The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heart of the Home. . .

Today I'm expressing heartfelt thanks to our sweet hostess Shelia @ Note Songs for extending her invitation to join in the Heart of the Home Party. Instead of donning my apron, I'm donning my curator hat to give you a guided tour of my Galley Style Kitchen On Crooked Creek.

Having left the "dream home" to be close to our son and daughter~in~law in 2002, we also left the spacious County Kitchen behind. For the first three years On Crooked Creek, we spent weekend~after~weekend updating our 1970's Ranch Style Home. Deemed "good bones" and "move~in" condition in today's real estate market, "Mr. Ed" and I considered our home a fixer~upper from the start. Trust me, dear ones, there comes a point where you just wear down (or out) and you have to stop remodeling and just live for a while!

Our galley kitchen came with olive green printed wallpaper, harvest gold appliances, yellow laminate counter tops, gold ceiling mounted light fixtures and butter cream back splash tiles. The dark walnut built~on~site cabinets with heavy Spanish burnished bronze hardware and laminate flooring made this one dark and dreary kitchen.

A complete remodeling of the kitchen was NOT in the budget. We began s l o w l y . . .
new light fixtures, wallpaper, appliances, area rugs, counter tops. Better, but so very dark were those kitchen cabinets. Now, dear ones, "Mr. Ed" loves natural wood, me. . . not so much. . .
So. . .several years ago, on the prairie. . .Fall turned to one of the longest Winters on record.

"Mr. Ed" works for Kansas Department of Transportation and during our harsh Kansas winters I refer to myself as a Winter Widow. With a combination of Parent~Teacher Conferences, Teacher Inservice and one of the largest snowstorms of the season ~ life changed drastically On Crooked Creek. Armed with paint brush, Prep~Rite Bonding Primer and Paperwhite paint all from Sherwin~Williams, I began the labor intense process of revitalizing those dark walnut built~on~site cabinets into a light, yet warm, French Country Kitchen!

North side of the Galley Style Kitchen. . .

. . .South side of the Galley Style Kitchen.

Dining Area off the Kitchen.
Our tiny Galley Style Kitchen measures 8 feet wide ~ by ~10 1/2 feet long. However, the actual walking area is 4 1/2 feet wide! We have an additional 8 feet wide ~ by ~ 11 feet long eating area off to one side. For functionality ( and sanity's sake), I have divided the kitchen counter tops into designated work stations!

Beverage Station.
With two coffee drinkers this is the hardest working station.

Cook Station.
So-o-o- much better than Harvest Gold!

My favorite space!
Snack Area. . .
just right for fixing breakfast & lunch!

My Pear Vignette!

                       What's on top of your refrigerator? ? ?

This vignette is one of my most surprising features in the Kitchen!

Do you remember when bread and cereal boxes were stored on the tops of household refrigerators? ? ?

The Backbone of the Kitchen. . .
the Prep Area!
Dear Ones, this is where all the action takes place !

Warming Station and. . . 

Clean up Station!

Plant derived ingredients,
safe for the environment,
safe for your home and for you!

I use Fragrance NO. 14
Basil Blue Sage
All ~ Purpose Cleanser,
Countertop Cleanser, Dish Soap Liquid,
Hand Soap Liquid and Powdered Scrub.

These are a few of the interesting design elements that not only make our kitchen On Crooked Creek functional, but inviting, as well!

Menu Board

Message Center

"Mr. Ed's" Childhood Stool.

Function over form!

The plate rack still houses the dark walnut stain. . .
blending all the woodwork between kitchen and dining!
When I saw the bi-fold doors off the dining area, I had visions of a huge kitchen pantry On Crooked Creek. Instead, I got a laundry room in a closet. With each additional birthday I am more and more grateful for a main floor laundry!

"Mr. Ed" removed the dark walnut cabinets and bought in stock box cabinets @Lowe's, added a closet rod between for hanging laundry fresh from the dryer and had Sherwin ~ Williams match the paint to our wallpaper background.

Newly installed cabinetry in our laundry room.

Above the cabinets rest an era of laundry past. An appropriate heritage display On Crooked Creek is an assemblage of inherited washboards from my mother~in~law, Mary. Galvanized pitchers, vintage enameled white pail rimmed in red, antique cast iron irons and sprinkle bottle complete with wooden clothespins for washing and drying clothes the old fashioned way.

During our down time On Crooked Creek, we attend our area home builders annual Spring and Fall Parade of Homes Tour in hopes of finding the "perfect home". But. . .
as we turn into our cul~de~sac we are met with our warm, welcoming neighborhood. . .
children playing, smiling familiar faces and waves of friendship. Homes are being built nearly everday in our growing community ~ but a neighborhood~ that's something money just can't buy!

Until next time. . .
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