Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chez WMM, The Kitchen

Welcome back to Chez WMM.

There is a tray of mojitos awaiting you on the deck - do grab one before coming in to the kitchen - the kitchen is so much lovelier seen through an alcoholic haze...

Folks - this is no kitchen from architectural digest.

If money was no object, my kitchen would likely look like this:


or this:

But when we bought our little ranch house (circa 1978 - what vintage!) money WAS an object!

I wish I has "before" pictures of this room as well, as it was frankly a disaster.  Old laminate flooring, old ountertop, knotty pine cupboards, canary yellow wallpaper.

We lived with it like this for 2 or 3 years, as frankly, the blood red shag wall to wall carpeting in the family room in the basement was begging for more attention...

But where to begin?  Well we needed new appliances, so that was logical and we replaced them all with good quality stainless steel.  The one perk here was the double maytag oven.  I adore this oven and have never regretted buying it!

The countertop and cupboards.  Replaced and to be painted.  Flooring - all birch, all over the main and upper floors.  More storage space - cupboards, bought along the way...

If I was to truly tally every expense of the room that you are about to see, it would probably come in at around $8000, mostly because of the appliances.  Not bad for a kitchen reno.  Although, again, all done by us.  This room will eventually be redone in the future when everyone is done university, but it is certainly fine for now...

How did we choose the colour scheme?

Well, I don't do things like normal people, so two things guided me:

1) the old 1960s canisters that were in my house growing up:

Flour got lost somewhere along the way...


2) a vintage tin kitchen, also from the 1960s, that I picked up at a local antique store.  I actually had this exact kitchen when I was 3 years old, although mine was white..

You can't see, but there is a red plastic turkey in the oven.  Perhaps after the mojitos you are able to stay for supper?

So, I knew that I wanted this shade of green in the kitchen and so that is where we begin:

Taking the long view of the kitchen from the sitting room that is off it.  As you can see, we put the green on the bottom and put a lovely cream colour on top...It is not a large kitchen at all and space is always at a premium and we are always bumping into one another..

The view into the kitchen from the wee small hallway when you enter the house.  Yes, that is a TV - I have ADHD and like to watch some TV while I cook, especially old movies on TCM!  That is a new window with a little IKEA light over the sink.  I have a "thing" for curtain under a sink and picked these up at Walmart awhile back, while i wait for enough money to have proper blinds and curtains made for this room!

The wall opposite the sink:

This is an old shelf and cupboard I picked up along the way at my local antique store.  It holds cookbooks, my microwave, all of my baking supplies, extra bowls, spices, etc.  When we originally bought it we thought of re-painting it since it is certainly NOT a collector piece.  But then we got used to the worn paint and kind of preferred it that way!

To the left of this cupboard is my large pantry:

This was a steal!  It looks old, but was bought several years ago at the after-christmas sale at Wicker Emporium, a canadian chain you can visit here.  I paid all of $400 CDN for this and it holds everything: pots, baking tins, all of my pastas and flour and belnder, etc.  I just love it!

The small inexpensive island, replete with two ikea stools.  At the end of the island is a tall wicker basket where I store cookie sheets and cutting boards.  I take no credit for this good idea - Ina Garten, the barefoot contessa and one of my goddesses, has a similar in her kitchen and I feel that if it is good enough for her it is good enough for me!  Under the island are two wicker containers that store potatoes, garlic and onions and two cast iron posts.  Above hang all of our pots:

We do not love our potrack or light, but are keeping our eye out for the right one.  We will know it when we see it! 

Beloved double oven!  All of the upper cupboards have bottlegreen glass knobs that I picked up for an amazing price at Lee Valley.  Visit their website here - you will thank me later!

To the right of the sink are more cupboards:

Mr. WMM built the special drawers, which hold pot tops, bowl and what nots.  On the counter above is my beloved red kitchenaid mixmaster, which has been put to much good use over the years!

Above are glasses, vases and our day-to-day dishes and more cookbooks!  We took the cupboard doors off - I love open cupboards, athought it all requires a good cleaning now and then!

I like to make little vignettes:

To the left are my espresso cups, used every morning, and my anthropologie measuring cups.  so cute!

And the counter below ALWAYS has a jar of Lindt chocolate pieces - milk chocolate, 85% and 70% dark chocolates.  we each have one every night as our dessert!

