The fantastic stainless-steel-tank-of-a-counter unit is clean and in place, completing phase 1 of Project Functional Kitchen Makeover. (The timeline for PFKM is rather vague. Because of budget, this makeover will be happening in phases. Some of these phases may be quite far apart.) Luckily, phase 2 wasn’t one we had to wait too long for: on Friday we popped down to the Ikea in Cincinnati and picked up some stainless steel shelving to hang above the counter. Today we busted out the allen wrenches and got to work.
Below is a less dog-centric “before” picture of where the new stuff went in the kitchen. I’m bad about remembering to take “before” pictures, and I almost forgot this time, too…this pic was taken after the butcher block island piece got moved, after I’d emptied the china cabinet, but before we moved the china cabinet. Not perfect, but it’ll help illustrate the transformation.
Empty china cabinet in its original position in kitchen, waiting to be moved...the island stood directly to the left of the china cabinet.
Although some of Ikea’s stuff is so cheap and poorly constructed that you might as well buy it and then take it directly out to the curb, other stuff is great. (Can you tell I got burned by an Ikea couch? The back fell off after 3 months. My life is not so wild that the backs of my couches just fall off, much less in such a short time.) Yet I feel like lighting and linens are usually a safe bet. I still love my Cath Kidston Rosali bed linens. So caveat emptor. I’ve been researching and I’ve read and heard good things about the shelves we got. So far I am loving them…but I’m getting ahead of myself!
We hung 2 Grundtal shelves right next to each other up high, giving 8 feet of shelving above the 8 feet of counter space. Then we hung one of the Grundtal bars centered below the shelves and hung one of the matching spice racks from the bar. My husband is surprised by how much he likes the spice rack part. I think we may have to get another one. We also got one of the matching paper towel holder things to hang from the bar, but didn’t like it when we put it up on the bar. Serendipitously, it worked to hang it off of a utility shelf in the mudroom. My husband liked it much better there, so it has a new home.
But enough talk, take a look at the new version of the back kitchen wall:
Not bad for a day's work!
So much glorious space! I can’t believe how much this change has transformed the feeling of the whole kitchen: it feels so much bigger and brighter. Less cluttered, more purposeful. We have a fair amount of stuff, but this gives us places to put things. That makes all the difference. I even was able to hang some of the art back up.
Grundtal shelves, bar, and spice rack above the vintage counter piece.
I’m loving the whole hang-stuff-from-the shelves-option, very handy. Plus, the fact that the shelves are made up of several bars instead of one solid piece keeps them from looking too heavy. Light passes through, and I think that’s part of how they visually expand the space. The anchors my husband used to hang the shelves can support a lot of weight, they feel surprisingly sturdy. Practical yet cute shelves that won’t fall down? So nice!
And now the china cabinet is in the dining room, how good it this?
Moved and reloaded, flanked by shelves from you-know-where.
I am loving the china cabinet where it is now in the dining room. It’s easier to enjoy what a pretty piece it is since it has more room to breathe and be seen. There had been a buffet and a curio cabinet along that wall in the dining room. They didn’t fit the space quite right and overall just looked too heavy. This feels much cozier.
But the real payoff? All of this glorious counter space!
Wonderful, marvelous, glorious counter space!
Other phases coming for Project Functional Kitchen Makeover? New floors. Something darker, trying to decide between tile or wood. We saw some lovely teak at a discount flooring place that might be the winner. Not the cheapest option, but so tough and long-wearing that it wouldn’t be a bad investment. Repainting, getting a new, smaller fridge and moving it into the pantry, installing a counter and a dishwasher where the fridge currently is, taking down the upper cabinets around the window and maybe replacing it with more open shelving, taking down the tile along the window wall and replacing it with subway tile leftover from doing our bathroom, getting a proper hood for the stove….there’s a lot to do. We’ll get to it when we do. Adding this cabinet and shelving was huge! It has already improved the feel and functionality of the kitchen so very much.