Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dining Room and Kitchen Tour

The dining room and the kitchen are the heart of our home. These are two of my favorite rooms in our house and it's a good thing because with four boys in our family we spend a lot of time here.
I had some concerns about the kitchen before we bought the house, but it has worked out great for us. The double ovens in the wall are very small but I am able to fit a 20 pound turkey in one at Thanksgiving and a couple of pies or baking sheets of rolls in the other, so it has actually ended up being better than having a single large oven. Last year we had to get a new dishwasher and this year we had to replace the disposal because the casing was cracked and leaking. There are a couple of other projects that won't be able to wait on (a leaky faucet, for one) but for the most part any major upgrades are a long way down the road.

The Dining Room
I'll start with the dining room since that is the room you walk into from the living room. You can see a sneak peak of the family room beyond.

Our kitchen table seats the six of us fine but it is a little on the small side. Our younger boys take advantage of the stools at the counter when we have company for dinner. Anytime we have a large meal we end up putting the food on the counter because there just isn't room on the table. In my dreams we have a huge farmhouse table that fits everyone with lots of extra room for the amazing meals I prepare. There is a bench on one side of the table and chairs on the other. I have plans to paint the chairs (although I haven't decided exactly what color--black or farmhouse white--and what type of paint I'm going to use yet). The table needs to be refinished but not so much that it is a priority. I'd love a different chandelier eventually, but there is nothing wrong with this one so it will stay for now.

To the left of the table, the little green cabinet holds all my kids' school and homework supplies. My husband and I have talked about pulling off the paneling on this short wall and seeing what's behind it. We think there could have possibly been a fireplace at one time since there is a chimney that comes out of the roof in the same central location. Even if there never was a fireplace we've dreamed about the possibility of installing one here. I would love to have a fireplace. I think it is one of the things that this home is lacking. One short term solution I'm considering is putting a salvaged mantle here. That would at least give us a spot to hang our stockings at Christmas.

On the other side of the table we have a nice big window. I'd love to put a window seat or a deacon's bench in this spot someday. The dining room is pretty spacious so I think we could do that without making things seem too crowded.

I have more cabinet space in this kitchen than in any home I have ever lived in but there is no pantry. I've been thinking of pantry solutions and I'd like to use the wall with the Cerasota Flour lady painting that belonged to my Grandma as a pantry wall by putting some shelves or a cabinet of some sort there. I don't quite have it figured out yet.

Below is the view looking into the dining room from the family room (with the living room and front entry beyond). I bought the little bookshelf when we first moved to Oswego to house my cookbooks.

And here's a final view of the dining room from the kitchen before I move on to that room:

Recap of possible future changes for our dream dining room:
--Huge farmhouse table
--New ceiling and chandelier
--Possible built-in window seat or deacon's bench
--Some sort of pantry solution
--Fireplace or salvaged mantle
--Paint chairs, large mirror frame?, walls? Refinish table.
--Rip out paneling and put in new drywall. Fix baseboards where they aren't mitered properly
--Replace laminate with hardwood

The Kitchen
I love my kitchen. It is pretty functional. It is spacious with quite a bit of storage. A dream kitchen makeover would be pretty extensive--a new vent hood, subway tile, a farmhouse sink, new cabinets to the ceiling, a nice island, etc, but honestly I am mostly happy with things the way they are and I can live with them this way for a very long time. The one thing that I would really like to upgrade within the next several years is the counter tops. I have thought about wood, concrete, granite, or maybe even just a nice laminate (laminate has come a long way). I'm in no hurry to decide since we definitely don't have the money for this upgrade at the moment. One of the previous homeowners painted them, and although I don't mind the paint at all, it is starting to wear off and is looking pretty rough.

I'll start at the fridge and go clockwise around the kitchen.

I love having a flat ceramic stovetop. We are messy cooks in this family and it is terrific when it comes to cleaning it.

