So I thought I’d do something a bit different this week and show you my kitchen and the work we did on it. This is partly to mix things up… but also mainly because I can’t use my kitchen right now. This weekend we’re treating our tile floors in to give them a deep clean and protect them better from getting stained so we can’t walk on the floors for a little while while the product dries. This post will also be a bit longer and more personal than the past few recipe ones, so let me know what you think!
Before we get into the kitchen, let me tell you about our apartment. It’s 50 square meters, one bedroom, gets plenty of sunshine and we could immediately imagine what we’d do with it the first time we visited. We bought this place a little over a year ago and it was definitely in need of some renovation! Everything was outdated and dusty, but we were up for the challenge… yet of course all this work took us way longer than we expected. For a good three months we didn’t have a kitchen at all — just a fridge and a microwave. (And washing all of our dishes in the too-small bathroom sink). And gosh was I dreaming of all the things I was going to be able to cook in my dream kitchen once it was finished!
The kitchen definitely needed a lot of work before we could actually use it. We had to completely gut the space. And of course by we I mean my husband did most of this work 😉 We also removed a wall so that we could extend the area. Next, we tiled the floor, which my dad helped us with. We cut the countertop pieces and installed the cabinets and appliances. This took a while to have every element fit together and work around the existing plumbing. The plumbing was also quite difficult but eventually we got things running. I painted the walls and lastly, we put in the tile backsplash. It was a lot of fun (and often frustrating) work spread out over a few months, but looking back we’re so glad we did it ourselves and are satisfied with this space.
I knew for a long time that my ideal kitchen combination would involve white cabinets, butcher block countertops, subway tiles, and yellow walls. We also thought that and L-shaped kitchen would fit best since we wanted to use this small space as efficiently as possible. And honestly, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of space we had once things were finished. I was worried it would be a cramped kitchen, but I think the space works well for us and we have plenty of room.
My favorite design element of our kitchen is probably our tile floors. Originally, I really wanted Portuguese style tiles (azulejos) because I fell in love with them when we were in Lisbon on our honeymoon. They have such intricate and beautiful details and at first I was determined to try to find some. I even considered flying to Lisbon for a weekend to buy tiles — but of course that would be a little too ridiculous and would also definitely mean an overweight suitcase! In the end, we settled on the tiles we have now. They weren’t what I originally wanted but still inspired by the tiles I was imagining and I think they fit this space really well. I love the pattern and I think the color ties in the cool tones of the rest of our apartment well.
Off of our kitchen we have a dining area that gets really beautiful light in the mornings. We built an L shaped bench so that there’s the possibility of having lots of seating if needed. Eventually I plan to get around to painting that bench and making some cushions and adding lots of pillows. But for now it works well as is. (And of course I have some pictures of Julia Child hung up there!)
It still makes me happy every morning walking into this kitchen and I’m grateful we got to create it!