This morning I put the finishing touches on my (now) open kitchen cabinets, so that section of my kitchen is sort of finished. (Of course, nothing is ever finished for very long, because I’m always changing things up).

I didn’t have three cabinet doors for my red and white kitchen display as I had before. Instead, we took off two doors of the upper cabinets.

Right next to the stove is a doorway, and then my coffee bar is on the wall on the other side of the doorway. (I actually made my first cup of coffee in a month or so this morning.)

Remember, this is a galley kitchen, so most of the photos were taken with me standing off to the side.

You will notice that I haven’t spackled and painted where the hinges were yet.

All in good time, as they say.

I still need to get the whole apartment arranged so I know where everything is. And naturally, there are things I’m still looking for that I haven’t found yet.

New Red Utensil Holder:

There you see my convection oven, my red spoon rest, and a new red utensil holder I ordered from Amazon. That thing is heavy!

You sure wouldn’t want to drop one of these things on your toe. I also ordered the paper towel holder, but it hasn’t been delivered yet.

To the right you see Teri’s alphabetized spices hanging on the wall. (Here is a very similar wall spice rack, though I got mine on eBay).

And in the cabinets are the red ceramic bakeware set I ordered last year.

That danged door on one of the bottom cabinets doesn’t fit right into the place it is supposed to fit into. I have another problematic cabinet door like that in my bathroom.

Being as compulsive as I tend to be, that kind of thing drives me crazy. One of the drawers over there needs a bit of work too. But I’m working on trying to be more nonchalant about things like Teri is.

Nothing seems to ruffle her feathers much.

Pleased About The Big Built-In Microwave:

And look at that big microwave. I’m used to little microwaves. So when I opened that thing I was a bit shocked at all the room inside.

The square cutting board is hiding cords and such. If you can’t fix it, as I always say “cover it up.”

A segment of my red and white dishes in the cabinet next to the microwave

Why is it that shelves always look crooked when you take a photo of them?

I stand perfectly still with my camera while standing against something, not even taking a breath, and I see it perfectly centered on my lens.

But it never fails when it comes to shelves. When I download the photos to my laptop, they always look crooked!

Covering Up What You Can’t Fix:

You can see my white electric stove. I once again have a stove. Heavens, I’ll have all sorts of options for cooking.

The countertops and backsplash area are that old-fashioned wood look that I’m sure is Formica or something similar. But it’s better than many I’ve seen.

And things just aren’t perfect in life or in rentals.

Oh, by the way, I put that big cutting board next to the convection oven because there is a pink stain that is about the size of the palm of my hand. I guess they couldn’t get it out.

So what did I do? I covered it up! Instant fix. I’ve become quite adept at covering things up when I can’t fix them.

I had two more of these big heavy cutting boards and I gave them to Kendra for her new home. I’m glad I kept this one because it covers that stain up.

One Section Of My Kitchen Is Decorated, and you can see what I did just beyond the stove

Don’t Strive To Have A Perfect Home:

Things don’t have to be perfect.

Life isn’t perfect.

You change what you are allowed to in a rental. (At the other apartment, I did pretty much what I wanted to; but then the owners didn’t care a whit anyway)

I know you can visit many blogs and every inch is perfection. The kitchens are stainless steel and the cabinets are the latest trend. And the furniture looks like it just got delivered.

In my home, there is no such thing as perfection. My rooms and gardens are in a state of constant evolution.

How To Balance The Colors:

If you’re at all concerned that your microwave is black and the rest of the appliances are white, get creative.

Bring more black in to balance it, and it will look like you planned it that way.

A view of the counter top convection oven on my counter top

I have used the dishwasher one time, which Teri was so pleased about for some reason. I never used the new dishwasher I had at the other place.

Teri is an organized kitchen person. By that, I mean that everything has a dedicated space and you always put things back where they belong.

Plus you use what you have.

She organized that kitchen like a pro.

So I’m trying to adopt some of those edicts.

Teri Is A Hoot:

As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, Teri is full of life. For instance, at age 72 she tours the country on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle.

She’s pretty fearless. Teri takes care of her home and horses and doesn’t need outside help. She can lift all those bales of hay herself.

She is funny and delightful to be around. Sometimes she’s a little bossy, but it’s all in good fun and concern for me.

