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The Kitchen and Hall


Behold, the kitchen of my dreams:

Daniel's Kitchen via Manhattan Nest Photo by Daniel of Manhattan Nest (only the best blog ever)

It’s light, bright, airy, modern, fresh, cozy, warm, and all the other good things that the kitchen in my life should be.

Back to reality. This is the kitchen I live with:

Kitchen || Jade and Fern

Not so much.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s got some great qualities. It’s big, for one. And it’s in our apartment that we love. It has relatively decent sunlight. There are cute period details, like great moulding and a vintage stove.

The Kitchen || Jade and Fern

But…that blue. The yellow. The faux-tile “wainscoting” trimmed in strips of chrome-colored plastic. The extreme lack of cabinets (the only built-in one is that glass door upper). The alarmingly crumbly walls resulting in a large number of rough spackle jobs.

The Kitchen || Jade and Fern

The Kitchen || Jade and Fern

Yes, that sink is so charming and vintage and classic. But it’s also REALLY tall (I’m really not).

The Kitchen || Jade and Fern

We’ve brought in tons of hanging storage, and several cabinet pieces like this buffet on the left (the half-removed paint job is a long story for another day). The butcher block on the right was leftover from a previous tenant, and I added the hanging rail for cooking utensils. Fun fact about our kitchen: we have only one drawer. Just think about that.

To be fair (to myself? to the apartment?), Daniel OWNS his home and kicks some serious ass when it comes to investing time and sweat into it. Yes, he did that in his rental as well, but I’m ignoring that for now.

The Kitchen || Jade and Fern

The left door above leads to the entrance to the apartment, and luckily there is a little storage area there hidden behind the curtain on the right. We’d be pretty screwed without it.

The Hall || Jade and Fern

It’s jammed full but very practical. Still, that dark olive green? Not a terrible color on its own, but it’s way too dark for the space. We’ll get around to painting eventually, and after all this color overload I’m ready for white white white!

The Hall || Jade and Fern

Only one room left to complete my little house tour: the bathroom. Steel yourselves because it is UGLY.

What kitchen or storage woes do you have? What have you done about them?

Author: Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake

Maker, baker, cat momma, total nerd, perpetually covered in glitter/sawdust/paint. Blogging DIY and design for modern creatives.

16 comments on “The Kitchen and Hall”

  1. My number one problem is always storage. I live in a house of seven: parents, two brothers, grandparents, and myself so whether we like it or not stuff always ALWAYS accumulates. It’s a doozy. I always love finding the right storage mediums such as a great chest or a set of drawer dividers to contain the problem. I also love doing a clean sweep and organizing what all I do and don’t need- it helps so much! I’m in love with the kitchen of your dreams! Seems so magical 🙂

    Simply Akshara

  2. So jealous of your tall sink! That’s rough not having enough storage. I’m in that camp too, but only because I have an absurd amount of kitchen gear (I just got a food dehydrator and a vacuum sealer and have NO CLUE where to put them. Yikes). I love how much room you have in your kitchen!

    Ladyface Blog

    1. The sink is great when you’re taller than 5’1″! 🙂 Kitchen gear is tough for me too, as I love to cook and bake. We are very lucky to have that bit of hall shelving, a lot of the small appliances and numerous baking dishes go up there. I forgot to mention in the post, our “pantry” is the small cupboard below the peg board–dry food storage is probably our biggest issue! Can’t wait to see what you make with your dehydrator!

  3. When I saw Daniel’s kitchen reveal, I sunk into what I can only call a renter’s depression. His kitchen is my dream, down to every detail. Your kitchen looks like it has the bones to be this fabulous!! It already looks really adorable! Can’t wait to see what you do with it =)

    1. Renter’s depression! That is the perfect diagnosis of my symptoms. The itch to keep fixing and sprucing and changing, coupled with lack of funds and the knowledge that I can only do so much, and would have to leave it all behind. Sigh! But thank you, I’m glad you see the potential! I think a paint job would do wonders for sure. We’ll see how far I can take it!

  4. Let’s see…you do have a bit of a challenge here. First, I like the wall-mounted bottle opener! I’m guessing Alan had something to do with that? 🙂 You could cover the blue stuff with white-painted beadboard panels that could be attached with small finish nails or even double-stick tape? You could build a kitchen bar from salvaged upper cabinets (which are 12″ deep), placed back to back so that storage can be accessed from either side, and topped with a long run of butcher block counter top…which is fairly inexpensive at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ikea. Build a “step-up”…like an aerobic step box…on the kind of casters that library step stools have, so YOU can reach the sink easier but it can slide under the sink when taller people are around. (Better yet, make Alan do all the dishes!). And definitely paint everything WHITE!!

  5. Yes, I am so painting everything white! The wall-mounted opener was a present from me to Alan at some point. I like the beadboard idea, but since this is a rental I would probably just paint as it’s less expensive. I LOVE the kitchen bar and step-stool idea!!

      1. Haha, I actually meant to comment on that appliance in the post–it’s our dishwasher! It’s a mini “portable” model that hooks up to the sink with a hose. BEST purchase we’ve ever made.

        Reaching the microwave is really fun, I stand on my tippy-toes and grab the sides of the microwave to pull it as close to the edge of the fridge as I can. Usually I can retrieve large plates, but for smaller ones (that may stop at the back when it’s done zapping), I scoot out a chair from the table.

        I do have a stepstool, but generally I’m too lazy to grab it.

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