Fruit Basket Turnover

Our kitchen is sorely in need of a complete face lift.  And because we’ve endured survived two other kitchen renovations, we’re putting this one off as long as possible tackling this one at a snail’s pace.  If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then kitchen re-dos are like open heart surgery, but without anesthesia.

It must be more than a year since my dear friend Nancy spent the day with me.  She heard the term “stripping wallpaper” and was calling to set up a help-date.  I think she finds the destructive peeling therapeutic.  And I was more than glad to accept her cheerful help.

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I’m not sure if the picture gives justice to the dingy hole that  is was my kitchen. Dark, stained ceilings gave way to brown walls, accented by fruit.  Fruit everywhere!  The fur downs were plastered with a border of it.

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The were even several murals (the most elaborate I cannot find a picture of.) And then two of this sort, brushed straight onto the backsplash tiles.

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These murals were lovely in their day. Beautiful works of art, unique assets to the walls even…  But certainly not my style.

They’ve stared back at me each morning, taunting me with their cheerfulness as I stumble to shield my eyes from their happiness.  And I’ve plotted their demise for months now.  New backsplash tile is low on our priority list.  Painting high-gloss tile is do-able but messy.  I have an aversion to oil-based anything, and the fumes require adequate ventilation–a difficulty this time of year when triple digit temperatures chase us to the coolest part of the house.

So I ripped a figurative page from the memory book of our two last kitchen projects.  If you can’t change it, cover it!  House number one had a funny electrical access plate squarely where all could see.  But hanging one of my collected blue & white plates masked that nicely.  Kitchen number two had boring and gouged Formica backspash. We hung framed art in multiple places to jazz it up.

So why not try that here?  I took measurements of the murals to be covered.  They were huge–29″ long!  I couldn’t find anything that caught my fancy.  In fact, I couldn’t find anything at all.

So I endured the happy glare, morning after morning.  I cringed as I showed our guests around, answering their quizzical looks with an immediate “that’s going!”

And then it hit me.  I needed a custom piece.  Why not make a custom sign?  I measured out the boards, and prepped the paint without a clue of what to put on them.  And then the genius that I call my husband suggested I copy a wartime poster we’d brought back from London.

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There now!  Much better!  We’ll tackle the failing drawer hardware, the glitzy pulls, the misaligned hinges, the chipped sink, the dated wood finish…all another day.  The fruit is gone, and I can face the world in the morning without squinting.

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