Yes, Teri, I admit that I got up on the step stool to arrange the top of the kitchen cabinets. So please don’t get your panties in a bunch. I’m fine.”

I’m kidding of course. She told me to stay off the step stool. But I just couldn’t help myself. I wanted to get this section of the kitchen done so I could show it to you.

Teri is very kind and goes out of her way to help me because right now I have limitations. And I love her for her big heart and neverending generosity.

One Section Of My Kitchen Is Decorated, and here is my newly open cabinets with red and white dishes

My Neighbor Shoveled My Walkway:

Also this morning, I opened my front door to thank my neighbor, Steve, for shoveling the snow off my sidewalk and in front of my door. His wife is in the hospital, he told me, and he and his daughter were about to go visit her.

I guess the ambulance was here a few nights ago, but I didn’t hear anything.

I’m going to love these folks. They’re retired master gardeners!

People are so helpful and friendly here that I’m kind of in a state of shock. It’s like a real community where people care about one another.

The Woman Who Lived Here:

He told me that the woman who lived here in my apartment moved to assisted living. I sure hope she got to take her beloved cat with her that he told me about.

Well, there’s work to be done. I’ve just about got the living room figured out except for putting decor on the walls.

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54 Comments

  1. How wonderful it’s coming along. I actually like those countertops. LOL. I’m assuming you told them about the red stain on it? I’ve had a red stain on several of these types of countertops- on was solid cream, one like this and and my current one which is dark brown (no idea where it came from) and it all came out with a soft bleach cleanser like Soft Scrub. Just let it sit a little bit. If the stain gets lighter then keep working at it.

  2. Brenda, I’m so happy you’re in a good place now with friendly neighbors. And to find out a couple of them are master gardeners! I love what you’re doing with the decorating and I can’t wait to see more. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  3. Well, my comment seems to have disappeared. Big Sigh!
    I’m crazy about your kitchen; especially that you were able to remove a couple of cabinet doors.
    Can’t wait to see what you do with your living room and colors that you decide to use.
    Have fun and stop when you’re tired or your body hurts. You’re not going anywhere so there’s no rush.

  4. You’ve already made your kitchen look so homey and warm. I’m glad you got to remove the doors to recreate the look you loved so much in your other place.
    This move seems to be the start of a great new chapter for you, Brenda! You’re blessed to have your daughters, your dear friend Teri with boundless energy, and now, friendly and kind neighbors like Steve, who plowed your sidewalk…..they’re already looking out for you! And, they’re master gardeners? I don’t think you could have gotten luckier! They will soon find that they got lucky, too, with having you as their new neighbor. I see friendships blooming over gardening discussions in your future!

  5. Your new little kitchen looks so pretty with how you have the dishes displayed in the open cabinets. I wish I could do that with a couple of my oak cabinet doors, but then I’d have to paint the insides of the cabinets and I’m not that handy or industrious. The insides of the cabinets are an ugly brown and so are the shelves.

    My kitchen counters are still the laminate butcher block, too – original to the house. Our kitchen desperately needs to be updated but I want to wait until both kitties cross the Rainbow Bridge…

    As you know, Monkey will be crossing very soon. Could be any day now. And with Clementine being an older kitty with kidney disease and anxiety issues, I wouldn’t have contractors in the house right now making all that noise. Wouldn’t be fair to her. So, my kitchen waits. No big deal…when I read the part where you talked about the blogs with perfect houses, I was nodding my head in agreement. I’d much rather see a kitchen like mine or yours (or other people I know); humble and homey and more realistic. I’m also like you where I prefer white appliances over stainless steel. I have purposely chosen a white refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and microwave when we’ve had to replace ours.

    I am so happy for you that you’re in a place where you feel safe and comfortable and where you’ve already met nice neighbors.

