I love my kitchen and I love the things in my kitchen, but I’ve spent the past four years being dissatisfied with the way I’ve decorated it. My main color in the space is red, with black and silver accents. My small appliances (blender, toaster, milkshake machine) are all retro style and I love them. But the space above my cupboards has been pretty pathetic. I’ve always had some larger pieces up there like a pasta bowl, soup tourine, popcorn bowl, pitcher and colander, but the space in the corner has been sad. I got the idea a few years ago to do something with antique and vintage cookbooks, and sent my mother-in-law on a mission to find ones with good spines (since they would be the accent piece). She found some great ones, but, still, I didn’t know what to do with them. Until Friday evening, that is!
Somehow, it finally clicked in my mind that I have the PERFECT picnic basket (a wedding gift) that has just been sitting on the floor next to my buffet in the dining room, behind the highchair, being useless. It would make the perfect platform for the cookbooks. I used two antique jars (also from my mother-in-law) as bookends. My husband was wonderful in helping me figure out how to arrange the cookbooks. In the end, he came up with the idea of slightly tilting one in the middle so they’d have the look of still being used. I felt like the books on the basket looked a little too tall, and Nolan (ah, the wonderful, decorator mindset husband!) suggested we keep our eyes out for antique cereal boxes or something. Facebook proved to be wonderful as I wrote on my mother-in-law’s wall that I finally used the books and jars, but wanted to be on the look out for antique and vintage kitchen things. Turns out, she has quite a few of the items I’m looking for, all boxed up from her former kitchen decor! We were up at her house yesterday, and she handed off a Saltines tin and baking powder tin. I LOVE the way they look up there!
I knew that Is needed something to fill the white space on either side of the center, so I made two [temporary] signs, and plan on turning them into something permanent after I paint the kitchen or something.
And, ta-da! I could have shared these pictures with you a few days ago, but my kitchen was in DESPERATE need of some cleaning. In fact, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that my sink is FULL and there is a pile of cookie sheets next to it. But, thanks for careful picture taking, the mess isn’t too obvious. I certainly want to add more to this space, but already, I like it way, way, way better than anything I’ve done with it in the past 4 years.
Later this week, I think I’ll share my unseen (and unsightly) tricks for making everything sit high enough to be seen over the molding at the top of the cabinets. But, before I bring this post to a close, I’ll also show you my absolute favorite element in my kitchen:
This is the recipe my mom used to make cookies for us everyday after school while I was growing up. Once (oh, so many years ago) she copied the recipe from a bag of Tole-house chocolate chips onto a piece of paper, and then that piece of paper was pulled out over and over again. My brothers and I all learned to bake cookies from this sheet. It has been folded and worn. The ink is faded and it is covered in grease spots. But so many of my childhood memories are wrapped up in this piece of paper. As a shower gift before I got married, my mom mounted this recipe on a piece of scrapbook paper, wrote a border about what it is around it, and framed it for me. I LOVE having it, and look forward to when Jace is old enough to help me make cookies using this recipe.
(Sorry the lighting is so not-fantastic in these pictures… My kitchen doesn’t have any windows directly in it, and I live in the beautiful Willamette Valley where fall has set in with cloudy mornings, thus creating bad lighting!)