When we first moved in. Don't worry,
the birdhouse border came down immediately.
The ceramic knobs soon followed.
Oak. I'm sure the trees themselves are nice, but I can't stand furniture made out of it. We have oak lower cabinets, oak upper cabinets, and to top it all off, we have that awful oak band around the laminate counter tops. Even our borrrowed-for-a-season dining table and chairs are oak. Sigh. It's all just so barfy yellowy with crazy veins running all through it. I know this is called "movement", and it's certainly making me want to move right out of this kitchen.
As my father told 10-year-old me after I chose the filet mignon for my birthday dinner, I have very expensive taste. But I also can't bear to spend extravagant amounts of money. How's that for dichotomy? It makes for a lot of guilt over purchases and jealousy over magazine pages. Both things God is helping me work on, daily.
So how am I supposed to come to grips with this kitchen situation? What is my approach going to be? A gut job is out of the question. That's way too expensive, and we wouldn't want to over improve for a small townhouse. Every project I come up with seems to have a domino effect on the rest of the room. If I want to paint the cabinets, then we might as well change the counters, in which case we should change the sink, and of course the faucet...
It's enough to really confuse me, so I'm trying to step back and get some inspiration.
Jennifer's Bright and Airy Mish Mash via Apartment Therapy Home Tours
Charley & Jessica's "Patina Clean" via Apartment Therapy Home Tours
I know this was from Elle Decor, but I can't find the exact page on the website.
Don't you love gathering all of your inspiration photos together and finding the similarities? Obviously I'm digging white cabinets. And while it might not seem like it, there's actually a lot of natural wood represented, only it's on the horizontal work surfaces, not the cabinets. Another feature in nearly every photo: open storage. That is gonna be the easiest way to get the oak away from my eyeline.
So, back to real life, here are some steps we might be taking.
- Change hardware. We've already done this, and it helped a lot. I just wanted something clean and straight, no swirly-whirly, and the cheapest brushed nickel pulls at Lowes worked great for us.
These might not be the exact ones. I'm fairly certain ours came in a 10-pack for only $25.
- Take cabinet doors off. Since I don't think we could sell a house with floating shelves in place of upper cabinets (at least not in Hanover, in a town home community mostly populated by seniors), I'm seeing how I like having the doors off. It took two minutes to take them off, and it wouldn't take much more to put them back on, so it's an easy thing to try on for a while.*
- Paint cabinets. We really wanna do this, but I don't know if we're quite ready to pull the trigger. It's gonna be a LOT of work. Especially for a husband who's only home and coherent about two hours a day. But when I think of saying goodbye to all that pesky oak.... I'm ready to get to it.
- Replace counter tops. Since we'd really like to do this anyway, it only makes sense to replace them while we're painting the cabinets. We're not sure what we wanna get. Butcher block would look great with the white. Polished concrete would be INSANE. In the end, we'll probably do a granite-look laminate. It's pretty inexpensive, and it'll sell well when it's time to move on.
- Replace sink. Anything stainless. Don't ever buy a white fiberglass sink. It will not stay clean. The previous owners put all these scratches in it, and now it always looks filthy. It gotsta go. (Standard sinks are pretty affordable, so I definitely see this happening.)
- Replace faucet. Kinda goes along with getting a new sink. Why are faucets so darn expensive? Goodness.
I'm digging this one from Lowes. $119 isn't a bad price, considering I saw some for over $1,000!
So, there's a window into our plans for the future of this kitchen. Now we just have to have the guts to go for it!
*Check back for my post on lining the inside of the cabinets in funky fabric!