Tag Archives: kitchen

Kitchen Details: Roman Shade

29 May

To begin, I want to be perfectly clear that I am not usually into matchy-matchy.  Not in my clothing choices, not in my decorating.  Matchy-matchy makes me itchy-itchy.  However, I found myself in the fabric section of Ikea some months back quite certain that I had to buy this fabric and make a Roman shade for the kitchen because it “matched so perfectly.”  I originally wanted something with contrast, but how could I pass up this fabric?  The colors in my kitchen are quite unusual and the fact that it looked like it was custom made just for the kitchen seemed like fate.

Now, I have never made a Roman shade before.  I guessed on how much fabric I needed and then proceeded to go home and figure out how to go about making the shade.  I came across a website (Terrell Designs) that made it very simple to get the job done.  I highly recommend it if you need instructions or hardware for making Roman shades.  Here’s a few pics from the process:

SEX.  Ha!  Tell me that wasn’t the first thing you looked at in this picture?  After sewing the front and back fabrics together, I had to glue on plastic battens.  The magazines act as a weight while the glue dries.

The shade hangs from a mounting board with velcro.  Pretty smart idea.

I sewed on all of the little plastic lift rings by hand which was kind of a pain because the thread shows on the front side of the shade and I had to use 4 different thread colors to blend with the front fabric.

Got my cords all tied up and ready to hang.

Presto!  I must admit that I am extremely proud of the quality work I did on this one.  While this project only cost about $50, it looks expensive and feels professional.  It fits the window opening exactly with no gaps (as I pat myself on the back).



Kitchen Details: Sputnik Light

2 May

I was pretty dead-set on having a Sputnik chandelier in the kitchen right from the beginning.  The Boy was unconvinced for reasons such as 1.) worried it wouldn’t be enough light. 2.) would be difficult to keep clean in a kitchen. 3.) would cost a lot of money both in the actual light and electricity.  Well, as you can see, I did get my way, but not without a whole lot of stress.

The light pictured above is actually the 2nd Sputnik I purchased off of Ebay.  The first one arrived smashed by the post office.  It’s poor arms were sticking out from the box, all bent and broken.  It was so sad.  Luckily the seller had it insured.  I filed a report with the post office and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Turns out the seller ALSO filed a report and the post office reimbursed him and not me.  Fortunately when I found out through the post office what had happened and contacted the seller, he was honest enough to send me a check.  That brings us to Sputnik #2.

Prepping to clean the Sputnik

I also bought the 2nd Sputnik off of Ebay.  The seller was really lousy and kept telling me that he was going to send it and then wouldn’t.  I waited for 6 weeks and finally had to file a report through Paypal.  I don’t know what Paypal said to the seller, but after I filed the report, he sent it out right away through FedEx.  It was well packed and arrived safely.  Whew!

The Boy was right about one thing – I do have to clean it every 3 months to keep it looking good.  Because it is so close to the stove, it gets a greasy film on the top which then collects dust.  I also have to take out all of the bulbs and hand scrub them to keep them clear and bright.

This light came with Sputnik bulbs which look like Christmas tree lights with ornamental glass “starbursts” wrapped around the bulb, but I used these round globe bulbs instead.  They are brighter and MUCH easier to keep clean.

So pretty!

Kitchen Details: O’Keefe & Merritt Stove

28 Apr

This post is for those of you who, like me, geek out on the details of vintage stuff.  Like  most things in our house, we have a pretty good story about the acquisition of our vintage stove.

Isn’t she a beauty?  Long before we started on our kitchen renovation, we were looking for a vintage stove.  The one we had at the time was very cheap 90’s and the oven did not work.  This one showed up on Craigslist one day in the semi-nearby suburb of Oak Park, IL.  The sellers were asking $400.  We decided to go take a look.

The sellers were a young couple who had a vague interest in vintage.  They originally wanted to put this stove in their kitchen, but ended up with something more modern in the end.  Now get this – not only did the sellers have this stove, but they had a bunch of extra parts for it.  It turns out that after they purchased it, it was discovered that the girl’s grandpa had the EXACT SAME STOVE sitting in his garage.  Extra burners, knobs, drip pans, glass, griddle covers in both white enamel and chrome, plus burner parts, etc.  I pretty much knew that I NEEDED this stove, but $400 was a bit much for us at the time.  We decided to go home and “think about it.”

