Friday, January 1, 2010

kitchen... the mostly 'After' pictures

i say 'mostly' because i have several little projects to finish... like another coat of paint on the walls & filling some nail holes and putting up a backsplash.
so this is the 'Almost After' post, okay? : )

let me preface this entire post by saying how much i LOVE our new kitchen! it's not crazy fancy or high tech or custom made, but it is REALLY perfect for our family & how i cook. and i've cooked 5x as much since we've moved than i did the rest of 2009 combined!

i have heard that truly great chefs need very little counter space...
well, whoopee for them!
i need LOTS of counter space & storage & a deep sink to hold the 11 pots and pans i use to make a casserole.
and i have those things now, and i LOVE IT!


i still burn the chicken sometimes, and i always make dense, chewy pancakes instead of light, fluffy ones. hairballs still collect in the corners, and the dishwasher is constantly running.
yes, i love our new home & our lovely kitchen... but my prediction from this post came true: i brought myself with me to the new house!
it's a new building, but same me.

i'm a work in progress, what can i say?!
(Phillippians 1:6, anyone?)

now on to the pictures!! yay!

here is the view from our dining room into the kitchen... mostly the left side. see the patch of wall that's unpainted above the sink?
i don't want to talk about it. i'll get it eventually. : )
yes, i baked fresh pumpkin muffins just for this picture... OR i made them for my kids... who hated them. awesome.

anyway- the kitchen: the cabinets are a Shaker style full overlay door- the brand is Kabinart, and the color is Starlight. we got them from Cabinets, Flooring & More here in STL. and i have to say: although it was still a large chunk of money to get this many cabinets, their prices beat Lowes & Home Depot by 25%. yup- that's a whole lot of savings. and we are SO pleased with the quality and service we received. it's worth checking out if you're looking into kitchen or bath remodel/repair. ask for Lori- she's hilarious. : )

here's the view facing to the right...
i got my open shelves! love 'em SO much. i use those plates, bowls & cups so regularly that there is NO dust. well, the snack plates may get a bit dusty, but i'll wash those before i use them. they're just too cute to hide away!

and yes, that crock pot is pretty much a permanent fixture on the counter. i'm a big slow-cooker fan. it has chili in it today.

i know you wanted to see the open shelves again...

and again... okay, i'll stop now.

are you wondering why we don't have a refrigerator?
we don't believe in cold food. it's part of our religion.

or we're Presbyterian, so we are very much okay with refrigeration. in order to give us LOTS of cabinet & counter space, our contractor Mark put our pantry & fridge just around the corner.
seem strange?
i am really happy with it! i'm sure you professional chefs are just counting the extra steps & seeing the inefficiency, but i assure you:
my macaroni & cheese has not suffered a bit! just ask my kids!

so here's the view turning to the left:
see? there it is!
we bought a repaired refrigerator from Lowes...
i don't recommend buying refurbished appliances, if you want to know.
yes, we got a HUGE fridge & freezer for almost half of it's full cost.
and it's covered under warranty, which is nice.
but we've had 2 repairs so far, and i'm anticipating the freezer needing some additional help soon.
to their credit, Lowes' service department has been VERY courteous & helpful to me. how often can you say that? maybe it's because i usually go in with 2 screaming kids... the nicer they are to me, the sooner i'll leave with my kids.

here's what you see if you turn even more to the left- towards the family room & mudroom. the door you see in the picture is a closet (i have closets now!), and the kitchen is on the right.
this is a random picture, i know... but it shows that big wall on the left that i'm pondering lately. what will i put on it? i have some thoughts. however, decorating is taking a backburner to actually unpacking boxes & feeding my family. and occasionally bathing.

sorry this one is blurry- i believe Julia was grabbing my legs & saying, "up-a-dee??" that means, 'pick me up now before i fall into a weeping, mushy puddle on the floor!!'

but in the above picture you can see the pantry- i have a pantry!!
it's this really cool thing that stores food! i can bring home groceries and put them in there- not in the basement or in baskets on the floor!!
and it has pullout shelves for easy access.
i'm kind of happy with it, i guess you could say. : )

below is the breakfast bar... although we don't eat breakfast there. maybe i should call it the 'place i lay things until i want to take a picture & pretend that my house is clean' bar. too long? then 'breakfast bar' it is.
it's a simple thing, really. just a small piece of counter between the pantry & the family room. but it has been great for putting appetizers and snacks on when we have company (and BOY have we had company this Christmas season! 8 days in a row... fun fun fun, i tell you! i love it!)

