Monday, October 1, 2012

The heart of the home (My kitchen Must-Haves)



I've said it a million times...when you are self employed, and work from home, it is so so easy to lose track of time. I know that so many of you guys can relate. Any life long professional artists, very busy etsy shop owners, or full time bloggers...you'll find yourself asking your "normal" friends who have "proper" jobs: "what DAY is it?" 

 There are a million obvious reasons for this...mainly having to do with the Groundhog's Day effect. One day melting into the next, repeating and repeating and repeating. That's why the past 8 or so months seem to have been a blur for me and Aaron. That's about the length of time that we've been living in this house. It feels as if the entire time we have been living here that we were on pause. Ok, well maybe not exactly on pause, but I'd say at least a very slow cruise control.

For anyone who is a newer reader...let me catch you up on how and why this came to be our house. Last Fall, Me and Aaron had an apartment in a beautiful town right on the ocean. We had been there for a few years and probably would've stayed there for many more. It was a small town full of giant white beach homes...old homes...many of them mansions and most of them were only inhabited during the summer. In the winter it felt like we had this charming little seaside village all to ourselves. We'd walk our pups the few blocks down to the ocean and just marvel at how gorgeous all of these big sleeping victorian homes were. And we even had a small downtown area...a great bakery, pizza parlor, post office, train station...all within walking distance...short walking distance...two blocks away! 
Ok, so there we were, fairly set as far as location goes. And then...as things always seem to do...things changed.

My parents moved out of their home...sorta out of the blue...and bought land way far away in upstate New York. They decided that it was time for them to truly retire and begin their longtime dream of building a log cabin way out in the country. Now, they had very definite plans for their future home but nothing very solid in mind for the home that they were leaving behind. It was kinda in a limbo state. They put it on the market...but not with any real enthusiasm. Well, two of my brothers were still living there and it was assumed that they'd just stay there until the place sold, and then they'd find apartments or whatever. But who knew how long that would be?  They were both students, not working full time, and couldn't afford to keep up the payments, etc...



I'm am the oldest of five kids and when I thought about there being no more family home base I suffered a little twinge in my heart. All of us kids are all here at the Jersey Shore and we need a family headquarters. So I asked Aaron what he thought about stepping in and taking over the family home. OK, fast forward to...yes, that's exactly what we did. We moved in, my brothers became our roommates. And soon after, even my sister, who was living in Brooklyn, moved in too. For her it was an interim dwelling. A financial buffer zone between where she was living and where she would soon be living. So ok, I'm bringing all of this up for a reason. Remember how I said that the past 8 months have been a blur...our life on slow cruise control? Well, I mean that we just weren't settled into anything solid yet. And the reason that I'm bringing this up now is that I think we are finally feeling some firmer ground underfoot. My sister's interim stay here has come to a close...she is now in her new apartment. My brother Jay decided to move in with my parents way way upstate to help them build the log cabin, and me and Aaron are here, along with my brother Walt, and I think we're finally about to make this into our home. We've been here for 8 or so months but everything felt in flux...so we couldn't really put our mark on the place. We did a lot of temporary quick fixes...which I showed here on the blog. But nothing big. Nothing that truly says Jenny and Aaron live here. 


Well, I guess we put a little bit of effort into the living room. Giving two walls our signature hand painted stripes, and painting one wall with an oversized vintage wallpaper pattern. But this house won't be our home until we do the KITCHEN. For us, that is the heart and soul of our home and we won't feel comfortable until we get the kitchen right from top to bottom. Luckily, we are starting out with a good bone structure. My dad built the cabinets, we've got wood floors, and a great big 'ole stainless steel commercial stove. As far as the wood floors go, they need refinishing, and I'm not sure if we're gonna stain them black or figure out a way to have my absolute fave kitchen floor treatment...black and white check.

It's exciting to finally be at this stage of development. We feel on the verge, the end of the diving board, and we're ready to take the plunge. I've been pinning like crazy and referencing some of my favorite old magazine tear sheets. We're gonna tap the gas peddle and get us out of that slow cruise control. We'll make sure to chronicle it all along the way with tutorials, diy's etc...
And now here are some of our Must Haves...


Chalkboard Walls

The dining room comes right off of the kitchen and I'd love an entire chalkboard wall at the far end of the dining room. It's a very small wall with a window in the center of it and I think a black wall will be perfect...and then adorning it with chalk artwork??? too perfect! We've been painting menu boards for years...in homes, bakeries, cafes...and we just love the look. We were thrilled when the decor world went chalkboard paint crazy! We'll never get sick of it! Classic!








 Black Pendant Lighting

I'm certainly a pastel gal...cupcakes, frosting, aprons and crochet potholders. But I need black! For me it actually makes everything else sweeter! Just go with basic white or cream, with black fixtures and accents...it's the perfect starting point for our look. It's just clean and classic...and it balances the many sweet pastels that I'll be adding. I adore pendant lighting in black. These strong fixtures will ground my whimsy. 










