My last before-and-after of the week is the room that didn’t need much fixing up: our kitchen. Here’s what it looked like before we moved in…
Even though we didn’t have to do much with our kitchen, it’s become the most hardworking space in our house. We cook and eat at home a lot (and some of our meals can get pretty elaborate!), so our kitchen countertop is pretty full. We’re using this space just as I pictured it: Marlon cooking while I work at my desk by the window, the two of us spending time together even while doing different things.
The biggest thing we did was replace the refrigerator. The previous owners had a built-in fridge that we found too small. Most people here shop for food on a daily basis, thus the small refs, but I just find that too much of a hassle.
Instead, Marlon and I decided to buy a full-size Samsung refrigerator that fits right into the narrow space beside the door. We got it for the big freezer, which we’re using to stock up on frozen (homemade) meals for the first few weeks after Little Mango is born. We also got rid of the built-in fridge and installed shelves inside the cabinet where it used to be. I figure once the baby comes, we’ll be glad to have the extra storage.
The funny thing about our kitchen is that the counters are too high for me! The previous owners are tall guys, and they had the kitchen raised nearly a foot off the floor—just high to make reaching over to the far end of the counter a real effort, especially with my belly in the way. Funny I didn’t notice this when we viewed the house.
That aside, I love our kitchen. Compared to our old one, which took up an entire room, its compact size makes it ridiculously easy to clean. I often find myself tidying up at random times of the day… so it’s a lot cleaner than our old one used to be!
I also love the way our kitchen is lit at night. We use just one set of Ikea spotlights for tasks (cooking and washing up) and our wineglass chandelier for atmosphere, both with dimmer switches. Back home, I was used to bright fluorescent lights in the kitchen (how can you cook properly in the dark?), so this is a total departure for me. But nobody seems to use harsh overhead lighting here… and now I understand why. Mood lighting makes cooking and having dinner feel so much more cozy, relaxed and intimate—always a great way to end the day.