I really wanted a tray to organize some of the stuff on my counter but after an unsuccessful thrift store hunt I remembered this box that I had up in the attic. It came as packaging for some Melissa & Doug toys and was natural wood. I just rubbed it with some scratch remover to give it a darker color and it contains everything nicely.

I got my cup rack for free with a birthday coupon from World Market a couple of years ago. It was on sale and I had a $10 off $10 or more coupon. I don't know if they still send out those coupons but it would be worth your time to sign up for their Explorer Club if they do.

I love that I have a window over my sink. I didn't have a window in my kitchen for the whole seven years we lived in Alabama and I have to say that a window over the sink is a necessity for me now. The view of the neighbor's house isn't ideal but I can soak up the sun while I do dishes and that makes me happy. I'm hoping to hand a bird feeder outside this window at some point so I can do some bird watching.

I like this corner because it has a cool rotating corner cupboard. It's the little things.

This door leads to the laundry room/downstairs bathroom (up next on the house tour agenda). 

The last stop on the tour is my plate wall. I like to change it seasonally. I'm always on the look-out for interesting plates so I can switch things up--there is a stack of plates in the cupboard above my fridge for when I need a change. I've been collecting these for awhile. My favorite place to look for new plates is the thrift store, but I've gotten plates on trips, as family heirlooms and even just regular old Target and Walmart. I made the bakery sign from a plank that I had. I printed out the letters with my computer and used them as a stencil. It was cheap and I love the way it looks on my brick wall.

Recap of most pressing (and most realistic) updates:
--New faucet for the kitchen sink
--New counter tops
--Fresh paint

Recap of possible eventual updates for our dream kitchen if we end up living in this house for the rest of our lives:
--Switch out the laminate flooring for hardwood
--New pendant lights over the peninsula
--New cupboards to the ceiling
--Farmhouse sink
--Subway tile backsplash
--New vent hood
--New windows over the sink
--New appliances (fridge and oven)
--Replace ceiling and wrap ceiling beams

So, that's my kitchen. What do you think? What changes would you make?


Emily Piscitelli said...

Jill, this was truly awesome for me to sit at my computer, while taking a grand tour of your most challenging and wonderful home and all the ideas you shared as you moved along this tour. I really felt like I was right inside your house. The viewer cannot help but hold their interest if they're into any kind of decorating their own home. And that I am of course. Now about the only definite change I would have to make is to add that fireplace you spoke of. That's something that if you do end up doing, you will never regret doing so. My husband and I put our own fireplace in our home a few years after we bought it, so it's not professionally done. But it was done by the two of us, so it's got a sentimental value to it. The only other thing that I would change, and it's something you'll never be able to do, is the view of your neighbor's home from your kitchen window. But once you place that bird feeder outside your window, you'll hardly ever even notice that house, trust me. The birds will take front seat, for sure! I mean the house that you see isn't ugly or anything, as it's "just there," and once you get activity in front of it with some of God's most beautiful creations, then that house will start to look a whole lot better, trust me. I'd like to just say thank you for taking your time to share your beautiful home with us that are interested, as it really did give me a lot of ideas myself, that I wouldn't mind doing in my home, such as the plate wall. I really like that idea as I've got a few plates that are special to me, and I wouldn't mind starting up a special place for them in my home as well. So thank you very much and God bless you, your family, and your beautiful home. May He also bless you in allowing enough funds to come your way to achieve all your dreams you have for this home too. Or at least most of them anyway. And keep the faith Jill, as He told us with faith, we can move mountains Hon. So trust in Him, as He loves you that much. This was all really great! I loved it. And again, thank you very much for this grand tour! It made my night!

Tanya said...

I LOVE your kitchen! No, it isn't perfect, (the lack of pantry would drive me nuts) but it is big and really nice! I agree with the window! :) And a bird feeder would be a fun, easy thing to fix. I also really love your little spots of fun things - the tray by the stove, your cookbook shelf, your homework station, and the bread!!! I seriously love your style! I need a style...