Sunday, April 27, 2008

Good News, Bad News

The good news is: our refrigerator has been repaired. We spent nearly 3 weeks of cramming everything from two fridges into one and re-training myself not to buy as much as I usually do when I go to the food store. The downside to having only one fridge is having to make more frequent trips to the local food store, 20 miles away, which costs us more in gas. The repairman came this afternoon and found that the fridge had burned out it's relay thingy and after popping a new one in, everything is working like it should.

The bad news is: one of our kitchen cupboards fell off the wall and my mom happened to be the one standing in front of it when it fell. Poor, startled mom slammed the doors shut and held the thing on the counter hoping that someone heard the clatter and would come to rescue her, pronto! I heard it, alright, and I didn't know what it was, but it didn't sound good! Hubby and I both rushed into the kitchen to take over and we managed to get everything out without breaking any more dishes. A couple of bowls broke and a plastic pitcher that happened to be on the counter underneath the cupboard shattered, getting water all over the floor in the process. I'm glad it was mom standing there and not one of the kids, and I don't want to imagine the outcome of that!

The cupboards are made of laminated, heavy, pressed wood, installed in the late 70's/early 80's we think, and that particular cupboard held all the plates and bowls. Upon closer inspection, there were 6 brass screws holding up the cupboard and all snapped off. I am a little wary of the other cupboards now, but none are as big as this one was and none hold heavy items like this one did. After we assessed the situation and made sure mom was alright, I noticed right away that the kitchen seemed brighter! My first thought was, the cabinet is not going back up and we were going to patch the holes, paint-- seems the kitchen used to be mint green/blue-- and put up open shelving instead. A cheaper alternative to replacing all the cabinets, which we'd like to do, but cannot afford at the moment.

After more than a week of living with my bowls and plates on a folding table in the office, I am starting to miss my cabinet and getting tired of the arrangement we came up with. We planned to put the cupboard back up today, after buying new screws, but as it turns out, more bad news: the pressed wood has a bad crack in the bottom board (probably from falling on top of the pitcher) and I don't think it could support the dishes anymore. So we are back to the original thought I had, which was to patch, paint and install open shelves.

I'm tempted to rip out all the other upper cabinets to make the kitchen seem more uniform with open shelving all around. I don't know if that is such a wise thing to do and I need to talk this over some more with the husband. It would force me to de-clutter if we did the open shelving thing, and it would also better showcase all the vintage dishes and glasses we have, too, rather than having them hide behind ugly brown laminate doors. I suppose the best thing to do is try living with a small section of open shelving for a while and see how we like that, before we do anything like pulling down the rest of the cabinets.

Any suggestions out there that aren't costly? We could use some fresh input! :o) There is an Ikea that we can go to if the local hardware stores can't give us what we are looking for.. but our budget is tight, so any ideas would be welcome!


barefoot gardener said...

You could just take the doors off the cabinets that are still hanging to see if you like the look of having all your goods hanging out. Some folks like it, some don't.

Another option could be to take all the doors off and hang pretty fabric in front of them to hide clutter. Very cottage-y, and I am sure you could thrift some beautiful fabric. That would be lighter and brighter than ugly brown laminate, but still cover up any clutter.

Have fun making things pretty!

Simply Stork said...

hmmmm that is a hard one...(and poor mama, I am glad she is ok :o)

I just love it in magazines when they have shelves up the walls for dishes and such instead of cabnets...then you just stack the dishes and cups on the shelves...I have wanted to do that in my old house to force me to keep the dishes in order :o) might not be such a bad idea...all spices and such could be kept in a pantry instead or a kitchen drawer?

I wish you luck with what ever you decide :o)


Barbara said...

I do love the look of open shelves but in reality having everything out means you have to be pretty strict about the clutter! I like the idea of part open shelves and part cupboard and if you or your husband are handy with a drill it should be easy enough to fill that space with open shelves cheaply enough.

Taking the doors off the other cupboards to see if you like the look is a great idea as is using fabric instead of doors.

Poor mum. I hope she's over the shock.

Mo Morrissey said...

I like the Ikea cabinets - inexpensive, although you do pay for it with your time putting them together.

You could try an overstock store - like EC Barton's (they're mostly in the South, but have some stores in Ohio...(in WVa, I didn't see any locations), but if you check out a site like you'll see what I mean.

I found a place called Builders Surplus in Fairmont, WV

Seconds and overstock are a little sketchy but you can often get good deals and if $$ is the main concern, you can't do much better