We got home and as we pulled into the driveway, I noticed that my car looked kind of slanted.  Turns out it had a flat tire and I ended up having to spend what little extra money I had to buy new tires.  Bye bye stove…

But wait!  I got an email the next day from the sellers telling me that they wanted to give us the stove for FREE.  What?  I guess they liked the idea of giving it to a young couple like themselves who would appreciate it and take care of it.  Boy Howdy!  We hightailed it back out there with a truck and some extra muscle (The Boy’s ever helpful Dad – thanks again Rick!) and brought that baby home.

Griddle with working temperature gauge

It is in pretty fantastic condition with just a little pitting on some of the chrome.  It also needs some electrical work to make the fluorescent bulbs in the back light up.  We once plugged it in and it started smoking.

5th burner underneath the griddle

I am an avid cook and use the heck out of this stove.  It is so amazing how well made and well thought out this stove is.  Here is a photo from the last time I gave it a good cleaning:

Prepping for a good cleaning

There is a prop rod for cleaning “under the hood.”  Everything comes apart and there are little drip pans under the burners that catch crumbs and spills.  So nice.  O’Keefe & Merritt was a high-end manufacturer and they made this sucker to last.

I am not sure of the exact year that our stove was made, but I did find this ad from November 1960 with a pink version of our stove.  It helped shed light on some of the mystery parts and gadgets that came with the stove.

I have not been able to find too much information on our particular model.  I would love to find a manual some day.   I am not quite sure how the Grillevator and rotisserie work, but I am pretty sure we have all the parts and I hope to try them out some day.

Kitchen: Part 3

27 Apr

I am finally back with the completed kitchen pictures.  We are about 97% finished with this project now, so I figured that was good enough.  I tried to not get any shots of “unfinished business.”  I am pretty thrilled considering we did everything – top to bottom – for under $3000.  Here is the view looking in from the dining room:

Just like in the bathroom, we did a mix of midcentury and modern.  Hoosier Homes originally just had a single doorway between the kitchen and dining room.  Ours had been cut out a bit already by a previous owner to make the opening bigger.  We took it one step further and cut it all the way up to the ceiling and brought the half-wall down to the width of the base cabinets.  We really like how it opens everything up and makes it feel much bigger.

We moved the sink from where the refrigerator is now to under the window.  We have plans to do some kind of decorative divider from the ceiling on down to the half wall.

The sink and open shelving are from Ikea.  We purchased the faucet and the drawer pulls online.

We added the “window” cut-out to the right of the upper cabinet in this picture.  We had seen this done in other Hoosier Homes and really liked how it opened up the hallway.  Do you like our vintage stove and refrigerator?

There’s one of the lamps that I rewired along with the pictures that I did a post on a while back.

Tile!  We got an AMAZING deal on all of this glass tile from an outlet store up in Skokie, IL.  The original exhaust fan (with swanky chrome cover) still works like a dream.  I did all of the tile work myself, thank you very much.

This view is from the hallway.  Flooring is from Ikea.  It is laminate, but has a terrazzo-esque look.  I have a thing for terrazzo floors.

After seeing how much light the skylight in our bathroom brought in, we knew that we wouldn’t be happy without skylights in the kitchen.  Now we never have to turn on the lights during the day  in the kitchen – even on rainy, cloudy days.

We have our fair share of stories to tell on this project, so I will be back very soon (I promise!) with more posts on all of the little details and adventures involved in our kitchen renovation.

Video Glimpse

1 Apr

Sorry that I kind of disappeared on y’all there for a moment.  I promise to have lots of new posts coming soon.  I was on Facebook this morning and the Miller Historical Society posted a video that a friend of ours had shot about our house last fall that I completely forgot about.  Watch it and you will get a peek at our kitchen plus the living and dining room.  I have not posted the afters of our kitchen yet because there are a few little projects that I really want to get done first.  We finished 95% of the kitchen and have left it that way for the past 15 months.  I am sure that when we finally get motivated to complete the final 5%, we will get the rest done in a day or two.

There are a few little facts that I would like to correct: our stove is from 1960, the refrigerator is from 1963 (we think), and I do not work for Arthur Murray – I have my own dance studio called Strictly Social here in Miller Beach.  The video was filmed at night, so some of the footage is a bit dark.  Like I said, I will be back with some better photos and detail shots of our kitchen soon.

