In the last couple of weeks I have been through every box of what has to be 3 million photos in this house (twice), and I have seen more than enough baby pictures of my kids to make me cross-eyed…all in an attempt to find the old photographs of this kitchen. I DID find the old floppy discs (disks?) with photos on them. Why did they call them floppy? Nothing was floppy about them. Anyway, since no computer within 50 miles of here has a floppy disc drive that works with these, I’m not sure how I will ever view them again. So the “befores” are going to be limited here. Sorry folks.
Know that this is not going to be a pretty post, and the quality of these photographs is awful. I apologize for our photography from the dark ages. Just bear with me please…it will get better.
The first shot at the top is of my daughter sitting on the counter in the white white kitchen about 14 years ago. This second one is a very ugly photo (of the room and me) just to give you an idea of the layout. You will have to ignore those lovely high waisted jeans, my eyes squinting into the cabinet, and the mess all around the room. I have no idea why this photo was taken. Goodness the room looks small here! And who said that white enlarges a space?
This was way back in the late nineties – maybe 4 or so years after we had the house built? The cabinets were originally painted white, and the countertops were white laminate, as you can see. When I tell you all the changes we’ve made to the kitchen keep in mind that I do all the painting, wallpapering, and drapery making, and my husband does all the carpentry work. None of this gets hired out.
So here are the changes we have made so far:
Phase 1 – Navy and white striped wallpaper was hung above the cabinets, and bright yellow tattersall curtains were on the windows. Black and white sailboat photos were on the walls around the room along with model wooden pond yachts displayed on top of the cabinets…yes, I thought I needed a beach house right smack in the middle of Georgia.
Phase 2 – Yellow and white striped wallpaper replaced the navy stipes above the cabinets, and short tiers were on the windows made from navy fabric with white stars. I still had the same nautical accessories.
Phase 3 – The above photo must have been taken at the beginning of this…The walls above the cabinets were painted khaki (Martha Stewart – Twine actually) and the windows had a red and gold plaid Roman shade. The nautical accessories were replaced with more traditional things and more in keeping with a house in the South (Hallelujah I came back to my senses!)…plates, baskets, paintings.
Phase 4 – Cabinets and all walls were painted Martha Stewart Twine, and the windows were dressed in a red and beige plaid fabric. The biggie here (besides my painting the cabinets) was my husband replacing the white countertops with wood ones. (Obviously a Christmas photo here.)
I liked this look for a long time (at least long for me), but I grew tired of the darkness, and eventually wanted more light. The next couple of pictures are not really to show you the dining room. I’ll explain in a second.
I want you to notice that there is a wall separating the dining room from the kitchen. Do you see the kitchen window over the sink through that doorway? Again, look at the wall here.
And right on around the corner here….
There was a pocket door behind that wall and a pantry with double doors and floor to ceiling shelves. I said that I was tired of the dark and wanted more light in the kitchen and dining area. So I thought and thought and thought about a way to take out that wall. Taking out that wall also meant taking out the pantry. And there were 3 major problems with the idea:
1. What could we do with the wood floor? The area under the wall and in the floor of the pantry was much lighter than the floor in the surrounding area. How would we get new wood floors to match old wood floors?
2. The pantry held almost all of our food for the kitchen. How could we handle storage of food if we took it out?
3. The ceiling in the kitchen is beadboard, and the dining room ceiling is smooth sheetrock. How could we handle the difference in materials?
Then I saw this photograph of the 2008 Idea House in Country Living Magazine…
and my wheels started turning…
The transom was the start of something good.
(and yes, that is a transom in our kitchen.)
to be continued…