The Kitchen – A First Look

All right, the dust has settled in my brain and been (mostly) cleaned out of my living room. Where does this leave us? Well, the kitchen looks more or less finished! Big sigh!


So let’s talk about what I’ve got and why. Painted slab doors. I was emphatic that the kitchen be plain. I wanted this partly because I’m a messy cook – ask me about that time I tried putting ganache frosting onto a hot cake in my parents’ kitchen with beadboard cabinet doors.

And I did it partly to be as unlike the horror of super ornate kitchens as I could. (Even more horrifyingly, this is a 1926 neo-Georgian that surely had some architectural value before it was redone in the style of the Trump Taj Mahal.)

villanova kitchen

I balked at Shaker style doors even though I like them because I don’t trust that they’ll stay in style, and there’s still a little bit of grooves co clean melted ganache out of. But flat doors and all that white had me afraid it would be boring. Now that it’s mostly done though I’m totally fine with it. The upper cabinets will get the same chrome knobs as the lowers and the patio doors will be stained darker. I have drywall soffits because I wanted the cabinets tight to the ceiling and the beams slope.

The toe kick runs right under the dishwasher, which makes it look like it’s floating. The dishwasher is up on blocks because the floor is so low over here. The door threshold juts out from the wall and runs past the door under the cabinets because there was a gap in the flooring near the old door.

The stove is up on blocks, too, so now it has a toe kick of its own, painted white. The Irishman thought I was crazy for wanting it white. I thought he was crazy for wanting it blue. Now he says I need to repaint it real white instead of the off white I’ve used everywhere else. I probably will eventually.

The end of the peninsula gets one big panel spanning the 2 cabinet heights, 2 floor heights, and floor slope. The plywood riser between the 2 countertops will be white until I add backsplashes.

Remember how I thought this piece of trim was too skinny?


The door opening is now 3/4″ narrower. The way it was before would have been even worse on the kitchen side than the living room side.


Now to finish the room, I’d like to get the painting done this year, though countertops, shades or curtains, and backsplashes will have to wait. My mom wants me to paint the trim the same blue as the lower cabinets. I’m thinking I’m happy with the room being a bit plain, but it was an idea. Colored trim works just fine in her house.


But as the idea intrigued me and I feel like showing off the fact that I don’t have crappy vinyl windows, I’m thinking of painting the window sashes over the sink blue.


And in a year or 2 we can figure out livening the space up with the missing bits. Mainly counters and backsplash tile, but I’m also thinking of putting in roller shades made of patterned fabric and wood valences to hide the rolls. Of course, just because I can’t finish the room this year doesn’t mean you can’t volunteer ideas for it.

And, one more shot from the living room side because I don’t get things this tidy every day. I still want to paint the inside of that cabinet blue. And get glass in the doors.



20 thoughts on “The Kitchen – A First Look

  1. Ross

    I have looked at a great many ugly kitchens but the Trump Taj Mahal one you found is…breathtaking. Perfect name, too!


    And congrats on your almost-there kitchen!!!!!!!


  2. 24gotham

    It looks wonderful Chad. I really like that you drywalled between the beams.
    The ornate (and horrific) kitchen is a perfect example of the very last thing I would ever want in my house. Money cannot buy taste.


      1. Goldnrod

        Only $250 for that nice house with a big yard? Is it in a bad area, or are house prices much lower where you are?
        I live near Olympia, WA & $250 will only get you a smaller starter home, or an older, not updated home.


      2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

        It’s not in a bad neighborhood. Germantown has a bad reputation but this end of it is really nice. I think the price reflects the reputation. The next neighborhood north just a couple blocks away is more expensive


  3. Nine Dark Moons

    your kitchen is coming along so amazingly well! love it! love the view from the front of your house looking back at the kitchen. great job, chad! i looked through the listing for the taj mahal house (gag) but the listing for the one your sis is looking at = awesome!


  4. Mary Elizabeth

    How about these for the kitchen window? To make sure they will go with your blue, you would have to send to the company and order fabric samples, which is what I do with them.


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      I also wanted a shade on the patio door, so would need a manufacturer who would make something 60″ wide and 96″ long. Roller shades seemed like the thing to use because they wouldn’t be clunky when rolled up like 8 feet of blinds would be. Roman shades could work, too, since they fold up attractively.


      1. Mary Elizabeth

        When you have the money, that company makes custom shades in any of their fabrics. I think Roman shades would be attactive. Having had them in the past, I’m not a fan of slat blinds in kitchens. Oil and dust seem to attract one another and then turn into some sort of Super Glue that won’t wipe off. 🙂
        What you need to be careful of, when you get a shade for the patio door, is that you don’t have something that will interfere with the slider.


      2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

        I agree about blinds; it’s bad enough to have to dust them in the back bedroom. I dealt with the dust-grease combo you describe on the old kitchen cabinets that I’m using in the basement. The tall pantry was particularly nasty because the stove had been right up against it. My roommate had a bottle of Simple Green, an industrial strength solvent, and we had to use it undiluted in the worst spots. I wouldn’t enjoy doing that with blinds. Of course I wouldn’t let things get as grimy as the previous occupants did. But also 8 feet of blinds when opened would be clumsy to open and close and bunch up unattracitvely when opened. I don’t trust electric motors for my curtains. One more thing to break or have dead batteries.

        Plus, cloth shades (Roman or roller) would let me break up the plain white. You’re right that I’d have to check if the Roman shades would bunch up enough to interfere with the door when open. Also, I know cordless is good for safety but it’s a non starter for the small window over the sink.

        It’s good to think about so I know what I want when I’m ready to drop money on it. In the meantime, I don’t find it too much of a burden that I have to have clothes on in the kitchen.


      3. Mary Elizabeth

        Yes, Bruce has always been against blinds, so we have only one in our house, and it’s the cellular/waffle type. Good to plan out in advance what will work. For any sort of shades on the glass slider, you will have to mount them above the door, standing out from the wall a bit to clear the mechanism. You could add a board at the lintel to give extra depth for the brackets.

        Clothes on in the kitchen is has always been my rule–a good idea for safety reasons! Friends who don’t have this rule have been badly burned.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s