Friday, April 10, 2020

Decorating the Kitchen

 I have been reading varying advice on how to "make the most" of our time isolated at home, and for the most part I cannot relate to any of it.

Learn a new language, read all of the classic books that were ever on a must-read list, learn to knit or sew... I don't want to do any of those things, nor could I just now even if I tried.  My mind is far too distracted to focus for any length of time on a task that is new or challenging.  I want re-read the things that comfort me, re-watch every Will Ferrell movie ever made, and try to look after my family in a way that gives some semblance of routine and comfort.  There are days I've started to think of as "bad pandemic days", a particularly bad news day, or one when one of the Rascals is struggling with their new reality, but every day is a new day, and they can't all be good days.

I have found a project that will be a distraction from my own distracted mind, one that isn't difficult exactly, just time-consuming.  I'm going to decorate the kitchen.

As you know I've decorated the entire house with Farrow & Ball paints, I wrote a blog post about the whole-house colour palette here.

In that post I mentioned not touching the kitchen or the powder room, they were the only rooms we didn't decorate before we moved in.  I did mention the F&B colour Cook's Blue, however, because it is nearly identical to some of the countertops in the kitchen, and this colour is also in the tiles that line the walls.

So I've kept the colour Cook's Blue in my mind, though I couldn't decide if I should replace the wallpaper on the kitchen walls or scrape it off, repair the walls and paint them... that's right, with the colour I'm obsessing over: Cook's Blue.

The other thing I've been thinking about is the kitchen on the cover of this book:
 My good friend Kim of Northern California Style sent me this book last winter, well before we bought the stone house!  It was a weirdly prescient gift, because it is really so in tune with the kitchen here in our stone house.  Thank you Kim for such a thoughtful and inspiring gift!
Cook's Blue
I love this colour, it's so cheery.
 I found the most wonderful Schumacher fabric last summer on Etsy, in three oddly shaped remnants. I bought it for the stone house, not sure of where I would use it... I think it will be perfect in the kitchen.
La Menagerie

 I'll be taking the roman blinds off of the doors and windows, they're too difficult to clean and they don't provide any privacy, they are merely decorative.  I really like the look of bare windows in this house, where possible.
Door to the Terrace

Same door, snippet of counter and shelves.
The layout of the kitchen is something I've really grown to love, though at some point I might open it all up and create a truly unfitted kitchen, complete with a table in the centre.
Window to the left of the sink.
The sink is placed in a corner in between two large windows.
Window to the right of the sink.
This bit of decorating I'm going to do is really just putting my stamp on the colour scheme of the kitchen.
There is a bench just next to this window, below.  It has a seat cushion which I'll recover with the Schumacher fabric, something I would normally source out as my sewing skills are rudimentary at best.  Hopefully I won't botch it too badly.
Window to the side porch.
The bench and coat hooks are just to the left of this, on the back wall.

Door to the side porch.
There is a darling little powder room in the kitchen, it was built underneath the back stairs in the little alcove that was once a staircase down to the root cellar.  It has a ginormous toilet (which I was planning to replace this month, that will have to wait until we're past the pandemic isolation) and a tiny wee little sink.  It's like a little magical bathroom for children.
I'm going to use the Schumacher fabric to sew a new skirt sink, one of the remnants is just large enough.
Wee powder room sink.
I'll replace the skirt sink with my Schumacher fabric.
I started removing the wallpaper this week and as you can imagine it's slow-going.  I don't have any proper tools but I do have a Laguoile cheese knife that is doing the trick.  Making do!  I'm using a combination of Laundress all-purpose cleaner mixed with water and vinegar to help pry the paper off of the walls.
I'm going to get the family to help me with this project this weekend, we'll see if I can get them interested.

Have you found any distracting projects?  If you are still able to work are you finding you are busier than ever?  MrBP is feeling that, and I know some of my friends working from home say their days are longer despite the lack of commute.