When we turned the back den in our home into our kitchen a couple of years ago, one of my favorite parts about the entire remodel was how we opened up the space to our back yard area and into an entertaining zone (pending outdoor yard transformation) with big four pane glass doors at each corner.
It helped to add plenty of light to a darker space (the floors really add to that), but it also moved all of the attention of the space to the very end of the giant room, where the center of the kitchen sat. The space between the island and my office has always felt like some sort of empty zone that you had to pass through to get to the kitchen, and not really as if it was connected in a functional way. It’s an odd space in need of a cozy, textile-filled lift that would help soften and bridge kitchen to rest of house.
We’ve played around with the idea of building some sort of additional cabinetry or bar into that open area, but the more and more I think about it, the more and more a breakfast ‘nook’ is calling my name.
I would like to bring sunny yellow and maybe one contrasting pop of color in in the form of a cheery bench fabric and pillows. As far as the seating goes, I have a couple of ideas on how we can either repurpose a piece of furniture or use the same cabinets that are in the rest of our kitchen, but maybe with the addition of legs to form a bench. With our dining space just off of the kitchen, Kevin is not so sure it’s the best use of space, while I can already picture reading the morning paper and drinking coffee curled up. Inspirational photos are always helpful in making these decisions.
We’ve come a long way since it all began four and a half years ago!
And back to light filled kitchen…
PS You can filter all posts by just our kitchen remodel (and watch the entire room start from scratch) here.
Tags: Breakfast Nook, Decorating, Fabric, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 1 Comment »
A while back, I noticed that Jenny of LGN was growing a citrus tree right in her NYC apartment. And I thought it was brilliant. We don’t have much room on our property for fruit trees but there’s something about producing your own cooking accoutrements (delicious thyme and rosemary and dill) that is so appealing. Lemons fall into that category for me. They can be found in nearly every dish, from fresh fish to a salad dressing to a cold glass of iced tea, and so I decided to give indoor gardening a go. Our little herb garden on the side of the house will produce the seasoning for daily meals, and now perhaps my indoor fruit tree will provide several lemons to give us juice on a semi-regular basis.
Worst case it becomes a pretty green addition for the kitchen. Of course when he gets too big (though he is a dwarf lemon) I’ll have to transplant him into a large pot on the future deck. But for now, my little lemon tree has found the perfect spot to flourish.
I’ll keep you updated on the success of indoor fruit harvesting. Back when I was in grade school I attempted this with a tomato plant and produced little cherry tomatoes year round by placing it at the corner of two bright windows. Will lemons act the same I wonder?
I have become mildly obsessed with houseplants of late. Trees for various rooms and beautiful crawling vines for the tops of bookshelves. The added greenery and life brings energy to a space – an organic vibe that I am really drawn to at the moment.
This lemon tree is just what the kitchen ordered. I chose a dwarf Eureka lemon, mostly because I thought it was much prettier than the Meyer up close (which was my original plan) and would be a tad more attractive as an indoor varietal.
Here’s what I’ve learned about the two common types: Eureka’s are “true” lemons while Meyer’s are actually a hybrid, whose origin is unknown but is believed to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange or orange. Eureka’s have fewer seeds but their lemons are a tad more acidic. Eureka’s blossom with full white blooms in mid spring and offer a winter harvesting period which lengthens as the tree ages. I should expect fruit now (the plant is roughly 2-3 years old) but it will continue to get fuller as it gets older. I can keep him a dwarf with regular pruning and should be able to easily control the span and size, though it definitely will not need a new pot for at least a year. Should I attempt this again in the future I’ll probably seek out true dwarf rather than a semi-dwarf, but I didn’t really learn the difference until Googling post-purchase.
I’ve placed him next to the sliding glass doors so that on especially bright days I can pull him outside and into direct (rather than window-muted) sun.
Here’s a reminder of our kitchen remodel so you can see the amount of light that this space gets on a regular basis:
I love love my turquoise pot (a find from Lowe’s) and I might fill in that showing dirt with a thin layer of lime green moss. Sort of like this example from Martha.
I’ve been watching closely for several weeks now at the brand new green leafy clumps that are stretching out of the branches, and just as we were leaving town this week I noticed my first little bud. The sign of new life. And it could not have peeked out at me at a better time.
To be continued when the first little green-yellow ball takes shape… more tips on indoor citrus gardening from Jenny here, she highly recommends Calamondin orange trees and shares plenty of pretty inspiration.
Tags: Decorating, Green, Home, Kitchen, Yellow
Posted in Gardening, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 11 Comments »
In the week of blogiversary giveaways, I posted that recently I had turned my favorite calendar into new wall art for the kitchen.
Previously, the gap on the wall looked like this:
Sorely in need of something large and in charge to both soften the room and fill up blank space.
I’m pretty picky about art, especially something so prominently placed that’s going to be seen day in and day out, so I had a hard time (a really, really hard time) coming up with a solution for the space. I had one large Ikea square frame in my little frame collection and realized that this area of the kitchen might just be the place for it. After testing out on the wall I determined that two stacked would be better and picked up one more. Progress was made! Now I needed to find art.
When I came across this calendar on the Rifle website by chance, I fell in love with the style of the illustrations! There were several months in the calendar that I thought would especially work well and in one of those crazy moments where the stars collide and you make up your mind on the spot, I bought the calendar online.
While I waited for the calendar to arrive I set out to find mattes for the frames since I knew that the calendar pages were 11×11″ and not my 22″ frame size. I usually err on the side of white but the linen mattes from the office wall collage were some of my favorites, and a similarly textured matte would look great in the kitchen against the natural woods and jute rugs. After much price comparison I went with Michaels where they cut the mattes for me for ~$20 each (I usually buy my all white mattes on eBay where they can be custom cut and are the cheapest).
But then the calendar arrived and oh no! Not only were the beautiful illustrations visible in the frame but the title of each month was too:
Why hadn’t I thought about that? Not what I was hoping for.
After a little creative brainstorming I ended up cutting apart other pages of the calendar with similar foliage and tried to camouflage the lettering by covering it up.
In tutorial form (because I am all about visuals), here goes:
DIY Art with Creative Cover-Ups
Materials: frame, matte, art to frame, photocopy of art to frame OR similar art (for the purpose of camouflaging whatever it is you’re trying to hide), scissors, glue stick
Cut, position and glue!
Cut as closely as you can to your copied art (via photocopying, scanning and printing, or purchasing a duplicate of the same piece) and hide your lettering (or whatever it is you’re hoping to make go away).
And here they are hanging!
Love the look of the linen matte (which has a slight texture) against the illustrations and love the dark frames that compliment our oil rubbed bronze kitchen faucet and pendants.
It’s all about bringing in different elements in different places. The dark wood barstools compliment the dark wood range hood, the lighter walnut cabinets are similar to the doors, the dark slate tiles have the same leathery grey as the counter tops and now the oil rubbed bronze is evident in both the faucet, pendants, cabinet pulls and art.
The left side of those frames is a window under construction (boarded up) waiting to be turned into the top of a built-in bar (potentially in many many years ). But as of now, the new art compliments the room really well! And I’m glad I found a fix for art that I really do love.
All kitchen makeover posts can be found right here.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Kitchen, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »