As we have a long house we have several entry points that each have their own problems. From draughty doorways sucking all the warm air out, to muddy boots left by doors and unsightly coats seen by anyone calling at our front door.
However, because of the size of the house I’m considering making some vestibule areas to counter these problems.
For those of you who don’t know what they are, they’re an area that links the entrance way to the main house. They can become a small bootroom style area, or can be more impressive depending on the style and layout of the house.
They work as a buffer between the temperature on the outside and on the inside too.
We are fortunate to have a large hallway, however although it’s layout has similarities to a vestibule layout, it falls short.
It has large double doors that provides privacy to the back of the house, you don’t see our stairway for example, but it keeps the two interior doors in this section opening onto the space. As the only radiator of the hallway is here all it does it lock the warm air in that section, where it can escape easily when the front door opens.
Added to that I like our staircase; it’s the mess under the stairs that’s a problem. That and the original, brown carpet stuck to the walls.
I’ll go into more details in my next post about the what and the why for this central areas vestibule. However we’re also thinking of making a dual purpose vestibule next to the will be kitchen.
In the meantime I thought I’d share these inspirational ones I found on Pinterest…
The recycled kitchen project is steadily coming along, to the point even my husband was excited enough to search some potential ranges ovens. That’s a big deal. He is not the getting ahead of himself type. Basically the opposite to me 😝.
I’m waiting for the chimney to be swept this week and I can’t smooth the surface of the cement floor prior to that because it’s going to take three days to walk on. I didn’t want to start it last week, the heatwave was just too much. So, as we are currently operating out of a small kitchen, I’ve been moving our excess things onto the shelves.
There’s a lot of predominantly whites in these displays. They help to keep an area light whilst the shapes themselves add interest.
Naturals and neutrals
To add a little more interest natural tones can be added…
These look wonderfully classic. However, I don’t have this many whites even with the neutrals mixed in.
One colour display items
Grouping together a single colour gives a sense of calm.
In this one they’ve added secondary tones of yellow. As they’re in the same colour pallet the harmony is maintained.
It’s incredibly stylish, but I don’t have the same colour tone to try this.
I just wanted to introduce this as an alternative to just crockery etc. These pictures displayed on the shelves. The ones selected here seem to add a little elegance, no?
Food as colour
To introduce colour into the mix you can utilise your food itself…
Background as colour
Either subtly like this…
…or more pronounced…
…which is more in line with the kitchen I’ve been working on. The second one also introduces colour into the displayed items as well as the background too.
Colour in items
Again the tones are in the same pallet, but the busier patterns gives it a more lively feel along with the sugary feel.
These are a lot stronger…
Pops of colour
Mixture of colours
These definitely give the impression of an evolving room, with pieces built up over the years rather than one that’s been styled. Even though I’m putting this kitchen together, this is probably where I’m headed. After all, all of my items have been selected over the years.
Butlers sink, apron sink, Belfast sink….whatever you call them, I love them. I’ve always wanted a country kitchen with one in the corner. Locating one in France was a challenge, but I managed to find one here that wasn’t too expensive and it’s been sat there ready for me to get to work. Here’s the look….
Here some are with lovely skirt fronts…
Here is the kind of cupboard I’m talking about…
They’re quite expensive in the U.K., and with COVID way beyond our budget. Added to that they don’t appear to be the norm here in France so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find a cupboard that would support it. So I was searching for a solution.
I saw some with a brick support like these..
But, although practical to carry the heavy weight, I didn’t really like the look for my kitchen. Nevertheless, let’s face it, the main issue is the weight. So when I saw these I thought I’d found my solution….especially as you can see a sewing machine stand working well in the images below.
So this is why you can see one in my last post on the salvaged dishwasher cupboard; I plan to use this to hold the weight of the butlers sink. It’s also why I’m starting to introduce black, wrought iron elements into the decor. I think it stops the pink central isle from looking too girly too.
I’ve been working on the area in my kitchen that will house the dishwasher. It’s an odd shape and, in order to be able to fit the dishwasher in, I’ve had to have an extended cupboard area and therefore worktop. I’ve already bought my worktop, and so I’ve been coming up with ways to add to its depth. I didn’t want to add an extra, flat strip of wood on the back, so I’m considering adding a narrow shelf that would fill the gap.
