Carolyn's Cure: It's Not Easy Being Green

Liveblogging the January Cure 2014

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This weekend's assignment is all about the kitchen: cleaning, organizing, and getting everything in order so you can cap off the weekend with a fantastic meal. While the kitchen got some much-needed attention, my to-do list diverged a bit from the assignment, leaving me with a bundle of green-themed tasks.

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Since we just moved in, our kitchen was already in pretty good order. As we unpacked our kitchen gear, unnecessary items went into the Outbox, which is already brimming with items to donate. Our cupboards and counters are still in a pretty tidy state, as you can see above.

So, with that in mind, I set out to tackle the kitchen in a different capacity — with some paint. I'm not a fan of the current backsplash/counter combo, so we will probably change the tile at some point in the future. But for now, I wanted to try to make them a bit more harmonious, and I wanted to add a splash of color since our main living area is painted gray. I picked some of the green undertones out of the backsplash and went with Sherwin Williams Haven (6437), which also matches some of the green accents in our dining room rug. I'm still not totally sold on the combination, but I think it's a lot better than the original mustard color that was there, and it feels much brighter and fresher than it did when we moved in.

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My other "green" project was to focus on making some stands for my plants. Our last home had deep window sills, which I filled with all kinds of greenery, but in the new house, my plants had no home, and they were looking increasingly sickly from being sunlight-deprived. Using the simple IKEA Rast nightstand as a template, I cut down some plywood, painted it white, and built my green buddies a new place to roost. While thrifting, if I find a more elegant solution, I may pounce on it, but for the time being, this $20 fix adds storage and helps my plants get enough light.

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The last few days have been quite busy, what with all these projects and the addition of a new, temporary member of the family. We took in a foster dog named Champ from Alive Rescue in Chicago, and he's been my constant buddy as I've tackled all my projects. He's a well-behaved, cuddly, 60-pound hunk of love, and we're delighted to have him with us for a while. But if you're looking for a fabulous DIY companion, then Champ might be your guy. He promises to make sure the plants are watered and that any benches you own are structurally sound.


(Image credits: Carolyn Purnell)

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Main, Homekeeping, 2014, Chicago, The January Cure

Carolyn is a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a lover of all things colorful and quirky. She grew up in Texas and settled in Chicago by way of L.A., England and Paris. Currently, she is a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology.