Thursday, May 29, 2008

My 'New' Kitchen/Dining Room

Today's topic is my newly painted kitchen/dining room. It's one big south-facing room, and very sunny thanks to the big sliding door and a smaller window over the sink. We bought the dining set and the kitchen island right after we moved in. Originally, I wanted some darker color furniture, which looks more modern, but all the cabinets in the kitchen are honey pine color. And since it's one big room, it will be awkward to have two totally different styles. So, everything in light pine color. Do you know how hard to find the perfect color to match those furniture? Not easy at all. I went through tons of interior design magazine and websites, finally focused on green. Then which shade of green? I taped the paint cards on the wall for a whole year to see which one I like better in different light condition and different season. This is the end result. (View from our living room.)(View from our kitchen.)I LOVE IT! Cannot wait to show DH when he comes back this weekend. My dining room looks very different in summer and winter because I have to take all my indoor plants back inside for the winter. I have total about 60 indoor plants, some are huge, like my Norfolk Pine and Palm. And most of my jasmine, gardenia, and some of my orchids love full sun, so I bought a metal shelving unit for them. The unit can be assembled as two 3ft tall units, one with casters and one without. I put the portable one right in front of the sliding door and arrange my jasmines and orchids according to height. And I put the other half shelf in the small bedroom upstairs, which is empty now. I have all my succulents on that shelf. I don't want to damage the carpet, and I don't need to water the succulents very often. It's a perfect combination. I will look for some winter picture to show you tonight. Just realized that I posted some pictures before, click here to see them.

I did lots of work in the kitchen since we moved in. We tiled the backsplash, so it's easy to clean. You know, chinese cooking can get very greasy sometimes. And I installed the under-the-sink water filter system, with a small faucet at the corner of the sink. I didn't want to lose the spray head, so instead using that hole, I had to drill a new one in that stainless steel sink. Let me tell you, it's not easy. I am a strong girl, but it still took me forever to drill through. DH is more powerful, but he is not good with powertools at all. And whatelse? Oh, I installed the track lights about the island. I hated the original light the builder left there, I guess it was teh cheapest one they can find. And it's so close to the stove, leaving half of the kitchen very dark. DH and I did some research, looking for light that is good-looking and easy to install. I am not a licensed electrician after all. We loved this track light system, the track can go far away from the base, and can be bend to any shape, and it's so easy to hang the lights. There are several options for the lights, you can get the really long ones in 3 or 4 different color, or get some tiny ones which attach to the track closely. Original we wanted the blue shades to match the blue accent tiles above the stove, but Lowe's had only one blue light. Then we bought the white ones, but they were super bright, you cannot even open your eyes kind of bright. So, we went back to lowe's and got these orange ones instead. They were newer design and fancier than the solid color ones. The best part is they were on sale, so the cost was about the same. See, we sticked to our budget, firmly! To our surprise, the orange one looks better than all the others. The shades have those interesting mixture of colors, and it's very soft to the eye, and it looks so sophisticated shining above the island's granite countertop. Now the kitchen is done. But wait, who can cook without some great music? I installed a CD player/radio underneath the upper closet next to the stove. Now it's done.

OK, tomorrow we are going to talk about my 2 and a half bathrooms. They are not huge, but big enough for now.

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