Life: Simplified – the kitchen

My home is as far from Better Homes & Gardens as you can get! It is over 135 years old and very little (and that done by my dad and brother/brothers-in-law for free) has been remodeled in over 35 years. All that was done before we moved in was a lot of just covering up instead of doing it right. And of course on a single income with 8 growing children, there has been absolutely NO money for remodels. We’ve barely been able to handle the repairs (and there are many with such an old house). But oh, our kitchen!

Kitchen from the crypt!

My kitchen originally came with carpet when we moved in 18 years ago. Who puts carpet in a kitchen? Within the first year, I spilled grease out of a broiler pan and there was a lovely burn splotch on the carpet. Then more spills and stains that stopped coming out. Eventually we pulled up the carpet and the torn linoleum underneath and laid down vinyl squares (all we could afford at $29). You know what? They really don’t stick very well! We have about 22 missing, torn or loose tiles on the kitchen floor currently.

Then we have drop ceilings – in almost every room of the house. This is because the plaster ceilings (horse hair plaster about 2 inches thick) was cracked and falling. So, they covered it up. Well, have you ever noticed that a 3 liter bottle of root beer SPURTS out of the bottle when you open it? And that, if you leave a can of frozen orange juice on the counter too long and then try to open it that it explodes? If you haven’t, we have. And no amount of scrubbing on a drop ceiling panel gets these stains out! And, of course, before we bought the house the owners simply painted the ceiling – not taking out the panels and painting them and then painting the slats. Nope, they painted it all together as one piece.

And lastly (for the remodel section anyway) is the paneling. Again, just about every room in our house is paneled because the plastered walls (horse hair again) were all cracked. We have more cover-ups going on in our home than any corrupt government on earth! The kitchen paneling is blonde.

Paint – the great visual healer!

Since we are not yet at a place to gut and rebuild, we are having to add to the Great Cover-up. So, a lovely double coat of bright white on the ceiling and pretty pale yellow on the walls has made the kitchen look less like an abandoned house and more like sunshine! My 14 year old was more than willing to do all the painting for me (painting is NOT my joy), and he did a great job. Since the workman is worthy of his hire, I paid him for his 3 days of labor for me.

Next week I hope to put down some sheet vinyl – ans it seems and that we’ll be able to get it done by our inept selves. I’m going to Menards to see what I can find that will be affordable. We’ll see and I’ll update when we are done.

In the meantime, enjoy our before and in progress shots!

life simplified the kitchen - painting ceiling and walls

life simplified the kitchen - beginning the painting

life simplified the kitchen - micah painting

life simplified the kitchen - dueling painters

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  1. The kitchen looks more cheerful already!

    • Thanks! The flooring has been such a bug-a-boo. I was thinking vinyl would be inexpensive enough for us to afford…BUT NO!!! *sigh*

  2. I absolutely love the color you have chosen. My mom and I painted her kitchen that color and she loves it!! Your new shade of yellow can be paired with so many accent colors; red could make it look more homespun (think apples or cherries and gingham a la Mary Engelbreight), royal blue and white would make it look French Country, and then there is the simple yellow, green and white daisy theme… Oh, the possibilities! Even a small bowl of green apples on the counter is going to look more delicious. The paneling now looks more colonial…like something you might find in the Hamptons. Love, Love Love!! The precious smiles on your volunteer’s faces are even more delightful than the paint!!!

    • Kayla, I am not a style kind of person, but I really love all your suggestions of how to change up this color to different styles. I’m going to have to give this a hard think for when I start to accessorize. Thanks so much for sharing all these ideas!!

  3. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a room! A great inexpensive way to freshen up the home. Love the pics! 🙂

    • Caroline, you are SO RIGHT!!! I feel so happy when I walk into my kitchen now (or I will when I get it all pulled back together). 😀

  4. You have done a great job on your home. Paint can sure freshen up a room and make it look like new.

    • Thanks, Judith! This is the sunniest room in our house and I wanted the sun to just reflect everywhere to make it cheerful.


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