The Inside and Out of Kitchens

4 Oct

After living in my house for almost 20 years without a dishwasher, I finally decided that I deserve a dishwasher. Since I have a tiny kitchen, half of the counter space was always taken up with dirty dishes on one side and the dish rack on the other. Please note the vast expanse of counter space now.

Our house was built in 1950 and never had a dishwasher, so it was a bit more work than just switching one out. To save some bucks, I decided to cut the cupboard out myself where the dishwasher was going to be installed. I wore all of the safety gear that I could find in the house and used pretty much all the tools that we own, power and otherwise. Since The-Man-With-Whom-I-Keep-Company was off being Rugged-Nature-Boy in the wilderness when I was doing this, I also had my cell phone handy so that I could phone 911 in case of injury. Unless I managed to cut off both my arms, which I felt was a real possibility, especially with the reciprocating saw. Happy to report I completed the task with no injury to me or to the surrounding area.

You’ll notice that I still have my old energy-sucking fridge and stove. Those are next on the list; I need to save more pennies. I want a gas range, so I’ll be waiting even longer for that. I would love to have retro-looking appliances that are also energy-efficient. Yellow would be nice but they will probably be white. A little matter of cost.

The countertop was starting to show some wear so I decided it was a good time to give it a fresh coat of paint too. I had originally painted the countertop a few years after I moved in. The counter that was there when I bought the house was the typical 1970s/80s beige-with-fake-marbly-look laminate stuff that everyone put on their countertops in that era.  It was not attractive and it didn’t suit the 1950s house. But since the laminate was in good shape why throw it out if I could paint over it? Especially if I could paint it a lovely red. Red and yellow were two popular colours of the 1950s palette (pink was another – maybe I’ll make my next kitchen pink).

I think there are too many victims of renovations in dumps and too many renovations that don’t suit heritage homes. If I were in the market for a house and it had a granite counter top, that would actually be a big mark against it.  So would stainless steel appliances (why are granite and stainless steel such a big deal? Are they today’s version of the ubiquitous 1970s/80s beige-with-fake-marbly-look laminate stuff?) I like my retro look, and it’s also cheaper. As an aside, a hot tub would be another negative on that list. Ew. Just ew.

The kitchen floor was covered with beige-with-fake-marbly-look vinyl linoleum similar to the countertop pattern (I guess the people before me had a little burst of energy in the 1970s/80s).  I replaced that with checkered red and yellow composite tiles. Checkered tiles were big in the 1950s too. Here’s one that would make those 1950s cocktail parties a little hard to take come morning!

I made my red and yellow checkered back-splash by hand-painting textured wallpaper and then varnishing it. Easier than tile (although I have no actual grudge against tile – I’m just lazy sometimes).

And because The-Man-With-Whom-I-Keep-Company does his collectibles thing, we have a good supply of fab 1950s decor items.

And a marvy chrome table set. Red, of course.

A few things will still have to be washed by hand, and I do occasionally purchase things that are not second-hand. I heard about this fold-up space-saving dish rack from Ikea and had to have it. Those Swedes are a clever people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When The-Man-With-Whom-I-Keep-Company returned from his Rugged-Nature-Boy outing, he decided there was just a bit too much technical advancement going on in the kitchen, so in order to prolong his spiritual regeneration through harmony with nature he set up an outdoor kitchen/summer kitchen. Our ancient BBQ had finally died, so he put together a wood-fired brick grill.

He also figured it would be a good idea to put an old sink into an old table (do you detect a theme here? Yes, we like old.) The sink is ever so handy for washing the garden harvest since it’s right beside the garden. He even incorporated a nod to technology; he hooked up a garden hose so that water magically appears at the turn of a tap, and then the dirty water goes right back into the garden. The compost is nearby too. Very efficient, and no need to drag a bunch of muddy veggies inside the house.

So far as kitchens go, we are cooking with gas! (OK, actually electricity and wood, but it there’s no catchy phrase for that). And many more food posts will show up from my sunny kitchens!

Posted by Truly Scrumptious

 

 

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3 Responses to “The Inside and Out of Kitchens”

  1. swankola October 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    You need to bookmark this site: http://retrorenovation.com/
    She’s also a lover of pink kitchens (and bathrooms)

  2. Truly Scrumptious October 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    What a fabulous site, thanks! I’ll be spending some time there for sure. I see that Formica will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 2013. I think I’ll have to do something to commemorate that – very exciting!

  3. The Erratic Cook October 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    My kitchen needs a facelift, I may need a lesson in counter top painting.

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