Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Am My Home, My Home is Me

We have owned three houses.  That's not bragging, that's just fact.  I'm not proud of that fact, but it's there, nonetheless. 

Two of the houses I loved (this is one).  One, which everyone else loved, I didn't like at all.  No matter, though, because in each, I have left my mark.  I am not the type of person to live in a house just to sleep and eat and watch TV.  I will always change something somehow to suit what I like.  I don't know if this is because I'm such a homebody (and I really, really am), or if I just like to change things up.  I think it's probably more of the former, though.  I spend a lot of time in my house (and a LOT of time in my "yard") and I like it to be pretty to me.  So I change it.

In our first house, which I loved for itself, I stripped wallpaper, painted rooms, redid a bathroom, completely gutted a kitchen.  That house will always be special to me because my children were born while I lived there.  It was their first home.  It was the first home my husband and I owned.  We left because the house was on Long Island, and we couldn't deal with the people and their attitudes and living on top of one another, and so off we went to "upstate" New York instead.  The home we eventually bought I didn't like, but everyone else loved.  It was big and had a room or two extra and was set back in the 70s.  So I painted and redid a bathroom, stripped wallpaper, and renovated a kitchen.  It was a showpiece when I was done, even though I didn't finish.  We moved because my husband lost his job and we had to sell.  The ensuing mess that came from that and jerking my daughter out of school was a disaster I wouldn't wish on anyone.  But a year or so later we came home.

And here we are.  This house is the smallest we've ever owned, with the largest property.  I love this house.  I love this house.  I can't say it enough.  This house waited for us to be able to buy it, because when we saw it initially we couldn't afford it.  Months later, my husband had a better paying job, and the price on the house had dropped.  We knew it was waiting for us, as we were waiting for it.  We came back to see it again, and I didn't even have to go into the house.  I already knew it.  I stood in the back and listened to the stream and cried.  I was home.  I did eventually go into the house to look, but it was just to make our realtor happy.  I remembered every nook and cranny.  It was my house already.

We've been here 2 years.  I have painted bedrooms and a living room and a kitchen.  I have moved in, heart and soul.  But building a homestead means that most of the work is done out of doors, so I've been out of doors.  The outside is so different from what it was now.  It has a purpose, and I find that comforting.  The inside of the house is also very different, but some rooms haven't been changed because I just haven't had the time. 

Luckily, it's really cold out, so now I do.

This past week I've been working on the kitchen.  It truly is the heart of our home, save for the living room where we all sit together.  The kitchen is where I cook for my family, preserve food from our garden, correct homework, eat meals, come in from the outside.  There's truly nothing wrong with the kitchen, it's just not me.  But it will be!

This is my kitchen, as it was.

Actually, there is usually a lot of decoration on the top of the cabinets--beautiful old jars and chickens (of course) and whatnot, but I cleaned that all up.  Note that I didn't clean the countertop, though.  I wouldn't want you to think I didn't use this room!!

It's little, but the house is little, so it fits right in.  The appliances have all been replaced, because they've all died, one after another.  They used to be black, too, so that was really dark.

All I've done in here so far is to a) change appliances, b) paint the walls a nicer (to my eye) green, and c) paint and trim out the pantry door.  But then again, I've painted all the trim in the house, so that's why.

The cabinets are wood, as is the whole house.  The whole house was done with stained wood trim and doors.  Beautiful, gorgeous, but dark.  I hemmed and hawed about it because it was all so nice, but decided at last to paint it all.  Yes, I felt bad painting over the $100+ stained pine doors, but in the end, it is so much brighter in here, it's worth it. 

That left the cabinets.  They are really nice cabinets.  Wood, solid, beautiful.  And dark, dark, dark.  Changing out the appliances helped to lighten the kitchen a little, but the house is so small, it really needs a boost to help keep it bright. 

But again, they are really nice cabinets.  The people who built the house spent a good deal of money on them, and I know that.  So I've really been hemming and hawing about it, but I finally took the plunge.


Naked cabinets!  Woo woo!




Above is where I left it yesterday.  The frames are completely painted out, and the doors are being painted today.  It is already 400x brighter in here, and 1000x more me. 

There will be a tin backsplash put in, a shelf added in a space under the counter, and then I'll trim out under the counters and cabinets.  Fiddly trim work is my favorite thing to do.  I hate building, but I love detail work, so I'm going to unleash my fiddly detail work genes to do their thing here. 

One fiddly detail has already been put into place, but that's because it had to be:

The rest will come along as I go. 

So there it is.  I am moving into the kitchen at last.  And yep, I'm super thrilled with it already.

Stay tuned for many more pictures to come.  I'm off to paint some doors!

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  1. It is absolutely gorgeous, and just to my liking, too!!! Well done!

  2. I sooo want white cabinets, but ours are custom built wood too and my hubs won't let me! Yours look great!

  3. I love to paint and redo the house! Gives things a much needed new look and makes me feel better! Can't wait to see it all done. Happy moving into your kitchen!!


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