Minor Miracle in the Kitchen

As you’ve probably noted by now, I hate this kitchen. Here are the major offenses that this kitchen is charged with:

  • its design (it lacks any!)
  • open cabinets (not one, but two)
  • ┬ápropane oven (don’t get me started)
  • chartreuse colored sink with the built-in tray for a dish rack (because there’s no dishwasher!)
  • large window with bars (are we in the ghetto?)
  • funky built-in table (and we don’t have any chairs. I had to send the chairs that came with the table back to storage because they were beyond my magic repertoire–decoupage, painting, fabric…)
  • overhead lighting that goes on upon banging the cabinets (and we’ve had them fixed)
  • the converter box–if I want to use any of my appliances (i.e. Kitchenaid, etc., I have to plug them into a converter which is a HUGE, circa 1965 ugly, metal tool box looking contraption the size of a shoe box that is difficult to camouflage and potentially dangerous, not to mention you can only plug two things in at once).

None of this is charming or quaint or anything in between. It’s just ugly and I cannot live in such a state so I’ve attempted to make some minor adjustments. First on the list, the open cabinets and the window.

Before I show you what I’ve done, let’s review my constraints:

  • I don’t know of any fabric stores like JoAnn Fabrics, etc. where I can get fabric and notions, etc. This means I have to order online, sight unseen, which is difficult, especially with fabric.
  • I didn’t bring all of my crafting supplies, just a couple and nothing great.
  • Raj is CHEAP (He often reminds me, “we’re only here 2 years so why spend ANY money.”).

Given these obstacles, I have to say that I’m very pleased with the results. What do you think?

Here’s the before and after of the dishwasher space:
Before and after of the large cabinet to the left of the refrigerator:
…and the window treatment (it’s really hard to see anything, sorry):
It’s difficult to see what I’ve done, but I ordered a dark brown burlap (yes, Raj, it’s very cheap) and a couple of tension rods (total cost $20). One of the rods didn’t fit, so I had to improvise with some other way to hang the fabric in the tall cabinet. Luckily, I had a few decorative tacks in my craft box and hammered the fabric on the shelf above. Although I have my sewing machine here, I found it more efficient to use “steam and seam” for the seams and to attach the grosgrain ribbon onto the front panels. (If you’ve never used “steam and seam” it’s a great product). I ran out of fabric so I was forced to pull out the sewing machine to seam┬átogether what little fabric I had leftover. I staple gunned the fabric to the wood panel above the kitchen window and used more of the decorative tacks and grosgrain ribbon to finish it off. It’s so much better that I can almost step foot in the kitchen without cringing.