Feb 16, 2012

An Ode to Contact Paper and a Retro Kitchen

About a month ago, I decided something had to be done with my cookie cutter kitchen.  The one that came with the new house, and they only let us pick the tile color.  Being that it is brand spankin new (well, it was four years ago when we moved in), there will be no painting of cabinets, no replacing of tile to granite, and no putting in hardware.  Everything works totally functionally, we aren't exactly made of money, so I am stuck with a boring, cookie-cutter kitchen.  I can't even paint it because it flows into the large great room which I want to leave white.

Usher in...contact paper.
RED.  To be exact.
It's true.  And I didn't even see this idea on a blog or pinterest.  
I know.  Desperate times create extremes in creativity.
I covered every other tile on the backsplash with red contact paper from OSH.  No one has ever guessed and most people think I have redone the tile even when getting up super close.
I only did the back wall around the windows for now since it's such a huge pop and a lot of careful measuring and cutting, but I may go all the way around.  It sticks very well, is water proof, and peels right off  with no marks when I get sick of it.  I would also like to point out that before this night, I also had completely different colors and decor in here.  It was all Americana.  It was SO 1990, and outdated.  I'm not sure that I fixed that, but after staring at red, white and blue for 10 years, I'm am completely OVER it.  It wasn't my first choice in the first place, but the only thing my husband and I could agree on together when doing our wedding registry. It was fine then, but last month I said, NO MORE! Being that I live 90% of my waking hours in here or at the table next to this room, I needed something that had my name written all over it. Done.
 Here is the full room.  It's basically just a big square.  I don't have a pantry but just a tall cupboard next to the fridge and that is the one thing that drives me nuts about it.  I could use more usable food storage, but other than that, I love my kitchen.  I had the vintage signs and stars already hanging there above the cupboards, but I bought yellow and red spray paint and painted the stars very cheery colors.  Other random vintage things are stored up there, but I need to arrange that better. Most of the vintage signs have some sort of airplane theme. Subtle nod to the hubby's job. I must point out that I love having a gas stove top and a large free standing stove which huge pans fit in.  I love having pretty hand towels hanging there, but pretty towels, young children who pull them off a million times a day, and grubby hands don't belong in the same kitchen.
 I have an apron and flour sack dishtowel hung up on either side of the window and to the right is my cookbooks.  I also keep glass jars and containers for vases and they get stored up top on either side of the window.  They get used all the time.
Fancy glass cake plates make great plant stands by the window.  Well, at least they do in my randomness.
 Did you know green onions keep growing if you put them in water?  I just snip off what I want when cooking.  I made the curtains out of two vintage lace runners I bought on etsy and then backed with red gingham.  They are hung up with shower curtain hooks and are light and airy.
 I also made a chalkboard grocery sign out of a metal serving tray and a little bowl holds the chalk on the window sill.  The red and yellow spray paint made another comeback on the picture frames and pot scrubber holder.  There is always a baby bib chillin in my sink.  Always.  I'm just keeping it real for the peeps.

On this side of the stove is the odd lineup of things we use everyday.  We have the coffee area with my favorite random mugs, my cow butter dish, the cake plate that always holds some sort of cookie, the basket which holds the phone, and the napkin basket closest to the table.  Yes, I have a cow butter dish.  I mean if you are going to have one, you should probably make it a cow.  Also, cookies are a staple in my house.  I put them in a cake plate so I can see if we are running low and I'll whip more up.  Cookies should be a food group. Truth.
 On this side of the stove is kinda the cooking staging area.  I use that butcher block sideboard every single blessed day.  Our house didn't come with a pull out cutting board, but I have this and love it much more.  Also, those containers are all that are left of the decor that said Americana.  However, they can stay.  I'm generous and full of grace like that.
 I'm rather proud of this next feature because Tone made it.  It's my pot rack.  It's made from gorgeous cherry wood and it saves me a lot of room under the counter. Isn't it puurty? My pots are all nasty stained on the bottom, but I don't care.  That stuff all got there from cooking with love and it doesn't scrub off.  That counter space under the pots gets cluttered and cleaned off about a million times a day.  The kids are always sitting there eating, talking, watching or engaging with me in some way on the two big counter stools. Adult legs can't fit between the bar stools and the counter because we didn't cut the legs down for this counter height when we moved in.  You know why?  It's the perfect height for little people who want to help Mommy cook and their legs fit perfectly.
 Our fridge is not a pretty fridge because on the front is this eclectic arrangement.  Everywhere we have traveled since we have gotten married, we buy a magnet. Here are a few of them. Being that I am married to an airline pilot and we often travel several times a year to interesting places, this has gotten quite full, but it's our fun little nod to our lifestyle.  You know, I look at them all the time and think of the places we've been.  I love them. Wait, how did the kid's bird craft magnets get stuck there?  Typical.
So the last piece I needed was one bright focal point over the window.  The clock was modge podged with this fun polka dot fabric.  Love it or hate it, it makes the room in my mind.   Hunter says it needs numbers (he's learning to tell time still and it really rubs against his type A personality).  He's probably not going to get his numbers though.  He can use the big living room clock. Yellow spray painted frames hold some embroidery of mine.
 Here it is in all it's glory.  Okay, it's really hodge podge, but to me who lives in it daily, it's got a lot of character and glory and it's cheerful. To the left of the kitchen hang the key rack and calendar and school charts.  It's not a kitchen that belongs in a pristine home, but it's a kitchen full of life and love.  I'm wondering though, do you think the red tile should go all the way around?  Or would that be too much?  I hate to do all that work cutting out squares if I will end up hating it.  On the other hand, it might make the kitchen all that more exciting and complete, and it would be totally worth it. Or...not.  Oh I can't decide! What do you think?


  1. I think the red would look nice all the way around - kind of like wrapping you in a big hug. It would complete the room and help it feel more cozy.

  2. Love your pot rack! Lola has been wearing her shoes quite a bit lately and I always think of you when I put them on her.

  3. Thanks for the tour of your kitchen! I like the pop of red! I think you could go either way - add more or leave it as is. I know, that's not helpful. One of my favorite things is the cake plate with cookies in it!

  4. What a wonderful kitchen you have! I love the red squares and may even borrow your idea; my kitchen tile is so blah. If you can't decide to continue with the red or not, maybe you could cut some imperfect squares out of red construction paper and tack them up just to see if you like it?