  6. Just love you and your blog. Inspiration of all things in life. I look forward to all you say and how you decorate.

  7. I spoke to soon Brenda bc today I had to shovel and it was still snowing afterwards! Yesterday it rained like crazy that my dog didn’t stay out long! Lol
    It’s so great that u have fantastic and caring neighbors all around u, that are gardeners! Yay!
    Omelets are yummy esp with some ham, onions and cheese in them!
    Oh, I’m very stubborn and when my parents still tell me, I let them know that I got it from both of them! Lol

  8. I thought the same thing that Jan did – those backsplash areas are perfect for something peel and stick to separate it visually from the countertop. Then I think that countertop will look even better when it stands alone. I would imagine you’ve already been thinking about that, too. They can fix those cabinet doors and drawers, I’m sure. I am curious if your built in fireplace is gas or wood burning? I hope it’s gas with gas logs, because I love mine. If it’s wood burning, I’d be tempted to put your purchased fireplace into that area and use the mantel above it for decorating. Much easier and cleaner. Looking forward to see more as you get things sorted. That second bedroom is going to be very helpful for a while, I’m sure. Great storage and sorting place while you get the rest of the place in order for living in.

  9. Love, love the red utensil holder! I love red kitchen accents although I have shades of blue right now. Excited to hear about your neighbors. Finally, some kindred spirits! Please send me an email (I don’t know how to find yours) so I can send you butterfly pea vine pics. Hugs to Terri – the kind of friend we all need but is so hard to find.

  10. It’s starting to look like home already, Brenda! I’m delighted you found a good friend in Teri and also that your neighbors are so wonderful – that’s so important when you are in such close proximity to one another.

    1. It really is. I can hear the drone of TVs around me at night, but it doesn’t bother me like I thought it would. I just turn up my sound machines.

  11. LOVE the display of your beautiful reds, whites and glass in the open cabinets. I was wondering about the holes. I didn’t know you had actually spackled and painted over the holes in the kitchen cabinets where the hinges were screwed in your former apartment. I was going to suggest using peel and stick decals that go with your color scheme to just cover over the holes so the doors can go right back up easy peasy if you move again in the future, or face the cabinet frame with white (or another color, possibly in a pattern to get really snazzy?) peel and stick paper.
    Your pretty utensil holder is heavy because it’s made of iron (I clicked on the Amazon link to check it out). Yeah, don’t get it anywhere near an edge where it can fall off and hit the floor or your toes, yikes! I think you’ve got a great balance of white, red and black in your kitchen. I also like the “wood tone” of the Formica countertop and backsplash. From the photos it looks to be in really good condition. I understand there are several different ways to remove stains from Formica without harming the countertop surface itself, I did a quick internet search and found lots of info, including videos. But like you did in your former apartment, you may end up trying out a new color of peel and stick backsplash and cover over the countertop with peel and stick paper. I think the cabinet door hinges can be adjusted, perhaps it’s just the hinge lip needs to be bent a little bit more to “catch” the clasp on the door handle when the door is shut (or vice versa.) I am assuming the complex has a maintenance person, and will know how to fix the non-closing doors fast. Wonderful to hear you have a kind and helpful neighbor and other neighbors who are sure to be out gardening as you will be daily when the weather warms again. Great neighbors make ALL the difference in the world.

    1. Now that I think about it, I can’t recall if I spackled and painted over them at the old apartment or not. Funny how fast we forget things! Or at least for me.

  12. Everything looks splendid! I love that your home has imperfections (like mine). You still manage to make it Pinterest-worthy. So glad you’re now living in a community you love.

    1. Perfection would be a little much. Not everything has to matchy-match, as I like to say. Things can be a little scarred and beat up. That’s how humans are after all is said and done. Scarred and beat up in various ways.

  13. Brenda, I am enjoying your blog immensely and so happy for you that you are where you are now. I should probably take the doors off of my cabinets as my cat (Baxter) loves to open mine, whether in the kitchen or bathroom. Or I could put child locks on them but where’s the fun in that for him! Glad you have thoughtful neighbors too!

    1. I just happened to be in the kitchen making a cup of coffee when I saw the neighbor, Steve, shoveling snow from in front of my door. There is a window in the kitchen. Ivy likes to get up on the windowsill and watch the birds around the tree.

