Welcome to my kitchen!!!! So great to have ya, friend.
When we started our farm six months ago, revamping our home's kitchen was not on the to-do list. Nowhere near it, actually. We quickly set our priorities and acquiring a dairy cow, meat chickens, laying hens, and building the garden beds were the big hitters. But as the summer has faded and the last of the produce has been harvested (by those danged free ranging hens, no doubt), I couldn't help but turn my attention inward (as is normal for this time of year, no?). It seems as soon as the sky grows grey and the air grows chilly, my list of interior projects skyrockets.
Mind you, those projects are rarely accomplished, but still. That's not the point.
After a quick visit from our fantastic landlords who mentioned they were happy to replace our teeny, mold-encrusted sink, the ball started rolling…
…and once a ball starts rolling in my mind, said ball will continue to roll until it's smashed to smithereens of accomplishment. It's a sickness. My drive can be a tad suffocating, even to myself at times.
Home projects are hard, aren't they? No matter how organized and efficient one tries to be, one always finds themselves amongst chalk paint, loose screws (in more ways than one) and chaos. It's just the nature of the beast.
That being said, I'm sure glad that we're on the other side of that battle now. After spending the last few weeks revamping our kitchen, I'm certainly glad that all has once again been put back into place. And more than that, I'm particularly glad for a few specific things which I shall now list out in an effort to organize my excitement:
1. A giant sink. And this ain't no ordinary sink. I'm talkin' cast iron. I'm talkin' a sink that will outlive my great grandchildren. I'm talkin' about a sink that'll hold a five gallon chicken waterer without blinking. Add in the tall, new faucet (complete with one of those squirty things) and friends, we're in business. If there was any object I loved more than breathing, it may be this sink.
Dramatic? Possibly. But true.
It's 9″ inches deep. Not that size matters. Just sayin'.
2. New counters. Because we didn't want to mess with ripping out the old counters and replacing them, we invented a way of covering the existing counters with new, wood countertops. The pine boards took a bit of cutting to maneuver, but following THIS INSPIRATION we were able to piece them together quite easily. We did chisel and break out the old backsplash, which we replaced with new wood. Doesn't it look perty?
The new counters were stained and then sealed with polyurathaine, which helps make them super resilient and easy to wipe off. We haven't had a problem with anything sticking, damaging, or staining thus far (which was a horrible problem with the old laminate counters… everything stained!).
I like to pretend my counters are made from 200 year old pine planks that once were in the Ingles home. For what it's worth.
3. Open shelves. One of the greatest perks of a manufactured home is the amount of storage the kitchen has. I love it. But the two cabinets that sandwiched the sink made me feel pretty claustrophobic. They hovered over me while I washed dishes and added a heaviness to the room. So. We busted 'em out.
Retextured the wall and repainted.
And put up some open shelving for our most used items: plates, cups, mugs, and *ahem* wine glasses.
I also found these little ‘ol cow and rooster brackets which I love. They add a sweet touch of old to the kitchen. And old, well, old's my thing.
Opposite the open shelves, I simply hung a few brackets that house my food mill, cast iron skillets, ladles, and copper pot. They look pretty and are super functional. And who doesn't want to glance in the kitchen and see a copper pot? Now if only I had fifty more…
What can I say? I'm an old European at heart.
4. Freshly painted cabinets and new hardware.
I don't know how old the hardware was before, but by my guess, it was pretty dang old. And there's something about living with your own crud versus living with somebody else's crud – know what I mean? At first, I tried to salvage the old hardware with some spray paint. But then, I threw caution to the wind, and purchased all new hinges and handles. It made such a difference in no only the warmth of the kitchen but also the cleanliness of it all. Getting to wash and paint over the cabinets made it feel so fresh and so clean, clean. I used my homemade chalk paint recipe to cover the cabinets (which took for-ev-er) and then did a clear coat of polyurethane over the top to help and protect them from dings and scraps.
And lastly, my new chicken wire light that I snagged at a thrift store to replace this beauty:
It's not perfect. But it's ours. And it's about a billion times better than the kitchen we endured in Alabama (umm, cockroaches anyone?) so I truly couldn't be more grateful for the blessing of having such a wonderful space to create! I am after a food blogger… I gotta take important pictures… and cook fantastic dishes… and… and… stuff.
Now THIS inspires me to cook!