The apartment I'm in now is the first place I've had the opportunity to really dig in and decorate how I want. That's the benefit of my landlord being my sister! ;) But really, it's been and continues to be a huge challenge. My tastes are always changing, and I've also learned over the last couple years that there is often a huge difference between what I think looks awesome in a spread in some glossy architecture magazine, and what I actually feel comfortable living with. Sometimes they are polar opposites, and I've ended up aiming for, say, some stark, minimal contemporary space and then finding that I want to transform it into something cushy and cluttered and comfortable. It's hard. But it's also fun. So...
Where to begin? My kitchen is the weirdest kitchen there is. And right now, I'm not even going to skirt the truth, which is very simply that it is an utter disaster. It's a mess. It kind of looks just a little bit like a bomb went off in the middle of it. Sometimes I'm in awe at the amount of dishes one person can a) own, and b) pile up. It's scary. It's beautiful when they're all clean and put away. But let's be honest, how often is that?
My kitchen functions as the central room and also the main thoroughfare. It connects with a wide-open door to the living room, another door to the bedroom, and the short hall that leads to the bathroom and out to the back screen porch. It's a pretty big kitchen for an apartment, so there are no complaints there. My small apartment-size fridge fits in a custom-made nook so it doesn't stick out into the room and take up space. There's enough room for a good size dining table in the middle. There is so much cabinet space that I'm sometimes overwhelmed, but it serves as all-purpose storage since it's a little hard to come by in general. But I still think it's a weird kitchen.
This is what it looked like when I had obviously cleaned a TON, and before I painted the cabinets red:
I painted the kitchen cabinets a stark, crazed red last winter. At first, I liked it. Anything was better than the 60s-era yellowish thing they had going on; their original style. Now that I look at pictures, though, they weren't so bad. I was just sick of them more than anything. They're nice cabinets, really, but man, there were a lot of them. When I first moved in, I took off all the tiny cabinet doors up on the top-top and turned all that space into open display space where my sudden collection of jadeite now sits, among other things.
I painted a giant rendition of Joost Schmidt's Bauhaus poster on one wall to go with the red-is-rad theme:
Red, black, and white were apparently my go-to's, but let me be the first to admit that an entire kitchen in red and black is not exactly inviting. Not if done incorrectly, and I did it incorrectly. Mostly because red is an exciting, energetic, kind of nervous color, and I did almost nothing to calm it the heck down. And partly because I had a gigantic seafoam-green metal cabinet scrounged from an old hospital on the Bauhaus wall. And also because there is very little natural light that enters this room -- one north-facing window, and it just started feeling a little bit... angular. And hodge-podge, and not in a good, harmonious way.
I like comfortable. I have a lot of hard-edged furniture. My floors are terrazzo; they are hard and grey-beige and not very cute. I needed to soften things up. So the first step was to head to the home store and get some paint samples. And hooray! It was easy! My kitchen walls are about to be transformed to a hue called "Aqua Breeze," which is the bottom-most swatch on this wall. I've used up almost the entire sample can already.
Can't wait to show the finished walls! And then, of course, it's on to the decorating...