Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Another "Make Do" Kitchen

So, in my previous two posts I showed you the living room of our "make do," temporary, rental home as well as the little "office" area in the entryway.  Today I'll be sharing the kitchen and eating area.

Let's have a quick refresher on the layout.  You'll remember this is what the living room looks like...

and then behind the love seat you could see a glimpse of the kitchen.

Well, here it all it's sepia toned glory.  I love the beadboard, but I wish so much that it was painted white.  It would brighten up the kitchen a ton and be much more cheerful and inviting.  But I am thankful to have all that cabinet space! 

I kept a simple arrangement on top of the fridge, and since they put a much smaller fridge in this space than what it should have, I use the extra space to hang my vintage apron.  It's not exactly purdy, but I love that thing and use it all the time (all while wishing there were a bigger fridge!).

I kept the tops of the cabinets empty, partly to keep things simple and not have to repack when it's time to move, but also partly because they are disgustingly greasy and filthy up there and I didn't have the energy to clean someone else's grime where nobody can see, lol!  The only corner I cleaned was where my casserole basket is sitting, and it's only there because I couldn't find any other spot for it to fit.

The enamelware bowl on top of the microwave is like my junk drawer, it holds all the little miscellaneous stuff that I don't know what else to do with.  And you'll notice to the right there that I've put my canisters back in a soda crate turned sideways.

It gives a bit of interest to the canisters, but by keeping the top undecorated it still keeps things simplified.  And if you haven't heard the story or seen the pictures of how I made shiny new IKEA canisters look like old galvanized metal, you can see that {here}. 

Above the sink I have my valance that I made out of a vintage tablecloth, and my bright red potted plant lends a fresh cheery touch to the window overlooking the backyard. 

Just to the right of the sink is my little coffee corner.  I've had the sign for a couple of years, but never really had a place to hang it before.  Another canister holds my coffee, and a little metal scoop I scored at a thrift store for pennies is a fun way to fill my filter each day.  The little coffee tin was a yard sale find a few months ago and it holds my sweetener.

Notice the rust on the phone jack plate cover above the Keurig?  There are several different metal things in this house that are rusted and/or corroded.  It's very strange and less than desirable, but I try to just think of it as "patina."  : )

In the middle of the kitchen is my rolling island cart.  I originally bought it for extra counter space in a house that basically had no counters (that can be seen {here}), and in our last house it sat in the laundry room and I used the top as a folding station and the bottom shelves served as a pantry area.  Now in this house it's actually being used for it's intended purpose as an island.  :)

Underneath sits my cast iron dutch oven and a few glass canisters hold extra baking supplies, oatmeal, and popcorn kernels.  My family loves homemade popcorn.  A couple of vintage linens hang on the towel bar on the end and add a spot of bright and colorful cheeriness.  

Looking towards the other end of the room we see this corner.  My family had an antique rocking chair almost identical to this when I was growing up, but it went to my brother.  My in-laws also had one and when they were ready to get rid of it I gladly took it off their hands.  The living room is too small for it to fit, and the only place I could find for it was this corner of the kitchen.  
(You can also catch a glimpse of the lamp and red table in the background.)

This vintage sugar sack pillow, that my sweet cousin found at a yard sale and gave to me, cozies up the chair a bit.

On this little section of wall sits my little red table that I redid, and my farmhouse lamp that was a thrift store makeover.  The table holds our Bibles and devotional books for easy access at the kitchen table in the mornings.  

That door leads to the kids' bedroom.  I don't plan to share that because there's not much to see.  It consists of a bed, a toddler mattress stuffed trundle style underneath it, two dressers shoved side by side, and toys toys and more toys.  : )

This little vintage linen had the perfect colors to tie into the lampshade and added an extra pop of interest to the table, but still kept it simple.

From this view you can see the kitchen counters on the left, the area I just showed you on the right, and our table in the middle.  We sold our table and benches before we moved, so now we're just using a plastic folding table and an eclectic mismatch of chairs.  : )  I'm not planning to buy another table until we get moved to a permanent house.

What I didn't show you in the last picture was that above the table is this hideous view.  Apparently someone only had enough money for one roll of border and didn't bother with continuing it on around the room and just let it oddly stop right in the middle of the wall.  The landlord said I could remove it and I plan to, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

You might have also noticed the ceiling.  This kitchen used to have those square, drop down boxes that held those long fluorescent lights.  Well, they updated to better light fixtures, but didn't bother to paint over the brown discolored areas left behind.  :(

And finally, another "lovely" view is there to the right - the laundry room.

I know this isn't a pretty sight and the only reason I'm sharing it is because it shows up in the kitchen pictures, and also I'm just sharing this house to show you how I'm "making do" with the quirkiness I've been given.  

