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Before and After: Kitchen

Several people have expressed an interest in seeing how I’ve turned Andrew’s bachelor pad into our newlywed home. With that in mind, I’m taking you on a room-by-room tour of our townhouse. A little background:

-We are renters. We don’t own this townhouse so there are things we can’t do. No structural changes can be made. Our landlord is very chill so he did agree to let us paint, which was awesome. But we really can’t go crazy changing fixtures and adding lighting or anything like that. Part of why this project was so exciting to me was the challenge of using only color and decor to change the space.

-I am not a professional photographer. And again, I couldn’t add any additional lighting to my home. These facts will become obvious as you scroll through the photos :)

Andrew and his brother, Tim were living in this townhouse before I took over as lady of the house. To their credit, they both clean up after themselves very well and made an effort to make the place home-y. But it was still two dudes in their 20’s living together. Here was the kitchen when I got to it:

kitchen before

Now, there is nothing wrong with this kitchen. But making a house a home is about looking at the space you have and asking how you can make it best reflect you. I envisioned a soft blue on the walls and white cabinets with copper hardware. I think lots of women have a knack for walking in a room and seeing what they want it to be, but as far as my husband is concerned, I’m a decorating wizard. Who am I to shatter his illusions? Thankfully, our landlord was willing to let us paint the walls and cabinets and add hardware. If your landlord is not quite so open to change, don’t be discouraged. You can still use decor to make the space your own! After lots of hard work, trips to Lowe’s, and feeling like I was actually going to implode from the stress of trying to do house projects and plan a wedding at the same time, this was the finished product:

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Copper backsplash tiles from Lowe’s-available in several other metallics

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Andrew made our table using wood from the barn his Papaw built when he moved his family to Kentucky. He bought the legs at Lowe’s. I love pieces that have a story and I will cherish this forever.
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We decided on mismatched chairs since it was hard to find a matching set without a table. We found the cross print one in Paducah by Leah Shea Interiors. We scoured thrift stores for the others and managed to find the fabric line she had used at Hobby Lobby. We painted and recovered them to match.

One of our many projects for this room was the pie safe. My entire family lives in Georgia so we don’t see them often and when we do, we make it count. On our last visit to my dad’s parents, my Nannie gave me an antique pie safe that belonged to my great-great grandmother. I am named after Nannie’s mother and feel a deep connection with her so heirlooms from that side of the family are very precious to me. I was over the moon when she gave it to me. She had it painted a shade of green. To say green is my Nannie’s signature color is an understatement. It was a lovely color, especially to set off her green ivy china, but for use in our kitchen I wanted it white.

It works beautifully to display my great grandmother’s china, the Courier and Ives dishware my grandma gave me, the crystal Nannie passed on to me, and the depression glass pieces Andrew’s grandma gave me, along with a few of my own finds. The drawer holds cloth napkins and placemats, and the cabinet has plenty of room for extra place settings. I can’t tell you how much joy this thing gives me. I love owning things that had a life before me. It’s so special.

Finally, I’ll share my favorite details from this room. For me, decorating is about the details. If there’s a detail piece I love enough, I will build a room around it. Here are the kitchen details that make my heart sing:

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These tie back accents on our curtains were actually our aisle decorations at our wedding. I couldn’t bear to throw them all away so I looked for a way to give them a new life.
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Two of these copper molds were hung in my great-grandmother’s kitchen on my mom’s side. She died when I was a baby, but I have many memories in that kitchen and I cherish these sweet reminders.
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I found this at the Paducah Antique Mall. It’s actually an enamel tea bag holder, but I’m using it as a ring holder.
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These hand painted canisters caught my eye at, what else, a Peddler’s mall in Murray, KY.
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These bookends I scored at the Lexington Peddler’s Mall are making me feel like a true Lexingtonian.
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Found this vintage napkin holder, I presume from a cafeteria, at one of my favorite junk shops in Paducah.

So there you have it, folks! Tune in next week to see how our heroine (me) took a living room in which there was literally no walking space and made it functional. Comment with any questions or feedback, and congrats on making it halfway through the week!

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