After a quick tour of our living room, here’s where I’m spending more and more time : the kitchen!
After our renovations from last August, we decided to declutter and simplify our home to make it more functional. It’s still not completely finished, but you’ll get the idea.
Three years ago, I had given you a quick glimpse, but seeing the pictures, I realize it has completely changed since. Our tastes in matter of interior decor have changed quite a bit (as has my haircut!)
A natural and modern vibe
As you know, I’m all about minimalism these days, both in fashion and decoration. My inspirations went from kawaii/colorful to natural and stripped down : quite a radical change!
I do like to keep it cosy though : that’s why our kitchen needed natural materials like wood, bamboo or seagrass.
My SO and I also decided to add plants to give the whole space a bit more life : a pothos and a tradescantia (not sure yet if the latter will survive in here, but we are trying to place it in different spots, to see where it might thrive best : as I’m writing these lines, it has already migrated to the top of the cupboard next to the fridge).
We did keep our initial kitchen furnishings and our fridge. Thankfully, even though I was all about color back then, our kitchen furnishings had been spared and were rather simple. We were able to reincorporate them without it killing the new vibe we’re going for.
The mint fridge gives just the right pop of color.
Tiny modifications, big change
Between 2015 and 2018, even though the furnishings stayed the same, a number of things have changed :
•The walls : we gave them a new coat of white paint and added new rectangular tiles (with grey joints) on 1/3 of the room’s surface (mainly the areas with the biggest spatter risk).
•The floor : it’s not new floor tiling, but vinyl, of the same type we put in our bathroom. Minimal effort and maximum effect. And the assurance that we can change easily the day we get tired of it.
•The faucet : we don’t have a dishwasher (the only possible space is already taken up by the washing machine, right where I’m standing in the first picture)…which means we have to wash everything by hand in the sink.
Our last faucet died (death by lime buildup) and we had gotten tired of the design. We got a new one, of better quality (and more massive, yes)? It fits into the space and we can easily clean the sink with the little showerhead (who knew I would one day be looking for particular qualities in a faucet!)
•Shelves instead of the cupboard : as you might have seen previously, my SO replaced 2 cupboards by wooden shelves he made himself (=wooden planks he had cut to the right dimensions in the shop, that he varnished and set up on mounting brackets. I like the natural effect they convey, and also enjoy having my plates handy!
•A sliding glass door : for space gain, we got rid of our former wooden door, and opted for this clever sliding glass door system.
I like the fact that guests in the living and dining room can see us preparing the meal, without being subjected to the noise made by the cooking hood or strong food smells.
And same from the kitchen side : you can keep up with what is happening in the living room (FOMO syndrome?) The situation was tested and validated during our Christmas dinner : it was perfect.
I still need to work on some details, like bringing my personal touch to the atmosphere, otherwise this is all going to look like a Pinterest photo : I think I’ll make a black and white minimalist drawing with a kitchen theme, that I’ll frame and hang on the wall by the long wooden table (I’ll show it to you once it’s finished!).
Visible and invisible storage
I read in an interview (of whom? I can’t remember) a couple years back that when it comes to decoration, you should only surround yourself with beautiful things and hide what isn’t (pretty subjective, but still), that every object in your home was importance, even the less glamorous ones (like your trashcan, toilet roll holder and such!). This ideology might be a bit cruel and manichean, but I do relate to it up to a certain point (before it gets obsessive let’s say).
Some might see it like a Monica Geller syndrome, but I like to think of it as my aesthetic and functional side!
•Hidden kitchen towels : you’ll admit kitchen and tea towels are always perfect in magazines, but rarely so in real life. In any case, after a number of washes, mine are pretty sad. Which is why I’m not showing them to you, and that I hand them on hooks inside the door of the cupboard under the sink. Invisible, practical and easily accessible.
•Dishwashing soap in pretty containers : same goes for soap of any kind : the containers are often pretty unsightly. Which is why I opted for a white dispenser that you can easily find at Muji. For regular liquid soap, I loved this very instagrammable Aesop bottle.
That being said, I am disappointed the brand doesn’t offer refills … which means my Aesop soap has now been replaced by another refill-friendly liquid soap : it’s more environmental friendly!
Wooden table Ikea
Fuits basket Present Time
•Storage boxes in the cupboards : in my cupboards, after having gotten rid of as much unnecessary stuff as possible, we organized what was meant to be on the shelves in boxes without lids, which makes it easy to find and retrieve what you’ve been looking for (you can totally find those at Ikea and the like). We have a spice box, a big bottles box (olive oil, vinegar, nước mắm…) a box for baking ustensils etc…
•Visible tableware : one of you pointed out that the wooden shelves might get dusty pretty easily. Indeed, exposing the tableware make them more likely to collect dust, but we chose to put on the shelves only those that we used on a daily basis.
We now have only one set of white tableware (bye bye colored and patterned plates) and this set up is pretty easy on a day to day basis.
•A wicker basket to store bags : I now only use cloth bags for my shopping, and I tend to collect them. Since we didn’t want to live in a sea of tote bags, I chose to store them all in this basket, which adds to the atmosphere while being practical.
In any case, I’ll never say it enough : sorting is very therapeutic. Less stuff, better organization, it’s the beginning of serenity and happiness isn’t it?
PS : on these photos, you see me preparing an apple pie with a disconcerting zen-like attitude : if you want the recipe, know I followed this one.
I’m pretty happy with the result, but if I had to make it again, I’d use Golden or more sugary apples than the Granny Smith, it was a bit too tart for my taste. (English translation by Marine)