Kitchen: Finishing touches

As I said in the last post, we spent a lot of time this weekend working around the apartment. While the kitchen didn’t get any new touches, we did talk and think a lot about what it needs to make it feel complete… I need to upload a more recent photo, since we have added door pulls, etc. since this was taken, but as a reminder this is basically where the kitchen stands now:

We are struggling with how to hang art and shelves–the walls really are not in good shape, and we’re worried that we’ll make major trouble if we drill into them. On the other hand, I desperately want to run two shelves along that long left wall, one at the height of the top of the fridge surround, and one enough lower that I can store the coffee canister, etc. on it. I’d paint them white and we’d give them enough of a lip in front that we could have under-shelf lighting under the bottom one to light the counter. That would help with problem 2, which is lighting, which….sigh. I can’t even think about that right now.

We don’t know how to start with shelves. Do we shell out and have a professional come in? Do we experiment a bit with the lathing? I have become quite adept at using self-adhesive wire mesh and putty to patch large holes. Still, it’s overwhelming! But once we work out the shelf problem, we can also figure out how to hang some art above the sink–probably just my “Tea Revives You” print (which I need to frame), but maybe that plus a bunch of smaller things if we work out a good system. Maybe a hanging rail or something for a flexible system and fewer holes?

Keep Calm, Tea

On a simpler front, I am trying to decide between these two completely different clocks, both from Urban Outfitters. We nearly bought a really amazing vintage clock in France but we decided not to get entangled in issues of ancient battery sizes or hard wiring…

Choice One:

Choice Two:

Tricky! (By the way, the orange one is 8 inches wide; the white is 15 inches!)

11 thoughts on “Kitchen: Finishing touches”

  1. Under-shelf lighting can be done really easily as long as you have a clear path to an outlet. I used to live in this place in Brokeland (our side of the street got Berkeley cops, the other side Oakland) and there was a great little halogen unit under the over-sink cabinets, just stuck there with some adhesive. Sure, it had a cord taped to the wall that went around the corner to an outlet, but it made doing the dishes feel tres sophisticated.

    I’m sure you can do even better.

  2. Yeah, we got these little plug in units and screwed them into the underside of our cabinets in Hanover. There were cords but we just tucked them away as best we could. It makes a kitchen feel so much cozier!

  3. Clock – vote Orange, first reaction was for the white one but the orange fits your kitchen better.

    Love shelves w/ under lighting. Great use of space, opens up the counter to actually cook/prep on. Vote to give it a shot with drilling/installing your-self worst case you step back use your putty/wire skills and hire a pro but then you will have a better idea of the end result. Per Josh, I also had a little halogen sticky thing, hated the cord but loved the ability to see. Might be able to find shelves with light built in.

  4. I’m torn between the two clocks; the white one would disappear and just give you the time; the orange one is a punch of color with a retro personality. It just depends if you want the clock to stand out and be part art or more subtle. Where would it go?

    Why not try the shelves yourself and see how it goes? You can always call in the Mounties. At first our under-the-cabinet halogen light was plugged in. The next time we had an electrician come, we had him hard-wire it.

  5. Shelving with bad walls…man oh man can i tell you a lot about that. I say hire someone. I have WAY too many holes in my walls now from me (a self-admittedly handy-gal 🙂 ) attempting to make it work myself. I would suggest that you get an estimate and then you buy the lumber, paint, etc. and then just have the dude come in and install.

    Also, I like both of those clocks but something about that pear paint screams ‘pewter clock!’ or something like this:

    or this:

    Though with the print, it may get a bit too earthy and need a splash of color.

    I like this one, too:

  6. hire a pro. ask him or her exactly how they’ll find the studs. be sure of what kind of hardware they’re using. make sure they’ve done plaster before. shelves can be really nice, or really bad, especially since you’ll be able to see the bottom and all the hardware. There isn’t a picture rail in the kitchen, right?

  7. Your kitchen is looking great to me! And thanks for the tip on TJ’s mache. I’m always dismal and confused when it comes to shopping there. I love hearing what other people buy/love. You should try their chipotle ranch french fries. They are heaven.

  8. I guess Im bucking the popular opinion but I prefer the white larger clocck. Think it will make a nice constrast to the wall color without it being a visual distraction. Too small wall decor is a little pet peeve of mine as well I think its a common pitfall. 8 inches is pretty small.

  9. Thanks guys! Still torn on the shelving, and I think I’m leaning with Mrs Limestone that 8 inches is way too small. If I can find a nice big clock with a pop of color, I might do that, but I think I’ll order the white one to see how it looks. Easy to return!

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