anyway- at some point there will be stools here. i'm saving my dollars & looking for something specific. i'd like them to have a back on them because 99% of our visitors have small children:
i don't want any kiddos falling off our stools!
and i'd like a cushioned seat, or at least the ability to tie a cushion on to the seat. i have some fabrics already- bargain bin at Hancock's on Veteran's Day was 50% off!! $2.00 a yard is my kind of fabric!

so a couple of details for those people who like details:
paint is Topsail by Sherwin Williams.
love the color, but i need to do another coat.

the drawer pulls are from Lowes- i don't remember the brand. and yes, they are a 2009 stereotype- cup pulls in oil rubbed bronze. i don't care to be a trend-setter... i like what i like!

the faucet is by Price Pfister. i like the high-arched faucet & separate handle... it's nothing crazy, but it's good.

pendant lights are from Schoolhouse Electric: Willamette pendants with 'Vintage Blue' shades. 2 small ones over the breakfast bar:
and one larger one over the sink:
love those lights- they were a splurge, but i preferred to spend $$ on those and save it on other things.

such as the countertop: it's laminate, and i'm very pleased with it!
i'm not a granite lover, although i appreciate how nice it is in other homes. if i had a few thousand extra dollars, i would have loved butcher block- it has always been a favorite of mine. too pricey, though. my second choice would have been a solid surface such as Corian or a similar brand.

but i'll be honest- i'm 100% happy with the look of this laminate! it's exactly what i wanted. it is Formica, and the color is Creme Quarstone. it's a matte finish- no 'granite simulation' or 'texture.'

the only problem is that it hides dirt REALLY well.
don't think that's a problem?
maybe it's not if you like preparing food on dirty countertops, but i'm trying to remember that i need to wipe them down even if they look clean! i should have taken a picture of the cloth i used to wipe them... yuck-O.

and i don't have a backsplash anywhere yet... i may not put one anywhere but behind the stove. i'm crazy like that! and i'm thinking of using some ceiling tin that i bought years ago... the real stuff, not the new shiny ones. those are lovely, but i like my old rusty, scraped up tiles!

so that's the end of the kitchen tour!
from this:
and this:

to this:

happy new year and happy cooking, my friends! thanks for stopping by!
all wonderful blogs- check them out!

Christmas has come & gone...

a belated posting of Christmas pictures

(i'm having trouble re-arranging my pictures on this post, so they're all in the EXACT OPPOSITE ORDER OF WHEN THEY HAPPENED!!! grrr. i could delete the whole thing & start over, but it took over an hour to upload them all. did i say grrr?? i mean it. grrr.)

julia decided this is the most fun ever: climbing on things & then yelling for help getting down! see the stickers on the table? that was caroline's art project earlier in the week.
standing in the snow for approximately 6.5 minutes- it was SO windy!

modeling their new winter hats from Mimi!

this is julia's first time to play in the snow! last winter she was too little... i'm not sure she's impressed!

i think this is a hug? looks like a suffocation attempt, huh?

Cinderella and 'baby cinderella' taking a juice break... : )
most fun of the morning? playing with trash, ribbon & cat!

who needs toys?

she REALLY loves Cinderella!

climbing monkey attacking the lamp... again, who needs toys?

she does love sitting in her new doll cradle, though!

notice that the tiara goes on TOP of the hat...

opening stockings together

helping julia open a present

coming down the stairs...
first peek!
santa's helpers putting together the trampoline! thanks simon!
one gift to open on Christmas Eve
it had 350 pieces, so we didn't actually play with it... : )
trying to decide which one to open...

licking the spoon after helping make Jesus' birthday cake! i don't think she liked it...

but she did like stirring!

first Christmas at the new house... i'm impressed we even found the decorations, much less put them up! ha!

Julia in her Christmas dress... i had to tuck it into her tights to keep her from tripping on it!

i tried to get a picture of caroline in her dress, but she kept checking herself out in the mirror!

i think she was pleased with her dress & giant bow!

happy new year, everyone!