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Answering Reader Questions | The Kitchen Edition

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You’re asking, so I’m answering. I get a lot – like A LOT – of questions from readers. But with the way social media is today and blog comments, and live streamed video and IG Stories, the questions are never all in one place. And I seem to get the same questions multiple times. So I figured I’d start to compile them all and Answer Reader Questions once a month or so!

Today, we are in the Kitchen where I’ve had quite a few DIY and decor related questions, as well as bigger ‘life’ questions.

Question 1: How do we like our open shelves in the kitchen?

Answer: We love them. 🙂 I knew as soon as we moved into this house that I wanted to open up the visual space in the tiny tiny kitchen. The square-ish window was once flanked by two monstrous cabinets and a curved 1980s style valance. In one day, we took it all down and replaced the right cabinet with two basic bracket-style open shelves. 

It has basically stayed that way since and it works really well for our family. We rotate what we keep on the shelves all the time, but it’s usually some combination of plates, bowls and juice cups. A couple people asked if they get dusty and they definitely do not. Because we keep high use items on them, there isn’t a chance for dust to settle!

These shelves are simple IKEA Ekby brackets ($4 each) and basic pine shelving cut to size. Nothing fancy at all.

The Kitchen

Question 2: Do you really use those cutting boards or are they just for show and you really have ugly ones tucked away? (LOL! Love this question!)

Answer: We really do use them! Every day! The large one is from IKEA, the small rectangular one was blogger swag I got at a Food Network event years ago, and the long skinny one is from the Gordon Ramsay collection at The Bay. Dan loves to cook and he insists on having the best kitchen utensils and implements that we can afford. We ditched our plastic cutting boards in our great KonMari purge and have been using these three wooden ones ever since.

Question 3: What colour is your Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and where can I get one like it?

Answer: My KitchenAid is (sorry guys!) a special edition colour. I got it for Christmas six or seven years ago and I ADORE it. The colour is called Bay Leaf and you might be able to find them for sale on Amazon or Ebay if you hunt. However, I will warn you that last time I looked for a Bay Leaf coloured KitchenAid, the sticker price made me fall down. I guess limited edition colours sell for a lot once they are no longer being produced. 

Question 4: How has the paint on your cupboards and brass hardware held up over time?

Answer: So-so. The cupboards were painted in stages over the summer of 2013, so they’ve lasted nearly five years. At that time, I also spray painted the existing hardware using Rustoleum’s Oil-Rubbed Bronze. Guys – spray painting hardware is great for occasional furniture, but it definitely 100% does not last on kitchen drawers and doors. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it. But I wouldn’t do it and expect it to last. You can see in the pics of the kitchen that the old gold tone is coming through. In fact, the spray paint started to wear off within less than a year. 

As for the cupboard paint? I think because I was meticulous with my method – like I took ZERO SHORTCUTS – the paint itself has held up fairly well. I’ll give it a 7.5/10. We are only now starting to see chips and wear and tear. My method was back breaking though – you can read about it here. At this stage of life, I probably would have figured out a way to replace everything instead of painting the cabinets. But we had no money to spend on renovations at the time.

Question 5: I feel like you are on the only blogger on Earth who hasn’t done a kitchen renovation and knocked down walls and put in subway tile backsplash! Why haven’t you done this yet??

Answer: Time. Money. Energy. To be perfectly honest, until this year the kitchen worked really well for us. It was just me and Dan. We could both fit in the kitchen at once, even though it’s only 8×10. And the improvements we made by relocating the fridge, extending the counters and adding a dishwasher were the exact right speed for us.

Dining Room

BUT – now that LB is in the picture and we’ve been here for five years, we are certainly considering a major overhaul. We are chatting with our local realtors about the return on investment for a kitchen renovation and are looking at how we can fit it into our budget. In broad strokes, we’d rip out all the cabinets, remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room, sand and refinish all the floors on the main level (which are in horrible shape), add a peninsula type island where the current wall is and leave all the appliances and fixtures where they are now. It’d be a big job. And we really need to make sure it would be a sound investment. The market has softened in our area lately and we don’t want to end up underwater on our house. So stay tuned for updates as we investigate the possibilities!

So there you go! Those are the most common questions I get about the kitchen. I’m sure there are others, and I’ll search around to compile another post. In the meantime, ask my any questions you want in the comments or on social! Lots of people seem to be interested in a ‘day in the life’ post from me… I feel like I’m not that interesting – but I will work on that too!! LOL

Peace and love,


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Thursday 25th of January 2018

I keep thinking about adding some open shelves (mostly so I can justify all my coffee mugs, haha) so It's good to know that you don't find they sit long enough to get any dust built up! ANd you can beat that price point for the brackets!

P.S. I might be crazy, but I like the look of the gold coming through the black on the drawer pulls

Jenna MacDonald

Thursday 25th of January 2018

Thanks for answering my question!! So happy to hear you are actually using those beautiful cutting boards ??

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