Lately casa de Gardner has been abuzz with conversation after conversation about our mini kitchen reno. Since establishing that the cabinets are getting painted we've been trying to figure out all the other pieces to the puzzle, like what color white, and what kind of hardware to add, and what kind of faucet do we want? This "mini" kitchen reno may end up being a little more "involved" than Naomi originally anticipated!!
One of the biggest issues I have with our kitchen is the fact that I feel like the wood grain cabinets make the room feel dark and heavy, even with all the lights on. They cast crazy dark shadows all over the place. Enter exhibit A:
Painting out the cabinets in white will definitely help simmer down the darkness factor, at least visually. They are still gonna cast shadows but at least they will appear lighter and I wont focus so much on the shadows. To tackle the heaviness element my initial plans called for the upper cabinet door panels along the wall where the stove lives being replaced with glass inserts. This would help reduce some of the visual weight of the uppers and its fairly easy for newbie DIYer's like us to tackle on our own. Then I fell IN LOVE with floating shelves.
Holy smack! Why the heck didn't I think of this earlier? They are so perfect for me and the way I cook in our kitchen. And here's why:
1. I'm constantly reaching for measuring cups, mixing bowls, plates, etc while I prepare meals and I gotta admit, I'm kinda lazy sometimes. So yes, its annoying to have to open and close cabinet doors every 10 seconds. (I can't be the only one? Can I?) Anything that will help cut out any exertion of extra energy is good in my book.
2. My biggest pet peeve of all time is when cabinet doors get left open. O.M.G. Seriously! With no doors to open (or to forget to close) my vocal chords will get a rest from yelling at the offenders of said crime.
3. We wont be losing any storage. Naomi was worried about this at first, but when I explained that we would be placing the floating shelves in the exact same place that the current cabinet shelves are, she was cool with it. We currently have 4 rows of shelves in both cabinets flanking the stove, like so:
On the left side we house our plates, bowls, mixing bowls & measuring cups, and everyday serving dishes:
On the right side we house our spices, cooking oils & sprays, and liquor (which we haven't touched since our house warming last April, might I add):
As you can see we aren't even using all the shelves we have. The top shelves at the current height are impossible for all 5ft 5 1/2 of both of us to reach without a stool so I don't use em. Replacing the cabs with 3 shelves on either side will ensure that we have plenty of storage while only putting up shelves we will actually use. This concept goes back to my whole living with no excess resolution.
The solution for this is the spices will be moved to the drawer to the immediate right of the cook top which now serves as the "junk" drawer. This leaves the 3 floating shelves on the right to house the cooking oils, glass canisters of sugar and flour (which now live in the pantry on the other side of the kitchen), mixing bowls and prep dishes, and the kettle. The 3 shelves to the left will still house the plates, bowls and everyday serving dishes.
4. Having all of the things we use at least 5 times a day like plates, bowls, and my everyday cooking supplies, easily accessible to us just seems like a no-brainer.
5. I'm thinkin' that eliminating the entire row of upper cabinets and replacing them with floating shelves will put an end to my problems with the heavy feeling I get from the existing set up.
6. Simply put: Because I like them. Really, that's the only reason I need!
In addition to taking down the upper cabinets and replacing them with floating shelves, we are also nixing the micro-over-the-range combo we currently have going on. I don't like it and Id rather have a shiny new industrial looking range hood instead. As for the microwave, we are going to build it into one of the existing base cabinets. How exactly we are going to do that is beyond me at this point, but we'll figure it out.
When its all said and done I'm hoping to have our kitchen "cooking zone" go from looking like this:
To something a little more like one of these beauties:
I know open shelving is not every one's cup of tea, but I absolutely love them. How about you? I know the blogoshpere is chock full of posts about em, but since I'm a bit tardy to the blogging party, its all new to me. So what do you think, are open shelves a yay or nay for you? Until next time......