are expensive and super inconvenient to renovate (unless you like washing your dishes in your bathtub).
“not much” doesn’t mean nothing, though. there are a couple of little things i’ve always wanted in a kitchen that i don’t have: a farmhouse sink and open wood shelving spring to mind. i can’t do anything about the sink right now, and i didn’t think i could do anything about the shelving either as there’s really nowhere to put it. our cabinets come so close to our counters that there’s no room in between for shelving. and i can’t put a wood shelf between the stove and the microwave because it’s a fire hazard. and along the back wall is a terrible idea; it’s a thoroughfare for heading downstairs or out to the yard. hmmm.
a few weekends ago i picked up two pieces of blue-painted barn board while en route to ottawa. i wasn’t sure what i wanted to do with them, but they were $2 and i loved the colour. as soon as i got them home, though, i knew i had to figure out a way to use them in our kitchen. after many minutes spent sitting on our counter, pondering, i decided to screw them into the cubby that houses our fridge using simple l-brackets. they were the perfect depth and width for that space and they wouldn’t get in our way there.
but first i had to paint, because once the shelves went up there’d be no accessing that wall. the kitchen’s been on my “to paint” list since i chose the white that we’ve used in the rest of our house, but it wasn’t really a priority (it wasn’t the white, but the kitchen was still painted white, after all). i just tackled this one little corner today — i’ll leave the door frames and the back wall for another afternoon.
once the window was cleaned (yay spring!) and two coats of bm sugar cookie were on the wall and trim, we were ready to hang the shelves. it was super simple, even though we’re not sure what that cubby is made of (mdf?). pierre got the shelves level, i marked the bracket holes, pierre drilled the pilot holes, then i screwed the shelves in by hand.
i was a little surprised how quickly the shelves filled up — it’s great to get all this stuff off our countertop, though. i’m sure we’ll be switching what’s on these shelves all the time. it’s the perfect spot for bringing in herbs from the garden (it actually gets sunlight!) and also for those occasional grocery store purchases that we never really have a place for (baguettes, clementines).
and that map is why i thought these shelves just had to go in our kitchen, somehow.