I was worried about what this would look like; would it blend well? What, if anything, would be narrow enough to put on it? So I’ve been scouring the Internet for some visuals to give me ideas. Tell me what you think…
Not a long post today, I’m just so happy that the window section of the kitchen is nearly finished that I’ve been fantasy searching, and I’ve come up with these images for a country window sill. Enjoy!
I’ve done one post on the breakfast nook, but I’ve been thinking about how we’ll use the space with the fire. It needs to be practical, to eat dinner, but I also want it to have comfy chairs. One of the main challenges in combining the two are my two daughters. How do I have comfy chairs that can be washed? Slipcovers? Removable covers? These are the solutions I’ve come up with that may work.
The first thing I did was to search for dining rooms with a fire on Pinterest to give me some idea of how others have arranged theirs. These dining rooms are cosy and welcoming, but comfortable? I’m not so sure. If you sat for some time in these chairs would you not be a bit stiff? I want our dining area to be one where you can slip into a comfy seat and spend some time, not just eating, but socialising.
The next thing I came up with was a banquet. You can certainly slip in and out easily, so good for the kids, and they can be comfy. You can also use removable, washable covers. All good for an area to dine in. However when I imagine sitting somewhere for any length of time I think of leaning against the arm of something. I want comfy cosy as well as practical.
Mine is a French country home, so I want it to be in sympathy with the kitchen and the home itself. These are comfy chairs, with arms, and removable covers on the cushions. I wouldn’t necessarily have them in white though.
I already have this cane sofa that would combine these styles.
I have some Berger chairs, so naturally I started to think how these could be adapted.
A solution would be to have some standard chairs that the girls can sit on to eat, with removable slip covers, along with more comfortable banquettes when it’s time to do homework in front of the fire.
I found these……I love them! Elegant kitchen ✅ Tongue and groove ✅ French chairs ✅
I love the combination of pink buffalo check and charcoal grey. As I said in my previous post my kitchen will be will have an emphasis on faded elegance, rather than just the elegance of this kitchen.
It will be ages until I’m at the stage of the breakfast nook…..there’s the flooring to do, a doorway to open before the flooring, the hearth to set, the sink to fit……oh my gosh. So much! But I can dream, can’t I?
When I was thinking about window treatments for the new kitchen I was struck by how kitchen windows treatments differ from all the others in the house in that they don’t tend to be something you close at the end of the day to cut out the world. Unless your kitchen can be looked directly into there isn’t the need for privacy, you don’t really close them for warmth due to cooking appliances and you don’t want light blocked out as it’s a work space. So they are primarily for decorative purposes; although you might want slight shade if you’re in a very bright, sunny spot.
The back of our home gets sun from early morning to evening and, as the kitchen has no shade from nearby buildings, we may want the capacity to reduce this brightness – but the view of the garden and surrounding countryside is something we want to maintain as much as possible.
With that said I don’t want a naked window, I like a decoratively framed window. Should it be a pelmet? A semi opaque blind that would infuse any light if it were too intense?
As I was searching for a solution I realised I had this pair of cupboard doors…
I love the wood so I’d bought them on the off chance that I could fit them to the bookcases already in situ. However they’d been too wide and cutting them to size would have all but destroyed them. So they’ve been sat there waiting for a new home. I suddenly realise that instead of cupboard doors they could become shutters. It would dress the window, they could be partially closed to minimise the worst glare of the sun, but have much of the garden view exposed and they would be in sympathy with the “faded elegant” look of the country kitchen I was going for. Perfect.
Of course I turned to Pinterest for inspiration; the pins I curated can be divided largely into white, coloured and their natural wood.
Many of these shutters I’ve selected are of the Georgian style that sit within the window casing. The depth of the window wouldn’t allow for that, and I don’t want to cut the shutters to achieve the look.
The clean, intact paint above is so lovely and personally I prefer this to the weathered look below. However the cut out pattern is lovely.
I love how the introduction of handles can add more interest…
I noticed how some had extended the window area below the window itself, and this space could be used as a window seat; considering the difficulty I was facing with the quality of cement beneath that area I was incredibly tempted with this idea….
Here’s a window seat area within a kitchen itself….
However I don’t have the skills to do this easily, due to the lockdowns we don’t have money to get help and ultimately I decided that the space had to be used as a seated area for the dining table. Accommodating window seating would mean that the rest of the length of the corner wouldn’t have seats as free standing seats would mean the table would automatically be moved away from the window. So I moved back to an idea of a comfortable couch that you could sit to dine on too.