  14. Bar Keepers Friend in liquid form is non abrasive and works very well for cleaning Formica counter tops kitchen sinks. It could be there was no attempt to remove that stain you mentioned. It’s nice to see you making yourself right at home and loving the peace and stability you’ve gained. I hope your pain is less as a result of this new found peace and softer floors to walk on, which does make a difference. Your neighbors are certainly friendly and caring folks. I think I am ready for a 55+ community. Time to begin the search but they will need to allow cats 🐈‍⬛. I’m so pleased for you and relieved that you’ve been freed from the rental of doom. I wonder if this apartment manager would allow you to have your counters resurfaced. I imagine they replace appliances as they need to. I like the above stove microwave because it saves counter space but I’d rather have a hood vent that is more efficient and microwave someplace else. Sometimes cabinet door hinges can be straightened by tweaking the hinges. Sometimes doors are warped though. Drawers can drop out of alignment and may be repairable as well. A maintenance person or handyman could help you with things like that. Have you asked if there is a handyman in your new complex? My mother had one where she lived. Those patio doors that didn’t glide well might need some adjustments to level them or a simple cleaning and lubricant if they are still not moving well. Perhaps the previous tenant didn’t let management know when things weren’t working nicely so they could keep up with things. I hope she is doing well.

    1. We had a hood vent for many years before we had an above-the-stove microwave installed. These microwaves have vents built into the bottom of them and they work as efficiently as the hood vents. I’ve never had a problem with that and I cook all the time.

  15. It is beginning to look like your cozy home. This home looks happier. I am so interested in seeing what happens next?

  16. First of all, I LOVE the tweaks you made to the kitchen! And yes, my first thought as I examined it was that crazy girl has been on that step ladder! You just don’t mind very well at all, do you? I understand, because it’s exactly the kind of thing I would do. Your kind remarks humble me. Thank you for your kindness. Now, stay off that ladder or I will spank you! I boss big horses around and you should fear me.

    1. I agree. We have a horse at home still my daughter’s mare and people have no idea what we can do! She likes the tall
      Ones. Her gelding she had for 16 yrs was 16 hands and this rescue mare is 16,2.

  17. I had a cabinet door that didn’t close right and a cabinet man fixed it by readjusting the hinges. he said women tend to open and lean on the cabinet door when getting things in or out and over time the door gets out of plumb. you might try that or get the handyman to adjust the hinges, I love your blog! Makes my day everyday!

  18. Look at how it is all coming together. You may not use the stove since you’re used to not having one but it is there. I can’t believe it is furnished so nicely.

    And how about the neighbor shoveling the walk before going to see his wife? Oh my you have landed in such a great place. This is going to be such a great move for you.

    I agree with the other ladies about reading your blog. I signed up for a few new ones and have gotten rid of them already. Since my car accident And staying in bed for a couple of weeks I so look forward to reading your blog every morning. It’s like a letter from a good friend.

    1. I want to cook an omelet. Do you know I’ve gone through my whole life and never made an omelet? I think the pots and pans will arrive sometime today. I only ordered a small set because who wants to store all that extra stuff you’ll probably never use?

  19. I was so excited to see pictures of your kitchen this morning! And, the best part – you took some doors off your cabinets. WooHoo!!! Can’t wait to see your living room and colors you use.
    You’ve definitely found your “home”. Enjoy every minute of settling in. Can’t wait to see more.

  20. Your kitchen is you! If I had seen this picture of it,someplace else, like on Pinterest, I would know right away, that it belongs to you. The reason I enjoy your blog so much, is because you are real, no fake, delivered for the show furniture. Everything speaks Brenda, clean, neat, often times new items to see, or moved/changed around. And of course, Ivy and Gracie. I look for your blog daily, one of my very favorites. Wish I knew you in person, but it kinda feels like I do. So wonderful that you and Teri had this chance to meet one another. Friends for life, I’m sure…
    Sending hugs from Wisconsin..

    1. I’ve been trying to get photos of Ivy and Gracie, but they haven’t been very accommodating. I don’t know where it is they go to sleep during the day. It’s a secret so far. Probably in those big closets where so much is waiting to be put somewhere.

  21. I love the way it’s all come together and I love the pops of red I’m sure the stove will come in handy and the rest of your place will be fabulous that’s an old word I’m old enough for it though so glad about the neighbors I know how much gardening means to you I actually did some pot gardening last year thanks to your site already thinking of this year thanks for sharing with us Gloria

    1. I love pot gardening because 1) you can suit the plant with the proper soil conditions, and 2) you can move them to a better spot once you see how they’re responding to shade or sun.

