BIG Kitchen Updates

If you've read our blog for a while it shouldn't surprise you that installing these open shelves made from reclaimed walnut would start a design chain reaction in our kitchen.  That is, after all, how I roll.  
Warning:  long post ahead with lots of pics.  :)

I have never really liked this area of our kitchen because it just wasn't comfortable when I cooked.  Mainly, because of the big black box, otherwise known as the giant microwave over the stove.  It felt like I practically had my head in it while standing at the stove because of how far it stuck out from the wall.  And the vent had fallen off a couple of times and cracked so there was duck tape holding it together.  In other words, it was time for it to go.  

But, we use our microwave, mainly for reheating leftovers.  So, convincing my hubby to get rid of it was difficult.  I begged.  He caved.  But he wasn't thrilled with the idea.  Yet.  

Luckily, in one of the storage buildings that he had bought at an auction this past summer, there was a brand new, much smaller, stainless steel microwave that will sit in the laundry room, out of sight until we need to use it or until I find a clever way to disguise it in the kitchen.  Problem solved.

So, down it came.  And what a relief it was to have head room at the stove.

Let's back up a bit.  Remember this super thick, 4 1/2 inches to be exact, piece of reclaimed walnut included in the pile that we brought home?

I thought it would be super cool to make a single shelf out of it for above the stove to hold my olive oils and my cherished vibe jars of spices.  I had always wanted a special place to put them and this was perfect.  So, here's what we ended up with.


I can't tell you how happy we are with it and hubby finally agreed after it was all finished.  As you can see, this prompted me to paint the french door between the kitchen and laundry a yummy shade of green.  I have been craving more color lately in our home and thought this was the perfect place to add it in the kitchen.  I don't think I could commit to painting the cabinets a color as I love the white, but the door was the perfect solution.


And that shelf.  That wonderful thick old wood.  We found out that it came from a basement where it had been stored for many many years.  And I love that it ties in with the other side of the room now with the other open shelves.


Because it is such a special shelf, I really wanted it to hold the things that mean a lot to me in the kitchen; my olive oils and vinegars and my spices.  Plus, a very special antique bread board that my hubby gave me for Christmas.  :)


These vibe jars are my favorite way to store spices.  I love to decant simple things that 
come with not so pretty packaging into prettier containers. 


It's so much more fun to cook in this little corner now.



Another change I made was adding a floor cloth in front of the sink.  I've always wanted to make one and finally tried it.  I have to say that I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  
It adds lots of interest to an otherwise very boring floor.  

I followed this tutorial.  The black and white diamond pattern is one I've always loved and so I did an aged version.  I wanted it to look a little rough and old as perfection was NOT what I was going for, so, when I painted my black squares, I left some of the white color showing through a little, to give it a worn look.  


I used simple painters canvas drop cloth and made a square template from wood to trace my diamonds on after priming and painting the off white color.  Then taped them off to paint them in.  Several coats of a WATER BASED polyurethane is a must so that spills can be easily cleaned up and it can stand up to high traffic areas. To make it non slip, I bought several rolls of this at the dollar store. 


And glued it to the under side of the floor cloth.


Easy and cheap and no slipping around the kitchen.  

The last change was adding this awesome bar stool that had just been sitting in my hubby's storage building.  I must have looked at it a hundred times before I finally decided that it would be perfect in the kitchen.


The "leather like" cover was all banged up and scratched but honestly, that's what I liked about it.  All I did was clean it and then paint the base with a mixture of Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze and Rustoleum Copper spray paint.  


Now there is a place to sit if anyone wants to sit down.  Sure wish I had a pair of these.  I love them!  And it's pretty comfy too!


That green door just makes me happy.  :)

I wish I could get a photo of the entire kitchen in one shot.


And because I had a small amount of that thick walnut left, 
I've made 3 thick long bread boards.


I had it planed down and look at what it looks like!  So pretty!



And thick.  The exact measurements are 20 inches long x 6 inches wide x 1 1/2 inches thick.  
I have 3 for sale here.  These are the only 3 there will ever be as I won't ever have this kind of walnut again.  It's very rare.  So, if you would like to purchase one, click here.

So that's it for the BIG kitchen updates.  Maybe not that big but certainly big for us getting rid of the microwave hood above the stove.

I'm curious, do any of you go without a microwave?  Where do you keep it?  If you don't have one, how do you survive without it?

Have a great day!

Diana

P.S.  The paint color on the door is called Spanish Green by Valspar.

P.P.S.  The vibe spice jars can be found here.

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