This post aka: Bragging On My Husband.
The Strider and I purchased our first home in early June, as readers of TCR know. Previously we lived in a 750 square foot efficiency apartment (with two babies. yes, it was tight by American standards, but it CAN be done).
Now we’re in a 1700 square foot home with separate living room and family rooms, three bedrooms, an office, laundry room, built in office nook, and one bathroom. It’s been fun adding things to it and making it feel more like our space. I thought I’d continue that fun by sharing some of the ways we’ve added to our home’s usefulness and comfort without spending a heap o’money on new things.
This initial post is, I recognize, on something not everyone can do, but it’s so cool I’ve got to share.
Our house was built in 1959 and belonged to the same family from then until this year. A couple bought it, raised their children in it, and then passed away in it. Their children, who clearly loved the house, were the managers of the estate. One of them was also the selling realtor for the house. She walked through it with us, asking us about whether they should take or leave various items no one in the family wanted or was able to take (this is how my husband inherited a fabulous tool shed, but that’s another story for another post).
This was in a shed in the backyard:
There were plywood and pegboard drawers on every shelf; each of them containing odd and end tool things. Huge and solid wood, it used to be in an old Post Office. “Are you guys okay with us leaving that?” the seller asked. It was one of those marriage moments where two minds are acting as one: “OH YEAH.”
I knew immediately what I wanted it for. While the house itself is a dream house, the kitchen has some limitations. Both counter space and food storage space are limited and will require some creative rethinking. This cabinet looked *perfect* for adding some of both.
We painted the kitchen yellow and someone suggested spray painting the cabinet red. This seemed like a decent idea, until I started sanding it down… the grain of the wood was so beautiful that I felt like I’d be the worst of graffiti punks to just paint it all over. Then again, I can barely keep up with the house, the babies, and baby #1’s medical appointments so I knew I would be biting off FAR more than I could chew to even contemplate refinishing it. I told my husband I’d just paint it, and then someday hope to get back to refinishing it.
He asked me to let him do it… I said yes, provided he knew I couldn’t finish unpacking the kitchen ’til it was done. He made it his top priority project, bless him, and worked hard on it even on a week his job had him working sixty hours, doubly bless him.
This is it in its mostly finished glory…. isn’t it purty? And functional? And amaaaazing? I spray painted the plywood drawers; they match my kitchen valance and curtains. I will be getting knobs for them once I’ve found some I really like. Currently the drawers hold things like cookie cutters, measuring spoons and cups, graters, aaaand more tbd. The drawer holds spatulas, whisks, and wooden spoons.
I go into small fits of ecstasy every time I step into the kitchen these days and I can’t wait to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies or bread!
Later posts: I’ll share all the cookbook titles that I’ve got on the shelf, because if you’re like me, you’re peering closely at them.