  22. I must say that I’ve looked forward to reading about you getting settled in your new apartment! I had no doubt that you’d recreate nooks that you’d loved at your old place. I’m so happy that you have a normal sized microwave and stove! I’m grateful you don’t have to worry about snakes!! I’m especially glad to read that you have kind neighbors who’ve made a community together! We are better together!

    1. True, we are better together. I’ve met more kind people before and since I moved here than I did in 8 years at the other place. By far. I’m trying to remember all the names.

  23. Everyone should have a Teri in her life! I’m so glad you do. I’ve learned one can’t always rely upon family for one reason or another. I agree with Gail to check with management on the cabinet doors/drawer(s) that aren’t working properly. And it won’t be the end of the world if the cabinets where the doors were removed aren’t spackled and painted. But we all have our limits on what we can tolerate. So happy you’re getting settled and that it seems like it’ll be just right for you and the kitties.

  24. Your kitchen looks wonderful Brenda. I was shocked to hear that you did not use the dishwasher, the first thing I just had to have when I arrived in Canada 30 years ago was a dishwasher (something we did not have in England) We have not been without one since, if we have to buy something new for the kitchen if it can’t go in the dishwasher we don’t buy it! Like you I would have to get those doors that don’t close properly seen too, that would bother me no end. It sounds as if you are slowly getting your new place the way you like it so you will be able to relax a bit before spring is here. Give those lovely kitties a hug from me.

  25. Your kitchen looks fantastic! Kudos to you and Teri. I didn’t think your shelves looked crooked. Love that your spices are alphabetized. That is too funny. And what a sweet neighbor for shoveling your walkway. That really was thoughtful. I think you are going to be very happy there.

    1. The things that really bother me are when something is crooked. I have a strong radar for anything crooked. I’ve been to people’s homes and just itched to straighten a picture on the wall.

  26. Your black, white, and red kitchen is so pretty. Everything looks clean and neat. And I don’t think those wood type countertops look bad at all. Love how you display things on the shelves. Very pretty.

    1. No, I’m okay with the countertops. I’m not a granite or fancy marble countertop type of gal. Just like I’d rather have white kitchen appliances instead of the trendy stainless steel.

  27. I’m SO HAPPY you’re where you are right now! It sounds like a wonderful place with friendly, caring people.. and I’d love to meet Teri! My age, and I have horses too. But I sadly lack any organizational skills!

  28. Your kitchen looks so good! Do you think the apartment management would fix the cabinet doors. You do pay rent, and everything in the apartment should be in working order – meaning cabinet doors open and close completely. You lucked out when Teri offered to help. Gee, I’d pay for her travel and work to help me organize this house. I used to be so effecient and organized but that has gone by the wayside with chronic illness. Have Ivy or Gracie gotten into the cabinets where the doors don’t close? My cats
    Would be in there in a heartbeat.

      1. I have often viewed your photos and wondered how you can have things displayed, like beads, etc. And now I read your kitties don’t open cabinets and explore! If my Misty lived with you things would look quite different as she leaves nothing alone🙄 I am constantly redirecting her, and have had precious things broken😔until I gave up and put things away. I couldn’t watch her 24/7.
        She’s a sweet, precious, stray but boy is she curious about everything. You really lucked out with Ivy and Gracie.
        Your kitchen now looks like you, and I like the wood in it. All the colors look happy, and cheerful.
        Master Gardner’s as neighbors! You are going to be in heaven. Even though you haven’t taken the course work I know your knowledge is there! Fun discussions are in your future.
        Your posts just seem to offer more and more indications of a great place for you. Not perfect perhaps, but is life ever perfect?
        I’m sending good thoughts for Kendra’s challenges.
        And good thoughts to your lovely friend Teri.

        1. Ivy and Gracie have certain things that attract them. But I’m lucky that they don’t like to scratch furniture or open cabinet doors. They’ve never even been on a kitchen countertop.

  29. The kitchen looks great. I used to have countertops like that – butcherblock look and I really liked them. You may be able to remove the pink stain with nail polish remover. That worked for me one time. I think most would hesitate to try it, but it worked perfectly. I don’t remember what the stain was anymore though. I just tested it on a small bit first. Also you may be able to get that door to close with some velcro strips. I used them on my current corner cabinet doors that wouldn’t stay closed properly. It works great after months of use.

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