Finally, near the backdoor is my bulletin board and calendar:

The calendar is of France and along the wall to the right is an antique picture post card set, titled "Scenes of Interesting Hollywood, California."  My favourite is Mary Pickford's home:

DO you think her kitchen was fancier than mine?

You are likely done your Mojito.  Another, perchance?

Nope.  Not an architectural digest kitchen at all.  In fact, pretty quirky and a little charming.  Just like us!  Hope you enjoyed the visit!


  1. I love the architectural digest magazine, I subscribe for a while, but your kitchen is so cozy, LOVE it! I adore your style too, have a lovely Sunday night :o)

    1. I love Architectural Digest, too - so inspiring! Thanks for the kind words about the kitchen!

  2. I love your painted cabinets, especially the different colours top and bottom. Our kitchen is very cookie-cutter but we will only be here another 2 years (moved in last year) and so won't change anything apart from paint colour (already done). I have a very similar stove, also Maytag - love it too!

    1. Hi Patricia - my Maytag works pretty well after all of these years. It does need a fine-tuning; it is also a convection oven but the convection hasn't been working recently. Since that is a nicety, not a necessity, we put it off till after Paris!

  3. I love your kitchen, I actually can't stand the vogue for fitted, streamlined kitchens, they are better higgeldy piggeldy and unique to the owners. Mine is a disaster but I could never justify paying £20, 000 for a new kitchen, it wouldn't do enough for me.
    You are so lucky to have a mister who can make things.

    1. Thanks Tabitha! Mine looks okay with all cupboard doors closed - within - well, let's just say that with four of us, things could be neater! And I have a lazy susan that doesn't want to spin, etc, etc. I am lucky he can do so much! It takes him awhile, but he eventually gets to it!

  4. I agree with Tabitha, your kitchen is lovely because it is not fitted and matchy-matchy. I think it is brilliant that you re-painted the old cupboards, they are so much nicer than new cupboards which are mdf. My kitchen cupboards were put in the house in 2002 by the previous owner and I hate them, they are completely falling apart and if you can believe just the cupboards cost $22,000. I have the receipt, I could cry, I would never have spent that money on them.
    I love the colors you used as well, very inspirational. I plan to renovate my kitchen but I'm waiting 3 years or so, my rule is my mortgage must be fully paid off first.
    I also agree lucky that your husband is so handy, that's amazing!

    1. ThAnks Dani! It is amazing how expensive things are which are not worth the price! We keep renovating ourselves, room by room, as time and money allows. What I find is that eventually, your house is "you" - I cannot imagine moving now!

  5. I absolutely adore your kitchen, WMM! You must absolutely love having the double oven! I really need one of those with all the cooking I have to do in order to keep all the boys in my house fed. :)

    Like Tabitha and Dani, my kitchen is in need of a makeover, but it is not currently at the top of our home repairs list, so it will have to do for now.

    On another must be getting even more excited now that your trip to Paris is tomorrow. Is everyone packed and ready to go?

    1. Hi FFM!

      Thanks for the nice words about the kitchen!

      I am packing this afternoon - still doing laundry and errands! I actually just got back from seeing my dad, who lives in a nursing home. He doesn't quite understand that I am going away, but he wants me to bring back Gigi for him!

  6. I love your kitchen and how it refelects your style and personality. It really makes me want to stop by for a chat over an espresso or mojito (or both, hehe).
    I am the opposite, I hate open cabinets and have to have everything cleared out of the way, I am freaked out by having more than three things on the counter. I think this is the only way I can keep it semi-clean, lol.

    1. You are just like my best friend - everything is just so. My personality is such that I need to see a lot of my things in order to remember I have them! I guess that would put me in the scatter-brained category? I am like that with clothes, too - if I can;t see them, I forget that I have them! That is why I need to keep culling and use/have less with respect to clothing!

      Next time you do Ogunquit, you just need to keep driving north!

  7. Really good your kitchen reflects you and how you work there. The green is lovely and I like your cabinet pulls. Have you checked Renovator's Supply for lights?

    1. Hi Lane - thanks for the tip - I will definitely check them out!

  8. i love your kitchen. The cabinet color reminds me of Julia Child's kitchen. I wouldn't trade your kitchen for all the over-styled (and probably never used kitchens) out there!


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