Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Kitchen French Style, Reset, Evolution

Monday, October 26, 2015

Do you ever start thinking about something after reading another blogger's latest post?  That happens to me often and is one of the reasons I love reading blogs.  Of course, I love seeing all the beautiful pictures of tablescapes, recipes, remodels, DIY, and vignettes.  The photos capture my attention, but the content of the post is what starts me thinking and keeps me coming back to that blog.

 Marty at A Stroll Thru Life posted Updating Your Style, Marion at Miss Mustard Seed posted Room Reset Challenge-part 3, and Kim at Savvy Southern Style posted Evolution of Kitchen this past week.  Each started me thinking, and reading all of them about the same time really started my thoughts to evaluating my own style, my journey, and how my home has evolved.

Most of my home's evolution has been for maintenance, not for updating my decor style. And, when I began listing the changes, I was amazed at how much has changed in just six years, especially in the kitchen.

The Kitchen

In the past six years, the following things have been repaired, recovered, and/or replaced.
  1. stovetop
  2. microwave
  3. garbage disposal
  4. wooden shelf over the sink
  5. dishwasher
  6. breakfast chairs 

Miss Mustard Seed's Room Reset Challenge talks about seeing your rooms with new eyes by removing everything from them, starting with a fresh empty space, and making changes, not just placing everything back like it was.  

Last winter, my old stovetop was falling apart, like in pieces of metal coming off the burners.  I really thought I was going to make a change with a new stovetop by getting a state-of-the-art smoothtop.

I fail MMS's Room Reset Challenge.  

You have to look hard to see any difference from the old stovetop with the new stovetop.  Yes, there is a change.  

I replaced the old grill drop-in with a two-electric-burner drop-in at the same time I replaced the existing two-electric-burner with a new unit.  After researching what it would take to replace my downdraft stovetop, I realized the options were very limited, and it would be much easier to keep my Jenn Aire and to replace the worn-out drop-in components. 

There is nothing exciting about a garbage disposal, but it sure is nice to have.  The old disposal was over twenty-five years old, and begin making weird sounds like the ball-bearings were going out.  You can see the old sink drain for the disposal in the right sink above.  The finish was badly chipped.  There is not photo of the new disposal's sink drain.  Trust me, it is much nicer, shiny stainless steel. 

The white-painted shelf above the sink looks pretty good in this photo, but it was not.  The blue flower pots hide the scratched, chipped paint. 

After stripping the white paint, I decided to leave the shelf a natural pine.  This was a small, fast change, but really refreshed the sink area. The sink shelf is often updated with new plants since I have a tendency to kill indoor plants.  

Here is how the kitchen looked in 1989 right after we finished our house, long before I began blogging.  The biggest and best change was painting the cabinets white around 2006.  The old black dishwasher remained until around 2010 or 2011.  It was a great dishwasher; why change it just to match the new white cabinets?  Then, it began falling apart inside.  The wires rusted completely through in the baskets.  It was past time for a new one before I finally replaced it. 

A new white dishwasher with the white-painted cabinets make the kitchen so much brighter and cheerier.  

The microwave stopped working and had to be replaced.  Once again, I failed MMS's Room Reset Challenge.  I replaced the old microwave with an updated version of the old one.  Part of the difficulty in making changes is the size of the appliances.  My kitchen was built when many kitchens had 30-inch ovens and microwaves.  Today, most new kitchens have 36-inch ovens and microwaves. That limits what is available for replacements in my kitchen without making major structural changes to the cabinets. 

This photo of the breakfast sunspace in the kitchen was taken in December 2008 before I began blogging and shows the upholstered floral chairs.  The cats loved these chairs way too much and shredded them!  

Christmas 2013, I used a mixture of French chairs around the table while I looked for new fabric to reupholster the breakfast chairs. 

Here's how the breakfast chairs look today.  As much as I love the French white ladder back chairs I used for a while, I love sitting on comfy padded seats more. 

During all the repairs and replacements in the kitchen, I updated the decor some along the way.  With every change, I looked for ways to incorporate French Country, and always was drawn back to blue and white. The blue laminated kitchen counter is original to the house, and I still like it. 

Have you looked back at your style, decor updates, and evolution of your home over the past five years?  Check out Marty's, Marion's, and Kim's recent posts for great ideas about decor updates, challenges, and a kitchen's amazing evolution.

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