This is a horribly ugly sight to have to look at every day lemme tell ya.  BUT, the way they set up the a/c unit, the air return is at the bottom next to the floor and you can't put a door on the room or the a/c wouldn't run right.  I also tried hanging a curtain but the air return just sucked the fabric right toward itself and it didn't do a bit of good.'s just one of those things I do my best to ignore and try to remind myself "5 more months, 5 more months."

You can see I have a bookcase tucked in there to hold extra pantry items.

It's a tiny room and we have a lot of things stuffed in here, lol!  There wasn't a bit of storage in here, but I found this little shelf kit (brand new, still in the box for $8) at a thrift store and it tucked in perfectly between the electric box and pipes running up the wall.

A canvas basket holds our extra "junk" towels that we use for the dog and such, and another little basket holds my softener sheets and dryer balls.  (See the washing machine hose running up and over the dryer?  Such an oddly set up house.  Someone didn't think things through very well.)

Two extra jars hold Oxi-clean and misc. sewing supplies.  It also serves as the "lost sock" jar when needed.  A lazy susan allows me to fit more laundry supplies into a small space.

Across from the washer and dryer we have our laundry cart/separator, a laundry basket for taking clothes out to the line that I can't find any other spot for, our drinking water jugs, and an extra trash can for our recycling.  There's a door hidden behind all that mess that leads to the back yard, but we decided we needed the extra storage space more than we needed the door.

So, I apologize that these pictures aren't very pretty and maybe they were a little rough on your eyes, but now you know some of what I'm dealing with.  :)  And believe it or not, I haven't even shown you the worst of it, nor do I plan to.  The bathroom in this house is the weirdest set up I've ever seen (we literally have to stand in the tub with our kids to bathe them!), and its grey and pink wall papered and bordered 80's splendor would make you cringe and double over from stomach pains.  They made some minor repairs in there, but never finished them off properly so there are patches of drywall mud and air vents with no covers.  So...I will be sparing you from all of that loveliness.

Our bedroom has faded mauve carpet, a missing sliding closet door, and is sort of a holding area for boxes that have no other place to go.  So there's nothing to see there either.  I said all that to say, that's pretty much it for this house.  If I decide to purd-ify the outside of the house with some potted plants then I might share that, but don't hold your breath.  : )

We're finally feeling a little more settled and at the point that we've started searching the real estate listings and have been out doing "drive-by's" of a few places and checking out new areas to search.  Good Lord willing we'll be able to find something reasonbly soon.

Hope you're having a great week!



  1. Oh my. That house does have some 'oddities'. I can't imagine what the bathroom must look like. (Nor do I want to.) :) Hope you can find your dream house soon! It will be all the more sweet after having lived with this 6 months.

  2. I really do think you have done a wonderful job of making it homey. I love that you are making the best of the situation :) Thanks for sharing your sweet home.

  3. You have made it a home for your husband and family...the good Lord sees this and your wishes will come true♥

  4. So glad that you're trying to be content in this place. God will provide for your family, just trust in His timing. (Am I "preaching to the choir")? Love your small little vignettes and pops of color.

  5. i suggest making a large pull out but skinny in width set of shelves on rollers to put beside the refrigerator. you could keep canned goods or spices there. i would tape off the rusty outlets and hit them with some spray or latex paint. as far as the laundry /a/c room- how about saloon doors?? that way they would be open at top and bottom so as not to interfere with air flow but would still pretty much cover the view .. and it wouldnt be fabric to be sucked or blown in. also, paint the ceiling, and you could use fabric and starch over the brown bead board. i helped a friend do hers. we wet the fabric with liquid starch in the sink. squeezed out the excess and smooth it out on the wall. we used a plastic putty knife to make the bead board indentations in the fabric. it really looks great!! and when she gets ready to move just moisten with water and it peels off. as far as the table and chairs. it doesnt look bad. i would paint them all the same color( or something to make them look like they belong together). hope that helps some. :)

    1. Thank you for your really great suggestions. If we were going to be here longer and not planning this to be just a temporary stop over, I most definitely would utilize the space beside the fridge with shelves. But I'm not really wanting to put in that much effort just for a few months of use.

      I love your idea about the saloon style doors, that would be the perfect solution! If I just happen to come across a pair for really cheap I may do that. Otherwise, I probably won't worry about it, again, since it's only temporary.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and giving your input and good ideas, I appreciate it!

  6. Wow, girl! I have to hand it to you. You're doing a great job of "making do." Hope things are going well for you otherwise.

  7. You are the best at "making do" - that's for sure! Wish I could be more like you in that regard. You have a knack for awesomeness! I had to comment on the Temple Stephens coffee sign also. The first attorney I worked for (34 or so years ago) was the son-in-law of "the" Temple Stephens. A real sweetheart of a southern gentleman. In fact the big ol' homeplace of the Stephens family is in the town we live near and hubby works in. I love that sign! Small world we live in! ;) -Tammy


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