Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Red Shelves for My Kitchen

I'm not even really sure how it happened.

Somehow, despite the fact that I have a MILLION other things I SHOULD be doing, I decided that I needed to build shelves for my kitchen.

Actually, I think it happened at the end of the domino chain that started when the house was built in 1995.  The contractor put a center island right in the middle of the work triangle -- you know, that scared cow of kitchen design that forms an invisible triangle between the stove, sink, and refrigerator.

At some point over the last 17 years, I detached the island from the floor and put it on wheels.  But, most of the time, it stayed in the same place in the middle of the kitchen and in the way.

Recently, I decided to jettison the island unit into the garage and replace it with Mark's vintage Coca-cola cooler which will go in a different, out-of-the-triangle position

I put a board underneath and put old metal freezer baskets under there.  Then I realized that an old red and while enamel tabletop from the 1930's that I had loitering in the garage would fit the top PERFECTLY.  So the cooler now has a top.  I also had a couple of white bar stools loitering around so they are now pulled up to it.  There's still a debate going on around the house about whether or not to paint the Coke cooler.  I think paint is about to win as what you are seeing above is the "good" side.

I think the shelves idea came with the realization that quite a bit of storage was going away with the island to the garage.  It dawned on me that I could put all my baking supply jars out in the open shelves (where I can enjoy looking at them!) and that would free up a whole upper cabinet for other stuff.

Here's the spot where the shelves will go (to the left of the fridge).  You can kind of see the table top on the Coke cooler in this photo too.

I took some careful measurements and made a plan and bought some boards -- $54 worth!  Ugh.  But worth it.  Free boards of the proper widths and sufficient lengths were not likely to come around anytime soon. 

Within two hours, I had this:

FOUR coats of red paint later, I had this:

And now, all decked out in jars, it looks like this:

I plan to put a bead board back on it as soon as I get the bead board painted.  Well, ok, as soon as I decide on a color.  Mark says turquoise.  I love the idea but have to work up the courage and convince myself not to wimp out and used the same yellow that's on the wall.  There are other red and turquoise things in the room, so it's not that far a stretch -- especially with the Coca-Cola thing going on in there since red and "Coke-bottle-blue" are the Coke colors.

The empty shelf/space in the middle is eventually going to hold a flat screen TV.  Until then, I'll make a framed chalkboard to fill the space.

The feedback from the girls has been good.  They all like the color and say it's much easier to get to things and they appreciate not having to climb over the cook to get to the baking supplies like they did when the baking department was in its previous location.  The future flat-screen space is currently being used as the "soda shelf" (since we stocked up on 84 cent 2-liters the other day) so the girls arre pretty happy with that!

I love, love, love having everything in matching, labeled jars!  This just makes my OCD happy!  (which almost but not quite balances out the unhappy from the fuzzy photo).

The bottom section of the shelves, is designed to hold two bins.  These trash cans fit perfectly but are WAY too ugly so I'm still on the hunt for the perfect thing.  Any suggestions?  They will hold either dog and cat food or trash and recycling.  

There's been an unforeseen benefit of the baking shelves:  more baking is going on around our house.  Yum!  A coffee cake appeared.  There are also some chocolate creations in the works.  And I noticed the oatmeal was askew so I'm thinking there are oatmeal cookies around somewhere!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tank Top Score!

It's taken me all week to get a free moment when no one else was in the church to snap this photo.  The curtain rod that holds the name tag organizer was the perfect spot to display Sara-Grace's new tank tops!

Sara-Grace is 11.  She wears a tank top under whatever she is wearing every day so as to be sure to meet the dress code requirements at school.  I also think she just likes them.  

I happened on to the summer clearance sale at the thrift store and they had all the tank tops priced at 50 cents each.  So, this colorful array cost me a whole $3!  And will save me the many headaches I would have had when Sara-Grace couldn't find a tank top to wear.