A Phoenix Burning

Kitchen Tour

So, I know I have mentioned Pinterest to you all.  I have a true love love relationship with this website.  If you have not gotten hooked yet, please run on over there right this minute and let it suck the life right out of you!!!  No, seriously, you will lose yourself for the first few days, getting bleary eyed and headachey as you wander through all there is to behold there.  You will then come to your rational senses, limit yourself to a specific time limit, and come to love this site as much as I do.  At first, I couldn’t imagine why I would ever have a need for yet another website (as if I don’t already have enough to follow around here.) But then I started wandering into the Home Decor section and started seeing some wonderful ideas for the reno…then came my organization kick and all the great ideas I found on Pinterest to push me along the organizational path.  It is now my GoTo site for ideas, some of which I used in my “new” kitchen.  OK, so it’s not “new” but I have fallen in love with it all over again as though it is.

Here’s the result: (Not going for photographic excellence here, so bear with me!)

Now, besides painting, I addressed a few problem spots in the kitchen.  I figured that since I organized all the insides, it was only right that I also organize the outside.  Here is a before shot of a real problem spot:

Seriously…we thought that cork board was a good idea at the time.  But it simply became a clutter place.  And that little basket holding pens and pencils (and a three year old Christmas candy cane reindeer??????!!!!!!!!) simply had to go.  How about those keys hanging on the magnetic hook on the fridge? Messy messy clutter.  And that calendar…thought I could do something a bit more stylish, since my Robert Pattinson one had to be taken down in January. *ahem*dontjudgeme*

So I started by yanking that cork board off the side of the cabinet, a much more painful and time consuming process than I thought it would be.  Easy peel off stickies are not so easy to peel after ten years.

Then I bought a new hanger for keys…$7.99 thank you very much.

And then I made myself a new reusable calendar…just wipe off the glass and start over month after month! Old unused-for-years frame from the cabinet, a piece of the curtain fabric, and a printed blank calendar and voila:

Aint it grand?!!  I also needed a spot for a few of those things I like to have at my fingertips, so instead of that icky cork board, I found one of those ribbon boards.  Here’s the after photo of that space.

Muuuuuuuuch better!

Then there’s that hard to decorate spot above my cabinets.  It has always had me a bit dumbfounded…I used to keep a bunch of “stuff” up there…unnoticed dust collectors.  Then I got sick of it and wanted to declutter, so I emptied the tops and left them bare.  But then I hated the echo that was left behind.  So this is what I did….I threw these beloved containers back up there (containers my aunt gave me and I cherish) and left it.

Yucky yucky blah blah.  (And yes, those are undelivered Christmas gifts in that basket….undelivered to whom?  My next door neighbors…*ahem*dontjudgemeagain*)

So once we painted I did the only logical thing…I searched Pinterest for ideas! 🙂  I found this blog and knew she was onto something.  I loved what she did, and how she explained the reasons behind her choices. So after a trip to JoAnne’s 50% off home decor sale, and a trip around my house hunting for beloved artifacts, I’m pretty pleased with the results. Looks better in person, but you get the idea.  Only two of the pieces on each side are new, the others have a history and a story to tell.  We also strung cord lights up there that are invisible, but cast a lovely glow, especially on dark rainy days like today.  Really brightens up that space above.

And I know I have spoken about my new obsession with black?  Check out my radiator!!


Lastly, I tackled my curtain problem.  I would love to go curtainless, but we really like our privacy at night (who doesn’t?) But our windows are the old fashioned swing out windows.  I love them so much, I cannot even tell you….but they have always been a bit of a problem to cover.  There were old iron swing rods above the windows when we moved in, so I used those, loving the uniqueness and antiquity of them.  However, they were actually too short for one set of windows so when closed, didn’t quite completely cover the windows.  They also were a bit crooked, but still I clung to them.  Not anymore.  I decided to have Zan take them down to be repurposed elsewhere…perhaps as towel rods in one of the new bathrooms?  And started thinking of these windows from scratch.  Of course, I went to my best friend, Pinterest for advice.  I found this idea.  I liked the simplicity of them, and loved that they show all the woodwork around the window.  Also, my sewing skills being as UNskillful as they are, I thought this was a project I could tackle.  So this was what I did for a few days:

However, I finished them, and really didn’t like the hassle of having to tie them up every morning….I was annoyed with that task almost immediately.  So, I used my OWN BRAIN to come up with a solution!!  (Pretty proud of myself for this one.) I started wishing I had some of those squeeze gadgets that are on jackets….you know the ones- they allow you to pull the bottom tight, or pull your hood tight.  Then I came up with this idea, and it actually WORKED!!!  Whoohoo!!

It’s a bead slide! I had to search my bead box for beads with holes big enough to get ribbon through, yet small enough to grab the ribbon tight enough to hold.  It just so happens that I had five of them…the exact number I needed! They work perfectly. 🙂  I attached them using cheap cafe rods to each window, and so for about $40 in materials I have three new sets of curtains.  I could’ve done it for less if I hadn’t insisted on backing fabric, or shopped from the clearance fabrics. Up:

And down:

Phew! So there you have it…that’ll do for the kitchen for now since all funds are being diverted to new bathrooms and such. (Whoohoo!) This was a cheap do-it-your-selfers pick me up.  Next up, the dining room! I found an old door window insert downstairs that I saved from Zan’s garbage pile…can’t wait to show you what I’m cooking up for that! 🙂


4 responses

  1. Wonderful! ALL of it! Well done!!

    This post reminded of when we remodeled our kitchen (the first time) and I took polaroids of the existing space to bring to Home Depot. In looking at the photos, what struck me is how CLUTTERED everything was! Things I hadn’t noticed on a day-to-day basis…cluttered counters, clutter shelves, cluttered table. All of it HAD to go (and it did). Organization rocks! 🙂

    May 8, 2012 at 8:53 am

    • Ugh! I know! Things just tend to pile up over time….and with a busy household, forget it! Even now, there’s more countertop clutter than I’d like, but everything gets used regularly, so I’m choosing convenience with some things. Still feels so much better. Going to do the same room by room by room.:)

      May 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

  2. These are ingenious ideas, especially the bead on a ribbon arrangement. Perhaps a few good ideas will get me unstuck. In the meantime, I am not showing anyone the inside of my house. Clutter doesn’t begin to describe the chaos that reigns. I can find things on a 3T hard drive but not on my desk.

    May 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm

  3. Our kitchen needs going over again… but with so much going on with family and work, it’s on a long list of “to do” things.
    Trouble is that Himself did so much in the house last year that he’s a bit sick of the sight of the paintbrush, and since I’m no help I think we will have a year off and look at tackling it next year.
    Thanks for the Pinterest link… the site looks amazing!

    May 10, 2012 at 2:04 am

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