Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Free Kitchen

I've got that itch again.

It's the itch to play with houses.

I used to get to play with houses for a living.  I renovated my rental properties (sometimes over and over again -- because it was necessary).  Then I moved into flipping houses.  It was wonderful fun -- except for that moment about 75% of the way through when all the problems have shown up and the money's almost gone and I would always think "WHAT HAVE I DONE?"  But it always came together in the end.  The panic was just part of the process.  I watch other flippers go through that same stage on every episode of house flipping shows on TV.  I learned to remind myself that the panic was normal and not reason to never renovate another house.

I still itch to play with houses.  Someday, maybe I'll get to do that again...

For right now, what I am just CRAZED to do is to challenge myself to create a whole kitchen FOR FREE!

I don't mean pot holders and area rugs and pictures on the wall.

I mean I want to create a WHOLE kitchen in an empty space that has no cabinets, no appliances, nothing.  Just an empty box with some pipes sticking out of the floor and some wiring available.

It would probably be pretty easy to get my hands on someone's discarded kitchen cabinets -- someone who's upgrading and just wants to get rid of the old ones (and who hasn't taken a sledge hammer to them in the removal process -- it always drives me nuts when people do that).


I kinda like the bigger challenge of doing it without real kitchen cabinets.   I like the idea of freestanding and flexible pieces.  Who says a kitchen has to be done the "normal" way with cabinets bolted to all the walls?  In fact, 100 years ago, kitchens were ALL freestanding pieces.  That's why Hoosier cabinets were invented.  I'm ready to be a rebel and to embrace some old-fashioned elements and some new-fangled style!

I really like Katie Brown's non-traditional kitchen.  Remember her from HGTV?  All the pieces are movable so that thing could be repositioned for filming purposes.  But hers is a little more built-in that I want to do -- though I do LOVE the rustic, reused cabinet doors.  I'm also not planning on pouring concrete counter tops (though it COULD happen I suppose!).

That's her daughter, Prentiss.  I think that's SUCH a cute name!  Don't know the dog's name.

This is the left side of it. 

See how the dish storage is just wood cubbies?

I also love this very simple, RAW bathroom.
 Love the old school sink with FOUR faucets!  And the peely mirror!

As for appliances, I don't think they would be too hard to procure for free.  Everyone is crazed about stainless steel appliances right now.  I have them so I'm kinda over it.  Non-stainless appliances have become the red-headed stepchild of kitchen design lately.  Heck!  I wouldn't even mind some good, ole, bullet-proof, avocado green models because you've just gotta love a chalkboard paint fridge (though I would use black chalkboard paint)!  I could go CRAZY with the chalkboard paint!  Might just have to do a whole wall -- or two.  Or more. 

I'm also thinking I could paint a stove with black appliance paint.

And the front panels of lots of dishwashers are removable.  I wonder what fun material I could think of to put on the front of a dishwasher?  I wish corrugated tin wasn't quite so... corrugated/bumpy.

Counters present a challenge but, with freestanding pieces, I would need less counter surface.  I've also seen them done with painted plywood or even glass.  Or there's always concrete.  But there are other possibilities as well!

Sinks and faucets are findable.  Maybe not porcelain farmhouse sinks that cost several hundred dollars but white or stainless sinks are out there -- often with the faucet still attached.

I don't need anything top-of-the-line (in fact, I think the concept is wasteful and the phrase is offensive to me!) but I would intend for the end product to be cool, functional, and magazine-worthy.  As is the goal with all my free projects, you can gets lots of stuff for free, but the real fun is to end up with free stuff that doesn't look like it was free!  There are lots of dirty blue velour sofas on the curbs of America.  That is not my idea of good freesourcefullness.  Neither is just slapping in stuff to fill the spaces.  I love to really have my creativity challenged.  I love to elevate free junk to unexpected heights.

I saw a kitchen ceiling in a magazine recently that was sheathed in old garage door panels.  Sounds gross but it was really great!  I'll have to look through a ton of magazines and see if I can find that photo to show you  But it just goes to show that you never know what you might find or how you might use it.

There will be more on this free kitchen stuff.  I should warn you.  I'm obsessed.

Does anyone have a gutted kitchen and about six months before they want to do any actual cooking?

I could make it pretty for you!


  1. I read this post and had to go back to the very beginning of your blog and read it ALL. I love that a local woman of such talent and resourcefulness has a blog that inspires.

  2. Wow! I just found your comment! Thanks for the kind praise! I've just gotten enthused about the blog again so, hopefully, there will be more for you to read soon!