Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Retrospective: 6. The Kitchen, 2007-2014

To celebrate my blog's eighth anniversary, we're taking a tour through time and looking at the changes I've made to our house over the years. This is the sixth in the series. The last area to be featured was The Dining Room, 2007- (early) 2015. If you'd like to start at the beginning, go here: The Front and Back Yards, 2007-2014. You can also catch all the retrospective posts under the Prairie Home Tour tab, above.

They say some people are kitchen people and others are living room people.

I am a kitchen people. 

When I moved in, my husband was living in the house with two room-mates. After we were married, I began lobbying for re-doing the kitchen. At that time, we were still paying the mortgage and we had only one room-mate. We had a son.

Please click through to read through. Sorry to truncate the post but it is mammoth. Not like the kitchen.

Quite rightly, Chris informed me we couldn't afford to renovate and add square footage for a decent entry and eating space. I scaled back my plans and looked into knocking down the wall between the dining room and kitchen and when that estimate (with new cabinetry, flooring, etc) came in at $14,000, (in late 1990 dollars and interest rates were high) that was that.

Here is the floor plan. 

The kitchen gets the most beautiful southern light--and the window over the kitchen sink faces west making it a pleasant place to be.


 My son was 10 and my daughter seven. We were homeschooling. That's why there was this big shelf behind the kitchen table.

I painted the backs of the Windsor chairs in different colours during the Fall Cure that year. I loved them. 

You can't see it very well, but those are examples of cursive letters above and below the clock.

We also put in a new faucet that year, too. It made for a good story.


The kitchen was cluttered. Badly.

Here's the stove wall.

We're looking through the doorway at a bookcase in the dining room. Three shelves above the stove is three too many.

Here is the rest of that wall.

ugh. It makes my skin crawl to look at all that stuff, now.

One of the Windsor chairs broke: so I picked up these cheap IKEA chairs at a garage sale.

We're still homeschooling.


I cleaned the heck out of the kitchen during the Fall Cure this year. I didn't make any significant changes except to take down the top pine shelf over the stove and create a new spice rack.

You can see the shelf propped up in the dining room. 

I also put up the new spice rack. The map will return.

                                                         We're still homeschooling.


We made a few more small changes.

1) We got a smaller microwave in white. What a difference!

2) I painted the pine table white and then the chairs cobalt blue. I loved them.

I believe my daughter started public school in the Fall. I am still homeschooling my son.


The kitchen changed little by little, becoming less cluttered and more open every year.

First, I bought a light to mount under the cabinet.

The second change was taking down the last of the shelving and installing a thermofoil cabinet above the stove.

Then, we got a round kitchen table off kijiji.  (The liatorp from Ikea). As I am only homeschooling my son--and he did most of his work in his room, I took down the shelf,

Lastly, just in time for Christmas I painted the upper cabinets and stencilled the soffit.

It's beginning to have new life.


I painted the baseboards.

I put up a large white mirror to bounce the fabulous light around the room--and that spurred a decision to put up two shelves for dishes above the drainboard. I needed more heft. And it was practical, too.

so pretty.


What a long way we've come.


I made significant changes this year, as most of you know. I was just ready for a change.

Walls painted.
New microwave shelf.
New storage canisters.

Sewed roman shades. 
Created and installed new pendant.
New clock.

Took down shelves and relocated the cookbooks and utensils.

Ta da!

I still love it, though I think it is time to add a little bit of art.


t said...

What a great evolution over the years. It looks so nice and neat.

Janina Laird said...

Alana, twice I've written a comment to send to you about your kitchen evolution and twice my computer has lost it.

So, long story short....I love your kitchen and what you've done with it. My house is probably about the same age and size as yours but my kitchen configuration is quite different. It's basically a galley kitchen with 2 doors/entrances and everything is original to the house. Old, is I guess the best word to describe it.

My problem? I'm a kitchen person. My kitchen has nary a place to put a chair to sit down and have a cup of tea. No place whatsoever. I'm a sadly displaced kitchen person who finds herself sitting in the living room. (That's a really sad first world story.)

Anyway, we've been in this house almost 2 years now and have to do a major overhaul of the roof, the attic insulation and weatherstripping of those cubbies/doors opening into the attic, all new eavestroughing (the old stuff is garbage), and we're having a roof overhang built to cover our front steps by the front door. To have a reputable company do all this means the money ear-marked for my kitchen is going to the roof. Haha! I'm going to have to wait to have my cozy kitchen for a while longer.

If I don't have those long icicles threatening me this winter, I think I'll be a happy lady. I can enjoy sitting in my living room, knowing you can enjoy your tea in your cozy kitchen on those frosty Edmonton mornings! Brrr!

Thank you for sharing your kitchen with us!

Alana in Canada said...

Thanks, t! I tried to pick the tidiest pictures I could find!

Janina, that is really too bad. I would feel so disoriented drinking my coffee in the living room in the morning. Thanks for persisting with your comment.

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