Kitchen Chalkboard Wall

Kitchen Chalkboard Wall

Thinking about all the quick fun decorating projects I have done, usually before the Holidays, I found this unpublished blog. The wall is still a lot of fun with the quote, “Creation or Consumption, does that make me a cannibal or a can of bull?”  Not worth photographing, but I will when someone writes or draws something new.

This wall was made a few years ago now. It has held up well except I would have sanded it better to have a smoother writing surface. Sometimes I just want to get it done, and won. Instead of taking the time to do something right, more refined.

Taping off the Wall

Taping off the wall preparing for the chalkboard paint.

 

Why bother I think sometimes when all the decor I make in this house is on the temporary side. It is a rental in a beautiful So. California neighborhood. But almost treasonous not to own our own home with real estate always, always going through the roof. 

This little rental, mid-century home I have been making little surface renovations on for many years would sell for ¾ of a million while my neighbor’s homes would sell for much more as they have made real renovations of adding on bedrooms, great rooms, vaulted ceilings, new kitchens, and more bathrooms besides many a year ago removed the popcorn ceiling. I made my own peace with ours by buying textured everything white in the bedroom, down to dingle ball sheer curtains.  

We opted out of the no money down housing options of ten or so years ago and with our fast-paced life and joyous neighborhood never found a way to move into a house we could afford. But as all renters say, that may end soon. Nah, we just always think that because our landlord only needs to give us a few months to vacate. If something were to happen to him, and his children have to sell the house. Since he seems happily able to accept our rent every month we should feel free as the free birds we are to flee the coup if the time comes. 

Chalk board paint wall long shot.

Finished chalkboard paint wall.

Meanwhile, we have raised three children here. The hardest part of inevitably leaving this house will be leaving behind a big back yard full of fruit trees, many kinds of gardening experiments from raised beds, cactus, flower, and vegetable gardens to pots with avocado trees and wild blackberries.  

Each project grew out of respect for the bones of our house and the implicit wishes of the landlord not to do anything at all to the house. So we have only painted a few walls black and painted many other varied bright colors all over the house. We have removed wallpaper, pulled up carpet, lived with authentic mid-century windows by covering them with the most contemporary dressings we could combine. 

Our kitchen cupboards have never been painted, all-natural wood, but we replaced the hideous handles at the start of living here. We found multi-colored balls and silver handles to go with the “rustic” wood. Our linoleum floor is about to be our next biggish project because it needs replacing. But honestly, we are afraid of what will happen if we lift the large happy offwhite sheet. Afraid of what we will find underneath or not find a solid floor. 

There are many things that have gone on here to suffice as living breathing artists in residence.

Chalkboard Paint Wall with One Inch Ruler

A wall to make notes and shopping lists.

The chalkboard paint was going over big in the teenager’s room, another blog of black teen cool, so I thought we should have the little wall in the kitchen painted. The little wall should have been demolished years ago, so why not be made into a chalkboard. I would write down my biz orders and photo lists besides quickly right down recipes and quotes to keep my business moving forward. It was easy and cheap. Looks great! Is fun! And can add new decor to the kitchen faster than new curtains and hot pads. 

The edge goes over the corner one inch to make a ruler on the wall. Not yet drawn in.

 

Queen of the Bargain Hunters

Queen of the Bargain Hunters

Sustainable Kitchen of Bargains

The picture shows a lot.
The used Kitchen Aid Blender in the background sits atop the étagères French shelves, the oval-shaped french provincial table sits on risers to make a handy kitchen island. The chalkboard wall is in the background, and last but not least in this shot are the funky metal chairs.

A world of abundance is what I see.

In my own home, as I sit here thinking about not having the corporate job or simply not making more money and still buying things, I am in awe of how little I spend on buying things and how much I am handed by people who do not want stuff.

My dining room chairs that I have only three of are some kind of Italian design my friend C was throwing away. They are hot and high-quality contemporary Italian furniture. She knew I would appreciate them. The following paragraphs have some links to stores where I may make money if they are clicked on without any cost to you.

The lamps curving over the table was one of three I purchased from the Restore, a knock-off of the super expensive ones, and these were under ten dollars for all three.

The sturdy simple butcher block “dining” table that extends to seat eight was found in the As-Is section of Ikea around twenty years ago. It did not have a price on it yet and I asked the sales guy if I could only pay 100 dollars. And the guy said yes. It was priced around 250 originally when not a showroom cast off. Goes to show you never be afraid to ask.

The round maple coffee table in our living room that our middle son loves so much came from my Mother In-Law’s guest house. I have to ask her more about that table and a few other pieces.

The cool Xmas lights with silver beads attached match the popcorn ceiling that we are leaving up year-round, another cast-off from Grandma A. A theme throughout my house until I get the popcorn ceiling removed I keep trying to mimic it in other designs.

