My Dream of a Coffeehouse Kitchen10:44 AM
Being a renter has some definite drawbacks, mainly that I can't make my house look exactly like I want it to (i.e. DIY CITY). For a design and color junkie, this is a difficult pill to swallow. Re-arranging furniture and getting new pillows or place mats only quells design fever for a few days, then I'm brainstorming up the next project. All I want is to own a home again so that I can paint everything that stands still, tear out walls, and put french doors everywhere. Maybe I've just been watching too much Fixer Upper...
My latest obsession (when I've actually had the time to experiment with it) is making my rental kitchen resemble a coffeehouse. I long for old brick walls, but instead I have uneven plaster from the 1920's. I've got nice dark cabinets that give the room a cozy feel, but the boring counter tops are a snoozefest. The kitchen as a whole is on the small side; definitely no sky-high ceiling with exposed original beams. *Sigh*
So I decided to do the best with what I have. That's all any of us can really do, right? My ultimate kitchen design would be like a cozy, yet trendy coffee shop where you want to linger for days and read a lot of Whitman, then end up re-thinking your entire life in one afternoon and have a stunning revelation that you should become a professional beat poet or something before you finally concede that you need to leave and go back to your normal life.
The first step I took in attempting to transform my own kitchen was adding music to the whole scene. Any coffee shop worth it's beans has too-cool indie music piping through it. I used a wi-fi connected tablet to start streaming music into the kitchen most of the day, so when I'm passing through I am subconsciously looking for the barista so I can order another caramel macchiato.
Next I upgraded some of my coffee equipment. I already had a cheap (but decent) espresso machine, but our everyday coffeemaker was getting old and didn't have a lot of bells and whistles. Our new one has a "ready in 60 seconds" hot water dispenser, which is super handy for making tea or adding to hot chocolate mix. Plus it looks pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. With the new coffee maker in place next to the espresso machine (accessorized by a cool stainless steel holder for the ground coffee) I'm pretty happy with this corner of the kitchen; there's even a chalkboard sign on the wall next to them- no coffee house design is complete without a menu!
Our kitchen table is old. Saying that it's "vintage" or has "a patina" is giving it a little too much credit. I do still kinda like it, which is nice. Since we have to cram a lot of people around it every evening I can't accessorize it too much, but once in a while it's nice to have a cute cake stand full of freshly baked muffins on it. (Free of charge for family members, of course.)
I'm still looking for new (and cheap, DEFINITELY cheap) ways to make my rental kitchen look like a cool coffee shop, so if you've got any that I'm not thinking of, let me know in the comments!