Monday, December 15, 2014

kitchen design board

Only project people should buy a project house. And when you buy a house built in 1850, you're buying a project. 

The first year presents little surprises. Like the water line to the first floor toilet freezes when the temps get down to -2. Which it was. And it did. Thus a new project is birthed, unplanned as it may have been.

Our planned project for the winter is an update on the kitchen. I was concerned about the size of the space when we bought the house: a compact 12x12 filled with multiple doorways and a sliding glass door. Our previous kitchen in our rented farmhouse spoiled me with an eat-in table and tons of cabinet space. We spent all our time in that kitchen, modest as it's design was it did offer a lot of space. 

But, I surprised myself by paring back enough to fit all our necessities efficiently into our "new" little kitchen. I love cooking and baking with everything organized and close at hand. But add a few kids and a husband all trying to work at the counter, plus a lazy mastiff sleeping in the middle of the floor, and things get tight.

Oh the challenges of this space. Let me sum up: 
  • 6 doorways (one a huge slider to the deck)
  • 12x12
  • The open diswasher door blocks entry into kitchen and the opening of the freezer door
  • Mismatched appliances
  • Fridge blocks line-of-sight to the next room. It's huge white side is THE thing you see when walking down the hallway or entering the kitchen.
  • Strange structure over the stove
  • Very old cabinets with no glides on the drawers (which leaves piles of sawdust-like dirt on the cabinets under the drawers and everything you have stored in them... owners of an old house with original cabinets know just what I'm talking about.)
Before sketch: The main entrance to the space is in the upper left corner--those two doorways at a right angle to each other.
Before: Here's that main entry--the two doorways on the right. Fridge on the left, dishwasher on the right. Pantry to the left of the fridge with the bi-fold doors is the planned new location for the fridge.
Before: standing in the doorway, looking into the kitchen.
Before: I inherited the wall color which incidentally is also the ceiling color. Thankfully the ceilings are high so the space doesn't feel too dark. A new wall color to neutralize the "oranginess" of the floors is in order, as well as a white ceiling.
Before: The stove was one of those first-year surprises that just stopped working one day. My in-laws spoiled me with a trip to the department store to pick out a new stove. It's a nicer stove than a cook like me deserves!
A full gut renovation isn't in the budget, nor do we desire to live with that kind of project, so we plan to make small updates and changes to improve the traffic pattern and the general aesthetics of the space. Below is a sketch of our plans. Moving the fridge into the pantry and replacing it with narrow shelving with a slimming profile.We also plan to remove the small farm table currently residing in front of the sliding door and replace it with a counter height island on castors that I can move as needed.
Sketch of planned changes.
Work began in November with a ceiling fan and fridge makeover, and the modification of the pantry that will be the new location of the fridge. Updates coming soon!

My kitchen inspiration board on Pinterest....

Follow Ruth's farm & furniture's board build me a farmhouse-kitchen on Pinterest.

Friday, September 5, 2014

homemade upholstery webbing stretcher

Because I'm cheep and impatient (I'd have to all the way into to Columbus or wait for it to be shipped and it did cost $30 after all), I did what any girl would do... googled "how to make an upholstery webbing stretcher." 

It won't win a beauty contest, but it works! I used a scrap of board, leftover construction nails, craft glue and a bit of the webbing. 
  • Clip the heads of the nails off with a bolt cutter
  • Drill holes in the cut end of the board and add glue
  • Insert the nails pointy ends out
  • Tack a bit of webbing on the other end to protect the furniture

And now a cute little chair complete with a seat that you won't fall through!

Monday, June 2, 2014

hay rounds

Yesterday we came home after church to the hay bailed and rolled into glorious rounds. I feel so incredibly blessed to live in such a beautiful part of Ohio and get to look at this on the back of our property! We dream big dreams of farms and hay fields and livestock and thought we'd never see them start to grow. God is good! There are yet bigger dreams. I can't wait to see where God takes us!

Friday, May 30, 2014

make hay

Today our amazing neighbor cut the hay in our fields, cause you see that big tractor pulling the cutter thing, we don't have those. (Nor do us city girls know the names of those machines.) He'll come back to rake it and bale it into big beautiful round bales of hay! Sustenance for the future.

We dream of that future, too. This some day of ours. Plan. Work. And figure. How many cows could that field support? A bull? How many feet of fencing? How big a barn? And a tractor? Count the pennies. Draw up plans. Baby step. Make hay.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

bad paint job and hope for the future

I was disappointed to wake up this morning (eager to move on to painting the trim on the back porch) only to find the paint dried blotchy. The walls are grooved panels and after the first coat I went back and brushed the paint into the groves. Sure, it looked blotchy then but after a typical second coat I was hoping the problem would be resolved. It is not. It's better, but still... uh, let's say, it is not good. Tonight I'll try a third coat. 

Given this is the primary entrance to the house I want to get it right. I want it to reflect our personality and that of the house. I want it to be functional for a family of 6 (occasionally 7) and the paraphernalia that occupies them. And I want it to be pleasing to look at. I've spent some time thinking this over and planning. 

A blotchy, bad paint job fits not into the vision. But... a rustic potting table and herringbone brick, wellies all lined up, maybe the perfect screen door, and the back door painted black... these ARE part of the vision, to be sure!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

cat and mouse

Today I played cat and mouse with the storm clouds and the laundry on the line--keeping one eye on the rain on the other side of the valley guessing it's arrival time, and the other eye on the red-crested woodpecker in the black walnut tree.

I would have been faster hanging the laundry if I'd just kept focus on what I was doing. But what fun is there in that? 

In between running the laundry in and out, doing school work with the kids, managing the 8 and 11-year-olds as they cleaned up after dinner, and chasing around an 18-month-old, I put the second coat of paint on the back porch. Thanks to my big girls for helping with the baby!

Almost everyone that comes to the house comes to the back door and this porch is the first thing everyone sees. I tore out the green indoor/outdoor carpet, hubby added some quarter round at the baseboard, and we're on our way to setting the tone and making a good impression with this first peek into our home. Is that a weird thing to concern oneself with? I don't want the first impression to be a dirty closet overflowing with shoes, Big Bird yellow paint, and a dumping ground for whatever we've carried in from the barn. This really is a beautiful house and the porch has been neglected for too long!
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