Kitchen Changes and Ideas

It feels like our apartment is in a constant state of flux right now, and we keep having new changes to share every week!  This past Saturday, Chris and I went on a cleaning and reorganizing rampage, which was awesome.  It's not often that we're both in a crazy cleaning mood at the same time, so we got a lot done and even accomplished some of those annoying tasks--like washing the windows inside and out--that make a surprising difference.  While we were at it, we decided to try bringing our enamel table inside, and we liked how it looks, so there it will stay!

We used to sit at our table outside all the time, but lately it has been too cold in the evenings to be outside comfortably, and with the time change we realized that it would now also be dark at dinnertime.  It's usually nice out during the day (oh, Southern California... this whole sunny and warm thing is getting weird) so we can still use our patio space for relaxing, but its great to have the table back in a more functional location.

This is the view of the now indoors table from our "front" sliding glass door and from the living room.  There used to be a narrow counter thing in that spot, which came with the apartment, and we worried that having anything wider than that would block the flow of the kitchen.  We thought about putting the table in the middle of the room like an island, but once we got it inside, we realized that it worked great against the wall.

You can see that there's still plenty of space in the kitchen, and now that we can use the table as a workspace for preparing meals, it actually feels like there's even more room!  There was already a hook on the ceiling, so we hung our little homemade light bulb socket splitter chandelier there for a little mood lighting at the table.  It's centered on the wall, not the table, and it's weirdly close to the wall, so it's not quite perfect, but it works for now.

Now that the table is in here, I don't know why we didn't do it sooner!

Odo is making his crazy stick-eating face.
In the process, we had to readjust the patio area.  That green victorian chair has gotten bumped from the living room, then to the kitchen, and it finally landed outside.  It's not in great shape anyway, and we only paid $20 for it, so we're fine with it being out there.  It's still under the roof, so it should be ok.  We basically just moved the sitting area to where the table used to be, and brought the counter thing that was in the kitchen outside and set it up with some of our gardening stuff (so the white enamel cart could be less cluttered) and Chris's collection of lab glass, little terrariums, etc.  I think we're still planning to take the LC2 to Chris's classroom at school, but it's still there for now.  Then we turned the green rug to make room for our vintage bikes under the roof; now they will be safer for the potential rain we might get at some point (it has still only rained once since we moved to Ojai in July!), and we get to admire them more!

Now back to the kitchen, because as the title of the post suggests... we have some more ideas to make it even better!

Yep, we're planning to paint again.  We pulled up an old picture of the kitchen (without the IKEA bars and gallery wall to make it simpler to deal with in Photoshop), and got to playing with that wall color!  Right now it is that light peachy-pink color I just can't stand, and we recently realized that the ceiling is the same color.  Oof.  The first thing I'm going to do is paint the ceiling white, so that's easy, but deciding on a wall color is a different story.  We were a little less sure what we wanted to do in this room than we were in the living room, so I messed around with a bunch of different colors in Photoshop to narrow it down.  Again, the paint has to look good with the wood, but this time we also have the added challenge of having to work with the dark red cement floor and the dark blue in the living room.  At first we were trying to find something that would look better with the ugly tile behind the sink, but I gave up on that idea pretty fast, and we just decided to cover it up instead (we'll cover those ideas in a minute).

Some of these colors were nixed pretty much right away, but I wanted to put up the whole range to hear what you guys think!  We know we want something light and neutral enough that we won't have to repaint when we move out.  We'll definitely be getting our landlord's opinion and hopefully agreeing on something together.  This room is going to be obnoxious to paint, so I want to be extra sure that we pick the right color!

Please excuse the clean dishes in the dish rack!  I don't know why I used this picture...
Then I started thinking about the backsplash, because I really hate that tile.  I looked into a bunch of ideas for covering it up, and in the end we decided to just use contact paper--or something similar--for a really inexpensive option that we can remove when we move.

It turns out it's surprisingly difficult to find interesting, modern contact paper designs.  So far I've only had success on Chic Shelf Paper and Etsy.  I love the designs of the Kate Zaremba Company on Etsy, and the pinstripe floral one is particular (upper right) is my favorite for this space.  The other three are the cornflower tiles, hexagon highway, and midnight blue and tan weathered polka dot papers from Chic Shelf Paper.  Does anybody have any other good resources for contact paper online?

Finally, I put together some compilation shots of my two favorite color ideas (grey and a light bluish grey) with my favorite paper idea to see how it would all look together.  Chris's favorite is the grey, and he likes the paper a lot, but isn't quite sold yet, and thinks maybe we should look for a different color there (maybe green?).

Ok, now I need some outside opinions!  What color do you think would look best on the walls?  Which contact paper, or do you have other contact paper pattern ideas?  Any ceiling painting tips?  Kitchen painting tips? I've been reading a bunch of tutorials on the topic, but I could use all the help I can get (especially after my five-coats-of-paint-almost-fiasco in the living room)!  Oh, and what do you think of our new kitchen and patio arrangement?


  1. I love that bluish gray that you have as an idea for the kitchen! It compliments the color of the cabinets nicely! And I like the last contact paper with the bold navy! All the best! Nicole

  2. Another alternative to contact paper you might like. I've been wanting to try these: http://2jane.com/collections/tile-tattoos

  3. Ceilings are a pain in the ass to paint so you'll want to roll fast, but don't give in to that impulse. Just go slow and you won't splatter as bad. I like the contact paper, but it seems like you guys might need a bolder color there. I don't know though, I'm terrible with color. My living room has been white for three years because I'm a wuss. I do know that I like the blue color a lot. Grey is tough sometimes. I painted my spare room what I thought was a light grey color and it turned out purple. Totally not what I expected. Good luck with whatever you choose!


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