When I was an elementary school teacher, I often gave my older students an opportunity to redo an essay or project if they wanted to improve their work. By rereading or redesigning their previous attempt, they often learned much more about the topic (which was the ultimate goal) and hopefully even discovered a bit about their own thinking process. It seems like a valuable skill to have, because let’s face it, many of us spend a lot of time at our jobs redoing or updating things. Unfortunately, when it comes to our homes, we often get stuck in a mindset where we think things need to stay exactly how they were when we moved in, or when they were built or when we first arranged them.
It is a good thing my husband and I are both used to working and reworking projects until we are happy with them. A few weeks ago, we bought a new refrigerator, which ended up changing a few (very recently completed) key arrangements in our kitchen.
Our new fridge lured us in with the promise of much more interior space along with ice and water on demand. Plus it was on a fantastic sale at Home Depot. Unfortunately, the larger size meant we had to take down the recently added cabinet above the fridge, which meant things on that wall were looking unbalanced and a little crazy. Also, the new fridge is stainless so it doesn’t match the stove and dishwasher anymore. It was classic chain reaction where one thing leads to another.
Instead of bemoaning the loss of a storage/display cabinet, we decided to take the opportunity to rework things and try something new. We took down the remaining cabinet on the fridge wall and put it over the stove, filling out that space a bit better.
Then, my handy hubby began building a wall of shelves using ½ inch galvanized steel pipe and 2 x 12 boards. The mix of steel and wood fits really well in our kitchen, and the industrial modern look of the shelves works well with our simple 1950s home. It also makes it so the mix of stainless and white appliances isn’t so obvious.
After considering a natural wood look via a clear coat, we decided to stain the wood gray. I am happy we did, because it really makes the whole system work with the concrete countertops and the stainless refrigerator.
While I wouldn’t have spent all the time painting and caulking cabinets last month if I had known we were going to change things this month, I don’t regret it at all. We gained a lot in the process, and I feel like we are really learning how to make our home more functional and beautiful within the space we have. Our end result will greatly exceed what we started with, both in usability and appearance.
The lesson: Don’t be afraid to take a redo.
Check back Monday morning for completed shelf pictures!