Some of you may recall that my kitchen used to look like this and that I was thinking about letting go of my butcher's block around this time last year. Yes, that's IKEA desk furniture stacked up in the corner.
After some minor improvements, the kitchen is looking much better.
I managed to let go of the butcher's block, which was extending too far into the space, after obsessively photographing its scarred surface the way one might want to preserve maps of the lunar surface or the memory of an old friend's face. I replaced it with the very piece from West Elm I was eyeing last year.
I purchased a high chair that works like a bar stool (but is way more comfortable), so Andrew and I can sit and chat with whoever's making dinner or brunch. It's also a nice place to relax and have coffee on a weekday when the dogs are eating their breakfasts.
Shelving is super-inexpensive white melamine shelves from the Container Store, with white brackets. They wipe down very clean and at some point if I wanted to replace them with wood shelves, it would be really easy.
The window shade is from The Shade Store's tulip Roman shade line, and it's custom for the unusually sized window opening.
We installed a window sill ourselves after ordering one in a custom length from Sill-Rite. It's hard to see in this shot, but it was much easier than we thought and protects well against water damage.
And the horrid plant stand that was (mercifully!) out of frame in the before shot, the one that we were using to store pots and pans? Replaced with a sleek new hanging rack that keeps them up and away but right next to the stove.
I also took the opportunity to go through all of our spices and evaluate for freshness, tossing ones that we've had for years and then organizing them alphabetically in clear acrylic racks.
None of the fixes were expensive, but taken together, they make the kitchen a lot less cluttered and pleasant to be in. Which is good, because we spend a lot of time in there preparing meals!