Wednesday, January 4, 2012

From Empty Space to Display Case

Our kitchen had suffered from a lack of counter space, that is, until the big bad butcher block parked itself on the corner. It was a great investment - especially since it was discounted - and suddenly our "spacially challenged" cooking area wasn't so bad. I have slowly realized and even embraced that a quaint kitchen is as charming as a large one, if not more so. However, as far as functionality goes, it just takes a bit more effort to make it 'work'.

One of the biggest challenges had been trying to make the space 'flow' from the counters to the butcher block. They sort of 'ended' once the block began. Like an abrupt ending to a good movie or Columbus thinking the earth ended at the horizon.... such were our countertops.

Last spring, I toured our village for some good finds at yard sales - other than Christmas, my favorite time of year! I came upon a $5.00 bookcase that I immediately put into our daughter's room and organized her books, from Dr. Seuss to The Bernstain Bears. It wasn't until recently that I thought 'hey, that bookcase would look great on the wall... in the kitchen'. Yes, these are thoughts that keep me tossing and turning at night.

My husband painted the shelf to match our cabinets and I knew I was onto something. Once the bookcase was up, I couldn't wait to put the finishing touches on.... which were the less-than-$2.00 Anthropologie cabinet pulls I stumbled upon, not knowing what I would use them for, but knowing I had to get them (even if it meant screwing them into our front door!)

These cabinet pulls now serve as quaint little 'hooks' for measuring spoons/cups. I don't mind that these serve more as decoration since they add a nice unexpected detail at the bottom... like a hemmed embellishment on a skirt.

To further the functionality, I hung a cutting board on the side and continued the Nigella Lawson lighting around there as well. The newly finished area now serves as casual seating for my husband and I to eat and do our work. All in all, not so shabby for a small charming kitchen!

Lesson learned? Think outside the box, or in this case, book shelf. This goes to show that a space can be done on a seriously tight budget and very little else.

I've dug up some before pics to show the 'unfinished' wall space:
Way before (pre-painted cabinets)

Here's what everything looks like now:

A shutter..

Or cutting board

Nigella Lawson Lighting

More under head lighting

A great place for coffe, tea, eating, working, cooking, etc.. 

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