Kitchen reno screeches to a halt, so I went apron shopping


By Elle

As I mentioned in my last post, renovation around the old homestead has all but stopped; instead of tearing out drywall and installing cabinetry, we’re focused on caring for aging parents. Luckily my half-finished kitchen is fully functional, so I have zero complaints. I can still whip up awesome vegan dishes or enjoy Thai takeout at our new kitchen island.

Because I love to cook and “kitchen” is still top of mind, I decided I needed a new apron, one with a retro flair. I spotted just the apron I’d been searching for at Cleveland VegFest back in May.  Not only does it boast a colorful retro camping pattern, but it’s also handmade, locally, by Roxanne Harmuth who runs Roxie’s Bits and Pieces (check out her page on Facebook; she makes more than aprons and has many upcoming shows). I was thrilled to find it, and the price, under $20, was just right.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

I love the blue metal chairs in the pattern the most. I can recall just how it feels to sit in those old-timey things. They were not comfortable!

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

The nice thing about having this particular renovation come to a halt is that we get to live with the arrangement for awhile, and we can decide at our leisure what we like and what we’ll want to change. For example, the temporary countertop currently on the island helped us immediately know that we need to steer away from walnut, which we’d been contemplating. We thought that a walnut countertop would work perfectly, until we installed this temporary top, the color of which is pretty close to walnut and looks downright hideous.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

We bought a few different cabinetry door/drawer styles, based on where the cabinets are situated in the kitchen, but this beveled style is my favorite.

The darkness of the wood pulled all the energy out of the room, leaving it feeling gloomy and sad — not what I want for any room in my house, especially the kitchen! We’re now looking at either a light wood or light-colored stone for the island countertop, but we’ll absolutely test the color and material first.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

My six-year-old granddaughter, Maiya, loves eating at the island. The cabinet on the end will hold my cookbooks, at least once I cull a few….

Because we tore out the L-shaped cabinetry from our kitchen to open up the space, we’re able to accommodate a large island. We’re pushing the limits with its size: about 3.5 feet by 7.5 feet. We have to be careful to not overwhelm the kitchen space and to be mindful of the functionality of the surrounding cabinetry, i.e., we need clearance to open the dishwasher and oven doors!

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

We bought a few decorative furniture legs just to gussy up the island.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

Don’t mind the mess. This two-drawer cabinet actually houses three drawers. The top drawer has an internal drawer.

When we first bought our house, I was hopeful to make the window seat into an actual seating area. But along came my plants, and they truly thrive in the space, so it appears I’m stuck with a mini-indoor garden.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

Hens and chicks, my favorite succulents

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

Most of our new kitchen cabinetry is stacked in the basement, waiting for their chance to be promoted to the first floor.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

I haven’t put anything in this drawer because I’m not entirely sure what it’s for. Socks? Makeup? Jewelry?

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

I’m jazzed about this vertical row of cubbies, five in all. Not sure what I’ll store in them, but they’re nice and deep, about 23 inches.

Love the double flatware tray, which allows me to keep my event flatware (when I’m not using the real silverware) and everyday flatware in one space.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

Had to plug Penzey’s! They are a cook’s dream.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

We were hoping to take our time choosing a range, but ours crapped out toward the beginning of the reno, so we needed to buy another post-haste. I was set on a “true” (not flex) double oven and wanted to avoid a slide in just because I don’t want the control knobs where kiddies can reach them.  We  don’t have a gas hookup in the kitchen — and didn’t want to bother with one — so we were limited to electric. I was wary about having a ceramic cooktop — I shouldn’t have to mollycoddle my range! — and I have to say, after four months or so of using the cooktop, several stains have taken up permanent residence. I am not a fan of my ceramic cooktop. I hate the damn thing, actually.  But I love my double oven. And my new apron.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design kitchen reno and retro apron

Hope you enjoyed reading! Be sure to check out the color of the day, every day, so you can enjoy the best luck possible!

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2 thoughts on “Kitchen reno screeches to a halt, so I went apron shopping

    • Thanks, Sheryl. I thought you might like it! By the way, I meant to comment that I loved the poppy plate setting you featured on your blog recently. I love all things poppy!!

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