Le coeur de ma maison
Let me tell you a story. (you might wanna grab a chair and a cuppa, 'cause this is going to be a bit of a long one...) The kitchen has been the heart of my home ever since my husband and I started living together, back in the land of when we were not married yet. Our first home was a one bedroom apartment with a converted kitchenette - a fancy way of telling ya'll that the kitchenette had been closed up to make for the tiniest yet cutest kitchen ever, all white and yellow accents, with loads of storage space and working space. That kitchen was ace, lemme tell ya. We spent quite a lot of time there, cooking, and it felt good and comfy and homey. When we decided to go into the buyer's market, as we were renters, I knew I really did want a bigger kitchen, one that allowed for a table where we could have our meals daily. But I have to confess that the house I live in now, the one we ended up buying, was not sold based on its kitchen. Nope, no way. Although it was muuuuch bigger than my former one, this kitchen was dark, with dark stained wood cabinets up and down, marble countertops, and one small window right at the bottom of it, from where little or no light came in - we do have a humongous palm tree in front of said kitchen window. Yet, the rest of the house was really to our liking, and we figured we could eventually do something to improve that kitchen, given time and money.
Well, things never quite seem to work out as you plan them, do they? Shortly after we moved in we decided to have a kid, and all efforts - and money - went towards that objective, and getting a room ready for the boy. The kitchen stepped to the back of our minds, given it was functional, in good condition, and we did manage to put up a table there for our everyday meals. Until one morning, when the kid was already one, and our old water boiler suffered a pressure peak and flooded the whole room. The lower cabinets were drenched, and fully ruined. Sadly, money was very short at that time, we were going through a really hard patch financial, our savings were all gone, and we had no money to invest in a kitchen renewal. We lived with drawers that wouldn't open and ruined cabinets for quite a while, trust me. But it became really intolerable, at the end, and while doing our maths we realized last Summer that we could afford to change at least the lower cabinets if we opted for Ikea's cheapest range. In the meantime, we added some storage space to the part of the kitchen nearer the window, and made it look pretty in that area, which I call the breakfast prep area.
And so the lower cabinets were replaced by new ones, with interiors so huge I could hardly believe the amount of storage space I was gaining. As for the upper ones, we couldn't afford to do both at the same time, and said to ourselves that we would maybe wait a year or two, before going for them. Only, it never looked good, and I never felt like I had a homey kitchen, somewhere where I enjoyed all the time I usually spend in there.
It looked like this and it felt weird. But the upper cabinets were in good condition, and made out of good, sturdy pine. Their only problem was that dark stain, that made the whole kitchen look so gloomy and dark and sad. I just wanted to get some light coloured paint and splash it all over those cabinets. I spent hours on my pinterest account (you can follow my boards at Ruth Miranda), trying to find inspiration and ideas, and was set on sanding the whole shebang down and get some light coloured stain for it, in a colour I could not find here in this country, all the while pinning like crazy kitchens that had two tone cabinets, and grey cabinets at that. I had fallen in love with a grey cabinet kitchen from Ikea and there was no getting back from there. But it was the sort of cabinetry we could not afford for the time being, and when I get something in my head, I have to get it done straight away. So when my mother offered me a can of leftover grey paint she had from repainting her dinning room, meant for my bedroom (that's another story, as said room is now a three tone disaster in need of care and attention), as I noticed that the hue of grey was way too different from the one already in my bedroom walls and that I wanted to maintain, my mind started buzzing around with the idea of using that light pebble grey paint to cover the upper cabinets on my kitchen. It took me a Sunday afternoon that was drizzly and wet outside, and the result is here to see. The gain in light was enormous, and immediate just after the first coating, check it out:
I could have left it at this, but decided I really wanted to go for more coverage, so I applied a second coating. Now it feels so light and airy in there, and it has been a pleasure to hang in my kitchen, I am just in love with it! I love the two toned cabinetry, it feels quirky and original, different from what I have seen around, it feels very much me. So my advice is when you think that something might be just too unusual and no one is doing it that way, but yet you really like the idea, go with your gut and do it. Just take a risk, it might surprise you!