Painted metal chairs

We've been a fan of these forever. I don't even need a full set. Even just one of them added to the mix works for me. I love the look. And again, it's all about being classic and sturdy and familiar.








Checkered Floors

We had them in one of our apartments but it barely counts...the kitchen was tiny and had no charm at all. Actually, all the charm was in the checked floors. They are the definition of classic kitchen. You'll find them in an astonishing array of venues...from a tiny retro cafe, to a grand old high ceilinged estate. I just love the bold graphic. 






We're looking forward to writing this chapter of our domestic development. We hope you'll follow along with us. What are your kitchen Must Haves? What is the beating heart of your home?
xo, Jenny

Happy October!

19 comments:

  1. how exciting Jenny! I really cant wait to see how your kitchen turns out. I know it will be spectacular!
    have a great week.. Off to work I go... hi ho hiho..
    xoxo

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  2. I loveeeeeee all the kitchen decor!!! My dream is to have a pink kitchen... but I know Hubby will NEVER go for it!! LOL!! So as long as I have my collection of cookie jars ... including ones that my Mom made back in the 70's... I am good :)

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  3. Hey Jenny Holiday!!!! Lowes Hardware has a great black pendant light. Excited to see all the changes you all are making. Love it all. xo

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  4. I have a chalkboard wall in my studio, I love it! Having one in the kitchen would be amazing too.

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  5. @vivian Thanks bunches Viv!! It really will be the thing that makes this place ours. I'm looking forward to it so much! :) Happy October!! xo

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  6. @Julie Tucker-Wolek Yeah...not too many fellas are down with pink kitchens. haha. We had a reeeeally pink kitchen in one of our past apts. We called it The Ritz! : ) I'm actually leaning toward tan walls in this kitchen. Like coffee with lots of cream! :) Ohh have you blogged your cookie jars? I'll have to check! :)

    xo

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  7. @jenny elkins Ohhh I'll have to check it out!! We'll be checking out paint colors soon so I'll see if they have it!! Thanks!!! :)
    xo

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  8. @Katie We have a vintage cupboard with a chalkboard door here in the studio..and a closet door in the living room....annnd I am ready for the kitchen wall! :) Happy October! :)

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  9. So many gorgeous pictures! I am sure your house will look fantastic when you finish!

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  10. How exciting Jenny!! I know how that goes, living with family. I live on the Jersey Shore right now with my wife's parents. They really want to just add onto the house and split the mortgage with us, but we will see how that goes. It would be awesome if we could do that. I love the ideas your coming up with and I can't wait to see how everything turns out! Good luck :)

    Xo,
    Eeka

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  11. Jenny, what fun! I love what you and Aaron are doing, and that it's the family home. I'm the oldest of three, and I totally know what you're talking about. xoxo

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  12. Your dream kitchen sounds divine Jenny!! I'm So happy that things are finally starting to come together for y'all! Can't wait to see your dream home come to life :)
    If I could I would LOVE to have the vintage deep yellow and jet black subway tiles in my kitchen, just like my Grams had...sigh, maybe one day, lol!!

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  13. We live near Tom's River :)So I guess were about 45 minutes or an hour away? That's pretty cool!

    Xo,
    Eeka

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  14. Oh Jenny, this post was so much fun!! For my studio, I am thinking light blue walls (and maybe a light pink one), white trim, and pastel rainbow decor! I did actually want to do black instead of white (I also have a definite need for some black decor in my house/life) but my studio furniture is white. C'est la vie.

    =) Can't wait to see how your house transformation projects turn out. You'd better post them for us! <3

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  15. Such prettiness, and so looking forward to your kitchen! Have fun!! Happy October! xo Heather

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  16. ah! So exciting, I wish I could be doing this for myself! A wooden floor painted in a black and white check pattern can also look gorgeous :)

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  17. Oh yes I have to agree a black & white checkered floor would be awesome and of course a whole chalkboard wall! I know with your artistic skills you & Aaron would paint the most wonderful decals and more on it. Love all your kitchen ideas Jenny and I wish you lot's of fun transforming your kitchen in a beautiful & cosy space. Thank you for the sweet comment you left on my blog yesterday it made me smile :) So gladto read that you like my home & decor!
    A very happy October to you & Aaron and the doggie kids!
    xoxo~ Carola

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  18. Hi! I just found you through The Freckled Fox and I love your ideas! I'm about to tackle my house decorating too so I'm looking forward to following along with yours.

    ~Erica
    thepaintedtrailer.blogspot.com

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  19. I really just want to paint one of my walls with chalkboard paint. XD That would just be so awesome. >.<

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xo Jenny & Aaron