SF Good Questions: Help Me Lighten My Kitchen

SF Good Questions: Help Me Lighten My Kitchen

Mar 27, 2008

view entering from outside

Dear masters of Apartment Therapy; We have an unusual kitchen in our 1950's front to back split. The original owners added a three season room out back with a built-in fireplace and gas grill. When we bought the house, we converted this room with exposed brick, walls of windows with garden views and a gorgeous beamed wood ceiling into the kitchen...

view from outside wall

...Don't worry, you have inspired me to pare down some of the STUFF with your theme this month. The pitfalls of having a grandmother who was an antiques dealer is the presence of too much STUFF. We also have little room for cabinets as most of this room is glass or fireplace so that piece of furniture is our entire pantry. A bookcase suits the needs for my bowls. And the pot rack? It traveled in a suitcase all over the U.K. after I found it in an antiques store and made it home in one piece! I am a cook and culinary teacher by profession, so boatloads of cooking stuff is par for the course.

the evil wall

It took 10 years, but I finally got my husband to design and build the vent hood that now dominates the room, in fact, the crazy man even installed it himself! My problem is the wall behind it.

T-111 close-up

The original house was clad in what some have told me is called T-111, this wall was originally open to the environments back wall of the house. Spending 10 years as a kitchen with no vent hood means there are plenty of greasy deposits on the wall, a good bit of dust, and as you can see it has a very rough open texture and not a few knotholes.

bowl storage in bookcase

I would love to lighten the interior of this room and colour that wall somehow. This room receives light all day, the sun sets facing the wall of windows and bounces on to the wall of doom, but at night and in the winter it can feel mighty dark in there and we literally live in this room. The questions is what to do; paint, recover, clad in a metal, colours, textures? Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

fireplace wall


What an intriguing kitchen! And we bet you can guess what our first two suggestions are...

More paring down (assuming these photos were taken after the paring down you mention). And white paint. But that's just us -- and those are almost always our two suggestions.


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