Kitchen: Part 2

15 Mar

We really wanted to get our kitchen renovated right away when we purchased the house.  We tried to talk our contractor into making it part of the work that he did, but since we had a limited budget, he urged us towards spending that money towards other things that would make the house more livable and useful.  I think that he was correct in his guidance in that the kitchen was useable, but just ugly. We lived with the kitchen the way it was for 2 years.  One night after dinner and an extra glass of wine, The Boy and I were standing in the kitchen contemplating how much we could do on a budget.  The next thing you know, we were removing cabinets.  We hadn’t planned it, but somehow we started it.

If you recall from my last post, the kitchen started off looking like this:

I then started to remove the MANY layers of wallpaper and paint and more wallpaper, plus more paint.  I think that there was 3 layers of wallpaper sandwiched between at least another 4 coats of paint.  After lots of scraping and steaming (with a clothing steamer-hey, I use what I have, okay?) things were looking like this:

I think it is interesting how remodeling projects often look a whole lot worse before they get better.  When we first started the kitchen project, we had planned to paint the walls and cabinets, rearrange the cabinet layout a bit, and redo the floors.  Boom.  Done.  Or else that should have been how it went.  As we got into the project, we started adding things like…skylights.  We had our contractor put one in our bathroom and we had always wished for one in the kitchen.  It takes a certain kind of madness to cut holes in the roof when you have no experience with that sort of thing.  I am not sure what state of mind The Boy was in when he said, “Alright, let’s put in skylights,” but I am certainly glad we did.

I am not sure  how a professional installer would go about this task, but first we figured out the placement of the skylights and cut out the holes from the inside (notice how dark and gloomy the kitchen is even with the light on).

Then we got up on the roof and cut the hole on the exterior.

I forgot to mention that the day we decided to do this, the temperature was in the 90’s.  Imagine working up on the roof, in the sun, in those kinds of temperatures.  For a time, I just stood over The Boy with our beach umbrella trying to create some shade for him.  I am sure that was a sight to see!  In the above shot, you can also see the skylight that our contractor installed in the bathroom.

Let there be light!  It is absolutely amazing how much light we get in our kitchen from the addition of the skylights.  We were very thorough with putting them in correct and sealing them properly.  We have been through 2 winters with the skylights and no leaks or problems.

Kitchen: Part 1

9 Mar

Our kitchen has been the biggest project and challenge that we have faced in our home renovation.  It is such a big project that I cannot possibly give you the whole story in one post, so we are going to have to unveil this in pieces.  Here is what we started with when we purchased the house:

Are you digging the cheap Home Depot cabinets?  I know you are!  Here is another shot:

I love to cook and this wasn’t exactly my version of a dream kitchen.  Granted, there was decent counter space, but the kitchen itself was incredibly uninspiring.  It was quite quirky…the sink faucet was hooked up backwards (the hot & cold were switched), the base cabinets weren’t attached to the walls, the dishwasher had never been hooked up, the microwave was broken (which wasn’t a big deal since we never use a microwave and did not include one in our remodel, but still…), the floor tile was cracking everywhere, and many of the cabinet drawers were broken.

Ew.  We got rid of this stove right away.  I can’t quite remember why–I think it wasn’t working properly.  Or maybe I just didn’t want to deal with the crusty food stains by the burners?

Almond refrigerator.  Blech.  It smelled REALLY bad inside.  If you recall from an earlier post on the carport, we dragged this outside right away, put it under the carport, and came back the next day to find it gone.  While I did not mourn the missing refrigerator, I will always wonder if someone took it to put in their house, or if one of the metal guys swiped it to sell.  Either way, we were going to ditch it, so I guess it really doesn’t matter.

The kitchen became our “catch all” space during the initial renovation of the house.  Yes, that is a case of Old Style Light on the counter.  I think it belonged to our contractor (The Boy used to occasionally drink Old Style,but never the Light version-don’t be getting judgey on us!).

Our house smelled really bad when we bought it.  It was in an estate and had not been lived in for some time.  The basement had standing water, which created a moldy smell.  Air freshener was a good friend of ours for the first couple of months.  I will be back with the next part of the kitchen saga soon.