Within the woodwork are the telltale signs of termites. Whether they’ve been dealt with so the piece is safe to use or not is to be determined. I’ll go into that in more detail in another post, but a way I’ve found to identify if termites are active is to simply paint the piece; active termites will break through and break the wood. But I didn’t have to paint the shutters white.
Inspired by this image in my tongue and groove research….
…but unsure how so much pink in a kitchen would affect my husband’s mental health, I considered reversing the colour option and having pink shutters in contrast to the white wall and wood of the sill.
An alternative would be these subtle greys…
Or a weathered, paint effect….
Yet the natural wood is so pretty. It would take more work to maintain due to the possibility of woodworm, but I think it would be worth it.
I’ve done a few posts about adding mouldings in various parts of the house (here and here for example), but I evidently can’t get enough of little Victorian style flourishes in my home. So naturally I’ve started to add them into the area I’m working on most recently; that pesky, upcycled kitchen.
For those of you who are new to reading the blog I started our kitchen when we moved into the house, three years ago now. Electrics have been inserted, along with plumbing and we’ve since run out of money. COVID hasn’t helped us . My husband’s business is attached to the cruise industry in the States and we’ve had minimum money for a year as the industry has been dormant throughout this period.
My main aim in doing the kitchen was to ensure that as much as possible was from upcycled items because I wanted a vintage feel, the furniture should be more substantial than we can normally afford and it’s far less expensive. I could go on about the environment but, to be honest, I just like old things.
We still have some more structural work that’s come up due to design changes and so there will be lots of boring jobs there for a while, but I’ve been working on the kitchen cupboards with some details. Before I do a post on that I thought I’d share with you what inspired me.
All of these you can reproduce to a greater or lesser extent with some adaptions of wood mouldings/panels and I hope to be doing this in various parts of my home in the coming months. So let’s go…
Window above sink
I think these are a wonderful idea if you don’t want a traditional window treatment in a kitchen (think grease), or you want a simple blind, but still want to add a wow factor. These can be reproduced with a ready made bracket like this one I found on ebay or, if you want something more in line with the salvaged, vintage feel, there are gingerbread mouldings that are sold so you can have the look of the second image in this set.
Unfortunately as French windows open internally, this this is just not an option for me. I hope to come up with an alternative though, so I’ll keep you updated.
I love these and I’ve already thought of areas in my home where reproducing something like this and using voile curtains could give a light, airy feel. I’m thinking that you could use panels like this joined together with longer pieces of wood and some corbels or brackets like those above.
Obviously the first three images are original features in a home, but if you can’t afford an artisan to come a reproduce something of this quality then imaginatively using laser cut MDF panels such as the link above, along with corbels and other salvaged items is an option.
The last images in the series demonstrate that using more simple designs could get you an effective look, with the latter two suiting tastes of those who like a more pared down look.
These are all images from the hallway and can add interest to a part of the house that could be bland if you haven’t the room for furniture.
The image that orginally inspired me for the kitchen, the one from the tv series The Good Witch that I’ve used in my introduction, uses this kind of room divider between kitchen and informal dining area. Although we plan on having a breakfast nook the space just doesn’t allow for a clear partition like that. To be honest I can’t think of anywhere in my home where I need to identify seperate area, but I thought you might enjoy these.
The first image is a screen door, but I love how they’ve introduced this look into the kitchen with pantry doors. I like things more hidden in a pantry, but I’m thinking of reproducing this look into the kitchen itself. I’ll keep you updated.
As I said, I’m going to post about my cupboard soon, but this is a great idea and easily reproduced.
Whether from salvaged items, used as breakfast bar details, shelves or door mantles these all work.
It would take a little work for our stairs to do this effectively as we have straight, not staggered, sides. Again, not too hard or overly expensive to achieve.
I wanted to include this as you may find a salvaged piece that you can’t integrate, but you love. What a fantastic idea!
Over the last week both my daughters have been home, we thought my little one had chicken pox and cancelled their time in the centre récré. It was a false alarm, but it meant we spent time together as a family so little decorating work has been done.
So I’m returning to some inspirational dreaming to get me back in the mood for some heavy lifting this week. Here are some breakfast nook areas that I’m inspired by this week. Tell me our favourite.