My Home Tour: The Kitchen
But recently I found the photos of my apartment from the original Craigslist listing (because all good things come from Craigslist), and omfg just LOOK at this:
Both of my previous apartments had tiny kitchens. Like, only-one-person-cooking-at-a-time kitchens. So I fell in love with this kitchen, which is basically a large square room. I overlooked the terra cotta walls that looked orange in certain light.
But I guess in retrospect, I did give the kitchen a makeover. Here's what it looks like today:
I painted the walls the same grey as my living room (Farrow and Ball Cornforth White) right when I moved in, and I love how it looks in here.
Unfortunately the floors are beige linoleum and the brown was fairly overwhelming. I have considered what it would take to re-do the floors with black and white checkerboard, but until then, an indoor/outdoor striped rug has made a huge difference in de-beigeing the room. I took a similar tactic with Kevin's kitchen:
I really wanted a pendant light hanging above the kitchen table, but I didn't have an existing fixture. This was early in my DIY days, so I bought a vintage light shade off eBay (apparently they used to be be popular for at gas stations?), and rigged it up using a West Elm cord (now discontinued, similar here) and two ceiling hooks. Several years later, and it hasn't fallen down yet. I like that the barn light is big enough that it casts a fairly wide beam of light:
I am strangely passionate about this table/chair combo. The table is cheap from Ikea and I bought it even cheaper for $20 off Craigslist as a temporary table until I found the one I loved. But then it turned out I loved the $20 table. It's incredibly easy to clean, can be scrubbed down with water, doesn't stain, and is replaceable if anything happened to it. I have recommended it to everyone because it's the best.
One thing that's great about a white table is that you could pair it with basically any style chair. I got these chairs from Craigslist, and I like the contrast of the white and the wood. The chairs are comfortable, although the caning does get damaged as they get older, and someone unfortunately fell through the seat once. But they were easy enough to replace via Craigslist.
While the kitchen is spacious, it doesn't have a ton of storage and I have a lot of kitchen things. The Ikea pot rack has been a helpful space-saver, and the dark wood shelf from West Elm holds pots and pans. I wish it were white so that wall looked a little less busy, but I can't bring myself to sand and paint it. One day maybe:
You can see from this view that the kitchen used to have built-in shelves on each side of the stove, but before I moved in my landlord renovated the left side. The new cabinets are nice, but I feel so hashtag blessed that he left the right side alone. Everything looks better with glass front cabinets.
The stove is special. It's original from the house circa 1908ish, and the left side is a wood stove. The kitchen doesn't have any heating vents, so the stove used to heat the room (and honestly it still does when we turn the oven on). I had it repaired recently and the repairman said these stoves are often thrown away by renovators, but they're becoming collector's items by people who appreciate their sturdy construction and extremely hot temperatures. (The challenge is finding people who know how to repair them -- Apple Stoves in Oakland is awesome.)
My beloved Ikea Stenstorp kitchen cart has survived two moves and is really the most versatile piece of furniture. The side folds down so it can become smaller, and it has wheels to roll away from the stove for cleaning. Love you Ikea.
Again, my love of white household accessories is legend, but I really do think it makes the kitchen look less cluttered when you have 1,00000 spoons and spatulas if they're all the same color.
The toaster and electric kettle are both from the Japanese brand Muji (sold in the US too). Sadly, the toaster has melted itself a little bit and the kettle only holds enough water for one cup of tea. But I'm fully a person who will pick a beautiful toaster over function, and they make me happy. One day I will design gorgeous kitchen appliances that also work well.
On the list of everyday items that make me happy, this wood magnetic knife block is high up there. I included it on my gift guide because it's both beautiful and practical. I bought the longer version the company sells, and I don't regret it. In fact, I could see getting a second one and sticking metal cooking utensils to it:
I am obsessed with everything SimpleHuman sells, including their trash cans. They're expensive but will make your life better every time you throw out the trash -- Wirecutter agrees.
Through the window is a useless pantry that holds some storage and an unnecessary second sink. One day I'll turn it into a laundry room but until then it's fun to pass things through the window.
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