More Than Meets the Eye – Kitchen Renovation, Part 1

My husband B and I have been talking quite a bit about what we want to do with the kitchen. Until very recently, it could be considered many things – “vintage,” “retro,” “original.” We’ve put off doing it while focusing on moving bedrooms and offices around to accommodate the new baby and to fix other things around the house. So it remained a bit of an eyesore, and you know how it is with eyesore rooms – they become a catch-all room, too. After all, what is a little more clutter when the room already looks so bad?

About two weeks ago, I noticed that not only was the vintage-garden-themed wallpaper falling down, it was very easy to take off. It was as if the paper was hanging only by a residual bit of dried up glue. I pulled the corner of a sheet down about a foot-and-a-half, until it hit the curtain rod. And I left it, much to the chagrin of B.

So this past Friday I heard the sound of wallpaper separating from wall, and when I went to investigate, my husband had, in the space of a few minutes, completely removed the paper from one wall. He suggested he would stop after that one wall, but I insinuated that I may not find that to be such a pleasing idea and that he’d better finish what he started. (LOL) About 20 minutes later, the room was done. I believe this was the house’s way of creating a truce between it and us – after all, it owes us for the two layers of 1940s paper in the hallway and the 3 layers in the downstairs bedroom (not to mention the burlap wallpaper in the living room we have yet to remove!)

B removing wallpaper from the first wall

B removing wallpaper from the first wall

Beautiful vintage wallpaper

Beautiful vintage wallpaper

Please don’t mind the mess – we have two kids!  And yes, that’s some of my handdyed sock yarn hanging there. I didn’t have the chance to take it down before he started, and now I’ll have to wash it…

I actually liked this wallpaper quite a bit.  Just not so rampant and all-inclusive!   It clashed with the cabinets, and really only looked good in the breakfast area I showed above, which was where it started falling down.

(Again, ignore the mess.  Remember what I said about “catch-all” rooms?  This one has been really bad in the past few weeks…)

The kitchen bar, covered with stuff!

The kitchen bar, covered with stuff!

Everything - including the kitchen sink

Everything - including the kitchen sink

So it’s been a busy weekend!  We’ve got the wallpaper down, but we’ve always thought the top cabinets were rather low – so once we got the wallpaper off, and our suspicions were confirmed, we decided to move them up the wall. Not only were the lower cabinets on a 4 inch base, making them higher (which we knew before) but the upper cabinets had been moved down 4 inches from their original spot!  The original installers had drawn lines on the plaster that was still visible. So we’ve been moving the cabinets back up.  The room feels bigger and lighter already, and our efforts have cost us nothing but a box of screws to replace the old stripped ones.  Three more cabinets to go!  (I hear my husband working again, so I’d better go help!)

I’ll post pictures of our “new,” unpainted, still cluttered kitchen soon.

The lesson?  Does there have to be one?  Okay – here it is – I’m rather obsessed with home decorating magazines.  Though I know the rooms in those homes are about as real as the models in Vogue, I want my home to look pretty!  But I also don’t need to spend extravagant amounts of money or buy all new things to make my home look something like those magazines (with a child-driven tornado included, of course!)  Sometimes, recreating a home is just that – take something you already have and move it, change it, or even get rid of it.  It creates a brand new feel.

So, anyone want some vintage wallpaper?  Otherwise, I’m freecycling it along with all the things we don’t use anymore.


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