Kitchen Inspiration.

When we purchased our house the one thing that we knew we wouldn’t need to spend any money on right away was the kitchen.  It was white, it had white kitchen cabinets, a decent counter top, a tiled back splash, and working appliances. Well, now we have been in the house for six years and the kitchen is falling apart.  Our microwave stopped working, the dishwasher stopped working, the refrigerator is in pretty bad shape and the cabinets just look ugly.  While we splurged on a Bosch dishwasher we haven’t bought anything else. I am dreaming of a brand new kitchen with lots of white subway tiles, cement floor tiles and lots of dark grout.

I am in love with this light fixture and the amazing white subway tiles with dark grout:

Via Desire to Inspire

I love everything about this kitchen.  I love the cement floor tiles, the white subway tiles on the walls with the dark grout and open shelving.

Source Unknown

I would really like to incorporate a sitting area with maybe a wall of bookshelves. 

Jenna Lyons Brooklyn  Kitchen via Domino

I love how you can just throw open these doors and bring the outdoors inside.  Also these tiles are amazing!

Via Dwell

Our kitchen is tiny.  Since Scott and I cook all the time we have been dreaming of a larger kitchen.  We hope to some day combine the kitchen and the back room (which I use as my room for my various projects)  into one large kitchen.  The kitchen is next to the dining room and the back room is next to the kitchen and leads into the back yard.  Unfortunately the back room is a cheap addition (built sometime in the 50s) and the wall separating the kitchen and backroom is  a load bearing wall. 

We would need to remove the entire back room; build a new room; and install an “I” beam if we wanted to open up the kitchen.  Also, I would like to install large glass doors that will open up into the back yard.  This renovation will cost a lot.  So for now I am just dreaming of what I would like my new kitchen to look like.
 
When we do the kitchen renovation I would also like to dig up the cement in the back yard and plant some bamboo at the far end of the yard, build up the walls on each side and plant a few small trees in the ground; and then re-cement the yard so that we can continue to have a table with chairs and an umbrella outside. Clearly none of this will happen soon.  For now I am content planning all the details. 

It’s a Jungle Outside!

I overheard Kiran telling one of his friends at his school that we have a jungle outside our house!  Every year we sprinkle several sun flower seeds in the tiny cement-less area where we planted our tree.  Every year when the sunflowers bloom and we get visits from the most amazing array of birds I have ever seen in Philly.  There are these small birds with bright yellow feathers who come several times a day and they are so beautiful to watch.  They hop from flower to flower eating something (seeds?).  At the end of summer we pick a few flowers and remove the seeds and dry them inside.  Once they are completely dry I wrap them in paper towels and store them to be planted next summer.

Kiran and Jai outside our house

A half eaten sunflower

Our little garden patch also has a cold hardy saucer hibiscus and Rose of Shannon which faithfully bloom every year. I also planted an ornamental grass which is HUGE now.  I had no idea it would get so big. 

The hardy Saucer Hibiscus and Rose of Shannon

In the front of our house we have several potted plants.  Most of the plants stay outside year round.  I move the pot of Canna Lillies and the purple pot with “Wandering Jew” to the basement during winter.  Most of the plants are perennials and I also have some ever greens.  This is really not a very good picture because most of the plants are not in bloom.  But generally the orange rose plant (Joseph’s Coat), the hydrangeas, the butterfly bush, the red rose bush and the Canna Lillies are in bloom from Spring through late Fall. 

The Front of the House

Tiles in the Fireplace.

I finally got around to buying tiles and getting them installed in the fireplace.  I LOVE the way this looks. 

//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.jsWhen we first purchased the house there was a giant faux brick mantle with an even more giant mirror glued to the wall over the mantle.  There had clearly been a fireplace here but somewhere down the line it had been removed and used as a vent for the hot water heater pipes.  Since our house is trapezoid in shape this large space looked very awkward.  We decided to embrace and highlight the awkwardness of the angle by installing an old mantle.  We meticulously measured the space and carried around the measurements everywhere we went.  One day we stumbled upon a large mahogany mantle at a thrift store in Philly.  We immediately bought it!

Since Scott installed it something didn’t seem right about it.  It just seemed really big and the space inside (which would have consisted of the fireplace) just seemed bare.  As a temporary fix I filled it up with books  which looked great.  However, piling the books on top of each other was damaging the books and it was a huge magnet for dust.  Finally, we got around to buying some Moroccan cement tiles and getting them installed.  I couldn’t be happier at how the mantle turned out.  

Side Note: The drawing in front of the mantle is by Kiran and me and it is waiting to be hung in the dining room.  Since most of our walls are plaster I can’t just hammer in a nail.  I have to instead beg and plead with Scott to drill another hole for me in one of the plaster walls that he laboriously repaired.