The other retro bulbs hanging across my living room studio were purchased brand new from Target, one of the few stores where I shop due to the fact that they pretty much give away stuff if you look for the sales. At Target, it is not a waste of time searching through so much when the prices are similar to the other discount stores and even the 99cent store.

I just bought a hundred dollar rug at 40% off but it was also another 20% off and came with a BOGO pillow deal that was a replica pattern of the rug, a white outline of abstract fruit on a terra cotta orange background, with contrasting olive green and multicolor large dingle balls on each corner of the 24” pillow that perfectly went with my easy-up pop-up store aesthetic, bam, score. (Made almost twice as much money on that Sunday with my new floor covering.)

I am sitting here in the light of a friend’s lamp she gave me when she moved to Italy. The lamp is a perfect silver sphere the size of a bowling ball with a classic white lampshade. We scored a lot from her moving sale, a kitchen aid mixer for seventy bucks (she actually bought it second hand), an appliance no one should live without, a real game-changer in the kitchen while baking, and always on sale at Target.

A hand-painted chair we still have, and a kidney table we had for years – a very high techy Italian modern kidney shape cut out of plywood painted black with a burnt orange on the underside and ¾ inch edge border attached to three long gold-tapered store-bought legs.

Kidney Table

This handmade kidney table was left behind by our friends moving to Italy.

Our kitchen table is French Provincial an oval shape and also expands to seat about ten. I love this table! The one we turned into an island in our kitchen and moved the square-edged butcher block table to our formal dining table. It was Inherited from my sister In Law J who covered all the chairs in vinyl to use in the backyard. They finally wanted a beautiful teak set, so we took the creme colored set. Some of the chairs are gone now but at least two I covered in a Scotchgard fabric of beautiful flowers and fruit still-life pattern on a terra cotta background.

Vinyl Covered Outdoor Chairs

These are the vinyl-covered outdoor chairs we love but are too big for indoors.

We are about to paint the table after we strip it of its worn enamel. We also put risers under the legs to make it an island for the kitchen with two metal chairs I bought at the Tuesday Morning bargain housewares store (which is extremely dangerously close to my house). I purchased the weird metal chairs with a chartreuse green splash of paint color on the seat for under sixty dollars for the pair. Sure, the half-circle metal rod footrest on one broke already and we have not seen a need to repair it.

The featured photo shows all of these finds.

How much do I love the étagères French metal shelves in our kitchen inherited from A. They used to sit blocking the fireplace in A’s bedroom. They are heavy, black, with gold ball accents and big, holding kitchen appliances now.

new york de havilland china

The buffet from my father in law, it was his mothers’ given to us because we pretty much take anything. It got crammed full of trinkets besides the new york de Havilland china for twelve we also inherited from her.

The buffet was a family heirloom passed down from my husbands’ grandmother.  It is a short glass case atop a counter of a glass case. I love it and it holds our best dishes, some of which came from J’s grandmother, Haviland New York China .

Window Treatments

These are the sweet eyelet curtains with a garland of little vases filled with flowers a gift from my sister in law. Also including some of the backsplash, we all made together one holiday. 

The eyelet curtain in the window was a new purchase of amazing quality of 100% cotton from the Aki store replacing many interesting kitchen treatments over the years, linen dish towels, and a drape of white canvas hooked on with grommets.

When we needed a backsplash I had a ceramic-making backsplash party in our home where we invited friends and family to create a masterpiece with broken dishes. We were all novices, but no slouches to creativity. Everyone went to work like it was a race and everyone finished theirs and helped the others until they were all done. It took a few months, but we finally got the tile done and installed in the kitchen!
See the blog story here.

Even our TV was purchased new on sale over five years ago but when we wanted to buy the wall mount for it last year I found one on sale for 11 bucks. Compared to 70 to 120. I know you usually get what you pay for but this has even survived a bigger TV upgrade. I found it online in the Black Friday sales at BestBuy. By the way, the best way to purchase big-ticket items if you really need them like a new computer is with their two years no interest plan policy.

Before I buy any of the questionable stuff that may not be what it appears to be I must know *the return policy and it must be easy.

I did buy knobs for my kitchen stove online from China knowing I could not return them and, yes, they were under ten dollars compared to 60. And though I did thorough research to make sure they would fit. The material and design were perfect, but they ended up not fitting.

Anyone want them to try for replacements?!

To be continued….

* Return policies should always be apparent and surprising you can find out the usual 30-90 days does not apply to electronics or sometimes there are no returns at all, final sale. Then stores like Nordstrom and Costco will pretty much return anything anytime which almost makes shopping at these stores worth it, juggling the guilt and temptation.